From the Farm

May 28, 2014

28 May 2014


Another eventful week starting with going down for a friend to look at a house in Patea that they wanted to buy. Well this is how it went I was very busy but like to help when I get help. So with the offer of lunch and petrol money we got on the road and as the ute was only on an eighth full, pulled into Hawera to fill up.  DON'T WORRY JOHN I'M PAYING FOR PETROL ..So we filled up and off we drove. After a kilometer or so I said, can you feel that, blooming Fuel must have water in it. No sounds alright to me .....No there is something wrong O NO I can't believe it, pulling over where is the fuel docket ......O NO can't be I have filled my ute to the top yes totally full with PETROL .. It's a Diesel UTE. How on hell did I do that, I have never done this before .....KIN HELL U turn and head back to the Z station .....HIT i'm loosing power git out the frigging way tractor. I just have to get up this hill and I can't button of or it will stop and we are stranded ...........There is the Z sign..... Made it ........No sorry we can't help need to phone a tow and a garage for you ........I'm so worried about me motor it was smoking and knocking ....Yes I will pay. NO I don't belong to the AA ... Towed to garage, an hour and a half latter, a full tank lighter and my cash much lighter we are on the way again just making the appointment with the land agent (missing out on a slap up lunch ha).

Been sorting lots of sheep so we can use the fallow on the shortest day. This involves bringing the sheep down from the hills sorting out killers, rams, springing ewes as both the Damara and Dorset Horns are lambing. Well to do this we need two people to stand on the road to direct the sheep over to the wool shed. Well with Nadine on one side and Terry on the other the sheep came down and looked at Nadine and Terry. Picked Terry and flowed past him and up the road .. I sent Albert my bearded collie to head them and he managed to head them bar 3.
Well he is a huntaway and I never let him head, but unfortunately I looked at the 3 sheep going flat out up the road, 2 meat hoggets and my top Wiltshire horn ewe, I mean out of a mob of over 300 it just had to be that one. Its like opening a stamp collection and the most valuable one blows out the window. But as fate has it the next farm hay paddock gate was open and Albert got them ..

We have two Wwoofers on site at the moment,  Alex an Englishman and Nadine the German girl is still on site. We were all having bets how old and where Alex came from and we had all settled on 24 from Scandinavia with his red beard Viking's look alike from his Wwoof profile. But NO English of Italian dissent, but he is fitting in well. The garden is near all planted for winter and the bottom swale beds started and mulched with wood chips from the power board from trees cut under the power lines that we had growing on the road.

O YES while driving back from the house inspection in Patea on the side of the road was a strange fellow all in black with a top hat ..Hay that a Journeyman. So being a tradesman I pulled over as its bad luck for a tradesman to leave a fellow craftsman stranded. So after a talk and it was near dark I asked if he wanted to stay on the farm for the night. The following day he had his work garb on and  helped work sheep and other jobs on the farm. That night I took him to continue his journey leaving him with his Thumb out at Midhurst in his travelling garb. Interesting this garb is as well. Each button has a meaning so many hours work a day, so many work days a week ..A belt and tie pin with dividers square and a hand shake. Signs not unlike Freemason signs ....His trousers bell bottoms to shed the shavings and saw dust from filling his shoes
and folding up over his knees in shipbuilders fashion for the launching of boats and ships ...An interesting visit to Avonstour. Markus had been on his Journey for well over Three years and I do wish him all the luck I can and hope to meet him or ones of his organisation again.
And you know he even was in last Fridays paper if you want to have a look at him.

So its funny how you find things out like the new totally organic method of lice control for pigs. Here is the 8 part Recipe

  1. Get Wwoofer to feed pigs
  2. Make sure they get a good part of the grain over back of pigs
  3. Do not feed your free range chooks that day
  4. Let chooks feed around pigs
  5. Keep doing this for 7 days or until chooks start pecking food from pigs
  6. Game chickens seem the best at climbing over sleeping pigs so order some from Avonstour. As slow commercial will get eaten by the pigs
  7. After 10 days look at pigs for lice
  8. Keep using woofers to feed pigs.

Our European wild  pigs are now totally free of lice and all the useless chooks are not to be found.

We went to look at the hemp House Ila is working on, I have to say I am very impressed this is a very sound way to build and I think Ila may have a great future building.

The biggest problem for Avonstour is Ila is an key person on the farm as she knows it like the back of her hand and at the moment i'm just rushed off my feet. The Wwoofers are very good but just here for short term and it takes a while to find where this or that is. This gate or paddock etc. I really think I need to look into the inturn system to match with what we have to get though while Ila is doing a trade.

So on the coldest Mayday on Record (man what a frost) with most of the garden burnt, the choko totally gone, rogue potatoes gone and I hope sheep worm and fly larvae gone till next season.

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