Thursday, August 2, 2012

Early morning check of the ewes on a frosty morning.

At first light the lambing ewes need to be checked for new lambs and prowling foxes. The farm is usually still asleep at this time, and the animals don't take too much notice to me quietly poking around. Its certainly too early for the milkers to consider coming in.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Milking time

Ahh, the sun is shinning, lambs are baa-ing and its milking time again. As the seasons turn we are blessed with fresh sheep milk, so all can look forward to the return of our favorite sheep cheeses. The first couple of batches of Black Sheep log (ashed) have been made and will be available from this weekend. My next cheese make this week will be Woolamai Mist. Its also nice to have pure sheep yoghurt back in the kitchen fridge too.
The weather has been kind during the first couple of weeks lambing, with cold clear nights but not too much rain. There is good feed ahead of the milking ewes, and since having cattle excluded from the sheep paddocks, there is a lot less mud for the sheep to negotiate than last year.

These colored lambs were born from white parents, but there will be more to come from black mothers. It will be interesting to see if we get any white ones from them. No racism here :)
There have been 3 sets of triplets, and a run of single female lambs. Most of the male lambs have gone to new homes to be reared, which frees up more milk for cheese making. With the herd growing significantly this year, there should be plentiful milk for stocking up all the favorite cheese styles plus expanding the range in the creation of some new cheeses.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rain and floods

60mm of rain overnight brought the creek up to record heights this week, wreaking havoc on trees, fences and soil, causing a small land slide. Thankfully no sheep were lost, and we have no young lambs born yet.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wild wilderness

Getting about the bush along the creek, sunrise in the valley, ewes in the hill country before lambing.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Have had an interesting couple of days, spraying blackberries amongst the tree plantations around the farm. I have seen some sights and areas of the farm not experienced before, poking about all the hard to reach places.

Weather: a perfect 22 degrees, little breeze.
Topography: footholds rare to find, mostly steep, covered in long grass and branches
Wildlife: saw our first black wallaby, tiger snake right where I needed to spray which then disappeared under the grass, Rosella parots and plenty of Jack Jumper nests.

Hard going getting about with the knapsack. The hose on the sprayer behind the tractor could only reach a small percentage of the area, and was harder to drag through the trees. Between the wet feet, thorns and wicked cramps I did enjoy those 'special little spots' and taking in the views when stopping for a break. Some of the patches had gone a bit wild. Will have to keep on top of them next year.

Next job is shearing some lambs while the weather is fine.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Green green green Autumn

It is a great time of year in Gippsland, when there is no mud but the grass is literally jumping out of the ground. Its a good chance for these young lambs to grow out. Most days are in the 20's this month. Perfect growing conditions.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lazy Autumn rest time

The cycle of life begins again on the farm as the ewes recuperate in their favorite shade spots along the creek, not having to walk in for milking every day. They have no schedule, and can rest themselves in preparation for the coming winter and lambing. The rams are happy too, back with the girls and doing their daily patrol.

Meanwhile the dairy can get some maintenance, we can chip away at farm work that can't be done in the wet, and the aged cheeses ripen further in the cellars.
There will be a short period when Moyarra yoghurt and soft cheeses won't be available, but there is plenty of Prom Picnic and Venus Bay Blue maturing and developing deeper flavors until the fresh batches come along next season.