Since our massive fall of rain late in February, the Rock Farm has been undergoing a transformation. Aided by another 60mm of rain a fortnight later and a further 13mm a week after that, the grass (and weeds) are growing furiously.
The transformation off the farm is incredible also. People in our local village are upbeat, the threat of bushfires has eased, water tanks are full and gardens are a delight in colour.
On the farm, things have been busy. The early weaning of the calves is going well. They are getting two feeds of pellets a day – and are continuing to grow. With recent sale prices topping over 400 cents a kilogram, it is economic to continue feeding them for the time being. The only problem with feeding them regularly is that they are becoming part of the family….
The cows are also doing well. I continued feeding them for a week or so after the first rainfall, in order to give the grass a chance to recover. We have been rotating them through the paddocks giving them a chance to quickly graze the new grass and move on before it slows the grass recovery. The strategy seems to have paid off, because the pasture is responding well. As a bonus, this afternoon was the first time I had gone to move the cows, and they weren’t hungry enough to be interested in shifting! Great to see them with full stomachs again!
It is such a glorious time of year, and we are enjoying talking walks around the place. The weeds might be thriving as well as the grass at the moment, but we will start to manage them soon. In the meantime, it is great to see life when previously the ground was dry and barren.
But with the growth comes new jobs. Soft ground has seen trees fall – requiring clearing of fences. I have spent a couple of days with the chainsaw tidying up trees and branches that have fallen, followed by re-tensioning fences and fixing broken wires. It is quite pleasant working outside in the autumn weather.
The one job I dislike though is mowing the lawn… Over summer, I had given the ride-on mower a service in the hope it might one day be used again, and even serviced the old push mower, installing a new throttle cable and wheels. I waited for a while before finally admitting that the grass did need cutting – and the need might have been hastened by the presence of a brown snake in the vegetable garden…
So I borrowed the neighbour’s horse, King. Funnily enough he got right on the job – and after a little altercation with Jo when he was distracted by the chook food, he did a magnificent job!
In the meantime, we join the world in watching the developments regarding the spread of Covid-19. Living out of town, with a creek that potentially cuts our access, we have always maintained a reasonable supply of food in our pantry, and medical supplies. We are extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful place to hold up for a couple of weeks if required. Stay safe please people – and wash your hands!