Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Martin Farm Update

My new upcycled apron
Boy have we been busy busy, it's just that time of year!
Building, fencing, gardening, paving, sewing, fixing and preparing.
And then add in those few extra stresses that life just loves to throw in everybody's way, along their journies.

Autumn's here and winter's on it's way. I can feel it in my toes on the cold mornings, while I watch the sun rise over our bush from the verandah, sipping my hot morning cuppa.
I'm preparing by organising winter clothes and what I need to buy or sew to fill our wardrobes with warm things to wear. Including aprons to go over simple under layers, like thegood ol' days.

We discovered our rain tank liner is leaking, so we're currently going through twice as much water as normal until the repair man can get out to fix the tank at the same time there is a truck of water here to refill the liner once fixed.

This adds strain to the gardening and livestock side of things, let alone the everyday use which has that little voice in the back of my head as I reach for the tap: "What if it runs out this time? How long have we got until we can have more water delivered? Can we last that long without water?"

My oven blew.When I turn the oven function on, all is good... turn on the heat dial and **poof** oven electrics freak out and the whole thing switches off. So no oven, grill, living area heater/winter clothes dryer and towel warmer. Luckily I still have the gas stove top, slow cooker and grilling appliance for backup.
Not exactly the most convenient thing to happen on a homestead, an oven breaking. All the baking, bread, dehydrating and preserving potential just got halved in this house.
Does anyone happen to know if bread can be baked in the slow cooker at all?
I've read of it being risen overnight in the slowcooker, but baked? and sourdough?

Purple King Bean
(the day before an escapee chicken gobbled it up)
I've been building onto my frog pond, building up the garden bed and soil health around it, adding in a few herbs and planting some quick harvest seeds to use the soil until I have more herbs to plant out. Plus a wall of purple beans, simply because I love them.

Last month we celebrated Miss 2 becoming Miss 3.
Is it just me, or do 'threenagers' suddenly enter a phase of meltdown mode at every little thing, when they didn't before? What the??... Though, I do suspect some of this is more triggered by her sore belly sometimes, poor kid.
I'm sure it can't be easy to be 3, so hats off to her for her efforts so far.

We've been spending these past months experimenting with our diet and how to make it work into our food budget without feeling hungry.
We've found that all but one of us are sensitive to gluten to some extent and the youngest and I are battling candida yet again. So we experimented with cutting out grains altogether and trialling coconut flour. Never. Going. There. Again. Ever!

I'll be switching us back to sourdough, as we didn't seem to have any of the same problems on a controlled ammount of sourdough and it's something I can work with and see potential for baking with (when I get my oven fixed). We also love our sourdough pancakes and crepes as fillers. Bonus being that sourdough doesn't feed candida so it's an acceptable meal filler to have with all the meat, fruit and veg we're eating.

Tumeric Tri colour Quinoa
with Chicken

We've been trialling Quinoa (Keeeeeen-wah) recently as one of our fillers in place of rice or potatoes. The kids love it, but something just isn't sitting right with me about it. I don't know what it is, but I think I'll give it a litte more research before we get into it too much more.

We sold twin baby goats and have kept the single baby to fatten up for the spit. Yup, we're going to eat her if she looks to give some decent meat. It's what we're here for, it's what we're MEANT to be doing here. It's about time we finally got on with living our dream, not just dreaming it.

We're also looking to sell our cow. She's just too big for me to be able spend time with, with 3 small children aswell as the goats that we have.With her gone, I can focus more where I need to.

I am happy for the older kids to walk around and help with most of the goats, they are something we can achieve together and still obtain meat, milk and hide from. Goats are also better suited to our climate than cows who ideally need green grass all year round.
The savings of the cow being gone, in food and water alone is going to be a huge relief for the budget. We can start to focus on improving and developing other areas of the property.

We're getting excited about plans for new chicks, about to come to fruition.
Some are destined for the freezer. Some are destined to be our egg laying and meat making pets. Some are straight out pets for the kids.
Some of our hens are now so old, they don't lay anymore. Some of the other hens are good as broodies, after just a handful of eggs from them. So we're updating and improving the flock. We're also attempting to cut our food bill by buying meat birds.

This year we're 'officially' homeschooling Miss almost 6 in a free schooling manner. That is to say, this is the year that we have to register as homeschoolers, or send her to an educational institution (ugh!).
So, these new chicks have been a source of inspiration and much delightful learning we can use to show how life is learning.
Miss 6 with her rooster I call "FarQuad"
due to his little rooster syndrome.
I printed out some fake money and little chicks for Miss almost 6. 
The idea is for her to learn counting by 10's ($10 notes), monetary  value, multiplication (6 x $10 notes = $60 and 6 chicks @ $10 each = $60) and social interaction/behaviours through play, among a few other lessons that can be had as we ask more questions. Of course, she'll use them to learn from as she sees fit.

And the most important piece of news of all...
This year, I have decided that instead of missing out anymore, we ARE going to celebrate easter. That nasty gross commercial easter I've avoided for 6 years...
We are going to be celebrating the Cacao plant and it's many beautiful and luxuriously wonderful products.
Now, to be able to make the kids some choc body balm and find chocolate that complies with 'kids can eat it' standards to hide around the yard. Aaaahhh, that should get me an hour to myself next weekend.
All hail the reverred cacao products.

So tell me, what do you get up to during late summer and autumn?

1 comment:

  1. We too are dodging the commercial easter this year. If I can get my rapadura in time I will make almost raw dairy free and pretty much good for you chocolate (I follow the Quirky Jo almost raw chocolate recipe if you google it), hardboiling ducks eggs (none of our other birds are laying yet) in naturally coloured water after having drawn on the shells with candles (very traditional easter) and I'm planning to trial sourdough pagan buns (I leave the cross off the top ;) ) so an all natural, mostly organic and commercial free easter.
    We're still looking to get our goats, hopefully in the next month or 3. I want a doe kid from last years kidding and a doe in kid to provide milk this year, hopefully one on her 2nd kidding so she may have some remnant milk for me to practice milking her and she will hopefully be used to being hand milked and drop her kid(s) easily. Exciting times.
    We're looking to homeschooling too although I'm yest to get my husband on board. He's not anti it but not all for it yet either.
    What a bummer about your water tank. I hope it's a cheap and easy fix that happens really soon. We're yet to buy and hook ours up. It's had to wait due to finances unfortunately but hopefully it's next on the list. A shed came in higher priority.
    I don't know that you could cook bread in a slowcooker. I know that sourdough you stick in the hottest of hot ovens for 30 mins then cool to a mod-hot one to finish cooking or just mod-hot for the whole time as I do it so not sure a slowcooker would get hot enough. I know that you can bake them in those clay dutch ovens or any dutch oven in a normal oven but that doesn't help you much. You could always try the slow cooker.
    I love your idea of aprons, or pinny's as I call them. I've fund a few lovely dresses in our local op shop for my Miss 3 and pinny's would work well helping her keep them clean and for extra warmth. Reduce the washing load and keep warm. I like. :)
    As for Miss 3 and her meltdowns, it seems to be pretty standard. My husband found a website that indicated that children go through periods of equilibrium and disequilibrium, each for about 6 months. Usually from 3-3.5 they're balanced, coordinated, capable, functioning and doing well, then from 3.5-4 they're unbalanced (emotionally and physically), completely uncoordinated, suddenly incapable of doing things they've done for ages (I can't get dressed is our big 1) and they just seem to cease being able to function like a normal kid. It's as frustrating as anything but they cycle like this apparently. We've seen it with Mr 4.5 and Miss 3 and it looks like Mr 19m is just starting to lose balance. They haven't stuck hardcore with the age though. Our Miss 3 is in disequilibrium totally at the moment and she was 3 in December and has been struggling for a few months. Well, this was an explanation that seems to fit well for our family. :)