The new additions

It is such a gorgeous autumn day .. the sun is shining, mild temps, butterflies flitting about in the garden, but trust me, winter was flexing its muscles last week. So, with this in mind I hauled out the flannelette sheets and scribbled buy dry firewood on the ‘To Do’ list.

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Waiting for their breakfast – the team

Feeding the chooks the other day, I couldn’t help but lean over the fence and admire our raised beds on the hillside. Stuffed with veg, flowers and colour, it is hard not to stare at the zinnias which are so very pink and pretty and are doing a fine job of sprawling over their bed mates, the habanero chillies.

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The garden is a total state of disarray, with it seems ‘the biggest wins’. I don’t mind though, the chillies are ripening and those flowers are just heavenly to stare at.

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Speaking of those chickens I think they have forgotten how to lay eggs! Given we have 15 of them, I’m lucky if I get an egg a day! How funny … The good news is, those five young hens will be laying soon. Plus we have two new additions to the flock. Two light sussex girls who needed a new home arrived over the weekend.They spent the night locked up away from the others but after brekky I let them out for a look around their new lodgings, which by the way, they seem quite enamoured with. I wonder if they will like the menu in the mornings? Fingers crossed …

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Help me think up names for the new girls!

Do you have a worm farm? I’m loving ours. Those slimeys are doing a sterling job of eating all their tucker and producing lots of vermicast. I have even stolen some already and used it in planting holes. I know, have you guessed I’m impatient? A huge thanks to Dan from Vegetablurb .. he is the inspiration behind my worms.

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I don’t know about you but I’m not a great fan of plastic … for all the obvious reasons. I’m pretty good at recycling though. So utilising 2 litre milk containers as mini greenhouses seemed like a great idea. A nice warm environ inside, safe from those rotten slugs and white butterflies. I just have to remember to water the Pak choy plants inside.

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Our first ever grapefruit …

I have one more bed of spuds that needs to be dug up, truth is I’m a tad worried about what lies below the soil if anything. Ah but in saying that, my salad garden, is a different story. The lettuces are a good size already and it won’t be long before we are enjoying the fennel in salads with slices of orange. Last night we had crumbed chicken breasts with shavings of parmesan (not our chickens by the way!) and a fresh garden salad of (yes you have guessed it) Great Lakes lettuce leaves, self seeded toms, spring onion and parmesan with a good homemade vinaigrette with fresh thyme. Perfect!

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My peas are up but at the rate they are growing, it will be Christmas before there are any peas … shame on them! Not through lack of TLC either.

Thanks to our friend Jeff, the plum and peach tree pruning is nearly done plus yours truly has started on those olive trees which as they are devoid of olives are getting an early haircut!

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I think I may have mentioned a lemon tree which had been ravaged by citrus borer … the tree was dying as can be expected, so Andrew removed it this weekend and look what we found inside …

Oh not all is doom and gloom, hubby did a stupendous job of picking about 25kg of feijoas! Bill where are you, I need some help in the kitchen!

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Not all zinnias are pink!

Happy gardening …

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57 thoughts

  1. So happy to see the two new girls at their wonderful new home. I hope the flock is accepting of them. My ex-battery girls can be quite mean to new-comers and I have to keep them separated for a couple of weeks. These girls look easy going and friendly. I look forward to hearing about their new life. Thanks so much for taking them in Julie xx

  2. Hey Rom, they are just gorgeous girls. They have met the other chooks and I’m sure have experienced the usual chook squabble. Sleeping in the other hutch for the first few nights … It is so nice having them here! Thank Miss 😀 xxx

  3. I see you have the same sort of raised beds in your potager – they’re so handy, aren’t they. Love your feathered team, such pretty girls. Sadly our old cockerel injured his leg and is very lame – hope he pulls out of it. Enjoy your fab autumn garden, Julie ❤

    • Hello Annette … so good to know that you have stopped by. Those beds are so very handy .. tucked into the hillside. They are such pretty chickens .. although devoid of some male company. Sorry to hear about your rooster, is he a heavy breed? As always, loving my garden 😀

  4. Hi Julie! We enjoyed nice spring weather while you enjoyed a beautiful fall day. The landscape is gorgeous in your photo of the green hills with the raised beds — fantastic photo. I love your chickens. You have a nice variety of our fine feathered, (non) egg laying friends. How about Ophelia and Desdemona for your new girls? Borers can be such a problem — peach trees are particular targets out here. At least you got a nice haul of feijoas. Are those a particular type of mushroom in the last photo or what we call “toadstools”?

    • Hi back at you Tim! Nothing like beautiful weather is there.. Glad you like that photo 🙂 Love Ophelia perfect and I think I might call the other one Desiree .. Thank you! 🙂 Yep borers are a nightmare. Thankfully they leave our peach trees alone. Loads of feijoas, I just have to work out what to do with them all! Ah I wish I knew what that fungi was .. rather photogenic though. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. On my childhood farm in Germany the free roaming chickens often create their own hidden nets. I love the names Timothy gave the new hens. My worm hotel is the pride of my tiny little garden. My lemon trees and herbs love the worm juice. Your photos are fantastic.

    • Hi, thankfully our girls lay only in their house which is just as well, I wouldn’t stand a chance of finding them otherwise. I have decided to call one of them Ophelia … perfect for her and the other is going to be Desiree. Oh worm hotel, I love that! I check mine out every day, they are so very productive. I’m so pleased you like the photos .. Thank you!

  6. I always love your photos Julie, but the chicken shots are just things of beauty. I guess a combination of a great eye and great-looking birds! I’m so glad your worm home is working out. Isn’t it awesome to know the little buggers are working day and night to give you healthy plants? And thank you for the mention!

  7. Hello Lovely, have to say what everyone is thinking “your garden doesn’t look like it in disarray”. Just beautiful photos – especially the veggie patches against the backdrop of your countryside.

    I have red, yellow, pink and light purple zinnias growing currently – pure joy.

    Now chicken names??? I think ‘Happy’ and ‘lucky’ is how they are feeling.

    Beautiful post my Dear!

    • Hello Sarhn … and thank you for your lovely comment. Believe me, some of those beds are in total disarray! LOL Glad you like the pics! How good are zinnias? I just love them! Chickens are now Ophelia and Desiree .. very happy and very lucky!

  8. Oh what a charming update of how things are going on your farm! Your photos are so good and make me feel almost as if I’ve actually had a little visit. Good luck with all those feijoas…

    • Good question .. here goes … What I have done is modified an old bath, put in a base, lined the bath with weed matting and put in some compost. Next up I have put in around 1250 tiger worms (no I didn’t count them). I then feed them 3 or so times a week with food scraps, coffee grounds, manure etc. They in turn make vermicast which is I guess is worm poo … which btw, is wonderful stuff for the garden. I also collect the liquid they produce and dilute this for use in the garden. A lid on top of the bath for protection. Perfect! That is my worm farm Rajiv … 😀

      • Oh dear god…. that is more complex than all the optical stuff I read on photography… and, what is a tiger worm? do they eat other worms? I thought a worm is a worm is a worm, and now you talk of tigers amongst them!

  9. A fabulous update, Julie. Welcome to the new chickens. Zinnias are so pretty. To think they went out of fashion for so many years in my neck of the woods. That citrus borer should be outlawed. But your worm farm proves that many creepy crawlies can be productive and god for the garden.

  10. Hello Jules 😃 You have been busy and everything does look wonderful, apart from the poor lemon tree. Winter has really hit here. Bit of snow flurry today and brrr – very cold! Sposed to warm up again for the weekend, so we’re told 😜
    Have you named your chookies yet?
    You know, Im not sure why, but I rarely see your posts in Reader either – curious.
    Sounds like you have plenty of productivity and yummy produce as usual… and it all looks so good. Waving at you!! 😃

  11. Yes, those milk cartons as mini greenhouses are great, aren’t they? I used to use them when I first started gardening – found them when I was having a clear out recently – but somehow forgot!!

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