Tuesday, 1 May 2018

A Catch Up Of The Last Few Weeks Activities At The Farm.

We have had  a hectic  few weeks here at the farm and this post covers  both before and after my last  ANZAC Day entry   and so  I have combined all that in this post.
Brian had been preparing an area up beside our existing rain water storage tank ready for the  tank that we were relocating from down in the house yard.
The BIL next door kindly allowed us to get base sand from his farm,

We then waited until our son came to visit one weekend and he helped us to begin moving the tank.
It was heavy work and the slope of the land we had to  navigate soon made us realize that it was beyond just us alone , so Brian  re- thought it and  brought the tractor into the process.
That made all the difference !!,
The boys were then able to move and position the tank with ease, I was sacked ( as I was voicing my nervous and worried opinion maybe a little too much)
Brian has made all the connections now and  this  relocated tank now adds 22, 000 litres to our water storage. These two tanks now gravity feed back down to our house, you can see in the following  photos the  gradient of our land which allows the gravity feed system to work well.
The green tank collects the water harvested off our roof and is them pumped up to the higher beige tanks to feed back down to the house. It finally is all coming together.
We butchered another bunch of turkeys and chickens( as well as selling a few turkeys this time),
We processed them into smaller more usable cuts,
This time I decided to gather all the smaller cuts from the freezer and mince them up,
The plan was to make up a couple of batches of turkey/chicken bolognaise sauce and can it up.
I added a pile of sneaky vegetable, grated pumpkin, zucchini and onion.
This produced two batches of sauce , one load of small pint jars and a second load of larger jars.

This will be a wonderful addition to the pantry and makes a quick easy meal , just  needing to reheat and pour over  freshly cooked pasta. I also use these jars of sauce to make  lasagne.
We have seen the safe arrival of 7 baby lambs this season, (one set of twins) ,

They are such cute little babies, and these four seemed liked they actually posed for my photograph.
Our daughter came to visit for a few days with three of our grandchildren, we had a wonderful few days, The girls loved checking for eggs with their Poppy and seeing some  baby chickens we had,
Their Mum planned a treasure hunt  which ended with a "treasure" being found and dug up from the vegetable garden.
There was a ride on the tractor to feed hay to the sheep with Poppy,
Poppy did a bit of pram pushing with our little  grandson,

and we did a picnic at the park in a nearby town where there was a great play ground.
We had a lovely time and are already looking forward to their next visit.
The slow cooker has been my very good friend  of late as I have been trying to use up the non grill, stir fry, bake type of cuts from the freezer , and the slow cooker works well, giving us at least 2 or 3 meals each per cook.
I have made turkey and chicken casseroles,
and several lamb neck chop and shank casseroles.
It also frees me up to go on with many other jobs and lets me work later or socialize and dinner is ready in a flash.
Our chilies continue to flourish,
another picking of jalapenos produced another batch of sliced pickled jalapenos( of which Brian can't seem to get enough of),
We also picked  more habaneros and made  even more habanero chili jelly.
Our local Anglican Church  had planned a boot sale/market day, so I decided to have a stall and sell some of my  preserves. I made up a batch of  Mango Habanero  chili sauce,
I also made up a batch of Tomato Habanero Chili sauce,
For these sauces I used the dehydrated  Habanero chili powder that we have made on previous occasions, It gives a wonderful flavour and gives a real chili kick( not for the faint hearted).
It all proved to be very popular at my stall, I sold Mustard pickles, Mango sauce,Tomato sauce, jalapeno jelly and Habanero Jelly.

I had a successful  day, selling over $200 worth of goods. I think I may try  to do another market before to long some where else to see how it goes.
I got in and cleaned up and organized the front porch last week and made it a pleasant place for us to sit and have our early morning coffee  as the sun rises.
we had the first fog for Autumn this week, I love how the sun is rising and trying hard to shine through.
Yesterday  I picked EVEN MORE habaneros,
We chopped them finely with our trusty chopper,
We then  dehydrated  it all and have just powdered it up and stored away for future use.
My old Sunbeam dehydrator has worked wonders for many years and still seems to be going strong. I have often thought of buying a new bigger, flasher model, but  so far haven't bothered.
Last night was the coolest night we have had this season so far, and we decided to light up the fire for a few hours to just take the chill off the house.
It was lovely, I am so looking forward to Winter , the older I get the less I seem to tolerate the Summer,  and once the  Winter is really in swing I will begin to cook big pots of soup and curry on the wood heater and the kettle is always on with its  slight  quiet whistle letting me know a cuppa is never far away.
We have been busy, but we have thoroughly enjoyed all the work and play. We feel like progress is being made and we are having a good time along the way.
Until we meet again down the track,
Take care,
Brian and Jane.


  1. I love ready your email when it comes through. My hub and I hope to start our off grid experience soon and we are so looking forward to it. Don't know about sheep and cattle, haven't had any experience first had with them but big veggie patch yes, chickens yes. Preserving yes. The rest will come. I may drop you a email for advice sometime. My family are from Gunnedah , Morree , Binnaway area many many moons ago. Cheers Mary-Anne McLaughlin ( née Bridges) my late mums brother was from Binnaway ( Max Neader )
    We are in Toowoomba area. Love it.

    1. Hi Mary-Anne,
      We love our off geid life style (be it a more modern version than some off gridders do)...Binnaway is a lovely spot, although not the place I remember as a child, but I suppose all things move on and you must accept the better with the worse. I must ask my big sister or my mum if they remember the names...The Neader name rings a bell with me.

  2. i love reading what you get up to, farms are always busy as they're always working :)) i envy you that you can preserve so much of your foods, tried it but failed terribly & haven't tried again as can't stand to waste the food; though i haven't totally given up will try again at some later time
    congrats on the success of your stall! that must've felt good!
    thanx for sharing

    1. Hi Selina,
      It was a great feeling to sell souch of my preservin, makes it all worthwhile. I always put out tasting plates and love it when people find they love what they try. I have had my preserving failures many times too but the successes have far outweighed the failures...try again..it's not for everyone, but we love it, and a few of my friends and famiky are now pressure canning after seeing the meats,soups and curries we keep on the shelves.
      Take care Selina