Friday, February 26, 2010

Pecking Order?

No pictures yet but we collected another two chooks last night.
I thought Eddie would be pleased for the company. But first she had to establish herself as "The Boss". Boy, she gives the new girls a tough time. I've got her outside (the dog is inside, shut in the lounge) at the moment to give them a break.
She chose to chase and peck the older of the two girls who has just started laying. And then that one decided to have a go at the youngest! This is how bullying works isn't it?
I haven't decided on names, maybe Thelma and Louise, as they are going to have to be tough whilst Eddie is so puffed up with self importance. She is seriously puffed up too, feathers all out and strutting.
But I did get one white and one brown egg this morning so hopefully we'll all settle down soon.

Monday, February 22, 2010

And then there was one - RIP Patsy

This week is not going to be good. Today my dog, Terry, who is a terrier, got into the garden and killed Patsy. He knows that he's not allowed to go near them but I suppose the temptaion was so great.

I rescued her after hearing Eddie's (the other chook) loud clucking but he had to be pulled away. I took her back to the shed and sat with her a while and then slowly her head dropped and her comb lost colour. So I lay her on the floor and she died.

I'm so upset about the way that she died.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Where to next?

The tomatoes are still green, all of them, it's quite depressing. But I suppose it's teaching me patience. The zuchs are still coming, as are the beans, lettuce and rocket. I don't really understand it as this summer has been the best with regards to lots of sunshine and warm weather. I suppose when they do all come in I'll be very busy in the kitchen!
There's something happening with Eddie the chook too. She started laying on the 1st February and then Patsy started a week later, so for a week I was getting 2 eggs per day. But this week Eddie has laid some very strange ones. There's been a couple of water bombs (eggs without shells), one of which had two yolks and one one day she laid the water bomb and then another tiny water bomb. Luckily Patsy has carried on as usual so I am getting one egg at least. If I didn't know how young Eddie was I'd think she was menopausal!
Then to top it off, both M and I were made unemployed today by Peter Garrett. Yes, we were in the insulation business but as of now the program is dead. It is meant to start again by June, (how we're meant to survive (and our work team) with no income until then he didn't say) but with the changes planned, I can't see our local population being able to afford to pay up front and then claim it from medicare. So the scheme that was meant to assist the battlers will become totally out of their grasp. Okay, rant over, it's just that when you comply with every rule and regulation, and wait sometimes months for the government to pay what they owe you, pay all costs to ensure that staff are trained as required, to have your business taken away and have to tell staff that there's no more work, it stinks.
Anyway I'm sure something will turn up.
Have a good weekend everyone.

Friday, February 12, 2010

This Week

It's been a hotch potch type of week. So far I've made bread, feta cheese, strawberry jam and frozen kilos of cherries.
I'm not sure about the jam yet, it's too warm to tell if it's going to set properly. I was very impatient as I was using some strawberries I had frozen last month and I should have left them in a sieve to drain as they defrosted - but I didn't. Consequently there was a lot more liquid than I had anticipated. So I kept boiling and simmering and boiling and simmering - and then I got the Jamsetta out of the cupboard. But I still don't know how runny it will be, sigh.
The cheese is good though, even though I nearly put citric acid and not cheese salt in at the end. That was a close one.
We'd been given a box of cherries and after giving some to friends I decided to freeze the rest. Pulling stalks off cherries is mind-blowingly boring, but worth it. That's why I had to make the jam; I had to use the strawberries so that the cherries can go in the freezer.
In the garden I'm picking zucchinis (who isn't), scarlet runner beans, butter beans and the dark purple ones which turn green once cooked. I'm very disappointed about that, I like the look of purple beans mixed with my green and yellow ones. I have masses of tomatoes but they're all green. The lettuce and rocket are speeding ahead again; my radishes were a bit woody this time so I've put some more seed in to try again and because the seasons all seem confused we've even put some more potatoes in.
I had a fennel plant on its own in a pot and the greenery looked fantastic but when I took it out of the pot it had developed separate root looking things so that was not a success at all.
My Jerusalem (f)artichokes are growing and growing in front of the grape vine so I'm hoping that the grapes ripen before the plants in front get much bigger!
Socially, I've been busy too. Dinner at friends on Wednesday night, book group last night and tonight I'm going to visit a couple of "girlfriends". Our partners decided to have a men only group meet once a fortnight, about twelve months ago, and tonight is one of their meetings. Secretly I think they were all jealous of our book group but then it is good to encourage men who live in a fairly remote and rural setting to get together and talk. My friend calls it the "Beer and Bulls**t" night but that could be unfair - I know that they drink red wine too!
But it does mean that I don't have to cook tonight as M takes steak to barbecue at whoever's house he's at and I made sure that there would be leftovers that I could just reheat tonight before I go out, bliss.
But the dog is starving and wants to eat NOW so I'd better get to the kitchen.
ps we're getting 2 eggs a day now. I'm waiting to see if they will lay this weekend!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm confused....

So here I have some apple blossom.
I haven't picked this years apples yet and they've got blossom. Is that meant to happen? It's happened to two of the trees so far. This particular tree has three different sorts of apples, Golden Delicious, Lady in the Snow and Jonathon I think. Methinks it's not just me that's confused!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Should I say it?

The possum is gone. We didn't catch her, we just watched which opening she was using and after she went out for her usual nightly stroll around the garden, M fastened up all the holes.
Apparently there was a bit of a ruckus (can't spell) upon her return but I didn't hear it and for now we are possum free. Terry seems a bit disappointed but he's not meant to be running about anyway!
The little bandicoot though, seems to really like the possum trap and we have to keep freeing him - he's not learning fast.
The really big news though is that on Monday 1st February, Eddie delivered her first white egg. Unfortunately it did not have a shell so Terry was given a treat. But on Wednesday and Friday last week, she delivered yet again. Not in the nesting box of course, but she pulled her own little nest of straw around and I know where to look each day now. Those eggs and the one that came this morning are all perfect. She's obviously a union gal and doesn't work on weekends!
She must have forgotten that today was a public holiday in Tasmania!
Patsy, the other leghorn is taking her time but I don't think she's far off now. Perhaps she'll be a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday kind of girl.......