Friday, September 16, 2016


Last weekend I spent a day doing a kitchen garden workshop with Kookaburra Organics. It was very well run and a small group so very personal and easy to ask questions etc. It has made me very enthusiastic to get my own garden organised. I've got lots in my garden, but I have to keep it covered to keep the chooks, turkeys and poddy goats out! It's not ideal on a few fronts - it looks terrible, the bees can't get to my plants, and I've only got some stuff covered. Asparagus, banana trees, chilli bushes etc are all uncovered and have been really suffering.

I planted up most of my veg back in June, although I planted the garlic way before that. In my garden at the moment - I'm picking - eggplant, silver beet, perpetual spinach, lettuce, shallots, , basil, parsley, chilli, capsicum (not many), the odd tomato, kale (curly and calvero nero), warrigal greens, celery (very small but I keep picking it), garlic tops at the moment, the bottoms are going to be a little while, kang kong (water spinach), a little bit of coriander, but it's mostly gone to seed now, turmeric - mostly dug, but still a few bits to dig when I want fresh stuff.

Kangkong, chilli and turmeric from the garden

Stir fried kangkong for dinner

What's not growing very well, is my asparagus and bananas thanks to the animals! I've got mulberries and mandarines in the chook yard. Limes are still coming on, but slowing down now. The lime tree is in flower and got baby limes on - it's a fantastic tree!

So this is my garden at the moment.

I wouldn't have anything in the garden if I didn't have the netting, but it's not pretty!

This kale is from last year. There's also basil, lettuce and the silver beet and spinach that the goats ate.

Eggplant in the back, some marigolds and tomatoes struggling.

A close up of my tomato (I don't have many on). I have some yellow cherries in another bed as well.

Lots of kale  and a wombok cabbage that has gone to seed. I grew some nice ones last year, but haven't had any luck this year.

My garlic section with some turmeric and another cabbage not quite gone to seed yet.

My fantastic lime tree.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Goaty Tale

We love to eat goat meat and whenever we visited Kim's brother we would always came back with an esky full of goat meat. He lives at Aramac and had a nice little herd of goats. Once we started the free range pork business we decided to offer goat meat as well, so that meant we became goat breeders with our own little goat herd. 

We've gradually built up numbers by keeping our own females and occasionally bringing in some live nannies from Aramac. In the meantime we ate the odd goat from our neighbour. No we aren't into goat stealing, Kim would help him kill one or two and we'd get some of the meat. This meat was much nicer than our own goat meat (my apologies to any customers reading this). For some reason that I am unaware of (although I am positive that's what he told us), we had thought his goats were Anglo Nubian, which is a duel purpose breed - meaning good for milk and meat. For the last twelve months or more we've been trying to get an Anglo Nubian billy. We drove all the way to Kingaroy once to pick up one but when we got there we discovered that they were another totally different breed, British Alpine, and when I googled them (at the farm) it stated that they were not suitable for the tropics.  We decided not to take them, but because we'd travelled so far he gave us a whether of very dubious age. We ended up eating him and he too was very tasty. 

So back on the trail of getting our hands on a billy. The next time we rang about one, the breeder bred Anglo Nubian and Kalahari Reds. She had one of the latter available and seeing as we desperately needed a bully we took him instead. All this while we kept asking our neighbour for one oh his billies. Finally just after we got onto another Anglo Nubian billy, our neighbour sold us a nanny with a billy kid. The Anglo Nubian we bought was a totally different looking animal to the neighbours. When I mentioned this to the neighbour he was quite emphatic that his breed were definitely Saanen! We have been looking for the wrong breed the whole time!

And now we have lost the little billy kid to some sort of predator. I don't think we are meant to have a Saanen.  The funny thing was that when we went to buy the goat that turned out to be a British alpine, it was the colour of it that made me double check the breed - Anglo Nubians happen to look more like a British alpines, and nothing like saanen!

Further to the story about our Saanen nanny that is kidless.....She's not terribly quiet and I would see her with her bulging udder and feel sorry for her, but I could never catch her to do anything about it. The other day I went out to the goat paddock and she had her head stuck in the fence. I grabbed a dish and milked her out. Everyday she gets her head stuck so I've been milking her out every day. Then I decided to give the milk to one of our poddies who hasn't been drinking the calf powdered milk and is a little bit sick looking. The little goat drank the goats milk straight away. Makes sense really. 

We have 8 poddy goats at the moment and I had thought about trying to see if the nanny will take one of the kids so maybe I should see if my sick little one will bond with her and her with it.

They are cute when they are like the above photo, but not so cute like the below one. I have also had to banish them from the house yard as they have stripped every plant they could reach and managed to get under my bird netting in the garden!