May at the Station

Click go the Shears

Posted by Clare Cannon on May 9, 2016

Mother’s Day has brought steady rain. It has been a very warm April, but we now see the Autumn colours and the weather has turned to cool nights. Chris is loading up on the firewood from his “special location,” and we have enjoyed our first fires of the season.

This rain is the best Mother’s Day gift with a good January, but then very dry February, March and April. Nick and Shaun have spent large amounts of these months feeding out our silage and sheep nuts. The lucerne has just held with the dew and the small amounts of rain which we have had, but is now ready for a good soak. The winter oats have somehow found enough moisture to shoot, and will now enjoy this soak.

We brought shearing forward a week, Nick being concerned that the weather might turn cold and the sheep could be set back after shearing. This was completed in five days with the shearers averaging 200 sheep per day. We now look for good wool prices.

Bruce and Kristy head off today to meet woollen mills around Europe. Two years ago, we sold our clip into Italy, and we would like to continue this relationship. Scnieders, which bought the wool on that occasion, manufactures cloth for Hugo Boss suits. They are very interested in the provenance of their wool, and were very interested in the conservation work and tree planting that has been undertaken at the Station. This completely fits with the values of their brand.

Easter Monday saw the inaugural Woomargama Film Festival take place in the wool shed. Greg Sitch, the Director of the Festival, chose The Big Short as the film. The audience, who brought their own chairs to the shed, enjoyed the night and are now looking forward to next year’s Festival. Greg, who is a coffee aficionado, was concerned about the potential lack of good coffee in the district, but made a trip to Flyfaire Wines, up the road, to keep the caffeine levels up.

Dean, who has been propagating, the Woomargama Oak, will now look to plant the 14 trees we have staked out in the drive and by the wool shed. We are still searching the exact provenance of this tree, but it is an extremely hardy and very beautiful species.

Up at The Square, the two horses and the miniature donkeys have made a truce. Early days, there was substantial competition between the four of them, but things seem to have settled down. Georgia and Imogen are enjoying their ponies, and Marcie and I are enjoying the donkeys—who are pretty much purely decorative and adorable! (Nick may differ on this view). Later in the month, we have a walk in our Box Woodland country out the back of the property with the Nature Conservation Trust and members of the local community. It is fantastic to be able to exchange with other farmers who are also conserving this country, and to enjoy tea and damper (made by a local artisan baker).

Fiona, our in house journalist, continues to post on the Woomargama Station Facebook page all the doings of the farm and the community—from competing in the local triathlon, to photos of the shearing and the vaccination of the bulls. Keep up to date by following us and hearing all the news.