Tuesday, June 30, 2015

War News

this is not a long post .... but a reality check time post.

when we moved to the Northern Rivers Region we new very quickly that to be financially viable on the farm, we needed to be producing something.

but in order to write off our costs for investing in this we had to be primary producers.

and in order to be primary producers we had to show financial viability.

in other words ... to make it work we had to have the money upfront to make it all work.

which we didn't and don't.

so we put in our application for becoming primary producers ... made a good case, btw.  showing that with the right fiscal management we could be showing the required $20k profit in 5 years.

our principles?   diversification and sustainable methods.  ensuring that we didn't put all our eggs in one basket.

but this apparently isn't what the government wants to see.

let me first say .... that the guy we dealt with was WONDERFUL.  not often you say that about government employees .... but he was great.

the jist of the situation is this (and this is what our government rep even said) ... that while it is becoming more and more obvious that farming in a diversified manner is, long term, more financially secure -- this is not what the current government regulations support.

the government, you see, would rather us put all our eggs in one basket, roll the dice and hope it comes up trumps .... that to them would mean we are worth backing. (stupid, aye?)

as he said, unfortunately, his hands are tied by regulation and he cannot recommend that we receive primary producer status.

what does that mean for us?  well .... i guess it means that we will be doing things in the TRULY sustainable way ... small, on the cheap and as we can afford it.

a bit disappointed .... but just have to be creative about how we move forward.  there is always more than one way to skin a cat!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Winter Diary

i was out doing my monday morning walk around the farm and just couldn't help taking photo's and bringing you up-to-date on our continued growth towards not only sustainability, but profitability as well.  because this is the year of building ... of collecting our resources so that come spring, we are offering quality and specialised produce to you and yours!

but first up ... the patch.  this is our little seed bed of gold.  a humble area that even in winter is producing fabulous produce for our family, and seed crop for our future offerings.

gotta love the pea trellis.  using branches from bushes
that were getting to big and a simple weave i've got a great
backbone to grow my peas on ... come early spring this will be covered
with lovely globes of pea goodness.  the teepee's have snow pea's on them.
very excited to see my first cauliflower emerging today.  yeah!!!!!  will make for some
yummy wintery goodness on the table.
the patch was buzzing with bee's today .... which makes my heart sing.  i've deliberately
let one of my broccoli go to flower for this very reason ... feeding our bees as they
hunker down for winter.... they take care of me .... i take care of them! 
broad beans ... 'nuf said.  lovely beanie goodness and soil improvement
to boot!  who could ask for more!  yummo! i'd say we are weeks away from
our first crop for the season.
Leeks .... one of my all time favourites.  makes everything
taste fabulous.  these beauties are simply waiting to be used.  time to put in
a heap more seedlings that i have growing i reckon!
potato's.  there are some who would question growing them in tires like this ...
but i have had limited success and wanted to try something different.
it recycles the tires too!this will eventually be 4 tires tall, stuffed full of
straw and potato goodness!
lettuce.  staple right?  i'm terrified of slugs.  so i'm breathing deep and
doing the right thing..... we'll see how this experiment goes!
there is one more thing on our patch.  our garlic.  we've planted an entire bed out to be used primarily as seed garlic for our next years crop -- and they are just coming up.  we have planted three kinds ... red creole (spicy hot), glen large (solid producer that grows well in the Northern Rivers) and elephant garlic, or russian.  big bulbs of mild garlic goodness.  this will all be harvested come late spring and be set aside to be used in our quarter acre planting to sell for profit.  stop buying overseas, bleached garbage ... buy local!

see those gorgeous garlic just starting to sprout through?  how exciting!
now .... on to the orchard.  this has always meant to be the permanent home of our Plymouth Rocks.  these are our financial investment into selling chicks and keeping us going with chooks to eat.  the idea of keeping them on the orchard means that our orchard gets constantly fertilized ... weeded and our heritage birds are contained.  it is working well.  our rooster, Rocky, has 7 girls at his beck and call ... and they've already started laying ... even in the dead of winter.  i anticipate a number of hatchings this year, whether by incubator or broody hen.

Rocky and two of his girls behind the electric fence.  looking forward to
seeing what their offspring bring to us!

this is our trampoline isolation area inside the orchard fence.  when we get new birds on the
farm we put them here just to help them get settled.  it's a great way
of introducing them as well .... because everyone gets used to each other with
minimal "hen pecking" ... it's worked a treat so far.
outside the current electric fence on the orchard we have a few trees from the previous owner that are starting to give us fruit ... and we love our winter citrus!

our open compost.  the chooks love it ... right next to the orchard.  they dig
through and mix it up as well as giving some added fertility goodness
from time to time!  go girls!
so that's it today on the farm.  oh .... one more picture as a teaser for an soon and upcoming blog post!  another part of making money on the farm!  can you guess what it is????