Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

To all who come to see what is happening in Lucky's Duck Farm, I wish you a Happy New Year.

Some of the foods for 2007 in my garden.

Baby egg plant..... one of a crop to be eaten by me.

First of the pumpkins.

Roasted, steamed in the cooler months and made into pumpkin soup in the winter months.

I'm not a summer person, but I think the crops for the warmer/hot months are so exciting and make the hot days worth putting up with.

2007 also brings with it new water restrictions and with this heaps of mulching and watering by rainwater. Sprinklers can only be used on a Saturday night, after 8 pm and before 11 pm. Or 5 am to 8 am.

January brings what should be the last of the ducklings and both Amy & James returning to work on the 3rd.

So as you can see the clock stops for no one and I invite you to join in with me in 2007 to see what happens in Lucky's Duck Farm through out the year.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dangers For Animals

Gardens can look beautiful, feed a family, become a habitat for animals or a trap for animals.

This little gecko was found by me tonight stuck to the yellow sticky white fly trap. Couldn't believe it when I saw it glued to the sticky trap. First time I have ever had this happen, feeling ever so awful about it happening I was relieved to find the gecko still alive.

Then came the problem, how do I remove it and can the lizard be removed safely from the sticky sheet?

With care and using my nails to lift the lizard gradually while Pat held the yellow sticky sheet, we managed to remove the lizard without leaving any of the body or skin behind.

Next problem was the stick glue stuck on the lizard's underside. His little feet were sticking to his tummy making moving impossible. So all I could think of was to sprinkle dirt on his underside and see if this worked. By dusting him down and rubbing dirt onto his body I am hoping this will help to stop the sticky glue catching his legs and feet to his body or him to a fence.

To protect him, I put the gecko under the raspberry canes. This seemed to do the job and once he was over the shock of the whole incident he took off. When I checked after feeding the animals he was gone.

Couple of days ago we were having breakfast out the back and Pat spotted a bird hanging from a tree limb in our native frangipani tree. The poor thing was being attacked by the local magpies that haunt our area.

So out came the ladder and up Pat went to rescue it. Now I am pretty sure this is a poxy feral free loading black bird. If it's an Australian Native bird I apologized.

But either way neither of us had the heart to knock it on the head. So after a couple of snap shots for the blog, our little bird was set free to fly off without a thank you.

Closeup of the black cotton that had caught the birds around it's legs and then tangles in our tree.

So even if backyard are beautiful to look at, there maybe some danger around the place for animals great and small.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Out In The Garden Today

This afternoon Nibbles & I spent the afternoon out in the backyard playing in the vegie garden.

First job on the list was to pull up the strawberry plants. I decided that I want to grow food that has a better turn over and not sit in the actual vegetable garden for ex amount of months and then crop over a season.

This area then was prepared and I sowed a row of carrots and a row of parsnips in place of the strawberries. I am happy with this decision as there is talk of the prices of fruit and veg increasing in the early part of next year. So I want to grow more of what we eat from day to day.

I made Banjo safe in the shed as I let the chooks out of their run and opened up the gate that was separating the chickens from the ducks. Bundy is a naughty drake and likes to disturb Banjo while she sits on her eggs.

I raked out the chook pen and removed any cooked bones the chooks had stripped bare of meat. Then started to drop in their run and the duck run greens and garden waste for them to go through.

When the chooks and ducks run together, I do believe they enjoy the interaction and getting to see a different spot in their part of the yard.

Tomato plants were tied up with help of garden twine and stakes. One plant needed another stake added as the plant was laying down as one stem some how managed to escape and grow too big the be lifted and tied to the first stake.

Also I twisted off some ends of the feral pumpkin and took photos of the male & female flowers. Gave the garden a water with 2 ltrs of worm wee in a snap on container connected to the hose.

To finish off the day I even managed to sit outside and have a cuppa and read some articals from the new poultry magazine I picked up this morning from my local newsagency.

On my main website I have updated 2 pages with photos from my garden. Pages are "Whats Growing" and "Growing Tomatoes"

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Cheer

Well like Ruby my sister in law's dog, we too had a few drinks, ate some good tucker and spent our day with family and friends.

Christmas for us this year was about 5 km away at my brother's house with his family and 2 dogs.

Lunch was a hot meal of turkey roll, pork, chicken and vegies cooked out in their hooded BBQ. Followed by home made Christmas pudding and brandy sauce (home made of course). We even had home made Christmas cake.

It was so nice and moist and yummy, haven't had home made pudding in years. My Nanna used to make puddings in the cloths back in the 70's and early 80's.

After an afternoon of fun and laughter and talking we had a shared cold tea with left over meats and salads.

Also like Ruby I could have gone for a Nanna nap in the afternoon, but I would have been sleeping more lady like.

So I do hope like my family you had a FAB TAB of a day on Christmas Day and was just as wonderful as our's.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Season's Blessings

Season's Blessings from Lucky's Duck Farm to all my readers.

Friday, December 22, 2006

After A Good Rain

Yesterday the heavens opened up over Lucky's Duck Farm and we were rewarded with 4 mm in the first down pour. I was listening to the water that wasn't running into the rain water tank and so Pat got his ladder out and unblocked the gutter.

Being as it was hot and having so little rain, it was just fun to walk round the yard in the rain helping to unblock the gutter. By the time we finished doing this we were soaked and hot with the humidity that was outside. Coming inside we quickly became cold with the air conditioning on, so after hopping in the shower to clean up and get warm, we sat back and enjoyed the rain.

Once the rain had stopped I took the opportunity to feed all the outside animals. Before I was able to come back inside I was caught in a storm and while the 8 mm of rain fell, I kept Banjo company in the duck shed.

Sitting on the straw in the duck shed talking to Banjo and listening to the rain on the tin roof and seeing the rain fall, was such a wonderful experience. Banjo was looking at me from her nest thinking, I had "gone nuts".

When the rain was finished it was a wander round the yard checking on the garden and smiling when I saw the rain water tank was full and over flowing. Down the track I would love to get another tank for the garden.

It was still so humid that we kept the air conditioner on as Pat was finding it very hard to breath. Once the temperature had dropped enough, the house was opened and we went to bed with the rain still falling.

All up we had 18.5 mm of rain and my garden is soaked. Said to Pat today about the rain will give the vegie garden such a boost . Pat said the lawns will green up and the weeds will come. I don't mind the weeds as these feed the chooks and ducks.

After the low rain fall in the winter/spring seasons the rain was a welcome gift. Driving around today it was just wonderful to see people's gardens so wet and the wet land catchments full to the brim from the run-offs.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Soon It'll Be Christmas

Only 5 sleeps to Christmas and I am about as ready as what I can be.

Today I put a framed poster on hold for our son James. Some rap singer called 2 Pac. Had a girl around 10 years of age show me what I was looking for. Very proud to say I am still back with John Denver and Elvis, songs.

Last night Pat & I went to my niece's house as she & her partner put a Christmas BBQ on for family who could make the tea. What a wonderful way to greet the last week before Christmas Day. This was a chance to catch up with family members we don't get to see often.

Just in case the silly season gets more sillier, if possible.

I wish you all God's blessings and a Merry Christmas and all the best for "07"

Thank you for visiting my blogs and website this year and hope to see you next year.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Looking At My Garden

The other day with the selling of the last of the ducklings for this year, I decided to use some of the money for the vegie patch.

I love taking a trip down to Bunnings as I am able to have a good browse through the seedlings and see what is on offer. Usually I start the seedlings off at home by seed myself, but I haven't been able to work out where all the days have gone of late.

Really hoping for a good pumpkin, rock melon and cucumber harvest this year. I have dug in so much compost, bunny bedding and old sheep manure in this area. When I turned it the other night, it was full of plump worms.

To try and contain the area where the pumpkins & rock melons are I have used 2 trellises for the apple and burpless cucumbers.

On the other side to the right are capsicums, egg plant and butter beans. My Blue Lake beans aren't doing really well at the moment, I don't think the hot weather has been kind to them. They are looking a bit sun burnt on some leaves.

Chilli plant is chokka block full of green chillies. This will be the 3rd season I have harvested from it.

Nibbles ate all the lettuces, so I have now decided the vegie area is a no go zone for him.

What you are looking at here is the no-dig part of the vegie patch. This area goes from the foreground in the photo to the people fence at the back.

I am not growing corn this year, due to the water restrictions. Even though my garden is for feeding my family, I still am very aware of the water levels in our catchments.

Zucchinis just starting to flower behind the parsley and comfy. Behind them is some watermelon plants that Pat was so wanting this season.

Also in this area are some new lettuces for us and not for Nibbles. Spring onions, strawberries and just past that to the right, some carrots and beetroot and the lemonade tree.

One day I really must remove the old passion fruit vine. Think it has been dead now for 2 seasons. Like I said where are the weeks going???

Tomatoes are coming along wonderfully. Not sure if the basil is helping, but I read somewhere they do well together. Rabbits are enjoying the fresh basil and fresh parsley with their evening meals.

We won't get to eat any of the tomatoes until the new year. But at least we'll get them at some stage this summer.

Very happy with how the garden is feeding us at the moment. Lost of goodies for all of us to eat human and animal.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Rain Clouds

Yesterday afternoon we had the pleasure of seeing rain clouds skim across the sky and leave behind 2 mm of rain.

Not a lot of rain I know, but the smell of the fresh rain in the air and the coolness that came with it was wonderful. Just hearing and listening to the sound of the rain falling on the rumpus room tin roof was delightful.

Birds were out in the trees, over in the park chirping their little hearts out. Even the ducks were quacking with excitement.

Today it's sunny again and warmish.

Friday, December 08, 2006


This morning before I took them to the pet shop I took some photos of the ducklings for you to see and for me to keep a record of.

Chrizzy and one of the white ducklings.

Little white one and a black or brown & white duckling.

With the ducklings all packed in the box for traveling up to the pet shop I had a stop off for a private sale. This turned out to be a no-go and while at the shopping centre I thought I'd see if I could get some greens for the animals.

Figured I'd show the people at the green grocer shop the ducklings as they know I breed them. Well that was worth a look see, as they bought all 4 ducklings for their farm. So we didn't need to travel to the pet shop in the next suburb and I know they are staying together as a family.

With selling them to the pet shop I never know what becomes of them, if sold as pairs or on their own. Also I was able to get more money for them by selling the ducklings privately.

All monies raised in duckling sales and eggs sales, is put back in the Lucky's Duck Farm in the way of food.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More little ducklings.

I am happy to announce that Banjo has hatched out this morning 3 little ducklings and there are still 2 eggs to go. So Chrizzy shall have some little playmates tomorrow to keep her company.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cucumbers, Rock Melons & Pumpkins

Last year I lashed out and bought 4 iron droppers to use for stakes in the garden when establishing an area to use a trellis. I used to use wooden tomato stakes but found on a stormy night, they would snap with the weight of a plant growing all over the wires.

On the right is the Blue Lake beans which are starting to be harvested. This empty trellis was moved this morning from the same angled position as the bean trellis is on, they were next to each other. This weekend I'll buy some "Apple Cucumber" seedlings and plant them out.

I'd like to see about growing some burpless cucumbers as well as not only does Amy eat cucumbers like apples but I prefer this variety to the Apple variety. As Pat helps me in the garden when his health allows him too, I like to grow his favorites as well as mine.

This area will be for the rock melons, the self sown pumpkin and on the trellis apple cucumbers. I have been adding compost and rabbit bedding to this area to help keep the water in the soil once the plants go in.

Figured the trellis may also help to stop the pumpkin going rampant over other plants in the garden. As just the other side of the trellis is some leeks going to seed and the latest spring onion crop.

The bunny bedding and guinea pig bedding that doesn't have the shredded paper in, will be used this time round as mulch with those strawberry plants I pampered the other day and around the vegie plants, that need it.

So the cute little fluffy ones are doing their bit for the garden over this summer season as well.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Gardenship Of The Ring

The ring on my little finger Patrick bought me about 3 years ago and only after a few weeks of wearing it, I lost it.

There is nothing more heartbreaking than been given such a lovely gift by one's husband and then to loose it.

Today one of the items I was going to do in the backyard was move the pavers next to my no-dig garden. There was so much lawn growing up between the pavers that it needed to be cleaned up by hand rather than with a whipper sniper.

Pat saw me starting to pull the lawn away and took over and by doing this he did a much better job. While doing this, he found my ring, covered in mud. So a good clean up with an old tooth brush and it's now back on my finger.

This is Chrizzy the latest free loader to the wanna be farm. Born yesterday morning and at the moment the only duckling that has hatched.

Long story short, Milly collected some eggs and went broody, then Banjo saw this and took over and so I gave Milly some eggs for herself.

Sure hope some more ducklings hatch out soon as I am getting rather attached to Chrizzy.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

While Rhett was Sleeping.

Well seems like Rhett wasn't one for playing out the back today. Seems she was more interested in sleeping than getting into the gardening vibe.

Started outside at 9 am this morning in the composting area. Once this was done and out the way I was able to get stuck into the garden.

After the tumbler had been emptied ( 2 wheel barrow loads) and the compost bins had been rotated and the tumbler filled with compost from one of the bins, I was able to let the chooks out for a run. Bad enough with 6 chickens under my feet and 2 silkies without the paroles and the ducks as well.

With everyone able to bond together I made the duck shed a no-go area to keep Milly & Banjo safe and not disturbed. Which I am glad I had done, as Banjo has a little duckling that looks to have been hatched out early hours of this morning.

Strawberry plants were tidied up and all burnt and dry leaves removed. Some of the compost went round the plants and when Flossy's cage is cleaned out the rabbit bedding will be used to cover the compost.

Pruned back the wormwood plant a bit, cuttings either added to the compost bin along with some comfrey leaves or added to the hen's laying boxes. I still need to clean out and collect the parole's bedding and this will be added to the compost or spread round the strawberry plants as these plants love chicken manure.

Didn't see much of Nibbles this morning, he turned up for the BBQ that Pat cooked. I think he was happy to just lay round the place and watch me do all the work.

Other little jobs I did was to collect the spring onion seeds that I have harvested so far and pop into a seed envelope marked with a date and the variety of seed. Then I cut what seed heads that looked promising on the last of the spring onions in the garden. The rest of the plants were harvested and chopped up and added to the compost bin as they were not any good for eating once they had gone to seed.

Now I have the last of the flowering head drying and next to be saved in the leeks that are just forming flowering spikes.

Down behind the apricot tree I weeded and turned over the soil and planted out some more carrots, beetroot and a row of radish seeds between the carrot seeds. I have placed some wire netting over this area to stop birds digging in this area and for human carrot raiders not to step on the new seed area.

Harvested some more Blue Lake beans as well this morning. Staked 3 capsicum plants as well, due to them thinking about laying down on the job.

Well that is about it for what I did in the garden today. Still have my eye on a few things I want to do later on this evening. But I think it's time I had a break and recharged my batteries.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Gardening In The Evening.

After all the hot weather we have had here, it's nice to be out in the garden again. I walked around the yard and took note of all the things that have been heat damaged, over grown or past it's life cycle.

One of the things that needed replacing were the tomato plants in the no-dig garden. For some reason these plants didn't like the area and I didn't want them to become diseased and past it onto the main tomato area where I have 6 healthy plants.

So after tea tonight I pulled up the plants and planted out 4 zucchini seedlings in their place. I wasn't going to grow zucchini plants this year, but how could I not grow this wonderful vegetable. I make the best zucchini slice using duck eggs.

There are a lot of jobs that need doing in the garden and I was over whelmed at one stage when I thought of all that needs doing. Then I thought how the evening will be spent with Nibbles, furry animals, the gang and the paroles and figured I can play hard while in the garden and just work my way through the list until it's done.

Tomorrow I'll play hard in the garden as I really need to sort out my compost bins and the first thing to do is empty the wheel barrow of rabbit bedding and then empty the tumbler and go from there. Pat will cook a BBQ for lunch and this will be a welcome break from gardening and Nibbles & I will be well and due for a good break by then.

List of things I have noticed that need doing are.....

  • compost
  • weed an area and prepare for carrots & beetroot seeds
  • dead head the roses
  • clean up the front flower bed
  • harvest some beans
  • mow the back lawn (again)
  • check the new spring onion area for weeds
  • strawberry plants were burnt with the heat, need to remove burnt leaves and mulch again
  • clean out the parole's hen house (more poop for compost bins)
  • rabbit hutches to be cleaned and either composted or used as mulch (strawberry plants I think this time)
  • Sort out the older spring onion area as I am seed saving this variety

Also I will hopefully have some more ducklings this coming week. Banjo cheated and took over Milly's nest and Milly took the nest of eggs I set up for Banjo.

So now for the next couple of months I can have tea and then out into the garden until dark, welcoming the night in after a warm to hot day.

Can't get any better than this.