Posts Tagged ‘Chooks’

Pixie Versus The Old Boiler

I was away for a few days during the week while I was at the National Sustainable Food Summit in Sydney. I left my mum home to look after things around the place while I was gone – namely make sure that Chickie and the chooks were watered, fed and locked up safe at night.

Well, things didn’t quite go to plan! You see we have a new addition: Meet Pixie Pantaloons.

Pixie Pantaloons

Pixie used to live at a neighbours house and just wasn’t well received by the other resident chooks. Sadly, they had bullied her so much that they had literally pecked a hole in the back of her head. So, we decided to take her in. Her wound has now healed and she is very happy to call this place home. She’s a delight! Compared to my other girls, she is wildly social. More on that later.

So, I was just about to sit down to a rather fancy dinner… I won’t mention ‘how’ or ‘why’ but, I received a nervous call from home that went a little like this:

“luuuuuv. We’ve lost one of your chooks!”.

“What?!”

“Weeeeeeeeell… we went  out to close them in and well luv, Pixie… she wasn’t there”.

As you can imagine, the conversation went on  =)

Well the long and the short of the story is that she was found at about 12:30 in the morning after she had been chased out of her hiding spot by the neighbours cat.

So, you would think that it was a happy ending and that it probably ended there.  Nope!   Why?   Oh I guess it was a little thing called Karma!

Yes indeed. The next day, in an attempt to make it up to us, mum decided to clean out the chook house (which was just cleaned but, we won’t tell her that!). This was the result:

That’s mum – stuck inside the girls house for 45min while she waited for my brother to come rescue her. He is wonderful my brother! Of course, before he let her out he had to call my cousin so that they could have a little giggle at the situation and take a photo so that everyone else could enjoy the moment too! (You’re smiling aren’t you?)

All I can say is that she is very lucky that she had her phone on her at the time because we weren’t due home until late that night.

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Taking A Leaf Out Of Fukuoka’s Book

Masanobu Fukuoka, was a Microbiologist, Agricultural Scientist, Philosopher, Farmer and Author of ‘The One Straw Revolution” – a book about Natural Farming. At the age of 25 he pushed aside his career to return to his family farm in Ehime prefecture, Japan to live a simple and gentle life, living off the land and studying nature. He spent the rest of his days promoting and demonstrating the virtues of his natural farming techniques. I’ll talk more about him in the future.

Taking a leaf out of Fukuoka's book. Literally =)

So, I decided that since my potato bed was now empty and ready for a new crop that I would take a leaf out of Fukuoka-san’s book and direct seed the bed with my new winter crops. In a small bowl I put together a mix of the following seeds: Carrot, Shallots, Parsnip, Turnip, Radish, Swede, Tasoi, Lambs Lettuce, Coriander, Dill, ‘Giant of Italy’ Parsley, and few garlic bulbils from a seed head we found following our last harvest.

First, I removed the remaining straw from the bed, put it to one side and raked the surface clean. (If you’re wondering why this bed is half empty its because when I planted my potatoes here I filled all of that empty space and more with straw for the potatoes to grow into. There is more than enough soil in there for any other crops).

Clean, tidy and ready to sow.

Then I sprinkled my seed evenly and replaced the straw in a light layer to cover the seed. I will keep sprinkling over more straw* bit by bit as the seeds sprout. I’m not too sure what will happen but, it will be fun to watch. I’ll keep you posted.

I have another patch that I will plant more conventionally so that I can observe any differences. I should state that this isn’t completely new for me as I do have a tendency to sprinkle random seed around the garden from time to time. Whatever comes up comes up. And no it doesn’t get too messy. I choose my spots wisely, thin out the plants I don’t want and add them to my compost.

*You might notice that my straw is all chopped up and looking lovely. No, it didn’t come like that. It is partially broken down from the potatoes having grown in it over the last 6 months and I have also made use of my garden shreaders. I’ll see if I can find a picture of  one…

Gigi De Bois - Shredder #1

I like to lay out straw for my girls to scratch around in. It provides habitat for bugs. The bugs provide the girls with extra protein and they break the straw down for me. They never get bored.

Two quick notes – I did not water in the seed. I simply timed my sowing to coincide with a rain event. Also, just in case anyone was wondering, this bed is 1.5m x 3m.

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