Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tommy Toe Cherry Tomatoes Update

My cherry tomato plants are going great guns! They are starting to get so big I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't have put 3 in each pot

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chooks Update 14/11/11

My chooks are getting a lot bigger and the colour of their feathers are changing, they are starting to get a darker brown around their neck area

I really love their colourings

This is Polly - she is very friendly and will peck my toes, try to grab my pants as I'm walking and will eat out of my hand - she also likes to peck my iPhone when I go to take a photo - this is an action shot of that

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Today's Backyard Adventure - More Vegies

Today I decided that I was going to do more gardening - not really surprising is it :) I decided I was going to make more garden beds for more vegies and get a half wine barrel for my horseradish to grow in.

I ended up buying some sweet corn, capsicums, zucchini and spring onions

Here is the finished product of the Horseradish in the half wine barrel - I decided to put it in a half wine barrel so that it didn't take over my garden. I think I will also add some spring onions to it this week too

Here is the horseradish in the pot that my friend Chris gave me - holes in the leaves courtesy of the chooks
Before I could put soil in the half wine barrel, I had to drill plenty of drainage holes

I also cleaned up the area that I put the half wine barrel and moved my herbs in pots to the area too

After that I needed to decide where I was going to plant the next lot of vegies, here are some before shots

I then spent a while turning over the soil in the area and trying to pull out some of the weeds too. I sprayed all the weeds yesterday so they are in the process of dying anyway.

When I was digging I found lots of really BIG wormies

And also 2 of these which I thought might have been witchety grubs but might also be white curl grub?? Whatever they are, the chooks enjoyed eating them

Here is my corn planted, 11 plants I think and spring onions all up the right hand side

Capsicums - 8 plants

4 Zucchini plants

Chook proofed!

It didn't stop the chooks trying to check it all out though - they are a bit miffed about the barrier

Wire Frame Over The Chicken Coop

I have built a wire frame/arch over the top of my chicken coop to grow Star Jasmine over it to provide the chicken coop with some much needed shade - oh and it smells AWESOME!
Last weekend I set out to build it but had a bit of a setback when one of the star pickets I was using fell down and hit me in the head which resulted in concussion.

Yesterday I got the job finished! It took about 2.5 hrs to get it done and I must say I'm actually happy with the resulting look, I just hope that it's strong enough to stay in place.

I got given the wire from a friend, it was sitting behind his mum's garage and it was just going to be thrown out - awesome! It was about 10-11m long and 70cm wide, so to cover the entire width of the chicken coop I had to cut 2x4m lengths and then join them side by side to make it 1.4m wide.
After doing that I then had to figure out how I was going to get the wire up onto the star pickets, on my own, which are at a height of 1.8m - string was the answer I came up with. I ended up running string between the star pickets to make a kind of net to try hold the wire up where I needed it until I had secured it to the star pickets. It worked wonderfully :D

After I had secured the wire in place and tried to re-shape it a bit I then had to work out where I was going to plant the two Star Jasmine plants so that they wouldn't be in the way of being able to clean the chicken coop and then run some more wire down to that spot to provide a climbing path up to the rest of the wire. That done and then the plants planted and this is the result

It was a bit hard to try to get photo's as the wire blends into the background a bit, which is good but you can see the star pickets to see how big it is

I didn't want the main bit of wire going all the way to the ground so that both myself and the chooks could get underneath it and that was mostly so that I still had room to clean out the coop

Star Jasmine

Chooks checking out the new plants and scratching around the pea straw mulch

My clothing after yesterdays efforts - nice and clean ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Home Made Dumplings/Wontons

Today I made my first ever lot of home made dumplings/wontons!! I made pork ones with ginger, soy, spring onion (home grown), egg, sesame oil and a bit of chilli - so yummy! I really need to think and work more on folding them a bit better, but for a first time go I thought they were ok.

I also made some guacamole today - so much yum going on!

Freshly cooked

For the freezer

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tomatoes are planted!

My tomatoes are finally planted! I had the day off work today which gave me some time out in the garden. I had to fork over the whole area and pull all the weeds out which took about an hour to do and then plant the tomato seedlings in their paper pots. I then covered them all with milk cartons to try to stop the slugs n snails from getting them and my chooks.
I also put my wine barrels in position for where I want to put my lemon and lime trees so that I didn't end up putting tomatoes where I wanted to put them

All up I planted 4 Beefsteak plants and 11 Roma tomatoes

There are a lot of runner weeds in the area of the tomatoes so I need to buy some weedkiller and spray them all as I just couldn't get rid of it all. I will also fence the area off from the chooks

Big thanks to Melissa, Kirsten and Russell for saving all their milk bottles for me!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Broad beans and Dip

Tonight I picked my first lot of broad beans from The Patch and I decided to make some dip from them. Last year when my friend Wayne gave me a whole shopping bag full of broad beans I made some dip and it was AWESOME so dip was the first thing to make again.

As I was picking them I shared some with my chooks too, one of my chooks, Polly, was eating them out of my hand :D
I also ate some little ones fresh from the pod - oh wow so yummy!!

First harvest - there are going to be sooooooo many more to come

De-podded (is that a word?) and then boiled for two minutes, I then peeled the majority of them again, only the bigger ones ones though as it is time consuming and just not needed for the smaller ones.

I then added the broad beans, home grown spring onion, some garlic cloves, spring onion, lemon juice, sour cream and salt n pepper into my food processor and whooshed it all up to make this, broad bean dip! Sooo yummy!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chooks Update 2/11/11

This Friday will be 5 weeks since I got my chooks - I can't believe it's been that long already! I still haven't named them all yet, I need to tie some colour cable ties or something around one of their legs so I can tell them apart, although one of them had it's tail feather pecked out so she is identifiable and her name is Polly, well today it is and it may change again.

The changes in their behaviour was slow at first but now they are getting really quite bold and confident. They can still be scaredy cats but I think that's just part of their nature.
Polly often tries to follow me through the garage door or the living room door - I think they just want to know what is on the other side and they often follow me around the backyard which is really cute.

I kept them in their house/coop area for the first two weeks so that they knew that that was their home and then after chocking up the holes under the fence with bricks, some friends came around and we clipped a wing on each of them and since then I've pretty much let them roam around the backyard and they love it!! If I am going out for the night then I find it hard to get them back to their house to sleep for the night but left on their own they go back there when it starts to get dark.
They love getting food scraps too and especially meat, they love meat!
No eggs as yet as they are only 12 weeks old and they wont lay for another 8 or so weeks.

Loving the weeds

Roaming around

Loving the new straw in their freshly cleaned cage

Cleaning up the freshly emptied vegie bed #2

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cherry Tomatoes

Two weeks ago I moved the majority of my Tommy Toe Cherry Tomatoes into hanging baskets to continue growing and they have put on a LOT of growth in this time.
I also potted out the remaining seedlings into the last two hanging baskets and removed 2 of the previous lot of seedlings and replaced them with the last two that I had grown from seed: