Well it is well and truly time for a “down on the farm update”. So here we go.
It has been a very tough season here on the farm. We haven’t had the rain that we usually do and when we have gotten some it has been too cold for the grass to grow. We have even taken to buying in a little hay to keep the stock going.
We had quite a few pigs and they were doing a great job digging up our paddocks so that my husband could sow them down. Now we have about 6 left after butchering 9 for the freezer. We have 3 breeding sows and 1 boar and 2 more large boars to butcher and we will be doing this in a couple of weeks with another steer. We also have 4 piglets left from the last drop and they are around 16 weeks old. We managed to sell 18 piglets which was a wonderful blessing.
Normally this time of year we wouldn’t get a tractor onto our paddocks but not this year, so my husband is going to sow down some more paddocks to oats and wheat. He is not sure whether he is going to cut it or let the stock graze on it, but he will see.
He has already sown down 10 acres to oats and wheat (see photo above) and this has been done for quite awhile and is growing nicely. This crop will be cut for hay and baled into small squares. We have found that oaten hay is a good way to feed grain to the pigs and house cows with roughage.
We have finished lambing now and are about to mark them. Then we will grow them out and sell them before Christmas. We usually keep a few ewe lambs back to keep our numbers of ewes up for breeding.
We are milking 2 house cows at the moment, once a day and are getting over 20 litres each morning. This enables me to make cheese and keeps the piglets, chickens, puppies and cats in milk. We still have 2 more dairy cows to calve too, so there will be heaps of milk around. I am going to start making butter again shortly.
We don’t have any outside vegetables growing at the moment, but the aquaponics is moving along nicely. (update to follow)
We have managed to barter an incubator from a friend and my husband is managing this now and he already has 23 eggs turning and hopefully ready to hatch in another few days. We are hoping to keep this up so that we can build up our chicken numbers. Unfortunately with the weather so cold the chickens aren’t laying too many eggs at the moment but in another month or so we should see the weather turn around.
We are starting to think about our spring garden and get some plans together. We want to build a hothouse for our tomatoes and we will need to start moving on this so it is ready in time, and we can spread the costings over a couple of months.
We are going to put sweet potatoes in beds either in the aquaponics hothouse or the other one, not sure yet, but I am going to get some more potatoes so that I can grow slips from them shortly.
Hope all is going well on your land at the moment.
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