22 March 2012

The new girls on the block

We've just picked up 20 day old chicks.  Its time to up the egg production as we've been asked if we can supply 10 dozen a week of free range organic eggs.  So while these girls grow up a little, we'll be building a second run and coop that will sit adjacent to the veggie patches to house the new recruits.
We've been told that looking after 30 chickens isn't much more work than looking after 10, so we're about to find out.  But I tell you what, these little girls are so cute!!

19 March 2012

Update on the veggie patch

Despite all the rain, we've still been tapping away in the patch, planting up the new one and getting patch no.5 ready.  Patch No.4 is now full with rainbow chard, eggplant, garlic, potatoes, broadbean and rocket.  Much of that is still in as seeds, but they are beginning to sprout. The sunflowers are done and have been feeding the chooks one head at a time.

The Girls Hard at Work

What a fabulous workforce they are - and multi-taskers like all top performing women.  Having said that, there was one Sussex who just could not find the gate, despite pacing past it urgently whilst calling out to the others... ah well.  At least she's good looking....
Even after just a day, they've already tossed this patch over nicely.  These photos were taken in the first few minutes and they were already making headway.  But I'll leave them in here for a few weeks until my seedlings in the nursery are ready to go in.

17 March 2012

The gate to paradise

Patch no.2 where all those lovely watermelons, corn and beans have been growing is almost spent and ready for our volunteer labourers to come in and clean up, ready for some winter crops.  And this is the gate they rush through on their way to get at grasshoppers, worms and other lovely things.
I want to put a bit of wire around the climber that's going up the archway, some more around a tomato that self seeded from last time the girls were in here and is just fruiting and also a barrier across the far end where the rosella's are.  I wasn't sure if chickens like rosella's but once they were in the pumpkin patch (patch no. 3) I discovered they do, as they've stripped the lower leaves of those on that side of the fence.  Ah well, I'm sure they recover when I lock that gate.  So once the protective barriers are up, then its open slather girls! I'll post the pics of the feeding frenzy tomorrow.....

14 March 2012

A Riot of Rosellas

I'm not quite sure what you call a group of rosellas, but we certainly now have one.  And by the look of them, a "riot" is as good a name as any.  I planted out three little seedlings last year to make a hedge between two patches and it seems to have worked.  So much so that its probably time to give them a haircut.
And despite the sunny photo, its raining again here today so I got up early and planted an olive tree we were given recently as well as a native by the front gate.  I'm sure they'll love the good soaking they're getting as I write.

13 March 2012

Our first passionfruit

We've been growing two vines up the side of the chicken run to give them a little shade as well as give us a little fruit.  After a slow start (they got watered as and when whereas the other patches are irrigated, they missed out in this spot), they have taken off with all the rain and we've even got our first little fruit.  I've spotted several more since I took this photo the other day, but I thought it was still worth posting as it seems to be having an identity crisis.  What do you think?
Does it think its a telly tubby?  A snowman perhaps?  Or a butternut?

new rasberry patch

I had grand plans for my old Sydney raspberries as they were transported carefully to their new home here in Durban and having a spot chosen for them where they could be properly managed.  They started to establish themselves but weren't doing anything that impressive.  Since that time, my husband had decided he wanted a shed near the raspberries new home and that they would (a) get in the way when he was mowing and (b) get in the way of the grow tunnel he wanted to extend from the said shed.  So he eventually convinced me to dig them all up and move them to a new home.  This was easier said than done, but we did it a few weekends ago and do you know what, they are doing much better in their new spot, its is much easier to mow and they won't get in the way....well you get the idea.
So the grand plan here is to prune the cane to two each winter and move either side to keep any runners at bay.  Famous last words I hear you say??  Well that's the plan and what's gardening without a plan....