|A simple arrangement of the wild flowers which|
abound - who needs a massive arrangement - I
subscribe to KISS (keep it simple, stupid)
The matchbox is to give you perspective on how
tiny the flowers are.
|A close-up of the tiny, tiny wild flowers|
What is it about the New year that always inspires one to make changes - to one's life, to one's attitude or to one's modus operandi?
We have a whole bunch to look forward to this year. Miranda will be having her cria in February / March. Kris was misbehaving earlier today - trying to mount Miranda - so he has been placed in his own paddock. It was only a matter of time before that had to happen anyway - they must be separated before she gives birth.
|Kris certainly knows how to put on the|
"poor me" face. RMAn is feeling very bad
about plonking him in his own paddock.
No, he's not happy and is now firmly fixed to the area where he entered his paddock - humming and gazing longingly at Miranda. But, we know he'll get over it in a day or two - or three...
At least they are easily able to see each other.
|Miranda's "pond" - just a hollowed out area in the|
ground lined with a double layer of the thickest
building plastic we could find. They have padded
hooves, so the plastic should be able to handle
The alpaca's found a few of the days pretty warm - even with their shorn coats. A sure signal that Miranda is hot is when she starts "pawing" the water bucket. Some alpaca's love lying in water - to cool off the radiator area of their bodies - their stomachs. Miranda is such an alpaca. Kris - he's a typical male - who needs water...?
|Kris - always the curious one, but that's as|
far as it goes. He's not going anywhere near
water, thank you very much. "Rather, give
me a sand bath..."!
So far, she hasn't used it, but at least it's there if she does decide it's worth trying. Seems she prefers RMAn to let the contents of the rain water tank flow out of the hosepipe and she then careully positions herself down in the puddle that forms.
My veggies are coming on nicely, and I have made a decision regarding the preservation of them. I do not possess a canning pot - and I wouldn't even know where to find one in this country. Trying to buy one off Amazon is out of the question - it would seem that anything which is imported now - even a simple fly / mosquito net for our bed - carries such a heavy import duty that it is almost not worth the item by the time it is received. I mean, seriously, I purchased the fly / mosquito net for $29.95 (roughly ZAR320.00) In order for Customs to release the parcel I had to pay ZAR335.00 - so I ended up with a mosquito net for ZAR655.00???? Still cheaper than buying a bespoke one locally ( which will fit the bed in a similar fashion), but I feel that is still a lot of money.
Also, our growing season is so long that it really isn't necessary to "put away" food for any great length of time. Beans, peas and spinach / swiss chard grow abundantly here in winter, and summer - well - summer's bounty lasts from the end of October to the end of April / May.
I also do not have an electric food dehydrator that can handle the hopefully abundent harvest which will be available in a month or two's time. Nor do we have the power allowance to run an electric dehydrator for 2 - 3 days / batch continuously.
I have also had my electric chest freezer on for the past 15 - 21 days - but that is tantamount to running two fridges, and is proving heavy going for our solar power storage. So, in the next week to ten days, I will be using whatever is left in the freezer before turning it off again. So freezing produce is out of the question.
So, how am I going to preserve my vegetables?
Via a solar food dehydrator :)
RMan - that is (once again) where you are needed :) I purchased the wood last year, but that got used for other "important" projects (like shelving for RMan's tools, and containers of nails, nuts and bolts etc). So, once I am able to get more wood, then we are going to make a solar dehydrator. Stay tuned for more news on that...