Thursday, 13 March 2014

A bit of this and a bit of that !!

We have  been up at the farm for a week and have had a really hectic schedule. We arrived with two 1000 litre water cubes to make up drip lines for the shrubs and trees, and a whole heap of  timber garden edging to make raised beds out of  at some point in the future.
The plan for the first week was to get  a concrete slab laid to move the cool room onto  that we had previously taken up.
The good news is that we had had some rain and the place was finally starting to take on a green appearance, although much more is need , the sheep were appreciative for what was there.
We also made arrangement with our neighbour to swap rams, to give us both a changed blood line.
I don't think he was real keen at first, but he soon settled in and started chasing the small flock of ewes that we had selected for him to romance.
Hubby selected the spot to lay the concrete and started to clean the area up.
He then boxed the area up, and built it up a bit with some extra dirt.
We did a quick trip to Dubbo and purchased 16x 20kg bags of cement, then went and filled our trailer full of  aggregate and then a trailer full of sand(generously donated and loaded onto the trailer by next door) and we were ready to roll.
My big brother was the concrete mixer,
My husband was the wheelbarrow man and layer,
And Tilly the Blue cattle dog was the site supervisor.,making sure all was well.
I kept the food flowing and was the gofer for all that was needed.(This was a brown sugar and sultana slice about to go into the oven)
While the boys were busy concreting I ground up a heap of turkey  mince to make meatballs.
I made these to can, so to do them safely there were no breadcrumbs,flour or eggs, and instead I used my previously dried vegetable powders and home made plum sauce as  thickeners and binders. I then baked them  before canning into bottles and processing them in the pressure canner.
We are very pleased with them, both in flavour and texture,The liquid I used was previously made turkey stock that I had canned. I also made a batch of "Habanero Gold"  with  the pile of habaneros that I had grown on the coast this  season.
The boys had left the concrete slab to set and firm up over night and next morning removed the timbers from around the edge, They did a good job and the slab  set well.
My big brother, Hubby and his brother from next door then man handled the cool room onto the slab with a lot of pushing and shoving and sliding on metal rails until it was in position.

It will such a great thing for us, for when we butcher  sheep ect to be able to not have to worry about waiting for cooler weather and being able to let  it hang for a few days to develop more flavour.
It will also be a great assistance when we have a big party of family get together to keep food and drink cold without overloading the kitchen refrigerator.
During the week we also drenched the sheep for worms and put rings and tags on the new lambs.

I had also taken up to the farm three ham bones that I had frozen after Christmas to make split pea and ham soup.
I cooked it all up in a big stock pot , removed the bones, chopped the meat and cooked a bit longer and then pressure canned it into quarts.
This messy end of the shed had been   earmarked to become my new laundry/store room/meat room and the boys  started to do a bit of the wall lining the other day while they had some spare time
Already it looks so much better, and  I can see what a wonderful space it will be. There has to be some plumbing and electrical work done next before they can continue to do any more lining, but at least I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, progress has been made.
Hopefully while we are here over the next few weeks we will get some more done.
So I must keep moving,  always something to be done.
Until next time,


  1. Hello Jane. Super blog. I love Australian farms. Your landscape photo are truely beautiful. Tilly is lovely dog, you are blessed to have her. Thank you to share what life on the Australian land. Regards from Poland

    1. Thank you Ewa for reading my story and commenting, I am surprised that my story travels so far.We are very fortunate to live here and in this time in history. We do love our Tilly, she is an important part of our family.
      Regards from Jane.

  2. You have all been very busy Jane! I do like your cool room. That will make life a lot easier for when you process your own meat. Glad you have had some rain out there!

    1. I am so in love with our cool room,It will be brilliant. Slowly getting some rain, hopefully more to come.

  3. Wow. So stunning. What an incredible photograph, all the outdoor furniture looks amazing. Great work :)

    Garden designer Norwich & Timber Decking Norwich