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March 2011 - farm update

Its that time of year where everything is growing so fast, I need to give regular updates or I'll get behind!

First the zucchinis are still going, but suffering from blossom end rot, so I've topped them up with lots of gypsum to keep their calcium levels high.  I've also got some lovely little button squash growing, which are great if you just like a small amount of zucchini in your dinner!

little button squash are great if you can't finish an entire zucchini!

The zuchinni patch (+squashes)

My tomatoes have been growing strongly and producing lots of green tomatoes that are taking FOREVER to ripen!  I noticed that one is finally turning red, so I can't wait to make tomato soup!  I have to admit I'm a bit relaxed with the organic gardening when it comes to tomatoes.  I let them go until I see a grub and then I shower them with tomato dust (very non-organic!) because I can't stand to see all my hardwork wasted.  But then I just leave it and see if any more grubs appear, so they've only have one dose this season and I wash them VERY carefully before eating.  The cherry tomato keeps producing fruit with no bug problems, so it is the one to go for if you're strict on organic gardening!  Note that I now use neem oil instead.

Eight strong tomatoes planted in November (I think they're Ox Heart)
Plenty of green tomatoes......
Finally a red one!!
The cherry tomato keeps producing, with no bug worries.
 The poor man's beans is still producing more beans that we can eat!  I've filled a container of cut beans in the freezer and now I'm giving them away to neighbours in exchange for goat's cheese (great exchange aye!).  


The poor man's beans produce more that we can eat!
I'm very excited that my mini capsicum is FINALLY fruiting after a year in the garden!  This is the capsicum equivalent of cherry tomatoes.  When we grew big capsicums they got stung by fruit flies, but not the mini capsicums.  When these get going we should have plenty of capsicums and I store any extras in the freezer to throw into casseroles.


Mini capsicums are the capsicum equivalent of cherry tomatoes.
The last hatch of baby chicks have moved outside, they are fully feathered and the two cockerels look like mini foghorm leghorns!  They are a bit shy, so it was hard to get a good photo of them.

The baby chickens have move outside
And just in time for the next hatch to move into the brooder, we doubled our hatch rate, with 7 out of 48 this time (with a few turkey eggs still to hatch as they take 7 days longer).  They are the cutest before they start getting feathers.  Five of them are leghorns, so we will have to do one more run with the incubator to try and hatch more Rhode Island Reds to replace some of our older hens.

The next clutch of 7 chicks has hatched.
And finally the crazy turkeys!  We have two gobblers and two hens  The gobblers have recently become very aggressive (probably because their hens are now laying eggs), so its time to catch one to eat, but we're a little scared, they are HUGE!  The eggs taste like chicken eggs and are a little larger, they are fertile already, so we should have some more turkeys soon.  They call out to every noise they hear, the steers, the roosters, the dog barking, the whipper snipper starting etc!!  I tried them free range, but they took so long to figure out how to get out of the door of their cage, I was worried they would never get home.  They are also capable of flying over fences, and do so when frightened, which happens easily, so I don't trust them free range.  Also they are too aggressive now.


We were a little worried about Bruce last week as he was sick.  It turns out he had Three Day sickness, which is like a severe man-flu.  He was drooling and couldn't get up, we had to bring him food and water and tell him that he'd be ok.  A few days later he was up and eating again.  What a sook!  Now we just have to wait a few months and he's ready to eat :)

How was your month?  What are you planning for next month?

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