Today I adopted 4 young hens, all of mixed parentage, but from a good home of layers. What is even better is that, due to their instinct to find a cosy, dark place to roost for the night, and my persistence in throwing bits of grain from behind them to in front of them to show them the way, they are all in their new home, jostling over roosting positions as I write this.
There is one all black, 2 black with brown collars and one "variegated" and with unruly hair and a perpetually startled look in her eyes. They will have the run of the very back section of my block, under all the fruit trees and what was a pumpkin patch. I bought them from a woman in Kettering who replied to my ad in the local paper.
Over Easter Erica, Brian, Kristy and Emma took the "water view" site in my front yard, with their camper van and kindly spent 3 days helping me with jobs like finishing the fence for the chook yard. Luckily I found this gate, attached to the little piece of trellis at left, in another part of my garden so we put it into position as the entrance to the chook yard.
It was nice to go for a walk along the shore one morning and I look forward to getting to know this estuary better and to recognising some of the wildlife. It is so different here, where there are quolls and bandicoots as well as native hens and plovers, amongst a lot of others.
I am still picking plenty of tomatoes from the glass house as well as scarlet runner beans, silver beet, carrots and potatoes.
But the best thing is the mushrooms! I wrote that piece about buying the bag of mushroom compost and then I promptly forgot all about it, after putting it in the sauna room! Well, here is what happened. The biggest was about 5" and they are still "germinating" or whatever it is they do. We ate lots over Easter and it was obvious that freshly picked mushrooms are way ahead in taste and texture to anything I have ever had before.... they are almost crisp, very juicy and have a complex aroma and taste. Iam going to see how long this keeps producing, if I leave one to drop its spore each time.
As we enter autumn, my garden obviously is changing and I am keen to see the transformation and be a part of it; gradually making it mine. This is how the main future vegetable garden looks today. As these flowers finish, more vegetables and flowers will be planted. So far I have sown or planted mizuna, chervil, carrots, broad beans, kale, lettuce, chicory, bok choy, celery, parsley, coriander, Laksa herb, broccoli and lemon verbena.
There are more photos here.