Farm Life

Summer’s finally here and it’s a hot one

……..but don’t think for a second that you might catch me complaining, I wait for 8 months of the year for this season.  I bitch and moan and detest winter and autumn because they are cold and rainy, I hate spring because it is so close to summer and often drags on far too long (like this past spring for example), so when the tar on the road is melting and the vege garden needs watering morning and night I WILL NOT COMPLAIN.

Plus we now have a pool.

Living off the land. Or trying.

I am soooooo excited about my vege garden this summer, I haven’t felt this excited since the summer of 2006 which is when we moved to opposite land and I couldn’t stop planting shit because we had a GARDEN AND WE DIDN”T LIVE IN AN APARTMENT!!!!

Anyway, here is what I have planted so far;

This thing is going off, see those lil baby zuchs!

This thing is going off, see those lil baby zuchs!

1st bedThis is the sunny bed out of the two, L to R I have, tomato, rosemary, zuch, tom, lettuce, zuch, eggplant, tom, zuch, lettuce, thyme, lettuce, capsicum x2, parsley in the herb patch and swan plant for Ethan to grow monarchs on.

2nd bedThis is the shadier bed which I have left pretty empty for the 2nd batch of seedlings coming soon.  In here I have cucumber, 4 tomato plants, zuch and scarlet runner beans.  At the back under the bird cloth are my 6 strawberry plants.

Seedling nurseryThis is my little seedling operation down at the pool shanty.  The spa is enclosed with big glass doors so it is super warm and sheltered for the babies.  In the big pot on the left is a habenero pepper which is kicking ass, more scarlet runners are in the hanging basket, the bushy pots are heaps more toms (god kows where I will put them all), then there are tonnes more capsicums, eggplants, zuchs and basil.

It has rained for almost 5 hours straight today so I can’t wait to go out tomorrow and see how much everything has grown, LOVING this time of year and loving that we have charged our planting and are looking pretty good for a fruitful harvest, if not a little late, but hey.

Tomato seedlings

How is this fair?

  003You were only with us for one night Ducky but we all loved you so much (except for Louie).    We all wanted you to get strong and well so bad that it’s hard not to cry even though you were just a lost little duckling Ethan found on the lawn.  That’s what makes it even sadder.  Ethan has cried a million tears  this afternoon and is terrified that he might forget his little duckling, though he has promised to pick Jan’s flowers every day to lay on your grave and make mudpies for you as well as he thinks you might like those.  He is suitably worried about how God is going to get you to heaven now that you are buried, but ‘The Fairies will help’ has eased his worries for the time being.

Everything is shit today, and a precious little ray of light that made us all happy getting snuffed out just compounds the shit-i-ness.  Are there enough happy pills?  I don’t know.

Dog Control………Where you need it most

So I recently spent $99 on registering our guard dog Louie with our new local council.  This is the type of burn-your-money expenditure that comes with dog ownership and that is a fact of life.  However, we received in the mail today a Dog Owners Welcome pack, sent out by the council.  How nice!  It explained the dog bylaws, had info about puppy training classes and other useful ways to waste paper – I gave you my email address people!

All that aside, I did skim read the material and was especially intrigued by the section on dog control;


Hmmmm, yes.  Control of dogs in public places – very important.  But what’s that?  Is that a sticker…..right there….



Ahhh, that’s what I thought it was meant to say!  I often worry about dog control in pubic places and now I can rest easy knowing that there is a desktop publishing saboteur working for my local council who has put my fears out there, at the fore of every dog owner in the district!


Sleepover at the Farm

Freya stayed the night after disco fever hit on Friday.  It was awesome – but tiring – but awesome.  They are such an old-married couple already, they squabble tell each other the lay of the land, stick their bottom lips out for about 5 seconds then work on a compromise together.  It’s freaking hilarious to watch.

Dave overheard this conversation in the back seat on the way to soccer

Freya: “You know I’m older than you Ethan.  I will ALWAYS be older than you”

Ethan: “Yes, but I am going to be 5 soon”

Freya: “That’s nice but what this means is that I am going to be an adult BEFORE you”

Ethan: “I will grow up you know, I don’t even wear diapers at night anymore!”

Freya: “That’s very good.  But even though I am going to be an adult BEFORE you I am going to wait for you and then when you are an adult………we can get married!”.

Ethan: “There’s a cow… MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”.


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What’s shaking on the farm

Auckland Sunset by you.Stunning Auckland sunset from our lawn, staining the sky tower bright pink IMG_6245I have been trying to get a pic of the lights at night since we moved in, this picture sucks but at least you get some idea of the fabulous view.  

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There is a new boy on the farm and his name is Jim.  He is a beautiful 18 month old boxer and he is figuring out how he fits in with Scooby and Louie.  There have been a few scraps but things are settling down and as you can see, Jim is quite fond of us – he would not get out of the car yesterday when we were leaving!

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Ethan and his Daddy get to ride to kindy together every morning, they love heading off in the truck together, it’s their own stinky, diesel-y boy time and Ethan loves it.


After seeing his Daddy catching chickens Ethan began to practice Chicken-whispering himself.  After a few fruitless chases, he got his strategy sorted out and was so proud when he captured his first hen and safely returned her to the run.

Saturday / Sunday

We tried to cram as much as possible into this weekend – it was busy but it was fun.

Saturday morning began with soccer – it was a white-wash with Ethan scoring our teams only goal, but what a goal it was; he had the throw in, chased it and scored!  No-one else even touched the ball…..ahhh preschool sports are hilarious!

The we had a visit from Abby, Jesse and Riley.  It was such a pretty day, we had so much fun playing outside.  I loved it because I played with Riley heaps, something I have not been able to do yet. 

After lunch we headed over to Debbie and Nicks where I washed my car (we are on tank water so I made good use of their city supply), and Dave got busy with the chainsaw and chopped some firewood for the fam.  It was awesome for Ethan to have some QT with Freya, they haven’t had a good play for ages and they played with their ‘puppies’ and played restaurants for ages it was lovely;

God I love these two together, they are so sweet to each other, but funny and silly and neither of them takes any crap from the other – fiery springs to mind!  To top off a lovely visit, we had the first BBQ of the non-winter season, it was awesome as per usual at The Rhodes house.


Today we popped out of bed and headed outside to deal with the playhouse.  Dave laid new decking where there was none, added a safety rail (it’s a very high playhouse!), built a new ladder, and I put safety mesh where there was none and began cleaning the inside.  It is so awesome!  Ethan had the best day.  When I pulled out the play kitchen and we saw everything needed a wash, I gave him a bucket of water and told him to get to work.  I think this was his favourite part of the day – washing the dishes for his new house.  Needless to say, when we knocked off work at 5pm a soak in the hot-tub and a well earned cocktail were in order!  Ethan also anointed himself Chicken Whisperer.  After seeing his Daddy catch the chicken yesterday, he chased chickens all day and was so proud when he climbed back up the hill with a fat chicken in his hands!

Project 365 * Day 4: Playhouse

We finally climbed up for a look today – so excited! It’s warm and dry in there, we just have to clean out all of the old junk and clean up what we want to salvage, 6 new decking planks and Ethan will be set!

Oh yeah…that's why I used to be a vegetarian

News in New Zealand this week is the much publicized disclosure of video demonstrating the vile state of the pork industry.  Local comedian Mike King, formerly the spokesperson for the NZ pork industry snuck into a pig jailpig farm and filmed the undersized sow cages that farmed pigs live in.  It’s abhorrent and torturous, the pigs can’t move, some can’t even stand and are horribly afflicted.  The “Old Boys Club” that is The New Zealand Pork Industry, only admitted tonight on live TV that the images that were aired may be offensive to ‘consumers’ who were not aware of pig farming practices.  WTF???  obviously those farmers who make a living by lining their pockets from the inhumane  farming of these animals who enjoy no quality life what-so ever, do not find these horrific images offensive.  New Zealanders who are so proud of our world famous lamb and beef exports would never allow cows and sheep to be cage-farmed so why is it accepted practise to farm pigs this way?

Read more here

In cynical kiwi style the footnote ending the article notes “The pork industry’s board had postponed the annual Bacon of the Year awards in response to the programme.”  How Sensitive of them.

Visit http://www.lovepigs.org.nz/ and get involved by refusing to buy NZ torture-pork

Click here to sign an e-card to lobby your local MP to change the current Pig Farming legislation

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