Monday, March 30, 2009

Ag n Chat Trip

Last Thursday our Ag n Chat group went to Leeton to have a look at the SunRice Rice Mill. It has a very interesting display there with a video about Australia's rice industry. The lack of water has severely affected this industry and many jobs have been lost in the area because of it.

We had a tour of the packing shed to see how rice is packaged into it's plastic bags. This process is all automated now and each production line can be operated by two persons only. As you can see we had to wear coats, hairnets, earplugs and steel capped shoes before being allowed into the factory area. We all looked lovely and I was threatened that I'd better not show this photo, but I had to so that you all got the full effect of the story!!!
A quick tour was then had at the Yanco Agricultural Institute. John showed us rice in the paddocks which is ready to harvest now.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

100 Years

Yesterday our local primary school celebrated it's 100th birthday. It was a huge day for our small town of Marrar. There were ceremonies at the school with morning tea for the masses. A street parade was held in the afternoon and then our tennis club catered for the evening meal at the hall which 280 people attended. Farmer Phil and I have just come home from the clean up at the hall this morning and as you can imagine, everyone in the town is exhausted! Here are some photo's of the street parade.

Marrar Primary School float.

The local carriage drivers.

A vintage Case tractor.

A vintage Fordson Major tractor.

A vintage Lanz Bulldog tractor.
Marrar Tennis Club's float.
The Mighty Marrar Bombers Footbal and Netball Club.

Farmer Phil driving our sowing rig.

My father in law, Noel driving our little 1963 Massey Ferguson tractor.

The original Maple Leaf fire truck from the Marrarvale Rural Fire Brigade.

The local polo crosse club.

Here is the local hall ready for the dinner. The 26 students from the school drew all the place mats.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rustious Roly Poly

I bought this barb wire ball at the Gala Day auction. It was made by a Yanco parent and is supposed to be made from original McCaughey wire. This is the blurb that came with it:

Botanical Name: Rustious Roly Poly

This very,very drought tolerant and frost hardy plant is a delight to grow and is a must for the lazy gardener.

This rustic, year round flowering plant has very prickly petals. It battle on regardless of dry arid conditions.

It will also grow successfully in higher rainfall areas but is susceptible to all forms of rust: stripe, leaf and stem!!! A fungicide spray of CRC or WD40 will give a short period of control.

Despite low rust tolerance, it rarely affects growth and flowering ability.

I recommend this plant to gardeners EVERYWHERE.......

PS: This plant has a poor root system and may require staking in windy open areas.......!!!!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Beach Carnival

The Friday before Gala Day is Beach Carnival at Yanco Ag. It is exactly like a beach carnival held at the seaside except that it's held on a sandy beach on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. The students compete in flag races, chariot races, iron man events and tug of wars. It's a fantastic family day and the kids love competing for their Houses. Just before lunch all the Houses have to do a march past accompanied by the Drum Corp and they are judged on their marching abilities. This competition is always hotly contested with the Houses having marching practice for weeks coming up to the carnival.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gala Day

Yesterday was Gala Day at Yanco Agricultural High School where Ryan and Emma are boarding students. It is the biggest day for fundraising for the school so it's a huge day for the students, parents and teachers. There are lots of stalls to buy produce from and games and rides for the kids to play and ride. The school also shows off it's agricultural heritage and educational and musical pursuits.

This is McCaughey House which is the central building of the school. The land was owned by Sir Samuel McCaughey and when he died back in 1919 he bequeathed it to the government for a boys agricultural boarding school.

This is a portrait of Sir Samuel McCaughey in the main hall of the house. It was painted by Frederick McCubbin and was restored a few years ago and is now housed in a glass cabinet to protect it. You can see our reflections in the glass.

The mansion has lots of stained glass windows and this one is above the staircase.

Yanco Ag is well known for it's agricultural opportunities for the students. They can participate in both sheep and beef showstock by following the local and interstate country shows to compete with the stock in parading etc. Here are three steers which are being prepared for the Royal Sydney Show which is held at Easter. The cattle are very calm and are a credit to the students efforts in handling them.

Yanco has an exceptional equestrian programme too with lots of students keeping their horses at school.
Yanco also has a White Suffolk sheep stud and there was a competition going yesterday to guess the weight of the sheep and also advertising the rams for sale.

The Drum Corp performed their march past.

The choir performed four songs under the McCaughey verandah.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Art Exhibition

I did a quick trip into Wagga this afternoon to look at an art exhibition I've been meaning to go to for the past week but hadn't found the time to visit. It's by Jenny Blake and she has fabulous paintings and drawings about life on the land. If you visit her website (, it has lots of photos of her artwork and merchandise available. I got these cute fridge magnets which sum up a "farmer" and the life of a "farmers wife" very well. I also bought a framed print about life on the land which you can see on her website.

Some of you may recognise Jenny from the TV show "The Farmer Wants a Wife" where she is the female farmer looking for a husband.

What All Good Farmers Wives Do!

Farmers wives are supposed to be great cooks, so here's my effort. This is the scene at my kitchen bench this evening. I am busy cooking up a storm for a cake stall at Ryan and Emma's Gala Day tomorrow at school. I'm making a really easy chocolate coconut slice, some chocolate chip and pecan nut biscuits and a lumberjack cake. My new Kitchenaid is whirring away as I type! I'll show you some pictures when I'm finished. You may notice a luxury I just have to have whilst cooking - a nice cold glass of Ricadonna Rose and some Honey Baked Ham Kettle chips.

Here are the finished products! They were snapped up very quickly from the cake stall.

Pool Progress Report

Farmer Phil and I have been very busy the last few days installing the swimming pool. This is how it looks at the moment. We are waiting on the vinyl liner to be manufactured and when it's ready we'll get all the waterworks installed and then put the liner in. It'll then be a big job to backfill around the walls with crusher dust. We're both a bit weary after a lot of hard work, but it'll all be worth it in the end!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Birthday Girl

Yesterday was Emma's 13th birthday - I can't believe she's a teenager! I just hope we don't get the attitude to go with it from now on!

Emma had 2 school friends (April and Vanessa) over to stay for the weekend and she was the first to fall asleep last night so guess what happened!?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My New Toy

I've finally bought myself a Kitchenaid Artisan mixer. I've wanted one for a long, long time but it just wasn't a priority to buy one. It's been on layby for about about a month and I just had to pick it up yesterday because I couldn't wait any longer! I tried it out last night by making a chocolate slice and dough for a pizza. I guess I should enjoy cooking more now!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jim and Tom

My dad, Tom was the youngest of 11 children when he was born in 1940. He had a non-identical twin brother Jim. Mum came to visit last week and she bought this dressing table set that belonged to Jim for me to have. Dad and Jim's godparents gave them a set each and my sister, Lisa has dad's set. Dad always said that I looked more like Jim so I'm very happy that I have something of my uncle's. I never got to meet Jim as he was killed in a car accident when he was 18. Dad is the baby with fair hair - they were about 4 1/2 months old in the picture. Next is a photo of dad, Jim and their sister Dot going to church. The last photo is of Dot's wedding in 1956 - dad is on the left and Jim on the right.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Update on Squirt

I told you a few months ago when Squirt was about 3 or 4 weeks old that he had a sore leg and I took him to the vet to investigate. I had Squirt de-sexed last week so I asked the vet to take another look at this leg while he was there. She x-rayed it again and found that he did in fact have a green stick fracture on his left femur. It's obviously healed now but it has twisted slightly so that the femur doesn't fit into the knee joint properly so that is why he limps on it still. He'll always have a wonky leg, but it doesn't give him any pain.

Here is Emma spoiling Squirt as usual! He loves Emma's dressing gown because it's really soft towelling. He digs his claws in and sucks it!

Swimming Pool

Yesterday we had a 22 tonne excavator come to dig the hole for our pool. It took most of the day to get it done as the pool will be 20m long by 3.5m wide and 1.7m deep when it's finished. I've always wanted a lap pool for exercising in. The pool guys are coming next week to start putting the pool together, so hopefully by the following weekend we'll finally be able to swim in the pool we've wanted for the past 7 years!

When I went to give Jack his breakfast this morning he was nowhere to be found. I walked around the house calling his name but he still didn't come which is very unusual. I walked over to the pool hole and guess where he was? In the bottom looking very sheepish. Farmer Phil had to climb down to rescue him.