Monday, August 3, 2009

It's a new day!

Life has been somewhat hectic recently. Construction of our new home has finished and we have been moved in for three weeks. Unpacking is spasmodic and unorderly, except when our amazing friend is here to motivate us. New routines have to be established, and for someone who traditionally couldn't function until the local newspaper was read, its taking a bit of adjusting to only be able to read it after the kids are dropped off at school. Pet lambs need feeding on the way to take kids to school, as does the new calf Miss Moo(who was one of twins but the mother rejected her). New gadgets to get used to, cooking with gas instead of electricity. The house is amazing, more room is fantastic!, although the kids have one speed only -running everywhere.

Gotta run. Too much to do.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm Back

Where has it gone? Time that is. I blinked and months have gone past. At your request Tinkingbell, I will get my act together again. (by the way Tink, your son did a remarkable job yesterday at the Mothers Day Litergy xx)

We have been feeling pretty smug up till the last week or so. GFC has been happening, and we were getting through relatively unscathed, but no longer. Our customer has advised that no over contract produce will be accepted. This means we will have a fair amount of grown produce going as livestock feed. This is the same for potatoes, carrots and cauliflower. Potato harvest has finished this week, and the harvester is being converted today for carrot harvest to begin on Monday. Cauli harvest is in full swing.

The next seasons philosophy will be to get right back to basics, grow what we have historically grown well, with our preferred customers. No experiments. Pure and simple, try to scale back slightly, so we dont wear out our staff, try to keep morale up, both with employees and ourselves. At the end of the day, if it becomes a chore and we're not enjoying it, we need to be asking why are we doing it! The kids are nagging, madly for Dad to have a day off so we can go to minigolf or ten pin bowling. I think that is planned for this weekend. Mother's Day Weekend.

Happy Mothers day!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Admission time

I have a guilty secret. I'm not a hands on, get out in the mud and dust type girl (except if horses are concerned, and then its OK.) Potato harvesters I avoid like the plague, cauli cutting time, see ya, Broccoli, well it was such a disaster this year it wasn't worth getting contract labour in, so I put myself out and joined the team. Don't get me wrong, I dont bludge off the farm, I just enjoy a different type of money making venture. My passion has become the Stock Market, and I have just enjoyed some considerable success, much to the farmer surprise and delight. One of my companies just became a takeover target and needless to say the price skyrocketed, as two companies have commenced a bidding war. I held onto them for as long as I could, but have cashed in this week.

The farmer has been on a "three day course" this week, learning how to become a leader in the Vegetable Industry. He seemed to enjoy it, although the thought of wearing a suit to a dinner was all to much to take. It's hard enough to get him into a suit for weddings and funerals.

So with this new found knowledge under his belt, and my future goals laid bare, we started talking strategy. My vision for my future is not to return to the workforce full time. I want continue to be classified as a stay at home mum, so I can drop off and pick the girls up from school. The administration for the farm takes a reasonable amount of time, and it is so much easier to concentrate if the house is quiet. I get enjoyment from my one day a fortnight QA based job at the exquisite local chocolate factory, and I have a history of creating funny snippets for the work newsletter, so I wish to continue my "Corky" tradition(from Murphy Brown TV show).
Anyway, I digress, back to the strategy. I spend a good part of my day researching the market. Broadband was down on Monday morning and I was beside myself, pacing the floor, on the phone to my IP to get it fixed, and frustrated beyond belief when they couldn't get it up and going. By lunchtime, almost hysterical on the verge of tears, I was back in business, but concerned - I think I'm addicted! The farmer and I formulated the following strategy to enable me to build on my stock market side of the business. Put 15% amount away for Tax office being Capital Gain, invest 15% on building my future portfolio and sink the rest into the B&B(not really a B&B, just our accountants nick name for the new house as he thinks its big enough to take in guests).

With the market so depressed at the moment due to the "current global credit crunch" surely I can build my existing portfolio into an income generating venture equivelant to a part time job.

Thankfully the ASX stockmarket game has commenced and I am able to satisfy my urges with a "pretend" or "virtual" $50K. I'm not doing too badly. Pursuing my buy and hold strategy is a bit difficult in a game that only lasts for a couple of months.

Time will tell. One of my long held goals has been to generate sufficient off farm income so that the farmer can spend some more time with us, rather than working 7 days a week.

The Farmer has caught me out tonight. I had failed to mention to him my newfound blogging interest, he read a couple of paragraphs, and then went off to watch the footy. He was on the radio this morning as he is Chairman of a commodity committee and they are dealing with our factory announcing cut backs to Cauli plantings. The company blames a failed new upmarket product incorporating mixed chunky vegetables. Why are they surprised the product has failed if they have launched it in the warmest part of the year when we are all eating salads rather than casseroles, roasts and hot winter foods. Not to mention the containers being shipped in from China filling up all their cool storage!

On another subject, my mum and I have a horse racing this Sunday. Hopefully he will show something so we persevere with him, otherwise he will be looking for a nice eventing home.

Getting late, must sign off.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Update, Update, Update

Just having a read through of some of my previous posts with some updates to report.

The Silkies, Milky and Fluffy have fallen in love, and I am pleased to report that Fluffy is happily clucky and expecting fluffy chickens in the near future.

No sign of Boy Bunny who escaped some time earlier this month, however Girl Bunny has just given birth to two little hairless babies.

Also an oopsie with a suffolk lamb arriving this week. (Too late getting the fertile ram lambs out)

I have started the search for the perfect kids pony today. First visit proved unsucessful, and I am mightily paying for his dislike of me. He planted a swift hoof into my thigh, so unfortunately we bid a hasty retreat without even getting the kids on him. Plenty of time though until the perfect one comes along. If only I could have cloned my second pony, Vanessa. She was a legend.

First of the potato paddocks have been harvested, now a bit of a break until the factory want the remainder. Only carrots, beans and cauli in the ground now. As well as the Pyrethrum.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sombre reflections

Firstly, to the people who have lost everything in the Black Saturday Victorian bushfires, my heart goes out to you. Looking back on our brush with fire earlier this year, it was absolutely nothing in comparison to what these poor people are enduring. To lose friends, family, neighbours, property, keepsakes, animals.... the list goes on, is unimaginable. Coverage via the media has been extensive and the stories are enough to break your heart. But the main message that has struck me, is that land owners should be allowed to clear firebreaks on their own property. They should not be fined thousands of dollars, to provide protection their own homes and families.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

10 years Married!

I can't believe it! Where has the time gone. 10 years ago today The Farmer and I were eloping, running away to the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney, to tie the knot. I wonder what would have happened if we had gone ahead with the planned nuptials that would have been in April 1999. The stress would probably have killed me, I vividly remember the lead up to the eloping decision, I was in tears every night. Probably over trivial matters, but when it is your one and only big day, every little thing tends to build up and escalate into issues of massive importance. We had a magical day, starting out from Berrima, getting hair and make up done, then the drive to Sydney. We were booked into the Sebel of Sydney and had the Sir Robert Helpman Suite. Which had the most magical meditteranian scene mural painted on the wall. Things got a little comical when it came time for the Limo to take us to the Botanical gardens. We forgot the veils, then the flowers, so we ended up being a little late. Lucky the celebrant was patient. We chose the location, under a glorious tree, beside Sydney Harbour, with the Opera house and Harbour bridge as a backdrop. Our friends were there to witness and they had enlisted the help of a photographer and someone to video proceedings. This was mid afternoon, after the service we had drinks at the Rocks while waiting to board a paddlesteamer for an evening meal and entertainment. A beautiful day. Perfect! Then we just had to come home and tell family and friends. We plan to go out for dinner this evening to celebrate. My alltime favourite restaurant Glo Glo's. Lets hope the treasures behave themselves.

Time is really flying, two days and the treasures start school. Not that I'm excited or anything. School holidays have felt really long. The girls have been in childcare only two days, as a result of me working in my other job (HACCP Practioner in a chocolate factory). As for farm news, crops are being harvested left, right and centre. Two paddocks of poppies have gone, which leaves two remaining. Beans are being harvested at present right next to the house, and the Big Jacks are letting out their distinctive hum. I hardly seems right for them going. The bushes dont appear to be big enough to have any beans on them, but you can see the beans blowing into the hopper, so fingers crossed there will be enough there to make a crop and cover expenses.

The first paddock of potatoes have gone. The farmer seemed happy enough and was one hopper shy of reaching his desired number of loads. Cauli transplants have been planted over the last two weeks and they appear to be establishing well and growing. Carrots are looking lush and glorious, their magnificent ferny stalks standing up well to the extreme heat we have been having here on the coast. Onions are still drying. Hopefully in the next few days they will be leaving the paddock.

On a sad note I lost my new Stud Suffolk ram on Australia Day. He was with his girls for the best part of two months so I am hoping he will have covered most of them. May/June will be the expected lambing time.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Back to normality

Thank heavens the fire threat seems to be over now. Still feeling somewhat sleep deprived, but that wasn't helped by needing to be up and going early this morning. Seem to be chasing my tail today, eldest treasure had a birthday party to go to, electricians needed to know where power points and light fittings etc need to go, plus heaps of other things added to the mix.

Potato harvest started yesterday, so it will be long days for the farmer now. Another paddock of onions has been going since Saturday. Not sure how the beans will turn out this year. As it has been so unseasonably cold up until Christmas there is not a lot of growth, and the poor little things are starting to flower. Time will tell.