From the Farm

Nov 28, 2012

28 November 2012


Summer is 90% here, the sweet chestnut is just about fully in leaf the plums are set on the trees but as predicted its not going to be a plum year. On the other hand the apples have set heaps of fruit and if the wind stays away we will be making cider.

Alex, Tristan and Anna the German Wwoofers have been digging a flat area where we want to set up the petting zoo for outside eating.
Early in the week Greg came out and we put in the hemp crop. The whole thing has been done the old fashion way with pigs turning the paddock over, manpower (wwoofers) stacking the loose sods and trash in compost heaps. Then the Austin Gipsy with Greg driving pulling the horse harrows spikes down to get a good seed bed. We then hand broadcast the seed and harrowed it over with the spikes up to smooth the soil into the grooves. Everyone had a go at this, the wwoofer Tristan thinking it was a formula one race so his patch may look like the crossroads when the boy racers do burn outs......... boys.
We then put about 250 sheep in to press it down to protect it from the birds for 24 hours. Since this is a very historic event as we are the first to get a licence to grow in Taranaki and industrial hemp was last grown here 70 years ago Ross has taken a full set of photos and will keep up with the crop that is recorded to grow a foot a week and be ready in 100 days on a good season.  All we need is a light rain to start it.

For the rest of the week we were preparing for the Royal show in Stratford. Beate finished painting and signwriting the pig boards.  Pigs sorted, washed with extra feed and pampered. The two Utes were loaded with feed and grooming gear and with the trailer and two trips we got the pigs to the show. Stratford show is the biggest pig show in the country and being a Royal event entries were high with 120 or more. We have not shown for seven years but we did very well with our line up, the Wessex boar got reserve champion, our sow a first, with the Euros the sow got first and the boar took supreme champion giving us a royal show medal that I really wanted. Another historic event for the first time in the WORLD we had Canterbury blues in the show ring these created a lot of interest and we got orders from pig breeders who want to breed and show them. So they will be on the map. We now have to sort a standard and it looks like this breed will continue.

We keep hearing at about 22 minute intervals  .........DID YOU KNOW Beatrice got reserve champion. Yes she got best kunekune sow and reserve champion. Yes we did remember that Beate. Yes and did you know I loved the show and Beatrice got reserve champion. And Karen has a boar for me and we are going to breed. I think Beate better buy a truck and some road miles for all the shows she is planning.
Can't complain she did shout us out for an Indian meal.

It was great to see you all at the show, thanks for the support. It was also good to catch up with old friends like Peter who judged.

So back to life on an organic rarebreed farm........... the pump is still pumping ..........the computer has had a glitch but an easy fix for the shop......... 76 messages on the answer phone........Accounts to do ....
money to make ..........stock to shift ......spuds to plant .........Bacon to sort ...........................THANKS JAMIE AND JUSTIN for covering at the market .......who's that at the door ...Yep no prob I'll come and pull you out with the gipsy ......yes I know Beate Reserve was it ........Is Ila up ...get me breakfast cooked ........put the washing on  .....the wwoofers want to know what to do today ............yes Ruth .........I'm on to it

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