My first blog in this new category is: Mad Bastard Wines, within walking distance to Clare CBD.
We visited here over a year ago, at the beginning of our education in all things WINE! It was Christmas, it was busy, but the person who served us our wine tasting took the time to have a chat and was very friendly. We (moi) really liked their Rieslings & Mataro Rose. And LOVED the wine glasses!!
We left with a box full (it was Christmas after all). I thought the signs at the front entrance & up the driveway showed a wicked sense of humour, someone maybe who doesn’t take life too seriously. The owner Mark Barry (son of Jim Barry, the family company) as his website says: determined to do things differently with emphasis on quality & distinctive wines.
Cellar Door is open daily 10am – 4pm. 400 Main North Road, Clare SA. Visit his website before visiting: Mad Bastard Wines
Signs at the entrance
The Cellar Door
Brilliant glasses for you or a friend
From a hot & sweaty summertime we have graduated to a cooler and a bit windier autumn. The trees are turning bronze & gold letting us know the cool weather will be on it’s way! Exactly what I love! The vineyards look beautiful now vintage has finished, autumn colours abound.
Excavations on Da Block went well: the new septic is in, heaps of plumbing trenches, installed two cattle grids, digging some tree holes, solar panels installed and much more. We were able to setup a rock garden on a long bank with beautiful huge Bluestones and the Yuccas & Agaves I’ve been nursing and cuttings from friends. Unfortunately the pumpkins & rock melons I grew from seed didn’t survive – I’ll have to watch more ‘Gardening Australia’!!
I’d like to give a plug (for any local’s reading this) to Terra-Firma Earthworks & Contracting based in Clare, SA – brilliant job and attention to detail.
B painted up the inside of a container to be his ‘tool shed’. It’s taken time but we are seeing progress week to week. We moved the van for the 3rd time to the container pad (better for when the rain comes). We’ve just had a couple of dust storms when it was really hot which was a new experience.
Today I have the heater on!
Looking forward to a break. Heading north to the Big Red Bash (www.bigredbash.com.au) in July as B volunteering setup/pack up. We are able to take Jeda to the concert in the desert as dogs are allowed. John Farnham is headlining with Hoodoo Gurus, The Angels, Daryl Braithwaite, Jon Stevens, Kate Ceberano, Russell Morris, The Black Sorrows and more…..
Western Queensland here we come!!!
Starting the excavations
Aerial of work in progress
Big Hitachi awfully close to the van!
Lots of rubble extended the block
Finished drain outlet
Digging the huge hole for septic tank
Septic in trenches being dug
Installing cattle grid #1
Grid #1 done
Grid #2 nearly done
Moving the huge Bluestones in place
Jeda thinks it’s all good!
B painted the interior of container
Septic irrigation area done
Start of leaves turning in driveway, Japanese Elms
So long between blogs I didn’t realise. I have been putting bits & pieces on my Facebook site but neglecting here. Will amend!
We have been on a friends farm again north of Clare, SA after working in Mintaro for the winter. It’s been great to see the changes in the weather over the past couple of months – being from a humid Queensland background B loves the heat whereas I’m more happy with the cooler days, but at least it’s a dry heat. The garden on the farm is beautiful (have posted some pics) and is a credit to ‘C’ who has done a magnificent job over many years to produce such a joy to walk around. The serpents that live in the area in the summer do make it a hazardous duty to weed but that’s to be expected.
B has been in charge of artwork installations around the garden, welding & cementing in farm/artsy fartsy structures that ‘C’ has created. We also have an orphan calf who needs feeding twice a day as her Mumma went to Cow Heaven due to a brain disease.
Grain harvest has just finished here with not many dramas thank goodness (e.g fires – see drone pic) B & I had a day in the ‘Big Smoke’ and went to the Adelaide 4×4 Show to check out the latest in caravans and everything in relation to 4×4’s. It’s been 13 years since we’ve checked out vans and equipment – haven’t times & features changed! I thought it was quite ‘flash’ to have a little washing machine built in to the front of the van, now it’s a standard fitting!!
Christmas Day came & went. We enjoyed the company of friends for a big day of food, wine and snore-fest in the early evening!
In between we found ourselves a piece of land not far out of Clare! We do love this area of the Valley and had been looking for a long time and a block with a shed became available. It will be a place to ‘change over’ for trips as we still intend to travel as long as we’re able (especially in the cold winters) We have a few things lined up for 2018 which I’ll share in my next post…. hint – BRB!!!!
Have a safe & Happy New Year – bring on 2018!!
Day trip to Kadina market so had a drive on to Wallaroo Jetty
4×4 show – Mal Leyland
4×4 show – Love these Patriot Campers
Big C doing Bugger Dog
‘We can’t show you his face….’
Couple of Mummas having a dust up
Masses of cactus flowers
More cactus flowers…
Close up cactus flower
Foggy morning with a couple of calves
B feeding calf
Me feeding calf
Yes, more cactus flowers!
First Artichoke flower
Aerial of headers in paddock
Jeda keeping an eye on calves
Little orphan calf
Jeda…not sure what she’s thinking!
Mumma & calf in paddock behind our van
This Mumma not real happy about something
Visitors at gate near homestead
Baby orphan calf
Our new washing machine (our old one lasted 10yrs!)
B had new lid made to fit bigger machine
B installing new garden art
Big wheel too heavy for us to lift
That’s not a stick!
Strelitzia in flower (Bird of Paradise)
MORE cactus flowers…this time different type
Had a good show of these Bearded Iris
The weather has warmed up and the flowers are blooming! Finally!!
Springtime in the Clare Valley is beautiful. The canola fields have just lost their yellow tinge, the buds on the trees are all out, the succulents & cactus flowers are blooming – it’s the best time of year!
We finished the reno on the Mintaro cottage and have returned to a friends farm north of Clare to organise a few things before moving on. We’ve been back in the Clare Valley since end of April this year. Now we have lived through the full four seasons! Yes, and this winter in Mintaro had to be the coldest we’ve experienced living in the van. Autumn & Spring the best.
I have posted some photos of the blooms around the farm area, the day out at the local Clare Show & general farm stuff! We also enjoyed Celebrating the 175th for Bungaree Station a couple of weeks ago (next post).
Jeda & mate smell sheep!
Clare Show – ute muster
Flowering cactus near our van
Clare Show – jumping dogs
Clare Show – yard dogs
Don’t know, but it’s interesting!
Citrus trees in flower
Beautiful Wisteria flowers
Pigface & resident bee
Wisteria canopy (g8 for hayfever!)
Flowers on succulents
Moving the sheep up the driveway
Clare Show – Shearing demo
Winter has definitely set in people!! Windy, cold & frosty. Whilst we were on our friends farm we did enjoy being surrounded by the new lambs and the changing colours of the trees.
Daily walking the dogs (hail, wind or shine) and watching the crops spring up, if ever so slowly due to lack of sufficient rain. Lots of kangaroos unfortunately eating those crops does not a happy farmer make!
Now we have moved ‘house’ and enjoying the difference in not just scenery but weather (only 1/2 hr away mind you) of Historic Mintaro…..
Dropping hay for hungry sheep & lambs
Some of the new lambs
Feeding the sheep & lambs
Spreading out hay bale
Jeda trying desperately to get through the gate
My stick not yours!
When you hear the words “experiencing the coldest start to winter since 1889” you tend to feel torn. ‘Wow, aren’t we lucky!?’ And, ‘no wonder I’ve got no feeling in my fingers & toes!’. Yep it’s been frosty for a week or so now. -3 degrees has been the worst so far….it was after 10am before the frost & fog lifted that day.
Our poor old Ford sits out in the frost each day wondering what hit it. Our tinnie is iced up (at least it might kill the mice). Living in a caravan in cold weather isn’t the greatest. Condensation is the main enemy. We have a diesel heater running mostly as well as the roof air heater. Our cattle dog Jeda loves it, she gets to sleep inside at the doorway, way better than outside.
We are staying on a friend’s farm near Clare. B is working nearby as well as helping out when needed here. I am the Domestic Goddess of Dog Whispering (at the moment), chook feeder & weeder/leaf sweeper! Those autumn leaves don’t pick themselves up!!
So a few more photos to show how our area of Southern Australia is enjoying? this winter….
In the paddock….
More frosty webs
Jeda gives stink eye cause she’s in the back of a ute!
Frost on the paddock weeds
Ice in the dog water bowl
John Horrocks Cottage circa 1839 first stone building north of Gawler
Succulents in the garden
Farm work in the paddock
Sunset on afternoon dog walk
Poor tinnie frosted up
Vineyard at Reilly’s @ Mintaro