I must admit I consider myself extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to share our beautiful property with my family. One of my favourite times is when we get together as a family and do a bit of work on the Rock Farm. It helps my kids understand a bit more about the joys and responsibilities of property ownership. As a bonus we get to spend some wonderful times together, and the recent school holidays allowed us to do exactly that.
Our first order of business was to replace a very tired (rotten) post, rail and wire fence. The old timbers didn’t take much effort to push over, having all rotted off at the bases. A new ring lock wire fence was soon strung between the existing strainer posts and our fence was again in sound order. The added bonus was the old posts were nicely seasoned, so were promptly carted off to the firewood pile. The only catch was they were full of nails and staples, requiring careful extraction before being cut into fire-sized pieces.
This load was also a good test for the new ‘wheelbarrow’ having recently replaced our almost indestructible (but obviously not) Mitsubishi Mirage. The ‘new wheels’ are already earning their keep as a load hauler / work platform and ferry.
Jo managed to complete the first new portable chook-tractor. This will form the basis for our new circular vegetable beds. A relatively simple design, it is lightweight and easy to move. The plan is for the chooks to do the hard work weeding and turning over the soil, before we then move them onto the next patch and plant vegetables. We might have missed most of this growing season, but we are looking forward to establishing some vegetables soon.
We moved the sheep to greener pastures (paddock rotation). During this process we found that sadly one of ewes had been killed by foxes, and another of our lambs was badly injured during the same attack. We had to put the lamb down. Thankfully the rest of the sheep were in good health, and after a few days ‘mowing’ our shed paddock, they were released back to the larger paddocks.
I also finally got around to installing a new weather station. With Jo’s trade being a Meteorologist, having a good weather station has been high on her list of priorities for a while. The challenge has been finding a place sufficiently close to the house that the signal will reach, whilst being far enough away to not be influenced by the house structure, trees or shed. We settled on a compromise, but I had to fabricate a new post out of some old steel off-cuts to ensure the weather station is out of horse or cattle reach! Time will tell if it is high enough!
It was also school holidays. This meant that a good part of our time was spent doing the real important things you should do, as a family. We decided that we would enjoy our very own ‘stay-cation’, and set up our swags on our neighbour’s big hill. In fact it worked far better than I dared hope. We managed to get a good day’s work done on the farm, and after a quick shower in the house, we headed to the top of the world to enjoy dinner and a couple of drinks as the sun set.
Camping in our own back yard allowed us all to achieve something on the place, whether it be on the farm, in the garden, around the house or just chillax. Importantly we also got to enjoy a couple of nights under the stars – as a family. I can tell you it was priceless.