Autumn plans around the farm...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy Autumn to all those southern hemisphere readers ( & happy almost spring to the Northerners :).  It has been just a lovely summer here at Sunnyside~ beautiful temperatures, high rainfalls & the garden has been wonderfully productive.  With the ushering in of a new season it's time to sit down & ponder on what is needed to be done in the next few months.  
It seems every season has it's variety of jobs & since we're now in our 5th year of living here we are starting to get to know what is going to be required.  I thought it would be fun to share our list for autumn here with you (because if  you are anything like me you love a good list):

You can't help smiling at a beautiful pumpkin flower ~ they brighten up your day :)

~Autumn is always a busy time in our farming community.  It is the time that the farmers commence planting their crops as we have a winter growing season here.  This is mainly due to our major rains being in winter ( although this year I would have to say summer has had a large amount of beautiful rainfall as well).  Since it is a dry farming area ( ie no irrigation) we rely on the rains to water the crops.  Thankfully with all the rain we've had the seeds should have a good start with the grounds already holding much moisture.  At Sunnyside we have ploughed  up our "Millers cascade" paddock & are planning on planting 50 acres of barley or triticale (I don't think Dave's decided which one yet & I leave all the farm decisions to him)~ this is mainly to clean up this paddock and of course it's always great to have your own animal feed (which we know has no nasty chemicals applied) & be able to sell some as well if we need to.  We will also undersow with clover to promote a good pasture which is our ultimate aim for our farm.  

~We will also be removing the rams from our ewes at the end of March (they were put in early Feb) with the intention of a July/August lambing season.

Today ~ it has been rain, rain, rain & we are loving it!

~Now is the time to purchase your half grown chicks for winter eggs.  I have just purchased 4 (since we didn't have any chicks hatch this year)  as I was in town earlier this week.  My intention was to purchase them early March, but  I am glad I was a little early  as the supplier only had 8 weeks old as opposed to the 12 weeks we usually purchase so they will be a little later in maturity than I was hoping, but should still come to maturity in winter ( when chicks come to maturity they must lay ~ this is how you get eggs during the middle of winter when you other hens are having a break).  I'm thinking 4 eggs a day would be a blessing in those cold days ahead.

~ Dave has requested that I investigate meat chickens with the intention of having our own.  I'm not sure yet what varieties are available here in New South Wales or where a supplier is located ~ looks like I'll have to do some searching :)

~We need to get an electric fencing system for our pigs.  We love having pigs, but at the moment they free ranging completely ( which means they come & go over the farm as they want to).  We are hoping to reduce this with an electric fencing system so we can select where they will roam .  

~Bessy should return to us in mid- March.  We have been missing her face around the farm ~ she is such a lovely affectionate animal.  Hopefully she will be quiet & calm with pregnancy hormones :) I also need to investigate the nutritional needs of an expectant cow.

~ Harvest & process our grapes ~ the vine is heavy with fruit at the moment & this needs to be done this weekend.
~ Clean out the used summer garden beds & add decomposed manure.
~ Draw up a garden plan for this winter.
~ Start seeds of oregano, onions, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, spring onions & coneflowers into punnets (I have already done this, but the heavy rain has flooded them out ~ sigh).
~ Plant chives, watercress, pak choy, radish, roquette, coriander, broad beans, peas, beans & nasturtiums directly.  
~ Purchase & plant garlic (garlic should be planted by Anzac Day traditionally)
~ Begin to select fruit trees to plant at the end of Autumn ~ I'm thinking apples, pears, a  lime & a lemon this year.
~ Transplant the peach/nectarine/ apricot ( not sure which) trees that I found growing wild in one of the 'North Lakes' paddocks (I had cleaned out the chicken coop there a few years ago & obviously some seeds have taken root with all this rain.)
~ Weed, weed, weed ~ with all this rain we've had the weeds are taking over the flower gardens ~ want to come & help?
~ Purchase & plant bulbs for spring flowering ~ I have an old washtub that is crying out for some pretty bulbs in it :)
~ Mulch  gardens & young fruit trees to protect from frost.
~ Plant out our kiwi plants ( I've had them in pots for the past 8 months as they were so tiny when I got them)
~ Order strawberry & rhubarb crowns to add to the strawberry patch ~ I'm going to try a different variety as well as get some more Cambridge Rival which are the sweetest strawberry I've ever tasted, but I was disappointed in the short length of their fruiting season).
~ Continue working on big garden in centre of driveway ~ plant runners or seed to get grass going (this is going to be an ongoing project for the year I expect ~ my aim is to have it done by Christmas ( when all my in~ laws are coming!)
~ Continue to harvest garden produce as it comes to maturity.
Sneak peak ~ Dave had just finished the ceilings in this area ~ please ignore the washing up & the dirty table

~Plaster the ceiling that has been replaced ( kitchen/dining/entry & hall).
~ Install  trims
~ Paint ceiling & walls of these areas
~ Lay the flooring that is currently taking over the spare rooms.
~Decorate ( isn't that a deliciously delightful word ~ even for someone who is decidedly lacking in the creativity department ~ oh pinterest you've given me some wonderful ideas :)).

 Every spring I decide it is my favourite season & then every autumn I think I was wrong  it must be~ maybe that's as it should be, appreciating every day the Lord has given us!  I hope you have a  productive coming season wherever you live ~ no matter how busy don't forget to slow down & notice how beautiful God's creation really is and all the blessings you've been given!

God bless you my friends

Joining in:



Selina said...

Hi Narn,
So lovely to read your Autumn list. I forgot that it is Autumn today....It feels like we are finally having some Summer weather at last.
You have made me start thinking about my garden. I need to put Stawberries in my planter, and get the beds ready for planting.
Have a lovely day. I have tomorrow off.
Much luv,

Smilie girl said...

I'm with Sel that it doesn't feel much like autumn today, but hey.
You are such a busy bee, but I love all the things you have to do. Have fun!

Grandma said...

Hope my comment made it, as I think I shut the window before I saw that it went! Love you all xxxxxxxxxxxx

Mummy McTavish said...

What an exciting list! I can't wait to see your photos as all the new growth in the garden starts to flourish!

Quinn said...

Sounds like you're having some busy, busy days Renata! I must say I'm a bit envious because we're just starting to prepare for the upcoming season and meanwhile things are very slow paced and boring :) Makes waiting for the baby nearly torturous ;) Wishing you many productive days before the next season is upon you!

Jenn said...

Lots of good things happening on your farm! Loved the lists!

Kimmie said...

I'd love to come help pull weeds, (though in my own I detest it) would be fun to visit and get the work done together.


mama to 8
one homemade and 7 adopted

Heidi said...

Wow Renata!
You'll be busy all season. Those are some lists. I loved reading about your plans for the garden, farmhouse, and farmyard. Your ceiling looks great too. Hooray for Dave.

Frizzy said...

I'm like you. I too think Spring is my favorite season until Fall arrives and then Winter/Christmas too.

Love seeing all you've been up to.

Jen said...

When is the first official day of fall here? It's in going into spring in the US, so this is a bit hard to get used to! Love your big farm kitchen!

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