There’s apparently an old farm saying that says ‘There’s money in mud’, which makes sense because without it the ground would be too dry to sow any crops. In February things here were pretty dire, no decent rainfall in a very long time, feeding sheep, dams going dry and we were starting to clean them out. Then in a turn around of weather over the last couple of months we have had enough rain to sow our crop. We have so far planted Lupins, Canola, Faba Beans, and just this last week begun to sow our wheat.
We are definitely by no means out of the woods yet, but at least we have hope, enough to keep us going and smiling. The Lupins are even up and out of the ground, The kids love to go up the paddock and check where all the crops are up to. Which ones are going great guns, which ones might need to be resown or which ones already need spraying for weeds.
I absolutely love the fact that my kids are so interested and involved in the farm, they ride along in tractors and farm vehicles, help out in the shearing shed and the sheep yards. It warms my heart to know they are growing up out here and learning so much about our farming life while they do it.
A lot happens when you forget to blog. We have moved house, I’ve started my own business, my Muddy Pixie has started school and I feel like I am losing time as my kids are growing so quickly.
Oh yeah, I’ve also moved my blog, or rather my best friend moved my blog for me, as I am nowhere near tech savvy enough to do something like that!
I am hoping that I don’t forget to blog again for soooo long an interval, but you know life is very busy and sometimes it just happens that way.
This weekend we have just been doing bits of this and that, trying to put up a house yard fence, shift sheep down the highway so they’re ready to be crutched in the morning and staying as cool as we can in almost 40 degree temps. Yesterday that meant we headed down to the river (or what’s left of it) and went fishing in a small pool of water that’s left, using a net and hands Muddy Hubby managed to catch a few fish. It was good old fashioned fun and after some initial reluctance the Muddy Kids loved it, especially my Muddy Boy!
What have you been up to while we’ve been missing in action?
Muddy Pixie on her first day of school
Catching fish in the river
- Caught One!
I got a lovely email from Corinne about the fact that her kids have never asked her ‘to go lamb tailing’, chances are they never will, and sometimes I wonder why my kids love it so much, the baaaing the dust, the battle to save the poddy lambs and more baaaing. BUT love it they do.
I captured this week’s lamb tailing efforts in pictures for our non-farming friends to be able to experience it through us. The only thing missing is the smell and the noise!
So 12 months after the big Fox escapade which wiped out our poultry we are starting to branch out again into other breeds. We have had a couple of plain brown chooks for a while, they were rejects from the neighbour, a testing bunch, just in case the chook yard wasn’t truly fox proof. After almost 6 months of survival we’ve used the Muddy Puzzler’s birthday as an excuse to get some Silkies. I did think we were getting chooks ready to go straight into the yard. Unfortunately I was mistaken! We now have 4 baby chickens, we put them out in a cage on the grass in the day and bring them in to a brooder box next to the hot water system to keep them warm at night.
The Muddy Kids are loving it, soaking up all the squishy cuddles, overfeeding them, effectively killing them with kindness, as I think they are so well fed they’ll soon have trouble walking. It is lots of fun though, and has been bringing smiles to the kids faces and lots of conversation about names (Dora, Pink cupcake icing, Thomas and Barbie Fashion Show are the current names they’ve been given).
I am into rambling this week, rambling thoughts, rambling words, just seemingly rambling through my weekly routine. The Muddy Kids and I have been pottering around the farm, all rugged up in the mornings and stripping down to T-Shirts in the middle of the day. The washing pile grows exponentially at this time of year as the kids get the bottoms of their pants wet playing outside in the mornings on the wet grass and letting the chooks out. Then out of habit when they strip off their jumpers and long sleeve tops they put them straight in the washing basket rather than wearing them again the next day.
Then in the evening the chill comes in and we go through the afternoon routine of homework and bath before rugging up for bed. It’s a rambling farm life here this week. What’s your week like?
Last week Muddy Hubby and I made a very important purchase, one we had been thinking about for ages and finally bit the bullet and did – A Bus Stop Car. I had been scanning the local buy, swap and sell pages for ages and nothing seemed quite right, then the perfect vehicle appeared and we jumped in and bought it.
It definitely didn’t break the bank, but it will do the job we need it to do, going back and forth to the bus stop on our road each morning and afternoon. The bloke who owned it before us had put his own personal touches on it (including an over sized muffler) and had loved and cared for it. The Muddy Kids think it is fabulous, they’ve explored every nook and cranny and worked out what works and what doesn’t. What I like most is that they’re not climbing all over our vehicles and trashing them while we wait for the bus.
A portrait of each of my kids, every week in 2013
Another week in and out of the shearing shed this week.
Muddy Organiser – Checking the wool so she can tell Muddy Hubby exactly which bin she thinks the wool should go in
Muddy Pixie – I will climb onto the wool table – and she did
Muddy Puzzler – Overseeing it all, making sure the shearers do a good job
Muddy Boy – I’m having trouble managing all three brooms Mum – do you think you could give me a hand?
Linking up over at Che and Fidel where Jodi hosts the wonderful 52 – A Portrait a Week.
Around here July School Holidays mean only one thing – it’s shearing time. Every year, the first 2 weeks of July (normally coinciding with school holidays) we do our Main shearing, where we get all our ewes, lambs and rams in and shear them. We do it across 2 sheds, with 3 shearers and a team of rouseabouts – mainly family. It’s busy and exciting and exhausting. This year as the Muddy Kids are getting older they are wanting to be in the shed more, help more and learn how it all works.
It has been 2 weeks of juggling whose turn it is in the shed and who gets to have either the battons or the broom, and who helps in the yards and who scoops up the locks. Lots of time with Muddy Hubby, lots of negotiation, lots of team work, lots of lovely family time.
A few weeks ago Muddy Hubby and I went to an information session organised by local members of our community who are concerned about the fact that Coal Seam Gas Mining is coming to our shire. I knew a little bit about it, I’d seen a story on ABC’s Four Corners and done some reading of emails coming through. The night was informative, it was worrying, it was thought provoking. The evening did not try to brainwash us, in fact the organisers encouraged attendees to go away and do their own reading to further gain an understanding of Coal Seam Gas Mining and the impact it can have on our water, our land, our health and our future and make their own decisions about whether it’s something we want to allow into our community and onto our land.
The more I read, the more concerned I get. We now have a No Coal Seam Gas group formed in the shire and people are coming together as a community to say to No Coal Seam Gas Mining. Muddy Hubby and I have decided that for us we would like to Lock Our Gate to Coal Seam Gas Mining, however there is nothing to stop the Gas Companies approaching our neighbours and if they say yes, you can come and put down a well on our place, the gas companies then have capacity to firstly drill down and then across to under our land. This is why it’s so important that our community unites on this, so that as a whole we can Lock Our Gate and keep the water and land safe for future generations.
One of the worrying things is that science has not yet caught up to the mining companies, we don’t largely know what the long term effects are. The CSIRO has information on their website about the basics, but the long-term impact has not yet been able to be studied, yet despite this the government allows the Gas Companies to continue, even with indications being that the long-term impacts are negative. One of the best sources of information is the ABC, here, they even have a map that shows you where there are coal seam gas mines, exploration licences and pilot wells for possible future sites, it was a definite eye-opener for me.
I am however only one person, with my opinion, but if you’re like me and there is the possibility of them coming onto your land or into your area, make sure you do some reading and be informed.
We have been very lucky this last week or so, we have been getting a lovely combination of rain as well as sun shine. This long weekend just past saw a particularly sunny Saturday and with visitors in residence we decided to drag out the yabby traps and see if the sunshine had tempted any to the surface.
We weren’t actually expecting to catch any, but we thought it would be a fun thing to do with all the kids. Lo and behold we ended up with a massive haul, more than enough to feed us all (and then some). We marinated them in garlic and butter before whacking them on the BBQ to cook. They were delicious. The kids didn’t go much on them to eat but loved the fun of throwing the traps in and then pulling them in later to see what we had caught. We were pleased to see lots of babies that we were able to throw back in to keep them breeding and the kids are getting more confident at pulling the traps in and getting the yabbies to hold.