A couple of long days. With an early start yesterday it was a late 10 pm finish after dropping Jean off at Maitland railway station to catch the bus to Stanthorpe for her mum's 80th birthday. An even longer stretch for Jean with the bus arriving in Stanthorpe at 5.30 am. As it is a surprise visit there will be some time to kill before knocking on an unsuspecting door. The train would be a nicer journey - except it stops at Armidale and a bus takes you to Tenterfield where you are stranded an hour from Stanthorpe. And then of course it is possible to drive.
Being alone means the chores have doubled and so an early start again checking cattle, moving irrigators and finish a run of fence before the weekend. It was 6 pm before the fire was started and fortunately there were a few leftovers in the refrigerator which could be warmed.
Can't not mention a book that Jean picked up at Tocal Field Days this year which has not left the bedside. "Story's Guide to Raising Chickens" by Gail Damerow. This is a real gem. Even I was surprised at the level of detail and breadth of coverage. I 've been toying with the idea of building an incubator after listening to a podcast from Self Sufficiency Homestead. Well look no further than this book. Over 30 pages of detail on everything you need to know about hatching eggs including temperature and humidity charts. What a phenomenal reference book. And not having a tablet means that the book can be propped up in the workshop. Also not having a printer means any material on the web has to be scribbled down if it is to be taken away from the laptop. Sometimes the old methods of access to information are useful.
Another journal kept here is our Vegetable Book. An double exercise page is devoted to each type of vegetables or fruits grown. Whenever a new tip or idea is successful it is noted against that vegetable. Over time a planting and growing guide is built up which can be referenced easily for a review. In the past it was a matter of referencing half a dozen or more vegetable growing books to freshen the memory on those difficult to grow or try and remember the changes made last time which contributed to a particular success. Not any longer, slowly a one stop visual guide has been building.