Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Electricity Metering

We use quite an amount of solar power on the farm for our electric fences, lights and hot water but are connected to the grid for our main power requirements.
When we heard about a trial of 'Smart Meters' which enable power use to be monitored offsite, we thought it was a great idea. So two units have now been installed on the property which means that our power useage can be recorded by remote reading (no-one has to drive 2.5 kms up our road just to read our meter). Hopefully the same thing will happen with water (now that we have some water to use).

Farm inspections almost complete

This is always a hectic time of year with farm inspections undertaken throughout Victoria. I've been driving around various parts of the state looking at member farms of the Free Range Farmers Association as well as egg producers who want to be accredited to the Australian Egg Corporation's National Egg Quality Assurance Program.
There's now just one farm to inspect for the FRFA and then the job's done for a year!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Chasing Steers

For four days in a row I've had to entice five black steers out of my vegetable garden back to where they belong - on the neighbouring property. We've had various incursions of cattle in the past because the boundary fences on the land are not adequate for cattle. But that doesn't worry the landowner, the Barro Group - one of the largest privately owned sand and concrete companies in Australia. They expect to be extracting sand on the site shortly but for the past ten years or so they have leased the land for grazing (and growing high value illicit crops).
The guy who owns the cattle has got the message and they have been trucked away to another property.
But it's presumably only a matter of time before someone else puts cattle there and I have to spend a couple of hours a day to put them back.
It's a strange thing that I've never been to work out! If my cattle or horses stray onto someone else's land, I have to run around and get them out. If other people's livestock get into my place, everyone expects me to return them. Maybe I should have a big barbeque instead.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Bodgy 'Free Range' eggs at markets

There are still large numbers of eggs sold at markets throughout Australia as 'Free Range' , putting consumers at risk. Despite regulations in Australia requiring producers to have food safety programs in place and to sell eggs in new cartons, labelled with an address and use by date - the regulations are routinely ignored.
Eggs were openly sold at the Kongwak market today in South Gippsland by a stallholder who met none of the requirements imposed on genuine egg farmers.