30 September 2012

This Week in Melbourne

It's been a sad and frightening week in Melbourne with the horrific news about Jill Meagher.  

Although it's quite a large city, it's at times like this that the realisation of what a small, close-knit community we are becomes obvious.  The two-degrees of separation that is such a part of living here has once again come to the fore.  While I didn't know Jill, I have friends who knew her, another friend who has regularly walked home from that same bar late at night, as well as knowing that all of us who live in the inner suburbs often walk by ourselves at night, even if only home from the local tram stop or pub.  

So it's a time for thinking about how we live and how we want to live.  It's a time for appreciating how important, strong and connected our local community is.  Most importantly it's a time for thoughts of friends who are immediately connected to this tragedy and especially thinking about the family and close friends of a young woman who by all accounts was such a lovely, vibrant person.   x

This week in the Country Garden

This post should almost be called "This month in the country garden", it feels like so long since I did an update.  I have been working in the garden, but the weather has been so terrible that I haven't taken any photos for weeks, and it feels wrong to write a post without pics.

The other day I saw an ad for my new camera in a tram stop.  It was a sexy picture of a guy holding the camera in the rain (or a shower - couldn't tell which!) I think trying to explain that the camera is waterproof... or maybe just trying to get the attention of women at the tram stop?!!  Anyway, after yet another day of continuous rain in the Country Garden on Friday I decided to test out the waterproofness of the camera, and I'm happy to say that it does work!

So... after a long introduction, here's what has been happening in the wet, grey, muddy Country Garden this week:
The leeks are doing well, both in the polystyrene
containers and in a wine barrel.  I made some
delicious caramelised baby leek yesterday.
Onion seedlings started out really curly but now
seem to be straightening themselves out
One of the last carrots from the previous crop.  I've reseeded
in hope of another crop.  The brown "dust" is coffee grounds
to try to deter slugs - there are so many slugs at the moment!!
Peas (green, sugar snap and snow) are in full swing and
deliciously sweet
The red cabbages are finally starting to form heads...
as are the savoy cabbages
Broad beans!!! 
A splash of colour on a grey day from the rainbow chard
The first planting of potatoes has come through
and is thriving.  It's still under covers in case of
late frost
And not to forget the pinenut tree.  Plenty of
new growth but I suspect it might still be a
while until we're harvesting pinenuts!! 

11 September 2012

Going Broody

When I included this photo in my post last week it was to celebrate that all the chickens are laying.  But over the weekend we realised that Blacky/ Mavis was spending more and more time in the nesting box, and our suspicions that she is broody seemed confirmed when we turned to Jackie French's chook bible for information.  We shooed her off several times on the weekend and again yesterday afternoon, but she went straight back on, even without eggs, last night and stayed there all night, then back on this morning after being picked up and removed off it again.  

At one level it's been quieter for the other two, who are usually picked on a bit by her, but I assume the problem with broodiness is that she's likely to lose condition if she doesn't eat and drink.  The other problem was the other two became increasingly agitated when they wanted their turn in the nesting box, and she wasn't going to budge.  Luckily we had bought a case of wine the other day, and the box was the perfect size to convert into an extra nesting box, much to their relief! 

So what to do?  Should we just let her be until she gets bored and hungry?  How long is she likely to stay in this condition?  Jackie French's book talked about putting the chicken back onto the roost at night, and potentially putting it in a cage with some food and water for a couple of days until it snaps out of it.  I assume with bantams this might become a regular occurrence.  Any tips and advice would be gratefully received!

07 September 2012

Slow Living Month - August

It's well into September now and I'm running a little late with my regular post, but here it is finally, in pictorial form this month: The Slow Living Month journal that links in every month with Christine at Slow Living Essentials.  Pop over to Christine's blog and check out some of the other great slow living activities that people have been up to this month.

02 September 2012

Today in the City Garden

So far it's been perfect Spring weather (OK, I know it's only Day 2!!)  The Mallee Gum that was planted a few years ago in the front garden has just started to flower for the first time.  I was out in the City Garden early today for a bit of Spring cleaning and doing some of the planting that I haven't been inspired to do over the last few weeks of miserable weather.

A Country Visit (on International Bacon Day...!)

Apparently September 1 is Bacon Day in the US.  I have never heard of it before, but it seemed appropriate that by complete coincidence we were booked on a tour of a local "true free-range" pig farm yesterday.