I’m not the only one with projects

With always something to do on the Rock Farm, it is inevitable that the Little Helpers want to get involved.  Sometimes they take it even further, and decide that they would rather work on their own projects.  They frequently have projects on the go, and I must admit that I had forgotten how fortunate they are.

In New York, they are creating an Adventure Playground for kids – and I think it looks a lot like the Rock Farm.  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/nyregion/on-governors-island-mountains-of-junk-where-children-find-adventure.html

Whilst some of their ideas are inspired by such wonderful books as “The Dangerous Book for Boys, by Conn Igguiden, many are their own creation.

I am a big fan of the boys getting their hands dirty.  I have a good collection of hand tools, old timber and various ‘resources’ others might term ‘junk’.  The boys know which tools they’re allowed to use, and which ones they need to ask permission for.

I must admit I occasionally get nervous when they ask to borrow my tools.  I am working on solving that one, by buying them some tools of their own.  They like nothing more than using their tools to help me with my projects.

Last year they decided that they would make some bows.  It was a good fun activity, but the Rock Farm is distinctly lacking in Yew, meaning that we used wattle and then pine branches to make our bows.

It didn’t work out too well.

Other jobs the boys have taken on is the construction of a ladder into their cubby house.  I might have provided a little bit of guidance, as the Little Helpers don’t tend to use tools such as tape measures or pencils too much.

Most hand tools are pretty safe to use.  The worst the kids will do is cut themselves.  It is modern power tools that scare me.  A circular saw will take off a thumb in the blink of an eye.  I love seeing them get out there and use the traditional tools.

But of course, with all things, the kids need adequate supervision.

You might be able to do it all in New York… but I’m happy enough knowing that we have all we need right here 🙂


Count their legs and divide by four

Having returned home after a couple of weeks away (you can read about that trip here), it was great to have a walk in the paddocks and check out the Rock Farm.  The paddocks were soaking wet, courtesy of one of the wettest winters on record.  There were plenty of things to catch our eye, the most exciting were by far our new lambs.

Our beautiful Wiltipoll ewes had lambed, and the spring lambs were frolicking in the fresh green grass.  Yes lambs!

The lambs were curious little creatures.  Some of the ewes were a bit shy and protective of their new charges.

The big challenge was the get a count.

With only 15 ewes, you’d think it would be easy to count all the lambs.  Funnily enough it isn’t.  I got the little helpers onto the job, and gave them some advice I’d learnt years ago.  The easiest way to count sheep is to count their legs, and divide by four!

Sadly we found one dead lamb, and one ewe suffering mastitis.  We took her up to the house and dosed her with apple cider vinegar.  Sadly she didn’t survive either.

So, with a revised total of 14 ewes, we were thrilled with our 16 lambs.  We will mark and vaccinate them in a few more weeks, when they’re a little easier to move.  For now, I was pretty happy to order some black ear-tags (lambs born in NSW in 2016 will wear black ear tags) with our unique Property Identification Code (PIC).  The Rock Farm is starting to feel like a proper little farm at last!