Sunday, March 24, 2013

If I had chickens I'd call one Aunty Linda!

Yep, If I had chickens in my backyard I'd call one Aunty Linda.  It's all Bronson's fault though!  In that great Australian kids TV series "Round the Twist" Bronson finds a baby in the cabbage patch and his sister becomes "Aunty Linda".  That's a great name for a chook I reckon!  But I don't have chooks.  I like the idea of chooks but I think the reality would be a vastly different. At night driving home I often see a fox scurrying across the road and I don't fancy encouraging them into the yard.  Also my big brave pussy catto "Pilchards"  is scared of his own shadow so I think he would be pretty put out with chickens roaming around in his domain!    A friend of mine in Victoria has just made the tree change and got four chookies today.  Her 5 acres is filling up fast with talk of sheep, beef cattle and alpacas!!!  My 1/4 acre might hold a couple of goats, but there isn't enough room for much more. Definitely not for a pack of alpacas anyway!

I have turned over part of the yard to production though.  My one 1200x900mm Hills Adda Garden raised veggie bed has now become SIX veggie beds.  I have read up a little on companion planting and crop rotation and even keep a veggie bed book, so I can easily look back on what worked and what didn't.  I'm planting veggies that are more resilient to bugs as I don't use any pesticides or herbicides.  Large African Marigolds are my only line of defence.  So I don't grow cabbage because you cant see the bugs inside until the crop is complete, picked and cut open.  Instead I grow broccoli because the bugs eat the leaves not the heads and they are really easy to pick off and throw to the local birds as a treat.

At the moment I am growing sugar snap peas, red emperor beans, dwarf french beans, brocolli, brussel  sprouts, 3 different kinds of cucumbers, 2 kinds of chillies, silverbeet, spring onions and herbs in pots.  Just the usual suspects thyme, mint, chives, parsley and rosemary.  I have a dwarf lemon tree too, which has good sized fruit, but it seems hesitant to ripen.  I don't use much by way of fertiliser, rather I treat the soil between crops with worm wee and my own compost.  That one compost bin just wasn't enough, I now have 5 on the burst!

At times there is an excess and I'm happy to be able to share it.  Couple a chicks at work do keep chookies, so from time to time I get eggs in return.  6 beds will not mean I can avoid trips to the fruito, but it does mean that I get super fresh veggies to supplement the bought stuff.  How many more beds would I need to be self sufficient?  Probably more than I have room for.  Another 3 or 4 would mean greater variety and, naturally, more produce,  but the backyard would begin to look a bit....... a bit less like a backyard I suppose.

I took some pics with my new toy camera today, so here they are.


  1. You do such fantastic work - great to see the pics! Three of our four girls now have names. They are Princess Fiona, Judge Judy and Jo (something to do with Dr Seuss's yop).

    By sheer chance, Nick's chook is the fattest! I have suggested BFC (big, fat chook), but he has not yet decided on her name.

    1. BFC is an awesome name.....and if you change just one letter she becomes dinner!!!!

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  3. Your raised-garden-beds veggie patch looks fantastic, as do the photos from your new 'toy' camera!