Boronia Farm News
It has been a while since we updated the newsletter! In July last year Barry stopped working FIFO and has been busily catching up with jobs on the farm. We have now replaced most of our boundary fence to keep out Kangaroos, as numbers had built up so high that the farm was being overgrazed. This has been very successful with only the really big ones now jumping the fence and our grass is getting a chance to grow. Last year Barry undertook a Holistic Management training course run by Bruce Ward. Stock control through effective fencing is an important part of Holistic management and complements our organic farming system . As explained on Bruce’s website, “ Managing holistically respects and honours the fact that the biological health of our planet is inextricably linked to the goals, decisions, and management actions of the people who manage land. Every parcel of land (whether managed by individuals, corporations, or governments) contributes to the end result: biological health that is supporting healthy and prosperous people.”
We have had a great season, the dam filled up and the fruit is coming on well. We had 850mm rain for 2011 which is above the last 10 year average. We’ll have various stone fruit from now until the end of March. We already have our first apple variety ripe, the Annas, it’s nice to be able to eat a new season apple so early in the year. We have netted half our apples again and also the plums for the first time so we don’t lose most of our fruit to the birds.
We have bought a new double kayak for use by our guests on the dam. It's great fun to go on up to the dam with a glass of Donnybrook wine, a few sausages to throw on the BBQ and a relaxing paddle on the dam while they cook.
A project of last year was to build a pizza oven at our house. If you are into pizzas and want to make your own (there is too much bureaucracy involved to be allowed to make them for you) let us know and we’ll fire it up for you and show you how to use it.
Our friends and neighbors Wayne and Ria Hammond of Oakway Estate Winery (further down Farley Rd) now have their new Cellar Door open and are offering food as well as great wines. They are open most weekends and by appointment.
Sadly we lost our dog Tess last year but now have Nemo, a red cloud. He is a great, friendly dog and specializes in rounding up the geese but is also great with kids. We have had geese in the past but they made too much of a mess around the house, so this time we have fenced the orchard to keep them in and bought 10 new ones. It’s nice to see them feeding around the orchard. They do a great job of grazing and eating windfall fruit, so are a great asset to our organic management system.
School Holidays are over, but remember that if you visit Boronia Farm during the week (Sunday to Thursday night) you can stay for 4 nights for the price of 3.
Between 12 and 15 of April we have had over 50mm of rain, already (18 April), the paddocks are starting to turn green so we might be in for a great season.
Cows have started calving, so far so good. Barry's latest project, a 1948 Austin truck in need of lots of TLC!
After years of loosing most of our apples to birds, we have netted some of the orchard, so far it seems to be working well so visitors can experience Granny Smith and, come June, Lady Williams apples.
Summer is here and with it the stone fruit and Mulberries are ripening. We have had a wonderful crop of strawberries and boysenberries this year and have lots in the freezer for winter eating. Peaches are just beginning to ripen in the orchard as are the Santa Rosa plums. The bottling outfit will be out soon and hopefully we will have enough to dry some as well.
Amigo and Bugsy - Dales' 2 young alpacas have just arrived and are getting friendlier by the day.
The Mulberries are ripe and the stone fruit is beginning to ripen. Lazy summer days lead to boating and canoeing on the dam followed by a relaxing BBQ overlooking the water.