Monday, March 31, 2008

13.5 mm Of Rain

Another 7.5 mm out of the rain gauge this morning and this brings the total for the month to 13.5 mm of soaking steady rain. Not all in one shower. Where I have been watering the garden has stayed moist and now after the last 7.5 mm, other parts of the garden is staying moist too.

This morning I was just thrilled to find the seeds sown have started to germinate.



Silverbeet.



Carrots.




Beetroot.



I feel on top of the world to see new life in the vegie patch and the fact its food for the winter months is just overwhelming.


After the harsh summer with the water restrictions and not planting a lot along with the dismal tomato crop...... well I am sure you can understand why I am just so excited.





Said to Pat last night while harvesting a couple of capsicums, they look like Christmas bobbles in a tree. Might only be small, but they are sweet and just so yummy to eat fresh in a salad. Just love the red colour against the green of the leaves.


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Friday, March 28, 2008

No Gardening Here.

Been flat out here this week and so not much in the way of gardening for me.

Twice a week Pat & I go to the other side of the city for some lectures and a gym session to do with respiratory diseases. So we loose all morning and a good chunk of the afternoons on Monday & Wednesday. This will finish the end of April.

So I get to hang out with all the gym junkies and drool over them. Shame they are all 70 plus years of age except Pat, he's the youngest. I think its great these younger members of our society are willing to get into the swing of looking after themselves.

Pat is enjoying it so much, we are going to turn James' bedroom into a gym for not only Pat but also me, Amy & James when he comes visiting to use.

Then yesterday I had a filling in a wisdom tooth and the tooth next to it pulled out. So my mouth is very sore and while cleaning today if I bent over... my mouth throbbed.

Be back out in the garden in the next few days. Weather is made for gardening.

Oh yes while I think of it, we ended up with 5.75 mm of rain for this week.

Until next time....hoo roo

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Its Raining

Yay its raining here and so far 2.75 mm fell overnight. mrgreen

It was lovely to wake up last night and hear rain falling on the roof. Garden looks fresher for it and I don't have to cart water tonight.

Just had a lovely shower of rain and we had to pull down the awning to protect Cadbury and Flossy on the veranda. Dark enough to need a light on in the house.

I'm happy.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Harley singing in the bath

Thought today was a good day to wash my cat "Lucky" and Pat's cat "Harley Davidson". Thing is Lucky will sit there and just have a bath and get it over and done with.

With Harley he screams like a girl and so I thought while I bathed Harley, Amy could video him. So click on the YouTube below and listen to a very vocal tom cat.

Now when they crawl into bed at night when its cold.... they'll smell pretty.







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Sunday, March 23, 2008

It's A Dusty Job.

Its a dusty job, but someone has to do it. And as it involves dust in the garden...its left to me and not Pat to do it.




This area is going to be the winter green manure area. Now I have the bird netting and poly pipe a green manure crop will be grown and not eaten.

Over the summer this part of the vegie patch wasn't used with the water restrictions, I limited what we grew. So the holiday bunny hutch was stored here on a tarp.

What I wanted to do today was move the tarp & hutch and pull those weeds up. Also start to cut back that wormwood forest that has developed in that corner of the garden.




Look at this blasted weed! Darn thing spent the summer under the tarp and it still didn't die.evil One good thing with this area the weeds pulled up easy as.


Even with the shade I was getting pretty sweaty with cutting back the wormwood and after a few boxes of cuttings taken to the compost bin, I called it quits.


I moved to another area that was on the list. I raked "Freedom Road" and made a nice old dust storm in the air. Ducks were quacking "what the!!" and hid in the duck shed. Only good thing was the breeze wasn't blowing towards the house.

Then Pat saved me raking the duck run for the time being as he started hanging the wet cream/white curtains from the kitchen window. Nothing like wet washing to bring the raking to an end.

The duck/chicken poo, feathers, animal litter collected, where is it going??



Down into this area of the garden. Where the green manure is going to be sown. No that isn't an animal grave there, the first of what could be many loads of poultry litter collected and wheel barrowed to this area.

If I was to remove it from the property, it would take weeks or a couple of months. We only have the council weekly bin pick up and what a waste this would be to send this yummy animal waste to landfill.

So I figured..... make good use of it in the garden. That wormwood is a great feather catcher and with the ducks molting, corners in the garden are holding piles of feathers. These will be collected and added to the compost bins.

With rain still forecast later in the week, I have 1 or 2 days left to get the duck run raked and the animals litter spread over the garden. If I push myself to get it done.... bet it doesn't rain.eek By the time the green manure is sown, grown and turned in.... the area will be a yummy source of food for spring planting.

So I guess you could say I played dirty today out the back..... I don't see gardening as a chore but as fun. Just the way it should be.

Until next time....hoo roo


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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Worms

My worms I am sure are breathing a sigh of relief with the cooler weather. Very pleased to see the farms are still full of worms from babies to adults.





Each day I take out the collected scraps from the kitchen and place them in the big white bucket I keep with the farms. Using a shovel I chop the food scraps up smaller and once happy with the size of the pieces, into 1 of the 3 farms it goes.

I have a good routine and keep a small claw trowel on the farm that needs to be fed on that day.



Happy worms about to be fed. I am just so pleased with the fact I didn't loose them in the heat. These worms can be traced back to the summer of 1999 when I bought them after cooking my first farm that summer.

Spending time each day out in the garden now its cooler. Very pumped with the cooler days and the fact I can actually get out into my garden.

Today I cleaned the bunny hutches out and their sawdust bedding was used for new paths in the garden. Didn't get to rake the duck run & Freedom Road, but tomorrow is another day.



This area now has 2 rows of carrots & 1 row of beetroot sown to the left of the tomato stake. On the right of the stake is silverbeet seeds. Then a patch of sawdust to mark the path and a gap before I start sowing more seeds this coming week.

I'm feeling a lot happier with the vegie patch now I can see things happening in the backyard. Much more settled as I love to get out the back and play, loosing time in a productive way.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Happy Easter



Look what a dear friend of ours sent to us for Easter today. So much better than chocolate. Bev & her family live in Melbourne and introduced me to the chicken breed of Light Sussex bantams years ago.

How special it is to have friends that have a kind heart and a beautiful soul. mrgreen



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Friday, March 21, 2008

Now The Cool Weather Is Here.

Now that Mother Nature is finished busting and making new records here in Adelaide, the assault on the vegies garden has started.

Already this morning I have tidied up the capsicum plants and removed all sun burnt damaged fruits and either cut the affected bits off, fed the best bits to my bunnies and the scraps to the chooks. Then I told my plants how brave they were standing out there for over 2 weeks in 35 to 40 degree heat and not carking it.

I didn't want to say anything before the heat wave finished, but we lost no animals.

I gave the plants a good drink of some worm wee and rain water. Noticed the rain water tank is getting low and so a good rain wouldn't go astray here.

Also harvested 3 cucumbers for the kitchen and noticed there is still more fruits coming. Did a general tidy up round the place and just enjoyed the beauty of the cooler day.




Might have some marks that the stupidmarkets would refuse to sell. But it's fresh, organic and just has that taste you can't buy.

Pulled the hoe through the area where the spring onions had germinated and baked within a week. That is now going to be carrots and beetroot, area had a light sprinkle of rain water and later today I'll sow those seeds. Moving the spring onions up near where the garlic will be grown this year.

So finally its all happening in Luckyland. I'm not using the moon phase planting this time round..... I'm hungry to get things rolling and I just have to see my little vegie patch producing more food. Costing heaps at the green grocer with not having the vegie patch producing.

Oh yeah while on the green grocer..... yesterday I took a batch of home made hot cross buns, straight from the oven down to them. It was my way of saying thank you for all the free greens I get for my feathery and furry kids.

So finally I can talk seeds, seedlings, plants and food....not about heatwave they said only comes once every 3000 years. Tell you something, I'm not hanging round for the next 3000 year heatwave. lol

Until next time...hoo roo

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Visitors In Our Backyard

This morning we had 2 little parrots visiting the backyard bird bath. Photos aren't real clear as I took them through the back window.




Not sure what breed they are, but I know they sure enjoyed their stop over at the drinking hole.

Another stinker here today, 38 and its about 12.30 here and its already hit the 36 mark.

Talk of a cool change this week..... Oh I can't wait. I am so over this heat and just haven't any energy left in my reserve tank.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Correction On The Egg Post.

The other day I posted about what to do with eggs laid by my bantams, who are eating the chick starter & crumble with the 3 chickens.

Cosmic Gardner posted a comment about this post and asked me the following....

Lucky, isn't it illegal to put antibiotics in chicken food these days? It seems to defeat the objective of raising your own eggs!


I then thought I had better check my information as I may be wrong.eek And I was.

So I do apologize for getting my information wrong.

What I should have said was the chick crumble is medicated but not with antibiotics but with medication for Coccidiosis. I got myself mixed up.

Any confusion I cause, I am truly sorry for this.

It must be pointed out that if feeding these crumbles to your little chickens and you have adult hens feeding of the crumble, you still can't eat the eggs.

My 3 chickens run separate from the main laying hens and run with their silky mum (Bonnie) & her sister Clyde. They have an area all to themselves.

Question From Cosmic

In the comments section of the last post Cosmic left a comment about antibiotics in chook feed. I am glad she has questioned this.... I may have my facts wrong and I am looking into what I have written and will post the out come..... stay tuned....

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Know Your Eggs.


Seven lovely bantam eggs laid over the last week. These are from either Bonnie or Clyde my 2 silkie bantams.

These hens lay a nice size egg and I love using these in my kitchen for salads, egg wash or for egg & bacon pies.




Also great for scrambling and having with toast for breakfast. Mind you I don't like scrambled eggs....but Pat loves them.



Little chicken enjoying a feed of scrabbled eggs a few minutes ago.


But hang on!!!!! eek How come they are getting to eat cold scrambled eggs for lunch on a 40 degree day??? wink

Let me tell you why biggrin

The bantam who is laying these eggs is eating chick crumble along with the chickens. The little chickens and 2 silkie bantams are running separate from my big laying hens.

Chick crumble is full of goodies to help the chickens grow strong and healthy and to eat these eggs, its illegal. Few years back the health organization of the government brought in to eat these eggs with antibiotics in the feed mix was a no-no.

We as the eaters will adsorb the antibiotic into our system and build up a resistance to antibiotics. Making it harder for us to fight infections when we need to be treated.

So what do we do with these eggs???? Well you can eat them and turn a blind eye to the affects and say "nothing will come of it". Throw them away.... that seems a waste.

I can't feed them to my worm farms, as a friend feed her worm farm some of the left over chick crumble and it killed her whole worm farm off within days. I won't risk this happening to my 3 farms, by cooking and feeding them

So the only thing I could think of..... was to feed the eggs back to the chooks being fed the chick crumble in the first place.

Egg shells were put into the compost bin.

Good recycling in my books.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Snow From A Blog Friend.

It's official... its the hottest March and the longest heatwave Adelaide has ever record since 1887 when records started. A heatwave is classed as so many days over 35 degrees.

One thing I am enjoying while surfing on the blogs I subscribe to, is the stories on snow from the Northern Hemisphere.

I Need Orange is a blog I love to visit and read. Orange has had some pretty cool and amazing photos up of the snow in her area. The other day I left a comment about our heatwave we are having and asked, if she could make a snowball and throw it for me. lol

Having never seen snow I was tickled pink to visit her latest post and there was a snowball made for me mrgreen. Oh I am just so thrilled to have a person I haven't met, go to all that trouble......

Check out my snowball....it's so cool. biggrin

I am so tired of this heat and I really can't wait for the cool weather to arrive. This weather is predicted to keep going up till the 19th March next week. eek

Really thinking the ducks and chooks might like to join the cats on the futon and watch some "Stargate" with us. rolleyes

So keep cool and you know what I'm going to say next.....

Until next time....hoo roo

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Still Hot


Still hot here and another week of it, before any relief will arrive. eek

Rebel & Harley are taking full advantage of the a/c and the futon made into our bed. While those 2 are comfy as and relaxed while cool.

I am keeping an eye on the outside animals with ice bricks for the rabbits to lay against. Fresh cool water for the ducks and chooks.

Garden is going okay, though I have about lost all the spring onions to the heat. They had only just germinated too. So I have made the decision to let these few die as well and save the water for the older plants producing food for us. I'll sow more seeds once this heat wave is gone.

Pat & I are getting house happy and wishing for a day outside in the fresh air. We are giving his "Stargate" DVD box sets a hiding and we are up to series 3 at the moment. While keeping cool inside I have been knitting to stay sane and have finished Pa's socks for his 86th birthday.

So until this heatwave moves away from us, it's pretty well stay inside where its cool and only venture out to the shops when needed.

This is the upcoming days forecast.

Forecast for Monday
Dry and mostly sunny. A very hot day but becoming slightly milder about the
coast during the afternoon and inland during the evening. Light to moderate
northeast to northwest winds ahead of a moderate southwest to south wind shift
developing near southern coasts late morning then slowly extending northwards
during the afternoon. Moderate to fresh south to southeast winds in the evening.

Precis Dry. Mostly sunny.
City: Max 39
Elizabeth: Max 39
Mount Barker: Max 38
Noarlunga: Max 36

UV Index: 7 [High] UV Alert from 10:30 to 16:20
Fire Danger: Extreme (Mount Lofty Ranges Fire Ban District)

Tuesday Dry. Mostly sunny. Min 18 Max 34
Wednesday Dry. Mostly sunny. Min 20 Max 36
Thursday Dry. Mostly sunny. Min 22 Max 37
Friday Dry. Mostly sunny. Min 28 Max 39
Saturday Dry. Sunny. Min 23 Max 38
Sunday Dry. Sunny. Min 22 Max 38

So if your being affected by this heatwave.....try and stay cool and good luck with your gardens.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Preparing For Winter Crops.

Back before I knew the heatwave was coming, I prepared an area in my no-dig garden for the up coming brassicas for winter eating.

Weather on the day was just stunning and it was just fantastic to be able to spend hours and not minutes in the vegie patch.

After picking out the area I wanted to plant the crops in, it was time to think about how I was going to boost the soil for this area. I believe that if the soil is fed, it'll in return feed the plants. So first port of call was the chook pen, for some yummy soil laced with chook manure.



Collected 2 wheel barrow loads of soil from their run. As I didn't want the hens mixing with the chickens, I had to be careful shoveling the soil with a shovel. Peaches one of my chooks was happy to try and see what yummies could be found on my shovel. Why chooks seemed to think the soil was any better in the shovel I have no idea. So it took longer having to continually move Peaches away from where I was scraping up the top layers of soil.



Nothing like a chook run with the top soil scraped away. Radar and his wives were having a good scratch round after I had finished.




Spread out over the tired area and then on top of this went 2 wheel barrows of compost from my tumbler.



All finished and before the straw was spread over the top, I watered it, to keep it moist and to help start it breaking down.

Now the heat is here and I am waiting for a window in the weather to get seedlings planted out and bird netting over the top.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Scratching Each Other's Back

With having the poultry its great when I can get free food for them. Getting down the the local shops this morning, we were able to collect free bread rolls and free greens.


With the bread rolls, in return I take in fresh organic vegies from our garden. If I wasn't collecting these bread rolls, they would be thrown out. So I collect them and keep them in our freezer and feed a few rolls to the chooks & ducks each day. Poultry love the bread rolls at the bottom of their scrap bucket with the day's kitchen juice poured over the top.

With a mixed balanced diet the bread shouldn't be over fed to the poultry.

My local green grocer is just a one stop shopping place for my little feathery gang. I am allowed to go out the back and get the greens myself. To say thank you to them all for allowing me to raid their scrap bins, once this hot weather is gone...... I'm going to cook them a boiled fruit cake to say thank you. No good taking in fresh organic vegies for them. So I thought a cake would be the next best thing.

I can't just keep going into them and taking without giving something back besides a "Thank You" each time I collect greens. So by giving them a cake, I will be showing them how grateful I am for those lovely fresh greens.

Supermarkets used to give away boxes of green once. Now their policy is not to give the greens away. So finding a green grocer who is happy to do this is a great find.

Until next time....hoo roo

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