Monday, February 26, 2007

No Pumpkin Soup

It got the better of me, this pumpkin plant that was taking over an area and produced no fruits. I thought at one stage I was going to score some pumpkins for winter soup and roasting.

But no.

So yesterday evening I pulled it up. Two wheel barrows worth, 1 in the chook run and 1 into the compost bins.

This meant I had to turn the compost bins to make sure it was working before adding new green waste. I emptied the tumbler into the old tomato area for the up and coming leafy winter greens. The 2 bins were then emptied into the tumbler and then the pumpkin waste was mixed with other goodies in the 2 bins. This weekend it'll have dropped down enough to empty into 1 compost bin.

This is the root of the pumpkin plant, pretty big isn't it? I had to get Pat to pull it out as after all the runners being pulled out, my arms were too tired to pull the root free of the soil.

Raked up all the dead leaves from the pumpkin and this was composted along with the plant.

Studied the area and it's going to be the root crop over the winter break. Next to it I'll plant some leeks for winter soup.

Area looks bare, but at the same time more promising than what it was looking yesterday morning.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Leafy Greens Area

Decided to pull out what tomato bushes that were just about dead last night. There is now only 1 plant left and the 3 basil plants in this area. Gave the area a bit of a going over with a garden fork and then left it for the workers to do their thing.

This morning the workers were put on site and going from the photo, they were full of beans and ready to dabble for grubs. On the breakfast menu were some curl grubs.

Earning a crust and happy to do so. Over the next week or so I'll let the gang into this area daily and they can hunt for all sorts of grubs and bugs for me.

At the same time I'll add some compost that is well and truly ready from the tumbler. Going from the soil there will be some gypsum added as well, due to the soil turning back to clay. Been a while since some was added to the soil in this area.

Looking at planting in this area : hearting and loose leaf lettuces, silverbeet, spinach and endive.

Over in the area where the pumpkin is getting a free ride (nothing came of any female fruits) I'm thinking of planting a root crop of carrots, swede and parsnips and radish. This could change down the track, but I don't think so.

Bluelake beans have finished, looking at putting a second crop in. Though a new area will be picked for setting up the trellis.

So in the next day or so, I'll check up and make a list of what can be sown at this time of the year and get started. On a whole the summer crops have done well.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sitting On The Fence

Like my young bantam Sussex I have been sitting on the fence for a few months now about behind the scenes of my Blogs.

For months now they have been offering a new template for their Blogs and I had been reluctant to change over. Mostly because the old saying kept popping into my head...."Why fix what isn't broke ".

So after a chin wag with my sister Susan (who has some great Blogs) I started up a trial Blog to get used to the new template setup. By doing this I was able to become familiar with the template and then taking a copy & paste of the old template and pasting the codes in "Note Pad", I was able to transfer all my links over to the new template.

I have also started a new link section called Blog Links starting with a link from Yee Piao who lives in Malaysia. If you have a Blog and would like to swap links I am more than happy to do this.

Also I have started to use the "Lables" and "Technorati Tags" to help people to keep track on what subjects they are interested in.

So as you can see there have been a few changes to this Blog and also to my "Garden to Plate" Blog.

Other wise things are moving as usual here on Lucky's Duck Farm, weather is still in the mid 30's with the promise of the temp hitting 40 degrees later in the week. I have started to count down the days to the winter season, as this is my favourite time of the year.

This morning we woke to a few sprinkles of rain on the roof and the smell of rain in the air.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Harvest of Tomatoes

This would have to be the best harvest in 1 day of our tomatoes for this season. The best to crop have been the good old faithful Grosse Lissie.

The plant have just about finished and the start of Autumn is going to be 40 degrees. So I should say that will just about finish the crops for this season.

Already I am thinking what I can plant in this area in the cooler season and have decided on leafy greens for not only the household but the animals as well.

Nothing tastes nicer than a home grown tomato and I'll be counting down the months to when I can start the next summer season's tomatoes.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

For The Petrol Heads

For all you petrol heads it's nearly time for the Clipsal 500. The thought of watching boys and their toys doesn't thrill me in the least and I love my hearing.

But I have watched with interest the Holden that for some reason is able to fly over our house. The blimp is here for the big race and is being housed at the Parafield Airport. So tonight Pat & I went for a walk to take some photos.

If you look in the one of the photos you are able to see the ropes that are used to help bring the blimp down, this was shown on the local Channel 7 news tonight.

The dark patch on the side is a huge TV and it shows up what ever is playing really easy from the ground.

It's here for 2 weeks and then it's off to goodness knows where.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Rain Clouds After A Hot Spell

After a few days of near 40 or 40 plus degrees a much welcome cooler temp greeted me when I went out to feed the animals late afternoon.

I was also treated to a quick heavy shower of rain. Enough to take shelter under the veranda. This only lasted a few minutes and then the rain was all done for the rest of the day.

But we were treated to a wonderful showing of rain clouds that just kept on rolling past our place.

There were 2 rainbows next to each other, but the one on the left was too light to show up in the photo. Been a while since I have seen a rainbow and what a stunning showing it was too.

Shame the camera didn't show up both rainbows and the impact of colour from the darker/brighter rainbow.

All these photos of the clouds were taken at the same time of the day. Within about 5 minutes from start to finish.

It's amazing how just turning and facing a different direction can give a different tone in the photos. Mind you the photo with the street light is in, the clouds were much darker. I am wondering where the rain fell as I could see rain falling from the clouds.

I love the smell of rain in the air, something about the promise of a cleansing of the garden and life around me.

Rain clouds sunset can produce stunning photos.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Magazines I Buy

Following on from yesterday's posting on what I read. These are the 3 magazines I like to buy either monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly.

The best part about these 3 magazines is, they are for Australian conditions.

I think there is nothing better than finding a quiet spot and either reading up about gardens/gardening or poultry.

The poultry magazine is printed in black & white with the only glossy paper is the cover. On the back page are usually 4 coloured photos of ducks or chooks from a show that was held somewhere in Australia.

The organic magazine is what it says..... organic information for the gardener. Some topics can be a bit on the heavy side for me, but on a whole I can't wait to get my copy from the letter box as I subscribe to it.

Gardening Australia is a great magazine with lots of information and help for all sorts of gardening folks. There are sections that are set aside in the book for each district be it temperate, tropical , sub-tropical or cool.

So if you haven't stopped to have a look at these magazines. All 3 can be usually found in your local newsagent or supermarket for Gardening Australia.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Give Me A Kiss

Aspro and Pa's budgie are getting on like a house on fire. They are making so much noise now they are used to each other.

Pa's little budgie is a male and Aspro is a female.

We have nicknamed the budgie anything from Panadol, to Nuro short for Nurofen....... keeping in the theme for pain killers.

Taking a bit to see 2 white budgies in the cage too.

The cage is next to my computer desk and so with all the racket these two were making I just had to take a photo and post it here.

A Great Book

Often wondered what people read about with their hobbies and interests??

I don't buy those gossip magazines that come out weekly. Rather put the money towards something I am going to get some use out of and I have more faith that what is written in these sorts of books and is more truthful than those weekly mags.

These are the poultry books I have brought for my own use and have found them to be of a great help when learning how to care for my ducks and chooks.

"Lucky Ducks" is a book written by a lady and tells the delightful story of her ducks she shares in an inner suburb in Melbourne. Its a delight to read and some lovely photos of how they all live together.

"For The Love Of Ducks" is written by an Australian and this is a bonus as Aussie poultry books are far and few between.

"Backyard Poultry" is another wonderful Australian book from a woman who writes for Earth Garden and other magazines. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a helpful book on poultry care.

"Raising Poultry" was the first book I bought about 8 years ago and this one is an American publication.

"Raising Poultry The Modern Way" is a 1975 edition and so I guess that makes it a not so modern way of raising poultry:). This book was given to me by a friend, when her mother moved into a aged care unit.

These books I use as a guide for caring and raising ducks & chickens. I find just taking one of these books to bed is a great way to relax and also absorb the information I am looking for in the books.

Tomorrow I show you the magazines I buy that are to do with gardening and poultry.

Friday, February 16, 2007

6 Strange And Weird Things About Me.

Melissa tagged me for 6 weird things about myself.

LOL she doesn't know what she let you all in for :)

  • My nails, I have this thing about hands and nails. When I am 80 plus years old I'll be all old, wrinkly and sagging...... BUT my hands & nails will still look as young as a 20 year olds. I even bought $180 worth on nail polishes on eBay for $35.00. At the moment I am only wearing a clear coat on my nails. I have stacks of exfoliating scrubs for my hands and each night I have a system of creams and cuticle oils I use.
  • My humor, it's a shocker and has been known to get me in trouble. I tell the best "R" rated jokes in the family.

  • Animals, love animals of all kinds...... mostly what is in my backyard. My family think at times I put them first and treat them better:)

  • Love green tomato pickles on mash spud with raw diced onion it the spud. With cold sliced meat on the side.

  • Love to watch people have those little surgical treatments at the clinics. I watch the doctor cut a lump off my hubby's face. Stitch up my daughters hand once. When I had to do the dressing on my son's hand after major surgery..... didn't faze me.
My vet even gave me Lucky's and Madeline's female bits to me when they were desexed. Explaining to me what was what.

  • Love to embarrass people when out shopping, my family are often on their guard when shopping with me. Love telling the shop assistance how well they are making credit cards in the prison my family member was just released from.


This is my Father In Law's little Jack Russell "Flanagan" who came and stayed with us for a couple of days.

We don't have a dog as Pat is allergic to them with the oils & saliva. So Flanagan had to learn not to go near Pat while visiting.

On Thursday night I took Flanagan for a walk in the evening. This was so much fun and it took awhile to walk as we had to stop for every tree and every smell.

He's a lovely little dog and very faithful to Pa. Flanagan is about 4 years old.

The outside animals were not once harassed by our little visitor and Flanagan was so well behaved. Mind you if you listen to our cats inside, they would tell you a different story.

I usually have a supply of doggie treats in my hand bag for all my foster puppies and dogs I know and visit. But I was running low, so Flanagan feasted on fresh home made banana cake, home made hot cross buns and a lamb roast bone amongst other foods.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tomato Update

This photo shows you how a stem from the plant now sending roots down towards the soil. This will increase plant growth and maybe more fruits. I have noticed new shoots sprouting on some of the lower trunks of the plants.

This season's tomatoes are really testing the growers in my area. I have been chatting with other gardeners and they too are finding their plants aren't doing well this year and the fruits are taking their time ripening.

Transplanted in early October they are now 4.5 months old and with all the green fruit on them, the plants are starting to die off.

I have check the plants for tomato wilt and this is not showing up. So I have decided that its the season and nothing I am doing wrong as I am doing the same thing I have been doing for the last 8 years.

With the leaves not protecting the fruits, some have been sun burnt. These green tomatoes were made into green tomato pickles.

Tomato Page I have a record of how my tomatoes have been growing on my main website. This also includes updated photos of what the bushes look like as of today.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Eggs Of A Different Kind

I am so thrilled with the eggplant in my no-dig area of the garden. I am waiting for one or two of them to be a bit bigger and then I'll have a feed. Even though I am the only one who eats the eggplant, I still have 1 plant in the garden.

Haven't they grown? These 4 little darlings have well and truly entrenched themselves in my heart. This will make it harder to sell them down the track.

They aren't shy and will follow me into the duck shed where their food is kept. At times they seem to be under my feet. Still stick close to Banjo and Banjo knows I am not taking them away as when I pat the babies when feeding, Banjo doesn't attack my hand anymore. Not that she hurt my hand when she was nipping at it. More of a half hearted effort on her side.

Going from the look of the ducklings, I think they will have the body shape of the Pekin or Indian Runner with 3 of them having Mallard feather colouring.