From the Farm

Aug 29, 2012

29 August 2012


Unfortunately, the start of the week and a look around the Wiltshire horns and yes the storm did cost us a few new lambs but thats farming.

Ross was out to take some photos of the Wessex pigs trash-fallowing the proposed hemp paddock as we are going to photo document everything with this crop.
When he came back we were standing by some of the old plum trees in full blossom and there was a single bee working its heart out trying to collect as much pollen as it could before the next shower of rain. Well Ross, we won't be getting many early plums this season with only ONE bee. I don't know, look at that, those waxeyes are working hard, yes you are right, just look at them. There were about 6 or 7 waxeyes flitting from flower to flower hanging this way and that as fast or faster than any bee. Yes i think you are right Ross they are doing it, we may get a few early plums.

Wally came out to fix the road fence where the old oak tree came down on it a storm or two ago. Shame as the tree was probably well over 100 years old and was planted around the old church that was on the property years ago, now well gone. While he was doing this I was moving stock on the hills in the gipsy. When i was driving back Wally was on the road talking to Leo. Wally introduced me - this is Leo Whittle an organic kiwifruit grower, he is living in Te Puke farming now but his family, the Bunning's, were farmers on this farm. Leo has strong family connections in Taranaki and was on a road trip down to visit the mountain doing highway 43. As it was the day of that real bad weather the going was slow so at 7.30 at night he stopped at the hotel on the highway. Finding it closed he banged on the door asking for a room but was turned away - No we don't open week days - So Leo was forced to sleep in his car. Good job it was a late model BMW or i think he would have froze to death as it was after the rain we had a heavy frost. At least he could start the motor every 30 minutes and with the good heater in the BMW warmed him a bit as he had no heavy coat or blankets. Anyway it was good to meet him .... I think i better keep on with the accommodation building.

Spent a day fixing  the water pump and fitting a new exhaust onto Ruth's Kawasaki mule - the pump needs more time but at least she is going. The exhaust was a nightmare. An after-market one, cost as much as a stud ewe and was just not right. The flange was too big so i had to cut 6mm off all around and was welded on at the wrong angle. After 2 hours i wanted to ring the supplier and see if it fitted his exhaust but i got it welded and done so now it no longer sounds like a army helicopter.

One of the old European wild pigs has had a pure litter of 6 under the pines, all very healthy despite the weather, looking like chipmunks with stripes from nose to tail.

The weather has been so bad done nothing on the house truck this week and we have to get on to it as we are looking at interns now and there is heaps to do.

The Farmers Market was a good one, all those fantastic regulars and a few new faces.
Great local music. You know it must be 30 years ago i bought an Allen Muggeridge tape with Janet singing the milk bottle blues. This music along with other local songs I am sure inspired me in many ways to farm as i do.

So I'm off to a meeting with Climate Justice Taranaki in the Norfolk Hall to see what its about.

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