Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Summer solstice

Yesterday was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. It was warm and sunny, but not too hot. We spent the afternoon with some good friends and soaked up the sun and actually sat down and relaxed (doesn't happen too often around here!!) We used the opportunity to move our 'movable' chook pen while they were here!!!

The chooks are all great. The chicks are growing pretty quickly. I am fairly certain that one is a hen and one is a rooster - the third one I haven't made up my mind yet!

We de-loused one of our hens (not the mum and chicks thank goodness), she is called 'runty' because she is somewhat stunted in growth. We now know why - she was covered in some sort of lice (not the small mites I have seen before, but flea sized 'bugs' and many of her feathers had large clumps of eggs stuck to them). She has really improved since though, and although she is still small she seems to have a spark in her step now. She will need another treatment soon though, as some eggs remain. We will treat her and the whole flock probably in a weeks time. Should be fun!

The garden is growing well, zuchinnis are nearly ready to harvest, and some of the tomatoes and beans are flowering. We have harvested some potatoes, which were delicious. Nothing beats homegrown potatoes! I have many mustards and lettuces and other greens going to seed, which means that by autumn the garden should be nice and full of plants! I am also considering starting a very small and local seed/glut/jam/chutney etc swapping group. It seems like a good way to get diversity in your food and garden without extra money or time. I recently made a large batch of cherry plum jam and chutney (collected from the roadside), and its nice to swap it for something made by someone else (even if its their cherry plum jam - we all do things slightly differently, and subtle differences are nice too!)

Another use for all the plums!!!

All the best for christmas and the last bits of 2009.

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