Farm Update 30 August 2012

Hi everyone,

Week 3 again of our Spring Season and we have a real feeling of spring now.  Although the winter weather does not yet want to let go completely, it is starting to feel that the end of winter is very near. Away with the winter blues, let the sun shine!!!! And dry up all the puddles in the field.

We have a beautiful ornamental cherry tree in our courtyard and at the moment it is in full flower. A family of tui’s is visiting it regularly and they are singing with content. The strange thing is that their song has changed slightly over the last week or so.

My daughter found her battery operated play phone back that she left accidentally outside in the rain, the result of it being left in the rain was that we could not make the phone stop from making this rather annoying tune (I am sure you have heard them ” tadathetitititi”). Over and over again, and every time we thought it had stopped it started again. It was starting to drive us mad, and as we could not find a little screw driver that fitted the screw, we placed it outside the door under the veranda.  It kept on making the same tune over and over for a few days, and it seemed to grow louder and louder as well. Finally I did find a screwdriver that fitted the play phone and managed to take the batteries out, but the tune did not stop…..the tui’s had taken it over and are making the play phone sound them selves. Clever birds! Annoying sound though –hopefully they learn their own song back from neighbouring Tui’s soon!

In our house we also listen to the chirping of 2 week old chicks. They are growing quickly and have started to change their warm fluffy down for cute coloured feathers.   As always we hope for more females than males. Genetically it should end up 50% males and 50% females, but it never ever seems to go that way. There are always more males!.

This time around I am looking forward to a good lot of roosters however.  Since we processed our first cow 2 months ago and put some packets in the freezer for ourselves, we are enjoying the meat so much that I cannot go back to supermarket meat. Even the kids, and as you know there are 4 difficult eaters in our household, agree. It does not matter which cut of meat I prepare for dinner, it has taste, it is smooth, and it is delicious. I am not sure anymore what happens to the animals on regular New Zealand farms as I thought NZ farms to be rather low input farming systems and no much need for intervention, or what they do to the meat when processed, but it is not the same. You always end up with dry pieces of meat and lots of water in the pan. There is no going back here!

Roosters, pigs, sheep … We will have to put in more fences! It is what we always wanted to do (and we are, although very slow), to build up a diverse eco-dynamic/permaculture mixed farming system, i.e. integration of diverse range of both crop and livestock that interact as much as possible and optimising the recycling of nutrients (what is a waste on one side becomes the fertiliser for the other side). Not an easy job, but interesting to work on and I think necessary in order to become a resilient farm for the future!  

This week we welcome the unknown but wonderful spring crop called "Rapini"; a succulent Asapargas type green that can be eaten raw or cooked. For more information on this crop click on the link.

More of our chickens are laying eggs, enjoying the longer days. be in quick if you are interested in receiving a weekly egg share of 6 or 12 eggs, or if you like to up your egg share. Now is the time!

For your calender:

Farm Day, Sunday 30 September where we share our food quality and soil quality ideas with you.

Your CSA Shares this week:

Fruit Share: 1.2 kg Braeburn Apples, 1 kg Pacific Rose Apples and 500 grams of Navel Oranges.

Small Veggie Share: 500 grams of Yellow Carrots with top, 1 kg of Pumpkin, either 170 grams of Pak Choy or 120 grams of Mizuna, 120 grams or Rapini, and 1 Cauliflower.

Large Veggie Share: 500 grams of Yellow Carrots with top, 1 kg of Pumpkin, either 170 grams of Pak Choy or 120 grams of Mizuna, 120 grams or Rapini, 120 grams of Mizuna, either 150 grams of baby Spinach or 120 grams of Rocket, 400 grams of Jerusalem Artichokes, 400-500 grams of Beetroot and 1 Cauliflower.