Spring is here

Spring has arrived and did it arrive quick. Life with three children is so busy that I scarcely have time to mark the days on the calendar up.

Now we know we’ll be here a long while (possibly forever squeee!) We’ve got new energy that we are putting back into the land.

Since the pigs have gone we’ve had a big sausage making day and boy is it fun to make sausages. We ended up freezing a lot of the pork but I’m getting a forequarter out today to defrost and make into mince and salami.

Dane’s been working hard converting the old pig yard into garden digging up stones from around the property and hauling them in the wheelbarrow to build into rows.

We’ve planted out the first little garden bed with flowers for the bees and will next be transplanting the garlics to finish off growing.

I’ve been going a little crazy growing seeds. Every no seed in my store cupboard is safe and I plan to germinate them all!

My process is to start them in a little electric heated greenhouse before on potting them to the cold frame. I do this because we have such a short growing season in Tasmania that I find the heated greenhouse allows me a great head start on the season.

We continue to chat about plans for dairy goats and building a business from here. We’ve got a few ideas but are keeping our cards close to our chest for now!

That’s all for today its gorgeous sunny weather put there and I don’t want to miss out!!


Sickness in the homestead

Posts from August that didn’t publish!

When you get sick living this lifestyle can feel impossibly overwhelming.

The jobs don’t stop. Everyday animal chores still need to be taken care of and bigger jobs continue to pile up.

We’ve been hit with a virus here and all of us are feeling rotten but we keep on trucking because we have too. You could say not being able to wallow in our misery helps us heal quicker but maybe that’s what I tell myself!

I’ve got beans waiting to be canned, The pig pens need to be built for the butcher in two weeks. The relentless rain has flooded the rabbit barn and they’ve been moved back to cages and the eggs are piling up!


The end of Winter

Spring is now mere weeks away and we find every sunny day invigorating. If the bees are out so are we!

Things have been extra busy since we brought the new puppy home a few days ago. Ida is a Spaniel x Viszla apparently but as we got her third hand we aren’t sure of her true history.

She’s such a gorgeous puppy but it’s like having another child except I think small children are easier to handle πŸ˜‚
She’s fitting in really nicely though and I think after we have our on property training session with the local dog trainer it will get a bit easier.

Today after our regular library trip we moved all the young male rabbits to another cage and next week we’ll begin processing them and tanning the skins.

I debated selling some of the bunnies to recoup some of our costs but decided as we had always planned to breed for meat that there was no sense in waiting and we will be better off doing these boys as fryers for the freezer.
We still have one little doe we are keeping that the kids have become attached to and I have plans to use in my Angora program as she has fluffier fur than the rest.

Our Black Doe is hopefully pregnant and should give us some interesting skins if all goes to plan. I’m not yet sure what we will so with these skins maybe a luxuriously soft bedspread when we have enough.

In the garden we have moved the baby tomatoes to the outdoor cold frame from inside and started the next batch of seeds in the heat propagator. This will be ongoing until it warms up as in Tasmania we have such a short growing season that I’ve found this system really gives us a head start on the garden.

Dane’s been busy in the old pig yard building walls for garden beds. We’ll be moving some top soil over soon and spreading clover and green manure seed then moving the garlic seedlings , planting potatoes , veg and flowers for the bees but fruits and tomatoes will stay in the protective netted orchard to protect the fruits from the birds. We might plant a couple of sacrificial tomatoes just to see how they go with a scarecrow but I don’t want to risk the whole crop.


Putting things in motion

We have been doing lots of thinking, Planning and walking around the property these last few days and are feeling newly inspired and ready for Spring.

I recently approached our landlord about the possibility of Vendor Finance in the future and security to know we could put things in place to develop a homestead business and he has given his blessing to go forward and discuss vendor finance options in a few years so we are feeling incredibly positive and excited for the future.

My first step was to fill out the application for our egg stamp so we can legally sell our free range eggs for eating. I will also be getting back into selling preserves and looking into hiring a kitchen to prepare these in so we can sell them legally.

The next step will be focusing on garden veg production and bees. We would like to increase our hives to 5 in total. I feel this is a good amount for our own honey as well as a small surplus to sell.

My other plans are creating some beauty products with our excess beeswax. Nothing too fancy as now days my focus shifts to the practical – What do we use, need and excess can potentially be sold so this means Lipbalm and a gardeners hand cream.

This leads me to goats which are still high on my list. We are continuing to work on clearing the masses of fox gloves from the future goat areas and then we will work on fencing. After this we will go goat shopping. Gone are the days where I throw caution to the wind and get the animal before we are read. It seems I have finally learnt from our mistakes.

Another addition to our family this year will hopefully be a Maremma puppy. This will scare predators away from the chickens and I’m hoping keep possums and wallaby s away from the garden and flowers.

There are many more ideas we have which I am keeping close to my heart at this stage but we are feeling renewed and energised ready to create what we have been working towards for 7 years now.


Until next time


Homesteading, Uncategorized

Good bye to the pigs

It was a big morning here today with the mobile butcher booked to come and process the pigs.We were all ready. It’s been a experience raising pigs and although it’s not the first time we’ve done it this time was different as we weren’t sharing the responsibility with a landlord but doing it ourselves.We purchased the pigs a few months ago from a local breeder 15 minutes from us to do the job of ploughing a new garden area. They did this so effectively within two months! In hindsight we probably could have utilised them better to dig out more areas but as we want to grow our garden areas slowly we focused on one patch.They were fed on a mixture of garden scraps, commercial pellets and sprouted and cooked barley which was a time consuming job for Dane .Before the butcher came we were discussing the cost and how it wasn’t economical in terms of just buying a whole pig from the town butcher but now he’s been here I feel differently and the extra money we’ve paid has been worth it.It’s a really good feeling to know exactly what we are eating ,where it has come from, how it’s been treated and what it has been fed.The butcher did a amazing job it was quick and clean and it was a blessing to watch someone so skilled work and to know they didn’t suffer but died eating and together.WWe choose to eat meat and we choose to eat it in a conscious and meaningful way. my long term goal is to not be buying any meat from the supermarket and only be eating what we can raise our self or barter/buy locally.We decided in the end not to keep the heads. We’ve done this before and this time as we are already making bacon, hams, salami and sausages I felt I wouldn’t have the energy to also process head cheese. I do feel a little regretful for this decision as I wanted to utilise as much of the animal as possible but maybe next time.We kept the livers and the hearts. One liver I processed into Pate using Hugh Fernly Whittingstalls recipe from his meat book. Dane gifted me this book when I was pregnant with my first 8 years ago and it was good feeling to get it out today and know we are still committed to this journey despite not yet owning our own land.1 whole pig liver makes a LOT of Pate so I sectioned it into silicone cupcake baking trays and froze so i can get it out to defrost as we need it. The second liver Dane will be cooking for dinner tonight.The hearts have been marinated in a Korean BBQ marinade for our dinner tomorrow. The butcher will hang the carcasses until Monday when we’ll pick them up and get ready for the next stage of sausage making and smoking.We are borrowing a smoker from our neighbour which we are very thankful for and are considering having a sausage making day with some friends to help get the job done a bit quicker seeing as we need to mince the pork ourselves with the hand grinder.I’m looking forward to getting the pig patch ready to be converted to garden. It will be really lovely to look out on that patch from the deck and see the flowers. We will be electrifying the fence to make it possum proof and buying a budget poly tunnel greenhouse to keep us going until we can afford to put up a sturdier one.

Baking, Foody things, Uncategorized

Pumpkin pie recipe

I was asked on instagram to share my pumpkin pie recipe and as it’s a family favourite I thought it would be a good one to add to the blog.I’ve been thinking recently I’d like to publish the blog one day to pass the recipes and story if our journey down to our kids when they are older.I love using sweet pumpkins for our pumpkin pie so home grown varieties are usually better but any old pumpkin will do.You can either boil the pumpkin to make a pulp or roast. Either way will be delicious!Pumpkin pie recipePastryI use a basic shortcrust but you could use whatever you favourite recipe is

  • 145G BUTTER
  1. Process the flour and butter in a food processor or using your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs., add enough iced water to form a smooth dough. Knead very lightly then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. When ready to use, roll out on a lightly floured surface until 3mm (1/8 in) thick.

To bake blind – to produce a crisp tart shell ready to be filled with wet ingredients – top the pastry-lined tart tin or tins with a piece of non-stick baking paper that extends past the edge of the tin. Fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice or beans. Place on a baking tray and bake in a preheated 180Β°C (350Β°F) oven for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and paper and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is golden

Pie filling1&1/2 cups pureed pumpkin
1/2c sugar of choice2/3cup milk powder2 eggs1teaspoon cinnamon1/2tsp ginger1/4 tsp ground cloves1/4tsp nutmeg1/2cup creamMethodMix all the ingredients together until smooth. If mix is too stiff add a little water.Pour into prepared our crust and bake at 180C for 40minutes or until mix is giggly and not sloppyLeave to cool then complete cooling in fridge to set.Enjoy!



Winter has come fast and fierce but still we are not getting enough rain. Part of me is thankful as it means it’s easier to get outside and get jobs done but the other last is worried for our water supply and what summer will bring.

The days are very short herein winter. It’s pitch black and freezing until 7:30 when it’s still freezing but we can at least see.

We still need to get out and get the animals jobs done but the kids opt more often than not to stay inside until midday when it warms up a bit. By 3pm it’s getting dark and cold again and we need to go back out and lock everything up for the night. It gets tedious but as we feel it flying by I know it won’t be for long.

We’ve been doing lots about the property my bit of landscaping for the kids area is nearly finished and I think I’ll have just enough of the oak chip from the fallen tree to finish it.

Next will be the sandpit and I’m debating building a pallet sandpit over the natural rocks because the high winds here will blow the tarp away and the cats will definitely poop in it!

The young pullets have all started laying again and we’ve forgiven the chickens for the Two months we had to buy eggs. We’ll be looking in to getting our egg stamp so we can sell excess eggs and hopefully make the chickens self sufficient by using the money for their feed.

The pigs are getting huge and we are looking forward to turning that area into garden. The butcher will be here late July just in time for us to get garden beds ready for spring.

Dane’s been working hard at getting a little barn fixed up for our rabbit program.

The doe we were given a few months ago is due and our other doe we’ve just joined with our buck. He’s got a rare cyst developed in his eye that the vet will remove but with advice that they will likely grow back so we’ve had to move the breeding forward just in case we loose him.

Today we for some jobs around the property knocked over . Getting the burn piles done and bringing up old tyres for a landscaping project. Again I longed for a woodchipper but that’s something that will need to wait a while.

Anyways that’s all for now we are keeping well, happy and healthy!