Wednesday, May 30, 2007

300th Posting

Three hundred postings on my blog, how amazing is this:)

Today when I misted my mushroom farm I was so stoked to find that the mushrooms are starting to form and I should be harvesting them soon.

Not that big as of yet and the photo doesn't really show up all the "Mycellum" that looks like white mould underneath the peat moss that is starting to make it's way to the top.

I started this farm on the 15th of this month and after 15 days I can see actual mushrooms forming.

Each day I mist spray the peat miss with filtered water and pop it back up on the kitchen cabinet.

A lot of people have asked me where I keep the mushroom farm while it's being used. So I have posted a photo while standing at my kitchen sink. It sits up on the cabinet with newspaper underneath the box, where it seems to enjoy great temps and good views of my kitchen.

Once the mushrooms dry up I then empty the mushroom compost out in the garden. Box is composted down in the worm farms.

This year I thought I would also keep track of how many grams I harvest from the mushroom farm.

Until next time .....hoo roo

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

From The Backyard

Its been a week since I last posted and things are starting to get back to normal here. Been a hard week with loosing Nibbles and the backyard doesn't seem the same without his little face to greet me when I go out the back.

Been doing a small amount of gardening as I have been busy elsewhere as well. Pat & I are over our viruses we had, but Amy has been off work with a nasty head cold.

Had some stunning weather here and the sun shining has really gotten the vegies growing. At the moment it's coming in overcast and we have more rain forecast for the next week, with Tuesday being very wet & windy.

While mowing the lawns yesterday Pat & I had a small feed of raspberries straight off the canes.

Banjo's eggs have all been broken, I should have shut her away from the other ducks. So no babies for her next month. Just didn't want to shut the other ducks and bantams out of their nice big shed with all the weather that would have been coming in.

Lets now take a look at some of the changes that have happened in my little vegie garden.

First off the root crop is doing wonders and once I had weeded the area I snapped off this photo, so you could see all the growth.

I weeded and thinned out the rows and I was thinking of all the future vegies I was throwing away. But by the time I added some to the 3 worm farms, feed Cadbury & Flossy and then some into the duck run for them and the chooks, I was happy to say none was wasted in the end. None in the council green waste bin or the compost bins, it feed an army or what seemed to feel like one as I shared it around the yard.

Turnips are starting to swell as are the beetroot. Swedes are a bit slower and parsnips and carrots pulling up the tail end. I had a small turnip after I had thinned them out and it was so full of flavour and crunchy as well. Have to control myself and not eat these like the radishes.

First sowing of brassica by the moon cycle and they are booming along. I am now keeping a close eye on the mini cauliflowers and broccoli for flowering heads forming.

Bush beans are coping well in the cooler weather and the colder nights. Though some over night temps are still in the teens. My summer crop wasn't a good one and am hoping for a better crop from these.

Close up of the beans and as you can see flowers are setting and beans are now growing.

Cut the last of the asparagus back and pulled any weeds out of or around the area.

Still other jobs to be done on my list. Green manure is about ready to be dug into the soil and a bag of that sheep manure I have in the shed added to this area.

So even though a little garden mate has moved on, the place still needs to be cared for and food is still harvested daily.

So until next time.....hoo roo

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

RIP Nibbles

This morning when I went to feed the rabbits fresh vegies from the garden, I found Nibbles had died through the night.

He hadn't been sick and was his usual self yesterday. His death has come as a big shock and I am deeply upset with what has happened.

No more help with mowing lawns and him running around our feet when he's loose in the backyard.

I have posted a couple of photos of him doing what he loved best....... eating my garden and laying round watching things go by.

Nibbles is buried in the new espalier area on the people side of the fence, near the gate that I go through countless times each day. He would often sit there waiting to be let through into the duck run of back on the garden side.

I shall miss him greatly.

Hoo roo little buddy, thanks for 3 wonderful years of gardening with me.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Poultry News

The backbone of the composting and waste clean up are the ducks and chooks. With the eggs being an extra bonus as well.

Yesterday was a great day for composting as Neville my ex-lawn mower man dropped off 2 bins full of wonderful lush green lawn cuttings. With all the rain we have had of late, the cuttings were all green and hardly any dead leaves.

So the hens took full advantage of the lush cuttings and were straight into picking and scratching in the cuttings.

I too took a heap of the cuttings and added to the compost bin, mixing it with straw laced with chicken manure from the hen house. The rest of the lawn was spread round the duck run, to soak up the poultry poo and then added down the track to compost bins.

Also some of the lawn was mixed in the tyre compost bin when I rotated the tyres and fluffed up the compost.

Ducks and bantams took full advantage of the now vacant area where the tyres had sat for the last month. Lots of worms for them to feast on and gave the poultry a thrilling 30 plus minutes of feasting and scratching.

Radar is looking like such a stunning rooster and he is a good natured bird as well. Crows now in the morning and so far isn't going over board with it. Only his tail feathers need to be filled out and then he's finished his transformation.

Set 7 duck eggs under Banjo yesterday and she's a happy girl now. When I was handing her the eggs, Banjo would gently take them from me and pop them under her body. Once there was no more eggs to take from me, Banjo then would try and bite my hand when I placed my hand close to her body.

We have an understanding Banjo and I....... I'll do what I like when checking her eggs and she can complain as much as she likes and I'll win each time.

Hotlips, Kinger, Radar, Bonnie and Oprah having breakfast with a couple of free loaders from the park.

If you haven't guessed I'm a M*A*S*H fan and Hotlips has white legs and Kinger has yellow legs. I was told that a true Sussex Bantam will have white legs. So as Klinger is a male wearing women's clothes in the TV show..... the name seemed to suit this little hen. Radar got his name from Pat telling his to "do his thing" with the hens. I said he's just a kid and that night on the TV show... Radar said.... "I'm just a kid sir" and Radar was called "Radar".

I have some other photos of the Sussex on my main web. Also some baby duck photos of Banjo's last clutch on my nursery page of my main web.

Until tomorrow...

Hoo roo

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Leafy Greens Producing.

With the sun shining and good gardening weather I was able today to weed and harvest from the leafy green plot.

After being sick myself and then Pat catching it and having to care for him, today was so relaxing to be out in the garden. I noticed there are a few jobs that need doing in the vegie garden before I head out to the front garden. So I'll do a bit each day and this will knock the areas over in no time.

Taking the bird netting off completely I was able to tidy the basil and weed the whole area much easier. Weeds were fed to the chooks along with some of the basil cuttings. Ducks were fed the rainbow chard leaves. While the bunnies were given a mixture of everything for their lunch.

Spring onions I was given by Pepe are ready now for use in the kitchen. Garlic is also growing nicely. Not sure how long the basil plant is going to last, going from the look of it today, no chance of it dieing in the next couple of weeks. Also I thinned out the rocket plants and after all was harvested and weeded and before the bird netting was placed back over the plot, a feed of sheep manure liquid with some worm wee was given to the area.

Basket full of different varieties of loose lettuces, endive and baby spinach leaves. No need to buy lettuces at the green grocer now and hopefully for months to come.

Had a bo-peep in the worm farms today and fluffed up the food trays to see how they were going. Couldn't get over how big the worms in the 3rd farm are looking. The extra care we took in setting this farm up has paid off and it's working perfectly.

On that note I'll say

Hoo roo.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Kitten With No Mittens.

Okay lets get it over with. Milly is staying as she has her claws so far into our hearts, so the thought of her leaving was too hard to bare. I wonder how many of you, knew she wasn't leaving before we did?

When Amy comes home from work and calls Milly's name, doesn't matter what or where she is, Milly runs to the sound of Amy's voice and starts purring. I have started to call Milly, "Amy's puppy kitten".

Mother's Day was last Sunday and James gave me this box with the white plastic bag. It's a mushroom farm and I am tickled pink to have one for this winter. One year I was able to dry some from the box as it was producing a huge crop.

I do hope all mum's had a lovely day and was shown how much they are appreciated.

Pat has keep me pretty busy with the virus I so kindly gave him. His turned to a chest infection and is on antibiotics, though the other night I had to call a doctor to the house to have him looked at.

So not a lot of time out in the garden is happening. Thank goodness the vegie garden is pretty well looking after itself and growing nicely.

Another 4 mm of rain last night along with a stunning show of lightening and thunder.

So until next time

Hoo roo

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Garden Update.

Just been outside and feed the animals and harvested some radishes for us and eggplants for the rabbits. The eggplant is starting to look like a weeping bush, with all the fruit on the branches.

Also another cucumber is due to be picked.

Green manure patch came up better than what I thought it would. With all the problems I had with wild birds raiding the seeds sown, I was thinking the crop was going to be a poor one. But I am happy with what has grown.

Think I have neglected the radish area a bit the last few days. These are bigger than a golf ball and crisp and crunchy.

Fungi growing at the bottom of the trunk of the dead plum tree. Looks pretty impressive in my books.

We have rain forecast again mid next week. I noticed lots of green lawns in the city now and also heaps of weeds growing in the lawns.

Banjo is broody again, but not enough duck eggs to set her.

Milly is still with us and the other cats are not hissing at her anymore. She has also found my wool when knitting, so she has her own ball of old wool, to knit herself some socks with.

We had another funeral to go to yesterday and as the church was so cold, Pat has become worse with the virus I so kindly gave to him. So I haven't managed to make it out into the garden yet. Hoping to get outside for a while tomorrow.

Hoo roo

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Cottage Garden In The Never Never

This afternoon I rang my sister Debbie and asked if next time she has ther digital camera in her hand could she take some photos of the cottage garden.

Well Deb didn't need asking a second time and these photos are hot off her camera. I asked Deb if I could share them with you.

Deb & Paul and their family live 125 km from Burra on a sheep station in South Australia.

Deb is a cottage gardener like I am a vegie grower.

This is the side of the garden that'll greet people when they pull up in their cars.

Deb is a big fan of chrysanthemums and these have been given to her over the years from her 2 children. At the moment their house is full of chrysanthemums in vases.

Just behind the garden you can see part of their house with that wonderful big veranda.

First jonquil out in flower for this season.

Lost count of the times we have shared a meal under the pergola next to this area in the garden.

One of the many roses Deb has flowering in her garden. Deb is a big fan of sheep and cow manure in her garden. When it's free and just a wheel barrow walk away, why not.

Long shot of the house and garden.

Deb has to pump water up from one of the dams nearby into the house tank to water her garden. She uses a Davy pump to get enough pressure in the hose to use her dripper system or the sprinklers.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at a homestead with a beautiful cottage garden.

Hoo roo

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Closeup Of Jumper Cable

For "M" a close up of the cable pattern.

Over on my "Garden to Plate" blog I have posted a spud salad dressing that I have been making the last few times. Rather impressed with myself as I usually need a recipe when let loose in the kitchen.

Beautiful day here and after the 4 mm of rain yesterday, sun is shining and birds are singing.

Over the virus I had and going from how Pat is from yesterday afternoon, he has now come down with it. This is not good with his asthma.

Weeds are getting bigger, so I am out in the garden tomorrow to remove and feed it all to the poultry.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Movie Of Milly.

I was taking some little movies of Milly and thought, why not pop one on You Tube to show you how cute she is.

She could have a home lined up, as a friend of Amy's is looking for a kitten to keep him company in his house. So once she is old enough to cope with being on her own through the day, she'll go there.

So here is Milly, playing with her favourite toy, a paper ball.

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True - No Yoke

Yesterday I made up a pile of salads for lunch and tea and one of them was deviled eggs. One of the red hens is starting to lay again and her egg was so small I thought I'd hard boil it and give the yoke to PK, my canary.

But once sliced open I found there was no yoke to be seen. Sometimes a hen coming back into lay will lay a small egg and at times they will be yoke less.

Also having this shocking virus that has laid me up some, I haven't been sitting round on my bum doing nothing. I have been knitting by cardigan and hoping to have it finished before the end of winter.

Not a lot of energy is needed to knit, mostly it's my arms that are moving. So as I finished the back this afternoon, thought I'd show it to you.

We had a good shower of rain again this morning and the hens are busy running round in the duck run.

Looks like Banjo may have gone broody again, so will keep some duck eggs out of the fridge and set her late this week if she stays broody.

Said to Pat I will spend a day out in the garden later this week, to keep on top of the weeds.

Hope you all had some rain and a good weekend.

Hoo roo

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Friendship Garden

Flowers are starting to appear in the "Friendship Garden" and most colours seem to be blues, purples or orange or red colours.

A lot of areas are starting to fill up with sour sobs and these will be pulled out within the next week.

Love the blue salvia and down the track I'll get the red and white ones as well.

I don't know what the name of this rose is. Some days I think it's a Brandy and other days a Just Joey.

Portulaca just about ready to die off completely. Hanging on for a last few flowers.

This fungi is growing on the newspaper in the worm farm. Reminds me of dainty parasols from the olden days.

Early hours this morning we had 4.5 mm of rain. Overcast again today and a nice breeze blowing.

Hoo roo.

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