Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trying to get self reliant

Below is Sausage, just born, trying to feed off mum, Lorray.

When I grew up as a little girl in a small village outside of Linz, Upper Austria, I loved going to the farmer and waiting for him to finish milking. That way I could take home milk straight away and it was still warm. We also got our farm eggs from him as well. My mum used to tend to the vegetable garden and we also grew our own apples and pears. My mum also made all her own cordial, sausages and cooked everything from scratch. Oh life was bliss.

That is what I wanted my boys to experience. When we moved to our little 1/4 acre in Brisbane, we had our chooks and grew vegies but after some five years wanted and needed more. My boys were going to a school with 2100 kids and spread over 1 kilometre. That I didn't want for them. So after my eldest finished his two year stint with Autism Queensland (specialised school for autistic kids) we made the move to a much better lifestyle.

We have been here now 1.5 years and have not looked back. Boys are at a school with 27 kids in total. They have their own chooks, ducks, geese, even one of the Dexter heifers has had her first calf last December. They are now both pregnant and we will have another round of births in September and October this year.

With our bull calf now being a steer we named him aptly Sausage as in July 2010 that is what he will end up as, in part anyway.

With our vegie gardens, we are getting there. Location is a problem as we have 8 acres of nothing. No trees for shade and no bushes for windbreaks. We are on a hill and the wind can get pretty hairy here. The soil is also not very good. Dark black soil that really needs to be remineralised. This process I am undertaking at the moment. This week I am going to get an apple corer and getting a soil sample off to the lab. Then a copy of the results will be sent to the organic rejuvenation expert, Pat Coleby. I love her books and she writes so simply. She then tells you exactly what you need to do to get your soil back into great health. That is what I am after. I hate to use chemicals and can't wait to get her advice.

We have planted some trees in our orchard but that also will take time to grow. Russell and I have given ourselves around five years to get as self reliant as possible.

I already water bath whatever I possibly can, make our own bread, make our own yoghurt, milk Lorray, which Russell sometimes turns into our own cheese. (I loved the lot he made and made cheesecake with it. It was sooooo beautiful)

Alot of times I lay awake at night wishing that I had more done and growing already but know that it all takes time, and money off course, to see these things come to fruition.

At least Russell and I know that we are getting there. My youngest won't eat the potatoes and carrots from the shops anymore or the farm down the road for that matter. He says he only wants ours forever. Must be doing something right hey?

Cheers Damaris

1 comment:

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

It all sounds wonderful.
Whilst I make and cook from scratch I am still waiting for my vegie garden.
But It'll be well worth the wait.
Homemade cheese...Heaven!