Hi from the Winterless North!

More
11 years 9 months ago #31735 by Runamuck
Well ok it's not really, but it sounds good! We have a wee slice of paradise in the Far North, not far from Mangonui. At the moment it's mostly regenerating bush and scrub but we do have approx 2 to 3 acres which we have in orchards and a fledgling vineyard. So far the wild turkeys have had most of the grapes, but the possums and rabbits are now under control, sort of, and we are managing to get our first reasonable crops of apples, feijoas, citrus, plums, nuts (no pecans yet but we have our first hazelnuts, walnuts and macadamias with a hand-full of almonds). Our aim is to be self sufficient. It's a while off yet but hey, you have to have a dream. At the moment "home" is a form of luxurious camping while the house site is cleared, and then building as funds allow; but we are warm and dry and cosy; we have the mother of all generators, a flush loo, gas hot water, a huge shower and a roaring fire to have a wine beside at the end of a hard day's work. It's pretty good all things considered.

We don't have any live stock at the moment (and one of our daughters has informed us that we can't call ourselves a farm because possums, rabbits and a semi tame eel don't count!) and we want to learn as much as we can about the "do's" and "don'ts" before we venture in that direction. I also need to learn the art of fruit preservation, now that we are starting to grow more than our kids (all 5 of them!) can eat.

The forum seemed a good place to get ideas, feedback and interact with a wider base of people who "get" what we are about (some of our friends freely admit that while they love to visit, they think we need our heads examined wanting to do this on a permanent basis). So here we are!

Look forward to talking to you :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 9 months ago #425248 by Aria
Replied by Aria on topic Hi from the Winterless North!
Hi! What a beautiful part of the country .. are all five kids still at home in that luxurious camp? If so, you are brave!!!!

Have fun!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 9 months ago #425251 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Hi from the Winterless North!

Runamuck;423052 wrote: ...and one of our daughters has informed us that we can't call ourselves a farm because possums, rabbits and a semi tame eel don't count!) and we want to learn as much as we can about the "do's" and "don'ts" before we venture in that direction. ...

What do they mean those don't count? Well, probably only the tame eel actually counts, in my book. [;)] Learning about livestock before you have them is a very sensible idea and something a lot of people make the mistake of not prioritising, to the cost of their animals' welfare! Ask anything you like. Never think a question is to stupid to be asked. :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 9 months ago #425283 by Runamuck
Thanks guys :)

Yup all are still at home (2 at high school, 2 at intermediate and 1 at primary) but it's not as brave at it sounds. Sadly current financial constraints mean that we are tied to jobs and Monday to Friday we live in suburbia. Also, as much as we'd like to, 7 of us living full time in the current arrangements is just not feasible, so the permanent move has to wait until the house is built - which of course is itself driven by finance; not to mention the weather. Preparation of the site has now stalled until after winter - it's just too wet and boggy to work our aging heavy equipment safely on the hill (and the digger is now in the shed with it's tracks off while we weld up the sprocket tips).

Of course it's a bit of a catch 22 situation because there is lots of stuff we can't do until we are up there full time; but we are viewing it as a learning opportunity and trying not to mind the delay too much - it's only 18 months away after all.

What we really need to do is understand what livestock are suitable for what we want to do; and how to care for them properly - after all it's not quite the same as having a cat and a dog or two! Chickens are a must have, but in terms of providing meat, milk etc do you opt for a few sheep/pigs/goats/house cow/mix of all and in what numbers?

As I say - it's probably just as well we have this time to learn first, put into practice later as we have an awful lot to learn!

:)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 9 months ago #425303 by witheze
The quality and amount of grass will dictate what stock you can run, not living full time on the property really limits you to maturer animals....a steer or two maybe, if you have a good yard for confining. Best wishes for your project. :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 9 months ago #425362 by Andrea1
Welcome, Runamuck! Love your user name. :D Right about now, after the first night when temps hit 0C by tea time, I wish we were living in a winterless area! First night of the fire going all night, distinct southerly chill in the area...

Anyway, good luck with all your projects! We love goats, so of course 'Go Goats!', but it's all down to what your circumstances allow. We also have a house cow for the cream and occasional cheese making, but all the milk we drink is from our goats, and nearly all the cheese I make is goats' milk. I find they are easy-care and quite enjoy the company of people, and no where near as pushy as our house cow, whom we've had since she was 4 days old. She thinks she's a big puppy!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 9 months ago #425396 by thevarneys
Hi 'fellow neighbours'! :D It sounds like you guys have a lovely piece of land, and I envy all your trees! Our trees are younger so not producing much yet.
I can give you ideas about preserving - I am the preserving queen!
Bottling is good and can be used for crumbles etc, and on cereal for brekkie. But what our kids love even more is dried fruit and fruit leathers. I do have a dehydrator, but because of the power comsumption (so no so suitable for you with a generator) I actually did 90% of mine this year in the front of a car on a sunny day. Took about 1.5-2 days. We did feijoa and apple, but now going to do kiwifruit and persimmon.
To do the roll-ups/leathers, you boil it slightly, mush it slightly, spread on a tray and dry! :D Good luck

Some people are so poor, all they have is money.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 9 months ago #425408 by Runamuck
Sounds yummy Varneys - and Andrea, hubby is very keen on goats as well. We'll be having the pot belly stove cranked up this weekend, forecast is for clear skys which means it will be between 5 and 8 degrees overnight (as I say, so much for the winterless North!).

Oh and the generator is big enough to run all our electrical appliances so dehydrator sounds very appealing, especially for leathers for the kids school lunches. Hubby cranked it up the other day, had 5 heaters, his welder, all the lights, the tv and the dryer going!

:)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.138 seconds