Thursday, 28 January 2016

The calm before the storm

Well it is a slightly rainy day, the first one we have had in a few months, and the ground, farmers and firefighters need it.  However this post is not about the storms currently bringing much needed relief to the majority of our dry state.  Instead it is about the much bigger storm about to descend upon our little farm.  In 4 weeks, we will start picking, a process which will last about 2 months.  In 8 weeks, we have our second baby due.  If you have done the numbers you will note this puts the new arrival right smack-bang in the middle of the harvest.  Yes, yes, dear reader, it was poor planning on the part of yours truly, however we are so happy to be having a sibling for Julian I personally don’t care if it wants to be born in the middle of a hurricane.

It will make the picking even more of a challenge than usual, but we will have Coreen’s parents here to help with Julian and some friends to help with the farm while it is going on.  We are right in the midst of planning our picking, organising a forklift, our workers, our farm gate stall, plus our storage options.  The thinning has gone very well, the apples are still growing, and so far our disease issues have been at manageable levels.  With every passing day we start to believe that this season we will be able to harvest a sizeable crop of beautiful apples.

And the baby, well, that will happen when it happens.  Given how quick Julian’s delivery was, I just hope I can get Cor to the hospital in time and that I am not catching it on the side of the road or at the top of Vince’s saddle on the way to Hobart!

So for now, paradoxically, there isn’t that much to do.  Sure, there is planning and organising, there is irrigation to run and always more thinning that can be gone over.  We also have a good opportunity to get some quality play time in with Julian before the new arrival, but knowing what’s ahead this feels very much like the calm before the storm.

We had a day out with Ruth and Darren - Julian checks out Darren's sculpture at Home Hill Winery

 A wonderful Christmas Eve get-together with the neighbours on the deck

Pick your own blueberries at Kris and Jilly's Twelvetrees Farm...

...followed by pick your own cherries at Dave and Melissa's Clifton Farm!

What Christmas would be complete without pork of some description (or speck for that matter!)?

Big enough to wean....

...into the pig taxi...

...and into their new paddock.

I had a few days off to go to Sydney to catch up with Mark

A wonderful time staying with Scott, Sarah and Zach in Manly.  Can't wait to bring Cor and Julian next time.

A visit from our kindred spirits, Shane and Julz, award-winning pig farmers from Backfatters in Ingham.  They came, they helped.  A lot.  We ate and drank.   A lot.

A pregnant Coreen modelling her overalls and tractor driving prowess

We have been eating very well!

The polytunnel has been turning out the food....

... and it's hard to keep up!

Though it has attracted some unsavoury characters too.

I built our first ever farm stall, it just needs a money box and a coat of paint!

I'm too handsome for this shirt

The family before the storm....