Friday, 4 September 2015

Independence Days Challenge: Week Ten

Well, we will call it Week Ten just for the sake of continuity, but I have missed I don't know how many! This will just be a catch up post and then I will be back into it properly next week.

Spring has sprung here in Australia, although it is still cold and rainy here. I have been continuing the garden weeding and am nearly there, finally. I can see the end in sight. All the enormous weeds are almost gone and then it will be maintenance only. 

On Tuesday, we finally burnt those giant stacks from the removal of the cypress pines. My goodness, they were huge! I had friends texting me, saying they were just driving by and couldn't miss the massive flames!

And this is what they look like now! As my daughter said, it has to look worse before it will look better!
It will be wonderful to be able to build the new fences so I can finally start planting in the back section - with no sheep to worry about.

The first chicks hatched last Friday. Boy, do I just adore little chicks! It is always exciting and I never get tired of watching them. Whirlwind just planted himself on the grass in front of their pen and watched them for ages.

 Whirlwind was also happy that I had chosen the 'nice' broody to hatch them. She is a lovely girl - the only hen I have who won't peck of you try to pat her while she is sitting. 
I cannot wait to see what colours these little cuties turn out to be, as they are cross breds. I love a chick lucky dip!

The garden is coming along slowly. I planted some more rhubarb and asparagus crowns over winter.

 I have even seen a few very thin asparagus spears appearing.

The peas have been moping along very lethargically in the cold, but are now starting to perk up and put on some growth.

 This is my $35 purchase from eBay. I probably wouldn't trust it with too much weight, but it is perfect for getting some seeds started.

I would love a real glasshouse - maybe one day when I have shown that I can grow lots and it is worth it.

I missed the best of the daffodils as I was inside sick for so long. These are some the remaining ones. I just noticed today that the tulips are just starting to peek some colour out through the green buds.

My chooks are doing a wonderful job. They are making me some lovely compost in their compost area.

I started selling excess eggs, just to friends, again in August. 
I have been keeping records and for the month of August I even made a teeny tiny profit, just comparing feed cost to eggs sales. 

Here are the figures:
Eggs laid was 368
Eggs sold was 168 for $80.00
Food cost was $62.40

But the most eggs I had in one day in August was 14. It is only 4 days into September and I have already had one day of 17 eggs and one of 18 eggs. So I may be able to sell another dozen or two a week to boost those figures.
It is so satisfying, selling something you have produced yourself. Now I just have to convince hubby that it can work!

I have been working on some little labels to stick on egg cartons. I would love to hear which one you like the best!

And I would also add this label.

What do you think?

I am not sure that our property is the right place to be. See below, my crazy blue lines on that land behind our block - it has all been sold to a developer, 35 acres. I definitely do not want my view up the hill to be of little boxes on the hillside. Let's hope it doesn't go ahead. Plus I have always wanted more space around me - I prefer not being on a highway and being so close to neighbours. But then the highway is perfect for a produce stand. Too hard to make a decision!

Recently my mum and dad gave me a fabulous birthday present. I am now signed up to the Ancient Moon Gardening Super Almanac, which provides a PDF of a detailed day-by-day moon planting and other garden activities guide. It is wonderful - and the author lives on pretty much the same latitude as me, so I don't have to alter the guides for a different climate zone. 

You can sign up for a free monthly newsletter at the website here. This gives you the monthly guide in one page. Kerry has been wonderful; I even asked her advice about which moon phase to set eggs for hatching. Apparently chicks born in a waxing phase, particularly a fertile waxing phase, would be healthier and more vigorous. 
It is well worth having a look at the website. I think it is great to have a set plan to follow of when to plant, fertilise, prune, etc. 

I hope all your gardens are growing well, although in the US and UK, you will all be preparing to batten down the hatches for winter soon. I am looking forward to some warmer spring weather and some serious gardening time.


  1. Impressive egg production, you really are doing well. I love the 2nd photo best of the egg carton, for some reason it spoke to me. I love the carton re-use label such a good idea. We are just going into Autumn and are finishing off the garden and reaping the rewards with some lovely produce using a greenhouse very similar to the one you are using, they are quite effective. Happy gardening.

    1. Most of the people I have asked like the second one too. One of my friends said it reminds her of my kids collecting the eggs.
      You must be having a wonderful harvest time. Good to hear the greenhouse worked well. I already have it half full.

  2. How awesome that you are selling eggs! It sounds like you are up and running. I also love the 2nd photo for your carton label. I wish I had a way to reuse cartons. Americans are so far behind on recycling!
    Developer is one of my least favorite words! I hope your view stays green and beautiful!

    1. It is very rewarding to be selling my eggs. I just ask everyone to keep their egg cartons and I always end up with more than enough.
      Developer is definitely a bad word for me too! So many lovely areas are being carved up and ruined.

  3. It's fun to see everything awakening in your world as mine begins to prepare for winter.
    I love seeing your baby chicks, I lost one of my girls this morning, she was almost 10 so I guess I should have expected it.
    Thank you for the moon gardening link, it sounds quite interesting.
    Enjoy your weekend.

    1. I always enjoy reading blogs from the Northern Hemisphere as you are doing the opposite to me! When summer is getting just way too hot and unbearable, I can look at all the blogs with snow photos and cool down.
      Ten is a good age for a chicken - you must give them lots of loving care. It is always sad to lose a girl though.

  4. We are winding down here on our rather tiny island. The community garden is full of fresh tomatoes and giant zucchinis! I will have to make a tomato soup today and another loaf of apple-zucchini bread. The moon almanac sounds very interesting. Enjoy your gardening and your cute little chicks.

    1. I am just starting my seeds of tomatoes and zucchinis later this month. There are always a glut of zucchinis! Zucchini bread is great. Hope you are having a lovely start to autumn.

  5. Hi Jayne. Thanks for checking in on me, it was lovely to get a little message from you. I am ok but I ave been stressed with my Mum's poor health and my own. It seems like my digestion problems surround grains and pulses. That means that every bit of frugal home cooking I know is something I shouldn't eat. So frugal ways in terms of cooking are not great. I have a lot to learn while using up al I stored for my family while buying things I can eat. I'm not confident and don't at all feel like I am in a position to post. I haven't really wanted to if I'm honest. Still been frugal though. We made more garden furniture with pallet wood and I knocked my own shelf up from scraps of wood. I have made a kitchen curtain for my very long window (lined with a sheet from the airing cupboard) and I have sanded back a bashed up chest of drawers while painting the fronts with paint left over from the kitchen. I do want to come back on to the blog and will have a fair bit to show when I do. Again, thanks so much for asking after me :)

    1. Sorry to hear you and your mum are not in good health. I guess it will be a transition time while you learn what you can cope with. I would really love to see your pallet furniture - sounds wonderful. Don't feel that you are doing enough or that you are not confident in what you are doing. I find my blog a great place to see that I am achieving something, even if it just a little bit at a time. We tend to focus on all the things we haven't got done, rather than be happy with what we have achieved. I'm sure you are doing great. Every day is an adventure and a chance to do even one little thing.
      Stay strong and look after yourself. I hope you and your mum are feeling better soon.

  6. SO fun to see your Spring as our Fall comes around. Love your chicken and chicks. Aug 14 is my birthday so obviously the eggs were laid for me!

    1. Happy birthday for a few weeks ago! I do love seeing all the autumn decorations in the Northern Hemisphere - pumpkins are my favourite vegetable, I think!

  7. Oh Jayne, thank you so much for following my blog. I'm happy to have found your blog. I just think we may have a lot in common, especially with the chickens and little farm things. I too sell a few eggs. Your baby chicks are adorable. I like the second label. It looks like such a busy happy little farm. You have such a sweet blog.

    1. I love to 'meet' new friends! Thanks for visiting. It is good to sell enough eggs that our eggs are essentially free. My sales cover the chooks' food, with a tiny bit left over. I cannot resist chicks. This year is a small operation - I really want to get back to hatching and selling pullets, but we have moved and I haven't got the set-up in place yet. Maybe next year!