5 November 2015

2015-11-05 foal catching up Cr

“Wait for me !!” – a foal trying to catch up with his mama and seven other horses in the middle of Valley Road.

2015-11-05 candling egg R

Guaranteed:  a new mistake every week!

I told one of our guests that in my blog I can guarantee a mistake every week – because if Dr. Smarty Pants isn’t telling me I flubbed the science somewhere, I find out I’ve made some other little error – like saying a guest was “stationed” on Udot when it turns out the men were all “trained” there and then dispersed.  Rarely are mistakes a big deal.

But the photo above is a REALLY NEW mistake.  Austin was pulling trays from the incubator to put the eggs for this week’s hatch in the hatching trays (they are not to be rotated for the last 3 days).  Well the second tray he pulled and emptied was for the WRONG WEEK.   So what he was doing here was “candle-ing” the eggs, in an attempt to determine which ones were ready, and which were a week less developed.   It was not as easy as he expected.

However, in the process he discovered all his duds – which was a good thing – instead of just waiting to see what doesn’t hatch.

2015-11-05 run-in with wheelbarrow R

And here is Another New Mistake –  Truck vs. Wheelbarrow.   The Wheelbarrow won.  ( And most importantly – I was completely uninvolved!  [for a change] }



Do you remember Austin’s huge cheque from last April?  It was for a Chicken Project Plus at the nearby school.

2015-11-05 HC school project 1  R

Seven months on:  the pond is dug, stocked, and fenced.   This week four strapping secondary students came to help Austin catch a dozen ducks – 2 “kings” and 10 “ladies” for the project.

2015-11-05 HC school project 2  Cr

This was the ducks’ first time in water.

2015-11-05 HC school project crowds gather  R

Crowds gathered.

2015-11-05 HC school project 3  Cr

After Austin had told all about the ducks, he started explaining how to catch the fish – some of which are now eating size – with the trap he brought.

2015-11-05 HC school project fishing gear  R

Here is a student with the trap and with Rakesh’s loaner net.

They could not catch anything with the trap Austin brought.

2015-11-05 HC school project 4  R


So in they went with the net.  When the kids went in, the ducks went out.

2015-11-05 HC school project 5  R

It took at least five minutes to catch one fish.  This was the catch after ten.  The kids were extremely persistent.

2015-11-05 HC school project 6  R

There should be thousands of babies in there now and hundreds of frying size fish.  According to the gatekeeper, he has seen fish considerably longer than his hand.

2015-11-05 HC school project 7  R

This was the catch by the time we left – and Austin didn’t have the heart to ask for Rakesh’s loaner net back.

What about the CHICKEN project, you ask?

2015-11-05 HC school project future chicken pen  R

These are the materials for the chicken house to be built soon.  All in good Fiji time….  (final report due last week – ha)


For the third time a Teitei guest has asked if we’d publish a cookbook of dishes we cook at the farm.   Well nobody ever measures here.  But if I get any encouragement at all, I’ll put in a slipshod recipe a week in the blog.

These are AKKA’S PANCAKES  – and I do measure the mix, adapted from the recipe from Joy of Cooking.   I make the dry mix – and then he adds the wet ingredients when he’s ready to go.

Dry Mix:   3 Cup wholemeal flour, 2 tsp salt, 3 Tbsp sugar, 2 Tbsp baking powder, (4 Tbsp full cream powdered milk)

To make pancakes for each 1 cup of the dry mix add 1 Cup water (or milk), 1 egg, 2 Tbsp melted butter or coconut oil.

He adds sliced bananas to the mixture and fries them in coconut oil.

2015-11-05 hatching  R


Austin has gone to Vanuatu to take Happy Chicken there.   This leaves me in charge of the blinking incubator and the last 36 hours have been “hatching day”

2015-11-05 hatchlings  R

I took these photos last night.  Now almost all the eggs are hatched and the warming box is crowded with chicks.   Tomorrow I drive the lot to the airport where they’ll take flight to Taveuni.

2015-11-05 eye of guest 1  R


I’ll close this week with a few shots of the farm from a recent guest.   Above is a view toward the southeast

2015-11-05 eye of guest 2  R

A three-in-one shot of yard fowl, solar clothes dryer, and Austin’s weird topiary.

2015-11-05 eye of guest 3  R

And finally – the kitchen staff.

*    *     *



8 thoughts on “5 November 2015

  1. So much fun reading these each week. Sorry about your truck! Happy to hear the chicks can now be imported to Vanuatu. I assume that’s what you are saying.

    • Vanuatu is another country, and paperwork issues are still in the way. These chicks will be going to Taveuni – another island in Fiji. What Austin is doing now in Vanuatu is teaching people how to start up the way he started up. He bred better local chicks – and until we can send ours there (or even better get heritage breeds from New Zealand to all of us), he will help them learn how to breed the best chicks they can with the stock they have available. Also he’ll be teaching how to raise chicks for optimal return – the methods he learned from Grandmother Dovie and Grandmother Clara.

  2. Well Kim I liked Austin’s Hedge he has sculptured in the back yard, as well as the kitchen staff. They probably like to eat, so the may just put out a great meal. I enjoyed the Guest photo. The country looks really green and nice. It looks like you are going to have lots of baby chicks. They have loving care in front of them. Looks like everyone was having fun at the pond. I hope the fish were large enough to eat. In this part of the country we have trout and cat fish, mostly. Hope you are all doing well. Looking forward to the next blog. Larry

    • Thanks for touching down, Larry. It is always a good idea to get the guest’s photos, because they look at the farm with fresh eyes …. whereas I’m tempted to just put in photos of goose poop at the front gate – that’s how this place feels to me. ha ha. This week’s blog is short, but it is out. Love from Fiji.

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