Lifeboat Farm

Garden Diary 30th November
November 30, 2008, 9:28 am
Filed under: Garden Diary

Planted today: (seedlings)
Spaghetti Squash x11
Squash – Partial Eclipse x7
Pie Melon x5
Broad Bean x7
Snap Peas x9
Cauliflower x4
Broccoli – various x12


Baby Update
November 27, 2008, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Menagerie

Well its about 24 hours since we posted the arrival of our newest addition to the farm.  Trust me when I say its been a very long 24 hours because we have seen pretty much every single one!

Babe is still without a name but we have made some progress on other fronts.  She was able to stand for about 10 secs by herself at about 3am and since then has slowly increased the duration until late this morning when she was able to latch on to mum for about 30 secs and drink herself.  What a grown up girl.

The physio stretches in combination with the shot she had seems to be very slowly, milimetre by millimetre starting to give her some legs.

Just some quick snaps of John applying the stretches and mum Simone overseeing the operation.

Birth Announcement
November 26, 2008, 3:36 pm
Filed under: Menagerie

Got a bit of a surprise!

Simone decided that her baby was not going to be a Christmas baby after all and that we should get our present today.

She has given us a very lovely chestnut filly, with a nice star in the middle of her forehead.  I am hoping she will actually go grey, I am not sure I can cope with a ginga baby!  Unfortunately baby has very contracted tendons so she is not able to stand and feed herself.  The vet has already been out as I write to do a stomach tube so we can get the very essential colostrum in to her.  So at the moment its hourly physio sessions to try and get her to unfold!

The sire is the gorgeous show jumping stallion Senator and mum is my favourite foundation mare Simone.  This is her last foal, she deserves a well earned rest after 4 babies I think!

We will update later on with the baby’s progress but now we need a name.  The only condition is that it needs to start with S.

Accident-proof Water Tank
November 24, 2008, 11:13 pm
Filed under: Water

This is the main water tank for the farm troughs, gardens, trees etc. It holds 15,000 litres when full but when a horse or cow trips over a pipe it tends to hold zero water fairly quickly. After finding an empty tank last night it was time to fix the problem.

I needed a system to keep the tank usable, but limit the loss of water when the inevitable happens. Until all the fencing is finished, there will always be temporary plastic troughs floating around and they are easy to trip over or disconnect.

My trusty cordless drill made short work of the plastic tank side – drilling a hole half way up.

Here’s the tank fitting in the hole. Rubber gaskets seal it from both sides between the two halves. Thankfully, what you can’t see is me having to climb into the tank in my boxers to push the fitting through from the inside. Luckily the water was only knee-deep (thanks to the horses).

The finished job  – you can see we now have two exits for water, both with valves. If the bottom valve is shut then water can only drain as far as the halfway point before running dry, but we still have half a tank safe in reserve for when the problem is fixed (and a few days of water in which to refill).

Garden Diary 24th November
November 24, 2008, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Garden Diary

Today I planted out a good chunk of our curcubits – Buttercup Squash, Triamble Pumpkins, Marina di Chioggia and our heirloom sweet corn from Koanga (Golden Bantam, Inca Rainbow and Early Gem). I was really impressed with the germination rate of the Koanga corn – almost 100%.

The wind was picking up so I made each plant a wee wind bunker from spare soil to protect them from the Norwesters forecast to gust through tonight. Corn and pumpkins grow well together – the vines spread between the corn rows, shading the soil and preserving moisture.

Planted today:
Corn – Chieftain x46 (seedlings)
Corn – Early Gem x44 (seedlings)
Corn – Inca Rainbow x33 (seedlings)
Corn – Golden Bantam x28 (seedlings)
Pumpkin – Buttercup x10 (seedlings)
Pumpkin – Triamble x8 (seedlings)
Pumpkin – Marina di Chioggia x8 (seedlings)

Garden Diary 23rd November
November 23, 2008, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Garden Diary

The Cliff’s Kidney and Rocket potaotes are going nuts this week. They’ve been mounded up once already but need some more soil. To the left are rows of Rua, Desiree, Jersey Benne, Ilam Hardy and Red Rascall – they have just started sprouting through.

Houston, we have water. I finally got around to plumbing in a tap for the big garden. This comes from the 15,000l tank up on the airstrip about 30m above the garden – the water pressure is impressive with 20mm pipe (and to think I was contemplating 40mm).

Friendly Lawnmowers
November 22, 2008, 10:42 pm
Filed under: Menagerie

Our 12 acre back paddock was getting out of control so thanks to neighbour Andrew, we have the services of 20 cows and 200 sheep for a couple of weeks to get the grass under control. The horses are all looking very well and the last thing we want is ponies exploding.