October chores

The weather over the weekend was stunning. Perfect for walks on the beach with the pooch and gardening – and we did lots of that!

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Those spuds we planted last weekend are shoving aside the dirt already – so I doused them in manure tea today for a bit of added encouragement.

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The strawberries are growing like mad. I’ve eaten the one that I photographed last week and yes it was great thank you! I’m pretty excited about these berries as I haven’t grown them before. Not that it is rocket science mind you .. They are like anything, give them some TLC, protect them from the pests and hey presto!

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We have a chook that I have called Gladys – which was my Mother’s name. She had such a great sense of humour and would probably laugh knowing that I had a chicken named after her.

Well Gladys is clucky, which literally means she wants to play Mum. They will sit on a nest devoid of eggs all day when they are clucky, which while diligent is basically a waste of time. Theirs and yours. In this time they will get mites, often go off their tucker, hog a nest, stop laying eggs and generally become a nuisance.  So rather than put up with her mad antics for the best part of a couple of months we opted to let her sit on eggs. So deciding on six as the magic number, I popped these into a box with hay and then placed this in our hutch. At night I grabbed Gladys and placed her gently into the same box. A quick check in the am to see if she was still in the box .. no problem she was glued to those eggs. These will be Collin’s first offspring. How exciting. 21 days and then chirp chirp …

Collin ...

Collin …

As Gladys sits so tight on her eggs, morning and night I have to physically remove her from the nest so that she will eat and drink. Evening times, I let her out for a dust bath and then chase her back to the hutch. Once on those eggs again she fluffs up, screams at me which basically means I’m good and can leave her be for another 12 hours! Oh the joys of wanting more chickens. If you haven’t done the chick thing before, then I would be cautious about removing your chicken from her eggs. There is every likelihood if you do, that she will abandon them. Me? Well, Gladys might be nuts, but she is very predictable 🙂

Our garlic and onions are doing famously – I’m weeding these beds regularly and hauling out the masses of greenery that seem to pop up over night. The buckwheat which I was sure  wouldn’t have enough time to flower before it gets dug back into the soil, has tiny white buds starting to form. Brilliant!

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Trees in the orchard are losing their blossoms and some are already boasting midget fruit.

I still haven’t hung the codling moth trap yet – I keep meaning too …

If you recall that pic of the olive tree that I posted last week, it just so happens that the culprit responsible for the damage is the caterpillar of the Puriri moth which is New Zealand’s largest. The caterpillar can spend up to 5 years munching away quite happily within the tree. For those that don’t know, the moth itself is a beauty. A monstrous velvety green insect that has a wingspan of up to 150mm. I’ve only seen a couple in the 10 years that we have lived here. Where is our olive grove? Planted right next to our native forest of course, and guess what’s growing in there?

I sprayed about 80 fruit trees yesterday which included all our olive trees. Big job Julie! I used about 360 litres of water mixed with seaweed fert, spraying via our ATV mounted unit. I wore a fair percentage of the stuff mind you, but that’s to be expected when there is a breeze. There is one thing about standing at the base of a tree spraying .. you see lots while you do it. Bugs, birds, lichen, dirt, blue sky, mist from the spray gun … branches dipping in the wind, grass, trees, flowers and lots more things that need to be done. Damn!

While I was busy watching nature, hubby was chopping out dead trees and clearing the duck pond of azolla which is a nitrogen fixing water fern. Perfect to use as a mulch in the garlic bed.

And this pic is for you Mr Bonner!

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Until next week – bye from us at Frog Pond Farm and

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Happy gardening …

32 thoughts

  1. More fabulous pics!!! Love them ……. sounds like new potatoes for Christmas – was an event I looked forward to as a kid!!!! Are we …………… going to get a chance to submit names for Colin and Gladys’s kids????????????? 🙂

  2. glorious, Julie, can’t wait to see what Mr. Colin has “produced”…we’re also still harvesting strawberries, yum – glad you have such fine weather, enjoy it 🙂

  3. I loved the buckwheat in my garden this year! Seems we have a bit of an overlap in our gardens, even though we are heading for winter on this part of the globe: eaten two of my own fresh strawberries today 🙂

  4. Great photo of Colin, looking at the camera lens with authority. And a great shot alos of the borage in flower. You have reminded me to get going with the seaweed fertilizer.

    • Hi Miss. Yes Collin is looking at the lens with authority. I did wonder what he was thinking at the time! LOL .. Love borage in my garden, although it literally takes over. The local beach is perfect to gather seaweed – I just need to remember to take a bag! 🙂

  5. What a cheery, beautiful post! LOVE your photos and descriptions of all the latest happenings! My Grandma Clark used to raise chickens and I was petrified every time she brought me with her to gather eggs. Chickens squawking, feathers flying — and Grandma just calmly cast the hens aside to get at the goodies. I was amazed. Oh! And then there was the time my Uncle Gordon butchered a chicken – cut its head clean off! – and the darned thing chased me around the clearing!

    Your posts are always a pleasure Julie!

    • Hey Julie … so good to hear from you as always. Oh dear, I have heard that headless chooks will run around yards. Hence I disappear if hubby has to kill a sick chook. Glad you enjoy my rantings .. and my pics. Love sharing them with you Miss 🙂

  6. Julie, very nice photos and words. I like the picture of your ‘hound’ on the beach! This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada. I am unsure if you celebrate this holiday in New Zealand, regardless – Happy Thanksgiving! Take care and stay ahead of the weeding! Bob

    • Bob … thank you! Glad you like my pics and words (wish I could write like you … fat chance 🙂 ) I have some great hound shots on the beach .. he is a special part of the family. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving – but I know you enjoyed yours! Yes, I shall hammer away at those weeds. Cheers!

  7. The chookies are so funny when they’re nesting aren’t they? At least you can move her, so she remembers to eat, drink and bathe 🙂
    Onya Colin… looking forward to seeing your baby chicks.
    HIya Jules 🙂 Sounds like you had a fun and productive weekend. Lovely photos one and all.
    Is that a weeping cherry shot for Mr B? Lovely Pelargonium too… they are a favourite of mine 🙂
    I must admit to the climate here having me stumped as to planting… I think I simply need to grow bulbs, bulbs and more bulbs. They do well… and trees!
    Great post Mrs B!!! 😀

    • Hello Mrs G! Glad you stopped by! 🙂 Yes I’m really looking forward to the arrival of those chicks. The countdown is on. Onya Col! LOL .. Andrew loves the weeping cherry and so wanted me to post it! So I did 🙂 Do you have a veg garden Robyn? Yes I love pelargoniums too. That one needs to be repotted. Wonder where it will turn up next!

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