Saturday, February 13, 2010

Things are going well here at the old farm.For a while I didn't think I would see it through.The rain and dreary weather were enough to drive me to the brink but fine weather and a new shed and I am on top of the world.The shed is quite liveable and I feel quite spoilt with my hot running water, tub and shower, washing machine, warm stove and new fireplace which should be in place any time soon.
The weather is starting to get that little nip in the air in the afternoons so my job this week will be to tile the hearth and then Paul can get the fire installed. Winter is not too far away.
The firewood pile is going to have to grow a wee bit before then.
It was good to have young Aidan down here. He was a bit of a dab hand with the block splitter and the wood pile grew quite a bit.
With Paul back at work the job completion has slowed down a bit but he is still at it in the afternoons.There is always something that needs doing yesterday if not sooner.
Aidan, Gay[my sister] and I got stuck into the scrubby bush once Paul went to work. I had no idea Aidan could swing an axe so well. Surprised himself as well.Gay and I stuck to the bow saws and dragging the cut down scrub over to the burn off pile. A big job.Still have loads down there to drag across.Still can't do everything in a day but I will get it done.
The plantings are going well. We have spent a fortune on plants and trees but the place is looking so much better with a few flowers around the place.This afternoon Paul planted 5 birch trees and 5 Norway maples around the side of the dam. Only small yet but they will get there.
Very excited today when we harvested one and a half kilos of our pink eye potatoes. They are on the stove right now. Last night we had our first cucumber. Oh how sweet it was.
Loads of tomatoes on the bushes, all different varieties, and should be able to pick the first of them by the end of the week. Nothing tastes quite so good as your own home grown stuff.
We have made 3 different lots of blackberry jam between us. Have to admit mine was way too sweet but at least it set well. Going to try again next week, add less sugar and more lemon and the secret ingredient of a mashed banana.
Apricot jam is a great success. No, not my apricots, bought them from the side of the road, Amish chappy, but the jam is great.
It's all going well. Loads to do each day and I never get through my list but sooner or later it will all come to pass. In the meantime I will still keep chipping away at those blasted thistles and finally win the battle.


We have been getting heaps of blackberries from the too-many bramble patches on our land. This was our first meal of them. Since then, we have had blackberry cheesecake (to die for) lots of jam (of varying consistencies) blackberries on icecream, and so on.
I also caught my first swarm of bees and managed to get them safely hived. Since then, unfortunately, they seem to have run into trouble, so I have just ordered a replacement queen.
Our grandson, Aidan, was down for a month or so and did a brilliant job of helping me with fencing and building a goatshed with a reciprocal roof. The picture here shows the poles for the incomplete shed.

There are not many dunnies in the world with a leadlight window and attendant angels.
For that matter, there are not many dunnies with such a flash colour scheme.
Yes, the dunny is finished.

The spuds, eggs, broadbeans and herbs for our first homegrown meal...

....the bread was less of a success.
I found out too late that the thermometer on the oven is totally dysfunctional. Even the pigs rejected this loaf of bread.

Christmas produced a visit from a very gorgeous, and very young Santa, a new dunny (unfinished at that stage) and hot water and a stove.