Monday, 9 June 2014

Winter hibernation? We wish!

Winter hibernation, one reason we moved to Tasmania.  Real seasons, and when you have a farm things slow down a bit in winter.  Except we only just bought our farm and there is far too much to be getting on with to spend the days sitting by the fire.  Not that we have a fire… well, until we move house next week.  Turns out the place we are living now gets pretty cold during winter, it has been 6 degrees Celsius the last few mornings, and that doesn’t make for a great environment to bring a new baby into.  And since Coreen’s parents bought a house the last time they came to visit, we are moving over there until the house on the farm is finished.  Their house has a wood fire and is better insulated, so promises a much better and warmer home environment for when the kid arrives.

On the house front, we took a bit of time to come around to it but we have now decided to convert one of the farm sheds into our new farmhouse.  It meant that we weren’t plonking a house on top of prime farming land, and will be cheaper and faster to build.  It will also be smaller, forcing us to be a bit more economical and efficient with our designs.  Planning approval has been submitted so fingers crossed that comes back soon so we can crack on.  The goal is to have the place done by the end of October for the start of the season, but since we will be living at Cor’s parents’ house there isn’t a mad rush.

Cor is doing well, getting bigger all the time.  We went out to the Apple Shed for dinner last Friday night to celebrate my last night of drinking until the baby arrives.  From now on it is action stations, the hospital bag is packed and we are ready to go, any time of the day or night.  We have prepped all the stuff for the kid, though I still think you need to be an engineer to understand modern prams.  We have the names narrowed down and have some auspicious Chinese middle names lined up too.

And the farm stuff rumbles on.  I have realised that my drive to have the big silver wattles removed and the new fence put in during April, then May, then June, may push out a bit more yet.  You can spend a few hours over a chainsaw and not make much of a dent in all the trees still growing in the way.  We will certainly have lots of firewood in a few years when it is all dry.  I have also spent a rainy day working with my new excavator, pulling out trees in a section earmarked for new fruit trees.  One of our projects is to get a bunch of different fruit varieties in and going so that in a few years we have all our own fruit on the farm (and not just 5 types of apples!).
Putting the parents to work clearing the silver wattles

We moved the pigs to a new area up by the bush as their old area was rapidly getting too wet and muddy.  They have settled in well, but Peter Pan showed us just how tough he was, ripping his new gate off the wired hinges the first day, and pulling out the gate post the next, all to get to Tinkerbell who was in season.  We had been trying to rest her before putting him back in with her but he was having none of it.  And it is hard to tell a 300kg boar with 3 inch tusks “not tonight, dear, I have a headache”.  So we now have 3 months to get her back in condition for another litter, poor girl!  The weaners are fattening nicely, and should make for great pork come spring.
The new paradise paddocks
Best view on the farm!
What am I going to do with you Pan?
We also have our first lambs.  Turns out our boy Aldo was a bit too enterprising when we first brought him onto the farm (before we could separate him) and there are now little white lambs everywhere.  It is very early to have lambs (we were planning on spring, not winter!) but we have had decent enough weather lately so hopefully they all survive and make the table on Christmas day.
Princess in doggy heaven
Nine male runner ducks were sent off to Disneyland on one very productive day, and poor 83 the cow was culled and turned into t-bones after losing her calf.  A sad day for us.  But there is a lot of meat in our two freezers!
Disneyland day for ducks

So I started this blog thinking that I would just jot a few recent events down and focus on the photos, and after a few minutes realised that there has been a heck of a lot more going on than I thought.  Perhaps the next blog post will have photos of the baby, or the new house, or the lambs, but in the meantime we keep dreaming of that winter hibernation.   With a kid?  Maybe in a year or ten!

Plus we got our very first egg!

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