Posts Tagged With: farm

Travel Theme : Farm Routine

My recent stay on a farm sit was all routine. So when Ailsa challenged us this week with the word “routine” those 4 weeks on the farm sprang instantly back into my mind.

So come back to the farm with me as I do my daily routine…

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Of course getting out of bed every morning is routine for everyone. The time may be different but we all start our day the same way. But this particular morning when I opened my eyes and saw this blood red sunrise I had to grab my camera and, still in my nighty, rush out into the veggie garden to capture its golden glow.  I also took some photos of the veggies.

After breakfast it is time to feed the animals. I can hear the cows calling.

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Then it was the turn of the sheep.

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Mary had a little lamb, actually Pauline had 3 and I feel like the Pied Piper. Notice the “daggy” hat? I cannot compete for any fashion stakes!!!

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How those lambs have grown and they love the pellets too.

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Water is the life blood of the farm. Being in a “rain shadow area(A rain shadow is a dry area on the lee side of a mountainous area (away from the wind). The mountains block the passage of rain-producing weather systems and cast a “shadow” of dryness behind them. rain is not regular and all the irrigation is reliant on the water from the 2 dams and this pump system to send the water through a complicated irrigation system to all the native flower orchard and the gardens.

I stressed about it failing, so every day I would climb up to peer into the tanks checking the water levels.

Another weekly routine was to “back flush” the pumps to clear out sediment. That was a fun thing the dogs loved too.

Then there was the veggie garden, a regular routine of weeding and harvesting every day.

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But how satisfying it was to gather and then eat these delicious vegetables.

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These are just some of the fruits of my labour. These were picked when Deidre arrived home. The sweet corn all matured together so we had a morning of picking, preparing and processing them for the freezer.

Now I have a secret confession to make…

See behind the  veggies? Well that became my obsession, the dishwasher. I have never used one before and poo-pooed the idea of using one for just 2 people, BUT it became my routine to put the dishes in this marvellous machine after every meal. How circumstances changed my attitude… 

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These strawberries are all in pots and on a raised bench making the daily routine of picking very easy. They also have an automatic sprinkler system and are in a netted enclosure to keep out birds.

The strawberries are nearing the end of their productive season but still found enough to have strawberries every morning with breakfast and strawberries and ice-cream for dessert every evening. Sometimes mixed with rhubarb, a taste sensation made in heaven…

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When Deidre arrived home she came out to help pick the strawberries, notice Seldon, he would get the over ripe ones, he loved them and would dash from one of us to the other in anticipation.

The day is now ending, but one very important task is to feed  the dogs and put them in their pen for the night.

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After a satisfying day on the farm, taking me back in time over 30 years to when I farmed in New Zealand. There is one last thing to do.

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Take time to smell the roses…

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Categories: farming, garden, house sitting, photos, routine, travel, travel theme, vegetable garden | Tags: , , , , , | 46 Comments

Farm walk…

Every morning I walk around the farm checking the animals and just generally enjoying the walk with the dog.

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I can hear the cows calling me. The bales are behind this machinery shed.

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Tuck in girls…

Now to check the sheep…

How the lambs have grown. (remember this? The day one was born) They follow me into the shed for their morning feed. The lambs are eating the pellets now.

Through to the next paddock to check on the old ram and his 6 girl friends.

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A favourite place on a hot day is under this old shelter. It used to be used for milling the logs many years ago, but all the machinery has gone now. Can you see the sheep? Come over and look closer.

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Seldon leads the way as I walk toward the dam.

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He sits and waits for me as I take photos.

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Dams are a necessity in this area as it is very low rainfall. Notice the windmill?

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Seldon has found a shady spot to wait for me. “Come on” I can hear him saying…

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I carefully skirt around this big ants nest. Millions of them busy scurrying about. They can give a very nasty bite.

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I can hear you saying, “but what about snakes?” Believe me I keep a wary eye open for them. Suddenly along this track there was a flash of black and before I could point my camera a snake disappeared into the undergrowth. He had seen me before I saw him and was not going to hang around. Most snakes will slither away so they are not a real danger.

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Past the second dam, and yes that is water under the weed. It is Salvinia a very noxious weed and hard to control. It spread from the neighbours property and Kim is trialling an insect that eats it. I think it may be working as the centre of the dam looks quite brown compared with the outside area.

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In the paddock next to this dam is the last flock of 9 sheep. These are the hoggets and destined to be going into the freezer. Maybe I could call this a “gathering” of sheep…

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Time to head back for morning tea. Next time I will walk around the native flower plantation.

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Maybe I will bring my cuppa out here.

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Or sit and smell the roses…

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Or best of all as the weather gets hotter, and today it is forecast to be 39c (102f), go for a swim later on…

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Well Jo here is some sunshine for you. I hope your winter is not too cold.

I’m joining Restless Jo’s walking group this week with a last walk before Christmas.

Categories: Australia, farming, gathering, house sitting, Jo's Monday walks, photos, travel, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

The Rural Heart of New Zealand…

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This is the green, green grass my son calls home. This is the view from the kitchen window, of the rolling, lush farmland, that I will be seeing for the next 10 days, as we house sit for Laurie and Kerry while they go on their honeymoon.

This is the neighbours dairy farm across the road and he milks hundreds of cows.

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Laurie’s farm is only 7 acres so we only have 5 beef cows to look after, no milking required…

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I smile when Kerry tells me the names, “Steak” and “Sausage” but the worrisome one is called “Houdini”!!! That is the one at the front that is eyeballing me…

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Then we have “Nisha” the cat, named after a tiger, and she is a cat with attitude. I fed her, so we were friends, and she would curl up on the bed with her hot little body draped over my legs. Jack was a different story and when she bit him one day they were no longer friends…

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In the early morning, as the neighbours cows went to be milked, we would go for a walk around the lane.

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It was so peaceful and perfect light for photography.

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The young yearlings would watch us wonderingly as we walked by. I don’t think they are used to seeing people walking along the road.

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I was so absorbed in capturing the beauty of the world around me that I didn’t realise that Jack was having fun capturing me, until we downloaded the mornings images, then, oh dear, I had to laugh. No wonder the cows were looking at me…

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These are a couple of the neighbouring farmhouses we walked by and they are typical of the farm houses in this area, with the barbed wire fences and the lichen covered fence posts, so photogenic.

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As we arrive back at the gate to Laurie’s place I look across the road  at this magnificent Macrocarpa tree. Later in the day I attempted to capture its strength and beauty in a sketch.

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But now it is time to have breakfast.

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I have joined Restless Jo’s walking group again this week. Another different New Zealand walk Jo. I hope you enjoyed it.

You simply must pop over to see Jo’s amazing walk around the Lumiere festival it is stunning.

Categories: Jo's Monday walks, New Zealand, photos, Waiuku | Tags: , , , , | 72 Comments

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