Well, I know I said I’d be back a little earlier than this, but it’s been an interesting week. It started off all sunshine and delicious warm weather. Thursday was an absolute peach of a day, I spent the afternoon out on the deck, writing a letter, reading, and just totally chilling out.
Of course, I was also out there on guard, which brings me to the stealing part! I’m not sure if I mentioned that the chickens seemed to be off the lay since the weekend. We thought that maybe they were unwell, but then things started to improve when we were home again, so then we thought maybe the chickens were upset by the change in their routines that we had set up for them.
However, the sad truth was brought to light on Thursday when I came home from shopping and the library at 1pm to witness a dirty big black crow fly off from the coop with an egg in his beak. It would appear that he had been stealing our eggs, up to 4 a day, since Friday or Saturday. Of course, the challenge now will be to stop him. They are amazingly smart birds and don’t scare easily, so some careful thinking will be required. Meanwhile, we are keeping a careful watch out the large family room doors, and chasing him off over and over. It’s a cause for celebration now every egg that we keep out of his greedy grasp.
It’s funny, I never even dreamed that this would be an issue we would face. Foxes I was prepared for, the pigeons eating the grain is a constant annoyance, however egg theft wasn’t even on the radar! But opposable thumbs will win in the end, you’ll see!
The storm came in on Friday morning – after such glorious weather, the maximum temperature was over 10degrees C less, we had rain, thunder rumblings and I believe some hail overnight. The wind gusts were more impressive than we’ve had all year, which is saying something, and for the first time in years we lost power. The blackout was extremely widespread – all of the Adelaide Hills for the most part, with power out from Stirling and Upper Sturt through to Woodside and the Bugle Ranges. Of course, this was right as we were expecting 4 people for dinner, and with no clear estimate of when power would be restored, we had to cancel. So disappointing, especially when it finally came back on around 7pm. But we had fun, folding origami and playing board games by candlelight.
More annoying was that I lost power when I was pressing the last 2 strips for my new quilt top – I will be finishing that off and starting to sew them together during the coming week.
Although the outside garden, particularly the Broad Beans got a hammering with the 100km/h winds, the seeds we have started inside are thriving. At the moment after just over a week and a half, we have about 80% germination overall – with Baby Cos Lettuce and Sweet Basil germinating in 3 days!! The Amish Paste tomatoes are all up now too, with the others fast behind. So during some breaks in the weather yesterday, DH and DS1 prepared a new garden area for planting out near the new shed.
First they dug a deep trench, which we filled with old broken down straw from around the chicken run. They have been fertilising it and breaking it down for nearly 6 months now, so it’s well and truly rich and ready for use. We added some gypsum to break up the clay, buried the straw, and covered it with the broken up soil. A sprinkling of rooster pellet fertiliser, and each seed was planted into a little divot of worm castings for a little extra boost. So in this trench we planted a pumpkin seed at each end of a row of Giant Russian Sunflowers. They can get up to 3m tall and have the best heads for chickens etc, so it’s both decorative, and hopefully, useful. Of course, if we can keep all the parrots off them 😉
I also came up with the idea last night of planting some bean seeds at the base of the sunflowers, similar to the plan of the “Aztec” plot – where beans grow up corn, with pumpkin shading the roots below. Anyone have any thoughts? Good idea/bad idea?
I love the fact that so much of our gardening is trial and error, and that’s ok. For instance, I read last night about a lower, less wind prone variety of Broad Bean, which I will probably swap out for the current version if we chose to replant next winter. But in the meantime, we finally have teeny tiny little beans appearing on them, so it looks like we will harvest something else other than spinach and some broccoli this year!
So that was the week that was for us – hopefully this coming week will be a little calmer and quieter. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend with some sunshine.
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