From the Farm

Mar 18, 2014

18 March 2014


Well as usual nothing at Avonstour is main stream. But we are milking yes we have joined the Gumbooters.......... the dairy farmers ..... But we are Organic so there is a Point of difference. So it all ended up like this ..Ruth has been milking her goats and dropping off the goat milk daily but the goats have dropped and we are getting short .. So a quick look around the Dutch Belted and Dexter cattle told us nothing was going to calve in the near future although we do have some autumn calver's to come. Shame as Aubrey wanted to learn to hand milk. All this time looking left me short of time to deliver two donkey foals to a family in New Plymouth and i was keen to get there before dark so i could show them how to lead them and pick their feet up etc as Ila has been working with them. ..And we were all invited to a meal and what a meal it was .....as well Fiona met me there to help with the donkeys and was invited for a meal. Home the next day and looking at the two donkey jennies the foals came from they were bagged up with milk. They are on good feed but had been feeding their foals for 4 months so i was surprised. So we got them in and milked them. Both are run donkeys so not trained for anything except having their feet done at regular times. One is so good to milk, the other needs a leg rope but both now lead and come up to be milked twice a day. The milk is fantastic, sweet and mild better than both cow and goat milk i think. Donkey milk has history ,as in the UK when TB was prevalent the rich and well to do were brought up on this milk so they did not get TB from cows. For your skin its the best as you know Cleopatra bathed in itM

So Autumn is well here and the Jerusalem  artichokes are starting to flower looking to be on time for full flower 25 March. The grapes are just about all ripe. The black boy peaches are still hard but the dry has not helped them as they like regular water unlike the apples that seem to thrive in the dry. We are starting to set up our winter gardens.

We have lots of grass on hand for the livestock due to our sabbatical fallow system and all are healthy and plump.

Cyclone Lucy only knocked a few apples and light branches from the trees. Kept the Wwoffers in the house truck awake, but she had a huge effect on the Womad market day. This market is usually the best market of the season but Lucy put payed to that with the public inside in cafes etc. I was told the waves were going right over the breakwater with people parking there cars so the sea would go right over for a good photo or two. Ummm not to good for rust HA.

Before Lucy we were having dry hot days and cold nights that drove the mice into the house. I have trapped 14 so far and that's a record. I could not understand how they were getting in and was blaming all for leaving the doors open but around the house we have  trees that are self sown from pips and stones that have been dropped out of the windows and some brushing the window sills. I was in bed with the widow open to let air in and i woke to hear scratch scratch plooop and a mouse jumped from the window sill to the floor. RIGHT i will be shifting those trees as soon as they loose leaves.

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