Happily an upgrade to a newer model computer for my son's virtual class room has allowed me the freedom to blog again, yeah! The frustration trying to log on even became to much with the old computer and countless calls to my friend, "where do I load a picture?" only to find that the toolbar to allow this was missing, grrr.
The prolonged drought has taken its toll on our farm and sadly we will not be opening to visitors this year and although lavender is very hardy, it has suffered. The upside (there always has to be one) is that we are starting the year with full dams. Anyone living on the land may well appreciate the importance of this. The veggie garden is still producing, the hens still laying and the goats have outdone themselves, producing what seems like gallons (or should I say litres?) of milk. So much so that Kevin and Cara are trying their hand at cheese making.
Our first crop of giant Russian Garlic, grown without herbicides and pesticides has been harvested, dried and awaits planting which should happen around March. The ground in which it is to go has been replenished with a green manure crop (cow pea) which has been recently turned in. The sorghum crop now stands as high as me. It is intended to be the mulch layer to go over the newly planted garlic. Kevin has spent many an hour in his shed making a bed shaper for the garlic out of an old logging skid that he purchased for a carton of beer. I will post a pic when its finished, he really is quite talented when it comes to making things with next to nothing.
There's no spur of the moment show entries for Curran this year, no siree! He started planning last year and has handed me a few extensive lists of seeds that he will be needing for the 2010 Mt Perry show. Along with everything that went into the permaculture garden, he also got his father to form up two 100 meter rows complete with trickle irrigation and this is just for his pumpkins!
Our cosy neck of the woods also hit the limelight later part of last year as the worst bushfire in 40 years ravaged the area. It actually started across the road from us and as it built intensity we witnessed it jump the neighbouring road. Had you been in the area on that dreaded Thursday afternoon you would have seen us busy hosing our house down as floating embers began drifting across. It was touch and go for a while but alass help arrived in the form of the Rural Fire Service and our place became the incident control centre. Lucky for us (or perhaps someone was watching from above) the wind changed and sent the fire in a different direction. For me, what really came to light was how the community came together to help each other out during the crisis and it prompted me to take on the role of secretary in our local fire brigade when the AGM came around.
Thats one community group that I've recently joined, the other being Girl Guides at Mt Perry which commenced mid way through last year. Cara has been a lone girl guide for a few years but with a unit starting up just down the road, give or take a 45 minute drive either way depending on the condition of the road, she was eager to participate. So on a Monday afternoon us "girls" go off to do our "girl thing" at guides and any fundraising activities that are associated with it. Below is some pictures that my budding photographer took on Australia Day with her new camera.