Yesterday was busy.

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Last night was weird. I was at home with the kids. David2 was out at his friend Dan’s place but everyone else was home. I was watching ‘Big Love’ on the PS3, but when I went to start season 4 it was playing at double speed with no sound. It was 10PM. I had a choice. I could either go to bed, gambling that Dan’s parents would drive David2 home, or I could wait up.

I went to bed. Half an hour later, just as I was in deep sleep, Tom1 came into my room saying that David2 needed to be picked up. Fifteen minutes later, still pj clad, I was back home and climbing back into bed. (Sweet sweet bed.) A little while later I heard the plaintive cry of a cat asking to be let in. It sounded like it was at my bedroom door. I called out to the kids to come and take the cat away. After a couple of bellows the kids heard me and David2 came to see what was wrong.

There’s no cat here Mum,” he said.

“Maybe she’s outside?” I said. “I definitely heard a cat.

David2 went to the front door, while the others looked for both cats inside. Daphne was asleep on the couch but Maris was nowhere to be found. David2 came back inside. He’d been all over the front yard calling for her. While all this was going on the cat was silent.

“Maybe she’s under the house,” I said. Then went back to sleep.

Quarter past midnight I hear her again. The insistent miaow of a cat that wants to be on the other side of a door. I lay there, groggy, and listened.

That bloody cat was locked in my wardrobe!

(The photo above is of Maris this morning, still on the wrong side of a door.)

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Jane and Willow in the run this morning. The chooks are starting to moult and the egg production is down to 2 or 3 a day. See how Willow has her foot in the air?

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She limps because she has a malformed claw. The claw with the lump on the top points straight down, whereas it should point straight out. She limps around, but still gets to where she wants to go. Her wings help her put on speed when I come out of the house with food for them.

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The pot that the chickens scratched up has been replanted with brown onions. Or leeks. I took the seedlings to the gardening group meeting and someone took the punnets, labels and all so I just grabbed a few of the seedlings… unlabelled. I’m pretty sure they’re brown onions, but time will tell.

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I went to pick up a Kiwi Collar that I won on eBay (more on that later) and on the way back I stopped at a little nursery on Kooyong road. I’ve always wanted to go in and never have. They have a little section of heritage veggies, so I treated myself to pots of purple asparagus, golden oregano, perennial basil and lemon balm.

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In the afternoon I did a bit of baking and housework, then popped down the end of the street to drop in on the Veggie people. Another neighbour was there as well and we had a lovely time chatting about all sorts of things. I took my seeds down but they had no need of them… they already save the seeds they need from year to year. After a cuppa we wandered around the garden. I came home with a chilli plant and some parsley plants (put in the same pot… the Mexican looking one that the kids bought me for Mothers Day years ago);

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some perennial onions that I popped in with some Dynamic Lifter and a very determined celery that refuses to die;

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and some of the silverbeet that they have been growing from their own seed. Here it is, planted with the spinach and broccoli seedlings. I hope they take off; we need some more greens in the garden.

I must pop back in with some soap for a ‘thank you’.

I’m still using the fallen leaves from the fig tree as mulch. It was a windy night last night so there were many on the lawn this morning. Probably in a week or so there’ll be no leaves left. That signals that winter is here.

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Weeding has commenced in the left hand veggie bed. I’m going to be laying down compost and fertiliser over the weeds, then layers of newspaper with pea straw on the top. Hopefully that’ll nourish the ground and give it a rest over winter while I decide what I’m going to plant there next. I threw the bedding from the coop straight onto the ground. You’re supposed to compost chook bedding because fresh chook poo burns plants, but I want the weeds dead, so it should be ok.

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Remember how I thought I’d try growing basil inside over winter? So far the experiment is working. They love it by the kitchen window.

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I’m soaking split peas to make pea soup. I also threw in a handful or two of the dehydrated carrots. I mentioned on a forum somewhere that the dried beans I used in a casserole were still slightly chewy and someone wrote back that you need to soak the dehydrated veggies before cooking with them. So far, this seems to have worked. The carrots now have the texture of normal carrots, so I’m happy that we won’t have hard bits of orange in our soup. You live and learn!

And now for the Kiwi Collars. I heard about them on the Simple savings forum and they sounded really good. Basically, they’re a raised garden bed with hinges, so that even someone as technologically challenged as me could assemble them. I wondered if they were more economically viable than the colorbond raised beds I was looking at, so I popped across to eBay and as luck would have it there was one on sale… still in the original packaging. I was the only bidder (heh heh) so I got it for $25 instead of $39. I figure that I can see if I want to get more, and if I don’t I can have one raised bed and it won’t be a drama.

Here’s their website.


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I haven’t yet played with it. (I’m a bit scared.) You get 2 squares per package at 20cm high. I’m thinking that 2 stacked on top of each other would make the perfect height for a wicking bed, as long as I can drill some drainage holes 10cm up from the bottom. However the first job is finishing weeding that garden bed before the rain comes! Kiwi Collars will have to wait. I already have a huge stack of newspapers from work to do the job.

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Waste not, want not.

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This entry was posted in chickens, dehydrating food, gardening, pets, Skinflint, vegetables. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Yesterday was busy.

  1. andi says:

    Busy doesn’t even begin to describe it!!
    Any tips for growing basil in pots? I’ve had no success!!

  2. river says:

    Raised beds are a great idea. So much easier on the back. Just like my recycling tubs that are up on cinder blocks.

  3. pixie says:

    wow………….your energy amazes me!!!!
    well done!!

  4. Ellen says:

    Cats always find the cosiest corners.

  5. Bev says:

    No, you won’t need to drill drainage holes in the collars. You’ll need to put them in place and line the inside and base of the bed with plastic sheeting so that it comes about a third of the way up the sides. That will be your water reservoir. The excess water will simply drain over the edge of the plastic and into the garden. The essential thing about wicking beds and boxes is to create a water reservoir in the base of the structure. I looked at the link to their website and it seems that these are just a form of edging to make a built-up bed which will be open to the base soil. That won’t hold water like a wicking bed should.

  6. Scott says:

    Yep – what Bev said.

  7. isabelle says:

    Sounds like a disturbed night…

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