I’m a fairly new member of the MVCG and have enjoyed the wealth of information I have gleened from this very generous and friendly group. This is a photo of plant swap day. We swapped seeds, and plants and enjoyed homemade cakes using ingredients from the garden.
Since joing the garden I have started my own herb and vege patch at home and have converted the cubby to a chook shed to house 2 Chinese Silkies and 2 Australopes we purchased from New Leaf Nursery.
Chickens are great for the garden.
We purchased the Australops as babies and the Chinese Silkies around 16 weeks. This gave the Silkies time to settle in before the Australops got bigger than they were. It seems to have worked and we have a very happy hen house.
Below you can see that I had to move the Australops from the plastic container to the Shower recess as they still needed the light to stay warm. It is amazing to see how fast a chicken grows. I have included a photo now they are bigger.
We have learnt a few tips from the MVCG regarding chooks.
I liked the idea of using an old mower catcher for a chook bed. I went to the local mower place and now have three around the garden for shelter from the rain etc.
One of my ideas was to use the pod from a big palm to feed the chooks in. I like it because they all have room to stick their heads in and it looks rather attractive as well. We also use an old camping omlette pan to put the Chook mash in. We can then close it to keep it vermen proof.
I must say I really enjoy the Silkies: they are very gentle, easy to catch and sometimes fall asleep while being petted. They also lay a fair few eggs and they are delicious.
We converted the cubby to the chook shed. With a little help from my Dad we built a ladder and a few gates, converted some old water containers in to beds and bought some sugar cane mulch and chook mash. My 9 year old daughter loves to look after the chickens and collect the eggs. She would now like more chickens.
We also made a flap to open to collect eggs. This as kept the cubby fairly much in tack, in case we need to convert it back.
To convert back to a cubby, we only need to nail back on the two boards that create the exit/entry flap to L1, remove the ladder and wire.
We had a chook party with local kids to celebrate our first egg. They loved it and our pet rabbit. Everyone got a Kinder Surprise egg for coming.
The Easter Bunny left lots of chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies in our Chicken Beds. We got eggs just not the ones we thought we were getting.
VEGE AND HERB GARDEN
We have a wide variety of food plants now growing and have learnt the importance of flowering plants being mixed with food plants and the importance of bees in the garden. Thanks to the talk by Pat Collins I also have a different outlook to some of the so called weeds in the garden – some can be very beneficial. I am learning all about the importance of organic growing and have also been learning about sustainability. Thank you to all involved and for all your hard work. Coming to the garden is such an enjoyable way to learn about so many important things.
Our growing success stories include Cos lettuce, Bok Choi, Beetroots, Leeks, Shallots, Sugar Snap Peas, Salad Rocket. We also have a variety of herbs including Parsley, Chives, Thyme, Sage, Curry Plant, Basil, Perrennial basil
(great for flowers to use on salad and for the bees), lemon balm and Arthritis plant (which I picked up at a plant swap.
I intend to concentrate on high yield foods that are easy to grow as we don’t have hugh amounts of time and I want to be using what we are growing.
I managed to get around the Northshore for National Permaculture Day and this is one of the ideas I picked up. Strawberries in old pipes. The ones they used were wider at the top and looked lovely. The ones I had lying around under the house were just straight up and down. It keeps the strawberries up of the ground and looks great too.
I have used a couple of tyres in my garden which I picked up on the side of the road. Here is one with beetroot growing in it.
I also have a tyre which I am hoping keeps the Lemon Grass under control.
I hope you have enjoyed our backyard tour. Happy Gardening. Debra