**Here’s a very general re-hash on what has been done since the last post. The broken gate has been tied together with twine, we now just jump the fence to get to the garden. I have planted the following seedlings: Butternut pumpkins – 3 Decorative Gourds – 2 Onions – 6 (they were sprouting in my MIL cupboard, so I planted them for salad greens) Snowpeas – about 10 or so Tomatoes – about 20 (amish Paste and Yellow Pear varieties) 7 Couloured Capsicum – 1 Parsley – lots Zuchinni – 4 Lettuce – more than 20 Spring Onions – 3 Beans – more than 20 (lots of different varieties) Corn – 15 Silverbeet – 4 I have laid beer baits and caught about 50 slugs this way – I wish I had tried this about 40 bean seedlings ago! We have one hen going broody. She is our biggest hen being a Plymoth Rock, so I risk my knuckles at least twice a day trying to tip her out of the nesting box. Which is a shame because when she isn’t broody she likes to sit on my lap for a nap, so I’m missing her usual nature at the moment. We are also giving away eggs to all our neighbours as our family and friends aren’t eating eggs fast enough. Note to anyone thinking of buying hens, 10 hens are WAAAAAAAY too many for a family of 4. Three are probably enough, or five, depending on how many eggs you use on average. Although, if you are getting bantams, you will probably need more rather than less, as a general rule of thumb: 2 standard eggs = 3 bantam eggs. Hmmm, it doesn’t look like a lot when you put it all down in print, but I have been BUSY!
**Well, One of our hens died today. I think the heat got her (it’s 30+ down here at the moment). She was one of the pairs, we still have another White Milo (my son thought Milo was a great name, so far we have had Big Milo, Little Milo and the two White Milos). The kids seem to handle it better, when it is one of the ‘one of a kinds’, they tend to be gutted. Or maybe they are just learning to deal with it now, afterall, we have lost 4 hens so far, and Big Milo the Rooster had to go to ‘the Farm’. I had to dig a hole and bury her, except that as I’m digging all the other chooks kept trying to get in the hole to get to the worms, bless their little souls.
RIP White Milo ____________________________________________________________________
**Well, I went a little nuts this weekend! We spent the weekend at a girlfriends house who is just as ‘self-sufficient’ obsessed as me. She took me to the markets Sunday morning and this is what I bought: 4 punnets Corn 3 punnets Honey Snap Peas 1 punnet Greek Basil 1 punnet Sweet Basil 6 Greek Tomato seedlings 1 Swan Plant 1 4 Leaf Clover plant 1 Pineapple plant
So why did I buy seedlings when I have been starting everything from seed? Well, firstly, out of about 30 Basil seeds I planted – 1 survived. The corn was because even though I have about a dozen plants in already, any seeds I have planted recently have not sprouted, so I will not have a great succession planting rate. As for the Peas, well, I have plenty of Snow Peas, but every time I planted my Sugar Snap seeds, the slugs sucked the centres out of them as soon as they puffed up with water to germinate. The Greek Tomatoes were a whim, I have no excuse for them. The Swan plant and the 4 Leaf Clover are for the fairy garden. The Swan plant apparently has little flowers, but the seed pods grow quite big and ressemble (in my opinion) a cross between a custard apple and a swan. The pods are light and are quite often displayed floating in bowls of water. So now my littlies will be able to tell people that they can ‘grow their own swans’. The 4 Leaf clover plant will also go in the fairy garden, possibly with a little cauldron of gold next to it. The Pineapple plant actually came from Bunnings and will probably be one of those plants that you really have to work at to keep alive down here. Although with the drought this year, I may be lucky as far as heat goes to make it produce Pineapples. The Pineapple is actually a Bromilliade (sp?) and they look quite weird because the flower is the actual Pineapple. The plan is to plant it into a large terracotta (or similar) pot and place it against a North facing wall so it can soak up as much heat as possible. Also, my son’s kinder had chicks hatch in a incubator a week and a half ago, so we are now the proud owners of Rhapsody and Bob the hens. They are soooooooo CUTE! We have had chicks before, but they were raised under a broody hen, so were never overly tame. These two littlies though actually love climbing all over us, and snuggling up to have a sleep. They are Isa Browns, so they will produce a LOT of eggs in the first 2-3 years and then not many at all. Unlike pure breeds who lay not as many eggs, but keep laying for years. ____________________________________________________________________