We have become very European over here these past couple of months. It was a delight, if not unexpected, to welcome Vincenzo our Italian Maremma Sheepdog to the fold in January. Unexpected in that he arrived with the breeder two days early. A little startled from slumber at 10pm we received a hasty call to get last minute directions to the farm from Graeme and his lovely wife Margaret of Apostate Maremma Stud over in Perth. Action stations were scrambled as I made up the spare bedroom and prepared the barn for Vinnie’s arrival.
He settled in well from 9 weeks with his little flock of sheep and even had a go at mingling with the chickens. As you can imagine he is growing into quite a handsome chap and as with most Italian males-he knows it!
It has been a steep learning curve for the existing farm inmates adjusting to Vinnie’s ways but we are getting there and I am sure he will have us all whipped into shape by the end of the year. His particular favourite is Raelene. She is the boss in the flock and can often be seen knocking him on his backside if he gets too boisterous but they always seem to be resting close by each other in the heat of the day….a love-hate relationship if ever I saw one!
And now look at him-so grown up and looking like a wolf in sheep’s clothing….
So to other things European-Garlic!
I am trialling a type of garlic that has been bred for the humid (and let’s face it) damn right hot and sticky conditions of the subtropics. I may be a little over the current summer season…
So we dutifully prepared the beds for our first test crop! Roger and his girls helped by clearing the area of all things pesky before we tilled the beds and hilled them up for the garlic planting day.
I even managed to lure an unsuspecting work colleague and good friend to the farm to help with the preparation and planting-all 1200 cloves……
So all nicely in their beds and with eager daily inspections we have the first of our garlic crops growing well. I just hope the pesky hares don’t find out about this tasty European mainstay or I will have to get the new Italian member of the family to have a word-mafia style 😉