Sunday, 22 August 2010

We've been cooped up this weekend

Well, not literally, but we have been working in the coop quite a bit. With the recent rain we realised that the chickens didn't have enough dry area for dust bathing, and 'hanging out' without being ankle deep in mud. So Jerry built a "porch" extension, and added some guttering and a water collection barrel with a shade cloth filter. We just need to put a tap in the blue barrel, and then we'll have a self-watering system for the chickens. I threw in a few bags of leaves we collected in autumn et voila! I also started putting a wire plant protection system along the fenceline so I can plant herbs and other chicken crops in the coop and let the chickens feed on them, but stop the chickens scratching the plants out.
We also got 2 new point of lay chickens from a friend - although they're not point of lay anymore as they both laid an egg yesterday and today. I guess they like their new home. Some other chooks have started laying again so we're getting about 4 eggs a day now which is great.

Jerry also made a new extended chicken shelter for the main run, where the girls can hang out during the day, but feel secure because it's low to the ground and shady (70% shade cloth covered with clear perspex on a leftover cedar decking frame with a metal base we "rescued" from the tip). The piece of tin at the back is to stop the water running though when it rains and making the area muddy.
Then it was time to clean out the greenhouse and wash seed  pots and the potting bench in preparation for  this year's plantings. I also decided the aloe vera needed repotting - and ended up with 12 separate plants! You can see them in the back of the picture. I also heeled in the yacon, oca, and queensland arrowroot tubers I bought from Green Harvest, and planted some nicola potatoes in a nice frost free bed near the water tank we use for the fire protection system.

Then I decided what the heck I'd plant some capsicum, chilli, tomato, eggplant, basil and zaatar and pop them on the heated seed mat inside.I can keep them frost free and warm in the greenhouse until it's time to plant out in mid November.
And finally I made a loaf of rye/wholemeal spelt/white bread.
Now I think I will have the rest of the afternoon off and take a nice long bath and read a book!

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