While my dead freezer is waiting to be reincarnated as a worm farm, it’s being quietly useful as a convenient place to put my seedlings overnight.
I’ve been popping them outside when it’s sunny and then carrying them inside at night, but this way is so much quicker. I figure that the freezer is insulated so as long as i keep a little bit of airflow it’ll all be good.
The only thing I have to be careful of is not using the bottom shelf. A couple of basil seedlings fell victim to a free-ranging chicken.
We’re now eating the winter crops. This cauli was as big as Tom1’s head. We’re also chowing down on red cabbage, red broccoli and green cabbage.
So are the chickens. Whenever I harvest something, or pull out something that’s bolted, they get the leaves. They get wildly excited whenever I go near the veggie gardens.
It’s even got to the point where I don’t mind finding slugs and snails in the cabbages. It’s all good protein for the chooks.
I bought a goji berry plant in April or so and I finally planted it. I’m using the chook run fence as a place for it to grow up. I figure that it’ll send roots under the fence to soak up all that delicious fertiliser the gerls produce. However, I don’t want them “trimming” the leaves that I’ve threaded through the fence, so I have a patented chook defence.
They’ll never get past that chair! (It may not be aesthetically pleasing, but it’ll do for a while.)
After I planted the goji berry, I decided to plant out the agapanthus that were dislodged when the water tank was put in. They’ve been sitting on the back lawn for weeks. A five minute job! These plants are important to me because they came from Inverloch. My grandfather gave them to me from his garden when I moved into this house, so I wanted to save them. I picked up the 4 clumps and began to walk down to the fig tree, when I had a brilliant idea. Agapanthus are really hardy. Why not plant them in the chicken pen? Once they’re established the gerls wouldn’t be able to scratch them out and there’ll always be greenery in the run. So I let the chooks out and started digging. I decided to separate the chunks out into individual plants so that there’d be an impressive swathe of green, so I began to put them into the ground on the other side of the fence from the goji berry and the pomegranate.
I put in about 15 plants. Then I realised that I was an idiot.
The whole point of putting the goji and the pomegranate where they were is that they’d be able to access the fertiliser from the chooks. If I put a barrier of agapanthus between them, then that’d never happen. What an intelligent person I am.
So I dug them all up and panted them along the little fence line and around the big tree in the middle.
As you can see, I cleverly put wood and bricks and anything I could lay my hands on around the bases of all the plants, to foil the chickens’ scratchiness. I let them back into the pen and they weren’t very interested in the plants at all. I congratulated myself on a job well done, cleaned up and went back to the house.
The next morning I let them out of their bed and stood there, cup of coffee in hand, to enjoy the peace of the Sunday morning.
Ah… the serenity…
All was lovely, until the gerls decided to start scratching the bejeebers out of the agapanthus. They were jumping all over them, clucking with glee and devilment, busily sending soil, straw and plants everywhere. I spoiled the serenity of the morning by saying some words unsuited to the sabbath, then swung into “save the plants” mode.
Like the chair fix, it’s not pretty but it’s effective.
BUT!!!! Ten minutes ago I had a stroke of genius. This time it was water tank related.
I went out to feed the gerlies some scraps. It’s lightly raining this morning and I glanced across at the water tank and gasped when I saw a veritable waterfall running down the side where the inflow pipe is. I climbed up onto the ladder and said some MORE words when I saw what had happened. The pipe had moved slightly askew and most of the water was escaping down the side. Only a skerrick was getting into the tank. I tried adjusting it but it kept moving back.
I got down from the ladder and was stalking back to the house when I had an idea. I’d kept a broken terracotta water plate…. could I jimmy that into position and keep the pipe from moving?
To paraphrase Bob the Builder: “Yes I can!”
There’s no little or no run off and the amount of water going into the tank is significantly more. I’ll go out later on to check that all’s still in place, but I have to say that at the moment I feel very chuffed!