Sunday, July 23, 2017

All Chok(o)ed Up.

It's been wet and cold here today but this afternoon I decided to get outside and do something.  Maybe clean up the shed a bit.  Maybe clean out the chookhouse.  Maybe pick more oranges for the stall out the front.  Maybe put away the stuff that I have been dumping on the table out the back...

Instead I worked on the tank gardens.  There is not a lot growing in them anymore, thanks to chooks and roosters jumping out of the pens and scratching everything up.  Not many plants but still lots of slaters.  How does that work?!  Why are the chooks scratching around and eating all the plants instead of scratching around and eating all the slaters.  Stupid chooks.

The chokos are finished though.  The vine is looking messy.                                                         
I ripped most of it down, fed some to the chooks, some to the sheep.

Some of the dead vine was put in the chookpen to try and stop me from slipping in the mud.

There aren't any more fruit worth eating, all are now old and tough and most are already starting to shoot ready to grow into new plants.  The garden beds are full of these and some have already started to send down roots and get themselves established for next season.  One or 2 didn't even wait to hit the dirt, they were growing as they were growing...

There are 4 tank gardens along here and although the choko vine was growing in only 1 the vine itself covered all four. I have pulled the vine down from over 3 tanks and will get to the last one during the week.  Up the southern end though the choko is mixed up with a passionfruit vine so I will need to be careful pulling it down.

Once all the choko vine was removed from the fence above 2 tanks it was easier to see what was in the ground.  I found a pineapple plant.  This has been here a couple of years now and not doing much so will need some care to get it to fruit.
I cleared out the tank that had asparagus growing in it seeing as that was finished and the fronds were all yellow, brown or dead. I cut it all right down, threw on some smelly water from the comfrey bin and will maybe mulch it sometime during the week.

Chook Killers.

We're on 5 acres and like most people in our block we have chooks.   I have too many, they are not laying, are costing me money in buying food for them and in them eating food for me...but I like them.

People around us have chooks.  A friend up the road has a dozen or so.  Over the years we have all lost chooks to foxes.  Sometimes the fox will kill a bird or two and take for food but a lot of time they just kill.  To teach their young how to hunt, practice, just because the are horrible creatures...I don't know all the reasons.  I do know that it is horrible to get up in the morning and find all your flock killed.

I have been locking them up at nights, letting them out in the morning, it is a pain.  I came home early one day a couple of weeks ago and there were feathers out the front.  Yep, a fox had been and taken a chook that didn't make it into the shed on time the night before.

A few days ago daughters partner brought out a rabbit and set the
trap for me. 

Next morning, Bingo! Oh, ummm, not a fox.  Not a feral so Ranger came out and took this one to the vets to check for microchip. 

I set the trap again.  Next morning, Bingo!  Oh, no, another cat.  A friendly one so I let it out.  Then again, same cat.  A soaking with the hose and it won't come back but it had eaten the rabbit and there wasn't much left. 

With not much bait left there was little chance of getting anything but I set the trap again anyway.  Why not. 
And this morning. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

I am Cranky.

As I wrote on Sunday, The Really Really Free Markets are on every month.  We try to give away things that people no longer want to save them going into landfill.  Our town has 2 op-shops, Vinnies where I volunteer and...another, church based, one.   Vinnies has a clothing bin out the front where people can drop in their unwanted clothing but they have nowhere for breakables or bigger items to be left unless the shop is open.  The other op-shop has a table out the front for breakables, bigger items, toys etc as well as a bin for clothing.  They get so many more donations than Vinnies.  They used to take all their excess out to the tip but then a RRFM helper asked if they could collect it for the FreeMarkets.  She would get carloads of stuff, most with nothing wrong with it, clothing still with tags.  People come to the RRFM just to see what comes from this helper.  The helper has been away for a few weeks but no-one else thought to see if this oppy had anything for them.and this market just gone missed out on the op-shop items. 

At the FreeMarket just gone we heard that the op-shop had a lot of stuff for us and if it wasn't picked up soon then they would bin it.  I went there this morning.  Yeah, there was a lot of stuff and yeah, I was told that if it wasn't picked up today then they would put it in their skip-bin.   I could see that there was a lot of really nice things so I asked them if they would mind if some of it went to Vinnies to be sold.  I was told that yes, they did mind, it was for the RRFM.  But they were more than willing to bin it if it didn't go there.  And would have if I didn't show up to pick it up. 

So I am cranky.  Cranky at a place that has so much excess good quality stuff and instead of letting another op-shop sell it to raise money to help people in need they would rather throw it away as rubbish.

In a small town you would think that charity shops could help each other where possible.  I know that Vinnies used to give them bags and bags of rags to sell as we don't sell rags.  This stopped a while back when no-one was able to pick them up and they shut earlier than us so we couldn't get them there but it was something that was done to help them.   They make  money from selling bulk bags of rags.

I am cranky that all the people that donate to this op-shop have no idea that their donation may end up in a skip-bin.   I am cranky at the senseless waste that this op-shop is willing to contribute to.  I am so disgusted with this op-shop, thinking about how much they are willing to throw away makes me feel ill.  And cranky.  Very cranky.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Wet FreeMarket Day

It has been a wet day and nothing was done outside.  Not that anything would have been done anyway as today is the third Saturday of the month and that means FreeMarkets.  Yes, the Really Really Free Markets that L started up more than 5 years ago are still going on. 

Today was a quiet one with not many people but it was wet and due to many reasons not very well advertised.  But still a success.  And I got some books.  Any day where I get me some more books is a success.  People came and some brought things that they no longer wanted and everyone went away with new things.

Thanks to the generosity of a few people that sometimes donates food there was tea,coffee and biscuits and hot pumpkin soup.  Added to some bread rolls and fruit it made up a nice lunch for those that were hungry.  The soup was nice with just a bit of a kick with a surprise of chilli in it.

One woman brought bread and rolls for people to take, another brought mandarins and limes.  There was the usual collection of clothes, books, bric-a-brac but not many toys this time.

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The RRFM are held in the Waroona town hall and once again the Council have given them a grant that allows them free use of the hall for 12 months.  I think it is a great that the Waroona Shire do this for us so these markets can be held indoors in all types of weather and I know that the RRFM organisers appreciate it immensely.


Friday, July 14, 2017

73 to 100. By tomorrow...

I have a Facebook Page, also named Barb's Backyard.
We have a stall out the front where we put honey and excess fruit and vegetables to sell.  Soon, when I get around to it, there will be plants.
As of this afternoon I have 73 likes.  Daughter has said she can get it up to 100.  By tomorrow.  I am doubtful but have made her an administrator.  The challenge is on. 

Update - 15/7/17 - Well, it's *tomorrow* and I now have 96 likes.  Four short of the hundred that L was aiming for but 23 more than yesterday morning.  I have given away dozens of chokos and sold 5 bags of oranges, some lemons, some honey...Thanks L.