Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I'm doing more sprouts.  I have done a couple of lots since daughter gave me the lentils but thought I'd tell you all how I do them.  It's not hard, they are good for you and yummy to eat.

You don't need anything special so if you haven't tried it before why not give it a go.

This week I am doing Lentils and Chickpeas.  I haven't sprouted chickpeas before so I'm hopping they'll be nice.

You need a jar.  I'm using a different jar for each seed.  Something to cover the jar, you need to be able to strain the water out so stocking, cheesecloth, muslin...

*I put 2 soupspoons of seed in each jar.  The seeds swell up and take up room as they sprout so the amount you use will depend on the size of your jar.  I like to do smaller amounts more often..
*Cover with water and soak.  I usually soak overnight but this lot is being started in the morning so will be soaked until this evening.  I use a spoon handle to push down on the stocking as I pour the water in.  It lets the water through easier and there is less mess.
*After soaking strain water, into a bowl or jug.   Don't pour it down the sink, use it on the garden or potplants.
*Each morning/evening cover seeds with water again, swoosh around and strain.  I turn the jar upside down and prop it up a bit so all the water drains away.  I also use a spoon handle or something similar to press up on the stocking.  It allows the water to drain better.
* When the sprouts are the size you like, 3-7 days, put them in the fridge to keep them fresh.  I like to use them within a few days but have left them for a week and they were OK.

I have them with salad, in sandwiches, by themselves, add to stirfries...However you want.  Try them with everything or by themselves as a snack.

Day 1.
Day 3
Day 5.
  Ready to eat.

Use clean water for soaking and rinsing.  I use rainwater because that is what we have but would use tap water if we were in town and connected to scheme water.  Our house water is not potable so I wont use that.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Strawberry Season.

I usually manage to find a few strawberries to munch on while I'm wandering around the yard checking out all the different garden areas but a couple of days ago I had to come inside and get a bowl as there were too many to eat while awandering.

Add that plateful to the ones that were already in the fridge and I had too many to eat fresh, nice as they are.  We don't eat jam so how else can we eat them...Yep, add the mankyist ones to some milk, add a chopped up frozen banana, drink some, freeze leftover and tada... 

Wrap frozen icepoles in recycled plasic and put back in freezer until grandaughter or husband sees them.

Do the same in a few days because I haven't eaten the ones in the fridge and there are more to pick...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Moving Sand

Thankyou for all the comments yesterday and the concern for me. 
When I was thinking about moving the sand I was going to use the big barrow to do the 3 loads but was a bit concerned myself as to how I would go.
As luck would have it the big barrow had bluemetal in it and I couldn't be bothered emptying it so used the *girly* barrow instead.  This one has a weight limit so I couldn't overfill it, not too much anyway.

 So the 3 loads yesterday were done without too much struggling.

As a few suggested, I will start off small, do the 3 for a week or so then move on to bigger and more often.  I will get the front yard filled in first as there are lots of low spots from when we shifted the fence and garden.

I have the grandaughter here this morning, the Really Really Free Markets at noon and working this afternoon so wont be home 'til tonight sometime.  I can't see too much being done here but will try for the 3 loads and the 30min mowing.

I have more chickens so need to clean out their nest and get them some clean hay, peas need picking, rat traps need checking and shifting...I need to water a few gardens...
Of course the house needs tidying again but I can't do it all can I! 

Better get stuck into things.  The GD can *help* with the sand and I will mow as soon as she leaves.  Chop chop...what, it's coffee time?  Gosh!  There's always something...

Finally we started.
Girl Power Rulz!!

 Some of us did slack off before the 3 loads were done but hey, that's what life is out here.  Fun and games...for some anyway.

Millipede, found in the sand.
Who's the King of the Castle.

After 5 loads we came in for breakfast. 
Time for french toast with organic honey and strawberries. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

On My Mind... Lots of hard work.

We have just had a load of sand delivered and I need to get it to where I want it out the back and around the yard.  There is a LOT of sand there.
I'm wondering how to handle it...I could leave it until we get the Dingo back and that would be easier but may be a few weeks away or if I wheelbarrow it I could count it as my Get Fitter exercise...But there is a lot of sand there and I'm not very fit or strong, it will be a lot of hard work, more than walking or bikeriding or mowing...

I'm thinking I could do a few barrow loads whenever throughout the next few days and see how I go.  I'm sure that there will still be plenty there when the Dingo gets returned.

This will be a challenge.  See how much I get get shifted by myself but do at least 3 loads a day.

It's too hot now though so it will have to wait until this evening.  But if it is too hard that means I'll have to do all 3 at once and not be able to have long breaks in between...Hmmm...better do one now to see what I am up against. 

Coffee first.  And though it is already 10.30 I haven't had breakfast yet so might do that first too...

On My Mind is something that Rhonda over at Down To Earth puts on each Friday.. 
It's fun. 
What's on your mind today?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pass Me The Grass Killer.

Or I could order in a truck load of concrete.  I want to do both.

I have been out mowing, the mower is making me cranky as it's not working properly and we have not long ago forked out money on getting it to...I will have to use the smaller *girly* 4stroke but I like, or used to like, this bigger 2stroke as it has a lot more grunt.

I have decided to mow and count it as my moving to get fit as there is so much to do and I feel bad when I walk and then don't mow.  Now I will mow and not walk.  The mowing is a lot harder.  It gets me pushing and using more muscle that the easy walks I was, or wasnt, doing.

I give the grass to the chooks, they eat the seeds, scratch around in it, poop in it, I rake it up and feed the gardens with it.  It is a never ending circle that goes on and on and on....

The grass here is thick and we never water it but it keeps on growing...and growing.  It never lets up but this time of year it seems to grow twice as fast.  Faster than I can mow.  It is a challenge to keep it under control. And in saying that, I am off to do another 30minutes.  That should get the back area finished.  Then it will be the front, then outside the front fence then the back will be overgrown again...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Morning. Chook Chat.

It's going to be quite warm here today, around 30 and last night and this morning the Eastilies have hit with force.  Everything is being blown around.   When the wind drops though it will be hot.  I'm not very good with hot weather so should be out there doing me jobs now...but it's too windy for me.  Gosh I sound hard to please and really I'm not.  Hot coffee, good book, doesn't take much at all.  Just no big winds and hot weather please.

We haven't seen any sign of the fox since the killing but have been offered the use of a tried and true home made foxtrap and will get that next week and set it up out the back.   A big problem we have is that our chook pens are big and not all the chooksheds in the pens have a door so can't be shut up.  Because of their size not all the pens are netted over the top but they are high fences with wobbly wire that points outwards running along around  the top so the foxes can't climb up and over.

I have three pens in use at the moment.
*The one that we have just trenched and tinned, in use by my breeding chooks, not netted and wasn't trenched and tinned all around but hopefully safe now.  We are going to put a door on their shed so they can be locked up though.
*one with the HyLines in. The Hylines can be shutup but I don't always remember to do them
*and the 2 orchard pens that I have my AussieRocks in.  The orchard pens have a shared  shed that all the chooks get locked up in at night, but not all year round.  I start locking these ones up during early spring and hope I start before the foxes do.  I alternate the side of the orchard that the chooks can get to..
I also have 2 netted pens that I use for chickens, safe from crows and other things WHEN I shut the gates.

My problem is that by evening I am so sore and tired that I don't always think to shut the doors/gates.   The chooks don't *go to bed* until it's dark and by then I am usually finished for the day and ready for bed myself.   Really, because of my slackness in this area, we are lucky that we haven't lost more.  I did lose some a few years ago...We did a lot more work on the pens after that and seem to have been left alone since so I was lulled into what now has  proven to be a false sense of security.
If I only had a dozen or so chooks then a smaller totally prison-like pen would be easy to have.   I want lots of chooks so it means more work and some losses until we get it right.  Hopefully now we have.

It's still blowing a gale out there but I best be off...I need to make more coffee...

Friday, October 14, 2011

On my Mind...Fox Proofing.

On my mind today is something that Rhonda Jean puts on every week and today Flippin' Foxs' is on my mind.  Not actually flipping them though I would like to flip them to the bottom of the river but fox proofing a pen is on my mind. As the pen in question has not had a problem with any fox before we thought that it was alright and safe.  But no...this fox has come up into the yard and dug up my garden and gotten in under the fence and killed 2 of my AussieRocks.  The chooks I get the fertile eggs from.

The bleedin' thing even dug up my Jerusalem Artichokes and I was already starting to worry about those not growing.

Maybe I thought they wouldn't come in this way because we are in the area throughout the day so our people smell would be around, dogs run around this area, it's close to the house...All reasons that mean jack!
I probably made it easier for them as I cleared an area to plant the JA so it is soft plant free area...

So today we will be digging trenches and burying tin to try and stop them digging under again.

I have such a long list of other stuff that I need to get done but that will all be put off until we get this pen sorted.

I will also need to choose a few more chooks to put in with the rooster (*roosters?) as the lone definate chook that is left in there is looking a bit stressed.  As you would I supose if you see/hear your friends getting attacked...

* roosters?   I have 2 big birds in this pen.   One is definatly a rooster and always has been.  The has always been a big bird, part Plymouth Rock, but lately, after 2 years, it has started crowing so I do not know if it is a he or a she.  Maybe it doesn't know itself...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

And Again...

Another, or the same, fox has killed 2 more chooks.  I hear something early Tuesday morning, around 5ish, so got out of bed, grabbed the torch and went out to check.  All the gates were shut and I didn't hear anything else, didn't see anything, so thought it must have been something else...Went back to bed and kinda heard something, Hubby was snoring so I lie there listening, yep something.  It's 5.30 and I say to Hubby that there is something in with the chooks and we both go out.  Didn't see anything but heard *it*  And of course 1 chook is dead and it looks like the fox had been trying to pull it out under the fence where it has dug a small hole to get in..  I later found a second chook not far from the fence.  In the last 6 years this is the pen that I believed was the most fox proof.  One has come up near the house again and dug up where I have the Jerusalem Artichokes planted.  Bloody thing!  We had traps set last night and Hubby was ready with the gun but they didn't come back.  This is where I had put the breeding chooks as I was worried about them being out behind the shed.  The rooster is still there and I have other chooks that I can put in with him but these were nice looking chooks and good layers so I was getting enough fertile eggs to keep the flock sustainable.  The rooster is a bit *toey* but if I lose him I wont be able to get chickens for awhile.  Yes, I know I could easily get another one but this one was hatched and raised by us so I'd like him not to get his head bit off.

More work to do now, I'm out all day but luckily Hubby is home for a few days.   All the jobs on my list will be moved down as getting this pen fixed up is more important.

Monday, October 10, 2011

More *Frig* Words.

I went for a walk yesterday and saw a dead snake on the road, my first one for this season and thought that yes, now's the time to have all the grass short and the yard tidied...OK, I know I should have the grass kept short and the yard tidy all the time but this is me talking and as much as that I know I should and I do want to and I do try...This time of the year it really is a must.

I was in having lunch and thinking about what I need to get done this afternoon when I heard the AussieRocks going off their nut and knew right away why but I run out there, run back in and put me boots on and run out again.  It seems that I can run when I need to...And yes, there is a snake in their shed.  Of course with all these chooks having a go at it it slithers into where the Mumma chook and her 3 babies are...and they can't get out.  What to doWhat to do...I run (yes, again!) back in and grab the camera (what was I thinking!) and the phone, put the camera down and grab a shovel instead and phone the son.  The snake is in the chicken area and the mumma chook is going nutso so I keep one eye on the snake while I reach in and move a board so that she and her chicks can get out.  She gets out but 1 little chicken is trapped in with the snake and every time it tries to get out the snake moves around more, whether it's trying to get the chicken or not I don't know..
In the meantime the son leaves work and comes to my rescue. 

Thank goodness for people that can handle these things.  Hubby had left for work an hour earlier and if son wasn't around I would have had to call someone else but would have had to come inside for phone numbers and would have lost sight of the snake.  The 5foot, what looks like, Tiger snake.

All is now safe but there will be a next time so I think the next thing to do is look up numbers of who to call if there is no-one who can come and help.  Off to do that now.

Be careful People, it's snake season again.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lone Survivor.

This is the 1 surviving chicken from the flooding and the fox attack
I have it in a box in the bathroom at night. 
Daughter brought the soft toy out for it and it sleeps on top of that at night.

 I put it out under the table during the day.   
This table was given to us and as it has birdcage frames connected to the legs it makes a safe place for any chickens that we have to get out on the grass and have a scratch for bugs. 
When it's a bit wet and cold out there I put a box with hay in with them for shelter and warmth.
If I am outside and able to keep an eye on it I let it scratch around the yard and gardens.

I'm hoping that nothing else happens to this little chick.  It has probably been stressful for it but it is also stressful for me and I don't handle stress too well.  So Little Chicky, stay safe.


I like Lentils, I mainly buy the split red ones and add them to lots of things that I cook.  They are cheap and healthy and though Hubby is not as keen on them he eats stuff I make for me that has them in.  So I figure...If I eat them I should grow them.

So, I'm going to try and grow some Lentils.  Has anyone here done that?  Any tips please?

 I had mentioned wanting to sprout some to the daughter, she said she had some whole ones, I only had the split ones and of cause they wont sprout.  Silly me! 
Now I have enough to try sprouting and growing them. 
How cool would that be, to be able to grow your own...

My daughter gifted me them yesterday, along with lotsa other cool stuff so I have no excuse and will find a jar and start on the sprouting today.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Busy Day Ahead.

It is a lovely sunny day here so far today and I have so much to do and feel like doing so little...

I had someone coming to get some eggs so thought I should do a quick tidy-up inside and did start but...She has been and gone so the rest will be put off 'til later...Or tomorrow...But only because I have too much to do outside and really would rather be out there even if I didn't have anything to do. 
But the fridge needs cleaning out so I can fit more eggs in there.  Quiche for tea I think.  Again!

I need to get more mowing done and plan on at least a half hour so I can add it to my *get fit* writings.  This means that I need to bag up the old clippings that the chooks have been scratching over for me so I can add this next lot to the GC area.

The chooksheds need cleaning out and fresh hay put in.  I have 2 or 3 possible clucky chooks that I need to sort out and maybe move.  But to move them I need to clean up the feathers and stuff from where the fox attack happened and put more hay in that pen.  I have a dozen fertile eggs so really need to make my mind up there and get things sorted.

More seeds need to be planted and I MUST get some Pepinos shifted to another area and though I now have the area where I will put them dug over and ready it's been a week and I still haven't done them. 

I am awaiting on some seeds from a giant pumpkin so should decide where I am going to plant them and get the area fed and ready.   They didn't come today so I now have the weekend but I'm sure the seeds will be here on Monday and apart from burying a dead chook in one possible spot I haven't done much else.  And it's supposed to be a competition!

I bought some Diatomatious Earth and need to get more sprinkled around the gardens and in the chook sheds when I rake them out.  A couple of days ago I tried a bit on an area covered in slaters  and the slaters aren't there this morning...I'm hoping they are dead and not just shifted places.  I need to go slater hunting.

The worm farm needs fixing, it is wet and near empty so I need to look up what to do about that.  These are Hubby's worms but it doesn't look like he thought to do them yesterday and he isn't here today.

I will have the little chicken with me while I am working around out the front.   I have it in a box in the bathroom at night and out in an under the table enclosure during the day but let it out to scratch around if I am weeding or just sitting out there.  It is becoming quite friendly.

Better finish me coffee and get started.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Frig, Frig and Frigging Frig!!

We had another night time visitor last night.  Hubby and I heard a noise around 1am and both get up to go see what it was.  I thought it was the chooks, he says the cat has the bandicoot.  He goes out the back door I go out the front.  He says again the cats there, something went in your garden still thinking a bandicoot.  I walked out the front towards where I usually see the bandicoot but know straight away that is wasn't that.  I smelt fox and sure enough looking around we find the feathers with blood and then I remember that I didn't shut the chookshed door or the gate to the chicken pen.  Go in the pen and see more feathers then find the black chook, dead.  No other chook, no chickens...

This fox has come right up in the yard near the house and through 2 open gates to get to these chooks. 

I feel angry with myself as I kinda knew that I should shut the gates...I didn't 'cause I was so sore and tired and in bed by half past eight and I couldn't be bothered getting up again and going outside.  Husband says they'll be right but I should have shut the gates. 

This morning we hear chicken chirping so I get up and I find 1 little chicken in the garden, all cold and alone.  I have it in a box but it will be lonely now and is at that stage of few feathers so now I may need to set up a light for it for nights and we don't have any of the globes that give off heat only those stupid new things.   So I'm feeling out of sorts for all kinds of reasons this morning.  AND!!  The crows are back stealing the eggs.  Not sure where from but I see them flying off with eggs and want to shoot them in the head! 

Off for another coffee and I think I need a *chill pill*