Sunday, June 20, 2010

Farm Day...what our city friends would have seen...

A while ago, I promised you a report on Farm Day, a day in late May where city families visit country families to see first hand where their food and fibre comes from. I'm so very sad to have to tell you we in fact didn't have any guests for Farm Day! I guess we live a little too far off the beaten track and the organisers weren't able to find a family who could get to us in the allotted time of a single weekend. We were a little disappointed, but can understand the challenge!

But, I thought to myself...I could blog about what our visiting city family would have seen (and maybe more than one family will see it?!) on a visit to our humble operation.

For starters...Minnie, the Jack Russell, as if on cue, delivered her six pups the day before our visitors would have arrived (and she wasn't due until the next week!) I think she's wishing I had given her a moment to find clean sheets for a photo background for her new babies...but, in the interests of a full and accurate sharing of information, she rests on the old sleeping bag the babies were delivered on!

They would have witnessed our Fodder Solutions hydroponic feed growing unit - this baby turns barley seed into horse feed in six days! Morning and evening, a tray (or two or three, depending on how many of our equine friends are in feed at the time) is pulled out, cut up and fed out from one side of the machine, then the tray is washed (which is what our first born is busy attending to here), re-seeded and slid into the other side to spend just under a week under the lights and sprinklers.

They would have had the full 'smoko' experience! Complete with tea or coffee, scintillating conversation and home baked goodies! Though probably not sponge cake...This is what was left after I left the room for twenty two and a half seconds to get my camera!

They would have had a look at a big tractor, and a centre pivot irrigator that waters 100 hectares. This photo is somewhat deceptive. The tractor doesn't normally pull it along - here, it's being moved from one 'circle' to another. That's only happened twice in the last ten years. Normally, the irrigator is fixed in the centre, attached to the pipe delivering the water, and spins from there. All those tower wheels are turned around 45degrees from where they are in this photo, so it can walk in the right direction!

We would have taken them for a drive to check out how we pump and store water to keep cattle from perishing in the long, hot, dry summers! The windmills pump underground water up and into a tank, which feeds a trough, which has a float arrangement, so that it refills when the cattle have drunk from it. I am happy to report that the barren and desolate looking area in this photo now looks much greener and more inviting. That shot was taken just before Christmas, when we had begun to wonder if the world was about to shrivel up and dry out and blow away on a puff of wind!
 Then it flooded.

They would have seen hundreds and hundreds of lovely cows!

Including my corrugated iron cow named Calamity, who stands in welcome in our front garden!

And, if they were really lucky...they'd have seen this cheeky smile - from our middle prince, in the horse stalls, which might be one of the places he is happiest in the whole world!

There were loads of other things they would have seen as well...kelpies at work with weaners, Horses, chooks with fresh eggs to collect, guinea fowl, flood damaged fences, a billabong,  motorbikes, 4 wheelers, tractors putting out hay for weaner feed...and very likely some kangaroos, wallabies, galahs, cockatoos, lorikeets, brolgas and possibly even an emu if they were lucky!

And, they would have had some real 'fair dinkum' cattlemen to answer their every wondering about beef production. So, if you're out there, wishing you had been able to visit for Farm Day, and have a question burning a hole in your mind...chime into the comments and ask away!


merci33 said...

A wonderful tour and obviously a HUGE's so fascinating to visit such a different way of life and what I enjoy the most each time I stop by is the pure joy that you radiate as you tell us about what it's like to live so far off the beaten path.

Tracey said...

Iona... you always leave such lovely comments! Thank you.
Remind me to tell my husband that I radiate pure joy when he wakes me at 5.30 tomorrow morning (I'll need to tell him, because he'd never guess!). All jokes aside...this is a wonderful existence I'm blessed to lead - even allowing for the drought, flood, fire and assorted challenges. We wouldn't want to be anywhere else!

Gail said...

That would have been a fabulous day. Even though I'm in the country it is different and it is alway great to experience something different. Thanks for the tour!!

Tracey said...

You are most welcome Gail! It's good to know you found it interesting, even though we're in the same neck of the woods...I wondered about that as I wrote it!

Kym :) said...

You do a great job telling us how it is on your property .... I'm not a farm girl but I would thoroughly enjoy a day at your farm.
We only had my in-laws up from Brisbane on Queen's Birthday weekend - they could have been you special visitors & loved it.
Also the new arrivals are very cute - I've put off leaving a comment because of those little cuties :)
How are the puppies going ??? - is there going to be an update on the little ones. Could one ask also are they for sale & have home to go to.

Tracey said...

Glad you enjoyed the tour, Kym! Pity we didn't know about your in-laws...could have had some farm day fun after all!

I've just posted a new photo of one of those cute babies...they are for sale, and at this stage, there's only one left...they're going like hotcakes!