Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stormy weather

This year we have had some wild spring storms. Last week's storm was a massive deluge with full-on light show, directly over the dairy through the whole of milking. The following flash flood washed a couple of trees down the creek which went over the ford and took out the electric fence. The flattened grass and debri up the steep banks of the creek show where the water level came to, almost to the top of the tunnel under the road. Were going to have dinner before milking last night then it got blacker and Bron decided to go get the sheep early. They were stubborn of course and one got stuck in a mudhole ditch. They just don't like being rushed - used to coming in at their own leisurely pace, grazing on the way. By the time they got in the rain had started. The angry clouds came over very quickly. The usuals were into the dairy in a hurry, almost dry, but the ones left out in the yard had to hide behind the water tank in the torrent. Sheets of water were flowing through the dairy as it blew in horizontally. We managed to get through milking without the power going off and loss of any milk, as the vacuum hold the seals in the milk can closed. Bron fixed the electric fence after the last storm but there is another short this morning so we will be going hunting again. The silver lining is when the setting sun shines under clouds, lighting up the green hills against a black backdrop like it did last night. Magical (sorry no camera this time).

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Venus Bay release this weekend

We have all been waiting patiently for this new sheep cheese to ripen over the last 3 months, and it is finally ready to enjoy. It will be available from Boroondara farmers market this Saturday morning, and also from our cellar door.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spring images on the farm

Silage time, and shearing's on its way

Spring miracles

Red Hill Dairy has had its first lambs born that were conceived on the new farm. In the process of moving and having sheep all together when we arrived, an old ewe and a young maiden lamb decided they were ready to be joined, and have both lambed on the same day last week. The old girl had been expected for a while, but the maiden was quite a surprise we found in the long grass while checking. We had gone hunting that day for a missing milker (ovine type), who was found grazing in an out-of-sight gully. So not only were we relieved to find her but had a bonus of 3 new lambs on the same day. Sometimes you have a winner. On the way past their first trough after lambing, the ewes have a giant thirst and stop for a long drink. Perhaps we should get a Maremma dog to carry a barrel around the paddock. The rest of the milking herd stopped in their tracks on the way in that day, very curious about these new arrivals, who really drew attention. The mothers have bumped up the milk volume in the vat, and the lambs are doing famously, almost ready to go out on grass.