Thursday, December 30, 2010

Should I be worried.....

Happily, it tasted good in the vegetarian lasagne we made tonight

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Orange delight

This year I thought I'd try mini pumpkins.  They take much less space than their larger cousins and seem to produce much better as well.  Here's a shot of one of the many I've got going in the orchard.
Definitely going for these again as they are the perfect size for my small garden

Sad but true

There's no denying it now, both chicks are roosters and will sadly have to go to the farm in Windsor where they will spend their days chatting up the girls and adding to the gene pool.  So tomorrow we say a sad farewell to our little chicks who aren't so little anymore.  Here's a final shot of the now fully recovered Oliver

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Arch Nemisis

Last year I made the rookie mistake of putting carrots into my wonderfully composted raised garden beds and surprise, surprise, they looked like Chernobyl carrots.  A wise member of the permaculture club explained that carrots need poor soil so they they grow down in search of the good stuff.  I also learned they play nicely with onions.  So this year, I left one garden bed in its original sorry soil state and happily planted carrots, onions and some garlic.  The onions and garlic are happy campers and tasty as all get out, but the carrots....
Back to the drawing board....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chicken Dramas

We finally let the chicks out of their mini pen and into the main run with the big girls.  They seemed to be getting along nicely and I came back to check on them at bedtime and saw that Gertrude, the white leghorn was heading into her mini hutch but she was looking agitated.  I could hear Olive, the brown leghorn, calling to her and so she went inside. 

When I came back out early in the morning to feed them, I couldn't find Olive.  I imagined I could hear her so the whole family was outside searching through the brush outside of our front fence as I could only imagine she had flown over and was lost in there (there were no signs of foul play).  We looked for two hours but found nothing.  I was quite upset at having lost little Olive after helping her out of the egg and hand feeding her.

The next morning I went out as usual and swore I heard her thumping against the big coop.  I start yelling "she's in the coop" as Shaun comes out to check on me ("wife finally loses it..." you know).  Thought I couldn't find her in the coop, Shaun heard her as well (clearly wife hasn't lost it yet) and we scrounge around the grass on the other side of the coop next to the fence.  It was a little like seeing the wicked witch of the East's red shoes sticking out from under Aunty Em's house, but there were two little yellow chicke feet sticking out of the was Olive!  She had been stuck there for a day and two nights and was barely alive.  We imagined that the bully in the gang, one Caramel, who is delighting at not being at the bottom of the pecking order anymore, had chased her in there.

So little Olive was rushed to the emergency ward (well, back the bathroom that she was born in) and fed through a dropper for several anxious hours (I need to get a life, don't I?).  Thankfully, in 24 hours, she was back to her usual self, if only a little thinner, and was ready to go back to the big house.  As I took her into the run, Gertrude went crazy - her bestie was back.  As soon as I put her down in the mini hutch, as some protection from the evil Caramel, Gertrude jumped in beside her, and when they both considered it safe, they simultaneously jumped out and ran around the run, shoulder to shoulder, like two little minnows.  It brough a tear to the eye....

Friday, December 10, 2010

More garden bounty

Now that I've got more space, I've been planting things I've never been able to try before and its so exciting to see them come in.  Here are the latest...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Things are getting out of hand

I've been talking about the abundant spring rain, but this is ridiculous

 And now that Toby fancies himself as a bit of a blog celebrity

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Garden surprises

I planted a few packets of "cottage garden" seeds to colour things up a bit and attract the bees.  But I was puzzled when this massive plant popped up in a spot where I hadn't planted anything.  It grew like a triffid and it took me over a month to work out what it was.
All I can think of is that there are sunflower seeds in the chicken feed and occassionally a bird gets in the run for a quick meal. So perhaps one made a deposit as it headed out of the garden....

The wettest Spring on record

My neighbour is convinced I have 10 green fingers, but I've had the dumb luck of letting my chickens free range an area of garden before I decided to plant it out and then the wettest spring on record in Australia.  So the garden continues to grow and provide us with fabulous food.  Here are the latest pics after a full week of rain (its even raining today when I took them).  Toby, our cockerspaniel, was keen to star in the last one.