I am often asked what a normal day is like for me here, a very difficult question to answer as there really is no normal here, no average day. Today I will write about yesterday, in chronological order to give an idea of what a day here can be like.
I started my day off at about 630, setting up a few sprinklers on the garden so they can run a while before it gets to hot and giving a bucket of scraps from a local cafe to the chooks. Then Su came out and we milked “Flame”. Su started milking flame a month or so ago and over the last week Ive started milking with Su.
After milking we have breakfast. Lately breakfast has been yoghurt bread, and fruit, both fresh and whatever fruits in the bottom of the pot that wasn’t enough to fill up another bottle. Lately theres been a lot of bottling going on and lots of bits of different kinds of cooked fruit around. In the colder months we typically have pooridge under the yoghurt and fruit but in the peak of summer we tend not to light the stove except for bottling, bread baking and sometimes dinner since we have such an abundance of fruit and milk right now.
The wood stove with fruit “stewing away”
After brekky a bit of hand watering, moving around of sprinklers and veggie picking (cucumber, tomatoes, beans) and then its time to sit down on the verandah and cut up fruit for drying. Drying is a pretty standard thing at this point in the season, the forecast is showing a series of hot days ahead and weve just stripped a peach tree so David and I get to cutting up peaches to fill up the racks and get them on the roof before the mornings over. While cutting up fruit we always have a pot on hand to toss in usable bits that arnt good for drying and a bucket for scraps which, depending on how good they are, go to goats or chickens.
Som Nashi pears that got dried last week
David and myself standing behind peaches and zucchinis on drying racks ready to go on the roof, dried and bagged nectarines and peaches and bottled peaches ready to go into storage under the house for winter.
After the fruit was on the roof I picked a salad and helped make lunch. After lunch some work in the garden. Weeding, picking/thinning some carrots and beetroot and some more selective hand watering getting the soil saturated in preparation for the string of hot, dry days that are here now.
After that back to cutting up peaches, this time for bottling. We cut up and filled three large pots (+/- 4 liters/1gal) with the best of the peaches that had fallen on the ground. So far this year we’ve done about 70 bottles, mostly stone fruit and a few bottles of early apples, lots more bottling to come.
Nashis and Nectarines getting cooked up last week.
After that a little time off and then we put some wood in the barbeque (which is a brilliant piece of simple technology David made out of an old 50 gallon oil drum with metal legs, grates and flu pipes from scrap metal) and started grilling some veggies for dinner.
After dinner the goats get brought In, Su and I take turns putting them out and taking them in from different areas that they get put during the day ( public land neighbors paddocks, etc) and tree fodder gets cut for them if something was not already cut during the day as part of another job (pruning, etc.)
Later on, as it gets dark, the twin kid goats get locked up in there pen so we will have milk in the morning and the chooks get locked up.