Fealy Family Farmer’s First Quarter

598504_10151905301918171_601835493_nI have so many blog posts I want to write at the moment that I really don’t know which one to start with!!  Now that we have all three kids at school (holy moly – how did that happen!?!?!)

Fealy kids first day of school 2014.  Lexi in Prep, Toby Grade 1, Jack Grade 3

Fealy kids first day of school 2014. Lexi in Prep, Toby Grade 1, Jack Grade 3, with ‘Patches’ the farm dog – the newest member of the family

and I have a full school term until Fealy Bub No 4 arrives – I am really hoping to dedicate some time to blogging (and I guess I really should get our nursery and some things ready for Bub No 4!).  I’m even thinking about signing up for an online blogging course – I need to make a decision on that today, but decided to do an actual blog post first before I spent any money on a course!!

So, I’m starting with a bit of a summary of what life has been like as farmers for the last few months.  It is soooooo hard to believe that we have been here at Blue Sky Produce for five months now.  We are currently three quarters of the way through our first mango season, the Kensington Pride and R2E2 varieties have all been picked and packed and we are now just waiting for the Keitts and Brooks mangoes to ripen (who knew there were so many varieties of mangoes!). We are not far off from commencing our first avocado season and we have 17 workers living on site.  These last few months have been the most enormous learning curve ever for us all, but especially Matt!  He has gone from googling You Tube videos on ‘how to drive a tractor’ on the way here from our trip, to driving tractors, forklifts, operating mulching, spraying and fertilising machines, fixing all sorts of things from pumps to chainsaws and learning about all kinds of orchard insects, diseases and soils!!!

View from the tractor!

View from the tractor!

Fixing the foot valve on the pump in the dam - kids were on snake watch as legend has it a massive water python lives in the dam!

Matt fixing the foot valve on the pump in the dam – kids were on snake watch as legend has it a massive water python lives in the dam – kayak still comes in handy!

Getting to know the place!

Getting to know the place!

Plenty of beautiful sunsets!

Plenty of beautiful sunsets!

And sunrises!

And sunrises!

The first quarter on the farm was spent trying to do half a year’s worth of ‘off season’ orchard work in three months!  With the help of our full time farm hand Charlie (and his dog Captain!), 4 German Backpackers – Sarah, Malte, Sebastian and Julian, we pruned avocado trees, mulched avocado trees, commenced a spraying and fertigation program for the whole orchard, as well as a whole lot of slashing, weed and pest control work!

Mulching

Mulching – very dusty work!

Bale buster with Zetor tractor behind with spear on it to lift hay bale onto bale buster

Bale buster with Zetor tractor behind with spear on it to lift hay bale onto bale buster

Loading hay

Loading hay

Rolling hay bales out

Rolling hay bales out

Malte hard at work pulling the string off the bales

Malte hard at work pulling the string off the bales

Julian spreading hay

Julian spreading hay

Sarah clearing room around the trees for irrigation to come out

Sarah clearing room around the trees for irrigation to come out

Sarah & Malte after a hard day of mulching - not the most fun job!

Sarah & Malte after a hard day of mulching – not the most fun job!

The kids have taken to farm life like ducks to water!

The ducklings have grown!

The ducklings have grown!

They love going out on the four wheeler with Matt before school to turn the irrigation on, or after school on the tractor if Matt is not too busy.  It is amazing how much they have learnt about orchard farming already just from the bits and pieces Matt has told them or they overhear us talking about!  All three are pro’s at fixing sprinklers and spotting the different varieties of trees around the orchard.

Jack out late one afternoon helping Matt - one of my favourite photos!

Jack out late one afternoon helping Matt – one of my favourite photos!

 

Toby out on a morning water run - there are always hot air balloons out in the mornings!

Toby out on a morning water run – there are always hot air balloons out in the mornings!

This girl probably loves it the most!

This girl probably loves it the most!

Jerry racing the four wheeler - he loves the farm life!

Jerry racing the four wheeler – he loves the farm life!

Hard not to love it some days!

Hard not to love it some days!

It hasn’t just been all hard work.  We did have a few afternoons of quiet family walks around the farm and even squeezed in a lunch with all the workers for the Melbourne Cup in November – we were most disgusted that the electrician who was here working that day cleaned out our inaugural Blue Sky Melbourne Cup sweep!

Afternoon walk around the orchard with the dogs.

Afternoon walk around the orchard with the dogs.

Melbourne Cup Lunch

Melbourne Cup Lunch

German Backpapers tasting the first ever Blue Sky Produce passion fruit wine!

German Backpapers tasting the first ever Blue Sky Produce passion fruit wine!

Matt even found time to build us a chook pen - love getting our fresh eggs!

Matt even found time to build us a chook pen – love getting our fresh eggs!

Oh and nearly forgot!  We also planted 210 new lime trees during this time and did some pretty rigorous disease control on the avocado trees!  Matt is particularly proud of how straight our lime tree lines are – a little obsessive compulsive for a farmer I say!

Getting the ground ready for the new lime trees.

Getting the ground ready for the new lime trees.

Matt surveying their handiwork

Matt surveying their handiwork

Injecting the avocado trees to kill disease

Injecting the avocado trees to kill disease

Farmer boy after a hard day!

Farmer boy after a hard day!

So that was our first 3-ish months of farm life.  Not too bad at all.  I have been enjoying just being a stay at home mum, making breakfasts, lunches and dinners, baking and doing a bit of office work.  Matt does take me out with him from time to time to learn a little about the pump and how all the taps in the orchard work, but with a big pregnant belly growing I am not terribly useful for much more than that at present!  The next post on farm life will be all about Mango Madness 2013/2014 with lots of details of what our first mango season was like – it has been full on that is for sure!!IMG_3015

Categories: About Us, Blue Sky Produce, Every Family Needs A Farmer | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Fealy Family Farmer’s First Quarter

  1. Looks like you guys have well and truly settled into farm life…

  2. Murray

    WOW, great post. Mareeba has just got a new crop of farmers!!

  3. Jayden Fealy

    Jacks arm is getting better

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • It is just about all better Jayde! You are getting very clever at following along on our blog and making comments! It’s nice that you can see what we are up to! We miss you and Madi lots! Hope you guys are enjoying being back at school! love Aunty Jess

  4. Pingback: Mango Madness 2013/2014 | 'Are We There Yet?'

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