January 30, 2011

Chooks and Decluttering

Seeing it's the weekend and Duke is going back to work on Monday after a fairly long Christmas/New Year break, we (and I use the term 'we' lightly) have been getting a few things done around the yard.

We have had a lot of rain over the last 6 weeks or so, as has most of SE Queensland.  The grass has grown and lot on our small acreage and the mower has broken down.  Not a good combination.
However on the plus side of things, Duke has done a great job of decluttering the veggie garden in preparation for planting up for our winter vegies.

February is our hottest most humid most horrible month here (in my opinion anyway) and to me, the worst time to be gardening.  However, it's the best time to put in things like cabbage, lettuce, corn and generally things that can handle the hot weather and settle down to produce into the winter months.

So he got the old rotary hoe going and ploughed up our old veggie patch which was full of leftovers from the last season - old tomato plants, bean vines etc. and then covered it with several loads of mulch which had been sitting cooking away nicely for a few months.

Then the chook factory went into work!  Don't they love it - had a great time digging everything up and doing the work for us.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a before photo, but this is how the veggie patch looked back in May.  We mainly plant up the basics, things that through trial and error we find do well and grow easily.  Usually we manage a good crop of broccoli, tomatoes, pumpkin, beans, peas, lettuce, corn and sometimes cabbage.   

The chooks provide us with plenty of eggs, and although far from self sufficient, we certainly have enough to supplement the shopping.  We have always gardened organically and although some things have taken a while to get established, we are finally starting to 'get there'.

Here's a nice bunch of bananas just cut down today.  The joys of living in sub-tropical Qld!  I just wish we could skip the humidity.

Back into the housework tomorrow and into decluttering mode.  I am very pleased that I have been able to find a home for some furniture which we no longer use.  The items will go directly to a family whose home was totally submerged in the recent flooding - and they have no insurance.  That makes me feel good :)



Ali said...

Duchess, how do you know when to cut down your bananas? I have a bunch that I think might be nearly ready, but is there something in particular I should be looking/waiting for?

dreamer said...

Wow, love your polytunnel, no chance of that here we get too many high winds.Pity because we get such a short growing season with our UK weather. Chooks doing a great decluttering job there :)

duchess_declutter said...

Hi Ali - thanks for your question - I actually learnt something tonight! I asked the Head Gardener, because I am mainly involved in the cooking and baking department. He said 'you know when it is time to get them away from the bats'. My response was - how do you know when the bats (flying foxes) are interested and he said 'when there are scratch marks on the bananas'. So I guess once you hear or see signs of bats about, its time to harvest the bunch. It means they are getting ready for their dinner!

Dreamer - nice to hear from you. No high winds here (apart from cyclone season).... and yes the chooks are the best workers about the place!