A while ago I was asked by my best friend what a day on the farm looked like. I posted something at the time but since no 2 days are ever the same, I thought this weekend was a fun one to share. A sort of "how I finished my year". Luckily, I have no school to report on as I caved in and gave Max a few days off (that means gave myself a few days off).
So the rooster starts to crow around 4.30 (ish) but I try to ignore him until 5 when my alarm goes off. Not too early to get up. I let the chickens out and beg for coffee (Jan is in charge of coffee making), say hi to the dogs, feed the cats and sit and look across the valley at our incredible view while I drink my fix.
Dress, feed the dogs, get Max's breakfast ready, make the bread dough, washing in the machine, eat some toast or a giant bowl of strawberries and yoghurt, sun cream, gum boots, hat and goodbye!
First thing is to check if any squashes need hand pollinating. If I am out before the bees, there is usually at least 1 female flower which needs "painting". If the bees beat me out, I have to leave it to nature and if it gets pollinated, we'll eat that squash but won't be able to use it for seed as since we have many varieties, I won't be sure it was pollinated by the same variety. It's a bit fiddly and this is the first year I am doing it this way but so far I have several squashes marked as pure.
With it being so warm and windy at the moment, I am watering every morning. Some growing areas are on drip systems and some need to be watered by hose or in the case of the seedlings in the greenhouse, by watering can. I start with those or leave them to Granny to do. Next is turning the water on for the Indian Rainbow corn or various potatoes. While those water, I weed, cart the weeds to the new compost heap, pour stinky chicken poo slush on top, cover with dry mown grass and close it up again.
Next is seed collection as any dew will have dried by 7am.
Back up the hill to see if Max is awake. Start the water at the house where a few veggies and kitchen herbs grow, eat something ( I am always hungry!), hang the washing, decide what's for dinner (you'll see why shortly), check e-mail, coax Max out the door and back to the veggie garden.
After finishing watering and weeding, if it's not too hot, I can plant out some seedlings. Today it was Black Beauty aubergine. Tomorrow will be leeks and plant radish seeds. Into the potato "yard" which is fenced off from bushbuck, to top up the tyre stacks with straw and water.
By now it's about 10am so I can collect what I need for dinner and get it into the fridge. And have tea and something to eat! While making our tea I make iced tea for later. Loose Honeybush with lemon and lemon grass and a bit of ginger. Max loves it.
Now the fun begins. Yesterday I had to climb into the ceiling to rescue some baby bats and relocate them to our bat house. Such cute little things- not much bigger than Jan's thumb. Then, it was tying up the grape vines, cutting out summer pjs for Max, washing (not again!), clean the cat box for the new kitten, clean the kitchen and answer any calls or e-mail.
Then, picking plums and lemons, cleaning the chicken house and today, cleaning the worm farm. The worms get transferred to the empty bucket and we use the castings to make a soup for fertiliser.
Today was a little different. We went for a nice long walk, got stuck in the mud well over our boots, blundered through chest high fynbos, cleared some baby wattles and arrived on Granny's doorstep for water. To the dam for a swim, back to hang up onions to dry, sweep the courtyard where we process some messy seed and veggies. We collect compost materials all week and on Mondays make a new heap so Sundays means clearing around the house to add to what we already have.
In the evenings we wind down with feeding animals, an early dinner, bake our bread and hopefully some muffins or tarts. Most nights we end up collecting strawberries and gooseberries, packing tools away and watering the last few plants, getting Max into bed and falling into bed ourselves.
These were my last 2 days and Jan has been busy on his own mission in the workshop. It seems there is so much to be done and I know I have left out a dozen
little jobs like cleaning filters, reading stories, collecting eggs, and did I mention folding all that