6 October 2012

The farm of Pam and Dan Harris

‘Pigs and ducks and goats run a scurry…..’

We bought a run down old sheep property in 1984.  It was barren and windy.  There were no fences, the paddocks were infested with blackberries, there were no trees, but at an altitude of over 500 metres, the view was to die for.

We set about developing a small farm.  We lived in the shed while we built the house to make the most of the view and you will also see the foundations of at least one other building that hasn’t quite made it!   We dug dams, cleared the blackberries, built a propagation house, planted trees to reduce the wind and developed a huge vegie patch.  We now have goats, pigs, a couple of cows, ducks, turkeys, chooks, dogs and a cat.   

At the beginning, the goats were our focus and as well as eating the blackberries, they provided milk and we also sold them for meat.  We make beautiful goat’s cheese and icecream.
A rounder goat I've never seen
Nothing is wasted.  The manure and old straw from the animal sheds is plowed into the garden and the vegie patch.  Weeds are dug into trenches to form green compost.  Cans and other utensils are used to propagate or to border garden beds.  

Dog food cans make excellent leek protectors

Cans for decoration?
Tree branches and garden cuttings are used for mulch or fed to the goats.  We don’t use artificial fertilisers or sprays.  Because we have the animals and a large vegetable patch, we are self sufficient in meat, milk, cream, cheese and vegetables.
Dan and "mum"
Pig Junior - had been digging for China when we interrupted it for a photo

Our soil is volcanic and the rocks grow like mushrooms.  But once we have removed the rocks and added the mulch, the soil is great.  A lot of the plants are grown from cuttings and we save the seeds from the vegetables so we are pretty self sufficient on that level too.    

Our house water is from the tank and the garden is watered mainly from the dams.  Occasionally we use bore water.  We have severe frosts so we avoid plants that are frost prone and propagate plants under cover.  We keep the lime and lemon tree in pots on the verandah.  But the climate here is drier and warmer than in the town of Glenlyon.

The garden is a work in progress because we (well, one of us!) just keep on making more gardens!  

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