Seeds in time

Yesterday, a beautiful sunny day, for a change, after yoga, I went to the local nursery and bought some compost and potting soil. I tilled the soil in the two raised garden beds in the “chick-house garden” and added the compost and the soil. By the way, the “chicken-house” garden, is, as the name suggests, a chicken enclosure which is now a vegetable and raspberry garden. We used to have gorgeous Plymouth Rock chickens but after a terrible fox attack, we decided, no more chickens for us, sadly.

I pruned some of the grape vines and raked around to neaten things up. You see, we will be going overseas in a couple of weeks and I want to plant some seeds for when we return.

 I always try to plant seeds from the The digger’s seeds club  www.diggers.com.au – a well-respected heirloom seed savers cooperative, recommends the following to plant – an heirloom seed club which has been around for about forty years – their latest issue suggests;
Broad bean “Crimson”
Pea “Greenfest”
Califlower “mini”
Radish Pink Lady Slipper
Cabbage “mini”
Spinach “Bloomsdale”
Turnip “White Mini
Onion “Australian Brown”
Parsnip “Hollow Crown”
Lettuce “Tennis Ball”

 I always try to plant seeds purchased from the The Digger’s Seeds club  www.diggers.com.au – a well-respected heirloom seed savers cooperative here in Australia which has been around for about forty years – their latest issue suggests seeds for our Cold Zone:

  • Pea “Greenfest”
  • Broad bean “Crimson”
  • Califlower “mini”
  • Radish Pink Lady Slipper
  • Cabbage “mini”
  • Spinach “Bloomsdale”
  • Turnip “White Mini
  • Onion “Australian Brown”
  • Parsnip “Hollow Crown” Lettuce “Tennis Ball”

I have a bit of work in preparation but it will be worth it to return to sprouting and growing seeds into plants. Happy weekend gardening.

Be botanical, be in the garden.

Garden helpers

This is my last weekend in the garden for a few weeks. Last weekend was splendid and I managed to simply sit and read and marvel at the spring colours. Well, I did do some raking and transplanting – couldn’t help myself. However, I had some helpers too. 

   Albert cat was watching me or was he watching the chickens?
  Johnny Silver was watching him and anything else that moved.
  It was comforting to be with them in the sun – enjoying a brief reprieve from the business of life. Our weeping cherry is just beginning to blossom.
   
  I will miss my mountain garden for the next few weeks. We begin a sort of discovery tour of Prague – 16,000 kms from home. Sounds daunting. 

  However, I will have my trusty helper with me, all the way. My garden will continue to bloom and wait for our return. Hopefully, my garden helpers will not miss me too much nor I them. Wish me luck and enjoy your garden – where ever you may be. I might be lucky to visit some Prague gardens too!

New Year Chick

Christmas has come and gone and we now prepare for the new year to come. As with all new experiences we enter with a sense of anticipation and perhaps some trepidation. I guess we should follow the example of nature’s little creatures – our new born chick – the first one in all these years of rearing chickens – has begun to grow into a strong little chick. He ventures into the new grassy world beyond the chicken pen with excitement and trepidation.

I wish you an exciting and carefree New Year with supportive and nurturing people around you.

New hatchlings!

My sister-in-law’s fantastic brown chook has done it again. This time she has managed to hatch one of our Plymouth Rock eggs.

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The chick with the white stripe on its head we expect is a Plymouth Rock from daddy Long John Silver and one of his girls.

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Mum and dad doing just fine!

Tea for two or three?

We have spent much time in our autumnal garden this Easter break. While last year I tried my hand at baking hot cross buns, this year I was not so adventurous.

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And I was quite pleased at the result….

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I had great intentions of baking a special Easter cake – a simnel cake perhaps, but all I could muster was a healthy muesli slice. Taking it into the garden for afternoon tea, I turned away for one second under the arbor to find one piece missing.

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You guessed it, stolen by a cheeky chicken.

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Others joined in quickly, including naughty Long John Silver, the rooster.

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Must have been tasty – even Whitey cat wanted some 🙂

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I hope you had a Happy Easter holiday.

The House of Rock

Out little blue chook house has finally opened for business. It has take us a little longer than anticipated to lodge the girls (and a couple of boys!) in the new structure. Constantly looking for improvements, Colin decided to put in a ramp to connect the old enclosure to the new blue house.

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Then there was the matter of enticing the chickens up the ramp! A little bit of hands on coaxing was needed. The Plymouth Rock youngsters were the first to find their way in and establish their places. The old Isa browns had to be helped up into the loft but once there were as happy as “chickens in a loft”.
On the other hand, the older Plymouth Rock girls are the most reticent and sceptical of the lot. Colin needed to show them where to perch after finding a nice two metre branch to wedge in place in the house. For the last three nights he had to bring them into the blue house and position them on the perch. On a positive note they are placid and do not peck the little chooks.

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Meanwhile, there was still the problem of how to protect the old wooden floor of the house. We eventually decided to lay a rubberised matting to offer some barrier between the wood and the inevitable droppings. Sarge, our old cat always needs to inspect for quality assurance!

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After some research, I decided to make my own special blend of litter. I mixed equal parts of straw, dried leaf litter and sterilised wood shavings and spread it evenly on the floor. The images speak for themselves.

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Now, after enclosing their run in heavy duty rabbit fencing – we have had a number of fox attacks recently – we can finally breath a sigh of relief that they are all safe, warm and happy. The little blue chicken house has been dubbed the House of Rock – Plymouth Rock, that is.

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Enjoy your chickens, they are wonderfully independent and entertaining pets.

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Our New Year Plymouth Rocks

We have been wanting to add to our Plymouth Rock chicken family and so a few days ago, just after the business of Christmas ended, Colin and I took off in the old ute to collect our four new additions. We had to travel two hours to Elmore and City Chicks who had just what we were looking for.

20130101-222059.jpg After taking a wrong turn we arrived at City Chicks.

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Gorgeous wide open space just out of Bendigo.
There were hundreds to lovey chicks to choose from including a platinum Sussex, very special. But we had our eyes in some dark or light barred Plymouth Rocks and Jane, who runs City Chicks was more than helpful in our endeavour.

20130101-222350.jpg I wanted one of each!

20130101-222447.jpg The platinum Sussex.

20130101-222530.jpg Our four new additions are twelve weeks old and still a little too young to join the big girls.

20130101-222652.jpg Very cute!

20130101-222754.jpg The new chicken house has been introduced to the old girls but this will have to wait for another post after we lay some new hay!

20130101-223119.jpg Meanwhile our little chickens (two boys and two girls) have been kept separate in their new hutch and little run. The weather has been superb, warm days and cool nights. They have been eating lots of kitchen scraps as well as their special gritty meal. We can see them growing right before our very eyes. Happy New Year everyone!

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