Thursday, July 26, 2012

... on 'What's going on?' A garden/chicken/house update.

I was delighted, week before last, to go out to visit the chickens to find not one but two eggs in the nestbox. These are the first ever eggs from these hens and I was rather proud that they laid them in the box rather than willy-nilly in the pen, which can often happen with new layers. Extra happy that two hens laid their first egg on the same day! Since then we've been getting two eggs every two-ish days, and we're having omelettes for dinner.
This afternoon, the ladies are all piled together in a dustbath they've been progressively improving over the weeks. After a rocky start with the magpies, they've settled in fine here - all previous parasites are gone and now that they've started producing eggs I'm feeling like they're making a valuable contribution. Livestock, not pets! (Yeah, right.)
The Stephanie Alexander no-dig garden experiment has definitely been a success, and in fact I have Stage 2 (same again, so doubling the garden area) awaiting planting right now.
It's absolutely bursting with food. The kale and spinaches have ensured we haven't needed to buy greens for ages, and there is a bumper crop of shelling peas coming on at the back there. I have grand hopes for the potatoes, and the red ones (which I found to be called Cranberry Red) appear to be doing much better than the Sebagos. The only disappointment has been the zucchini, who are valiantly producing stacks of little zucchinis which all rot on the stems. I have just cut many of the leaves off to try and dry them out a bit. Hello compost bin!

To date, we have had two figs off this tiny little twig of a tree, which is groaning with fruit. It's a green-skinned variety called 'Adam', and he's in a pot for now.
There's been a lot of flower action - I've had some giant pansies and these sweet little pots of heartsease. (I used to think that was spelt 'heartsy', but I like 'heartsease' much better.)

House news. C built our front gate a while back. Here's what it looked like as soon as he installed it.
Now check it out... this is that 'designed-to-rust' high-copper-content steel. We wanted something that would make a bit of an impact from the street as well as provide privacy to the deck beyond. I am loving this effect, and the surface is going to get even rustier!
Well, you know me. I'm keen on rusty old junk at the best of times, so being able to apply it in an architectural sense? Fab!

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