Autumn at our place

A coil of mist spills into the hollow and snakes along the road to our dam. As I walk to our hen house the air is tinged with wood smoke and the promise of a hot dinner around a cosy table. Mushrooms grow in the pine needles at my feet. The kids laugh at the puffs of steam from their mouths when they shout to each other from either side of the creek.

It’s autumn. The fever of summer is well behind us as we settle in for the first change of seasons that we’ve seen on the farm.

Some winter veg have been planted in the beds made from an old water tank, and the caterpillars are already feasting on my broccoli. Driving past the orchard every day on the morning school run fills me with a firm resolve to learn more about our apple trees. In the peak of apple season our trees stand naked, with not a single fruit ripening in the misty light. Either apple scab or the famous Melbourne heatwave in late January managed to kill off the hundreds of apples that were growing when we moved here a few months ago. This time next year I hope to hear the kids groaning about yet another apple crumble.

Blue Australorp hens

Our blue Australorps. These were the first members of our flock, back at Christmas. Unfortunately, one turned out to be a rooster and the others aren’t laying eggs yet. Look at those bright red combs… surely it’s any day now?

Grapefruit tree

In a few more weeks we’ll have grapefruit-a-plenty. There has to be at least 80 fruit on our tree currently ripening. I think some grapefruit marmalade is in our future…

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We’ve had so much welcome rain, and it kicked in the day after I planted out our first veggie patch!

caterpillar

My broccoli is under attack from some very hungry caterpillars. They make a tasty treat for the chooks.

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