We are always trying new things here on the farm. We love to take on a new project and see where it goes. Most of the time, the projects go well, and I often share them here on the blog. Occasionally though, our projects don’t quite go how we planned. So here are some projects that we have tried, that just haven’t worked out for us, or at least they haven’t worked out for us yet!
We had our first annual sausage making day last October with some friends. It was a lot of fun, and we made a lot of sausages. Unfortunately, we are still working on getting the mix right. They definitely need more fat, as the texture is not quite right. We used straight bread crumbs, and I think we need to invest in some proper sausage rusk. In our first ever attempt at sausage making we used a seasoning premix, which we didn’t love either. We are planning to have another sausage making day sometime over the winter, but we haven’t yet managed to perfect our recipe. Incidentally, it is also really hard to get a photo of sausage making that looks ok!
Hatching Chicks From Eggs
Since moving to the farm, I’ve wanted to have a go at hatching our own chickens. It’s something that I think the kids would really enjoy, and would be a great learning experience too. We’ve had two attempts at it now, but neither have worked out. In our first attempt we borrowed a friend’s incubator. I read up on how to manage the incubator, and we got some fertile eggs from a neighbour. At the 10 day mark, we candled the eggs (shone a bright light on to them to see if anything was in the eggs), and they all looked empty, but because we had never done it before, we decided to keep going, in case we just didn’t know what we were looking for. 21 days (hatching time), came and went and at about day 23, Country Boy candled a couple again. They all appeared empty, so he broke a few open. Not one had developed at all. Our best guess is that our neighbours rooster was “shooting blanks”, as there were no signs of development at all.
On our second attempt we bought some fertile eggs, and popped them under a broody hen, thinking that she would be able to hatch them better that we could. Unfortunately the other chickens pecked at the eggs, and ate them, so again none hatched.
Finally we decided to buy a few day old chickens so that the kids could at least have a go at raising a few of their own before it got too cold. Those chickens are now out in the chook shed with all the others (though I think there are a few roosters which are destined for the pot). I’m still hopeful that next Spring we can finally hatch our own.
Sun Drying Our Fruit
Back in February we had a huge glut of plums and tomatoes, so we decided to have a go at sun drying our own. Country Boy found an old car roof rack as a frame and attached some gauze to the frame so that we could spread the fruit out. We then cut a big lot of tomatoes in half and I got some muslin cloth which we pegged to the edge of the frame to protect the fruit. We then put the frame on top of the garden shed, facing north to get as much sun as possible. Unfortunately the wind came up and blew the frame down and all the tomatoes were covered in dirt. We did have a go with plums and it worked ok, but we need to refine our technique a little. It’s yet another learning curve for us, but I think we will get there eventually.
Christmas Lights On The Silos
Last Christmas I had the great idea of popping some fairy lights on the silo that is on top of the hill behind my in laws house. My MIL has commented how they would look good there, as the silo can be seen from quite a long way. Country Boy bought some solar powered lights in town (no power up at the silo) and one evening he and I took some command hooks and a ladder up to the silo and hung them. They looked really good for a night or two then stopped. It turns out the the cockatoos like to eat the copper cables. It was a good idea but we won’t be trying it again. I didn’t even get a photo of the lights before the cockatoos got to them.
Extending The House
Yep this is the big one. We have been planning a house extension for three and a half years now. Basically since we decided to stay here on the farm. These things take time though – legal bits and pieces so that we actually own our house, designs being drawn up and altered, and re drawn etc. As I wrote about last month, we are almost (fingers and toes and everything crossed) ready to start, but we still have a long way to go. If some one told me 3 years ago that we would still be at this point, I’m not sure I could have been convinced to stay. I’m learning patience, and it is going to be totally worth it, even if it hasn’t gone according to (my) plan!
Some times in blogland it seems like everyone has all these perfect ideas that come together effortlessly. Sometimes they do, but sometimes they definitely do not.
What projects have you tried that just haven’t worked? Got any sausage making advice?