Wednesday, 17 February 2010

New Arrival

My first egg. It is beautifully oval in shape with almost smooth 
surface.  It weighs in at  a tiny 30 gms  

The egg on the left is mine  note the darker shell
not as dark as some Barnevelders but ok for a first egg.
The other brown egg is from a local egg supplier.  

It is a little like your birthday, you know you have presents coming, you do not know what they may contain.  I have to wait until my DH is up to share the cracking of our first egg.  To check how thick the shell is, how firm the white and how golden the yolk...
drum roll  ....

There is a blood spot and a little white ring area on top right
Does anyone have any ideas what the white ring may be?

                      Look at this lovely fresh egg, sitting upright almost on its white.  Only problem is the shell is quite thin.  Is this normal for newly laying chickens?  Any help greatly appreciated.

Monday, 15 February 2010

My Kale comes with extras

 Last night I was sitting out on the deck watching three dragon flies swooping and flying after insects.  So pretty especially when the last vestiges of sunlight hit their wings. I did try to get a photo but no luck just blurs.
It was a lovely sultry evening, and today is amazing and much warmer than forecast.  
 This photo on the left shows my scarlet runner peas,
my rocket and mesculan lettuces flowering and below are my tomatoes.

I watered the vegie garden, and was delighted to see this lovely little frog nestled in my one and only kale plant.  He was equally surprised to see me I feel. 
I am hoping that he may be making a meal of any caterpillars, snails or slugs devouring my kale.      


This is my youngest chook.  She just seems to be so much behind the other girls in her growth.  I am not sure what is happening with her.  Hmmm I think I may be repeating myself.

I have to share with you that a well meaning colleague told me how she was using shredded paper in her laying boxes.  So in my wisdom I thought why not give it a try!  Hmmmm  I swear these two are saying we did not do it....
Why is it always the youngest gets the blame...

I speak from personal experience mind you in my case it was so often true.  It was I that done
So I now have a chicken run covered in shredded paper, and I will not be using it again.  Luckily the girls have succeeded in not only spreading the paper, they have also taken it upon themselves to reorganise the lovely pile of straw, manure and bits removed from their coop. I had put in the corner of their run to let it break down and form compost.  Well know it is going to rot all over their run...sigh.  Just hope it does not rain before I can rake it all up and fence it off.

Last but not least just a little oddity..
On the way into town today we were met with this lovely traffic light.  Which made me laugh, as we are 8km from nearest village, and well there are just so many cars at this very dangerous intersection. 

Ahhh but it was a glorious day and yes my windscreen is tinted. 

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Back to garden and planning for winter.

After almost 40ml of rain the other day, we have almost full rain water tanks, and when this is your sole source of water it is a pretty wonderful feeling. My usual way of celebrating this is to have a lovely long bath. Yes tonight will be a lovely soak in the tub.  The other wonderful thing that has happened in the time since is the raspberry canes are looking much healthier, and already there are new shoots of green in the dry grass.  It is a very unusual situation to beginning February (often our hottest month) with so much water.
  Tahitian limes in a pot.  Think I will have to grow a lemon in a pot too.  sigh
The tomatoes are beginning to produce.  However I do not seem to have any large tomato varieties growing.  Where did they go?  Oh well cherry tomatoes produce for much longer.  The scarlet runners are the only beans that have done anything much in the self care vegie patch.

No eggs from my beautiful girls as yet.  It is one of the exciting things waiting, waiting, waiting, for out first egg.  It is also one of the most
Two of my girls seem to be waiting for something too!  Eggs maybe?
Publish Post

I have picked just over 1kg of blackberries today, so we will be eating some fresh tonight, and I will be making sauce and or some jam in the coming week or so.  Well if my energy levels rise.  I guess our life recently has taken its toll on me not just DH.

I have been thinking about he winter garden and have decided to plant some brassicas in our flower garden beds.  Will fill the empty gaps left by the end of summer growth.  Need to add some manure and mushroom compost and fingers crossed the wallabies wont lay on them.  I have a bed almost ready to go in the vege patch for some too.  So much for this year being one of increasing using our own produce, aaahhh but it is early still only February just have to remind myself of this.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Ahhhh home is bliss!

Thankyou for your support, comments and prayers in respect to the last post they are very appreciated by us both.Oh it is so great to be home, just a little up date we have been travelling to Hobart for radiation treatment and now have no more appointments in Hobart YIPEEEE!   This will be our first weekend and week with no visitors, no appointments just my DH and me, well Toby, the cat and four chooks as
So the garden has really suffered this summer so far.The hope chest seedlings well most have fallen along the hard season due to weather and absences.   Being away so much and dealing with such emotional situation has seen not much action in the vegie garden, nor the garden in general.  Daisies giving up, salvia's so much and the rabbits have been breeding so lots of things nibbled.
I have discovered we have a couple of wallabies living in the bush that is part of our land just out the front door(well it is really back of the house) Every morning I hear them hop away when I go out side and often when no one has been out that way for a few hours you hear them.  It is a great place as they have the dam and protection. Toby does not chase them. 

It has been unconditionally hot here.  We have had 8 days in the last two weeks over 30d Celcius which is very weird.  So many of the plants I had put in have not survived as I have not been home to water them often enough.  Fortunately the chooks survived, the heat two days were over 38  clost on 100 degrees farenheit. 
We had no rain for the whole month of January.   Nights have been very warm for us too.  22d C at 7am yesterday!   YUK!      

Toby watching the formation of the storm, he was so hot that we put wet towels over him and I had to spray the chooks with water to keep them going yesterday.  Such a distressing thing to see your girls panting I kept checking on them to make sure they were drinking and almost bought them to the house to put them in the bathroom to cool off.
 The storm clouds get darker and darker, day becomes night...

 The storm broke and the sound of heavy rain filled not only the rain water tanks, but my heart.  I had watered the garden in the morning and knew that the ground would absorb the moisture and not just let it run off.

 The raspberry canes just may survive to give me some Autumn raspberries. 
 The grass was so long and so very dry that it made the place look such a mess, when combined with the two wattle (acacia) trees we had to have removed and all the debri that was lying around, it was just too much for me to tackle.  We have some lovely kids as neighbours and the 3 boys worked solidly for a couple of hours moving all the heavy timber and branches.  What a difference.  I paid them as I would have a man.  One of the boys was hoping to have enough money to buy an ice cream, his delight on his face when he realised that he could now buy a new game for his Wii?  was reward 
We came home on Wednesday to find one of our lovely neighbours had been over and mown this extra long grass, where the felled trees had been lying, and around the berry bed and near the house.  Such a genorous and unexpected gift. 

Basil I just do not seem to have any luck growing it. The planter I had started actually looks smaller than when it was first put in.  I can not work out what I do wrong!
In the picture on the right there is a pink label and just under it is a tomato plant that is not growing.
Anyone have any ideas what it is I am doing wrong?

Fortunately my French tarragon is growing really well this season.  I transplanted the dormant plant during winter out of the garden into a polystyrene box and it sits on the deck in full sun(as does the basil).My little watering gnomes help to keep the roots moist.


Look past the sweet pea flowers and you will see the freshly mown straw, it sure is not
  Many of my flowers also have suffered and our beautiful Happy Wander which climbs over the front fence of the deck is dying.  Wether this is due to too much winter spring rain or what.  There is one part of it that is greenish so I hope some of it will survive as it looks so lovely in flower in winter.  It will be interesting to see what grows back after this summer rain.  It has revived my need to get into the garden and sow some winter seeds.