This weekly round-up post is all things not covid! We’re finally past the worst of it – I think – and can get back into doing our projects and chores. With a 3rd La Nina weather system impacting SEQ over the next 6 months, we have a lot of work to do and very little time.
The last few weeks on the homestead have been a challenge. As you may know, covid finally came to the farm and we got quite sick. We’re both on the mend now, but it has been a challenging few weeks with lots of setbacks as we navigate trying to get better and doing the absolute bare minimum whilst being unwell.
Sunsets in Jimboomba
This week was the week of stunning sunsets.
After a day of chores and a few moments of me finally feeling slightly better, I managed to get through 3 backloads of dishwashing, 4 backloads of clothing and linen washing, and other house chores that you generally do throughout the week, but that piled on due to us being sick.
I went outside to do the last load and looked over to see the most stunning sunset. It was a beauty like no other.
Or so I thought.
After the last Maker’s Market, I had the great pleasure of getting to meet other local homesteaders who came to say g’day and actually meet in person. There’s a few of us locals who started following each other through the glory that is social media, and actually use it to be social off the media!
So last night, 4 groups got together to have an afternoon brunch of sorts with Ben and Loz of Westview Jimboomba, Ben and Sal from Parkys Park Hobby Farm and the gorgeous Mel from Pocket Rocket Farmer. It was absolutely superb to be able to connect with other people and get to talk about homesteading things, like gardens and gardening, property management, livestock and animal fostering, making bread, food security and of course sunsets.
Westview Jimboomba sits on the side of the Jimboomba side of the Birnam Range. In fact, our property in Tamborine actually sits on the other side of the Birnam Range, and there are horse trails that you can take between. Technically, our Tamborine property is only about 9-ish km from our current property in Jimboomba as the crow flies, but because of the range you have to drive around which makes it a 20km trip.
Being on the side of a small-ish mountain range means you have unobstructed views of the township and beyond, and boy were they absolutely stunning. Where we are in Jimboomba is along the flats where the creeks are, so we get a dense layer of paperbarks and then huge spotted gums which take the skyline up an even taller level. What that means is sunsets are not always seen to their full glory.
Until last night.
The images in the gallery below were taken without filters applied just with an iphone. You can see the absolutely stunning pastels as the sun starts to set and then the rich, bold oranges. I was absolutely in awe of the beauty of the sunset, or as Sal said – it doesn’t get old – absolutely not!
It is always a joy to see the world from a different perspective. And especially the town where you live most and spend most of your time.
I also got to cuddle with a 2 week old baby lamb who was just the absolute star of the catch up last night. Sal and Ben got her as she was orphaned by her mum, and so they brought her along as she cannot be alone yet. But with a gang of other homesteaders, there was lots of cuddles and helping with holding, so little Miss Lacey got star treatment last night.
Mr Wheelie the farm trolley
Now this may seem trivial, and maybe even silly to some, but I have been after one of these pull along trolleys for a while. And in typical Serge fashion, he always put a reason up as to why I didn’t need one.
Until last week.
When covid hit the farm we were lucky – and unlucky – that my dad was here so there was help with things like taking the bins out, bringing packages in, helping with dinner, collecting washing, etc. But the poor guy came here for a holiday and there was no chance in hell I would ask him to do our regular chores. He helped where he could – and considering we all got sick a bit here and a bit there by all of us helped – every little bit helps.
One of those early days when the body aches and lethargy were strongest, we received a huge delivery from online shopping – books, new saddle, flour – you name it and it arrived. So I had to go and get the car to drive down the driveway and collect all the packages. Dad actually laughed at me and said, ‘you’re not seriously going to get the car to bring those packages down?’
Yes, yes I am. I can hardly walk and I am certainly not going to haul all these packages 200m down the driveway.
So I quickly found a 500kg rated trolley with a $20 discount meaning it was the same price as the 350kg one. I bought it, and dad and I assembled it in about 30 mins.
Mr Wheelie has already collected numerous packages, moved some avocado trees around and hauled some other buckets and things for the garden. Mr Wheelie is an absolutely fundamental quality of life addition to the homestead.
Creativity strikes again!
This last week I was able to launch a blog post and 3 Youtube videos! I am beyond excited to be back in the groove with filming. After the last lot of floods I felt so deflated that I simply stopped filming for a couple of months.
It is a challenge though – trying to keep up with all the different social medias. And I do it now whilst working a full-time job so I feel as if I just don’t dedicate enough time or planning to it. Maybe that’s a good thing because my posts are much less curated and more authentic, but sometimes I do wish I had a bit more structure to what I posted.
Regardless, creativity did strike this week so I just ran with it.
This week’s blog post was on 10 ways to start homesteading now. The excerpt is below:
You can live on an acre of land and do nothing with it, and you can also live on an acre of land that has a full food garden covered in food and medicinal crops. Whatever it is you have, there are a number of ways you can start homesteading right now - whether or not you've just moved out to the country, are seeking relief from that 9-5, or want to go full hog self reliant. Let's take a look at my top 10 ways to start homesteading now, whether you've made the move to your first homestead or are planning on moving onto one.
This week’s Youtube videos were:
Sickness comes to Milo’s Farm | Making sausages | Starting the coop frame
How to maintain a sourdough starter
Making crusty white bread using poolish | Recipe from Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast | Homestead Kitchen
Baking bread on the regular
I don’t know what it is about baking bread, but it is so therapeutic and I am thoroughly enjoying the time I spend making bread and perfecting this skill. I am beyond thrilled to be able to produce such beautiful bread for Serge and I, and I don’t think I could ever go back to eating any other bread.
The white crusty poolish loaf is something I have been baking for about 3 weeks. The technique learnt is fundamental to sourdough baking and after having about 20 loaves go bad, I decided I needed to take a step back.
Something in my process was not going well, so I went back to the beginning to practice each step individually.
I think there’s a misconception that baking bread is this easy task. And don’t get me wrong, it kinda is. But it’s also quite artisanal and learning how to do each step of the process to the best of my ability is what makes it enjoyable. I’ve never been the person that just likes to whip things together and call it a day. I am a bit of a perfectionist, and I get immense joy from food – in fact, I do believe food is my love language.
This week dad had to leave back for Victoria so I baked an additional two loaves for him, and then baked again for Serge and I on Thursday and baked again yesterday for our brunch. So 8 loaves were baked this week meaning I had 8 additional opportunities to practice my folds and shaping.
Next weekend I will revert back to sourdough and see if I can replicate the success with the poolish to the sourdough. I am excited and hopeful.
Garden update, new seedlings and demo at Tamborine
And lastly for this week, we have a garden update. This week I got some additional seeds going. My flower seeds are not coming up at all and I have decided that if they don’t come up in the next week to start again.
Unless I am doing something wrong, I just am not having any success with flowers. And these are things like zinnia’s, lavender and other bee beneficial flowers.
Instead I got some more tomato varieties and lettuce down, and also did some slow release fertilizing. I’m also mulling over the idea of putting a passionfruit flower frame to the right of the garden, not only to create a beautiful archway for the garden and give the incoming hive food but also to get some vining fruits and vegies going. I’m thinking maybe grapes, or cantaloupe – something like that.
Serge is still busy doing the demo and reno at Tamborine. We decided to demo the bathroom and add a double basin in where the bath used to be. It’s just entirely redundant having it there as it is never used and merely uses space. So we decided we would demo the bathtub side and bring the tub here as a livestock trough, re-tile the floor, add a double basin and then do a mini bench and shelf for a washing machine similar to what we did here in Jimboomba.
It wasn’t necessarily planned, but Serge had a bright idea at the time and considering the place is still not tenanted and getting repaired by insurance, it is the perfect time to do this renovation.
I hope you enjoyed this weekly round-up and had a fantastic and productive week! Until next time!