Saturday, August 25, 2007

duck proof fence

So what's been happening this week? Well, those little baby chickens are getting bigger and cuter by the second. Maurice is doing an excellent job chaperoning his lady friends and co on little excursions beyond the safe confines of the fluffy house. He is gentle and considerate, keeping an eye out for crows and calling out warnings whenever anything large flies over.

Yesterday I watched him call Jenni over to the rosemary bush, showing her how to pick off the little flowers and gobble them up. The little babies are just as happy to run under him as they are Nefley whenever someone calls out a warning. Maurice is, by all accounts, the quintessential gentleman, and a model for all menfolk everywhere, and of any species.

While neither Jenni or Nefley will tolerate being picked up or held, Maurice is quite happy to sit on anyone's lap, and to soak up the pats and oohing and aaahing about how soft and white and silly he is. Little 3 1/2 year old Stampy was most impressed with his friendliness and softness!

And what else? Well, drastic actions are being taken to de-duck and de-chook the veggies plots. Those wicked ducks have been constantly stomping on the rhubarb, and combined with a strong desire to get harvestable quantities of asparagus this year, here is the new duck proof fence around the asparagus patch. They were most unimpressed, and staged an immediate sit down outside the new fence. Here is a cranky Tabitha Jemima telling me just how she feels.

Also, work has started up at my new farm, with a bout of serious weeding and blood and boning. I need to move a heap of worm castings, but somehow, all the wheelbarrows in my life have flat tires at the moment, so obviously there is a little bit of maintenance to do first. I have transplanted some Jerusalem artichokes up there, and am keen to get some broad beans, peas and comfrey in as soon as I can, but can't do this until the worm castings have happened. sigh. I hate going to the hardware store. But I am very excited about those windrows of lovely worm castings!

And finally, today was the last classroom day of our bush tucker course which culminated in a delicious feast of wallaby sausages, kangaroo, emu salami, and lots of salads, bush tucker flavoured salad dressings and so on. Next Saturday we are going to converge on the Yaralumla Nursery Native Plant sale armed with our lists of botanical and common names, and the Saturday after, we are going to go up to Tidbinbilla to see the moth cooking stones and have a picnic.

There are a few species I would love to introduce into our garden, but more about that next week, subject to a successful bounty of little tubestock of selected varieties!

And finally, I have been thinking a lot about kiwi fruit this week. My beautiful vines are starting to swell, and hopefully this year will be the year that we get our first significant harvest. For folks who are interested, Kiwi vines are either male or female, and you need about 1 male vine for every 9 or so females, and if you grow them from seed or don't know what you have, here is how you tell:

The flower on the left is from a male vine, and the flower one the right is from a female. The main difference is that the female flowers have the white thingies in the middle, and the males don't. I have included this picture as a bit of a spell, because in a couple of months I want to be able to reproduce it with photos of my OWN flowering kiwi vines! fingers crossed OK?


Lucy C said...

I am interested in your 'duck proof' fence.
How did you build it?
I am considering separating the Pekins from the Saxonys for breeding purposes and wouldn't mind some suggestions.

The Duck Herder said...

HI Lucy C - How are you? Got that dishlicker working again yet?

The fence is pretty low tech - I had some old black plastic trellis, that I cut in half length ways, as duckies only need about 30 cm to keep them out/in (well, fat flightless duckies anyway!) and which gave me double the length. So I just hammered some tomatoe stakes into the corners, plus a couple on the long sides and fastened on the black plastic trellis with my favourite thing - black plastic pull ties which are really cheap from clints or the hardware store. Would you like more pickies?

The good thing about this fence is that I can just step over it if I need to. Cheers! duckie

m said...

duck proof fence ...good luck ...
Amazing how much damagea duck can do ...