From the Farm

Jul 10, 2012

10 July 2012


I'm starting this today as i'm waiting for my curry meat to come to the boil. Ruth and Beate are on the road delivering ducks and Ila is on her pony riding around the ewes as the main mob are starting to lamb...... hang on she's boiling back in a minute ...........it looks and smells fantastic. Well more on this curry.....The day before yesterday I went to plant out some of the food forest at the back of the farm that we fenced off last season. So with the Gipsy loaded up with artichokes, yams, heritage potatoes and some self-sown apple trees from the orchard i drove to the back of the farm. The food forest area back there is about 15 acres and i selected a good north facing face and went down and planted the apple trees in a good sunny spot, then working my way up the hill planting the tubers. I had been working for about an hour and i seen 3 fat wild goats on their way around the hill eating the shut up grass as they went below me. They took no notice of me at all and the black one walked up and ate one of the apple trees i had planted, then looked up at me with the roots sticking out of the side of its mouth. I could see it thinking "I have never seen any animal like that before standing up on two legs and digging in the ground". I got my spade and banged it on a concrete post, all three looked up and then back to eating the grass. So back to the Gipsy, fast drive home and back with my trustee BRNO 22 and blooming heck they had gone and so had another two trees, so following the goat poo and a bit of flattened and eaten grass here and there i worked my way around the gorge. I then saw the biggest ones horns above the short manuka about 50 yards away and then the black tree eater and its mate the nanny. CRACK CRACK two shots. Two head shots. I ran down and bled them, the nanny bolting away over the gorge and back to the bush. Took me until dark to get them back to the gipsy and home skinned and cleaned. The big one for the dogs, the black tree eater for us. So its curry tonight ..

Did you feel the earthquake? Everyone here did except me, it takes more than a 7.2 to wake me. Can't work it out, give me a nudge in bed and i'm awake. Ha.

We had our organic peer review this week. We certify with Organic Farm New Zealand. They have a great system where you are in a pod of other farmers and go through each others books and walk over each property. This involves lots of bookwork and formfilling. It is very hard to pull the wool over another organic farmers eyes, this is why the system works well and why certified organic farmers get so upset when someone claims to be organic with no idea what work goes into it. Our day went very well and now we need to get our audit and we are set for another year.

Talking of book work we have had the application sent to grow industrial hemp. Its 10 blooming pages, police checks, storage records, who we buy off and sell to, security - who when what how. All for a product that has less drug in it than common garden plants. This product industrial hemp has huge potential to correct pollution, while producing products that help mankind with food, paper, cloth, building and improving the topsoil. On top of the bookwork we are also asked for a huge licence fee, more than we make for 4 markets, more than we could afford.
But in comes the cavalry - someone who cares for the soil, someone who knows the value of this crop for the world. Stuart Bramhall offered to pay this fee and has. This has made it all possible. Thanks Stuart.

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