28 December 2010

Dog blog.

The Maremma puppies are now three days old and still haven't opened their eyes. They are just too cute for words and we are spending oh so much time watching them and discussing them. When we left home earlier today for the first time since they were born, I missed them and couldn't wait to get back to them to see what they were up to.

Mostly all they do is feed and sleep, but they have also started to make little squeaky barking noises and sort of drag them selves along the ground if they get too far from their mama.

And today they started to wag their tails too (see above pic). This mostly happens when they are feeding and is too cute for words.

And their Willow mama adores them. She has taken a few quick walks away from them to eat and dust bathe and dig but constantly looks back to them and rushes back the moment she sees one of us touching them or if one of them cries.

She does not like us cuddling them at all and watches us and sometimes cries until we give them back to her.

A few times I have seen her try to pick one up in her jaw to move it but she has quickly put them down. I wonder if she'll bite the skin at the back of their necks to carry them or is that only with cats?

So apart from the farm chores and some berry picking, that's what's been going on here at Daylesford Organics for the past few days. Real work, hopefully ploughing up some vegie beds if its dry enough, resumes tomorrow.

The farm shop which was meant to reopen in January will remain closed until further notice due to the flooding and the delayed planting.

Bye for now.

26 December 2010

Puppies!

Last night at 7pm, after a day of pacing the backyard and digging holes to lie in, Willow the maremma had her first puppy. A girl called Joey.

It was wonderful to watch her doing her thing. Even though it was her first litter, she knew to lick the puppy to clean her and to stimulate her into life, she knew to bite the umbilical cord and to eat the placenta.

Joey came out wet and mucky, above, and pretty soon she had her clean and fluffy, below.

There was a stage before the first one was born where all we could see sticking out of her vagina was Joey's pink nose and mouth, it was so scary and exciting and we were all crying.

She went on to have another girl at 9pm, a boy at 11pm, another boy at 1am, one over night and her sixth this morning at 8am.

Willow has been so patient and silent and calm during the process.

Its now three hours since the last puppy was born and she's finally put her head down and closed her eyes. She must be exhausted. The puppies on the other hand are feeding and jostling each other out of the way and clambering over her and all without even opening their eyes.

It has been such an honour to be allowed to witness such an incredible life event.

Congratulations Willow!

22 December 2010

Strawberries!

With all the rain we've been having, I worried that the strawberries would be a big, soggy, mushy mess this year. But thankfully, we've had our best crop ever!

Masses of the delicious, red fruit.

You can't help but smile whilst harvesting them, and eating them. Its a bit like 'one for the bucket, three for me...'


There are lots of picking helpers too when we are harvesting such a delicious crop.

Thanks Mum and Dad!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

So far there's been many, many strawberries eaten, one and a half kilos turned into eight jars of jam and still more put aside for ice cream.

Is there a better way to start the day than with strawberry jam on toast?
I don't think so.

And don't forget we'll be at The Slow Food Farmers' Market at The Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne tomorrow evening (Thurs 23rd) from 3pm-8pm with the freshest, most delicious free range organic eggs and garlic.

Have a great Wednesday!

15 December 2010

Misters October.

When you buy a copy of this week's The Weekly Times you get a dog calendar as a free gift. The calendar is full of gorgeous photos of man's best friend.

When October 2011 comes around, you get to look at our Farmer Bren and Bingo for the whole month. Now that's something to look forward to.

Our calendar is already hanging in the kitchen open on October which is making our two little October babies just a bit excited thinking they might have birthdays all year through.

In other exciting news, we've started harvesting our garlic.

We've spent the past few days while the sun has been shining pulling up the glorious, juicy bulbs.

We've got many rows left to harvest, but I have to tell you that it feels great to stop worrying about the wet and the locusts and to focus on something positive for a while. Great!

After we pull up a row, we rack it all up to cure for a few weeks.

You can get your hands on the best, most delicious garlic in town, at the Slow Food Farmers' Market next Thursday the 23rd of December at The Abbotsford Convent from 3pm-8pm.

Garlic toast for dinner tonight I think.

See ya!

08 December 2010

Indi's duck eggs.

Every evening after dinner but before bed time, our Indi takes a walk through the forest to the ducks. When she arrives they are expecting her and are waiting noisily up by the fence. She feeds them their dinner, she cleans out their water, she makes sure they are all healthy and accounted for and she closes them into the area where their food and house is and out of the dam.

Early every morning before school, our Indi walks back to the ducks, she collects the eggs and lets them into the area with the dam so they can spend the day the swimming and splashing around.

Last Saturday Indi designed a label for her duck egg cartons.

And last Sunday she sold her first three half dozens.

This lady was her first ever customer. I think she was as excited as we all were.

This Saturday Indi will be setting up her duck eggs stall next to our chook egg stall at The Collingwood Children's Farm Farmers' Market. Her duck eggs are certified organic and free range and delicious.

Why don't you come and see her and try some for yourself?

03 December 2010

Your local farmer's market.

Please do me a favour and visit your local farmers' market this weekend.

So many farmers are doing it tough right now. After 10 years of drought, over the past few weeks we have had hundreds of mls of rain at the wrong time, humidity and unseasonably cool temperatures.

The start of the season looked so promising, like the best season in years. But since then nothing has gone to plan. Top soil has been washed away, stone fruit has swollen and split, crops are rotting in soggy soils and I don't even want to think about what damage the hail storm that has just passed through central Victoria will do.

So please go and visit your local farmers' market this weekend. Say g'day to the farmer who has gotten up early, driven to town and set up a stall to sell you the freshest, most delicious produce. Plan your weekend's menu around it, make an outing of it, take the kids or the grand parents and don't forget your brolly.

Farmer Bren will be selling the best eggs in town at The Melbourne Show ground Farmers' Market on Sunday and I know he'd love to see you.