We have had NO rain until the last week of November, and even then its only been 10 mL, so everything was getting very dry and we've started talking again about getting a bore put down. The garden was still watered with grey water, so it is green and with the warmer weather its amazing to see how much its grown.
We hatched one more chick from 24 eggs. Yep, need to work on the incubation skills! Starting to wonder about just encouraging a clucky hen... in the meantime we have the incubator going again, with more careful temperature control and it looks like 8 eggs have chicks growing in them. We also culled some of the older hens and poor old Randy rooster (rooster in the freezer, just took the breast meat of the hens for mince, they were pretty skinny old girls, buried all the carcasses with Bruce's guts, will be the new pumpkin patch). Now we just have 3 white leghorn hens with Ivan and 6 Rhode Is Red hens with Wilbur. Hoping to breed some more if we can sort out this incubator, but this is a good number for regular eggs over summer.
We finally ate some of the cheese that we made when Bella first joined us. One of the cheddars was quite nice on crackers, but another was just too sharp, so I grated that and put it in the freezer to sprinkle in cooking. The brie hasn't ripened, don't know why, it tastes like brie, but just not gooey inside at all. It will get eaten though, don't worry! We have a couple of other hard cheese left in the cheese fridge and when we've finished them we'll turn off the cheese fridge until the next calf arrives. We have ordered some semen, and the vet is booked for artificial insemination next week, so fingers crossed we can get Bella in calf, this is a new experience for us, but not for Bella!
|zucchinis, squash and corn - as recommended in companion planting advice, |
but need to start the corn first as it is now getting swamped by the zuchs.
|my useful lettuce and silverbeet (with marigolds) |
- has been trimmed by the naughty sneeky chickens though
|Tomatoes! Lots of cherry toms are ready, no big ones yet|
|herbs - note new tansy and soapwort and chilli on the top centre - right|
|eggplants - frustratingly slow growing|
|I have a late night visitor (possum or rat??) that only likes to eat HALF a tomato, |
doesn't matter if its green or red though
|Have been waiting for months for these broccoli seeds and now find ladybirds |
are eating them, not for long though, squashed them all, hahahaha (evil laugh)
|First time silverbeet has even gone to seed, this is a new variety, |
suppose I should save the seeds, but not impressed that it doesn't last long
|Unlike the Fordhook Giant that has never bolted for me|
|I planted all the pumpkin seeds in the seed cupboard because |
I was sick of having so many seed packets lying around,
oops, now I need a home for 16 pumpkin plants....
|The last of the broccoli, a few beans, mini capsicums, tomatoes and silverbeet :)|
|If anyone wants some spring onion seeds, I have far too many and they don't last, |
so please email me your postal address to
eight.acres.liz at gmail dot com
and I will happily post a handful anywhere in Australia.
|The first two chicks of the season now live outside|
|Wilbur with some of his hens|
|poor lonely Nugget (named by Cheryl, who licked her lips|
and thought the chick looked like a tasty chicken nugget)
|Ivan and his girls|
|This is the baricade around the tangelo tree to keep Bella out, |
she is just pushing it over to annoy me, but I think I win.
I finally finally got some diatomeceous earth, and only because Megan from our Permaculture group saw it at a market and bought it for me. Thank goodness, as I was starting to get quite desperate. But now I'm thinking that this is just one of those lessons that if you can't source something locally its probably not going to fit into your organic/permaculture plans. Anyway, that's 20 kg to get us started, I'm only using it in the chicken nesting boxes for lice and fed half a cup to each moo moo on the full moon for internal parasites (at the advice of Bel from Homegrown, who happens to conveniently live near a DE mine in north QLD). We haven't had any flies on the moo moos so far this summer, but with that rain I'm sure they will be coming soon....
|Chez waiting for me to throw her ball|
|Chime sneaking up for a pat|
|Cheryl in her cave under the house|
|taking some time to stare up at the summer sky (wish those were rain clouds though!)|