Things have been conspicuously silent on both the RLH and TA blogs but I can assure you, life has been anything but quiet. In fact, it’s been all systems go for some weeks now, particularly this last week.
Backing up about 6 weeks, we had our confidence rocked by the severe weather that swept through the southern states of Australia. South Australia faced almost total electricity loss and much of Victoria saw black outs too, some for over a week! Wild and woolly weather brought down many trees, roots challenged by years of less-than-average rain were suddenly inundated by far too much. Soft saturated soil and strong winds equals trees down.
We saw only a few tree losses, although nothing causing any damage but the wind sadly made short work of our newly erected polytunnel which was doing double duty as an extension of our bus as well as to be used for seed starting etc. It has been dismantled but I doubt there is a single pole left 100% undamaged. We renamed it the polypretzel.
Moving on from that, we have been working hard to finish marking all the contour lines across the block as well as learning just how fast and far our grass can grow. I tell you no word of a lie and not an ounce of exaggeration when I say that some of our pasture is beyond waist high on me and I’m pretty tall. Given the warmer weather and the venom levels of the local snakes I am NOT posing for a photograph to prove what I say. You will have to take my word for it!
Stewart our Dexter steer has been joined by Hewie and Dewy, our Dexter X Lowline steer and heifer. The 3 of them are having a lovely time eating off the top of this tuft then the top of the next. Following the teeth marks of these spoiled bovines is quite amusing. We also have 8 sheep on our block now, 7 Merino X Corriedale and 1 suspected Katahdin sheep called Dirty Harry. Harry needed company after Jean Claude van Lamb, his companion, passed away so he is keeping our girls company for now and will later likely keep Charlie and Lola company too. It looks like we may have another sheep coming to join us in a week or so too.
Charlie and Lola are our 2 Wiltshire Horn poddy lambs. Lola we hope will be the beginning of our future flock but only time will tell there. Charlie is, or will soon be, a wether (desexed male sheep).
So, with all the animals out at Twinny Acres, you might think the grass would be managed, but I can assure you, not even close! Hence we have been working hard to get our swales marked out so as to get them dug in. This helps us to set up cell grazing and it also removes some of the grass.
Thanks to a friend C, the last of the swales were marked out the last Thursday of October. A whole day before deadline. The timing was great as I was able to leave for my wonderful weekend away knowing that a break from our farm wasn’t putting us behind schedule. We then spent last week chasing up excavators and options. Just a word of advice, if you want to hire an excavator, organise it in advance! But more on that later.
Lovely to see everything so green your way. We have found the annual wind pruning of the trees happens in spring and autumn. Makes great mulch material. We haul them to put around new plantings, to protect them from the brush turkeys scratching. Have you encountered any native wildlife yet?
And yay for swales! 🙂
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It truly couldn’t be any greener! Some of the grass I reckon now might have reached my shoulders had our piggy cattle not munched off the choice tips.
Our prunings have been a little more vigorous with the gale-force winds we had last month. 90km/h and more. Our western boundary has some trees and a neighbour who has many more trees so there’s some form of windbreak there but if the wind comes in from the south then it simply roars across another neighbours pastures and around (or through) the trunks of our thin windbreak. It’s unpleasant to say the least on a blustery day.
The native wildlife we have encountered so far has been limited to magpies, crows, cockies and a really fast hare we saw simply tearing across the block some months back. Nothing else at this stage, although I did hear a little eastern brown tree frog cree cree cree-ing in the dam this afternoon. 🙂
I wouldn’t be surprised in all that grass, you have quail too. But you wouldn’t see them. They sound like, “fu-weep”, “fu-weep”, as they call to one another.
I’ve never heard or heard of them from the neighbours but I will keep an eye out for them. It’s so strange seeing all the grass given than last summer it was a barren dustbowl, having been grazed flat and with no rain. It’s encouraging how fast mother nature can recover when stresses are removed. 🙂