Monday, 22 June 2009

Tackling Tricky Trees

Apart from the tree that dropped a limb on Jerry's nearly finished chicken coop, we had a few other trees causing us problems. So this weekend we took care of them...with a little help form a man with a chainsaw!

Tree number 1 was a 7/8 dead gum tree near the house (seen in the pic on the left). Loads of deadwood and dead leaves it would have burned a treat in a down it came. Next year's firewood!

Next to go was a large tree that was also 1/2 dead and riddled with borers. It was amazing to see all those perfect holes in the trunk and branches. This has also cleared a larger open space to plant more fruit trees... and left a nice stump for sitting on :)

As the weather was favourable (cold, damp, low wind) Jerry spent the next 2 days burning off the small dead wood and branches from this tree. Each night the rain would come and do a great job of damping down for us. We have also saved a few long straight branches to use in the coop.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Laundry mini-renovation

It was finally time to move things around a bit in the laundry (turn the sink, move the washing machine to another wall, build some shelves). Lucky we have a handy friend Dave to help with this kid of project!

First was turning the sink, ripping down the old 'splashback', relocating the taps for the washing machine, and making a new ply splashback (which will have 3 or 4 coats of marine varnish for waterproofing)

And voila! A couple of days later and here's the new shelving system. I've now been able to move the cheese fridge (wine fridge bough at a garage sale for $25!) out of the guest bathroom :). I have loads more shelf space to play with, and it's a much better use of the space. We're hoping the new splashback will also seal off some of the more drafty areas of mud brick too.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

11th June - 1st hard frost

-2 overnight, so this morning there was some serious frost about. In fact, Jerry had to bash through 8mm of ice on the piggies bath (pic on left).

Winter has definitely arrived!

Monday, 8 June 2009

(Almost) gone in 5 seconds

Remember Jerry's fab new chicken coop? It looked like this...

And now thanks to a very large tree limb it looks like this

There are only 3 good things to be said really:
  • Jerry wasn't working in there at the time (but had been 2 hours earlier)
  • All but one of the timber poles of the coop don't need to be replaced
  • It didn't take out the existing coop and fox-proof area
It did however KO the fence that we'd just had repaired after another limb incident, and much of the support wire that we did on the weekend, and most of the tin roof pieces and part of the back will have to be replaced...


And as the fence is no longer rabbit proof I hope no bunnies find their way into the vege patch before we can get a friend to chainsaw the tree tomorrow so it can be moved.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Mandolin marmalade

One of my lovely friends dropped round yesterday bearing gifts - a kilo of limes - so I decided to make a batch of lime marmalade.

This is the first batch of marmalade I've made since I received my fab kitchen mandolin from the lovely Jerry. It made the process of slicing the limes to soak a breeze.

There will be no more complaints about too-chunky marmalade in this household from now on!

I used about 900g of limes, 2.25 (!)kg of sugar, and 3l of water, and I now have 9 jars of lime marmalade cooling on the bench. Hope it's OK!

Monday, 1 June 2009

New coop - the work continues

Now that Jerry is fully recovered, it was time to get back to work on the chicken coop. Friends lent us a powered post hole digger to speed up the process of digging the holes for the support poles.

Unfortunately either the soil was too clay-hard, or we didn't have the technique quire right, as we ended up resorting to the manual auger for most holes ...

On Sunday, it was time to start stringing the wire that will hold the chicken and aviary wire.

The chickens will have some of the best views!
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