Monday, 1 September 2014

August Garden Update

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that despite being neglected for two weeks, whilst we were on holidays, the veggie garden is still thriving and most of my bok choys are either ready to eat now, or will be in the next few weeks. Some have been eaten by pests, both of the insect variety and the two-legged variety. My pest control methods are limited to picking off any grubs I find and feeding them to the chickens; and encouraging Gigi to eat only whats within arms reach. I have so many bok choys this year, I'm not that worried about loosing a few leaves here and there.

Happily eating raw bok choy, will not eat it in stir-fry
 I bought a small compost tumbler from Aldi and spend an afternoon putting it together with lots of 'help' from Gigi. Its only about 140L, but I thought it was a good place to start as I've never composted anything before. Our fruit and veggie scraps have always gone to the goats, with meat and dairy going to the dogs. Now that I've got chickens, I thought I'd compost their nesting box 'waste' and also the straw from the bottom for their pen.
Compost Tumbler
One afternoon, my dad used the tractor to collect broken down goat poo from the goat shed and load up two of our unused garden beds. In the raised bed, I plan to plant all of my amaranth seeds, some beans, which apparently are good feed for chickens and a few random seeds in my seed collection, which I have no idea what they are. My dad wants to plant 'real' tomatoes (not cherry ones) and rockmelon in the other garden. 

The three garden beds
 In the winter garden beds, the winter crops will be finishing up soon. I've been picking a handfull of snow peas most days and the beans are starting to 'ripen' now too. I think I might also have a late crop of strawberries, as the flowers are starting to develop into fruit.

The dill has been flowering like crazy and I'm not sure whether I should collect some seeds, or just collect new seedlings when they pop up and replant them in appropriate locations. 

Gigi enjoying a snow pea
Checking out the Dill Flowers

The chooks have picked up their egg output, as they mature. We are getting at least two to three eggs every day, although they refuse to lay in their nesting box and have instead chosen to lay under a bush in the garden. Just another reminder that despite my preferences and wishes, animals do whatever suits them. Another example is in the photo below, where my ladies have turned my seedling box into a dust bath. All four chooks get in there and have a roll around. Needless to say, all the seedling either were eaten, scratched out or died. I have no intention to do anything to keep them out of the box, instead I'll find somewhere else to grow seedlings. Life is about picking your battles after all. 

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