Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Monster Egg Chronicles

Well, there I was thinking it was just another day. I thought we might have got three eggs (a perfect score from our three chooks, but it doesn't happen that often), but I was not expecting this ...

That's right ladies and gentlemen - a whopping 118 gram egg! Miss Keema completely outdid herself! You may remember one of my first blogs was about Keema laying a 90g egg. Well, in a slightly modified version of the immortal words of Crocodile Dundee - that's not an egg .... now THIS is an egg!

I swear to you, she's just a normal Langshan chook, not a duck or a goose. Here is a photo of the MONSTER alongside her normal offering (about 80g) and then on the right, an example of the typical egg we get from the other two girls (64-66 g)

It would not fit in the egg carton and looked quite bizarre against the others - a kind of Mt Killimanjaro of eggs against a few measly hills

DH is a bit weirded out and is not sure about eating it. I can't wait to see if its a double yolker!

And do you know the most incredible thing? She laid us another egg the very next day! Only 78g though - but that still qualifies as an extra large egg in the Supermarket. She skipped the next day and has laid consistently ever since.

What an amazing girl!  Thanks Keema - queen of the layers!

Talk soon
Greenie x 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Seed raising mix surprises

This one is specially for Our Gang of 7 who's been having one hell of a run lately. Her seed babies got knocked over in the high winds of last weekend, so she wondered about throwing the seed raising mix from the pots on the garden to see what came up!

Well, a few weeks ago, I went away for work and forgot to ask my best friend, DH to water the seed trays for me while I was away. It all got a bit dry and a big nothing happened. So, I threw all the seed raising mix into a bucket and mixed in some left over topsoil that we'd put on some of the garden beds. I've been using that on the new seeds I've planted ever since.

Today when I went out to water - look what I saw in the bucket

There's about 8 little seedlings popping up! God only knows what they are, but I'm going to prick them out into some newspaper pots I made, using Laura's instructions via Rose's wonderful blog (thank you Rose!). I do not have a fancy tool, I just used a round glass that we have in the cupboard, so keep scrolling down till you get to the instructions using a bottle.

Aaanywaay! I have no idea what these little fellas are, but it will be awfully good fun finding out, and I thought it would give !  Stay tuned!

Enjoy the rest of your week
Greenie x

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mercy Dash and a Close Call

There were loads of sightings of foxes in the Canberra area over the past week, and we were away in Castlemaine in Victoria.

And then, I heard it was going to be 26, hot and windy over the next few days. So then I began to worry about my darling little seedlings, including the new tomatoes I got from the Duck Herder and Murra Mumma at the Canberra Urban Homesteaders Club meeting on the previous weekend.

I was getting more and more nervous, and it was ruining my weekend.  So, I finally rang my daughter to see if she had time to do a mercy dash across town and check on my girls, and water my seedy babies. When she'd stopped laughing at me, she did promise to go.

A few hours later, I got a text with the label "Bok Bok Bok" and this photo

Phew! The girls are OK! Then I had to laugh because I had the opportunity to see how silly the annex looked all sewn up with twine from the straw bales!!

When I got home, all the seed trays were fine, and the girls had laid 8 eggs! but one was broken (it was starting to get a little crowded in there!) So, I collected all the eggs, watered the planted out seedlings and the newly planted ones in the greenhouse, and went to bed.

The next day, I went to let the girls out. All were happy to be going to the day facility again. But on the way back, look what I saw

I had left the nesting box door/lid wide open! I may as well have left a "Please Take Me" sign on the fence for the foxes! Luckily, the foxes were visiting another part of the neighbourhood last night. I don't kid myself that the perimeter is fox-proof; any fox that wanted to could get in. Only Guantanamo Chook is safe - unless you leave the bl#@$%y door open!

Anyway, all's well that ends well - and this time - I seem to have got away with the one little slip up!

I must be more careful. I must be more careful. I must be more ...

Talk soon
Greenie x

Monday, September 12, 2011

Awards and Accolades

I was just nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Colleen over at Our Gang of 7. So thank you very much Colleen and the Versatile Blogger mob - whoever they are!

To accept one of these awards, there are three rules:
- thank the blogger who awarded you and link back to them (see above)
- share 7 interesting facts about yourself
- pass the award on to 15 newly discovered blogs

Now, 7 facts about me - that I hope you find interesting:
  1. I lived with nuns for 6 months once
  2. I am currently having a whole month alcohol and coffee free
  3. I once lived in Armidale NSW, which is very beautiful, before moving to Canberra
  4. I can't believe how many like-minded people there are in BlogLand - it's wonderful!!!
  5. I rode 100km on my bike a few years ago in a Sea to the Vines challenge in South Australia
  6. I had to get married three times before I got it right!!
  7. I've been married to my husband for nearly 27 years.

Since I have only been blogging for about a month, ALL the blogs I know are newly discovered ;-), but my awards go to:


Thanks once again to all for welcoming me to the Blog Family! Love being part of this community!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Urban Homesteading Weekend

It was my turn to host the newly established Urban Homesteading Club in ONC this weekend.
After an absolutely gorgeous, Spring-like week interspersed with a couple of days of rain, Saturday was cold, threatening rain and altogether wintry. I was very ecited, and had loads to do to get ready, so we made an early start. Picked up the community catering equipment, chairs, urn and big box of coffee mugs up from our daughter’s house. Then went to the butcher’s to get the pets mince for the chooks – they don’t like the protein pellets, so I give them meat – we get great eggs!
Home for lunch, then whipped up a quick chocolate cake, which was just about done when the first knock came on the door!
About 12 people in all turned up, and all were very generous with ideas, swapping seeds and seedlings. It was great to be talking with a bunch of like-minded people, rather than feeling like people think I’m some kind of un-reconstructed hippie! (Actually, I am an un-recontstructed hippie!!)
Yummy food, a wander round my garden, great company, relaxed friendly atmosphere – can’t wait for the next one!
Saturday night we had Moules Mariniere with chips (Moules et fritte) for dinner, which was utterly yummy, and leftover chocolate cake for dessert was an extra treat. I forgot to take photos, sorry.
Sunday, after my healthy fruit punch

I planted up about 12 punnets of all the new seeds from yesterday’s swap. Then after hubby’s swim we had bacon, egg and tomato for brunch. Keema’s big 80g eggs were called for, and again, too hungry to take photos.
To make my fruit smoothie, I pour about a cup of apple juice into a blender, and then add:
·         A chopped kiwi-fruit
·         A slice of watermelon, chopped
·         A slice of fresh pineapple, chopped
·         A pear or an apple, chopped
And then whizz it all up till its smooth and creamy. Yum, and awfully good for you! AND, I know I’ve had four pieces of fruit, complete with fibre, which is all any healthy body needs.
Then we bought a new tallboy and bedside cabinets to help with the storage shortage in our bedroom, came home for more gardening, where I planted out the rest of the leek, pak choy, swede & turnip seedlings, and notcied that my old out-of-date parsnip seeds have finally sprouted  under the apple tree – hooray!
Dinner was one of our family favourites – pork spare ribs in chinese barbeque sauce, potatoes and corn. The recipe comes from Ken Hom’s Quick and Easy Chines Cooking, one of my favourite cook-books, with a few Greenie adaptations. You twice cook the ribs, the second time in a yummy homemade barbecue sauce, with ginger, garlic, tomato paste, soy and hoisin sauce, with a bit of sugar and sesame oil thrown in for good measure. The recipe calls for chilli bean sauce, but I throw in a chopped chilli and add extra servings of the liquids to make it nice and thick.
[insert photo]
Slumped in front of the TV and computer for awhile and now off to bed for a good rest before the week starts in earnest!
Have a great week everyone
Greenie x

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My beautiful camelias

After spending a couple of years and a small fortune on re-establishing my garden after the renovations and extensions - I had one of those "Oh Thank You!" garden moments ...

In fact, I'm having quite a few of those recently, with the spring blossom, heralding lots of fruit

The broccoli promising to give us so much I might have to try Linda Woodrow's Cream of Broccoli soup

It's a return to horrible cold and wet again today in ONC, but I have too much work to do to be in the garden anyway. Desperate to plant up all the seedling punnets I prepared on the weekend, but am just not getting to it. Oh Well - there's always tomorrow.
Greenie x