At the start of last year Roy and I sat down with a piece of paper and wrote down only a few things that we wanted to achieve in setting up on our property. I am actually really glad to say we did actually manage to do most of the items. Once again we wrote a list for this year and its a little more ambitious than last years.
Looking back at 2013: We completed the chicken pen at the very start of last year and we bought guinea fowl and chooks to move in at the end of January. Looking back at the photos of the guinea’s they were just so cute until they were harassed by our neighbouring boys.
Last January over Australia Day weekend we had a stupid amount of rainfall in a short time and Roy and I knew it was time to do something about our driveway. We had to build it up and put in drainage. We were lucky enough to have a neighbour who wanted to get rid of some of his old driveway which we recycled into ours. We also got a few loads of road base delivered to help build up the driveway, so when it rained we could still take the car and get out of our place.
June last year we also started building our main vegetable garden. With the help of Rod who lives up the road and his son Simon who lives next door. A combination of a single tine ripper on the back of tractor and an excavator we turned the soil, weeded, weeded some more, hilled and tilled and finally planted our first crops.
Also only a few months back we had our first major project of building ourselves a verandah and also a garden shed along with a few slabs for more tanks. We had concreting done, verandah building with my dad and shed construction and tanks delivered all in about six weeks. Roy has just finished all the pipework to lead the water into the tanks. Just in time too as it has finally started to rain this week. We have had 40mm so far.
We purchased a few fruit trees in July at the QLD garden Expo I think about 70% of them are still alive and only just, but with the rain now hopefully they will spring back to life. Planting trees for us needs to be done between Feb – May this way they get watered in naturally and have the best chance of survival for the drier months at the end of the year. This year we intend to go crazy with planting and trial this method which has been recommended by many in our valley.
Each time we slash our paddocks we are encouraging the grass to grow. i know it sound crazy but by slashing down our millions and millions of cobblers pegs (farmers friends) the grass has slowly been creeping out to new borders. With plenty more clearing to do yet we are doing it in stages, this year we will be clearing for our tree planting and where are possible dam will go.
2014 a larger list: With a bigger list this year, we are getting more precise in our actions – which helps and makes our lives easier. The farm is slowly transforming and we are expanding continuously. This year I am really looking forward to getting a rooster to start breeding my English Sussex chooks. If we are lucky we may even get a pig or two this year. We are just waiting to see how much rain we do get before we jump into purchasing a porker.
The farm gates will be back up and running in the next month, with plenty of leafy greens and other basic veggies. We plan to expand on what we are growing and hopefully keep the farm gates going all year as we now have water and tanks. Also we will be playing host to a few workshops this year about gardening and I will be doing some cooking/gardening workshops when the weather cools again. I know so many people who want to learn preserves and sourdough bread making.
If all goes to plan with the veggies I am also looking at taking my produce to Brisbane for a market once a week – don’t get excited yet. I need to get my garden back into shape, have a baby and get use to taking the little critter in the garden with me and on road trips. So hopefully I will start that by the end of the year. Will keep you all posted though.
FOR ME: With a new addition to our family in April this year we are in for an adventure. This will be our first child and the first grandchild for the family, so everyone is super excited. Roy and I will have a lot to learn and I am sure our hands will be full for a few months until we get a grip on what the hell is going on. We are both looking forward to having a little one around the house.
Another thing this year for me is to start making our own bread all the time. I am going to master making ciabatta for Roy and continue to make sourdough weekly and not give up when life gets busy. I want to make it a weekly routine of bread baking. Roy also wants to start making our own cheese – not sure if that will happen this year – I think he should stick to making his own beer for now.
Do you have any grand plans for 2014?