Tag Archives: Business

Farming Life

There is always something on when you marry a farmer, and not only the weather dominates days, for croppers and for graziers alike. Everyone waits for the break of the season, where everything feels like it’s new again, farmers happily jump on tractors to plough paddocks and bulls can be put with the cows to start the mating season off.

What do they all do in the meantime? you ask, We have had a couple of bulls roaming our house block, we have our house on a 20 acre or 8 hectare block and it is fenced off so that we don’t have roamer but every now and then it is good farming practice to bring the sheep in to chew down overgrowth and or let cattle in to do the same. The only problem here is the beautiful working dogs, have to go to their compounds so that they don’t spend their time rounding things up and chasing them into corners as they are trained to do. We also have hay we are feeding out in the house yard so letting animals in they chew bottom rows and sometimes cause a collapse which can kill others. it also reduces the amount of food available during the summer.

Daily as I do book work, house work and run the business from my office, I can hear the comforting sound of the tractor running as he puts hay on to a trailer and then takes it to the cattle to feed them. But the last couple of days we have had a couple of the large bulls wander In and slowly much on the grass. It has been interesting to watch the cats stare at these enormous animals as they roam the front and back yard. The cats will happily watch from the security of the screen doors but should they be outside and the 500+kilo animals walk past them then we can watch as they running to the comfort of being under the house or in through the cat door.

Our bulls are very gentle and are quite happy to wander around and the dogs are not so keen to take on such large animals. I sit in my office and the floor is bare – my beautiful Pete (Golden Retriever) is gone and I have washed and folded his blanket and placed it on the chair as I am not ready to put it away so Gatsby the ginger cat has taken it over and casually stretches himself in it and on it and sleeps there until the farmer comes in to move him and sits in the chair. Gatsby has also taken to spread himself in my chair at the kitchen table and now uses his paws to push me off it when he wants to stretch out (he is the king of this castle) see picture below.

Gatsby

Gatsby

Life is interesting and as we wait for the break in the season it means we work until it rains and then once it rains we work at different things. In the meantime we watch and care for the animals we have and plan for the future, but if you call in here at the moment drive slowly as we don’t want them hurt, this is the welcoming party. See you can tell we promote grass-fed here.

Our 'pet bulls" in the house yard

Our ‘pet bulls” in the house yard

cooking at home versus fast food

It this really busy world where women and men are out working, being parents, playing sports, being on committees and numerous other roles unmentioned in this blog. There is always that nagging feeling when coming to the end of the working day, even if you do not work in paid employment after a day working, it comes to about 4pm and your mind starts thinking about the dreaded chore of preparing the evening meal. Remember the ‘frustrated Chef‘ from ‘Sesame Street’ well cooking daily makes me feel like this

There is no speech by your parents when you grow up about how laborious this chore is, yes they talk about sex, making babies, financial responsibilities and school and growing up but my mother never told me how this could be the worst chore ever invented and how necessary it is to daily functions. My mother also never told me how frustrating it is when you ask people in the house what do they want to dinner and have responses like “anything as long as I’m with you” as nice as it sounds it’s a cop-out. In Australian language that means I have no idea and I’m not prepared to offer any suggestions, this is frustrating to say the least, or what would be nice occasionally is to have someone say, “I know” and get up and prepare it and present it themselves.

We sit and watch shows like ‘Masterchef‘, ‘My Restaurant Rules‘, Huey’s kitchen and every other ‘lifestyle’ program has a cooking segment on it and we (pardon the pun) devour these shows, in my case I love some of the dishes and want to see who wins, that’s the competitive nature in me coming out there. But sometimes these dishes they don’t relate to normal life do they? Who really has the time (other than paid contestants) to spend 5 hours preparing meals? Not me I could not think of anything more boring. Preparing and presenting a perfectly cooked meal, consuming it and then CLEANING up.

There are some days when I think, can’t I just go and buy dinner? I live where there is no identifiable (no golden arches) fast food places within 150kms or in American terms 93.20 miles so when I do feel like this I rely on the trusty freezer, to have meat, oven fires and frozen vegetables and normally use this opportunity to do a mixed grill, rump, fillet or lamb chops which I will crumb, eggs from our chooks, sausages either our beef or lamb, then bread cooked in our bread maker and frozen oven fries cooked in the oven. This really is our choice, I don’t keep frozen ‘fast foods‘ like hash browns or others, these can be high in fat and salt.

But sometimes just sometimes I would love someone to come in and cook and clean. The last time farmer was out for dinner I cooked a microwave bag of popcorn and ate that, nothing else but white wine with it. When we travel to the city to see family and friends it normally is for a celebration so food is part of this shared experience, I have a family of cookers, they bring salads, hot vegetables, desserts and we cook either a leg of lamb or roast some of our beef. There is nothing nicer, but if we dine out, I note farmer goes for the seafood or steak, I normally go the steak option, it is just nice to have food prepared and presented to you. We also like Asian foods which I also cook when I feel I have time, but overall home cooking is always much more flavor some and healthy for you than ‘fast foods’ but for the convenience fast foods will win this mental trauma every time and this is back by the statistics, people would rather drive through than shop in.

My advice, find a great fresh home delivery company that will bring fresh fruit, produce and meat to your door, plan your meals so that you only order what you know you are going to eat. This will help reduce the high calories intake and save you from opening your purse. Put that money towards a long desired holiday where, when you get it you can PAY someone to cook what you want and clean up.

frustrated chef

Spring lambs

Isn’t it funny how a bit of sunshine after a long cold, rain filled winter brings us ‘out’ of the house. Living on a property one can see how sunshine after a persistent winter can bring changes. Despite the farmer being born and bred on the land, we drove back to the property after spending a lovely weekend with family in the city celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary, he commented on how the ‘grass had grown.”

I always look at him in amazement when he makes comments like this as we all know ‘grass always grows with water & heat.’ He also made a comment that he wondered who would eat it and as an answer to his question I spotted a kangaroo (they are wild on our property) and said looks like mum (kangaroo) & joey (baby kangaroo) are. They were standing in the afternoon sun and quite peaceful where they were sheltered from other animals and cars.

We drove past the front paddock where there is sheep and baby lambs, they are all looking very healthy and ‘fresh’ is the terminology. Lambs when they are free range and grass-fed always look good. They have a thin coat of fat under their skin and they actually skip as they walk. This is a sure-fire way to know the flock of sheep have a balanced diet and not living under constant stress of being fenced in and fed with lots of grain. This look will appear on them in the markets, this brings a higher price and will also ensure the consumer gets high quality lamb.  If you ever travel to a farm, one way you can pick this is the flock looks clean – no such thing as white wool / grey maybe due to environmental factors but more importantly around their rear end it does not look dirty from faeces or ‘dags’ as clumps of dried faeces can do. This can be – but not always a sign of worms and the flock will need to be treated. Treatment does not change the quantity and quality of the meat but left untreated the lambs will not look happy or healthy and the meat may be dark in colour.

To see flocks of lambs sitting in the sun and not eating means that they are well fed and relaxed. Ewes will only walk a short distance from their young unless disturbed which on farms can be by dogs / humans / horses and vehicles, which are all used to move them from one paddock to another.  Our lambs are ready to go to market so we are hoping they will come to a store near you soon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Starting Fresh

It’s been a while but we have been busy working on many things and one of those is joining with a home delivery company with out lambs. It is a big step for two small companies to join together, to work together with the one goal: providing fresh, superb quality foods to many who are time poor, do not wish to shop in a supermarket and want to support the local grower / primary producer and small business.

We have met and talked and agreed we need to give it a ‘red hot go’ as they say in Australia. We will supply them with grass-fed fresh lamb, advertise and move it out. It’s a win win for South Australians, you can go on-line to http://www.firstfroots.com.au order your fresh fruit and vegetables and from next month lamb. we will be doing joint press releases and advertising so that you know when we will be on their shelves (in the cool room) and be delivered fresh, cold freezer or meal ready to your door.

With First Froots there is NO joining free, enter your postcode check your home delivery status then register login, see their extensive menu, check out the price list – no hidden costs here, order what you want, select payment and then enter. delivered fresh to your door, we have tasted a fine selection of fruit and vegetables and after 1 week, we had to throw NOTHING OUT, it is fresh not stored in warehouses till it’s needed. The taste and quality are that of a farmers market, we highly recommend the service, if they delivered to Keith we would be using them exclusively. When you join tell them via Bully Beef and other meats blog.

 

 

 

buying fresh meat

At this time of year Christmas and holidays, food takes centre place in many social gatherings, family get together and work place meetings. Most societies celebrate, mourn, rejoice and relax whilst sharing food. Food is seen as a sign of acceptance and a sign of hospitality, in olden times you would be offered a meal as you may have travelled for days, the weather and distance would play a part in what you were going to receive as a guest into some bodies home.

Beef is a staple in Australia, “it is the second most popular fresh meat consumed through the food service industry (after chicken)”(1)

“Australians eat an average 33kg of beef and veal per person, per year. This has remained relatively constant for the last 15 years.” (2)

Meat & Livestock Australia, fast Fact 2011: Australia’s Beef Industry (1) (2)

Make sure when you purchase your meat it is as fresh as possible, you are more likely to get fresher meat from a local butcher, farmers market or ordering direct from farmers you know than from super markets. No place will sell ‘bad’ meat let me make that clear but those listed above will be fresher and you will notice a completely different taste to anything you purchase in the supermarket. When meat is packaged there is an absorption pillow under packaged meat and the longer the meat has sat on the pad the more it has absorbed and the ‘older’ the meat is. If there is juice in package the fresher the meat, but it is like anything else if you open it and it smells off, it is likely to be off, do not eat ‘turning meat’ return it immediately to the place of purchase in Australia, they will refund you and notify their supplier immediately. It is better they know than not for other consumers may have also bought something that is not right.