White Milo was killed last night My brother inlaw came round with a trap and it will be set to try and catch whatever it is that is trying to kill all the chooks.
**Yep, I've planted MORE seeds:
20 Mesclun Lettuce Mix
20 Hearts Ease
50 Flanders Poppy
I plan to use all these flowers to line our chicken wire fences and to create a cottage garden in the front yard (although my hubby is none the wiser He's not really into flowers. My Father inlaw bought us 2 large and 4 small pineapple plants at an auction for us today! I have no idea where we will put them although whispers of a Sunroom are starting to emerge
I got out in the garden today after my hubby mowed. He and I both raked up all the mown grass and myself and the kids piled it up in the vegie garden to use as mulch and to (hopefully) keep the weeds out of new garden beds until the seedlings are big enough to plant out. On top of the grass, I sprinkled Mustard seeds. There grow so quickly that they also help to keep out the weeds. I also did loads of weeding in both vegie gardens so needless to say that the 7 remaining hens were most impressed with all the green food to scratch through. It's so funny to watch. As the first weed is pulled, all the hens raise their heads in unison, by the time the second weed is pulled they are all lined up along the fence waiting ever so impatiently for me to throw them all over.
The Sunflower seeds I planted on a whim at the end of Summer are now starting to flower! So I now know that it's better to start the Sunflowers off in situ LATER into the growing season. There were no sappy weakings of seedlings and none of them got attacked by slugs or snails. Once again Jackie French was right
Planted the following seeds (no comment!):
10 Greenfeast Pea
10 Crimson Silverbeet
10 Five Coloured Silverbeet
10 Yellow Silverbeet
10 Fordhook Silverbeet (No, I don't like Silverbeet at all )
Sugarsnap Peas (These are nearly ready to plant out)
Canterbury Bells (I am most excited about this - I have NEVER had them sprout before!!) Brocolli
And something that is NOT Shallots is sprouting in the Shallots cells??
Well, for the first time ever I winnowed seed!! This is when you get the dried seed and all the fluff and stuff that comes with saving seeds and put it into a large flatish dish (Read: pasta bowl) and sit out in the breeze and toss the bowl up and down gently. The fluff and stuff takes off in the breeze but the heavier seeds drop back into the dish. It sounds so silly to say, but I thoroughly enjoyed doing it. It's one of those menial tasks that can be done while your mind can wander. I was able to sit there (and in the process get completely covered in fluff and stuff - only afterwards did I think to move myself sideways and out of the direction of the wind ) and just soak up life around me. The way the breeze snuck under my hair, the sound of the birds far off over the train line, the smell of the neighbours freshly mown grass and the warmness of the sun.
I have come to the realisation that perhaps I am meant to stay in suburbia. I have spent my whole life wishing desperately to be out of it. But I was reading an article about urban community gardens the other day and I suddenly realised that I am actually being quite elitest in my opinion to self sufficiency. I look down on all the suburbanites around me who have manicured sterile gardens. But by moving AWAY from it all, I am not improving anything. The masses are all about me and I have a real oportunity to think globally by acting locally. Of course, the very next day as I'm walking my littlies to school, I noticed the great big huge ENORMOUS open spaces I walk past every day that could very easily be converted into community gardens. Luckily I have a friend whose mother co-wrote a book on community gardens, so I'm going to approach her and find out how I can go about approaching the local council and asking to use their land. As a result of this realisation, the mission to heavily plant out the backyard has begun. This morning I am ordering a whole heap of barerooted plants from Greenpatch (http://www.greenpatchseeds.com.au/)
So this is what I ordered:
3 Water Chestnut
Barerooted Coffee Barerooted
Barerooted Sugar Cane
Green Tea Seeds
Pigeon Pea Seeds
Spelt Wheat Seeds
Autumn is the time of year when a lot of grain crops are planted, therefore I am attempting to grow my own this year
I wandered round the garden today and made a list of what is actually edible in our garden. I'm sure I've missed stuff, and I haven't included any of the seedlings, but here is the list:
Banana Passionfruit (thanks to the neighbour in front), Rosemary, Angelica, Lemon Balm, Sage, Curry Bush, Lime Balm, Basil, Jeruselum Artichoke, Mint/s, Thyme, Earth Nuts, Winter Savoury, Chives, Salad Burnett, Dock, Danelion, Plaintain, Mallow, Garlic Chives, Lovage, Thai Basil, Strawberries, Bay Tree, Oregano, Potato, Marigold, Silverbeet, Spaghetti Squash, Zucchini, Coriander, Radish Just Finishing Yacon, Chilli, Betony, Horseradish, Pineapple, Corn, Tomatoes, Josterberry, Scarlet Runner, Cherry,
Coming into Season/Wrong Season
Rhubarb, Borage, Stevia, Garlic, Peas, Blueberry, Nectarine, Peach, Roses, Parsnip, Lettuce, Sunflowers, Lima Beans, Carrots, Leeks, Mustard, Beetroot, Oranges, Tangelo, Cherry Plums, Apple, Berries (various), Choko, Luffa
Not Old Enough to Fruit Yet
Chocolate Vine, Cranberry, Currants, Asparagus, Ice Cream Bean Tree, Kiwi Fruit, Grapes, Josephine Pear, Tamarillo, Rose Apple, Passionfruit, Eggplant, Mandarin, Hazelnut, Choko, Ginger
-1 packet of Broad Beans in where I pulled the corn out
-2 packets of onions in a seed tray
-2 packets of mustard. 1 pkt against the back of the bottom vegie garden to try and keep the couch grass out, and 1 pkt over any bare spots in the vegie gardens
-Ice Cream Bean Tree. This has been in a pot for ages, in the process of getting it out of the pot (it had grown through the pot and into the ground), I found that one of my avocado seeds had sprouted! It only has a tap root so far, but I quickly re-buried it and covered it in some autumn leaf mulch
*Dug a garden bed along the top fence. I'll be planting lots of flowers in here to create a living fence to cover up the chicken wire. The garden was covered in a very thick layer of raked autumn leaves to try and keep the couch at bay while the flower seedlings grow
Yesterday I received all my new plants from Greenpatch. Today I was planning to dig a new garden bed at the bottom fence and plant out my new plants and seeds. Instead it's raining! It started off with lovely gentle rain to soften the ground, and now we have big enorous heavy splats of rain with rolling thunder and the odd flash of lightening - it's just heavenly to my ears.
We nearly lost another chook last night. She was dragged by what ever it is that is taking them, but she somehow managed to escape - of course I didn't know this until the morning. I spent the rest of the night grieving the loss of another chook (and the only one that lays blue eggs). This morning I got up to let the other girls out and a wet bedraggled thing greeted me. Due to moutling and the shock, half her feathers are now missing, but she is alive. I added some antibiotics to the water to prevent infection (after discovering open wounds on her neck), and my hubby added some strips of wire to the base of the chicken coop - this will prevent the girls from being able to get under the chicken coop.
On a lighter note, I got out and planted a whole heap of pea seedlings - and then re-planted them once the blackbirds discovered them. They don't eat them, they just like to dig them up :shrugs:
Dug a new garden bed along the chicken yard fence. I covered it with raked autumn leaves and in Spring, this is where the pigeon peas will be grown so the chooks can nibble them through the wire. I also planted my coffee plant and sugar cane into pots. They are warm climate plants and at least if they are in pots, I can move them to warmer spots if need be. Planted the Rhubarb up in my herb garden next to the other rhubarb plant. I also planted my Green Tea seeds into pots - I never realised how big the seeds are - considering they come from a Camelia.
Planted the following seedlings:
Lettuce - Mesclun Mix
I surrounded them all with sawdust. Now lets see if this keeps the snails off them
Seeds planted today:
Carrot - Heirloom Mix
Leek - Autumn Giant
Replanted the snowpeas after the blackbirds dug them up (again!) Wrapped wire around them to keep the damn birds out - this place really needs to be re-named 'The Chookwire Palace'
The sawdust seems to be working against the snails - not one lettuce has gone missing - YAY!
"Feed the Earth and She will grow
Feed the machine and it will short-circuit.
Which will Humanity choose to feed -
The hand that feeds it or the hand that bites it?"
"Unknowingly we plough the dust of stars,
blown around us by the wind, and
drink the universe in a glass of rain."
I bought a hand operated paper shreader from the Reject Shop. I'm so excited about it. It means I can shread all the old 'used to be important' bits of paper I have been hoarding because they have our personal details on them (Yeah I watch waaaay too much Today Tonight). It took me a couple of hours to shread a wheelie bin's worth of paper, but it is highly addictive and it doesn't run on electricity so it is good for the environment As a result of all this paper shreading, today I cleared all the couch grass from between the two vegie gardens and laid down a wheelie bin's worth of paper, covered this with raked autumn leaves and sprinkled some Spelt Wheat on it. Hopefully it will grow. About half an hour after sprinkling the seed, I was back out there tying plastic bags to the chicken wire to deter the blackbirds from eating all the grain. Like I said, hopefully it will grow!
I also sprinkled some beetroot seed in amongst the beetrrot seedlings, some pak choi seeds in amongst the pak choi seedlings and some lettuce seed under the Josterberry tree. This is seed I saved from the summer lettuces and is a mix of Mesclun Mix, Red Iceberg and Cos Verdi.
I dug out the couch grass from the patch infront of the roses and passionfruit. I put down a wheelie bin of shreaded paper and some autumn leaves. I sprinkled it with Oat seed and tied plastic bags all around
*Ha! beatcha to it blackbird!*