Tractor finally back as well as soil test results!

Our tractor that we bought a few weeks ago has undergone some major surgery to get the thing up to scratch. Unfortunately I bought a bit of a lemon, but now, after a hydraulic overhaul, welding of the front right control arm, brake overhaul and a roll over bar, she is as good as new. Surfice to say I still love her and will be driving her everyday!

Hayley sent in some soil samples to get tested the other day and the results are also back. They are pretty good which is great for us, with only minor tweaks hear and there. Basically for what we are trying to achieve, the soil here is pretty much perfect! To maintain healthy stock and produce, all we need to do is farm organically, exactly what we were going to do anyway! It is nice to know that very little hard work in soil improvement is required. When the funds allow, I will purchase an IBC tank and rig up a 12volt boom spray. I will then do a bulk micro-organism spray of our fields of seaweed solution and a biodynamic solution called 500. I am also going to collect our cow poo and make my own micro-organism mixture, basically fermented cow poo with the addition of alpaca and sheep poo. Dilute the mixture, filter it through a few stockings and Bob will be my uncle – my own organic, micro-organism mixture! More on the process later, for now, I’ll sit back and enjoy the tractor!

More garden beds go in.

Got herb bed (HB) 1 planted up. Hayley put in a bunch of herbs we transplanted from the old house and they seem to have taken well! Vegie bed (VB) 1 suffered with the lettuce wilting and carking it after 2 days… may have been too much cow poo, woops! Oh well, will replant in the coming week. VB 2 going strong with beetroot, lettuce, onions and cabbages. If the cabbage butterfly doesn’t take all the brasicas out, then happy days! Let’s see what happens… Strawberry patch up and running. A bit late to put them in, but we should get 1 more flush before they shut down for the winter. Next spring/summer should provide plenty of strawberries for eating, deserts and jamming! Will also put a cane bed, (most likely rasberries) in soon, as autumn really sets in and gets close to winter, I will put them in an make sure they get a good chill before next season.

So things are moving along, we are all exhausted (in a good way) after working in the garden and number three seems like it has stalled… looking like going full term, if not longer!

2 year experiment begins.

What a beautiful day it was today! A light breeze blowing all day, partly cloudy to hide the sun and the temperature was just perfect for getting out into the garden. The first of the kitchen garden vegie patch is dug, turned, fertilsed and planted up with seedlings. Plenty of cow poo, chicken poo and blood and bone was turned into the soil and then watered in. The vegies have every opportunity to get established and have been mulched and watered in. Now to wait patiently while nature does her thing. I finished turning over the second patch and will dig in fertiliser and such tomorrow after work. The first of our herb garden beds has also been turned over (thanks Vern!) and will be finished, ready for planting tomorrow night.

The experiment will go on for 2 years, seeing what can and cannot grow, how long each season is and how intense the winter is here. By the end of it, we should have a good idea of whether or not we can make a part-time living out of our lifestyle, if not, then we will enjoy the life, if so then bonus!

Gee it was great getting out in the garden with the cows looking on, the chickens clucking away (albeit being a little sick), Bill and Ted watching over their flock, the dogs running around and the family enjoying life!

The Scottish Highland cows are here!

The girls have arrived and wow they are beautiful! I spent all day getting the electric fence hooked up and ready and am now stuffed! The girls have settled in well and the fence is definately working! I touched it near the energiser and it literally knocked me off my feet! Near the end of the line made me jump a few feet but all good I know it works now, and I only have a twitch in the right eye for my troubles… I’m sure it will stop soon….

Solar Electric Fencing

Our highland girls are coming today! To make sure that they stay in their allocated paddocks, we have invested in a solar electric fencing system. This unit is able to power up to 5km of multi-wire fencing and should keep the girls in the right spot! It is a portable unit and I will progressively wire up the remaining paddocks as we rotate the girls. The unit is also strong enough for us to hook up a series of cell grazing paddocks while still powering the other paddocks. Just got to make sure I don’t accidentally make a nature stop in the wrong spot!

Been a bit of a day really…make that a year…

You know, it is sometimes difficult not to take what we have for granted. We go through the day with its ups and downs and and quite often forget that we have food on the table, we have a roof over our heads, we have people who love and care for us and people to love and care for. So often we can get caught in the day’s trivial trappings and get worked up over nothing of significance that we can forget to stop and smell the roses (I hate roses actually, but you know what I mean). It has been a bit of a year this year, one of the busiest I have ever had, but each day is a reality check, each day is a day I am kicked into being grateful for my family, both immediate and extended, my friends, my job, my life.

God I love living on our farm!

The newest toy! A Massey Ferguson TE-A20 tractor, commonly known as a grey fergie! She’s a 1952-3 tractor with a rebuilt 4 cylinder vanguard motor. Basic mechanics, very little electrics so dead easy to maintain. In great condition and starts first pop (so long as you remember to pull the choke!).

Also order 3 Highland cows in calf. They are beautiful looking cattle and their meat is highly sought after. Will make for an emotional time come slaughter time as they are sooooo cute but it is all part of the life we have chosen to live.

The farm is slowly taking shape and soon (very very soon) we will need to name it. So the call is going out for ideas on a name for our farm. If you have a name, post it in the comments section below!