Periodic interruptions to our normal service

vista

So you may have noticed that blog posts tend to be regular for a little while – even a long while – (minus that month every spring where we appear to fall off a cliff) and then there’s radio silence for a short time, and then we’re back again. We’ve reached the point here on the farm where there’s too much for us to do ourselves – so we work really long hours. And although we have help in the form of Alejandro and Oscar, we don’t quite have enough man hours to get all the required tasks done on a regular basis. We’re working on adding another person to work in the garden/small animals/maybe (if I’m lucky) wool. We have started to have income streams but they aren’t firmly established yet – which makes the whole adding more people really risky – but without more help we’re not likely to be able to. So sometimes things fall off the to-do list. Sometimes that’s the blog. So we are still here. We’re still taking pictures and still have stories and updates to share. But if the blog goes quiet for a week it’s because we got a bit overwhelmed. Our Etsy shop (LaPiccolinaFarm) is even more neglected, although, with luck, the start of the new year will see consistent improvement on that.

So if you stop by and we haven’t posted anything new – or your inbox hasn’t received a post in a while – be patient with us. We’ll update just as soon as we can stop, breath, process pictures, and get the internet connection to work.

 

UTE Power Lines

UTE = is our electrical company.  UTE is national.  UTE has bright orange trucks and the workmen wear orange overalls, or orange shirts or orange vests.  They cannot be mistaken for anyone else.

UTE showed up a last September at the farm to discuss installation of some medium tension power lines that would be going up in the region. One of the selling points the lawyer used to try to get us to sign the permission slip to let them install on the property was there would be less “black outs” in our electrical connection. Our reply was, “What electricity?” We were still waiting to have our electricity installed. So we asked if we could connect to those poles. Oh No! They were not that kind of line, they were medium tension power lines. Fine, we signed, and asked that they be considerate of our olive grove.  About six months later, the UTE rep and the lawyer returned and had us sign another paper. This one said they did an evaluation and their electrical poles installed in our olive grove would not hinder our production or cause us any financial burden. Fine, we signed. Now, we have had electricity for a year, (YEA! an anniversary), and the electrical company is just now installing the poles for the medium tension wires. AND . . . the guys doing the install decided there was no reason to come on our property. In fact, it was easier for them to not put any poles in our grove. HURRAY!
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UTE 4

Notice how close they are to the fence line, the poles can only be 100 meters apart. The next pole is just  on the other side of the property.  If you look carefully in the background, you can see the string of concrete poles.  Next comes the wire, whenever that will be.

 

Egg

While out in the olive groves repairing stakes after the last of three big wind storms, the guys came across a Rhea sitting on a clutch of eggs.  She of course, scampered off in a huff.  The guys quickly grabbed a few of here 15 eggs and got back to work.  Here is one sitting beside a chicken egg.  We have been told that it is equivalent to 13 chicken eggs.  One of our guys likes it hard boiled and sliced over a salad, the other of our guys like it scrambled with some seasoning and veggies.  We have yet to decide how we will cook ours.

rhea egg

Home Grown Dinner

dinner

Almost an entirely home grown dinner.  The chorizo (sausage) is from the meat market, as well as the cheese.  The spinach, beets, and mashed roots are from our garden and the hard boiled egg in our salad is from our chickens.  We are having some delicious, flavorful meals.

The neighborhood gossips

Living in such a wonderfully rural location means our neighbors are either quite a ways away ( in some cases, rarely there), or not human. The neighboring cattle love to come visit Resi when we walk. But the noisiest, and nosiest, neighbors we have are the lorakeets. Adorable, noisy, large flocks of little green parrots. Evidently they do extraordinary damage to peach orchards. So far nothing to the olive trees. Except make it very noisy in the Picual.

The neighboring 17 hectares has a small eucalyptus grove that sits on a corner which points into the Picual. There’s a flock of lorakeets that live there. This time of year they hang out at their nests a lot – large, multi-leveled nests that look like large bundles of sticks.

neighbors2

Usually the nests is all you see. You can hear the gossipy cocktail hour no matter where you are. But actually getting to see the neighborhood gossips? That’s harder. It doesn’t help that they blend in so well with the eucalyptus leaves.

neighbors1

Often you can catch a glimpse of them hanging upside down from one of the various levels of the nests. Or the flock taking flight. Catching them just sitting required quite a few trips past with a camera!

The lorakeets appear to fit so well into the landscape here you’d never know that not only were they imported, they are considered invasive.

Lady Di’s new little one

Lady Di had her calf – our first glimpse was today although the calf was likely born a day or so ago. Lady Di got sneaky on us!

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So far mama and little one are doing great. One down, seven to go.