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    • Day 204

      Day 8 - Shamrockvale

      October 23, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

      We are getting used to these early mornings and woke up before the alarm. For breakfast we had some porridge topped with honey and bee pollen from the Shamrockvale bees which was really tasty.

      My morning was pretty cruisy, I sorted out the chooks and fed the calves and then got sent up to the yard to help with temperatures and meds. Chris didn't show though so I waited for a while and then headed back for smoko. In the meantime however I did manage to lose my water bottle down a post. I went to sit it on the top but turns out it was hollow - oops! Simon did kindly rescue it for me with a long piece of wire. Simon on the other hand had to clean out a considerable quantity of cow poop from one of the cattle trucks with a pressure washer! Looked like he had freckles after.

      For the rest of the day I helped Nick and Chris up at the yard whilst Simon finished off cleaning poo and then delivered grain to the cows.
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    • Day 211

      Day 15 - Shamrockvale

      October 30, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 23 °C

      It's our last day on the farm! It's going to be nice not to have to wake up at 6am anymore however I have a feeling our body clocks are going to take a while to adjust. As it's our last day Chris gave us the afternoon off to pack and get ourselves sorted which was really nice. In the morning we fed and watered the chooks for the last time and popped in to see Tyson as Chris had already fed him. Tyson has found his voice all of a sudden so moos all the time which is pretty cute. After 2 weeks he has gotten used to us now and doesn't mind / tolerates me cuddling him.

      For the rest of the morning we were let loose on the mowers. We've had so much rain the last week that even though Sonja and Simon mowed the week before, everything needed doing again.

      Neither of us knew what to expect before we arrived here. It has however exceeded all of our expectations and we will always look back fondly on our time here. Everyone here has welcomed us into the Shamrockvale family with open arms and we will not forget the Aussie BBQ's, endless games of pool (especially the Germanian rules with Sonja and Marius), dinner at the homestead and our introduction to Romanian cuisine. We have learnt so much about farm life and have particularly enjoyed helping Chris and Nick with the cattle, being surrogate mums to Tyson and our beloved Nugget and helping Marius with the bees. Thank you for having us Shamrockvale!
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    • Day 210

      Day 14 - Shamrockvale

      October 29, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

      Today we went to visit Auntie Tricia and Shane at their home in nearby Boyland. Tricia cooked us our first roast dinner since we left the UK. We had roast beef with all the trimmings and it was absolutely delicious. This was followed by a yummy lemon, creamy biscuity dessert! We are very much looking forward to going to stay with them in a weeks time.Read more

    • Day 209

      Day 13 - Shamrockvale

      October 28, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      We had a very lovely lazy Saturday morning. After sorting out the chooks and feeding Tyson, we spent the morning reading. After a leisurely lunch, we decided to do some more exploring and show Mark some of the farm. It turns out that when we went exploring last weekend, we had actually been exploring the neighbours farm - oops! This time we took the Mule through the correct gate and headed up to the highest point of the farm. It was quite a long drive and very steep in places. There were many times when I thought we weren't going to make it however the trusty Mule kept on going and carried us safely to the top. The views from the top were incredible and we could see the entire farm as well as the other side of the valley.

      In the evening, Tom and his wife Mags invited us for a farewell BBQ down by one of the lagoons which was really lovely of them. 2 BBQ's in 2 days, Simon is in his element!
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    • Day 208

      Day 12 - Shamrockvale

      October 27, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      Unfortunately what we had both been dreading has happened and we lost poor little Nugget in the night which is incredibly sad. Farm life never stops however so after sorting out Tyson, we headed back up to the yard to help with meds and temperatures. Chris asked us to herd in the cows for him and we thought we were doing a smashing job until Nick came in on his quad and rounded up 7 cows at the back of the field that we had missed - oops! The cows seem a lot better today though with lots of cows not needing any injections. All but 2 of the cows in the sick bay have been released back into the main paddock today too which is good news. As a result we were all finished up by 11am so we headed off in search of Marius to see if there was anything he wanted us to do for an hour. Marius didn't need any help but he was just off to see the bees to check whether they had accepted some new queen eggs he had introduced into a couple of the hives, so we came along for the ride. Marius only wears a protective hood when he goes to the bees which is completely bonkers! Simon and I however didn't fancy getting stung so we slipped into full protective get up with gloves and wellies and followed Marius in his short sleeved t-shirt, shorts and flip flops to the hives. I'm so glad we had the opportunity to visit the hives as it really is incredible to see.

      There weren't anymore cows to check on in the afternoon and it was stinking hot, so we both made some new frames for the hives in the shade.

      In the evening, Chris invited us up to his house for our first Aussie BBQ along with Marius and a new wwoofer who joined us today Mark. The food was great and we had a really fun evening with a few beers and some pool. Aside from normal pool, we played a game where you each pull a number out of a pot and the aim of the game is to keep your ball on the table. Once someone pots it you're out. It got pretty competitive which was very entertaining. I managed to win one game however the majority of the time I was out first!
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    • Day 207

      Day 11 - Shamrockvale

      October 26, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

      This morning Blake had something a little different to do whilst I helped Nick with the grain run. Blakes job was to help Brendan move the bull semen from one tank to another and make a note of where each sample went. I joined Blake after I finished the feeding and it was pretty cool. The semen is kept in large nitrogen tanks and when sorting the samples, Brendan moved them into a pot that he had filled with liquid nitrogen. When using liquid nitrogen back at work, as you can imagine there are a whole plethora of health and safety precautions you need to take. Not here however! Brendan just picks up the tanks, pours them out so it's splashing everywhere and even dips his hands in it. He also showed us a couple of pretty cool tricks with a piece of paper. When you put a piece of paper into a liquid, you would expect it to go soggy. Not in liquid nitrogen though! It went really hard and cold. He then did it again and crumpled the piece of paper snapped into a hundred very cold tiny pieces!

      After smoko, we headed back up to the yard to help with meds and temperatures again. There weren't any cows left to do after lunch so we were sent to help Marius in the veggie patch. Luckily we managed to avoid this until now as neither of us particularly enjoy gardening. For starters I don't know the difference between a weed and a vegetable so we may have lost a few spring onions although we did manage to re-plant a few.

      When we got back to our place I had a little nap as I was pooped, only to wake up when Blake had very excitedly found some chocolate someone had left outside on the BBQ. Needing a bit of a sugar boost before feeding the calves and closing up the chooks I munched my share whilst Blake put hers in the fridge to save for an after dinner treat. Around 7pm we had a knock at the door where two children dressed in Halloween get up appeared. The chocolate had been left by their mum for us to give to them... OOPS! Luckily they had lots already and Blake managed to hide from the adults that only half the chocolate left was going into the children's pots. Unlucky for Blake as she missed out on a mini snickers, mars bar and m&m's. Imagine if we had eaten both!

      When we sat down for the evening, the heavens seriously opened. Shortly after we started to hear a loud ting, ting, TING sound from outside. I walked out and realised it was hailing. This was no ordinarily hail though as these stones were massive in comparison to back home!
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    • Day 206

      Day 10 - Shamrockvale

      October 25, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      Simon and I were let loose on the tractor again this morning to do the grain run. Simon even let me have a go at driving which was really fun and also very bumpy! Turns out that he is an equally bad backseat driver in a tractor as he is in a car!

      After smoko we were back up at the yard with Nick doing meds and temperatures. We have this down pat now (excuse the pun) and are getting through the cows in super speed. It also helps that some of them are starting to get better and therefore have less injections to do.

      Chris fed Nugget some electrolytes this morning through a tube which appear to have perked him up a bit as when we went to feed him this morning he guzzled down one and a half litres. I feel like a proud parent who's child has eaten all their vegetables.
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    • Day 205

      Day 9 - Shamrockvale

      October 24, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      Poor little Nugget was super wobbly this morning. Feeding him has turned into a bit of a mammoth task as it takes around half an hour just to feed him one litre of milk. Tyson however guzzles 2 litres in about 5 minutes. After sorting out the boys, we helped Nick with the grain run before smoko.

      For the rest of the day, we both helped Nick up at the yard taking temperatures and administering meds. We both took it in turns to herd in the cows and write down the temperatures. Herding in the cows is pretty scary to start with. You have to get in the small pen with them and then usher them through the gate. Sometimes they do what they're told and other times they completely ignore you which is pretty frustrating. Sometimes they need an encouraging tap with a bit of hose however I feel mean hitting them hard, at which point Nick will intervene and give them a good whack.

      In the evening we were invited up to the homestead for dinner with the owners of the farm Gabby and Robert which was nice. Gabby cooked pork with mashed potato, cauliflower cheese and salad which was pretty scrummy. There was even dessert of gingerbread apple pies (which are delicious FYI) with mango sorbet.
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    • Day 203

      Day 7 - Shamrockvale

      October 22, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      We woke up to the sun shining in through the windows (and our alarm going off). We gave ourselves a bit of a lie in so both Tyson and even Nugget were stood waiting for us to come feed them. Nugget was really good this morning and drank the whole 2 litres so hopefully the medicine has kicked in and he is going to start getting better. After sorting the boys and the chooks, Simon cooked up a fry up. Its the first time in a very long time we've had an English breakfast.

      As it was such a beautiful day we decided to do a bit of exploring around the farm. Chris mentioned yesterday that we could borrow the Mule and if we headed out towards the dams we would get some great views out over the farm. We didn't find the dams (although we didn't really know what we were looking for) but we did drive / walk up a gurt big hill where we got some stunning views.

      We chilled for the rest of the afternoon before going to feed the boys again. Nugget wouldn't really drink anything but that may just have been because he drank so much for breakfast. The vet is coming out tomorrow so she is going to take a look at him.
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    • Day 27

      Wo Rauch ist...

      September 27, 2016 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

      wird nicht nur der Sonnenuntergang viel schöner (siehe das Bild oben), sondern ist natürlich auch Feuer. Und das habe zum Teil ich gelegt ;) Klingt komisch, ist aber völlig legal. Sowas passiert hier auf der Farm, wo ich seit anderthalb Wochen wwoofe (und über die ich jetzt auch wieder mehr bloggen werde - ich brauchte nur mal ein bisschen Digitalpause).

      Präriefeuer also. Das war wahrscheinlich ein ziemlich typisches Stück Australien, das ich erleben durfte: Am Morgen ging es raus in die Berge, die auch zu den 1600 (!) Hektar Land der Farm gehören. Und dann standen wir vor einem riesigen Feld mit trockenem Gras.

      "Wenn man es mäht, dauert das Wochen", sagte Farmboy Chris. Abbrennen erledigt das bei gutem Wetter (es war super sonnig) an einem Tag. Und natürlich muss man noch den Wind im Blick haben. Der bestimmt natürlich, an welchem Ende man anfängt damit sich die Flammenwalze dann in die richtige Richtung bewegt.

      Alles in allem war es ein erfolgreicher Tag. Zwar hat es gestunken wie die Pest und zwischendurch hat der unverschämte Wind ungefragt gedreht, aber am Ende war der Boden schwarz und kurzgeschoren. Tolle Bilder gab es obendrein - es sah aus wie nahe an der Apokalypse, wenn sich auf hundert Metern die Flammen weiterfressen. Und genau an dem Tag hab ich mein Smartphone nicht dabei. Cowboy Oli dafür schon er hat ein Bild geschossen, dass ich dann bald nachreiche.

      Meine deutsche Sichtweise hat sich übrigens kurz gewundert, wie gefährlich das bitte ist, im trockenen Australien so ein Feuer anzufachen. Aber nein, das ist hier wirklich völlig normal. Mehr dazu steht zum Beispiel hier:…

      Und in Deutschland gibt es das wohl auch, mit entsprechender Genehmigung. Außerdem ist durch geschicktes Zündeln wohl unsere ganze schöne Heidelandschaft entstanden:…
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