Dixie week two 004 In April this year, we took delivery of the first two cows who have become the start of our Dexter herd here at ‘Near River’, and as regular readers know, last week I was away from the farm on a bit of a road trip.

Both girls have been carrying a calf since they arrived, so when do you think our first calf was born?

Yep, that’s right, when I wasn’t there. But that’s no panic, as Dexters are re-known for many positive attributes, one being easy birthing. And further details about Dexters can be found in my earlier post Sustainable Cattle Called Dexter.

Called Dixie, our latest arrival is settling in very well, and although we first thought her to be a heifer, it now looks as though she’ll be a steer! And we’re looking forward to her sibling entering the world any day now too.

I think we might have to look into changing her name though – can’t have him ending up with a complex like Johnny Cash’s ‘A Boy Named Sue’!

image credit organic maven

  1. I rarely collect them from new plants as I am afraid they may cross pollinate. He has the tastiest tomatoes and I have seeds to last a lifetime as long as they continue to germinate.

    • Love Renee’s Seeds…planted some indoors this witenr and they have been incredible…blogging about them tomorrow…lettuce was up in 2 days and huge in 2 weeks…can’t wait to see them grow outdoors

    • I agree that we need to focus on what we can grow best and keep it simple. Fix your repcie list and grow for that. I have a whole garden strictly for salsa and spaghetti sauce and the herbs that go with it because we eat so much of those things in different repcies.

    • Chuffed.. My gardens awosme.. and i havnt paid for a thing.. besides the occasional One Pound’ shop purchase which i usually just take any way.. oh i forgot was holding that.. -Which is my first way of getting free seeds. Then there’s collecting the seeds from them from the very source.. ie.the flowers, fruit, root and vege which they are!- where there’s Markets and fruit shops theses always a bin out back (or front on garage night) shop keepers don’t usually mind if you ask for their waste either.. i tell them its for my animals. In particular tomatoes, pumpkins and peppers (definitely!), apples, avacardo, carrots (tops), potatoes (all sorts are easy!),citrus, peas, beans.. in fact i cant think of anything that hasn’t worked.. I even have a coconut palm (from a coconut !). Dry the seeds out by wrapping them in newspaper and putting somewhere warm. I put mine on top of the water-boiler. It takes from about a week for say chillies pepper or mandarin seeds to a couple of months, for say date or avacardo. -city style wild-crafting! Then of course germinate them. Quality compost is pretty essential here, the difference compared to using low quality dirt makes a couple of quid worth it. However i find there’s often broken packages of kids craft type grow kits in the shops from which you take the compost tabs that expand in water. when they’re little take them outside for short periods, get them used to the weather and temperature. Morning sun though the window, then outside till the evening then warm at night under the boiler is what i do. Then i transplant them straight into the ground..thirdly.. for The Window box! for herbs and lettuce, its an amazing place. More often now fresh lettuce and herbs is sold in pots -with roots!- from the supermarket. ( i get mine from the compost bin after my flatmates have used the other parts) leeks, spring-oinion, chives, yams, spinach.. any vege sold with roots basically- sometimes even fancy cabbage too.. obviously..plant these! but usually in well drained soil..I have a baby cherry tree and apple. Both these grew from seeds i collect from a nearby attolment. Which has turned out to be my fourth great source of free seeds! The old people there are great, I visit regulary, loads of advice and happy to share their seeds, bulbs, cutting..Its been a real joy,m and i think they like my keen interst.My goal was mostly for a totally recycled garden ie fences, beds, furniture.. its a bit of an addiction. But really if you compare a pound a pound of beams or tommy, or spud, ie. one family meal to a31.30 a packet of twenty, fifty or a hundred! seeds.- In my success- essentially each bean seed has given well over nine times one supermarket purchase. One potato has given me up to eight more potatoes, I now have fresh herbs and fancy lettuce all the time! and will NEVER have to buy tommy again! Its been an awesome project,I am thinking Id like to start a seed exchange sometime.

  2. Its true. seeds other than the more common species are ever more hard to find. I have a huge collection of my grandfathers tomatoes seeds from the early 1990s and before and they still germinate. I rarely collect them from new plants as I am afraid they may cross pollinate. He has the tastiest tomatoes and I have seeds to last a lifetime as long as they continue to germinate.

    • One thing you mentioned is that not many plecas have cover crop seeds. I have found several plecas that sell them, and I am always interested to read about all the benefits that each variety/mix provides. Have you checked into Peaceful Valley? They are one of the plecas that have a really good number of the cover crop products, and also very helpful info about gardening in general. As to Baker Creek, they are at the top of my list as well!!! Thanx for the rundown of your faves!

    • We know just what you mean. We’re harvesting the beans we grew this year right now (Bubblebee, Tiger Eye, and Black Valentine, also all from the faoublus SSE). We haven’t cooked any of them up yet, if you can believe it, but as your post has our mouths watering, I’m sure we will soon!

Near River Produce - Real food direct from our farm located on the NSW Mid North Coast