Life on Serendipity Farm…

Hi All
It’s Sunday and it’s been decided that since it’s going to be 26C today we are going to have a day of rest. Apart from ‘resting’ we have already taken Earl for a walk (Steve) and I hobbled after Bezial who had an Earl free ball this morning. First he got to lick Pingu who wasn’t at all impressed with dog slobber on his head. Next we spent about 20 minutes with Bezial dragging a massive toy rabbit (bigger than him and he is 37kg…) around and playing tug and race around the house games while I did my best to hobble after him in a way to at least give him some idea that I was chasing him. After that I got my shoes on and Bezial and I headed outside to see the ducks, the non-laying chooks and the broodies and their babies. All were very safely ensconced in their respective coops so Bezial was only able to sniff at the doors, but he got a good whiff of poultry smell which apparently made him happy. We then watered the fruit trees, the potatoes and the asparagus that are in the prospective veggie garden area along with refilling the boat/pond as the ducks spent most of yesterday in there and after diving, splashing and generally having a ball, it needed a bit of a top up. I then decided to go for a hobble around the block with Bezial. We headed off down the hill and along the fence line with our neighbour Glad. She wasn’t out so Bezial had to make himself content with sniffing around. He found one of his bones that one of the ferals must have pinched and dragged down to eat it in the security of the shrubs. We walked down to the very edge of our property and Glad’s and we could see the river as we were standing underneath a massive big oak tree. Glad’s place is called “Four Oaks” because of 4 massive great oaks that were on her property when she bought it from the church and these oaks are most probably as old as the church which was built in the 1800’s.

We had collected up masses of leaves for Glad in the autumn as she didn’t want them building up in that corner. Bonus to us! We heaped them up  into a massive great pile, and then heaped them up again (2 piles in all) and they are now an amazing friable mulching pile ready to be spread liberally into our raised veggie garden beds. Bezial frolicked a bit on the piles (he likes to do that) and tap danced on the tiny little oaks that were growing in the piles and then we headed off up the driveway back to the house and he narrowly missed bagging himself a wallaby but for his need to run one way, while the wallaby went the other. He emerged a little while later looking confused (too much of the good life dog!)…we got back to the house just as Steve and Earl got back so Bezial decided to turn back into a pup and run at 100km/hour with Earl pelting after him all over the place. When they had finished pelting, Bezial was totally knackered and had to have a lay down. We shut them inside the compound and headed out to release everything. Starting with Yin and his girls, then the little chicks and their mothers after refilling their water bowls and buckets for the umpteenth time, then we coaxed the ducks out and after noting that they were having trouble getting into their pond, we removed some of the rocks holding up the boat and put bricks and besser blocks against the side of the boatpond to make a set of steps for them to get in and out whenever they see fit. They like to sit on the outside of the chick pen and thinking about it, it must make them feel safer as they had never been away from their parents before they moved out here. They had a small grass back yard and now they have trees, a pond, lots of chooks all over the place and freedom to do what they like in the day.

I mucked out the duck enclosure and put the hay around the fruit trees in the veggie garden area, then I watered all the potted plants, Steve cleaned out the bird baths and we refilled them after a large Currawong sat on the side of one and looked at us with doe eyes. It seems like this place is taking up more and more of our lives, but to be honest, we love it. I went out and looked over the river in the foggy misty morning and felt so very lucky to be alive. I have felt like that all day today. Everything that I did in the lovely warm sunshine made me happier. It might be because I am from Western Australia and my brain doesn’t really start working till it gets over 25C or it might just be because I can see light at the end of the studying forever tunnel…whatever it is, it is giving me a lot of joy. By the way Nat, hopefully you got some lovely things at Manx nursery (no promotion there, but here is some shameless promotion again for Red Dragon Nursery and Andrew Lockett, the mighty sensei who we bow down to in our admiration for his amazingness and his fantastic plants) and that Craig doesn’t take your credit card away from you after you and Jaz spent half a year’s mortgage payments on plants. Hopefully when you decide to redecorate your garden again, you remember your poor country friends and gift them all of your discards (we can use them to fill up the gardens :o) and like ducks…they would have a good home!).

Steve has put a small yellow plastic duck into the duck pond as the ducks don’t seem to want to go into their pond today after an initial swim. It’s quite warm here and one of those days that makes you feel glad to be alive. We wheeled our two Javanese finches, Bernard and Manny, who have 3 eggs at the moment that Manny is nesting on, out onto the deck to enjoy the lovely warm day. I am thinking that we might call the ducks “Joy and Catalina” after the two main female characters on the sitcom “My Name is Earl” (where we most coincidentally got Earl’s name from…). One of the ducks is a bit wild and hisses at us if we get too close (Joy) and the other one is a bit more docile but quite pretty (Catalina). Hopefully they are both females and that would take away the need to worry about baby ducks as the ferals are fine with adult poultry, but babies would be another story. That’s why we have to chicks in the enclosure around the coop. I have been checking out some amazing chicken coops online. Have a look at some of these…

This first one, I think that I would like to move into this…at the very least I would love it on the property!

People have the most amazing ideas on how to make chook houses. We just used the old wood shed and did our best with what we had, but look at some of these!

This one gives all those Hillbillies who leave cars all over their properties something to use them for productively!

and this one that started out as a kids fort…

What about this one where the inside has pictures of chooks hanging on the wall and a chandelier!

Then there is this one that uses permaculture principals and where the owner has planted a green roof to keep the coop cool in summer and warm in winter (although after being exposed to alsynite in summer I KNOW how hot it can get…)

Then we get into the weird ass chook houses…

This one is someone who designs for a living’s  (read someone that has NO IDEA what its like to live in the real world) project idea I am sure that we can all see ourselves having hen houses like this in the ‘future’…

And this last one is just a big pile of Paris Hilton wank! This is a case of someone wanting handbag chooks with no consideration of what chooks want at all!…

I have a vision of everything Permaculture on Serendipity farm but to achieve this outcome, Steve and I are going to have to shrug off our urban sloth and take up our shovels, forks and frugal ideals. It’s not like we don’t know how to do all of this…we just have trouble getting off our bums and doing it! You can’t say that we are not honest, but we are just going to have to put down our beer cans and get stuck in. I found some permaculture chooks online and one day our girls and boys (no doubt at least half of our chickens are going to be roosters…) will have something like this to look forwards to…

Doesn’t that look idyllic? It certainly does to me! I found these pictures online so if the person that posted them ever finds this blog, please forgive me, I am just holding up your amazing lifestyle for all to see and admire (have I grovelled enough?)…

That amazing “thing” in the background is an Amaranth plant. Its an amazing source of protein and its pretty funky as well. I am going to get heaps of different kinds (sourced from Phoenix seeds in Snug) and plant them all over the place for the poultry to graze on and to make it look like some sort of Martian landscape around here!

Some more happy chooks…

And my idea of a perfect Permaculture chook house and it even looks like Yin in front of it! We are thinking about moving the chook house from the old wood shed, over to the back of the house up near the glasshouse. At the moment its in the ‘conceptual stages’ (which means that its in our ideas and is most likely to stay there till one day when we can rouse ourselves out of our urban stupour and get ourselves motivated to do it)

I have to head off now as I have a mission. I need to find a recipe for ‘The best ever potato and cheese pie” for Steve’s tea tonight. I also want to mess around a bit online hunting out unusual recipes so for today, this is it folks…Have a good working week while we finish off our studies, hand them in and wait with bated breath for sensei Nick to give them that most illustrious of ticks (as opposed to the “X” that nightmares are made of!).

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mum.
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 15:33:03

    Boy, some of those hen houses are quite something, aren’t they? I like the first one Pen, you could have utilised that gazebo into one!That’s a great idea too, having the chooks up further by the hothouse. You could plant a couple of shady trees over there too. By now you have a lot more chooks that will need roosts, layer the roosts when you make them a better shed., so they can climb or fly up to the top, as they like to be away from any danger lurking around. Make the ducks a pen closer to the water too. I like that roosters pantaloons! Enjoy the rest of today.

    Reply

  2. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Apr 12, 2013 @ 06:18:56

    I know what you mean when you say this place takes up more and more of our time. I saw a film once, somewhere on the web, you might google. This guy in Germany was raising everything, even lemons. It was all about permaculture.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 12, 2013 @ 16:49:14

      After a while Permaculture starts to work “for” you rather than you working for “it”…after you get the cycles going they all start to integrate and knit together and suddenly you don’t have to work so hard…it’s just the beginning part is a bit of hard work 😉

      Reply

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