Winter Wonderland

The farm this Winter has been awesome.Frosty mornings, fires at night and a stew or two. 

Reminds me of Tassie…but not as cold

Modern art Berrico style – frozen cow poo.

Cowgirl boots minus the cowgirl

Truth be said, I will miss the winter mornings.

For the cows it means extra feed and TLC.

PS Shawn this post is for you.

Festival on the Hill (part 1) – Cocktails at Sunset

A couple of weeks ago we held a little gathering at the farm to say a big thank you to all our friends and family who have made our first two years at Binalong such an amazing experience for us.

It has been the adventure of a lifetime and we are so glad you have been able to share it with us.

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We were very lucky to have talented local musician, Bec Willis, make an appearance. Bec kept the great and the good entertained, whilst cocktails and a few cold beers were partaken on the hill.

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Fortunately, the weather was spot on and, as usual, the view did not disappoint.

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We even managed to get Rowdy in a tie…

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And whilst our photographer went for the open necked look, he eventually smartened up (sort of). Great snaps Norton. You are a good man.

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Our jackaroo, Nick and his lovely wife, Teresa

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The prettiest waitress in Berrico!

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Half of the Kessler-Dowd clan.

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The Berrico ladies. Outstanding!

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My gorgeous wife, who pulled it all together. Love you, honey.

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The men folk. The pants may be a little tighter but a handsome bunch nonetheless…

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Big Rich (or should that be Elvis?). Love your work mate.

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Friends forever…

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For Whom The Bell Tolls…

So, for the last six weeks, we have been busy getting our Black Angus steers ready for sale.

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This has meant making sure that the cattle have plenty of feed and putting them through the yards to check their weight and teeth, as young cattle of around 400 – 450 kilos, with only two teeth, fetch a higher market price.

Now, checking an unwilling steer’s teeth is not as simple as it sounds, particularly when it weighs half a tonne. It involves putting the beast into the cattle crush, levering its head upward with your shoulder and prising open its mouth to check the molars. Rest assured, it was much more painful for me than it was for them!

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We have also been checking ear tags and NLIS numbers (basically, cow registration numbers) to make sure that when the steers are sold, the authorities know where they have come from and who they are going to. This means completing a bunch of forms in triplicate and electronically transferring the cattle on the NLIS database. You gotta love bureaucracy.

Unfortunately for the steers, however, “sale” in this instance does not mean the boys will be heading off to another farm to frolic in the fields. It entails a one way trip to Wingham abattoir where they will ultimately end up on someone’s plate in Asia. At the same time, our old bull, Daz, will also be leaving us as our breeders will join with a new bull in the not too distant future.

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I guess this brings home the nature of raising cattle. As much as we have grown fond of the Angus steers and Daz, when it is all said and done, they are not pets. They are farm animals and their journey is near its end.

Hot, Too Damn Hot

Our sizzling Spring weather has continued unabated, with Berrico recording 43 degrees in the shade the other weekend.

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This has meant trips to the river for the kids and a slowdown in getting stuff done as, well, it is just too hot for a soft city boy like me.

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That said, water management is a big issue for us as we run the farm off tank water and spring water for the beasts. Usually, at this time of year, the hills are green and Berrico Creek is flowing. Alas, not this year.

Nat and I found one of the last deep pools left on the creek, which I immediately jumped into. My brother reckoned it was on the nose and was full of mosquito larvae. I reckon any port in a storm.

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P.S. I posted a couple of weeks ago that our cows has unfortunately picked up acidosis from, quite frankly, my mismanagement. Happy to report that all beasts are well and we now have three beautiful little heifer calves.

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I am too old for a baby….

Except if it is a newborn calf, that is.

Meet our first born. A baby heifer calf, daughter of Daz and proud Brangus mum.

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As we were not expecting calves until early October, imagine our surprise when we drove into the farm on Saturday to see the little lady running around.
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Cue much excitement and girly squeals, at least from me anyway.

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Of course, this meant sitting around on the hill, with the neighbours wetting the baby's head.

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Life is good.

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From Little Things Big Things Grow….

We (actually my wife and her mate Lynette, with a little help from the kids) planted 3 small, veggie patches a while ago.

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I admit I was sceptical, humouring their efforts as they turned the soil and planted a scraggly array of lettuce, chillies, herbs, carrots and beetroots.

“If the rabbits don’t eat them, the wallabies will!” I thought.

2 months later though I am reaped the rewards of the workers efforts, when on Sunday night I brought home fresh chillies, tomatoes, rocket and parsley which I cooked, with a little olive oil and spaghetti.
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Delicious!

A message to my William: I would have saved you a tomato mate but they went to a better home….