My last post showed our chookshaw. A brand new thing for us. Well, its now over a year in operation, and still working beautifully! There have been some mishaps of course, like the time that the door opened (it wasn't shut properly) while Brad was moving it and all the chooks jumped out and refused to move into the new area no matter how much we tried to herd them (chooks don't herd!). We now know that once let out, the chooks kind of imprint on that spot and even at night they stayed there (but luckily we managed to get them all before the foxes came) - if it ever happens again we will not bother moving them, just reset up the fence wherever they happen to get out. We are really happy with this set up, the chooks have been in great health.
|moving the chookshaw|
The set up has also resisted fox attacks, as I had a few chooks in other pens (spare roosters and a few bantams in the orchard) and those were all taken one day when we were out (during the day - at night I turn on an electric fence). I have also seen the fox nearby but no chook was taken from the electric netting (touch wood!)
|Checking for eggs never gets old|
So, now onto the goats. I think last I posted we had lost my beloved Dorka goat - our first milking goat. We had had all manner of issues with getting our milk supply back. Well, Rosie kidded in November and gave us 2 boys (yes 2 boys AGAIN). It was great having our milk back but then Rosie's health went down hill and we really thought we would lose her. It has taken me until now to bring her back up to health, with lunch feedings, lots of mineral and vitamin supplements, and much worrying on my part. We have now added to the menagerie another milker Marigold.
As for me, I've been doing a little spinning and knitting, and dabbling into sewing (mostly just for the kids). And I've just finished off making all our tomatoe sauce for the year (hooray!). We had a really great year for blackberries and I've made a few different things out of those, plus lots to eat.
The garden has been going ok, especially considering we don't have a watering system set up and a pretty low pH (I'm working on getting that right though!). We bought a Pasquali 'walking tractor' which has made garden prep much easier (for me!). We have harvested the potatoes, garlic, too many beans (wont be sad to see the back of them...), cabbages, broccoli, swedes, carrots, corn and many others. I've grown a plot of flax, which I hope to prepare and make linen. If I do manage it, I'll post about that on the blog.
|Our walking tractor at work - so much easier than ME doing the digging!!!|
|a small bunch of homegrown flax, might be enough to make a face washer!|