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Farm update - September 2017

One more post on this blog and then I think I'm going to be ready to launch the new site!  I can't wait to share it with you.

Well it hasn't rained for a few weeks and I always find this time of year tough because all the grass is dead from the cold weather and lack of rain, so its all just brown and dry and I start to worry about bushfires.  We are just waiting for rain.  Which is a shame really because apart from that its quite a nice temperature and the days are getting longer, so I should be enjoying the weather instead of wishing for rain.  Also the dogs get very dirty and static from playing in the dust!

Food and cooking
Did you see my post about growing mushrooms?  That was quite fun :)

Land and farming
We've been looking at getting a bigger tractor because we really want to try a yeoman's plough to improve our pasture.  And we finally bought a firefighting rig for the back of the ute.

Barastock sent me some chicken food in exchange for social media images featuring my chooks eating their food.  The black and white one was in the photos, but she shared the leftovers with the rest of her friends when she went home.

Cows and cattle
Here's Molly's calf, he's looking ok, and we are just making sure that he gets plenty of hay.  We are feeding hay as all our grass is dead.  We need to get better at slashing and managing the pasture, we are learning!

Bees and Beekeeping
The wattles have been flowering (they provide pollen but no nectar) and our neighbours on one side have an avocado orchard that is flowering and another neighbour has paulownia tress that are also flowering, so the bees seem to be doing well.  We took 30kg of honey from 3 of the hives the other weekend, and will have to keep monitoring them to add more supers as they increase in colony size.  Its much easier now that we live on the same property as the bees!

I did a quick garden update back here.  I still can't believe how many tomatoes I am getting from the neglected garden at Eight Acres!

We are focusing on the shed lately, getting it all set up and organised so that Pete has somewhere to put everything and not a big messy shed that we've had in the past.  Also my houseplants are still growing well!

Chapter nine of Toby Hemenway's Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition (affiliate link) is all about guilds.  A guild is a group of plants that grow well together and support each other, so that overall the plants do better together than they would growing apart.  He suggests two methods for researching guilds.  One is to just go into the bush and look at the plants in their native habitat and observe which plants grow together.  The second is to read books etc.  This is when I realised just how abundant the American bush is with wildfood.  I know that there are bush tucker plants in the Australian bush, but I need to learn to recognise them.  Most of the plants that I want to grow in guilds are native to American or Europe.  I have no opportunity to observe them in nature!  The best I can do is the second option, to read books/blogs etc and maybe observe other people's orchards and food forests to get an idea of what works in our climate.  This was the only chapter that I found that I couldn't use as it was intended, but I did learn a lot about where our food trees come from originally!

I have been making SOAP!  I keep selling out and having to make more!  Which is great, but I want to try different soaps.  I finally got a chance to make my beer soap, a goats milk soap and a shaving bar to add to my new website.  I can't wait to share them with you... I just have to do another photo session to get them ready :)

And I've been trying to limit myself to useful crochet and not make ANOTHER scarf, so I made new covers for my headphones as the original covers were disintegrating.  And I made more soap savers.

Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about chickens, soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....

I know this is late, but how was your August?  What are your plans for September?


  1. A wonderful newsy post Liz. What a buzz having "model" chooks! The acacias are all flowering here in South Aust, the bees are breeding well on the pollen and they're getting plenty of nectar too from other flowers. Our hives are in various areas, and some of them are ready for harvesting, so that's what we'll be doing on the next fine and warm day. After T-shirt weather for a few days, we're back to winter today, with the fires lit to keep warm, but a warm day is forecast on the weekend. We've only just run out of honey for sale.!


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