Where there’s muck, there’s brass

Hi All,

Have you ever listened to roosters till the novelty wears off? I do it on a daily basis. I have come to the conclusion that roosters are just like bagpipes. The similarities are actually quite startling. They are both bags that when inflated and squeezed (the pipes are man squeezed, the roosters are self-motivated…) they make a noise. The “noise” that emits from them could, initially, by some romantic person living 3 blocks away, be seen as entertaining for approximately 5 minutes before the novelty wears off and the repeated inhales and exhales punctuated by a raucous droning sound become unbearable. I have the dubious luxury of being situated directly above where our 2 feral roosters roost at night. We know that they roost there because aside from the loud inhales and exhales that can start anywhere from 1am onwards, we have discovered a large pile of nitrogenous fertiliser on a tall pile of firewood under the deck that coincides with the rough approximation about 2 metres above said pile of fertiliser that narf7 sits above as she taps away here to her dear constant readers…that would be you!

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Here we have the two feral roosters that I talk about in this post. I have officially named them “Ralph” and “Hewie”. Their female counterpart who tends to hide a lot has been named “Elvira”. That interesting metal thing to the left of Ralph (the dark rooster with the rose comb) is my prospective still/rocket stove. I have yet to work out how to make it but for now, prospective is good enough for me!

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This is not a rooster. It is a duck. You would think that a duck wouldn’t have the bagpipe lungs of a rooster but you would be wrong. A duck can use her lungs to great advantage when she wants to and this one wants to every 10 minutes.

Roosters are windbags. They are solely there to make a lot of noise and to repopulate the earth with mindless hens. The hens are mindless BUT they have enough primal cunning built in to allow them to hunker down and stay shtum once they spot more than 3 eggs in a nest…they remain hunkered for 3 weeks when they emerge triumphant leading a bewildered and bedraggled selection of fluff balls out of hiding and straight into the jaws of the starving feral cats…roosters are SUPPOSED to be protectors of the flock. In our experience, they are the first to run and hide up a tree and crow from a nice safe distance once they have covered their own furry derrières. If a mindless hen spots ANYTHING out of the ordinary…say a human standing in an area that they weren’t standing in 10 minutes ago…they will send out an alarm cluck…this cluck will be passed on with exponentially increasing degrees of alarm and clucking, much like the ubiquitous Chinese Whispers game, until all roosters are crowing maniacally, all hens are clucking in unison and the alarmee is supposed to flee in mortal terror at the sheer amount of noise going on.

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If you look carefully you will see the quack-bag herself hiding behind this snapdragon that self seeds every year from goodness only knows where.

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Myrtus communis…a Mediterranean fruit that tastes somewhat foul on it’s own but that enterprising Greeks have managed to turn into some form of potent (lethal) alcohol that they imbibe on a regular basis…you have to love the Greeks…they certainly know how to take a difficult situation and make it rock!

I read a lot of blogs folks…a LOT of blogs. Some of them deal with life on farms and smallholdings and no matter how many times you read about the keeping of hens, and what a pain in the derrière they can actually be, there is a propensity for “regular folk” (that’s you lot, living in cities and big towns) to wear rose coloured glasses whenever you think about fluffy bottomed chooks clucking quietly and pecking delicately around your back yards in a romantic countrified way. The reality is that chooks are the equivalent of Somalian pirates. They rob from the rich (supposedly “us”) and they give to themselves. They navigate Serendipity Farm with stealth and cunning that leaves us alarmed, bewildered and afraid for our lives. We managed to coral them into an enclosure for 5 months and the resulting garden happiness was directly correlated to a decided lack of the ovarian orbs that make keeping chooks worth it. We might not have had chicks popping out from all over the place but we also didn’t have any eggs. What’s a smart person to do? Give in to the pirates that’s what!

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One of the “things” that have been keeping us busy on Serendipity Farm. Our crazy hippy friend down the road wants us to drink rainwater…we don’t have a say in it apparently, we HAVE to be drinking rainwater so he has given us a permanent loan of this 600 litre rainwater tank…I wonder if he will let us paint it blue to match the gas hot water heater (that is full of spiders as it gets turned off for most of the year while Brunhilda is pumping out her delicious heat…)

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Another one of the things that has been keeping us busy for the last few days. Steve headed out bush to get a load of wood with a mate on Sunday and this is the resulting haul. He will be heading out again for more wood sometime soon so thanks to his wonderful mum Kaye, whose property they are plundering for firewood, narf7 and Stevie-boy should make it through winter without turning into human popsicles

We are already finding nests in far flung well hidden places. I can only image how this is going to end and I have a VERY good imagination. When we bought our initial 8 chooks from an unscrupulous (read desperate) woman at a local market she insisted that they were all hens. I now know that this poor woman was desperate to offload at least one of her windbag roosters to some poor newbies with rose coloured glasses and visions of gorgeous fluffies assisting them with their permaculture ideals. I have since discovered that this poor woman’s flock have gone over to the dark side. No longer working FOR her, they have taken over her entire property and are festering malcontent all over the place. She has no control over them anymore. They live out of the lovely high-rise coop that her husband made for her back when she was a wide eyed newbie (not all that long before I myself came into the picture…) and they live in the trees and on the surrounding neighbour’s properties. There are so many roosters that have gone feral that there is no chance of stopping this maniacal hen invasion and the only option is to plead insanity…Allison…I no longer hold you responsible for your actions when you slipped Big Yin into my initial 8. I would do exactly the same thing. Desperation breeds craziness…a yard full of chook poo, no eggs, 40 000 chicks and 20 feral roosters all crowing directly under your window at 2am is going to render you somewhat crazy no matter how stoic and resilient you are. And still my dear constant readers will smile knowingly and will muse internally about the delights of keeping chooks. That’s how they get you folks…be afraid…be VERY afraid…

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I have been given permission to share a few of Steve’s more creative endeavours with you…

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I like to call this one “Serendipity Farm as a Christmas Bauble”…

I have been invited up to a neighbours for “morning tea”. I am a hermit. I have forgotten the niceties of social graces. I eat cake with my hands and tea from the ceramic equivalent of a bucket. I don’t have to worry about slurping or where my pinkie finger ends up or how to make small talk because Steve could care less about any of it. We talk about what our lecturer is going to do when he sees some of our “creative” photography and how we are going to be able to amend our creativity once he does. We talk about rain, and we talk about digging holes and how to deal with feral cats. I have NO idea how to talk to real people. These people, an older couple from Western Australia, my home state, are very nice. They live in a lovely old homestead with a gorgeous cottage garden in a completely walled property with gorgeous deciduous trees and three lovely miniature schnauzers. The only thing that we have in common with them is a love of gardens and a propensity to visit the husband’s place of work, he manages a bottle shop.

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I bought this ice-cream maker years ago from a market stall at the Evandale Markets. I paid $10 for it and have hardly ever used it. I would like to draw your attention TO the delicious chocolate ice-cream that is being churned in the ice-cream maker and AWAY from the dribbled chocolate creamy custard that narf7 dribbled onto the ice-cream maker and that Steve wouldn’t let me clear off before the shot was taken because I might melt the ice in the machine…sigh…

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Aside from the chocolate deliciousness in the ice-cream we chopped up some Cadbury’s dream finger biscuits and an entire crunchy bar to add. Steve is hovering around the freezer just waiting till he has eaten tonight’s Cornish pasty and spicy homemade oven wedges till he can serve himself a HUGE bowl of it. There are a lot of benefits to having a vegan wife…consider this as being one of them ;).

By the way, if anyone would like to try the truly innovative recipe for homemade chocolate ice-cream that doesn’t require eggs and is loosely based on David Lebowitz’s recipe, you can go to my food porn heaven site at Food 52 and find it here… http://food52.com/recipes/5872-naked-chocolate-ice-cream-for-lovers

Being “me” I have tried to think about the angles of this “visit”. Steve has been let off the hook (the lucky bollocks) because someone has to stay here because today is the day when the electricity metre reading man turns up and we had to promise to be here and contain our dogs because he took one look at them 5 months ago and refused to read the meter even though they were completely enclosed at least 10 metres away from where he would be reading said metre. We now have the honour of being able to read our own metre 3 times in a row and only having to lock up our dogs once every 4 months for a day till the metre reader has been. Today IS that day so Steve is off the hook. I, however, am not. A social butterfly I am not. A bewildered narf7 I am! I made a cake. I made it last night out of whatever I could cobble together that I figured would taste good and that I could eat a thin sliver of. I made it vegan and I made it chocolate and I made it with tofu and I used this recipe…

http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/cakes/r/veganchoccake.htm

I then decided to top it with a couple of jars of homemade coconut oil (that I almost blew my food processor motor out on trying to make), some date puree and some cinnamon to replicate a caramel topping. I ended up with something more akin to a caramel marzipan but it tasted delicious so I went with it. I formed it into a round on top of the cake and patted it neatly into a disc that fit the top of the cake nicely. I used a bit of Christi’s Farmlet jam, the BEST JAM IN THE WORLD to put in the centre of the cake and the end result looked both presentable and tasty, who could ask for more?

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Today is Bezial’s day on the blog. He is tired of Earl getting the centre stage and told me in NO uncertain terms that it will be a dog day afternoon if I don’t do something to redress the imbalance so here is a profile picture of Bezial (showing his good side apparently…)

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He will magnanimously allow this shot of Earl and would like to point out that battle scar that he, personally, inflicted on Earl making him the superior beast on the block. He doesn’t want me to tell you that this wound was inflicted while they were both rolling around playing on the floor…that would NEVER do 😉

I will hold this cake aloft like Excalibur along with a bottle of my non-dairy milk. I would hate for anyone to feel put out by my personal choice to exclude animal products from my diet. I hate a fuss being made and as I am already at a social disadvantage, I don’t want to add “crazy health nut lady” to my exponentially growing list of “crazies”. Steve and I keep to ourselves. We have, on occasion, visited with Glad next door. Glad is lovely. She is 90 years old, tough as old nails, calls a spade a spade and is ANYTHING but “old”. She also could care less what we wear and seems to like us. Frank and Adrian, our long suffering neighbours to the left seem to have gotten used to living next door to ferals. Feral cats, feral roosters, feral chooks and feral neighbours…they sigh but seem resigned to their fate. We never see Noel, our ex pilot neighbour who lives behind Frank and we don’t talk about our neighbours directly to the rear but needless to say, if “feudin’” were to be part of life on Serendipity Farm, we would pick these neighbours to start with…

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Here you see yet ANOTHER reason why we have been busier than beavers around here on Serendipity Farm. We saw a note stuck in our gate latch the other day saying “ring this number to get some more horse manure”…we phoned and were told that we could have a mountain of aged horse manure from a gentleman’s property because the person who was supposed to be taking it, didn’t so it was now free for the taking…we took! Here you can see 3 trailer loads. We ended up with 6 so even after our feathered buccaneers did their best to level the heap you can imagine the size of the mountain of manure that we can use in our new fully enclosed veggie garden 🙂

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Bezial laying next to a pile of spent hay that the chooks have done their best to redistribute all over Sidmouth. I am thinking of hiring them out as earth  movers…sigh…

The people that I will be visiting today (Tuesday) live directly opposite the neighbours directly to the rear of us. I will be heading up through the back of our property, cake aloft, plastic beer bottle full of non-dairy milk aloft and will gingerly attempt to step over the barbed wire fence between our properties where there is a council enforced “no-man’s-land” that was once mooted to be a road before they realised that lesser Sidmouth was NEVER going to be a teaming metropolis and shelved the plans to fester, along with neighbourly coveting of this area of non-road. We could care less about this small stretch of prospective road but Frank has already claimed his bit. He let us know in NO uncertain terms that should his bit of ex-road become available, he had kept it cleared for the past 10 years and had first dibs. Fair do’s Frank, you have earned it!

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Steve insisted that I put this photo of me actually doing some work on the blog. Here I am…narf7…willing and able to be the stunt double of the lead singer of Aphex Twin 😉

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Someone MUCH more handsome to look at. Isn’t he lovely? He actually smiled in town the other day and Steve got this lovely shot of him where Bezial has an uncanny knack of being able to avoid being photographed 🙂

I am not so sure that I would be as accommodating with the ex-road at the rear of our property…our neighbours to the rear are the same folk that duped our house sitter into cutting down trees on our back block so that they could attempt to gain more of a view to sell their house for more. No-one is willing to pay the ridiculous amount of money that they are asking for their modest home and so they are resorting to telling fibs to try to increase their chances of a sale. These self-same people sold my dad a dud of a car that he then gifted to my eldest daughter for her 21st birthday. He paid enough for it to have bought a sensible small modern car but a massive great automatic Mercedes Benz from the 70’s is NOT an ideal first car for a girl to learn in. When it stopped doing what cars are supposed to do…”Go”…she managed to sell it for $200 and is well shot of it. She catches buses along with her sister and living 4km from the city centre is an added bonus. No need of a petrol guzzling, road tax requiring car when you practically live in the middle of Launceston. It’s this ex-road that I will be navigating to get to my morning tea date today. Wish me luck folks and hopefully our neighbours to the rear don’t choose today, when my hands are both full, to decide to take a pot-shot of your own dear narf7!

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Here is Steve wearing his Canadian Club hat that keeps his ears warm…

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And here is Steve “Acting the Giddy Goat” as my nana would say. I doubt that he thinks I am going to put this picture in today’s blog post…but you know what Steve? You would be wrong! HA!!! He just told me he doesn’t care because this Canadian hat has been superseded by his new Russian hat that you will have to wait till my next post to see…

Bollocks…a week has passed since this post and I am tossing up whether or not to hurl it into the ether but I only have a day till I need to post again and narf7 needs something under her belt (aside from a stiff vodka) to get her through the day. It’s all things go here on Serendipity Farm. On Sunday Steve was fast asleep in bed and I was pootling around buttering bread to throw to feral chooks (it’s a tough life here on Serendipity Farm…) when the phone rang. I picked it up in shocked confusion hoping that my daughters hadn’t managed to get the dog stuck in the blender…again…and was pleasantly surprised to hear the dulcet tones of our friend who lives down the road asking for Steve. I carried the phone reverently in to Steve who was now awake and a detour for his day was on the cards. Our friend Guy was off to collect wood on his mum’s farm and had invited Steve to go with him “someday”. Apparently Sunday was “someday” and Steve was up for it. He jumped out of bed (another Jamie Oliver “literally” moment…) and hooked up the trailer and was off in a space of 15 minutes (had to have a coffee as well). That left the boys and I twiddling our thumbs and doing sweet nothing which gave me the time to eradicate my RSS Feed Reader and actually do something else on my Sunday

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Here’s a blended photo of Earl and Bezial. We had 2 photos. One where Bezial looked good and one where Earl looked good but the other dog (in each shot) was looking away so Steve used a Photoshop blending tool to blend the images. This is his first attempt but if you look closely at Earls little pink nose, you will notice it looks a little bit strange…

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With a bit of blending and a bit of cropping Steve turned less than great images into 1 wonderful image…Photoshop is the bomb! 🙂

I chose to take some gorgeous brightly coloured knitted sock boots that my wonderful son had bought for me previously. I had removed the red fleece insert prior to Earl nibbling 2 holes in each one and they had been languishing in the cupboard as I was loath to hurl them out. It’s lucky I didn’t hurl them out, even though they have the equivalent of a small airplane of a moth bite in each one, I can unpick them and use them for my next knitting project. My last knitting project, if I can remember back that far, was when I lived in Western Australia and attempted to make my ex-husband a jumper. It got as far as the front and back portion and the 2 sleeves and when it came time to put needle to collar and cuffs that was all she wrote folks! I have been married to Steve for 13 years this year so you can work out for yourselves how long it has been since I knit anything. I am going to take this gloriously and most raucously dyed (supposedly) Tibetan wool (it is certainly rustic enough in texture to be nomadic…) and after wrangling it out of its booty shape, which takes HOURS and is punctuated with moments of arm waving and Earl restraining as he is reminded of just how tasty nomadic Tibetan woollen boots are, rolling it up into ball shape and then actually knitting gauntlets using a pattern that I found through Ravelry, a most wonderful and magical place where furtive knitters and crocheters can go to satisfy their textile lust in packs. You can get some amazing patterns for free if you hunt and cheers to Linnie for sharing it with me…

http://www.ravelry.com/

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Here is a random stolen image from my brothers Facebook page of the beach where I come from in Western Australia. Check it out folks…it’s paradise :). It took a fair bit for us to consider leaving this wonderful part of the world and relocating down to the hole in the ozone layer but the lure of 4 acres of self sufficiency was strong young padawans and here we are…but I do miss those beaches…and Steve misses the fishing…by the way sorry for pinching your image Jim (no I’m not…you never read my blog posts anyway! HA!) 😉

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I designed this shirt. I WANT this shirt. Steve Photoshopped it for me and I am going to just have to head in to a printers somewhere and get myself this shirt.

On Monday I got addicted to Pinterest. That’s all I really need to say about that. On Sunday I looked down at anyone who used Pinterest as “sad” and “pathetic” creatures who didn’t have a life. On Monday Steve left me alone to go shopping and by 11am I was hopelessly addicted with the fervour of a heroin addict on a crack high.  I have been a Pinterest “member” since foreverty-boo and just ignored it ever since. I like the fact that I had to go through a waiting period to be admitted (and they say that clever marketing doesn’t work!) which shows that I fit exactly smack bang into the middle of their ideal demographic and niche market… the person (usually female) who has NO control over her life but who has a tragic desire to put EVERYTHING in labelled boxes and create order in her chaotic (read “real”) life. It’s food porn folks, food, and health, and travel, and photographic and just about everything else “ic” that you can think of and I am now officially addicted beyond hope thanks to Steve going shopping and my RSS Feed Reader emptying out nice and early in the day. I spent an entire morning cramming my Pinterest fluffy cloud with as many foodie things as I could find and I can find a HUGE amount folks, that’s what narf7’s are for…finding things. Steve returned with a carload of stuff and I had 154 Pinterest pages open on my poor groaning browser and couldn’t do ANYTHING till I had clicked “follow” on every single one. I learned (quick smart) how to make other pages on my page and now have so much food porn I won’t ever have to cook anything myself ever again to be able to satisfy that “perfect shot”. Don’t you love the fantasy of the interweb? 😉

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Steve and I FINALLY finished our media studies for this term. We finished nice and early to give ourselves 3 weeks off to get our veggie garden built. We needed to produce a slideshow of 11 photographs that we took ourselves that mirrored the 11 rules of photography for our final assessment. The only real stipulation was that we had to link them with the common theme of a colour. Steve chose green and this photo is a portrait shot…

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This was my submission…I chose blue…I didn’t get away with it. I had to repost another image that was less photogenic where Earl and I were both looking most intently over the deck rail but a girl has her pride you know and I liked THIS shot! It might not give a very good representation of portrait but who cares…for once I am happy to post an image of myself to the blog so here it is…happy days! 🙂

So there you have it…another big mutha post and I haven’t even caught up with what we are doing! I guess that means I have plenty for Saturdays post already so I might just start it off so that when I am laying somewhat comatose at 3pm because of all of the hard work that I have undertaken for the last week and am unable to lift my feeble fingers to keyboard to share it all with you, I will at least have something to offer you, my dear constant readers. See you then and whatever you do…DON’T go to http://pinterest.com/ …don’t say I didn’t warn you folks! 😉

New Years Eve

2 Hi All,

It’s New Year’s Eve today. We are going to usher in the New Year the way that we plan to spend the rest of the year. Quietly, with a glass or two of bubbly, a nice meal of whatever we like and relaxing in front of the television (most probably asleep) until about 10pm when we will head off to bed long before the fireworks (flares out here) go off and will oblivious of countdowns, revelry and drunken carousing. I guess that makes us bordering on old farts but we like what we like. We are not very social creatures and like our own company. It’s not because we don’t like other people, it’s because we like “us” and how we live out here and don’t like to have to organise our lives around other people and their wants and needs. Living out in the country on a 4 acre property where you only get the occasional glimpse of your neighbours is fantastic for hermits like us. We can do what we like, when we like and our days are our own. 2012 is offering us a glimpse of a degree of freedom that we haven’t had before. We can head out fishing in the tinny, we can potter around in the garden slowly changing it to our own design and affecting change to our advantage. We can get up when we like, go to bed when we like. We can take each day and make it ours and we both realise how very lucky we are to have those kinds of choices.  I laughingly say to Steve that “when we retire” we won’t have that problem with learning each other all over again. Who could stand being with their partner 24/7? We can and we do. For 2 people who are on entirely different spectrums of humanity we survive each other remarkably well. Neither of us tries to manipulate the other because it’s simply not worth it. When you are dealing with someone that you can’t even begin to imagine their thought processes, it makes it very difficult to go about manipulation in the classic sense and as we are both lazy and impatient, we can’t be bothered and it would take too much effort and would take too long so by our flaws, we get along well.

I am going to spend today throwing all of our clothing onto the bedroom floor. We have the most enormous amount of clothing for 2 people that rarely wear more than 3 items of clothing a week and most of it sits at the back of the wardrobe doing its level best to escape at any opportunity and most especially when the wardrobe door is opened. We can’t find anything in there because, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, we are lazy and impatient (isn’t it liberating to admit your faults? :o)) and hunting through clothing is NOT going to happen. We just grab the first thing that we see which results in some most interesting reasons why people shouldn’t just “drop in” on us without phoning first! I don’t want to be muttering about not having any underpants or Steve, socks in the coming year and so I am going to solve that problem by paring down our wardrobe significantly. How many coats does one person need? We have about 20 each. Jeans…I have about 15 pairs and most of them I can’t fit into any more so why am I keeping them? No doubt the op shop will get a massive influx of clothing at this time of year and our input will be significant. I want to be able to look into the wardrobe and be able to isolate and pick up an item of clothing at will. No more waiting for the toppling pile to settle before angrily shoving it all back in, holding the teetering pile back with 1 arm whilst hurriedly shoving the door shut in readiness for the next time I stupidly open the door and become engulfed by  Mt. Underpants.

I am going to let you all take a peek into our glasshouse where we store all of our precious babies that we have grown from seed and cuttings over the last few years. Most of them come from our 1st and 2nd year at Polytechnic when we were on sight and keen as mustard. 2011 was spent renovating, clearing masses of debris and tangled jungle from around the house and bollocking out our Diploma (which we got in the mail, Thanks Nick! :o). We keep these plants in the glasshouse that we renovated using our usual no money lots of time to think up solutions to get what we want using what we have laying about and whatever we can get cheaply and it seems to be holding up and the plants are obviously loving it!

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Right…I have tried to be a clever clogs here with my total lack of technological skills and insert a slideshow of the contents of the glasshouse. I did this because I couldn’t sift through and find any to leave out and wanted to share them all with you (like a proud mum showing off her kids). Anything that looks dead isnt, it’s in a dormant phase (especially the elephantipes bases that die back at will), most of the lush leaves had have a good going over by an interloping snail and you can see why I call hostas “gastropod fodder” because they must be delicious to them. Everything is happy, growing like crazy and anything that doesn’t look like it should be in a glasshouse (like pines, succulents etc) is there because it was previously on deaths door and was taken to the glasshouse to rest and recouperate and 9 times out of 10 they survive and flourish in the glasshouse. It contains our precious hot climate babies that we grew from imported seed, Earl’s conquests over plant life that hadn’t much left to live for to be honest and who have all come back admirably and things that we have moved from the heat bed (like avocado’s grown from seed) and cuttings that are thriving now and that need to be moved out to harden them off. Gardening is NOT something you enter into to lead a slothful life! I can’t see the slideshow till I publish this post. I have more than a sneaking suspicion that ALL of the photos that I have in this post (slideshow or those below) are going to show up in the slideshow. I know this and I don’t care! I figure that you don’t mind the odd photo and that most of you are patient enough to wade through some of the pictures twice, and that your mothers taught you that it is NOT polite to ridicule technophobes when they are at least trying to conquer their lack of skills. Do I have that covered now? I think so! Also, you get to look at my awesome photos twice…aren’t you lucky little vegemites? :o) Here goes…(I have my hands over my eyes as I post this…)…sigh, I just edited this to admit defeat…all the pictures are in this post and I am not the clever clogs that I thought that I was…back to the drawing board…

We are heading up to the 1st paddock where Steve has been removing the fence that separates the house area from the paddock. There is a twin concrete trough that must have been used for watering some form of livestock at some time in the distant past that will be perfect for giving the chooks a regular supply of good clean appropriate temperature water. I learned today that chooks won’t drink any water over 5C of their body temperature and a concrete trough situated in the right shady position will ensure that they are happy with their water temperature from now on. We headed up and manipulated the trough onto a hand trolley.

Testing for water tightedness

Still going fine…

Oops! Oh well, they didn’t need 2 troughs so Steve cut the remaining trough to size with a diamond tipped blade and it’s now over near the hen house

I got bitten by “something” but as of yet I haven’t started convulsing, twitching or vomiting (any more than usual…) so I think it must have been a small spider or ant. When we removed the trough we found these…

and finally a nice closeup shot for you to take a good look at them. This is how I actually identified them as skinks eggs :o)

I would imagine that they are lizard’s (skinks in particular) eggs. One cracked when I was taking these photos and it is most definitely an egg and the shape that they are would lead me to believe that they are reptilian. Serendipity Farm is a huge learning experience and every day we get a glimpse of the local wildlife and their habits. Sorry lizards, but your loss is some other hungry creatures gain. I took some photos in the glasshouse for you to see how crazy everything is going at the moment. It is 22C out on the deck and 35C in the glasshouse. I noticed some massive pink flowers as I was taking photos inside the glasshouse and emerged to see what they were. I did a bit of research and the most likely candidate is Hatiora x graeseri a member of the Rhipsalidae family which are predominately epiphytic (don’t need soil to grow) and that can grow in tiny pockets between rocks or in tree branches like orchids. I thought that this might be a member of the Schlumberger (zygocactus) family but again, I learned something today. Steve headed back to the shed to try to mend the cracks on the concrete trough and I headed down into the jungle to get you some pictures. Up until now I have hidden the extent of wilderness to which this poor garden has sunk. I think that you are all comfortable enough with us now to share in some of the sheer terror that we are going to have to deal with when confronted with “Gardening” in this lower garden. I am going to call it Extreme Gardening and might see if we can’t get it listed as an Olympic sport. These masses of chaos are slowly going to be tamed to the point where we can start planting out what we want to grow in these wild and tangled garden zones. It’s a massive challenge and one that we are going to throw ourselves into over the course of 2012. We will share it all with you and you can follow the changing landscape. Isn’t it good that we are doing our Diploma of Landscape Design in 2012-2013? We should be learning all that we need to know about implementing a garden design custom made for Serendipity Farm and because Steve and I have very different areas of expertise, we should be able to manage the full spectrum of what we want to achieve and how we are going to get there between us. I am just going to head off now and have a little hide under the bed and a minor panic attack after looking at those photos and what we have to accomplish in these chaotic wild areas of the garden. See you all tomorrow. Don’t worry…if I am still under the bed, Steve can hand me the laptop and I can still post…

I almost forgot to put these photos in I was so stressed about the jungle photos that I took and will put into the posts following these. That way you will get a better understanding of why I regularly procrastinate about heading out into the jungle with our puny secateurs and hand saws when what we really need is a compas, a good pair of machetes and most probably a chainsaw…

I just wanted to show you that these flowers are much bigger than the usual Zygocactus type flower. I am off back under the bed now…”Earl! Make some room!”…