From the Farm

Sep 1, 2011

1 September 2011


Well the signs of spring are starting.  The peaches and plums are starting to burst bud, the buds are open on the fodder willows and weeping willows.  The wait is on for the Barberry because when the Barberry comes into leaf and the flowers come out its over - we will have grass and more will grow.  I will keep you posted on that.  Now is our REAL pinch time for grass, our early lambs are eating their heads off.  The fallow is gone and the grass is not growing.  From this time on every time i drive to New Plymouth i see what it will be like out here in 2 weeks as we are behind with our start.  I called into Justin's last trip to NP and his Bobcat nickname still stands, heaps of soil everywhere, demolition timber in heaps. That house and section is going to get a work over.

The Wiltshire and Damara sheep are starting to shed their wool and the birds are picking it up for nests, some of which are made in our vehicles.  I pulled the bonnet on the Ute at the service station and on top of the motor was about a bale of straw, hay and wool.  Im real lucky it never caught fire.  Came home and looked under the other bonnets .......the same .... cleaned them up next day its back, man those starlings can work.
We have no Woofers or volunteers at the moment so Ruth and I are all daylight hours and more.  Ila has been doing dinners and Samuel fire wood (when he is not working for other farmers).  He has bottled his Cider, its great (well the one glass i got) he is guarding it like its Gold.
Been on the road for a day meeting Nico and called in to see Rachel Rose in Whanganui.

Ran the Sheep keeping course was a good day.  Dave......... i would be worried ......... you should see Dee with the Elastrators .......
Ila and I finished docking the Dorset horns after the course and the following day after the Farmers Market we got the Damara mob in dock and tagged them.
Monday was mid term break so Samuel and ila had the day off school.  Samuel went planting pine trees and ila helped me with a straggle muster to dock and tag the odds and ends. All went fine until we tried for 5 ewes that went off with the wild goats through the back gorge and into the forest before lambing, lambed in the forest clearings and have been running free since.  We managed to catch two lambs, the others bolted into the bush.  NOW i Can Save the Rarebreed Society a problem in the future.  Keep this email for 50 years and when you hear of wild sheep in the forest land east of Stratford Huiroa, with large horns, multi-coloured, some with tassels like goats, you will not need to DNA as you will have this email.  They are derived from Avonstour 2 white Arapawa ewes, 1 Wilshire horn ewe and 2 brown and white damara ewes.
The sad part of the week - today the old fox terrier dog Molly died.  She was Samuel's possum dog and still holds the record out here - 18 possums in one hour in the day time (that was the old days when there were heaps around).  The last two years she has been stiff and old travelling around with Ruth on the mule feeding the animals each day.  She died doing this and Ruth was as upset as i have ever seen her.  I buried her under a black boy peach tree.  Life goes on.
So See Ya Sunday at the Farmers Market
John

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