Category Archives: Farm

When Friends Come to Stay

This June long weekend has been the first one that we have been home for in a few years, normally we have been heading to Sydney. This year however was different, we had friends come and stay with us, with their precious 2 year old twins, they packed up their car and headed west to us. It was pure bliss, they were such easy house guests and the Muddy Kids just loved showing the twins all of their toys and all around the farm. We took them up the paddock and checked the sheep, we got them on the bikes and the tractors and even the back of the ute.

We shared good food, good drinks and good stories. This friend and I used to live together many years ago and it was just like slipping into old times, being in the kitchen together, just chatting and reminiscing, but with the added element of husbands and children, it was delightful. Simply delightful.

I am so grateful this week for when old friends visit with their new families, it is so special to be sharing our families and hopefully our kids will be firm friends like we are for a long time to come.

Linking up at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful.

When it rains…..

On Sunday night I posted some  photos as part of 52 – A Portrait a Week. They were of my Muddy Kids frolicking in the puddles. For those that live in places where it rains a lot, or it rains regularly it must sometimes seem mundane to wake up to rain, another day to play in the mud and try and get to and from home, work and school without getting wet. But for us on Sunday morning when we woke up and measured 23 precious millimetres the whole house’s mood lifted.

We are in one of those areas ‘on the cusp of drought’ as the media like to put it. We have been feeding sheep – and still are despite the rain, as grass takes a little while to grow after the rain and the sheep gnaw it off faster than it can grow. We are going into our sowing later than usual. Muddy Hubby always likes to be sowing Canola about Anzac Day, this year we haven’t sown canola at all.

But when it started really raining on Saturday night and kept raining it bought a little bit of hope back into the farm. Now we just wait for the paddocks to dry out a little bit, then we spray the weeds before we start to get the tractors fired up and sowing. In the meantime though the Muddy Kids and I are enjoying the remaining puddles, weeding the garden beds while they’re still moist and just literally sitting and watching the grass grow for a change.

Grateful for farming stuff…..

I feel like this week has passed in a daze, struggling to focus on what I’m doing from minute to minute, losing track in conversations, starting one task, getting side-tracked by another and forgetting what I started. It’s been driving me crazy.

This afternoon though I got to do farm stuff, nothing ground breaking, just feeding sheep, but I loved it. Simple straightforward in the outdoors, despite the number of gates I had to open and close and the return trips to pick up hats and drink bottles Muddy Baby Boy threw out the window, it was invigorating.

It was also slightly depressing driving through paddocks with no feed, watching the sheep race toward you when they see the big yellow feeder bin on the back but I was out and about so I put that stuff aside.

Somehow just being in the garden isn’t enough, to drive over the farm and see the sheep and what’s happening from block to block just gets straight to my heart and lifts me, that’s what this afternoon did, despite the tiredness and crazy brain my whole mood was lifted and for that I’m grateful.

Linking up with the fabulous Bron over at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful.

Just Hanging Out

Yesterday afternoon the garbage bins were almost full, the atmosphere was right, the roast was in the oven and wouldn’t be ready for a good hour, so Muddy Hubby and I loaded the kids in the ute, chucked the garbage bins on the back and took the kids to the local tip. Now it may not seem like such an exciting thing, but a trip to the tip on a Sunday afternoon can also mean a detour via the local pub on the way home.

The Muddy Kids had their choice of an ice cream or a packet of chips to share, the ice cream won hands down. So we perched them up all in a row and while Muddy Hubby and I enjoyed a quiet bevvy and a chat with some locals the kids devoured their ice creams.

It was just us as a family hanging out, just damn lovely really. The joys of living where we live, where a trip to the tip is a highlight.

Somehow I think in 10-15 years time they’ll still be perched up at the local pub all in a row, just not with ice creams.

Crutching Time

At the moment we are crutching our sheep. Basically this means shearing some off around the head and the bum. It helps stop the sheep from becoming wool blind and helps to prevent flies. We get the sheep into the yards the night before and then in the morning they’re run up into the wool shed into each of the pens the shearers use. This year Muddy Hubby and his brother are doing their own crutching, and Muddy Hubby is whinging about how sore he is before the day starts, just at the thought of crutching. It doesn’t stop him though, he gets in and gets them done.
The Muddy Kids help out when they can, they’ve each got a small broom and depending on who is home they practice picking up the wool after the shearer finishes and taking it to the wool table to pick out the stain and dags and put the remaining good wool in the bale.The sheep are then slid down the chute and into pens under the woolshed, to make their own way out into the sunshine.

Back to reality

After a week away our world came crashing back to earth quickly. My friends the snakes have moved in while we’ve been away. Once chose to make it’s home under the swimming pool tarps while the second one chose to greet me at the back door when I went to go outside, sliding between the metal and the mesh. It was not a happy welcome home.

I have resolved to invest in some ‘snake sticks’, which I have been unable to purchase in town as the only shop that stocks them is sold out. So they will have to wait til I am in the next biggest town for work next week. I have heard a lot about these ‘snake sticks’, some people think they definitely work, others think they don’t. Effectively they’re solar powered and they send out intermittent pulses at a frequency that deters the snakes to a 10m2 radius, apparently the snakes don’t come within that radius. At this point I am willing to give anything a go.

My other purchase has been some Guinea Fowl. These birds are excellent at alerting you to snakes, they flap and squawk and surround the snake, giving you a chance to get the kids safely inside and try and find a way to deal with it. They are only little, but I have placed a lot of pressure on these birds to do the job they’ve been purchased for! It helps that they’re very cute and get even cuter as they grow. And just because I couldn’t resist we have a new rooster, we’ve called him Bobby, he’s a blue crossed with gold Wyandotte and looks like he’ll be a good looking bloke.

Dam it

There’s been some excavation work going on, on the farm, and I think everyone, including Muddy Hubby, is just a tad excited. On one of the blocks we have always had a wet patch, after the floods and heavy rain it was almost like a swamp with bird life and marshes. Rumour had it, it’s where there used to be an old well on a spring, so they’ve been doing a little digging, and lo and behold they struck water.

So they decided it would be as good a place as any to put a dam, so it has two methods of filling, one from the natural spring and one from the rainwater runoff, a win-win situation really.

They called in the excavator and he dug a test hole, which once he broke through the hard crust, struck water underneath.


He then began the digging process, working his way from the centre point of the dam to the outside, Muddy Bubby was in awe of the machine.

This is what it looked like by the end of the day.
This is what it looked like this morning, with water filling from the spring.

The sheep will no doubt soon be down to check it out, do a taste test on the water and probably camp next to their new paddock addition.

Facebook and Puppy Power


Generally when Muddy Hubby, his Dad and Brother have dogs they try to have the same sex ones, so we don’t have any fraternising amongst the dogs and we don’t end up with puppies we have to find homes for. Sometimes though we end up with both sexes and the result of course is some very cute puppies.

The problem with puppies though is that you have to then try and find homes for them. We had already decided to keep one, friends were taking another and that left 3 puppies for me to find homes for. They are kelpie pups from good working parents, I wasn’t asking any money for them, I was just happy to find them a home.

I saw an ad on the local buy swap and sell Facebook page where somebody was looking for a free puppy, so I got in touch and they gave one puppy a loving home. That left me with two. I posted an ad on the local buy swap and sell page offering them free to good home, I had a person interested, but then no follow through. I rang the vet and they didn’t know of anyone interested, so I asked the vet what the best thing to do was, they replied honestly with ‘Have them euthanased is probably the kindest option’, apparently there are just too many puppies around at the moment, that there is no way to find homes for all of them. I asked about taking them to the RSPCA and the response was similar, you could take them there but they have way too many puppies as it is and they would probably be euthanased anyway.

I asked around and sure enough somebody had been turned away from the RSPCA when they tried to take animals to them. So, I was getting desperate, we couldn’t keep them, we have no need for that many dogs, I didn’t want to have them put down, so I resorted to Facebook, I put the call out to all my Facebook Friends that I needed to find homes for these two puppies to save their lives! Yes I used desperate words, but I wanted them to be loved. Lo and behold the response was amazing (for me anyway) I had offers for people to look after them until we could find homes, I had people sharing my status to all their friends to help find homes, ad within a couple of hours the last two puppies had loving owners.

For me social media continues to amaze me, the power it can have, the response it evokes from people, if we ever end up with puppies again it will be my first point of call to find homes for them.

Puppy Central

A few weeks before Christmas our working Kelpie had puppies. They are squirmy balls of delight that are keeping us entertained for hours each day. They are now drinking from a bowl and eating dog biscuits, as well as occasionally getting a feed from Mum.
We will keep one and will try to find homes for the others. Then begins the process of trying to train one into being a super sheepdog! Muddy Hubby has the book on how to do it, he just has to put it into practice, slowly building the dog’s confidence and skill. A properly trained sheepdog will do an excellent job and save lots of yelling and running around the paddock after errant sheep.
I’m not sure how the Muddy Kids will fill in their days once we find homes for the rest of the puppies and they’ll be a bit sad to say goodbye.

Bag It

In the downhill run of harvest we strip some feed grain and some pulses to store and sell later in the year. One of the things that has been last to strip is the Triticale, it’s a feed grain and we either sell it or use it to feed our own sheep. We have almost run out of silo storage so we have opted to ‘Bag It’, store it in a ‘Silo Bag’.

Effectively a Silo Bag looks like a great big white sausage, it’s long and smooth and it fills from a Silo Bag Machine of course!

Because the Triticale is stripped in a different paddock to where we have set up the silo bag the trucks first need to unload into the Chaser Bin, before the Chaser Bin can run alongside the Silo Bag. We Use our Chaser Bin to fill it and the pressure moves the machine along as it fills, until you either run out of grain or the bag is full.

Short term they are are a really effective storage method, long term we spend time keeping the birds away so they don’t peck through the bag, chasing the mice and rats away that also like to chew through the bag for a feed and trying to avoid the snakes that come along for a feed on the fat rats and mice! Yes, long-term it has it’s down falls, but short term they are very handy!