Friday, December 31, 2010

Our *Don't Buy Vegetables In 2010* Challenge.

So the year 2010 is over, how did we do with our challenge?  I am very pleased to say that we succeeded.

During the year Hubby bought a small bag of onions so I had some to take to a family gathering and I bought a 10kilo bag of potatoes from Spud Shed to use as seed potatoes.  That is all the vegetable stuff that we bought during 2010.

Just about all the vegetables that we ate here were grown here but there were a few exceptions as in stuff from the pig food crates and stuff that people gave us.  Daughter L gave us a few bags of onions, for example.

Will I do the same challenge next year?  No.

I will definitely grow most of our vegetables but I will also not feel too bad if I buy a bag of carrots.  I have had a lot of trouble growing enough carrots so as to not have to skimp on using them and as I can buy big bags quite cheaply I will do that if I need to.  I don't have many out there now and we are going without them with roasts and a lot of salads because of this.

I don't think we missed out on too much.  Hubby would have liked more fresh tomatoes during Winter but he understood why there weren't many there.  I could do with more, bigger lettuce now, and the above mentioned carrots.

We had a lot of stuff not come up, Slater's ate a lot, cows got in and ate stuff, chooks got out and ate stuff.
A lot of failures along the way...nothing too bad though and I suppose I have learnt heaps throughout the year.

I'm glad we tried.  I class it as being successful.  It was sometimes fun, it got me out in the fresh air more than I might otherwise have done.  There were times that I swore, times that I wondered whose *stupid* idea it was, times that I was pretty proud of myself. 

I think it was a very good result to what was a pretty challenging challenge.  Yay Me, Yay Hubby for his support and garden building skills. Yay to us!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


My computer is dead. It has been on the blink for a few weeks now and the computer guy said that it was dying and he'd give us a quote for a new one.  He hasn't yet, I will wait a few more days then give him a call. 

Anyway, I am in town at the library.  Thank goodness for them or I have no idea what I'd be doing.  Well I do, I'd be at home reading the book I got out from here yesterday but that is not the point.

The point is that a Library is a great place and I recommend that if you haven't been to one for awhile to go check your local one out.  They no longer just have books, who knew.  There are vidios, DVD's, computers, etc.

Our library lady told me yesterday that they have free lessons for *Seniors* and it seems that at 52 I am classed at one.  So I had a quick lesson then came on here to let you all know that if you don't read from me for awhile, I am OK.  My computer is not but I am fine.  So no need to worry.  Like you all would, lol.

Take advantage of your library, books and movies are free, lessons are free. 

I used to visit mine quite regularly but haven't for a couple of years but now that I have new glasses and can read again I will be here more often.  So many good books, maybe I shouldn't be looking at getting that new computer too soon.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What's Growing, What's Not.

The last couple of nights we have had some really strong Easterlies (winds)  A couple of branches came down, stuff blew off the verandah, a tarp nearly ended up down the back paddock...No bad damage here but a lot of trees down in town.

The bloke next door is growing corn and it is so close to being ready to pick and the wind has flattened it.  One day it was standing tall and the next it was lying flat.  It should be OK but does look strange.

I planted corn, bought seeds, at the same time as this bloke planted this lot of his.  Mine didn't grow so I planted more and then more again when they didn't come up.  That didn't grow either.  In the mean time the bloke next door had planted 2 more lots.  That grew. A few weeks ago I rescued a cob from pig food, forgot about it for awhile, found it all dried up and manky looking but planted it anyway... and that is growing.  It is now around 2inches high so has a long way to go before it will be ready.  But it seems that the bought seed is not as good as manky, dried up kernels.  It's a pity though that the first lot didn't grow as every time I see the corn next door I want some.  I could see if he wants to do a swap with some honey but we see him out there spraying stuff all the time and it puts me off.  I may just have to wait until our chemical free stuff is ready.

I have been to other peoples places and seen Sunflowers blooming and looking gorgeous as they raise their heads to the sky, not in my backyard though.  None of my seeds came up.  I love these flowers and am a bit sad that I have none out there.  I'm going to put more seeds in and hope that some make it.  I want these flowers on my coffin when I die and it would be nice if I could get a paddock full growing...just in case.  

Watermelons are another thing that didn't grow.  I should have these out there getting bigger by the day but there are none.  I have put more seeds in and will hope for a few.  Same with Pumpkin, None survived.  I have a few seeds coming up now and once again it is seeds from an old pumpkin, not bought seeds, that are growing.   When I think about it there is a lot of stuff missing from the garden, there are no flowers from any seed that I planted, not as much Garlic as last season...

There is still plenty to eat out there though.  We had our first cucumber yesterday and will be getting lots of them from now on.  Still heaps of tomatoes, the new chillies are ready to pick, Capsicum are doing well and there are more than enough for what we need.  The Silverbeet is pickable, still have plenty of Sweet Potatoes, potatoes as we want them, lettuce is small but added with other leafy stuff there is enough for salads for a few weeks and by then the next lot should be big enough.  Zucchinis are piling up on the bench...Onions are overflowing out of the bowl.  Beans are ready, I plan on having a few straight from the bush tomorrow.
There aren't many carrots left but enough to last a couple of weeks.

Apricots are finished.  We are picking grapes now and had our first apple last week and a couple more since then.  Strawberries still but not a lot.  There are a couple of Pepenos ready to pick and we get a few Passionfruit each week

That all sounds pretty good doesn't it?  I think I did well over the year and will continue growing most of the same next year.  Anyone want to join me?


Monday, December 27, 2010

Hot Day, No Water...Dead Chook.

I didn't think that it was that hot here today but it was hot enough for me to go swimming in the dam a few times so hot but not unbearable.  It was hot enough for me to want to put sprinklers on in the chook pens but I couldn't as we had no water.

The weather report said that it was 40 in Perth.  It wasn't that hot here though, maybe 33-35.  One day I will buy a thermometer, it won't make any difference knowing how hot it is but it will be interesting to know.  I sometimes am surprised that it has been as hot as people say when I haven't felt that hot yet other times I am sweltering and it hasn't even reached 30. 

Even though I didn't think that it was too hot it was still quite warm and this afternoon we found that one of our old chooks had died.  It may not have been because of the heat, it could have been an age thing, being able to have the sprinklers on may not have made any difference.  But I am blaming the heat.  I know that the chooks don't like it when it is too hot.  All pens have water and shade so apart from making sure the water is topped up, by bucket if necessary, there is not much else I can do when it is hot and no water comes through the pipes. 

So one less Isa Brown chook.  We are down to 7 now, soon they will all be gone.
There weren't any problems with any of the other chooks but we didn't get many eggs from any pens.
They don't lay when it is cold, they don't lay when it is hot...
Cooler weather coming up over the next few days, that should keep the rest of them happy.

No Water...Again.

We have no water, again.
We are on irrigation water, it is connected to the house and all outside taps.  It is not potable but it is what we use for showers, flushing the loo, dishes...Outside we use it on the gardens, in the chookpens, for sprinklers to keep the chooks cool. 
We had no water one night and all of one day last week as well.  And a few times throughout the year we get a day or two with no water.
This morning the pressure was low and within an hour or so it was gone. 
And it is hot. I would like to put the sprinklers on in the chookpens to cool them down but can't.  They should be alright though as they all had their water topped up early this morning so it's not like they have no water to drink.
And really, we don't either.  Have no water to drink I mean.  We have a rainwater tank over near the shed which we use for drinking and cooking.  I fill up bottles as we need them.  We also have another tank that is full that I can use to fill up buckets for the loo if we need to.  And of course Hubby has made it so that I can connect a hose to it if I really need to water seeds or any plants.  There is no pressure from it but there is water.
So when I say "we have no water" I really mean that when I turn the tap on no water comes out, I need to go out and work a bit to get any water that I want.

It makes me think about how lucky we are compared to some countries where they have to walk miles to get a jug of dirty water.  It also reinforces my belief that too many people take "on tap" water for granted and too much is wasted.  I know people who rely on rainwater for everything, these people really know the value of water.

I worked for a couple once that had a son that wasted water. I was always telling him not too.  One day I said about there being no clean water to drink and he came back with the statement that we'll all be drinking recycled sewage water one day anyway so it didn't really matter.  Unfortunately, that may be true.  And I don't want to be drinking that stuff. 

So today I will use less water than I otherwise would have and tonight, or maybe tomorrow, when I turn the tap on and the water comes out I will be thankful.  It's not always clean, I won't drink it but it will be there and for that I will be thankful.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We *Don't Do* Christmas.

Once upon a time I loved Christmas. I loved decorating the tree, the house, the dog...Searching for presents was fun...Making special Christmas only food was fun.

Then something happened...It wasn't as much fun as it used to be.  Hubby's parents always gave too many presents.  Whose place do we go to.  Too much food.  People drinking too much.  Travel there, travel somewhere else, travel home late with everyone tired.  Too many expectations.  Upset people because we couldn't make it to their place.

And nowhere was there anything about what I feel is the real reason for Christmas.  His family mocked me when I spoke about it to them, my family...I don't think I tried to talk about it with them...Sorry 'bout that.
We asked the 3 kids that were still at home what Christmas meant to them and their answers cemented our decision.

His family said that it was about family getting together and having a good time.  They said that family was important.  But my eldest daughter and her family were never invited and when it was at their house I didn't feel that it was up to me to do that.  I was criticised for that.  I think that if it was about family getting together though then it would happen at other times throughout the year.

A couple of people did ask us why we didn't want to do it anymore but they didn't like our answer.
I do remember people were upset but they didn't really talk to us about it.  Some of them talked among themselves and I found out later that Hubby's family blamed me.  Most of them still do.

We did handle it wrong, we should have had a last Christmas like we planned and told everyone afterwards, not a month or so before hand.  I regret that. We did try to have both families come to a Christmas at our place one year and we were going to tell everyone then but my family couldn't come so we put it off.  A couple more years of doing it because we thought we should before we finally decided to just not do it anymore.

But you know what?  I don't think we are missed at all, by anyone. We don't get invited to lunch or tea just so the family can get together.  Not because it's Christmas but just because they like us and want to see us.  In the many years since we told them all that we weren't going to do Christmas anymore I could count on 2 fingers how many times we have been invited somewhere throughout the year for no reason.  There have been a few birthdays but no **no reason** occasions.  That used to make me sad.

Hubby gets criticised for not ringing his family and wishing them *Merry Christmas* but they don't ring him.   Why should it be up to someone that doesn't do Christmas to ring people, why can't they ring him if they want to speak to him?  And don't complain to me that you didn't speak with him on Christmas Day if you couldn't be bothered ringing him.  That made me cross, still does.

We don't send cards but I used to send out a letter to everyone, close to the end of the year, asking how their year went, telling them about ours, asking them what they had planned for the following year...We never got an answer from anyone so I have stopped that.  I remember talking to the inlaws one year just before Christmas.  I didn't say "Merry Christmas" but I did say that I hoped that they enjoyed themselves the following week when they were at the brother in laws.  The week later it was mentioned that a phonecall and Christmas wishes would have been nice.  I don't ring them anymore.

Since we stopped *doing* Christmas  we have treated the 25th December as just another day.  Usually we just stay home, mowed all the lawns one year, went out the beach and swam with a whale one year, that was pretty cool. Usually we don't even remember the date and we go about our normal day.   We don't eat Christmas food, we don't have a tree or decorations.  Sometimes I put on carols but that's because I like them and I also sometimes have them playing throughout the year so it's not a Christmas thing. 

We like the peace and the stressless day that we now have but...I think I miss it.  Not the excess food or drinking.  Not the bitching and disappointed people.  Not the presents.  But the family.  It was one time of the year that we knew we would see some of them.  Now, maybe we see someone a couple of times a year.   I have tried having family get togethers here in the weeks before Christmas but my family seem to be busy at that time of year and Hubby's family just sit around drinking so this year we won't be doing that.  I have also tried inviting people away to places throughout the year and that too doesn't seem to work out.  So this year, we will do nothing, invite no-one, organise nothing. 

This year, me and him, we will probably stay home, we may get a visit from  T and J, depends on what she is doing.  It's not expected.  We might go out the beach again. We know we will have a stressfree, happy day though and that is what is important to us.  But I will miss seeing my family.  I know that they will all be together having a lovely time, eating yummy food...My choice I know but I do sometimes think that maybe we could start again...

But no, instead, maybe next year I will have a couple of games days here for everyone.  That might be fun.  Families and friends shouldn't have to wait until Christmas and if we do then we may not get to spent time with those we love.  Maybe I could start a *Family Fun Day* tradition...Something to think about anyway.

Whatever you are doing at this time of the year, I hope you enjoy it.  I hope you are not stressed, that you have a calm and peaceful time.  Have fun with your families and be thankful that you have them around you.  Enjoy the rest of the year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


We've got a week of HOT days coming this week so today I need to change the new chickens over from their little pen into the big netted pen.  Which means that I have to decide where to put the big chickens...I will take out the oldest chickens that are now chooks and either put them with the Isas or try and catch them and put them in with the mixed Breed chooks which is where the parents are.  Putting them with the Isas is easier...and they don't fight, they have been together before...Decided.  The bigger chickens are my AussieRocks and though they are getting big I still don't want them in an unnetted pen.  I can shift them into the old Isa pen and then the new chickens can have their pen...Decided.
I need to put up another piece of shadecloth to give more shade to the small pen where I have a chook sitting.  She is due tonight/tomorrow.  I will also need to get the sprinklers in the right spots as I will not be home for 2 days this week but Hubby will.  He will turn them on for me to cool them all down but as he has to leave sometime those days for work it needs to be easy for him.  So the chooks will be sorted.

The gardens still need more mulch on them.  That seems to be an ongoing job.  I rake out the old stuff from the pens, put it on the gardens,  mow the grass and give that to the chooks to scratch over.  The next week the grass needs mowing again so I need to rake up a pen... so I'm not raking out every pen every week but each pen is probably done a couple of times a month.  I have 3 main pens and the 2 big netted pens used for the chickens so it does take me awhile.

I haven't put shade up over the lettuce bed yet so must get that done.  Hubby is helping L and M shift today so he won't be helping me much.  I might go and *help* as well so that will limit my time here.

And yet it is already after 6 and I am still here...Better go, I have another blog to update!!

Disregard all of the above as it is now 3.30 and I am not long home.  and this morning the computer froze so nothing could be done then either.  I am out tomorrow morning, all day Tuesday, all day Thursday...Something might get done this evening when it is cooler...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wed, 15 December.

I was up early (4:30) again this morning and am tired already.  But I've been for my walk, fed and watered all the chickens and chooks, I've done the watering...Put up some more wire for the cucumbers to climb.  So that's a good start seeing as it's only 7am. 

I need some breakfast before I get out there again and start on the days jobs.  I need to put more mulch around things.  I need to do the spuds again, they are growing so fast they need topping up every few days.
I need to dig a hole and bury a chook.  This will probably start happening a bit now as the Isas are quite old.

The Apricots are falling from the tree so I need to cook some more of those up and get some more in the freezer.  I might have to dry more this year as one of our freezers died last week and so I may not be able to stuff the others with fruit and veg as they have other stuff in them.  One has a whole pigs head!! so if I really need the space then that can go but I think it will only be there another week or so anyway.  It belongs to the son and he will remove it soon. 

Heaps happening outside in the garden.  Rockmelon and peanuts have flowers.  The cucumbers have fruit.  The big Zucchini plant is still going nutso and the other smaller one has some that need picking.  We are getting lots of tomatoes.  Capsicum have fruit to pick, the Chillies are all in flower.  Looks like all the lettuce seed has come up so that bed will need thinning sometime.  Most of the chokos that I planted have taken off, much to Hubby's disgust.  Getting lots of Strawberries.  I need to get more onions out, a lot are starting to go to seed and we will only need a couple to do that.

What didn't work?  I have no corn, no watermelon, no sunflowers.    I have a few butternuts just getting flowers but all the ones planted months ago are gone. Carrots weren't much chop.  They took too long to grow or I left them there too long and though they are alright cooked or grated in a salad I can't't eat them fresh out of the ground.  Not sweet like they should be.

The grass needs mowing every week and if I miss a week like I am prone to do it gets out of hand again.  We have had a few people ask what we use on it to get it so thick and green but all it gets is me talking to it.  Hubby says that would work.  How rude!!  lol.

I think we have worked out a way to cut down on the slater population but it is still in the test stages and I will write about that soon.

Breakfast then back out there.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

BLOGS and Blogging.

Do you have a BLOG?  If so, Why do you blog?  Do you have a regular time for blogging?  For reading blogs?
Do you not do other stuff so that you can blog or read blogs?

I have 3 now.  Yes 3.  Three that I write on but heaps more that I read, some I even follow.  But there is the danger.  You read someones blog, they have a list of blogs that they read, you go to one or two, they lead to more and 2 hours later you realise that the chooks haven't been checked on.  No wonder my house is a tip.
And now, because I have started walking again (and blogging about it) that takes out 40 minutes or so of my computer time so it has to now come from somewhere else.  Like housework time.  Not that there was a lot of that to start with but you can see my dilemma, I'm sure.  But it's a cheap. fun hobby so I'm sticking to it.

My other 2 blogs, yes this was just a way of letting you all know where and what they are, can be found here.  About me trying to get fit.  I need it to keep me honest.
And here:  About our camping adventures and my journey to go off by myself, sometime.

This one was to help me stick to my challenge to grow our own vegetable this year and it has succeeded in that.  We haven't bought any for us to eat and it will be good to have a record of a year in the life of...Hey, that sounds like a good blog title!  A year in the life of us would be a pretty boring blog though so I'll just stick to the three that I have,  For now anyway.  This one was only going to go for a year and then I was going to stop but it's fun so I will keep it going next year as well.   Aren't you all lucky, you can still read all about my exciting adventures in my backyard for another year. 
SmileYeah, I knew you'd be pleased!!           

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tea With Friends.

Hubby is supposed to be working away but last night as I was coming home I passed him at the turnoff in Coolup.  I wondered what he was up to and as he caught up with me and followed me I thought that he was finishing early.  He had someone in the car with him.  I turn at our corner but he keeps going.    So not coming home.
So I am home, expecting the dog to be dropped off so I am trying the get the chickens fed and watered.  Checking on a sick chook when Friend with dog gets here. Hubby pulls up right after her.
We get the dog and his gear unloaded and Friend asked me if I have heard the new plans.  No, says I.
Dinners at our place, she says.  So that explains why Hubby and workmate are here.

A similar thing happened last week when the Friend rang with an invite for me to join them for tea as the workers were going to be there.

I really need to clean and keep clean this house as the workmate needed a shower and I had 2 minutes to tidy before he needed access to the inside.  Big sigh, but why worry, nothing I could do then and I haven't done it now so...

Back to tea.   These people live up a windy, steep, covered in kangaroos road, Hubby knows that I don't like driving up there by myself so the lovely man came here first to pick me up. 

As we got there we could see some roos under their clothesline.  Some more just up a bit and still more to the left...

The views from this place are amazing. 
Even more so when looking through $2000 binoculars!!  I so want some.  Not gonna happen anytime soon though.

This photo is looking westward toward the Estuary.  Use the binoculars and I could count the cows that were miles away.  (there were 18 in one paddock and 22 in another)


They also have a Brushtail Possum that comes out at night, sometimes they give it a bit of apple. 
It was there last week and came again last night while we were all eating out on the deck.
It is so cute. It is quite friendly in that it will let you touch it, so soft.

I'm not sure how this women does it but she can get a decent meal on the table for 5 extra people with a half hours notice.  Admittedly last night he cooked the meat on the barby but she prepared a salad and some chicken and garlic bread to go with it.  And they were leaving for their trip away at 6 this morning so she had to get everything cleaned up after we left.  I did try to get the blokes to hang around and help but they also had an early start the next day and a 30min drive back to their camp.  After dropping me off here first.
I have things so easy.
Last week she had everything ready and she'd only been home for 20minutes before she knew they were having people there in a half hours time.  Who does that!  Not me, that's for sure.  I wouldn't even know where to begin. 
When I think about it, I know a few people that could probably do that so maybe it is just me. lol.
Amazing lady and so nice.  They are both lovely people and I hope she will become a good friend. 

Bloody Mice.

I thought that the cat was inside because of the dog but it seems that it is here stalking a mouse.  I found out that they had been in the cupboards but emptied and cleaned them out last week.  We have also heard them under this desk but set a trap and caught a couple.  Found a dead one outside this morning...Have seen a few out in the hayshed.
This is a little one and it is hiding under the mat. 
Do I lift the mat and let the cat get it?  Set another trap and hope it goes quick?  Somehow chase it outside?
Bugger!!  The cat has gone to sleep on the mat.  Useless damn thing.  Bloody cat.  Bloody mouse.

What would you do?

He's Still Alive...

and visiting me again.  Of course I'm talking about my Clayton dog, the dog you have when you don't own a dog.  I have a couple of these now but Smokey is the only one that comes to stay.  I have one that I will take camping with me when I finally get that on the go, thanks to the son saying I can take one of his but I wouldn't trust it to stay here.  I know Smokey will stay, I just need to shut the gate and probably don't really need to do that.
Smokey is here again as his owners have gone down to Hopetoun.  I think he's here until Wednesday so that will give us both a good visit.  At the moment it is warm outside and he is asleep on the mat, in the shade on the front verandah.  Later when I go out to do more he will follow me around the yard.

I daresay we wont get any visits from the bandicoot while the dog is here.  The cat is inside keeping out of his way as well.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Apricots Are Ripe.

I have eaten 3 Apricots over the last 2 days.  I know, it's not many but they were freshly picked and scoffed on the spot.  The tree has heaps on it but usually once they start then they all get ripe at the same time so we will make sure that we dry more this year.  We did some last year but not nearly enough.

This tree was bought with 2 types of Apricot grafted on it, ones that ripened at different times, but a couple of years ago, before it starting fruiting, one branch was broken and so we now only have the one sort that all ripen the same time over a short period.

There are a few seedling trees coming up underneath, from the seeds that we throw there after scoffing some fruit, and these will be planted out somewhere after Summer.  We have seedling trees coming up in different parts of the yard as well, spread there with mulch and dirt from the chookpens.

A couple of years ago we had an unknown tree come up in one of the 1/2 x 44 gallon drums and we transplanted that into one of the chook areas.  Today we found 1 lone fruit on it.  An Apricot.   Hubby got that one and said that it tasted like an Apricot so we know that the seedlings produce fruit as good as the parent tree.

We have seedling peach trees that have smaller fruit than the parent tree that they came from but still good fruit producers so it is well worth trying to get some trees to grow from the seeds from the fruit that you eat.
Ours have produced fruit within 4 years of being planted out.

Next time you eat a really nice tasty fruit why not plant out the seed and see what happens,  Who knows, maybe in a few years time you wont have to buy that fruit again as you will have your own growing.
Wouldn't that be cool.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Chicken Update.

The new chickens are all doing well, they are a week old today. 

The Isa mum is brilliant.  Because she was friendly before the eggs hatched she allows me to pick up her babies so they are not getting freaked out by her going off her nut.  They will be friendlier than the other lot as the 2 Mixed Breed mothers go psycho when you go near their pen and that transfers to the chicks who run away in a panic.  None of the chickens that are hatched from the Mixed Breed chooks let us get too close to them.

When the eggs under the 2 MB chooks hatched I counted 9 but 1 must have been hiding as there are 10 there.  The mothers seem to share the chickens and I think the chickens share the mums.  They all huddle down together in the nest.

The daughter still has the 3 that they hatched for me and she will bring them out this week sometime.  They would be around 7 weeks old now so plenty big enough to leave their mum.  She says that they are more Plymouth Rock than Australorp whereas of the older ones of mine 3 are more Australorp and only 1 has the PR colouring.  The reason that I call them my AussieRocks.  All the chickens look the same when they are young and it's not until they are older that I can start to guess what they will look like.

All up now I have 31 chickens but seeing as probably around half will be roosters I am still going to be needing to get more hatched.  I put 7 eggs under a clucky this morning.  Once I have a few dozen females of these ones I will get rid of the Hylines and most of the Mixed Breed chooks.  Unfortunately the parent AR are not all laying so it will be awhile now before I get enough eggs to put under.  I have 2 cluckies out there so am now just waiting on some eggs. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Isa Brown Mummy Chook.

About a month ago I noticed that one of our old Isa Brown chooks kept sitting on a nest of eggs.  I'd lift her off but she'd get back on again.  I had read or been told that Isas don't go clucky but I was pretty sure that this one was.   I wondered if it was worth the risk of putting eggs under her or not and decided that it I swapped her Isa eggs for 6 eggs from my *AussieRocks* 
I had 2 Mixed Breed chooks go clucky around the same time so we put 6 eggs each under them as well.

End result?  I have more chickens.  They hatched sometime Sunday night or Monday and they are so cute.  More members of my *AussieRock* flock. 
The Isa mum is calm and friendly and doesn't seem to mind too much when I pick up her chicks.  She has 5.  This morning I shifted her from the nest in the Isa pen and put her and her chicks into a netted pen.  She looks like she has settled in OK.
Five AussieRocks hatched by Isa  B.rown
 Isa mum going into her new area

 The other 2 chooks hatched out 9 chickens and they are both being Mum.  These chooks are not friendly and go psycho if you try and pick up any of their babies.  I know because we had to this afternoon when I couldn't find one of the mothers.  I heard a chick chirping and went out to check them and found one out of it's pen.  Went to put it back in and only saw one chook.  Looked everywhere and it wasn't there.  Called Hubby to help me look as it had to be somewhere but it wasn't.  In the end we lifted the chook that was there to count the chickens and the other mother was under her.  I think maybe it might have suffocated if we didn't find it.  They were huddled in a corner so we moved them out and into a bigger nest where they and their babies fit better but they still squash in together.  I'm hoping they all survive the night and I will check on them early tomorrow.

 This is the 2 mums and the 9 chickens out of the nest where they hatched and sitting in a crate I had the food and water in.  I cleaned out the nest but they wouldn't go back to it.  I fixed up another one at the other end of this chicken enclosure.

I will post more photos later.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Buy Veg Challenge, November.

Eleven months now and we haven't bought any vegetables for us to eat.  I think that is pretty good

We are picking Tomatoes now and the Zucchini is giving me so many, I love that plant.  We only have 2 and one of those is not very big but does have a couple of flowers, the other one is huge and could feed us for the rest of the challenge if we needed it to.

So we are eating Potatoes, Onions, Tomatoes, Carrots, Sweet Potato, Lettuce, Beetroot,  Zucchini.  All fresh from our garden.  Not a great variety but it is all fresh and you can't get any more local than your own backyard..
We still have pumpkin from last season and just as well because none of mine survived.  I have some Butternut seedlings in now and they look like they should make it.  Most of the Garlic has fallen over and we have had some of that.  Small but still good.

Fruit wise we are getting Strawberries, Pepenos, Passionfruit, the occasional Orange.   Still getting Lemons.
Apricots are nearly there too but that will be December fruit.

Free food that I *stole* from the pig...Pumpkin, potatoes, apricots, apples, bananas.  Not fresh and I don't know where it was grown but it's what the people in town were buying the day before.  There was plenty left for the pig

Some people are a bit disgusted when I say I eat the pig food but it is all still good and sometimes we wonder why the shop isn't selling it.  We have had crates of Bananas that were still yellow and firm.  Apples with a couple of marks but they were still good eating.   Son says that when the new stuff comes in they just empty the shelf of the old even if it is still good.   We don't mind, the chooks don't mind and the pig doesn't mind.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Don't Cry Over Spilt Milk.

I couldn't use my hands/arms yesterday so I'm not sure why I thought they'ld be OK early this morning seeing as they still felt *wrong* so I supose it's my own fault but...

We bought a box of longlife milk a week or so ago, on special for 89cents litre.  I don't drink it but Hubby does and he put it, still in the box, up into the bookshelf where I have a sort of stockpile going.

I picked a pile of potatoes last week but as my spudbox was old and yuk I threw it out just before hand.  So I needed a new box.  This looked the right size and I did ask DD to get it down for me a couple of days ago,  She forgot, I wanted it, I tried.  Knowing that it wasn't a good idea.  End result?

I hope I've wiped it all up but guess what...
I was having a bowl of cereal afterwards.  The cat wanted to share, he put his paw onto the side of the bowl...Yep milk and cereal to clean up.  HoHum, maybe it's a *read all day* day today.  Again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chicken Chasing.

I went out earlier, more than an hour ago, to feed and water the chickens and I have just now come in from out there. I gave them their food, cleaned out their water and refilled it and while some come and eat while I am there some stand back and make their little chirpy noise.  I could hear this other noise in the background though didn't think too much off it until I had left that pen and was checking the older ones in the pen next door and could still hear the noise.  After a bit of hunting around I saw a little chick huddling under the Strawberry Guava tree.  Every time I went near it though it ran to the other side of the tree and as all the branches are hanging down, some touching the ground, I couldn't get to it.  It wouldn't go in the direction of the gate to get out and I was just scaring it.  But the silly thing had to be back with it's mum as I think it is still too little to be by it's self.
I ended up cutting some of the bottom branches off the tree so it couldn't hide under there and I manoeuvred it behind a sheet of tin learning up against the fence but it just ran up the other end and I still couldn't reach it.  I blocked off one end, went in after it and after a few misses I finally grabbed the thing.  It is now back in with it's family but didn't seem thankful at all.  It just ran for the food dish and started gobbling.  Not sure how long it had been out for, poor little silly thing.

With the trees, I like them to hang down as protection for the chooks, Hubby wants all the bottom branches cut off so it's easier to see if any snakes or skinks are in the pens. 
He has a point and now 1 tree is already half done!  I might do the trees in the chicken pens as these are netted over the top to keep the crows out but leave the ones in the pens that aren't netted.
We get crows here and they steal eggs and would take a chicken if they could get one but as I usually put the chicks in the covered pens maybe the tree pruning in them is a good idea.  I also think that the branchier trees offer better shade and make things cooler for the older chooks but I would like to see if there was a snake in there...

Yesterday evening there was a crow sitting on top of one of the the netted pens eyeing off the chickens, I had to go out and throw something at it to get it to fly off but I know it will be back.  It's a pity the nasty things are protected but I couldn't shoot them anyway.  I see them and think of the movie *The Omen* and think that they will *come and get me* if I hurt one.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Potatoes and Onions.

 I've been told that I say *onion* differently to the correct way.  Apparently I say *ung-ion.*  It don't matter though how I say the word as long as I can grow the things.  And I can.  I do sometimes leave them in the ground too long but that don't matter either. They still taste good.
I have heaps that need to be pulled up and one day soon I will get to that.
I will plant seeds from last year soon as well.  I think we will always have
*ungion* of some sort growing.

I'm still having problems with Slaters and I have had a few containers of potatoes die off, a result of being eaten by these bleedin' things, so I dug some up.  We ended up with quite a few, not very big but lovely and fresh and yum.

We dug the dirt and mulch out and replanted with some old sprouty ones that came in a crate of  food for the pig.  Sorry pig but I baggsed them first.  We had a spare empty fridge so Hubby brought that around the back and put it near the others and we planted that with spuds as well.  I now have 2 fridges and 5 half 44 gallon drums planted with potatoes.  A couple of boxes and some spots that were empty.  Some newly planted and some still growing.   I think we will always have enough potatoes as I plant any sprouted ones that I get and we always seem to have some growing somewhere.  Even in places that they are not suposed to be.  Some are white normal spuds and some are red skinned ones.  I don't know what they are called just that if they grow they are keepers.
If nothing else grows, as long as these are in the ground we will not starve

This is one of the fridges, just been replanted with red skinned potatoes.
As they grow I layer them with dirt from the chook pen and grass clippings that the chooks have scratched around in for a few weeks.  The slaters usually end up killing them by eating through the stems before they flower so we don't often get really big potatoes but we don't really mind.  The smaller ones taste good and last long enough in the cupboard.  If we run out and want some we go out and bandicoot a patch, there are always some somewhere.

I have grown potatoes in the ground, hilling them when needed but I prefer to grow them in containers and use mainly mulch type stuff as a covering.  This way they are easier for me to get to when I want them.  By the time I am ready for the potatoes the grass clippings and other mulchy stuff  has usually ended up as nice soil.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Really Really Free Markets. Waroona. November.

We have these markets on again this afternoon.  I should be out sorting what to take but I think I will just load stuff into the car before I leave.  It's a bit cooler today than it has been so it might be OK down there.

I'm back...
There were a few more tables/rugs of stuff at this one and lots of people coming and going over the first couple of hours.  Twas good.
Half of the stuff I took down has gone to new homes and I scored  half a dozen books. (or 9, shh,don't tell)
I also brought home some Butternut Pumpkin and some Bolotti Bean seedling.
The yummy muffins and choc chip bickies were there again too.  Someone there is a good cook.

I heard someone say that the next one is a week before Christmas but the time may be different.  I will have to remember to check their information.  The one in Perth is sometime in December as well.  I don't know if I will go up to that one again though.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Won! What A Lovely Welcome Home.

Sherrie, over at makes and sells enviro bags and a week or so ago she had a competition with one of her bags as a prize.  She was asking how people cut down on using plastics.  A few people posted their different ways but I was the lucky one.  Thankyou Sherrie.  I am looking forward to receiving and using it.

Check out Sherries blog.  She has some great stuff over there  .

Busy Morning. Or So It seemed.

I've had a busy morning outside but no mowing or mulching was done.

I did pull out some more moth-eaten cabbages and I now have 6 of them soaking in salted water to try and get the caterpillars out of them.  If it doesn't get them to come out then it might kill them.  I'd rather eat a dead, salted caterpillar than a live one but maybe that's just me.  Not sure how I will use them.  More coleslaw. Maybe cook some up with onion, zuchinni and whatever else I can dig up and some rooster and freeze.  Dunno.

Raked out a bit of one chookpen.

Searched for and found the sprinklers and set them up in the chookpens to cool them down.

Most of the washing is done and dry but awaiting the fold and put away bit.

Cabbage free garden beds have had the soil loosened and wettasoiled.  I need to decide what I am putting in them and then get them manured and mulched ready for when I buy more seedlings.

Caught and crated some roosters.

Not a lot when you read it like that but it seemed to take me all morning.  I will start on the mowing this evening but in the meantime I have what looks like a good book to get stuck into.

Hubby culled 6 roosters and they are in the fridge awaiting the frypan.  That should make for quieter morniings.

Chooks and Gardens Survived Without Me. (might go away more often now)

After being away for near on 6 days we arrived home just before 5pm yesterday.  First thing I did was go check on the chickens and I am glad to say that they are all still there and looking none the worse for being fed and watered by someone other than me.  Thankyou to T&J and L for coming out and looking after things for me while I was away. 
The gardens also look like they have been well looked after and so far I can't find anything dead or missing.  Maybe I should get someone else to do the gardens more often!

The grass  must have loved my being away as it is about 8inches longer than when we left so getting that back down will be my main job for the next few days.  We are expecting some warm weather here over the next few days so I will need to get started early before it warms up too much but everything will need more mulch as well and that is also a big job for me.

So...I need to finish raking out the chookpens, mow grass and throw the fresh clippings in to the chooks, put the old clippings from pens on the gardens...All that, and updating my other blog, should keep me off the streets for awhile. 

Coffees finished so better get started.  Afterall, it's already after 5.

Wake-up Call.

We've been away and I have had the pleasure of waking up with the birds and just lying there listening to them talking to each other before getting up and on going my morning walk along the cliffs and beach.

Woke here at home this morning around the same time, 4.30am, and I am still hearing birds but it's not as nice.
The singing of the birds up in GreenHead was a lot nicer that the crowing of all the roosters here.
It's nice to be home but something has to be done about the 5 excess roosters.  And SOON!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Seedlings Bought and Planted.

Because I haven't been having much luck with seeds germinating I gave in and yesterday I bought some seedlings from the Spud Shed.  I bought 4 punnets for $10.  Red Onions, Broccoli, Grosse Lisse tomatoes, and some mild Chillies.
Lovely day here for planting stuff so I was out there at 5.30am getting them in the ground.  From the onion punnet I seperated out and planted nearly 100 single plants.  Not bad for $2.50 aye?  Same with the chillies and tomatoes, from a punnet with 8 cells I ended up with a dozen plants of each. 
I have done my best to protect them from slugs and slaters but we are going away for a few days so I am hoping that they are still undamaged when we return.
We are off up to GreenHead, leaving this afternoon or early tomorrow so I need to see the daughter that will be out here and let her know where everything is planted.  She/They will be watering the plants and looking after the chooks and chickens for me and it will be greatly appreciated as without the help of people like this it would be hard to get away for more than a couple of nights. 
Thanks T.  And you too L if you are helping.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I few years ago I planted a Pineapple top.  I had it in a 1/2 x 44gallon drum and it was growing OK but didn't look like it would fruit anytime soon.  Where I had it was in the way and the leaves on it are prickly so Hubby shifted the pot into the orchard.  And I forgot about it for a few months.  Eventually I checked it out and noticed that it had a couple of smaller plants growing from it's base.
It took awhile but I finally got around to digging these out and left them in a bucket, I was going to plant them but *forgot*  As I do.

Fast forward a few weeks and I thought that I better get out there and plant the babies and guess what?  Yep!  The big plant has a pineapple coming out the top. 
So it's seems like it is good to neglect things as when
they think that they are going to die they try to reproduce.  

I have planted out the 2 small Pineapple plants and I have given the big one a decent drink and put some mulch around it as the chooks have been digging around it's base, and they all look good.

I now need to wait and see if the Pineapple makes it to maturity so we can eat it.  I will need to look up how long it takes for the fruit to get ripe.  I have heard that they should be picked during Summer as the fruit is sweeter then but I don't want to wait until next summer and it looks too small to be ready by this one.
Does anyone know how long I may need to wait?  I will do some reading up about them this afternoon.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I use a lot of onions and so have a few lots growing in different areas of the yard.  I need to get out there and pick them though as a lot of them are starting to go to seed.  A lot of the onions are way big enough and should have been pulled ages ago.  It is a job for this weekend.

One lot of onions grew from a couple of old onions that had sprouted and I planted them in one of the fridge gardens.  They grew and went to seed and heaps of plants grew from the seeds from them old onions.

They smell like onion and taste like onion but they are not round like onions which I find strange as the other onions were grown from seed we collected from last year and they are round and look just like like proper ones.  I don't know why these ones are different and not round but I don't really care as they are a good crop and it means I can use lots and not have to buy any which is what we are aiming for.  Any old sprouting onions will be planted  and hopefully we will never have to buy onions again.  We will let a few of these ones go to seed and see how the next crop turns out.  Even if they all end up with no bottoms the tops will still be able to be used for adding flavour. 

The onions that we grew from seeds we collected from some we grew last year are huge and round and look like real onions.  I will leave a couple that have started flowering so we can collect the seed and see how the third generation turns out.

Damaged Trees

I have a few Strawberry Guava trees in some of the chookpens.  They were bought for $2 each as small seedlings a few years ago.  They've been growing well but Hubby cut them down a couple of months ago as they were getting too high for the netting over the pens.  They were reshooting and looking good.  Except the one in the pen where I have the older chickens. 

I thought that the wind had broken the top branches but I was out there this evening, later than usual and I saw the real branch breakers.
The *chickens* are roosting in this tree and as they are now just about fully grown, and there are 11 of them, the poor tree is breaking under the strain.

Once the 5 roosters are gone and the females are added in with the Mixed Breed chooks  I will cut off the broken bits and give the tree a chance to regrow.  If I'm going to leave the chickens in this pen for so long then I may need to get some proper roosts built.  Maybe it's time to play the nice wifey again.Orange Mix

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dog Sitting.

I'm dog-sitting again this week. 
Unfortunately it might be the last time as Smokey is old and not well. 
When I first started having him I asked the owners what to do if he died while he was here and was jokingly told to *let the crows eat him" 
This time though I was told that they had dug a hole for him up at their place so if anything happened then I could take him up there and bury him.  It seems that they kinda expect him to not be around much longer.  I know he quite often has to go to the vets for an injection to help him with pain and he is on more tablets than the last time I had him.  He does move around more when he is here though, more than he does when he is home.  He follows me around the yard and chases the cat. 

This is my cat.  It likes teasing the dog when he comes to stay.  I'm sure if the gate was open then the dog would eat him.      
I'm watching you, Cat.

So close, yet so far out of reach.

The owners are due home today but I don't know if they will come in and pick him up tonight or tomorrow.  I will miss him.

King Skinks.

We get a lot of King Skinks out here, some of them are quite big and they make you jump when they run out in front of you from the garden shed.
I have this ornamental lizard down in the garden in our *shade area* 
This morning the grandaughter was out here and wasn't too sure about it so we got her to hold it while I took a photo of her. 
Next step is to get her to catch a real one.  I'm sure they taste just like chicken. Too Funny

Monday, November 1, 2010

Don't Buy Veg Challenge. October

We have successfully passed through October without buying any vegetabels so that leaves us only 2 months to go before the end of the year and the end of the challenge.

We had plenty to eat even though I have too many bare patches out there and so much stuff either didn't grow or did grow but got eaten before it was ready for us.

We didn't get as many peas as other years, they are something that I need to work on as I really like fresh peas.  I won't worry about growing Broad Beans again.  Not sure why I bothered as we don't eat them and just use them as a *giveaway* crop.  I think I grow them because they are easy and look impressive when in flower and fruiting.  But no more.

Our cucumbers aren't doing much.  They don't seem to be growing as quickly as last seasons but this is my third lot of seeds so maybe it just seems like they are taking for ever.  Slaters ate the other two lots of seeds that I put in.    We need the cukes though as Hubby likes them in his summer salads.  I still have enough jars of Bread and Butter Pickles from last seasons crop but some fresh ones will be nice too.

We're getting plenty of Strawberries and Pepinos and the Grapevines have fruit on them but are still a while away from being ready.  There are still Oranges out there too.  I'm thinking about if it would be possible to to do a No Buy Fruit year.  I kinda think it would be easy enough as I am only buying Bananas anyway.  I do like Bananas though and we have no plants that look like they will fruit any time soon.  We got quite a few bunches last year but I can't see any out there yet. 

I need to get heaps more lettuce growing and am working on getting a tank garden cleared out and free of slaters, then manured and mulched.  We still have some growing but with the warmer weather most of the hearting ones have started to bolt.  I cannot gow hearting lettuce during the warm weather.

I think there is enough food out there so we won't starve over the next couple of months but I could be doing better and there are lots of things I need to work on if I plan on doing the same challenge next year.

Does anyone want to join me in 2011?  We need to get stuff in now if we're going to try it again.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

'Tis The Season...

For snakes.  I saw my first tiger snake a few weeks ago, dead on the road just up from our place.
This morning I went into the Mixed Breed chooks yard and saw a massive great big ??  I thought it was a Dugite but Hubby says it could have been a Tiger.  It was big and dark and moved fast.  I have no idea if it is still in that pen somewhere or if it managed to get out into the paddock.

This afternoon Hubby saw a biggish one over the other side of the yard and it went into the orchard when it saw him.  I saw it and it wasn't nearly as big as the one that I saw and not as thick or dark in coulour.  He tried to tell me it was the same one but I know it wasn't.  His was a Dugite, around 5foot long. pale in colour.
This one ended up over the road in the bush there but *my* one is still unaccounted for.

I am keeping the grass around the house mowed and tidy and most messy areas are being cleared so we will be able to see any snakes that are in the yard but I don't know if this is good or not.  I worry more when I see them.  I know that they are probably out there anyway but seeing them makes it *real* and I tend to not do things for a few days afterward because its out there waiting for me.

I have chickens due to hatch in the MB pen this weekend.  I hope that snake is gone and not waiting around for a special lunch. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Strawberries and Pepinos.

I was wandering around the yard this morning and couldn't help noticing all the Strawberries that needed picking. So I picked them.

Went round the front and saw that there were Pepino that were ripe as well.  So I picked them too.
I ended up with just over 400gm of Strawberries and 3 Pepino.  There will be heaps more Strawberries ready in a couple of days time.  All the bushes have really started producing since I fertilised and mulched them all a few weeks back.

Back inside I added some manky apples, a couple of old bananas, a few passionfruit and what do ya know...Enough yummy fruitsalad to last the week.

                                                                     I love my garden.

Gee Whizz, My Present Came Today.

The present that I bought myself because I was
feeling so sick came today.  Isn't the colour the best.

I will wait until Hubby is away before I *have a play*

Was Sick, Now Better.

After 4 days of some horribly *bug*  I woke up this morning feeling halfway human.
No idea what was wrong but I was so sick.  I think the blood issues make me get sicker more often and much more severely than I used to.  I have the symptoms of a cold still but the nausea, aching, dizziness, pounding head and everything else is gone. 
I know I picked it up from the kids that I look after, that's where all my *bugs* come from.

At one stage there I was even wanting to shift into a nice little unit with no garden and no chooks.

And I went 3, yes 3!! days without a coffee.

However, three days in bed doesn't get a lot done and the gardens are a mess.  They have had no watering, no bug control and it is showing.  The seedlings that were planted last weekend have died.  Seeds dried up so they are probably dead too.  The gardens are looking very sparse and the *No Buy Veg* challenge is looking pretty grim. 

Seedlings and lettuce, most plants really, need looking after and mine haven't had much of that this week. A lot of the lettuce have gone to seed and the new little ones aren't looking too good.  The peas are finished, the cabbages are all moth eaten,  They need to be pulled out but I haven't had the strength to even do that.  Watermelon seedling are *missing*  Bugs or slaters probably.

I am home today and between resting I need to get out there and get more stuff in the ground.  The grass could do with a mow and Hubby says he might be able to get to it in a couple of weeks time.  But for now, I will take it easy and only do what needs doing and come next weekend I will be up and out there in full force.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Female Urinary Device. A Present For Me.

I have a bonus day off today as the kids I look after are quite sick.
Unfortunately I am quite sick too.  Feeling quite lousy in fact so:
I rarely spend money, it just doesn't come naturally to me but this is something that I have been wanting but umming and ahhing about for months. 

So what is it that I am all excited about?  I have bough tmyself a FUD.  A Female Urinary Device.  I talked about them over on my Wanna Wander blog  a while ago and wasn't sure then if I would get myself one but I fiqure  "why not?"

The lady selling them has just started up, this is a link to her website.

There have been a few times when one of these would have come in handy, when we have been camping or out and the loos are a tad *icky*

I have ordered the Whiz.  It is purple.  Need I say more?
She is in Perth, Western Australia, and I reckon it is much better buying from her than from overseas.  I think we should suport a small, local business over the big companies whenever we can.

If I was a few years younger I would have also ordered the Lunette.  I think they are also one of the better inventions for women.

Daughter T. is probably glad that we don't do Christmas because this is what I would be giving out if we did.  She does have a birthday coming up soon though...

I am looking forward to recieving it and having a *play*  Why should the men have all the fun.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Can't Breath Again.

This is a bit of a whinge as I had to go to the doctor again this morning so feel free to skip. (wish I could skip. lol)
A bit of background...I was (am) *fat and unfit* and tried for nearly 2 years to rectify the problem but didn't seem to get any fitter no matter what I tried.  Toward the end of last year I started getting chest pains and not being able to breath whenever I exerted myself.  It got to the stage that I was huffing and puffing just getting into bed and a quick walk across the yard had me clutching my chest and gasping for air.
Went to the doctor at the end of 2009 to find out why.  Had heaps of tests and they showed that my heart and lungs were good and healthy but I was iron deficient anaemic, I had an ulcer.  A few more things wrong but nothing serious.
Fast forward 10 months of taking tablets and more tests and I am right back where I was last December.

The doctor this morning was a different one from the one I have been seeing since last year and after reading my information and results from all the tests he says that my problem is "very complex" and if this lot of extra tablets don't make a difference than he would recommend my seeing a hematologist.   I asked about an iron injection in the butt but he says that wouldn't work as it looks like the iron is there now but not being used.  More blood tests need to be taken but I am really over it.  I just want to be able to function in the way I used to a few years ago.  This bloke says that it will be hard to improve on the fitness until the problem is sorted.

I feel like crawling into bed and sleeping the day away.  But I need lunch first.

So, whinge over.  Now, what to do.  I will continue to eat properly.  I will still do the walking that I do now.  I will try the bike again.  I will continue to take the bleedin' tablets.  I won't give in and eat crap and do nothing even though I want to a lot more than I used to.

The thing is though...I don't want to have to always take medicine to work on the symptoms.  I would like the cause found and fixed.  This doctor says that it's not that easy.    I will take this lot of tablets and if they work I will keep taking them but I also want more answers so will asked more questions at the next doctor visit.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Really Really Free Markets. Waroona.

                                  We went down to the park yesterday for a look at these markets.
                        I took a blanket and a couple of boxes of stuff to add to the array that was there.

This is the first of it's kind in our small town but I read that they plan on having one most months.  The next one is on the third Saturday of November so if you are not doing anything, bring some stuff and a picnic to munch on and see how it goes. One lady made some choc chip bickies and some muffins and had them on offer to everyone there.  So yummy, you couldn't tell that they were vegan at all!!  It was a nice day out and it got me off the computer for a couple of hours as it was too hot for me to be out working in the gardens.

It wasn't overly busy, maybe 7 or 8 rugs with stuff on them in the area.  Someone had set up an area with playdoh, colouring and beading for the kids to do.  That was cool.

There were a lot of books and magazines.  I took some of these.  One couple took down some furniture and it was fun watching someone try and put a small computer desk into their sedan.  There was baby stuff, clothes, *knick knacks*  Anything you'd find at a garage sale but it was all free.
One couple brought along some fruit and eggs.  The apples were really yum.  Plants.  Just remembered I was going to grab an Oregano plant, hope they are there next time.

                                            I hope to be at the next one so might see you there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I had the 3year old grandaughter out here for a bit this morning so I roped her into helping me with some Passionfruit.

They are falling from the vines and like everything else there is only
so much you can eat so preserving them somehow is important. 
We have 2 vines growing great and producing well and 2
others that are not doing too good at all.  This vine gives
us the most but is the oldest and will probably cark it
within the next year or so so we do need to keep them all.

 I have made cordial but as we don't drink a lot of that stuff I am freezing this lot for when I figure out what to do with them.  I could make passionfruit spread but again, we don't eat it so no point.

We ended up with 5 cups of pulp to freeze but then GD went out and picked up the ones from this morning and we have another 18.  Some of these will be eaten over the next few days, I am going to make up a fruitsalad this afternoon so a few will be added to that...But by the end of the week after collecting the ones that have fallen from the vine between now and then I will need to freeze some more.

Not sure why I want to plant another vine...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

BEEing Busy. 2.

Hubby left the water trailer here this morning so he wouldn't have to tow it all the way up to Lancelin and back.  He has just left after picking it up, on his way down to Nannup.

There is a spotlight on the back of the truck that comes on when reversing.  I was standing alongside of the truck as Hubby was out and connecting the trailer.  I see him swat at himself a couple of times, hear him swear, he tells me to move back, he swats some more...
Apparently the bees come out when the light comes on, he was wearing trackies and a flannelette shirt but must have been stung at least 10 times.
He now has a 3 hour drive ahead of him...and I am off to bed.  He has been stung, I haven't.
Did I say how glad I am that it is him out there working and not me?  Poor bugger. 

Chicken Preparations.

I spent today making small pens around the nests that some of the clucky Mixed Breed chooks were sitting in.  I had no idea how many eggs they were on and the other chooks kept getting in and laying so something had to be done.
All up there were 4 cluckies.
**One was sitting in the big cage on old eggs,  I had left these here hoping someone would claim them and go clucky and it worked.  She is now sitting on 8 AussieRock eggs and the gate shut so no-one can get in with her.
** One chook was on a nest that was popular with the other chooks so I put up some wire around her nest.  She was on quite a few eggs but is now on 6 AussieRocks.  I was a bit worried about this one as she was getting upset as I was putting up the wire and left the area.  That made it easy to swap the eggs over but I was a bit worried that she wouldn't come back.  I have been out and checked though and she was back on the nest so she is now fenced in and will be left alone by the others.
**I had 1 chook sitting on some eggs in the shed and she had been there for more than a week so I was going to just let her go.  Over the last 3 days I have noticed another chook sitting with her so I set up one of the other small pens and put some AussieRock eggs in there and then got the son to lift her and put her on the new nest.  I blocked her in with a board but she settled down really well and seems happy to have her own eggs.
** The chook that was in the shed has been penned off but left on the eggs that she had.   I think that those eggs would be a bit too far along for me to take them away from her.  Unfortunately they are Mixed Breed eggs but that's OK.

All up I have 3 chooks on 20 AussieRock eggs so it looks like I could soon have my new flock up and going.

I need to wait 3 weeks to see what hatches but fingers crossed the success rate will be high.  I will post about the hatchings in 3 weeks time.

BEEing Busy.

The husband is shifting bees this week which basically means a lot of driving and not much sleep.  I was thinking Friday night as I was going to bed how lucky I was as he still had 3 hours driving ahead of him.

Hives on the truck .
He left here at just before 9.30am Friday, drove to Perth, did work stuff there, drove the truck up to some bush area near Lancelin and did work related stuff up there until it cooled down enough to load the hives onto the truck.  Waited quite a while until the bees settled, drove back to their camp to pick up the water trailer.  That took 3/4 hour to drive 6km.  Drove back this way and stopped here at 10.30pm to fill the water trailer and then continued on down to the Nannup area.
Arrived there at 1.30am, where he slept for a couple of hours in the truck.  Then at daybreak, before the bees start flying he needed to unload the hives and get them set up.  Set up the water tanks and other stuff, home here just after 1pm.
So it's non-stop from 9am, until 1.30am...sleep...then working again from daylight until 2pm.
There is no way that I could do anything for a fraction of that time and I appreciate the hard work he does so that I can stay home and not have to work.  Thanks Babe.

This is him taking off at 8am this morning for more of the same.  He'll be home tomorrow afternoon and then off again for another load on Tuesday.

According to "whereis" Lancilin to Nannup is around 4 hours drive in a car but travelling in a truck loaded with bees it takes nearly twice that long.    We are somewhere in the middle.


Chooks Galore Plus More.

                                  I have chickens. Cute little black and white AussieRock* babies.
Not sure what they will look like when they are bigger as they are not pure. 
The parents are either Australorp dad or a Plymouth Rock dad and the mothers are the same breed.  There are 3 Australorp hens and 1 PR hen.  These chooks are all in together so the babies will be a mix.  But they are so cute.  I put 8 eggs under this one when she went clucky a few weeks back.

I have given some of the eggs from these chooks to the daughter L to hatch for me too.
Well... not so much her but one of her chooks...They might be ready next weekend.

Of this lot of eggs 4 were pushed out of the nest duing the last week but I haven't cracked them to see if they were fertile or not yet.  Not sure if I will yet..  I think it's good to know if they were not fertile as it gives me an idea on how good the roosters are but it's not nice if they were and you find that the chicken died for some reason.

* AussieRocks are what I call my chooks that I raised from "pure" Australorp eggs.  It turned out that the lady had a PR rooster running with her hens just before she sold me the eggs...

I have a few more clucky chooks in the Mixed Breed pen and I will put AussieRock eggs under them this weekend.  I am in the process of rearranging their pen so they can be blocked off from the other chooks that keep laying in their nests

More cute little AussieRock babies   Yay!!

Then I can get start getting rid of the HyLines...Yay!!.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Garden Cleanout.

After being sore and tired all week and arms being next to useless yesterday I woke up this morning feeling OK  so I have been out pulling up plants that I no longer want.

All the red cabbages are gone, I have 3 nice ones inside to do something with.  I don't think I'll plant these again as we prefer the green ones.  The red ones did seem to survive the slaters and cows better though...There are still 3 out there growing so will think on it.
Some of the *nearly past it* Caulies. and a few cabbages. 
I pulled up all the peas that I couldn't eat *skin and all*. Some were just too tough so they are gone but there are still a few plants left that have nice peas growing on them.  I still need to pick and freeze the peas.
I pulled out most of the Caulies. They were starting to open too much, not getting a decent size, so there are 6 of them waiting to be cooked or pickled.  Still have 4 OK looking ones out there.
There are 2 big green cabbages.  One of those will become coleslaw, not sure about the other.  Probably sliced and frozen for later.

So I now have heaps of garden space that needs to be worked on.  Later when it is cooler I will add more dirt from the chookpens, add manures and top with mulch.  It will then be ready for whatever I need to put in.

The Brocolli that the cow ate the tops from a few weeks back regrew but  because I wasn't quick enough in picking the smaller heads it  all went to seed so out it came.  I have kept one to collect seeds from.

I have used the excuse of being sore all week for not getting out there before now and unfortunately I haven't planted anything at all this month so I will need to step that up over the next week or so.

None of the watermelon or rockmelon seeds that were planted during September survived so once again I will not get those growing as early as I wanted to.   We have 8 tomato plants flowering but I want to get more going.   The cucumbers aren't doing much. 

I think most of the seeds that went in the ground were eaten by the slaters.  There seems to be millions of the little buggers and after this years challenge of growing all our vegetable is up I will get the chooks out there to try and clean them up. In the meantime I used the *boiling water* method again.

In the meantime they, the chooks,
have an overflowing barrow load
of leaves and stuff to get through.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Really Really Free Markets. Waroona.

I wrote about going up to Perth to the Really Really Free Markets and guess what?  Look what someone sent me.  And it's in my town.  How cool is that?

Basic info:
1pm-4pm Saturday 16th October
Centennial Park, Southwestern Highway (at the south end of town)

Their website is:

I plan on going down for a bit and will take some stuff down with me.
If you are within driving distance why not come down as well.  Bring some stuff you want to get rid of and maybe pick something up.
Waroona is 20 minutes drive south of Pinjarra.
Bring a picnic, this park has toilets and a playground, shady areas to sit and meet up with friends. 
You could get to meet me!!  Now come know that would be the coolest thing since sliced bread...
Or not. lol.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

People To Lunch.

I had some lovely people come visit me yesterday.  They are both members of the Simple Savings website which is where I *met* them and it was really nice to have them come down from Perth and to meet them in real life.

Thankyou B and T and children for coming all that way.  B, your children were really well mannered, A great credit to you.  I hope I get to meet up with you both again some day but if you are ever in the area, call in.

Daughter T came out with her little girl and we have decided to asked a couple of her friends over for a visit soon.  I might even invite some people that I used to be friends with...

It was nice to have the yard looking better than it has in years and as it will be kept that way from now on, YES, it will be!!, it will be easier to ask people to visit.