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Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animals. Show all posts

1 Aug 2017

Winter Work_outside

It has been busy here the last month. The BIL visited for 3 weeks and helped PC move, clear and repair.

The before photos of the garden were taken on a visit I made mid June 2016 but the start of the clearing and reorganising didn't begin till about December 2016. Moving the rocks is an ongoing project and is time and energy consuming.

The Peach Tree Garden just needs some stepping stones, of which we have plenty, and then it can be planted with more herbs and veges.
Before
At present

The South-East Garden is finally rock, carpet and weed free and I'm planning beans along the south fence, where the cherry tomatoes were last Summer, and the tomatoes will go along the East fence. I'm about to decide which seeds I will germinate now to plant in front of the beans and tomatoes. With just the two of us, and some things that PC doesn't eat, it will be an interesting procedure.

A bit wild and wandering!
Rocking the rock to roll it out of the garden.
Ripping out old nylon carpet that previous owners placed in ALL the gardens for weed prevention.
Ready for composting, mulching and then planting in Spring

The Central garden area is still a work in progress because the rocks, and old carpet, need to be moved across the path and we don't wish to damage the path. At the moment all we have to move them is the diesel forklift and, at a weight of 3 tons, it will make the path rubble. We'll keep chipping at the rocks till we have another solution.



In the meantime Maddy is the main supervisor (as usual!) and Kevin and Co have full run of the front yard.....as that is on the future list.



Cheers,
Robyn Louise XO




18 Jun 2017

Freedom!

We often let the hens out in the front yard, particularly on a weekend. They love it.
Weeding and fertilising
Watch dog so adventurous hens don't trespass in back yard where the veges are growing.
 Mumma hen also had a residential relocation.....and we supplied a bodyguard for her and her offspring. She keeps him a wingspan away at the moment but I think he'll be more than a bodyguard soon. After playing second in charge to Figjam since he was a "teenager" he's very pleased to be allowed to flap his wings and crow without receiving a physical chastisement! I'm considering which breed of hens to add to his flock as I'd like some meat producers without purchasing commercial meat hens.
He also needs renaming as "Junior" doesn't sound dignified enough now he has a missus and kids!

The perfect end to a lovely Winter's day.

Cheers,
Robyn Louise XO








12 May 2017

Preserving and Bulk Buying

We've been busy stocking up lately.
We were gifted a couple of kilos of tomatoes recently so I found a nice, easy recipe and made some tomato relish in the slow cooker. The recipe, and my alterations, on the recipes page. I'll be giving a jar to the donor of the tomatoes as a thank you.

I have a habit of skimming through the local Facebook buy, swap and sell page and discovered some wheat and barley at around half the price we usually pay for it, but, it was in the bulk buy form of a 200 litre, or 44 gallon drum, purchase for each type. After discussion we decided that it was worth it, as 2 drums of each will last us at least 6 months, and there is already a mouse plague on it's way over from the west so prices could rise. The sealable metal drums will protect the grain and we can refill them from the same supplier each time. Good for us and good for a local farmer who sells direct from his farm :).

Shifting the heavy drums from the trailer, after we had them home, was a bit of a challenge and meant some interesting manoeuvering to avoid back strains at one time.


With the forklift, and some blocks for support at strategic moments, the drums were set up under cover until the contents are required.


So now the chickens and herbivores have their pantry filled until Spring!
Cheers,
Robyn Louise XO

2 Apr 2017

Cataplexy

You may have noticed the assistant/supervisor/observer in many of my photos, over the years, as she was born a couple of months before I started this blog. This is a bit of a tribute to one of my best mates, even though most of the time she is voicing her opinion or asleep, and the best little rodent catcher I've "owned"! She always knows the best places to sleep but still be aware of all the current events.

Apologies if I've duplicated a photo or 2 that have been posted previously.

Gardening is so physical that it's nice to have somewhere warm and comfortable to have a rest.
 Can everyone see the photo crasher in the background at the top left?

House chores
It's always difficult to decide where to begin house cleaning. From top left to bottom right in a clockwise direction - kitchen, bedroom, office or living room.




After "driving" the forklift all afternoon all one wants to do is curl up on a favourite chair, in the company of a friend, and have a snooze.

Cheers,
RobynLouise and the Mad Cat (aka Maddy) XO

28 Mar 2017

A bit of this and a bit of that....

MrHM made a request to know what's happening on the 'farm'. To this end I'll be doing a daily update for the last few days of March. It also gives me an excuse to play with the photo arranging :).

After the rain last week these began popping up. The huge ones on the left are some kind of toadstool I think as they are completely enclosed. The centre is a regular mushroom and on right is the underside. Shame the rain was so heavy it impregnated them with sandy/clayey dirt as there were enough to fill a 2 litre ice cream tub.

The dwarf beans also benefitted from the rain by shooting up about 15cm and flowering. The difference in sizes is due to staggered planting times....and an ant bean seed eating invasion...grrrr.

My worms are breeding up nicely and making lots of fertiliser. The bottom tray (left) is worm cast and some adventurous worms, Middle tray (centre) is filled with shredded paper to 'catch' those who venture down from the top tray. The shreddings are also damp from worm wee so they can be used as compost for the garden. Right picture is some bedding from the top tray and the, hopefully, worm free bedding/cast from the top feeding tray separated into the box to be used to either make worm tea or as compost or a potting mix addition.

I had begun to remove these  a few weeks ago as we had no idea what bulbs they were. Now that they have flowered I think I'll keep some and plant clumps of them in various places as they are so cheering to look at. I will research what they are as well. Anyone care to help by naming them for me?

The end of the day today and my two "assistants" are having a rest. They are good mates to each other as well as to us.

Cheers,
RobynLouise XO


23 Jan 2017

Cooking, cleaning and chickens

On the weekend, I tried my hand at baking in this. The second-hand oven should be installed soon but I needed a dose of home baking.



These are caramelised onion and cheese rolls. They need tweaking as there is too much butter in the recipe but I always make new recipes, as written, and adjust them when I make them again.

Here is the custard slice. A problem here was cooking this a shelf position too high.
I have noted both corrections and neither problem prevented each of these being edible J.



The last week or so has been decluttering and cleaning, both inside and out.



PC made me another shelf so I would have more storage space.


The box of crockery/glassware to be taken to the op-shop (charity store).


PC also cleared a rock or two from the peach tree garden so we can begin readying it for Autumn planting. Haha…I must research the removal of the rocks the previous owners left here, preferably to our profit! Anyone want some nice sandstone rocks, some come with attached moss and those with fairly level topsides are pre-tested by the resident moggy as resting areas?



The one with the red "hat" here is Biddy. The word "Biddy" has more than one meaning in Australia and it's not complimentary...


Yesterday the hens’ egg production dropped to 4 eggs again. Saturday was when I returned Biddy to the chook yard after ascertaining that she was laying eggs, however, in the week she was absent from the yard production rose from 4 to 6 eggs a day. Therefore, production was down by a third for the first month we owned them. So, from today, Biddy will be confined to the small chook pen and be company for the young rooster, as her overbearing attitude is preventing the two youngest hens from laying. We will need to sort out another housing alternative for them soon. As she lays 3 x 60g (avg) eggs a week she's not going to be chicken soup yet! :P

Cheers,
RobynLouise xo

1 Jan 2017

So long 2016, Hello 2017

It's been a quiet few days since last post and the end of 2016. Partially because my camera lead to the computer developed a problem and I couldn't download photos. There were some hot days in which flowers glorified in the sun....



.....some one decided this was the coolest place in the yard, complete with cold beverages.



I noticed the cherry tomatoes had set fruit after the first rainfall...


and  the end of the thunderstorms gave us a lovely light display!



2017 came in with mid to high 20 Celcius temperatures and a lovely partially cloudy morning that developed into some nice rain and cleared to a beautiful sunset in the evening as evidenced by my new blog header photo and the photos below.




Wishing everyone a New Year that is enjoyable, peaceful, filled with family and friends and is everything you make it become.

Cheers,

RobynLouise xo

28 Dec 2016

Do you name your hens?



PC and I were chatting about the hens this morning and he mostly ends up laughing when we do this. He’s amused as he inadvertently named our rooster a day or two after we acquired our Silver Wyandotte flock because of its behaviour.

The rooster's name is FIGJAM. 

When you go into the hen house or yard FIGJAM struts around with his head up and his chest out and if you talk he “talks” back like he’s answering you. Also, when you pick him up, and then put him back on the ground, he doesn’t run off but steps away in a dignified manner and shakes himself – all the while chastising you in various tones. I think he’s still indignant that I clipped his flight feathers, on one wing, the day we brought him here to ensure he stayed and didn’t try the option of flying over the 5 foot high gate.

Cheers,
RobynLouise xo

26 Dec 2016

It happens but.....

it still isn't easy.

My little feathered friend of 12 years died this evening. Seems like she had a heart attack in the short time between when I saw her from the kitchen window and when PC went out to bring their cage in for the night and discovered her dead in the bottom. 

Her little mate, Spice, seems subdued and I hope he's OK and doesn't pine for her. I thought she'd outlast him as he has some health issues that existed before I obtained him.

It won't be the same without my cheeky little mate.




Robyn Louise 


22 Dec 2016

Another RE...

Restocking!

Discovered a hen house with 5 hens on a local Facebook Buy, Sell and swap last week. Had to do some pen dismantling and 3 of the hens are older than I would have liked but they are good weed scratchers so they can have a chance at reducing our labours in return for board and feed.





Need to re-erect the main hen house in the corner behind the sheds soon. It looks a bit sad stacked in the trailer.


I also discovered a local farmer a couple of days ago on same BSS who is selling Silver Wyandottes so I bought 5 of those as they are my favourite. The pullets won’t lay for around another 10 weeks. Mr Rooster needs a name but it has to suit his nature :).


Three eggs collected so far and as half of them have only been here 3 days I’m pleased with that.

Cheers,
Robyn Louise xo.