With the little helpers both now in High School, we are finding ourselves spending more time in town. Between before school music practice and after school sports training, our days are very full and busy. As they should be. Whilst part of me hankers for the simpler times when the boys went to our local primary school just down the road, they are growing up and are relishing in the new experiences and opportunities that a large school provides.
As we have now lived at the new Rock Farm for over 12 months, we have also started (albeit slowly) renovating the house. The first priority is the installation of a large efficient slow combustion fireplace. There is nothing like a cool morning to focus the mind and allow you to recall how cold the house was last year.
This means the farm part of the Rock Farm is not getting as much time for my attention as I would like to give it. There has still been plenty to keep us busy, checking the stock water daily and moving the cattle and sheep into other paddocks. Of course there are some gorgeous horses nearby that also demand attention – and somehow I always find time for a pat.
The cattle have been eating the remaining grass, and giving some of the weeds a good nibble in their quest for food. They remain in good condition, which they will need heading into winter. The skies, whilst looking promising have only yielded 2.5mm in the past two weeks. The unseasonably hot days have burnt away any remaining moisture.
The sunsets though have been spectacular – and make me pinch myself every time.
The dry weather has put a lot of the trees under stress. The native gum trees have a very effective method to cope with droughts. They shed branches. Unfortunately most of our trees are along fence-lines, requiring a bit of work to clear the branches.
Thankfully most of the branches were relatively small – and I was able to make some handy little piles of firewood for collection in a year or two once they’re seasoned.
I even was lucky enough to have a helper for a couple of hours – but he got distracted talking to the girls!
And then the helper wandered over and poured a bucket of oats on the ground for the other girls (and nearly ready) boys.
The sheep are managing to find some good grass among the weeds, and are all in healthy condition. We have a few of our neighbour’s dorpers running with our sheep which are wiltipolls. Both types naturally shed their wool and are bred for their meat. The dorper tends to be a stockier animal, and tend to look more shaggy.
We sold most of the female ewe lambs, but are growing out the boys. I will fast have to make a decision as to whether we send the boys to the sale yards, our put them in our freezer. With two teenage boys in the family – I think that keeping the food miles to an absolute minimum will be time well spent.
I just have to find that time….