Homesteading its not always simple.

I have harvested some potatoes that I was growing in containers. Whilst the weight of the harvest has been reasonable for my first try. I have been disappointed with the size. Small to mini potatoes. I have harvest about 3kgs only. Looking at weight of seed potatoes I planted was just under 1kg, It is at least a gain. I have planted more in one container, and from reviewing my method of care feel I may not have watered them enough. Time will tell.

The top left photo looked promising with potatoes. This is the third pot I had dug on the right is the actual volume of potatoes.
The two photos below are of potatoes harvested from two larger black pots a few days before. I did get two OK sized ones. They will be delicious and yes I am disappointed as I said. It is a learning curve. If anyone has any suggestions I am happy for input.


I was working on my deck and noticed a hen jump over the vegetable garden fence, it sort of looked like Fried, I had to turn the hose of and grab some shoes. I could not see a hen anywhere. I have in there for when Miss Treacle comes in to be with me but gets too hot. She goes in digs a shallow dip and lays in the shade coolness, as I work.
I had looked for her there ages ago but this time I found her. She was right up in the back and it was only that I had a torch with me I think I could see her this time.. I was so happy that she was alive!.

I then checked under her,

She was sitting on 20 eggs. She was just managing to cover. I was not sure how long she has been there. So I am not sure how old some of the eggs are. I looked at my chicken coop and my little coop I have used to have a Mamma Hen sit on her eggs and care for her very young chicks.

I have had to come to a difficult decision and that is for the sake of the chicks and Frieda as well as myself I needed to cull the eggs. So yesterday I removed half of them. Nine of which were fertile. I must say Frieda looked at me as I took the eggs, she then looked at the ones she had near her. She looked at me and settled so much easier on the greatly reduced number of eggs. There is of course a possibility that more eggs will not be fertile. Having examined the eggs I removed I feel that she has probably a week to go before any begin to hatch. However I am no expert. I understand many of you may feel that this is horrible and cruel. Yet this is the reality of homesteading. I imagine I would have buyers of them in 20 weeks if they were mostly females for point of lay hens. I would still have to cull roosters (and will have to regardless as I can only have one rooster in my coop). Roopert is loud and frustrating but he is a wonderful rooster caring for his girls and obviously good father material.

I had no real desire to have chicks this year. My small coop needs some work so tomorrow I will be fixing it up if I have the things I need otherwise it will be Monday. I shall then move Frieda and her eggs to the new single Mamma’s Home Coop. It is in the chook run. This is so that the other hens and Roopert will hear and eventually see the chicks. I have put the chick mix to help reduce risk of Coccidiosis (I do not use the medicated one but one that is more herbs based. As Frieda is not laying eggs now she does not need the same food and she can eat this mix. As it is also not a ‘medicated’ mix her eggs when she begins laying again can be eaten. Normally you can not eat eggs from a hen that has eaten the medicated chick feed. for several weeks.

I am growing a bit clucky myself and look forward to having little chicks about. I love how the Mamma talks to them and settles them. How they race about and she teaches them all they need to know. Fingers crossed Frieda is a good Mamma.

So my little homestead is growing.

My meal worms have all become beetles and now I wait for them to lay eggs and worms to happen. It is not a fast process.

My worm farm is doing really well too.

Wallabies are being kept out of the chicken run at evening time I accidentally locked one in one night and it was very eager to leave when I arrived in the morning. I terrified the poor guy even more trying to get it out of the gate.


We have had a lot of humid weather and more storms and heavy rain. In the north of Tasmania flooding was happening, whilst in Western Australia over 80 homes were lost in bush fires. We are a harsh country.
The weather has really played havoc with my veggie garden and nearly everyone I know who is only growing tomatoes outside is finding they are ripening very slowly.
It is an extremely strange summer here.

Though as I sit here typing the sun is just going down and we have a very long dusk. There is not a cloud in the sky and very strange to see is the green grass on the hills across the river. It is February our hottest month usually and people are ordering water tracks as tanks can get low. Instead my tanks are overflowing and there is green grass. Some of my wattles are flowering again peculiar. If it is not climate change Mr Morrison (Australia’s Prime Minister who does not believe in it) what is it?

I am eating mostly with improvement, I am probably doing half of my routine. The walking the dogs instead of me driving and them running is not happening. I have been blaming it on humidity or heat. I do walk them when we are in towns. Just not the daily walk. Showering is going well and going to bed is much better all with improvement to be made. I am happy though as I am feeling on the whole better and not beating myself up at all. I am moving forward.

I have potted up some Autumn veggies in containers on the deck and some flowers. Reorganising, feeding and rearranging the deck garden. I will share more about the deck and veggie garden soon.

I began clearing out the car port, that continues. I still have to move more of last years wood so I have room for this years delivery.

I am thankful that Frieda is alive. I am thankful that I am managing my CPTSD better than I was last post, I am thankful I am mindful of my triggers, I am thankful for full water tanks, I am thankful we have had no cases of Covid-19 here in Tasmania for ages and life is fairly good here. I think of those in WA who are now homeless. I think of those who live in Melbourne and are back in total lockdown again, and for others around the world.

I hear Roopert crowing goodnight, I too shall take my leave.

Blessings to You. Tazzie

Freedom

‘There you are! Its about time. We are star…ving…STARVING!! Hope you have some food for us.”
“What are you all doing out of your run? ” I say to them and chuckle to myself at their chatter.
“You left us all day. We have only had lovely green grass, bugs, and insects to eat. We have been looking for you for hours. We were abandoned, and starved!
“But girls you are meant to be in your run not out here. I am coming to feed you.”
A Loud SQUAWK “Girls? Girls? I suddenly have a hen attacking my toes and ankles..take that we are not all GIRLS”

OUCH that hurts stop nipping me? Oh heck your a rooster!
“You noticed…at last..now give me that food for my harem!”.
Le Coq Arrogant is jumping up attempting to get at the grain container. “My harem must eat, we are neglected and Starving” he is demanding as he strikes me it hurts a little he really means business.

How anyone could mistake ME for a hen! I rule the roost and Echidna HOME! Le Coq Arrogant is almost crowing.

I am the boss of you all! YOU Rooster, and six hens are my flock and if you keep jumping at me and pecking me, I will not feed YOU and YOU will become soup!

I will not be intimated or bullied by any cockeral I say to him. I push him away and tell him You will be eating out of my hand or not at all!

I will not eat out of Your hand, what will my harem think of me..do not make me do this. I will not succomb..I have to be the …oh sunflower seeds….yum yum

“Girls look yummy seeds, we are loved and being fed sunflower seeds wheat and all sorts of deliciousness. Just bow down and eat, from our leaders hand. I assure you its safe, you are not at risk.”
“Oooh Le Coq Arrogant thank you for ensuring we are safe. So so hungry.. yumm yum”

Le Coq Arrogant you have done well to accept my leadership I will ensure food water a lovely home to live in. Look how happy and content your harem is with full crops.
Le Coq Arrogant ‘they do indeed but I must be off, things to do’

I have had them for about two months now and I grow to love them more and more every day.

I have a lovely hen house, and they have a huge run. The little black hen has finally decided being in the the hen house with the others is far better then in the tree in gale force winds and icy cold rain.

Le Coq Arrogant has been learning to crow. At five months approx it is about the normal time. I heard a strange noise in the night a bit like a pup crying.
A few nights louder it sounded more like someone with a cough was in my garden.
He has it almost down pat now and is doing a good job. Rather too good las night. I had not closed the hen house door. I think he was disturbed by nocturnal noises and crowed numerous times in the dark.

So tonight they are all in their house on their roosts and one up in the eves in an old birds nest. Full crops and tummys. Fresh water. Tired out from sunning themselves in the 21dC/69.8dF sunny day here. I hope my sleep is not disturbed in the very wee small hours of the night.

My Rooster Le CoqArrogant, is getting his mature feathers, and if you look at the activity happening in one of the above photo back ground, you will see he is doing his job as a rooster. He is also becoming a very attentive observer overseeing his girls. He keeps attention on any potential aerial attacks from Sea Eagle, Wedge Tail Eagles, Goshawks other hawks or falcons. He is no longer pecking at me, or kicking his feet and spur area at me. I love that he trusts me enough to eat out of my hand and he is encouraging the girls too.

Not all of the girls are delighted with Le Coq s attention. One of my brown girls seems to want to sit on all the eggs.

The little black hen who slept in the tree is very nervous, and she is on the bottom of the pecking order. I ensure she receives the same choice in her seed feed as I do for everyone. She is growing and looks beautiful. I have a feeling she is the layer of the smallest eggs I get.

Some of the hens are not laying as yet but should begin in the next few weeks. I love that I have my own eggs, and my dogs love eating them. Very good for their coats.

I had my first day with four eggs today, the photo was taken two days ago. The large plastic egg was stolen bye some critter who believed it was a real egg which is why it has marks all over it. It is about the size of a normal egg so you can see my girls that are laying are small hens. Or maybe some of them will lay larger eggs later on.

I love watching the chooks antics and listening to their chatter. When someone finds a tasty morsel and is squawking as they are being chased by someone else. How they love digging holes and dust bathing. Laying in the warm sunshine spread out almost flat.

Enchanting members of Echidna Home (stead).
Contentment fills my heart having seen the seven birds settling into their roosts making their quite noises as they do so.

blessings to You, Tazzie

You can’t hold it back

I may be sitting in side, with my wood fire going. I may be wearing a pure wool hand knitted jumper as I drink and compose this post. It is almlost 3pm here and the clouds have rolled in along with a wind. Not a gale at this point, it has been nice ot have a fairly wind free day today. Gales and rain were the past few.

I wandered about the garden and was mesmerised by how Spring is rollicking in with abandon. Every fruit tree is in bud or bloom. This brings me a lot of joy as I care for the fruit trees as in water them for only the first year they are put in the garden. After this they need to fend for them selves. I do add pot ash or sulpher potash and for some a little blood and bone.

above, Daphanne, small maple, caterpillar damage on nettles, plum tree in flower, peach tree, marigolds and rocket flowering, red currants, asparagus, violet, and bay tree.

This years new apricot tree, Huon Valley crab apple, fig,, lilac, this shrub is about to bloom in lovely blueish flowers, so happy my new plumis blooming as is the older one, my three types of apple tree that the cockatoos destroyed last year, has some leaves forming, yellow gage and green gage plums, red currant, hazel nuts, then cherry and two other trees not sure of in the chook run /orchard. Blue berries, with Jostaberries and second red currant bush behind.

Gooseberries are all doing well even with the chickens digging under them. My old cherry is flowering, and the new morello cherry in the pot on the deck is budding.

The air is full of birds singing to attract mates. I observe wattle birds flying in a courtship ritual. I have a wee forlorn pardelotte whose beautiful call in search of a mate seems to not being answered.

Their are lambs and calves everywhere about my place. It may be cold today but you cant hold Mother Earth back!

blessings to You. Tazzie

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