Sunday, March 28, 2010

Afternoon Swarm

Had a great weekend. The Wife organized a surprise dinner for her dads 60th birthday. He's the fifth boy in a group of six rowdy siblings so it was a great night. Neil had said he didn't really want to do much except hang out with close family for his birthday but you could see he was genuinely touched to have a big group of friends and family to help him celebrate.

Brunswick Heads is a great little township for a weekend like that. We had swims, coffee, caught some worms and whiting, I did a few photo walks (more on this later in the week) and the actual birthday dinner was a great feed. I'll put up a post on dinner at Mother Foccacia toomorrow.

So it was good to get home and just chill out. I have given up with my escaping chickens. They are now going to get a highrise, hopefully fox proof chookhouse and they'll just have to take their chances with the snakes. I rarely lose a full grown chicken to a snake anyway. Then I'll fence my veg garden in. I like having the chooks running round anyway. I'll build a smaller everything proof small pen that will be used as a breeding pen and nursery. There is always something to do on a smallholding, as I was about to find out.

I was handmowing around some newly planted fruit trees near the bees as a bit of easy exercise on a lazy Sunday arvo when the bloody bees swarmed. I quickly grabbed The Wife to keep an eye on where they went while I kitted up and grabbed the spare box. Of course the little bastards went right to the top of the fig tree, so it was off to Eric, the magical builder neighbour who has everything, most of which is in, on or around his two shipping containers (lucky bastard). He quickly rigged be up a makeshift pole with a bucket gaffed to the end and I was off.

I managed to tap a few of them into the bucket first go, but the tipped them out on to the ground as the pole was quite a bit bendier than I'd anticipated. Next go more bees and into the empty box. There were bees at the entrance and none on the tree when I went up to check later so I might have a new hive! I hope so or I've lost all those bees.

A bit more exciting end to the day than I thought. Oh well all I have to do now is research herd share agreements, write up dinner at Fat Belly Kat, do a new section for the goats, rebuild the deck..………

Lantanaland from the iPhone

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm gonna buy a cow.

I'm going to buy a cow. I've been saying it from the moment we signed the contract to buy Lantanaland, but only now is it anywhere near close to reality. Getting the goats has forced my into purchasing some infrastructure, so now i have the means to contain them. If the fence will hold the goats it'll frighten the cows.

I have always been keen on Dexters, a smaller breed much beloved by smallholders, because they have good beef and good milk. Being smaller, you don't have to deal with as much meat at one time, which is much better for home use. What I'd really like is a small herd of three or four, but one is probably all I can afford. That was until I was at dinner with some mates and the suggested buying a few lambs and running them on my place until they were ready to eat and I slapped myself. Herdshare!

Surely there are a few of you out there who are interested in owning your own cow for some beef or butter or cream or cheese? Keeping them with me has a few advantages. I know a whole heap of butchers to help with the slaughter and breaking of a beast. I make awesome sausages, the likes of which you'd be hard pressed to buy in a shop. I know nothing about making cheese, but do know that if you get a group together it is much cheaper to do Graham Redheads excellent cheese course, which you could do with your own milk!

Now i could have completely misread this and you might all think that I am insane, in which case I'll be just buying the one cow as planned, but who knows? If only two more people are interested, i'll have a herd not a cow, to share!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Courier Mail and the greatest hits

I had a small piece in the Taste section of The Courier Mail today and they were kind enough to put a link back to here. If by some strange reason you've typed it into a browser and you want to know a bit more about Lantanaland, well i'd start with last weeks State of the Union.

Then check out the cold smoker and the bacon that comes out of it.

Then there are the bees and shipping containers and mates helping out and a few small things.

Not to mention using Lantanaland for your holidays.

Also, I love food so much that there is a whole separate food blog where a whole bunch of degenerates help me write about food. Some of them are much better cooks than me .