Thursday, January 19, 2012

Well folks ,it's been a long time long in fact that I am the only person left on the Funky Frontyard Farmer's challenge. Oh dear! Now what did I promise... to create a farmstay and not burn the funky frontyard farmer's breakfast, that's it!!

Jo and Jo if you check your email, you will discover a little invitation from 'The Little Black Cow Farmstay' to visit us here in the country , because we are just about ready.

So pick a day in Feb. and get moving . Branxton awaits your arrival.

Monday, August 22, 2011

What's happening at the farmstay!

 We are currently working on the out door area ...and when i say 'we' really means some great tradesmen and David . I have watched and told people when they are doing anything wrong and this is a very important job.
This is the outdoor area for farmstay visitors where they can sit and relax as their children play in the farmstay yard. There will also be a barbecue in this spot too.
Embarassingly so...this is the perpetual garden . The tradies have used it to dump their stuff in and I haven't been able to get near it. Any seedlings I have planted have gone into our own beds.
There is nothing more frustrating to a gardener than not being able to get to a new patch to plant.
David wants to put brick edging along here before I start preparing soil . I love his eye for detail and his ability to remain patient about things .
 This is the farmstay kitchen. One thing that has always been a priority for us when we are on holiday is a place to prepare food for our family . Even when we are holiday there is nothing like a homecooked meal. We also find the more food of our own we grow , that takeaway and restaurant salads just can not match it.
This little kitchen is in the sun room of the farmstay and to the right are the two bedrooms (mum and dad's room and kids room .)
 The tiles are in the bathrooms . Each room has its own bathroom. Room one has a spa bath and shower, room 2 has just a shower .
 This is a feature wall in one of the bedrooms. These bricks were sourced from a house that was demolished in Newcastle. When we got the bricks they were all stuck together or covered in mortar. Many hours were spent with a wire brush scrubbing them ready for the fact one day I was out scrubbing while the house was being built and I was mistaken for one of the brickies labourers.
 Ah, here is the spa bath!!! It looks very nice but there is no motor installed yet - that's david's next job.
The pianola has been restored to the tower room ready for some families to stand around it and sing along. If you have any songs you want to sing along to let us know..... I just bought 'Brown Eyed Girl' and the kids just love getting out there and belting out a tune.David wants AC DC , but I don't think it really goes with a pianola.

Anyway , that's all the news for now. So, no I am no where near my challenge to get the perpetual garden ready for my first visitors , but I have plenty of time yet. Also every step we take on the farm is a step to being ready by Christmas.

Friday, August 19, 2011

let the sowing begin!!!

Well, it is sad to loose the mighty Masarap mob to this funky little challenge, however, its a bit like not eating your broadbeans or sweat potatoes for the first season, so that you have more to harvest the next. We wish you guys the very best in your new venture and are sure that you will reap a greater harvest in the seasons to come. The very best of luck to you all.

As for progress on our suburban front yard, we have had some trees removed allowing a great deal more light, and therefore, more growing space. the toilet rolls have been put into action, and the seeds have been sown for the summer harvest. we are going heirloom this year, with crookneck zuchinni's, all manner of old fashioned tomatoes, and golden midget watermelon to name a few. We also want to create a substantial tea garden with some peppermint and chamomile for home made teas. Lots of fun days ahead.

But most exciting of all, the CROP & SWAP (food swap) will kick off this November. we have hired a hall and tied up the public liability red tape matters so that we can legally meet other veggie growers in our neighbourhood and swap our fruit and veggies, just in case someone's head explodes at the sight of a bag of home grown tomatoes.

On a sadder note, I may need to seek professional help. I think I am addicted to buying horse manure. I purchased another 8 bags last week, and 2 weeks before that, 10 more. Now, whenever I drive past a paddock, I catch myself looking for "Poo for Sale" signs, my hands get all clammy, and my heart rate increases with silly daydreams of covering my entire front yard in horse manure. I look at myself in the rear vision mirror and think, "you've changed"... Any suggestions?

Monday, August 1, 2011

dinner plans have changed

so ... we were in for the all up day's worth of meals.

well ... that's gonna have to change now ... please bear with us.  you see ... our dream has come true.  my IT geek of a hubby has landed an exec IT job in rural NSW.  so we are moving far, far away ... to commence our bush life in absolute glory.  so dinner is gonna have to wait.

short term we'll live in a rental in Casino (hubby will be a sr lvl IT exec at Southern Cross Uni), until we find the land to buy and reclaim.  so it will be patio boxes and aquaponics till we get settled.

J&J ... you should drop over and have a yarn with hubby about aquaponics before you throw the baby out with the bath water.  he went to a DIY course and it all makes easy sense to him.  speaking of which ... i have some propogating stuff, pots n plants n compost ... willing to part with some if you are inclined!  just send me a private email.

we will stay very interested in this blog and continue to participate ... i'm just afraid it's not gonna happen as soon as we had anticipated!

our journey in earnest can be followed at ....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

busterly bummers... its really windy

After a quick dash to the front yard to heard the chooks back to their pen, in the wild and relentless winds, I noted a few garden tragedies on my travels. Our little green house has copped a beating from the breezes, after having just mended it 2 weeks ago. And worse still, the main patch of broadbeans have also suffered heavy casualties in the wind.

Be gone wild weather!

On the upside, I went for a poo run yesterday, down toward the Windsor/Richmond district and picked up 10 bags of horse manure for just $10. Squashing them into the back of the hyundai, I sped off feeling like I had just made the biggest poo heist of the century. We mulched it in under most of our fruit trees, and still have 5 bags left to dig into the patches where we will grow our pumpkins and tomatoes in spring.

We are also another step closer to starting a local food swap in our neighbourhood, powowing with the the local council to confirm a meeting place. We hope to begin the foodswap around October/November.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

an update .... of sorts!

i really had hoped that i would have a bigger yield from my veg patch by now.  things are coming up .... but nothing is ready.  the only thing i am harvesting is parsley and oregano .... and heaps of that mind you!

the broad beans are blooming .... both my crimson and white.  so check .... beans are coming!
asparagus is bedded in well .... but nothing there until spring
peas are looking great.... both the front patch and the back patch .... but no blooms yet.
same with the snow peas .... they look amazing .... but no flowers yet
garlic is coming up nicely .... thinking about a last minute additional plant there.
kipfler potatos are in ... waiting for a second batch which should come shortly.
lots of seedlings coming up well .... celeriac, beets, cabbage, cauliflower, herbs galore, comfrey, leeks, onions
i even have some early season borlotti beans seeding  ....

but alas .... nothing is ready to eat.  all that can mean is that spring is gonna be bountiful!

hubby went to a DIY aquaponics course last weekend through Milkwood.  had a blast and learned heaps.  has already purchased his first bathtub off ebay for $20 (brand new).  the beauty of the course was that the guy teaches how to make it out of what you have and what you can source, vs. "i have a kit and make it from this."  so hubby is happy and itchin to get going .... just a few more keyhole beds and things to build for me first <g> ....... and of course i am off to a mushroom workshop this weekend through the same mob .... can't wait!