Friday, February 27, 2015

Day in the life on Opportunity Farm

Friday - the end of the school week. Four of our children catch the interstate primary school bus at about 8:15 so the hour or more before contains the usual recipe of lost socks, bad hair and porridge. The kids are pretty good at getting up and being organized but there are still plenty of calls to "Hurry up or you'll miss the bus."
I like to walk them the 800m or so to where the bus stops - the pleasure of small warm hands to hold and drag up the hill.
Hailey is standing in the dairy demanding breakfast so milking is the next task. The calf is let in and the milk strained and put in the fridge.
One of the goat kids is limping so when I take up some feed to the girls and to poor Curly - still locked in the shed after his fence jumping exploits - I catch the little brown haired doe. This doe has a lot of spirit and before she was too big would frequently get through the hinge-joint fence and wander about. She tugs and cries but when I hold up legs and place her on her back she quietens. After plenty of poking, prodding and bending I can find nothing wrong with the leg - it could be a muscle injury. She is let go - I'll have to keep an eye on her.

The kid with the sore leg
The guinea pig cages need moving, more lettuce, grain and water. The dogs get some more of the deer bones from the carcass butchered here by our neighbour a few days ago.

Toby enjoying some deer bones
Harley the pony has eaten all his paddock and the round bale of last season's hay so he needs a bit more grass. A gate shift and he has access to the grass at the back of a shed. It will keep him happy for a couple of days.
I have to unload the car from last night's trip to town. A freebie blue barrel that used to contain truck wash is headed for the septic system in the paddock and a box of apples has to be sorted between worth ripening or pig food.
The pigs need their combination of rotten fruit, excess zucchinis, kitchen scraps and pig grower pellets. They've kicked over their food trough but they go crazy over the surplus milk. The container I pour it into is attached to their water trough. It was a good size a few weeks ago but now the pushing and shoving that goes on will smash it to pieces and strain sisterly relations. I pause to reflect while the water refills.

Pig trough filling

The yard is growing dock and thistles so an hour with the whipper-snipper gets some of it back to a flat earth policy.
The regular tasks over I gather some tools and materials to head out to the far paddock to nail on the deck for the camp toilet block. The battery on the farm ute is flat so I walk. Two hours of happy banging and cutting and the deck is done.

Deck done!
On the way back I notice one of the lambs is sneaking round the end of the electric fence so that needs fixing up. Then it is over to the chooks. The little bantam is clucky again. When I move her off there is only one egg underneath. Not enough eggs in the box means a search which finds a large stash of eggs under a bush. The most timid chook hasn't the nerve to make it to the hen house. Now the box is occupied some of the others must have joined her.

While I am there I climb into the potato patch which is between the chook runs to dig up some spuds for dinner. First I have to clear the raspberry canes from the net so it can be stored away till next berry season. Three potato plants reveal about twenty Dutch Cream taties - enough for now.
Time to do some weeding in the bed I need to plant some winter crops in before....

It's time for the kids to straggle back over the paddock. The rest of the day is spent in domestic bliss with lots of singing - five are in a Country Music Talent Quest tomorrow. All in a day's work.


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