Saturday, 8 September 2018

Song of Fergie La La

So it was inevitable that it would happen.
Horrible rainy day.
Cranky Ewe, Gerty Gertz who "aint got time for dat"....
Next thing I know I got a sheep in a nappy in my kitchen.

We named her Fergie as she was rejected by her family. You work it out. Not about the Black Eyed Peas.

I did a crash course in how to raise a lamb. Thanks google! Bottle feeds, nappy changes and lots of hugs. We became used to the pitter patter of cloven hooves in our home. She fitted in well, sort of like a dog-sheep-human hybrid.

She was very content in the house however all good things must come to an end. Rises in our Tasmanian temperature and her decision that the couch was a good place to crash led to the conclusion that she really needed to be outside.

Little La La as we call her has become a constant companion. She enjoys days in the vegetable patch and loves a ride on the mower. I often have a little nose nuzzling my face and she heels better than my dog.

She is yet to assimilate into the herd. We go walks and visit the other woolly baa baas, but she is yet to really show any interest in being a lamb. So for now she thinks she is a dog-sheep-human and is enjoying hanging out with me and the pup.

Monday, 20 June 2016

perfect days of winter

Tasmania lives with the reputation of having poor weather. While there are periods of cold and rain at different times, the contrast from summer to winter is a delicious change for this individual who grew up in subtropical Queensland. There are winter days which are spectacular. Sunday was one of these. It was what I consider to be a perfect winters day at forty legs farm. 

There was a crispness and a chill to the air but this was accompanied by brilliant sunshine. There was   barely a breeze but it was still cool and a puffy jacket was required. It was the perfect day to get on with some chores around forty legs farm. 

After a slow wake up over a prolonged coffee in bed, we kicked off the day. Chicken duties were attended first up. Out of the coop and free ranging for now. With a permanent human presence on forty legs we have had less issue with wedge tail eagle attacks on our chooks. (It was distressing finding exploded poultry bits in the paddock before we moved in) 

There was opportunity for some building by the husband. With deadlines looming there is plenty of construction work ongoing. The rear deck and ramp is nearing completion with only minimal work to be done. House painting continues, but we now have a house that is one colour. 

That is not the possum, that is the husbands beard above the drill 

The vegetable patch was attended with further assessment of what pete the one eyed possum has destroyed. (I am not making this up. That possum has only got one eye and half an ear I shit you not) I continued on with my mitigation measures and prevention strategies along with some redistribution planting. Ended the day with picking some of my produce to create a beautiful dinner of home reared beef accompanied by baby beets, carrots, kale and chermoula made with carrot leaf instead of parsley. All from my paddock. Absolutely delicious. 

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Little Furry Creatures....

Growing vegetables is rewarding and satisfying.

So far this year I have been  able to successively plant and mostly feed the family from our patch. It has been satisfying pulling carrots and beetroot, picking kale and silver beet, watching things grow and sprout from seed. While I missed planting in spring, I was still able to get significant growth due to our prolonged warm weather we experienced here. Pulling the last zucchini or courgette last week was a sad occasion but with the frosts we have been having they were spent.

My broccoli has been growing incredibly well, along with rows of additional kale carrots and beetroot. Lettuces, cabbages, cauliflower and silver beet have been flourishing despite the now cooler weather.

Enter the possum!

The devastation that can be caused by these little furry bastards is unbelievable. Our six foot high fences have not been enough. Our mitigatory measures were not adequate.The net which has been draped across the entire patch area and hastily put together with cable ties has not stopped him.

Each morning the enclosure is inspected and most mornings there is a tell tale pile of possum shit left to taunt me and demonstrate that he is able to thwart my best efforts to stop his pillaging. Thoughts of motion sensor cameras and other possum stopping measures fill my mind at times. I have had to work on not becoming completely deranged about this all.

I have been working hard to secure every possible place that could provide access. This has included more cable ties, using twine to stitch net together and metal clips to reduce any possible possum sized holes.

The last two nights have shown possum activity outside the net but not inside the enclosure. Hopefully the patch will recover and we will get the reward of our winter harvest.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Finally moved in.....

Construction continues however we have made the move and are finally in the house. The final push to be in the house occurred before Christmas. Assisted by the Father of the Husband we were able to finish things off to a point to gain that certificate to move in. 


The husband can only be described as legendary in all of this. He constructed decks. Tiled bathrooms. Tiled the kitchen and laundry. Grandfather assisted with laying timber floors, carpets and eating lamb. I was responsible for painting of course. I painted the entire inside of the house! In attempt to calm myself I took up yoga, tore the inside of my knee doing so and ended up having surgery at this time. (not the smartest thing.

Building a deck.

Somehow through all of that we moved in the end of November. We had our first Christmas here at Fortylegs and were so grateful that after four years of nomadic existence we are finally settled here. 

Kick ass pantry

While there is much to finish off we are on the right track and very pleased with all of our efforts. There are exciting times ahead with our vege patch development and other exciting projects around the farm.

Sunday, 2 August 2015


Well the prayers of small children were answered today. School was cancelled and it snowed extensively throughout Southern Tasmania. The Huon Valley was inundated with snow.

The predictions of snow to sea level were correct with several  beaches being covered with a delicious layer of white. Social media is of course a buzz with photos galore of this not impossible, but infrequent happening.

So Fortylegs of course was primed to have a dousing of the white stuff and it did not disappoint.

Frozen Hay Bales on Fortylegs
There was at least 3 inches of snow on ground first thing this morning. The hills were covered heavily.

Mountains surrounding Fortylegs
Cows were handed this morning and pigs refused to get out of bed when breakfast was provided. Frozen troughs had ice broken and chickens stayed in their coop.

Frozen trough  

The kids are already asking if it will all happen again tomorrow. Having school cancelled was just too much fun. Don't know when we will get a repeat of this day, but I can't wait for it.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Been a while between posts.........

Well life the past few months has been nothing short of crazy. We have worked 7 days a week to get our house clad on the outside. We put in windows, levelled the frame, packed things out and put up sheets of cladding.

Man glitter

Cladding stage was challenging. Levelling the sheets so the vertical grooves were all straight put our skills to the test. We were successful however and it looks great.

We have plastered inside and now we are painting, tiling putting in bathrooms and kitchens.

Esse woodfire stove 
Recycled Timber Kitchen 

To say it has been taxing, frenetic, stressful and rewarding is somewhat of an understatement.

We have continued to do as much of the labour component as possible. This has been to save money of obviously. It has extended us both incredibly. The husband has realised he has mad skills beyond any previous self estimation. I too have discovered skills that I did not know I had. I have also overcome fears of heights and power tools and will comfortably climb scaffolding and ladders and fire nail gun.

All in all it has been a joint effort of mammoth proportions between the two of us. We are fortunate to have a relationship that withstands the kinds of ups and downs of the building has had. Having done this together has certainly made us closer.

We are probably around 6 weeks away of actually living there at the farm which we call Fortylegs. Seems that so surreal to be finally this close. It will take us a while to get the outside finished off, but we should be done by October.

Looking forward to sharing some more milestones with you all.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Roof at last

Miraculously we have a roof. 

The heavens finally dried up and the gales stopped a blowin. 

We have had a break in the weather and  the frame and floor is now protected. 

Over the last week the husband has worked extremely hard to get the roof on. With trusty Pete the builder they have hung on firmly,  butt cheeks clenched and hoisted tin in place. The hard part is now done and we should see some very significant work happening over the upcoming weeks. 

Tomorrow we are off to the hardware for more supplies, namely the vapour barrier which will wrap the house like a big present. 

I am sourcing a local mill to provide us with our hardwood external cladding. 
That should be a blogworthy experience when we visit.