Kitchen Garden Guides

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Chooks Are In!

image 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.


imageIt 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.image

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


Gavin said...

Love the chooks and the mushrooms. The hens look like they have a great place to live.


JOC said...

Lovely photo's Kate. The "girls" look pretty good and I'm sure they'll be happy with all the space they have.
The mushrooms look pretty good too! I reckon the guy you bought the bag from probably get his stock om the mushroom producers in Glen Huon.
Keep those fingers crossed there's supposed to be a little rain today.

africanaussie said...

Hi Kate, I just love adeventuring with you as you create your own space there in Tasmania. It all looks lovely and I am sure the chooks love their new home. Mmmm,,, I have often wondered how different home grown mushrooms would be, it sounds as though they might be worth trying.

Deb said...

Hi Kate
All you need now is a dogs are telling me its time to collect the eggs,the chooks breakfast bowl as well as their food bowls.
Enjoy every day