From the Farm

Mar 1, 2013

1 March 2013


I said it was dry last week but she is burning off now, most of our drains have stopped running totally and the Makuri stream has water in it but has stopped moving and the water looks old. All the farmers are feeding out their winter silage and hay out here but at Avonstour we have our Sabbatical Fallow - over 70 acres are shut up so we will be using some of that from this week on. The stock will be fine as long as we have water for another 4 to 6 weeks and don't touch our winter fallow or stored feed.

Even the chooks notice the dry in ways we don't even think of - like no fresh grass shoots and other greens but the biggest thing is the lack of bugs, flies, worms, as even they need water to live and breed. So the chickens miss out and we miss out on eggs. Well that's the food chain and it needs water.

Ila has been shooting Rabbits both for the table and the older ones for the dogs, Jess and her have been pulling ragwort that the sheep cannot get to.
We have had all the Donkeys through the yard for a foot trim, Hot work in this weather but great with Ila and Jess helping.

Yesterday I looked up the pig farm track and I could see what looked like a hawk eating something so I walked the 90 or so yards toward it to see what it had.
I got within 3 feet from it and saw it was one of our archangel young pigeons been killed. Not a very good young one so not too worried with that. But on looking it was not a hawk but a NZ falcon. It flew up onto a tree and the whole time it was very tame and I could have netted it with a landing net at any time. I have since seen it catching sparrows. It is an adult bird and I do know of a pair 8 kilometres down at the Waitara river. I don't mind the falcons but view hawks as disease spreaders who live on road kill and dead stock (or near dead lambs very cruel). The falcon only eat live food they kill.

Went to a toastmasters meeting with Ruth and Beate in Hawera just to watch the competition. I was very impressed and might join.

The big thing this week was to get the hay done in the shed and dry. Jamie came and helped as did Anne-Marie and her brother so with the team here we had a good crew. Only just under 400 bales a lot less than what I was thinking but it is real dry out here.

The hemp crop is sure feeling the dry and is very stunted but heading up a good seed crop. Not so sure about the fibre as its only made half the height.
We are sending it off for testing Monday next week.

So around all of that we are getting the TV cameras out today to do a rural news program. O here they are NO its Jamie with our new road sign for Avonstour.
WOW its fantastic BIG >>>REAL BIG a copy of our busness card. You wait till you see it.

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