07 January 2013

Has it been nearly a year?

Well, yes it has.

I still haven't managed to get the fox, unfortunately. I've only seen him once since I bought the shotgun, and I couldn't get it up quick enough to shoot the bastard before he ducked behind some trees. And he has been eating the quail - there were hardly any of them escaping from under the slasher last time I mowed.

Still, all-in-all the health of the paddock is pretty good - I've got clumps of trees and saltbush scattered over it,  and there's a lot of grasses and other short plants as well, including some lucerne that Chris and I broadcast-seeded a couple of years ago.

The thing in the foreground is the handle of my Hamilton tree-planter, to give some scale: it's about a foot long.

And here's a photo of a bit of the windbreak from last August. The whole of the windbreak and the micro-forest had this beautiful golden haze from a distance because of the wattle blossoms.

The paddock is no longer quite that green.

I recently bought a second-hand post hole auger, which was really hard to attach to the tractor, and I still haven't worked out how I'm going to store the thing other than on the tractor itself. I think I need some kind of gantry in the shed. After Chris and I spent a day playing agricultural equipment Tetris, I've got everything under cover (the slasher spent a couple of weeks out in the weather). Having sons has turned out to be handy ...

So, the next steps are to find a contractor to put the slab in before the building approval runs out in May, and get some fencing organised. I need to fence in the micro-forest and the windbreaks, and along the creek line, and also divide the paddock into 5 or 6 bits, of a bit over a hectare each, so I can cell graze when I finally put some sheep on it. That's actually not as critical as the rest, especially as too much fencing will make building the Hovel trickier, but I need to at least plan where the fences will go eventually.


  1. "I couldn't get it up quick enough"

    Damn those pesky foxes and their narrow window of consent.

    Good to hear from you DI(NR). I'll keep popping by.

    Have you eaten saltbush-fed lamb? I assume so, but if not, FYI... it's freaking awesome. A few years ago I had a 1/3 share in a whole beast - some kind of shedding type, so no good if you enjoy the hassle and expense of shearing or like to knit - and have never had such tasty lamb.

    1. I'm looking forward to saltbush-fed lamb, FDB - it's near the front of my mind. I reckon half a dozen ewes and a ram of one of the shedding varieties should keep me permanently supplied.

      Although the Lady Friend spins, weaves and knits, she has enough alpaca fleece to last her a lifetime so I won't need to worry about shearing.

  2. Do you have an aerial photo of your property to do your farm planning on? If not do you need one? Let me know via Otterday open thread if you do ;)

  3. Hi David, you need a fox whistle. Shotgun is fine and you need #2 shot or BB's. Take a position down wind from where you expect them to come from. Males will usually race in while females will get close but circle round to downwind. Watch the birds after you whistle if you have a clear view as they will give away a running fox.

  4. Thanks for the advice, Salient. I'll get a fox whistle next time I'm near a gunshop, and I'll check the shotgun ammunition I have. (The bloke in the shop reckoned they'd be OK for foxes.)