It’s July!! My, oh, my, how the months are slipping away. We realised a couple of days ago that it’s almost been a year since we left Manchester. That means it’s almost been a year since we started our farm journey here on the Bass Coast.
Here's what’s been happening in June...
We had a rather bumpy start to winter as our house cow, Holly, became inexplicably ill. It was looking grim for a few days but after paying $200 for a vet to come out and tell us that she was ‘at the end’ she miraculously picked up and is now back to normal. We had to separate Holly from her calf, Frankie, who is almost as big as her mum and was literally sucking the nutrients out of her.
They have handled the separation well. Frankie and Moops now share a makeshift paddock near the chicken shed. Holly is back to her spoilt self, throwing tantrums whenever we don’t give her enough chaff or oats.
Our milking schedule has changed. It has been way too dark and cold to get up in the morning and it’s already dark when Kristian gets home from work so I have been solo milking at 3pm each day. Holly isn’t a huge producer so we are getting away with a once a day milk, even though she isn’t with her calf anymore. I only take about five litres day which is more than enough! Because of all the green grass coming through in the paddock and perhaps also because she isn’t holding any of the good stuff back for Frankie, the milk has been CREEEEAMY! It’s gorgeous and yellow and we have been making the most delicious butter from it. Five litres a day is also more than enough for yogurt and cheese making so we have been enjoying that too (currently, as I type I have two litres of milk containing live cultures sitting in a hot water bath slowly turning into yogurt!)
Let’s move onto the chickens.
Even though it’s now the middle of winter (which usually means a huge decrease in egg production) our five feathery friends have been laying one egg each, every day. Our egg supply is wonderful and it means lots of quiche, frittata and poached eggs on toast (not to mention all the cake baking that’s been keeping us sustained through these cold days!)
The garden is obviously a lot slower at this time of year. The solstice has just passed which means it’s only up from here!
Currently harvesting: silverbeet, bok choy, peas, fennel, radicchio, lettuce, capsicum, chilli (STILL!!) and wild spinach (Warragul greens) that happily took over a huge corner of our garden and have been providing us with shiny, bright green leaves since the end of summer. In terms of herbs: parsley, thyme, oregano and mint. We ripped the nasturtiums out of the front garden bed at the end of summer but they seeded themselves and now we have a lush, green bed of nasturtium leaves. Their bright orange flowers will hopefully show themselves soon.
Soon to be harvested: Sprouts (if the caterpillars don’t eat them all!) and broad beans
Growing: Garlic, mustard greens, broccoli- We have planted lots and lots of garlic that has sprouted its vibrant green stalks. They will take a while to grow but we will hopefully end up with about 150 bulbs by the end of the year.
On a trip to Kongwak market last Sunday, we were given a few dozen mustard greens and brassica seedlings from a lovely lady who said, “I chucked some seeds in the paddock and they all grew!” We are not sure if the broccoli will take as we are a bit late but the mustard greens seem to have taken pretty well.
And of course, as always....there are lots of weeds!