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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.

Pigs in their paddock

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.

My husband sowing the first 10 acres of wheat and barley in May.

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.

Eggs in the incubator

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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I thought it was about time I did another Down on the Farm Update, as it has been quite a while since the last one.

It is summer here and the land has really browned off.  We have had some rain this past week (over an inch) and there is some green pick starting to show up in the paddocks.

We have our piglets in a feed lot in our cattle yards, and they are growing really well.  There are some with names such as “sausage”, “prosciutto”, “smokey” and our favourite “spit”.

IMG_0760We have sold a few and another couple are sold awaiting collection, but there will be plenty left to butcher for us.  The last sausages we made were such a success we will probably do these again.

We keep our big pigs, 3 sows and a boar out in the crop paddock and they are enjoying being out there.  When they are big they don’t crawl through fences, so they are content where they are.  Two of the sows are due to have piglets any day now.

IMG_0761Here is my husband with one of our milking cows.  We are feeding them a mixture of oaten and wheat hay and this really keeps them milking well. We milk once a day and each cow is averaging about 10 litres a milking.  We then let them out for the day for them to feed their calves and then lock them up again at night with the calf still in the paddock.

IMG_0776My husband really enjoys milking them and he always gets more milk when he does it.  Most of the milk goes to the piglets, we use some for our cheese making and for use in the house and the cats get a little bit as well.

We are wanting to put in more fruit trees this Autumn and the picture below shows the area where they are going to go.  The pigs and dairy cows have been in there and have eaten it right down so it is almost time to plough it up before the green growth starts coming back.


We had planted fruit trees the first year we moved in but didn’t realize how wet it was, so we did lose a few. This new area is right next to the old area and we will join them up and hopefully have nice mowed grass between the rows.  We want to put in berries as well this year and will have them in this area so they will be fenced off and protected from wandering stock.


We have a couple of different plum trees and they are both laden with fruit. I am looking forward to them being my next preserving project.


That’s my update for now – more to come later.

We have lots of plans and ideas and we are excited to see how it all plays out.

Hope your farm/homestead is going well and you are enjoying the fruits of your labour.





It’s a busy time of the year here, as usual, what with hay making, selling lambs, vegetable planting and maintenance of the same. It’s all happening.

We needed to sell our lambs before Christmas as this allows us to carry our ewes and cattle through the summer and doesn’t put too much pressure on our pastures.  God really blessed us with our lamb prices this year.

It is wonderful to see how our farm is developing from when we first bought it 4 years ago.

Here’s how our hay making happens…

First of all my husband and son cut the crops and then let them sit for about a week to 10 days and then when its dry enough they rake it and then bale it straight away.

This year they cut out the front of our property against the road. We have quite a wide nature strip so they decided to cut it and bale it. This hay isn’t good enough for feed but will be great for bedding in our feedlot during the winter.

We also cut and baled the wheat crop and also the oats, wheat and clover crop (this all sown together).

My father-in-law is on the tractor and my husband is on the sledge at the back of the baler.
The tractor and baler drives over the raked hay and feeds it into the baler which sends out little square bales. (I don’t know why they call them little squares when they are actually rectangle in shape).


My husband then takes the bales as they come out and stacks them on the sledge.IMG_0510[1]


IMG_0512[1] IMG_0513[1]

Then when there are 10 bales on the sledge my husband pushes a lever which releases the stack.IMG_0520[1]This is what the stack looks like when it comes off the sledge.  We have 18 stacks like this on the nature strip in front of our house, and we are getting lots of comments about our Christmas Trees, we have thought about putting a solar light on the top of them!!!  We also got 28 stacks from our crops, this will be used for feed.

When my husband has time he will cart these stacks in using the forks on the back of our Ford 4100 tractor and stack them together in the paddock near the house.

We are also having power put on to our workshop and our wool shed.  So my husband hired a digger to put in the trenches.


Here are the men folk digging and below are pictures of the trenches.  The trenches need to be 60 cm deep to meet regulations.


The electrician will lay the power cables in these trenches.


The aquaponics system is going well, but the fish haven’t arrived yet, hopefully early next week.  Some of the strawberry plants have died back but all have new shoots.  We are adding a seaweed extract to the system until the fish arrive and mature a bit.

My husband and children are going out and picking the grubs off our grapevines and feeding them to the fish.


Here they are, the fish just love the grubs and so does my little boy.

Well that’s all for now, I will post more on the aquaponics system when the fish arrive.

How’s things going on your farm/homestead at the moment???