Monday, 19 May 2014

Another rushed but busy farm trip.

We headed off up to the farm again a couple of weeks ago, Loaded to the hilt as usual( I just don't know where we keep finding all this stuff)This time we took up our new dual wood heater/cooker that we are going to install, the new flat packed chicken coop and some of  the metal poles that we will build our outer chicken yard out of.
We were greeted by our  babies, they are always glad to see us arrive and rush to the shed because they know that Brian will give them a bale of hay just to  keep them friendly.
I had picked the Habaneros the morning we left(and saved some seed for next season) and on arrival got straight into making  up a batch of "Singapore Chilli Sauce" a recipe that I found in the "Ball Complete Book Of Home Preserving"
It turned out to be an extremely hot chilli sauce, I am not a huge chilli fan but the man  assures me that it is lovely.
That night when we went to have a shower we had no hot water as we keep the solar hot water system covered with shade cloth when we arn't there ,but  normally we still produce enough heat for a quick shower,but as we had  apparently had a week previous  of overcast skies, there was no heat. We sufficed with a kettle and a wash and the next morning Brian uncovered the system but just as an added bonus decided to light up the kitchen stove(which backs up the solar system0
Well, smoke went every where and very quickly filled the house. First fire light for the season and the flue was blocked, we opened the house   all up and got rid of the smoke and put the fire out. We found we had a big build up of  dry  tar type substance up in the flue. We cleaned it all up and it then  burnt and drew like a dream.
I got busy and painted some metal chairs that I started on the previous trip only to be attacked and stung 10 times by paper wasps that were living  in a nest under one of the chairs, they now look much better all freshly painted.It took me many weeks to fully get over those bites.
We  had  three days at the farm and then we traveled to Parkes to visit our oldest daughter and celebrate our youngest granddaughter's first birthday. On the way not far from our place we noticed these fellows grazing in a roadside paddock. We have seen them before and last year they had a calf. I think they are Bison, but we always just refer to them as "The Buffalo's"
We had a lovely weekend with our two daughters and two granddaughters, we had  lunch  to celebrate the granddaughters' first birthday, and she had a beautiful  caterpillar  birthday cake.  I was able to get a pic of the two gorgeous girls, but it was hard to get them to  sit still long enough.
We returned to the farm for a few more days, Brian got stuck into enriching  our raised  vegetable garden beds.
He dug out some of the soil, then placed a layer of hay biscuits or slices, then put the soil back  on top, and then topped it off with some more soil that we had brought up in bags  from our now shut down gardens on the coast.Hopefully it will all decompose and make some wonderful soil for us to plant in.
We cut some wood, and mowed lawns and replaced the front tyres on the lawn mower, pumped water, cleaned ,weeded and general tidy up.
We  wandered the property close to home, deliberating on where to place our new chicken coop that we brought as a flat pack.
We finally decided on a lovely spot out the back under the shade of some larger trees for protection in the hot summers, but in front of the big rock ridge that will offer protection from the cold southerly winds. We will remove some of the smaller saplings and build a larger high meshed yard into which we will place the smaller coop. The coop is roughly 3 metres by 2 mtrs x 2 mtrs..
We think this will be an ideal spot for the chickens.Hopefully work will start on it soon.
There are some pretty spots on the farm( or at least they are to me)...Below are are a few pics of the rock  ridge and caves and   a couple of other areas that I like.
It was a busy, disjointed visit but we still accomplished a lot, every thing we do now is one less job later. I really miss the  farm when we are not there, and can hardly wait to get back. It was so lovely and green this visit with feed everywhere for the sheep. The house yard was lovely and green too.
On our return trip, unusually we traveled three quarters of the way back  in  thick
fog. We often get some but not to this extent. The only time we came out of it was as we  peaked each  range between the valleys. The photo above. shows the fog over the township of Coolah which would normally be visible.
So now we are back on the coast, working ,saving, gathering supplies  and waiting  for  the next opportunity to get away again .
So until we meet up again,
Take care,

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