Summer should be a time of growth on the farm. The long days and heat mean our pastures should grow and the sheep are feeding. The one element critical to this is of course water. On Markdale we have not experienced the drought as badly as others, however our dams are low and the pasture is not as strong as we’d like. The work is hard during the summer days and it often means early starts to avoid the searing sun in the middle of the day.
Drought still ravages the east coast of Australia and coupled with the bushfires on the NSW north coast there are many farmers whose livelihood and morale has been devastated. Many of these people are doing it tough – the very people who will farm much of the produce we all enjoy during the holiday season.
As Christmas and the holiday season approach we encourage everyone to support our rural communities. One such initiative we are getting behind as a family is #BuyfromtheBush – fantastic gifts from rural producers. Why not aim to do some or all of your gift shopping through this network. The other big thing people can do, as we said in our last edition, is to get out to rural towns and communities #StayintheBush. Take the kids for a weekend or a day trip, round up some mates and head to a gastro pub or take a road trip through our beautiful country towns.
- Our lambs have just been weaned and are out exploring, becoming independent and finding their way through Markdale all on their own four feet!
- Our cross bred lambs (white Suffolk/merino) will be sold off to be fattened for the butcher shop.
- The team will check all paddocks and water troughs, creeks and dams each week to monitor the water levels on the property.
- The sheep will be checked daily for flystrike.
- Weed control and eradication of invasive introduced plant species intensifies, namely blackberry, serrated tussock and Bathurst burr.
- Maintenance work continues on the farm as we consolidate much of the work done through the winter months.
- Our amateur beekeepers are monitoring our new beehive to ensure that our little honey makers have ample water and access to the flowers in our wonderful garden. Hopefully the first honey harvest (or raiding the hive) will occur in February.
- The family (and our farmstay guests) will take advantage of the pool and tennis court.
- Our summer crop includes tomatoes, broccoli, beans, beetroot, carrots and corn.