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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Attacking the mites and other matters

Across the river at our work place there are now two irrigators to set up twice daily and that means more time away from home. In addition rather than feeding out round bale silage every few days to one set of weaners and then the cows and calves we are putting out small square bales which are loaded on a pallet and driven to the particular feeder, twine cur and all the pieces thrown into the feeder. Why? We have finished all the home made silage and have five really top quality Ryegrass bales remaining. Rather than use them first we are getting rid of all the old small square bales which are a bit rabbit and rat eaten and have broken twine. This will leave us with the 150 new bales collected at the weekend. Between the old stuff and the new Ryegrass silage we should get through the dry spell - we hope.

Back home after two and a half hours away its time to sort out the chook pen. All the sawdust, some still a bit fresh and other well aged and full of chicken droppings is shovelled into 20 litre buckets and carried to an old trailer and dumped. The fresh stuff is kept at one end and the good stuff at the other. The trailer is filled and then we turn to some spare 200 litre drums filling three. All these are covered to keep out the chooks. We will use all this at some stage when the mites have died out.

The uncovered areas of the pens have a heavy dose of dolomite dusted over them while the area under cover has fireplace ash and when dry will have diatomaceous earth as well.

The covered area with fireplace ash

As an experiment one pen is filled with old silage and the other with cow manure. The area under the roosts and under cover is left clear for the moment. It is still a bit wet from the hosing out and needs to dry. It will be a matter of finding time to concrete this space.

Dry Cow manure

Old silage

First resident taking advantage

We barely finish and the rain comes. And the wind. It buckets down. As soon as the first flush has occurred we scramble to remove the plastic bags covering the down pipes. This was to stop the dam water used to fill the gutters during the high fire danger going into the tanks. Jean is up on the roof removing leaves from the gutter. We get soaked.

The first decent rain in a while
The storm passes but we have caught some water.

And there is some damage as well. There were high expectations for the Dragon fruit as it had grown well over Winter and last Summer produced three fruit on a small plant.

Hopefully if the roots are not damaged it may be fixed
In the background some Camembert is under way.

These are tall moulds. In the morning they will be taken out and cut into smaller discs for salting. The tall moulds just save space on the side of the sink.

For 4 days we have been trying to make Coconut Yogurt using coconut milk, Tapioca as thickening and ordinary dried yogurt culture. Well very little happened on the first day. Then we added some honey to see if the culture needed sugar, On the third day in went some Coconut flour to thicken some more. On the third day we tried adding jam setter.

Trial batch or CoYo

I quite like the taste which is very acid now but the texture is still quite runny. Jean didn't like it at all. It went well over some frozen berries for dessert - at least I think so. Maybe we need some special culture although almost everything on the web said ordinary yogurt culture would work. Well it has the sour taste it just needs work on thickening.

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