Spring has Finally Arrived

Spring hasn’t sprung. It’s sort of crept in very slowly. It hasn’t rained properly since March, so all the dams are very low and as the weather slowly warms up, we are having to water the vegetable garden and potted plants every day.

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We have been harvesting the new crop of garlic for the past month as it starts to dry off and wilt. I planted over 100 cloves this year and we have harvest a very good strong crop. However, one of the varieties that I planted has turned out to be a bracing type, initially it grew as one stem, but as it matured, it separated into a dozen separate plants. One stem for each clove. I have no idea what the variety is called, as I bought 2 knobs of this garlic from the health food shop, as Australian grown organic garlic, and that is all I know about it. It has quite a mild flavour.

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Each batch of garlic has to be laid out to dry for while before it can be plaited and hung up for storage in the kitchen ceiling truss.

 

Some Jobs are a Lot Quicker with Helpers

We have had our last wood firing workshop for the year, as the summer fire bans are now in place. The kiln was packed and fired and marshmallows were roasted to get us through the cold night. There was a cracking good frost over night too.

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It was a very good firing with excellent results. After the unpacking of the kiln, many of the potters stayed on for a working bee to help us to split wood for the next firing.

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It was a fantastic experience to be amongst bright friendly young people who have a lot of energy. In just a few hours we managed to fill the wood shed. This is the first time that t he wood shed has been completely filled to capacity. It a good feeling, but more-so because we were part of the team all working hard to complete an objective.

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The chicken had a field day eating all the bugs that were exposed from under the bark of the logs. I’ve never seen them collapse and have to sit and rest in amongst all the hectic activity of wood splitters and chainsaws, because they had eaten too much and were completely full.

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Wood Cutting with Chickens, Some Jobs are Slower with Helpers

We have spent the week chopping and stacking wood for the weekend wood firing workshops. No matter where we are on the 7 acres of bush where we cut the dead wood for kiln and house fuel, the chickens will hear the sound of the chain saw and turn up within minutes. Yesterday I was in the most remote part of our land, after bashing a track through the under growth to get to a fallen dead tree. I hadn’t made more than 3 cuts when the first chicken turned up, then a minute later, 2 more. They just love to get in amongst the dead wood and bark to scratch out the termites and insects.

They show no concern for the noise of the chain saw, the flying wood chips or the falling logs. They are obsessed with being first in to get the bugs. With 3 chickens helping me, it really slows me down. I have to be especially careful when I’m dragging logs out with the tractor and heavy chains. They have no fear of me or the tractor and will get right in front of the wheels if there are insects there. I have to keep a very close eye on them all of the time, to know exactly where they are.

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Spring is well and truely here now, with the cherry blossom, but we still had a frost on Saturday night. The temporary cloches will have to remain on the tomatoes and other ‘soft’ seedlings for a few more weeks yet.

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