Monday, August 25, 2008

Farm drama

Pruning was interrupted Saturday morning when Paul found old Gondor laying, unable to stand up, where she went to drink from the pond. She must slipped and fell, wedging herself between the willow trees. She was very frightened and week. Jan was home luckily so he helped tie the sling ribbons around her legs. The boys drove the truck with the excavator over the hill and hoisted her out. When rolled to her belly, poor Gondor started ruminating immediately. Cows can't ruminate laying on their side. She had a very extended belly that went down visibly. She didn't try to stand despite our encouragement, she was so week. We were really worried! Excepted water after finished chewing her cud and didn't show signs of illness or fever so we don't know why she lost her balance... All this commotion around Gondor had the whole herd come around. Fergus and his son milled about play-fighting, the other girls stood close with big, round eyes watching...I had to shoo them off frequently to live Gondor alone.
Paul went over later in the dark to take a blanket and cover her for the night. He come back beaming :-))) Gondor managed to stand up! She was sitting in a regular position two hundred meters from where we left her. He fired up the tractor and took over a bale of hay - by this time- in pitch dark :-) which Gondor accepted and started to eat. She drank from the bucket of water offered also.
Sunday she was grazing happily all day :-))
We hope she'll be OK but keep a close eye on her. She is 6-7 month pregnant, she -and us- don't need this sort of dramas....

Saturday, August 16, 2008


It was raining every day last week. We had 44 mm so far.
It is welcomed by the newly planted Robinias, the ducks and the snails :-))
The ponds are filling nicely but we couldn't do any work in the vineyard. It's too muddy everywhere.
The Spring Lake is overflowing first time this year
It goes under the road into the Plum Pond. From there -not by design :-)- bubbles up and feeds the marsh.
Plum Pond is a natural spring spot like Spring Lake, fed from underneath. When Paul built it, the wall had a rocky layer and he didn't plaster it with enough clay to hold the pressure of the water. By the time he discovered the leak the pond was full of tadpoles :-) He said he'll wait until the frogs grow up before he'll start fixing it...Now it's muddy. No go with the excavator until it dries up. But by the time it will dry up I'm pretty sure the frogs will lay their eggs again...:-)))) Hey, I don't want a family dispute... :-)))... Plum Pond can stay as dedicated frog breading ground until he starts on the BIG landscaping :-)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Spring is around the corner...

The mornings are still frosty but one of the plum trees decided that Spring must be arriving soon
so do the daffodils
I have 8 more rows to prune by hand and this coming weekend we start on the old grapes. We use pneumatic pruners on them. Much easier :-))) My hand started to complain after the 4000-th young vine :-) but I have to keep going...not much more! Only about 800 more...and from next year most of the whole vineyard can be pruned by pneumatic force. I wish we could buy those electric pruners.....but they are sooooo expensive. Nowdays you can buy all sorts of electric tools for less then 100 dollars why are these pruners over 2000???? Using these, instead of manual ones, would save a LOT of pain and injury. In my mind this is a strong workplace safety issue! If these pruners would be reasonably priced I'm sure EVERY vineyard would use them and would supply their workers with them.
We planted out the Robinia forest.
Paul ripped the rows and churned up the pasture to the delight of our population of birds :-)) The photo is small but if you look very closely you can count 4 Red Robin boys busy collecting any grub, worm and insect unearthed. Here is one closer up
The girls are brown, they are not visible but a flock of 10 was working here. The lapwings, black birds, blue wrens and native hens were all there also. What excitement! Everyone chirping, twittering...clicking beaks, trying to chase the other one off the rich pickings :-))
Marking out the holes Paul dropped one tiny tree for me to plant
386 fitted in, the rest were planted in boxes to replace -next year- the ones which will not survive.
He finished my table also :-)) It will be used as an island bench in the new kitchen. A big chopping block is incorporated for meat and vegie preparations and drawers for utensils
Myrtle and Blackwood was used, the block is endgrain-cut Blue Gum.
The price is 2500 $ if you want to buy it before I get the chance to use it :-))) It is sitting in the half-finished gallery now. Once we move up there EVERYTHING will be for sale :-) If you want the chair you sit on, the table you drink our wine at, the display cabinets, outdoor furnitures, benches, gazebos and sculptures in the garden, the, you can't take THAT one but you will be able to order it made :-)) We deliver worldwide.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Day trip to Gordon Dam

Candy from Hong Kong returned with her friend to help again. They pre-prune the old vines, taking out 2/3-rd of the canes. Their work is BIG help, saving many hours for us. So to reward them we went up to the mountains yesterday.
Mount Sentinel was veiled in low clouds:
Lake Peder shows its usual beauty:

Some pretty pebbles
The Gordon Dam was awesome...

It was a 500 km round trip, by the time we arrived home it was dark. The chooks and ducks went to bed hungry...but Chris cooked up a storm in the kitchen for us :-))

Finally Paul finished his application for the grappa licence and sent it off. Needed more paperwork than a passport :-))
Apart from these, it was just a normal working week...