I left my science research career at the of June this year but over the last couple of months my research and learnings have by no means ceased! The seasons have started to change and as a now “full time farmer”-my experiences have been exponential.
You have probably done this yourself. You check on the vegetables growing in your lovely raised beds and see that they are quite some way off picking. But then you go look again just the next day and they have exploded! This normally happens to me in summer where zucchinis turn into marrows overnight but this time it was still winter and the broccoli must have been on steroids!
My next learning experience came from a Shitake mushroom log-no sniggering thanks. This is quite a prized mushroom and I wouldn’t normally attempt to grow them but the lady at the Logan Region stall at the EKKA was very persuasive and I had just read a blog by the good folk at Milkwood (www.milkwood.net) who know all things permaculture and mushroomy. I even purchased a nice little structure to help keep up the moisture in our shade house
Well it is Spring again and all the farm inmates have turned their thinking to little inmates and I have learned not to turn my back on the geese..Victa the head gander has learned not to actually bite me but the younger one just needs to learn that lesson!
Spring also means broody hens and Welcome Swallows nesting in the garage! So my next lesson was to learn NOT to put my wellies under the nest…. The garlic is also ready at this time of year and my what a haul we had!
Farmhand Snr came up to see what his son FH Junior was up to and managed to build our first garlic drying rack with bamboo sourced from the lovely Dutch neighbours up the hill! Luckily I was at hand to blow the whistle for any infringements and unsportsman-like behaviour during the planning and building process…..
I also learned how to plait the garlic-care of youTube and can personally say that I have learnt to either: 1) get a younger person to pull the garlic or 2) invest in a years membership with the local physio as I think a hammy may also have been pulled in the process….
But over in the house paddock-things are also hotting up for Spring! We are expecting lambs to drop anytime soon-well I say that- but I think I have been saying that for nearly a month. How big can ewes get before they pop?! I have read all of the articles to tell me when to boil the water and rip my petticoat but I think these are all just a means to keep you occupied while the lambs decide to come along when they are good and ready! Vinnie is on full alert to let me know when to expect them and when to guard them but I have also learnt that although he is 45kgs and taller than me on his hind legs-he is still a puppy at heart 😉
Our last batch of chicken eggs didn’t come to much in the incubator in August as no doubt Spring hadn’t quite “Sprung” for Roger the rooster but now he seems keen to court the ladies and we have our first broody hen. You know what they say about counting chickens and all that-so I have learnt not to worry too much about changing one career for another as long as I still enjoy getting up for the day!
Luckily Miranda our supermodel chicken is keeping a tight beak on things 😉