Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 07 Stats

July was an interesting month here at Lucky's Duck Farm. From weather to a fox raid to new water restrictions.

Lets start with the poultry stats.

After treating the poultry for coccidiosis towards the end of June and having a withholding period of 14 days, it was great to be able to collect and use the eggs. I have a few free loaders out the back egg wise....eek but on the manure side, they all still holding that side of the job up.

Eggs

  • Chooks laid 40 eggs...up from 28 eggs in June smile

  • Bantams laid 12 eggs.... down from 27 in June neutral

  • Ducks laid 29 eggs down from 31 eggs in June rolleyes

So in all they kept us in eggs and I even managed to sell some putting the money towards their food bill.


Rain.

  • 40.5 mm of rain for the month.

  • Highest fall was 11 mm on the 5th of July.

  • Lowest fall was 2 mm on the 28th of the month.
24 th of July was the warmest temp in 5 years with a temp of 21.5 degrees. But on the 25th we had our warmest night in 14 years with a temp of 13.7.

There was a fox raid on the ducks one night and I lost Milly my mallard duck. So the ducks & bantams are now locked away each night and before summer the shed door will be modified, so they can be locked away even on the hot nights.

I am hoping to pick up a cat trap tomorrow afternoon from my niece's place. Was meant to be tonight, but her shift was changed where she works.

Garden is feeding us heaps and I am almost over run with broccoli and caulies. mrgreen

New water restrictions came in on the 1st of the month. Not allowed to use a hose in the garden or water lawns at all. Government said to let Mother Nature water the garden instead. It has now been announced that this will continue into August.

So when needed the vegetables are watered with the watering can and rainwater. Not that this has had to be done much as the rain has been spread out over the whole month.

Looked into what fruit trees we are hoping to plant in August, (Stay tuned for the updates on this). We started thinking about this project last year and marked out the area earlier this year and preparing the area.

I have been asked if I am interested in helping a young class at a school a couple of suburbs away, start up their worm farms. I have said yes and am now waiting to be contacted to arrange a day and time to go in and help out. I have even offered to give them some worms to start them off, if they want them.

Also a young family from Berri called in and had a look at the setup in our backyard, as they wish to grow their own vegies. They left with a couple of margarine tubs with worms and a bag of compost to get them started.

Phew..surprised July has been a busy month. mrgreen

Until next time ....hoo roo

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Monday, July 30, 2007

Saying It With Flowers

Other ways we also help the environment is using public transport. Walking to the local train stop, is our exercise for the day. Using the trains or buses also saves us money with not having to pay for parking in areas where the councils charge. Also we don't have to spend as much on petrol each fortnight.

So today we took the train into the city to visit a friend who was in hospital.



Then we walked to the bus stop on North Terrace and we passed the War Memorial.



We stopped, reflected and gave thanks to the people who gave the ultimate price for us to have our freedom.

Then we caught the bus to the hospital.



Hospital tend to dry flowers out so much and as our friends own a garden nursery shop in Whyalla, I thought..... something green.

A beautiful head of organic broccoli for them to take home and enjoy would be the order, along with a floral get well card.

Tomorrow we go and collect the cat trap from our niece's place and then we're out to catch a fox.

Until then....hoo roo

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

When The Mouse Is Away

Do you remember the song from Sesame Street about picking the wrong thing out of the 4 pictures?

Goes like this for you who refuse to remember lol

3 of these things belong together.
3 of these things are kind of the same.
But 1 of these things is not like the others.
Can you guess which one.
Before my song is done.
Now my song is done.


Okay got those words singing in your head?

Don't you just love those annoying tunes that make music and go round in your head all day?

Now I want you to sing that song to my words. Don't be shy, you know this makes you feel young again and brings back memories.

Ready... here we go.


3 of these cats are doing their own thing.
3 of these cats are kind of the same.
But 3 of these cats are going the wrong thing.
Can you guess which cats are doing the wrong thing.
Before my song is done.







And now my song is done.


I always pack my knitting away as its a cat magnet. But with the blanket I am not as fussed. Good thing if your a cat. Rebel, Harley and Lucky just loved the idea and challenge of getting their part of the blanket.

Abby and little Milly were good girls.

Rained here as well in the last 48 hours we have had 11 mm of rain.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Lets Talk Worms

I know I rave on about my worm farms, but I do believe they are one of a major working wheel of my garden. The amount of food they eat & recycle through is amazing and yes you guessed it....less for landfill.



When I first started the bucket system the kids were of course 8 years younger and they found it hard in the start, to know where to put what from their school lunch boxes and dinner plates. But as weeks turned to months and then years, it's automatic when it comes to cleaning out work lunch boxes and dinner plates.

I use a 500 gm tub we buy our honey in my my sister Susan and hubby. Great for being the right size when it comes to feeding the worm farms. By using this tub and having the 3 farms, the days between each feed is perfect for not over feeding them from the kitchen.



Farms are thriving in this area over the winter months. Out from the area they had been in for the last 8 years, there is no flooding from heavy rains. So the worm wee in the buckets, hasn't been flushed with rain. This can lead to an unhealthy farm that can turn acidic as all the goodness has been flushed out.

I use the claw handled fork for "fluffing" their food trays as this helps to keep the tray sweet. Also a handful of dolomite lime is good sprinkled over the food ever couple of weeks.

The legs stand in tubs with water and a bit of bleach. Reason I use the bleach is this summer, the pesky ants learnt to swim and still managed to get into the farm on the right. This lead to a couple of hours removing the worms and starting a fresh farm with the worms I saved. Also the bleach will stop mozzies breeding in the water.



This is the worm farm I saved from those ants last summer. The food tray as you can see isn't overly full of food and castings. The bedding tray had enough room for me to empty to feed tray into it after the worms had transformed the food into castings.

So now the worms are back to making more castings for this tray.



Just something about worms, either they make you squirm cos' you love them or because they make you feel sick lol I know my worms love the coffee grounds and bags from Pat's coffee machine. I really do wonder if the coffee hypes them up at all?



Today's feeding of kitchen scraps was placed in the middle worm farm. As you can see there isn't a lot but it's enough to start breaking down while they eat through the food already there. I like to give the farms a variety of foods as I am sure the worms like to have different foods to eat. Also what I put into the farm will also make for better worm castings and in return a better food harvest in the garden.


Inside the light coloured worm farm. The newspaper on the right, is what I use to cover the castings/food to keep it dark and comfortable for the worms.

So there you have it.... my FAB TAB wormy mates that work so hard behind the scenes of my beautiful organic vegie patch. mrgreen

If you haven't tried a worm farm... get a foam broccoli box and some worms and start feeding them.....it's as simple as that wink

Until next time....hoo roo

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Friday, July 27, 2007

I Take My Hat Off


I love knitting mrgreen and when asked if I would knit this beret for a fellow gardener, I was more than happy to.

The material used was Deluxe Velvet Ribbon by Cleckheaton. All one piece knitted with a circular needle. Easy as to knit and the ribbon knits up to a beautiful soft feeling.

To show Happy Potter the end result, I used a stuffed rabbit to show how it sits. Happy Potter is very excited to be receiving it via the post next week. biggrin

Now back to all those adult jumpers with all the cables. Taking a break from the jumpers was like smelling a different flower in the garden........ pure joy while doing it.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Daffodil Update

Yesterday Pat pointed out to me how the new daffodils stems had grown taller as the flowers were opening. I am so pleased to be able to show you how the bulbs are looking as on this morning.




It was suggested by a fellow gardener that they may have a smaller stem, due to the drought. Be interesting to see how they go next year. You can see here the size of the stem when the flowers started to open up.


Pat is pleased with this daffodil, it's his favourite flower. Last year he was too sick to go to the Adelaide Show and so I was left to pick out the varieties myself.



I sent some of these bulbs to Sweetpea and my sister Debbie and I do hope they flower for them this year.


Violets are putting on a good showing and adds winter colour to the Friendship Garden.

Until next time....hoo roo


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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Planning Summer Crops.

Before you know it summer will be here and if you don't start to plan before much longer, summer will almost be here and your crops are not in.

Already I am starting to think of what sort of vegies I want to grow for this coming summer season. cool With the drought and water restrictions, this will need to be factored in with your choices and amount of plants you grow.

Also the size of your area allocated to your vegie patch will dictate in what you grow. So below are a few of my thoughts for what to look at when planing your next seasons crop.

  • Look at different varieties that can be grown. Don't have the space to grow pumpkins and want too? Try a bush pumpkin called "Golden Nugget", this variety grows similar to a zucchini plant. This is what I am planning on doing this coming season.
  • Cucumbers love to grow up a trellis. Plants growing up trellises are a great way to save space and allow for more in the vegie plot, using trellises also helps to keep the crop clean.
  • Tomatoes... try staggering your planting. Plant half of what you want to grow 1 month and the other half a month later. Also with the varieties you can now choose from to grow, check and see if they are early or late croppers. Sure beats having a glut all at once and then nothing for the rest of the season.

What to do with excess food from your harvest?

When a glut of food from you garden is over running your kitchen, it can become a problem with what to do with the excess. Neighbours are always great of disposing of food by passing food over the fence. Making jams, pickles and preserving them is another great way to use up the glut.

Where possible I like to dry the over load of fruit & veg. This is a great way to extend the harvest into the non growing seasons. Also saves you having to pay the high prices at the shops, when it's not growing in your garden.


Lastly don't be afraid to grow a new variety of food this coming summer. A lot if times you are able to buy a single plant at the nursery, this saves buying 6 or 8 cell punnet and not liking the flavour. If you do like the chosen variety, you can always buy the 6 or 8 cell punnet next season.

I have a list of links on my blog for seed suppliers, check them out. idea

So there you go, I hope this has you thinking about what you want to grow in the warmer months.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Treating Wounds From Gardening.


On Saturday morning while weeding the Friendship Garden I grabbed a pile of weeds and this also included part of the lower end of a rose branch. cry

The squeal of pain brought Pat out to see what happened and when I stopped swearing he figured I was okay and went back inside. Only to return a short time later with a cuppa tea to help make me feel better.

As the day progressed my ring finger became sore and on investigation I found a rose tip had broken off in my finger.

With the torch light and a pin, I had a poke and dig.... but couldn't get it out. With the torch and a sharper pin, Pat had a dig and a squeeze..... but couldn't get it out.

By now the finger was sore as Billy-Oh and blood was coming out when squeezed. Pat then suggested letting Amy have a go at it. I promptly responded with "Piss Off" and put a couple of band aids on my finger and watched for an ambush in the hallway. One doesn't let your daughter dig in your body with a sharp needle after years of saying no to her lol .

By morning the finger wasn't the best though no puss was coming from the now open skin area from the needle attack the day before. Pat and I got talking about it and we knew there must be a way to help draw the thorn from my finger.

Then I thought of it Aussies Living Simply a website for people...who want to live simply. I posted on the site and was give some wonderful advice on how to draw the thorn out.

  • Make a potato poultice
  • Wrap raw onion around my finger
  • Dampen (not wet) a bit of bread and wrap the finger up.
To mention a few that were offered to me.

I took the honey tip and this morning I was pleased to say the thorn just popped out when I unwrapped my finger.

This was an easy problem to solve and I was lucky the wound didn't become infected, which could have led to bigger problems.

When gardening you must wear the appropriately safety gear, especially when using power tools. I was wearing gloves and so this would have made the thorn not go in as far as it could have.

Make sure you are up to date with all your medical shots, tetanus is most important, it's a shocking way to die I have been told. Also saves spending hours in a medical clinic or in an emergency ward in the local hospital. mrgreen

Until next time....hoo roo

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Links, Feeds and Subscriptions

Something completely different for todays posting as I have been busy making a few changes on the right hand side.

Also I have added some emoticons to my blog mrgreen just to make it look more fun.

I love looking at other people's blog to see how they are set up and to see what they are doing.

For people who aren't aware of it, I am Pat's carer and so there are times where I don't get to post daily. So at times I can go for almost a week without posting.

For you as a reader, clicking and loading my site and finding I haven't posted can be a let down. So over in the right hand side, I had added a subscription feed. This way when I have posted you can be notified and go and see what I am doing for that day.

You will not be receiving SPAM through subscribing.

I use a blog feed myself as I have favourite blogs I like to visit regularly. Saves a lot of time loading up the pages only to find no update has been posted.

My sister Susan has a blog and she's a whiz at it, she was telling me last night via email that she had thought of me when writing her post.

Some of her features I have been wanting for a while, so last night I started to set them up and finished it this morning.

You can read all about the feeds and how they work at Susan's Art& Stuff as its explained so well.

Also another blog that is lovely to visit is my brother's blog Just Cruisin Snapshots Mick's blog has photos from around Australia and close to home in Adelaide.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Gardening Repairs

Yesterday's posting I showed you the damage to the peas from the birds. Today I have posted a photo of the bird netting over the peas again. Reason I have done this is because Pat came up with the idea of pulling the netting further out and away from the trellises.

This is a great idea as the peas now can't use the netting to climb up, as I found this to be the case when I pulled the netting away to weed the area.



Until the peas are finished and removed from the garden the bird netting will need to stay in place.



Still harvesting mini caulies and oodles of broccoli. Going from the look of it, the broccoli in the second sowing will be ready to eat in the next few weeks.

The mini cauliflowers are weighing around the 500 gm mark, this one was 470 gms.
Broccoli weighed in at 262 gms and 260 gms and once again no green grubs to be seen.

Later today I am going to feed the cabbages with a feed of week manure tea, while the caulies and broccoli will be given worm wee.

Cabbages are starting to swell up nicely and a power boost will not go a stray. These are still a way off from being harvested. Caulies in the shops are ranging from $3 to $7, depending on size and also where you buy them. Broccoli us up round $7 a kilo.



Spent some time out in the friendship garden weeding as it sorely needs it. The above photo shows how bad the area had become. But I didn't want to weed the whole are in 1 day as the weeds are fed to the ducks & chooks.

So I'll attack the area again tomorrow if I have time, so the poultry get a fresh feed of greens.


The area now looks heaps better, found more bulbs from previous years plantings have started to push through the soil.

Gave some of the roses a prune as well. Rose pruning went into the council green waste bin. Never compost rose cuttings, as the thorns will bite you when spreading round the compost and also roses could spread diseases in your garden.

Until next time....hoo roo.

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