summer that is... I think I am not alone in this part of the country to be really really dreading this summer. They are predicting hotter and drier weather than last year (and therefore probably bigger and worse fires than last year - which killed about 200 people and wiped out townships).
We have had already a few days of over 30C temperatures, and we are only in mid-spring. I am crossing all my fingers and toes that we get a cold snap, and some good rain, before it really hits us early next year. Its hard for us (time and money) - you can only do so much in a few months to prepare (we ideally need more water tanks, pumps, roof catchment to catch the rain when it falls etc etc.). The garden is already drying out, and I will have to water (or not, we don't really have the water to spare...), so decisions have to be made, keep the garden alive and hope we will still get some decent rain before summer is officially here, or try my 'hardening' method, and just see what lives and what dies....
So, the garden. I have been propagating vegetable seedling, and now have 35 tomatoes almost ready to go into their (dry) beds. Pumpkins ready to go into a pile of horse manure that I just have to collect. I have been buying herbs and flowering plants (to attract the bees which hopefully I will be able to get next year) and cutting lots of long grass for mulch. Its all a slow process, made slower when you have a few 'helpers' (especially when now I have to watch my 'helpers' to make sure they don't get sunburnt or find a snake to 'play' with etc).
The hens are laying well. I am still (not so patiently) waiting for my new girls (the young Barnevelders) to start laying - can't be long now... One of our girls - a leghorn x light sussex is an amazing layer. Here is one of her very large eggs compared to a 'normal' egg.
We had a bit of a party to celebrate Brad's birthday yesterday, which was lovely, and we finally started up the trusty pizza oven. There is something simply beautiful about pizza cooked in one of these ovens, and the company was good too! We all had a wonderful time, even though it was a bit hot. Our daughter gave some family the 'guided' tour of the gardens and the chickens, and impressed her aunties and uncles on her knowledge of the plants in garden. She asked her aunty if she had chickens, and then said 'oh, so you have to buy your eggs?' LOL
So anyway, here is a picture of me and the 'kids' (human and goat!). Little Gypsy is a real sweetie, and so full of energy. The poor alpacas that share her paddock don't know what has hit them (well literally its Gypsy!). She jumps on them while they are sleeping and head butts them. Poor boys! At least there are 4 of them and only one of her!