Sunday, May 3, 2009

Everything is NEW

Technically the first of our autumn veggies ready to start eating. That OK, I was sick of eggplants, capsicums, zucs and tomatos anyway!

So beautiful! I really only put these seedlings in a few weeks ago and already the beetroots are big enough to start picking.

Newly planted English Spinach seedlings. Note the toilet roll seed raising tubes. They work so well.

Newly separated and planted leek seedlings - bit droopy. I grow my leeks by sowing very densely in one small place. Then, when they are between 2 - 15mm wide, I dig them up with a fork, separate them and plant them deeply. Leeks are so forgiving and generous and with a little bit of planning, easy to have available all year round.

More newly planted English Spinach and lettuce sheltering this side of the corn.


Meet Esmond. "handsome protector". He is AGGRESSIVE! He hisses at me if I get too close. Shows character I think. (hope) I have him separated atm. Amelia isn't much interested in him just yet. Mind you, she yelled a LOT less today knowing he was in the yard.

And just one more new experience - I had my first bee sting yesterday. RIGHT ON THE CHEEK! Am happy to report I am not allergic to bees. Poor little thing - we were having one last look in the hive and for some reason she came up out of the hive and flew up SPLAT into my face. I don't think she was attacking me - and no one else got upset. I think I was just too close and standing too far over the hive.

Anyhoo, I scraped the stinger out and when we had finished, wandered across the road and picked some plantain leaves to squish and put in it. Have done this a few times again today, and am happy to report my little sting just looks like a little pimple (phew!). Really, I swell up more from mosquito bites which is happy news indeed if I am to continue being a herder of the bees.

And the GREAT news is that Queen Atalia and her daughters fill SIX FRAMES which is officially enough to get her colony through the winter. I will have to feed them though - they don't have a great deal of capped honey - some but not heaps. It is not my preference - hopefully if they survive then next year I will make sure they have a full super of honey going into winter. I feel very happy they she has done so well and that there are so many now.



Gidgetknits said...

That is one handsome duck! And I love the toilet roll idea... I must pinch that!

Garden Pheenix said...

I am hoping to get ducks this year but definitely next when I expand my garden :c) I just love the idea of them waddling around quacking in my yard.

Did you find it expensive to start Bee Keeping?

Valley View said...

Hi Mrs Herder

It was sad to here about your ducks - we fight the foxes as well and we're trying to take hte fight up to them. I love the garden pictures and the beautiful autumn we've had here has done wonders. We have Cabbage growing but am affraid to take off the guards incase of rabbit attack. Are the covers you have for rabbits or frost?? and how does the hessian work??


BVVF - my fingers are tired!

The Duck Herder said...

Hi folks.

Gidgetknits welcome! If you stand the rolls up in a nornmal seedling tray (or brocolli box with drainage holes added) they stay together well. A cut off top part from a 2 liter plastic milk container works GREAT as a funnel to fill the rolls with potting mix. One the seeds are up, watering with a weak charlie carp like solution helps to keep the nutrients up to your little plants.

GP I think it just depends on how much stuff you buy - If you can find a nice person to apprentice you I think this works very well. I went out and bought a full suit because I thought it would make me more confident, but I don't use it much. I will when it comes time to harvest though. This was my biggest expense.

Try the library for books about beek keeping? And there are heaps of web sites. And perhaps there is a local beekeepers association? I am sure they would welcome you very muchly. Bee folk seem to be nice folks.

DO you have any local beekeepers you could get to know?

Hello there BVVF! yes, I am taking matters into my own hands with the fox. He has been back two nights in a row, but not last night. I guess we are on the takeaway list now though (untill I manage to thow my new crow bar through him)

The covers are for EVERYTHING! I love them. My friend Joe who is uncle joes mobile chook runs makes them. They are to keep birds off, the wind off, the sun off, the frost off all depending on what you put on them (shade cloth, hessian etc) and what time of year it is.

The hessian is to keep the wind off. THe community garden is very exposed since the fires, so lots of local solutions help.

Luckily we don't have too many rabbits at the community garden - I have only seen one in three years (and yes he was in my plot!) It would be hard gardening without good fences I suspect! (or row covers) Out there on the monaro..........I suspect you could use some windbreaks too!


Valley View said...

Ok - I've got to learn to weld, and bend pipe.

John Gray said...

have you got a good water system????
looks very hot is it???

Valley View said...

Hey, Mrs Duckherder

Do you think we should do something like this for our area?


The Duck Herder said...

And hello there John - welcome to Australia! we do sepia toned landscapes very well. It is just dry. In summer - dry and hot, and in winter, cold and dry. dry dry dry. The commmunity garden is on town water, and we have water restrictions - which means hand watering between 7-10 morning or night. So we are very good at mulching.

Hey Mr BVVF - what a good idea! Although we might be being a bit silly to give away too many of our secrets ;-) We might need to have a SECRET map. But I also like the idea of raising the profile of urban and roadside food production.

How are things out there on the monaaaaaaaro?

PS, saw a bit on the tellie about the Chakola gold mine - the water issue is a little scary - poor aquifer, poor numeralla river.


Valley View said...

Mrs DH

Sorry I'm going geek for twenty seconds. You can make and share a file that will load an overlay onto google and just update it - unless you have a gps? I do, very handy. Things out here are still dry - but it will rain one day. We recieved a grant from Bush Heritage for some grassland restoration last week which made our day. I'm working on a cyder press aswell. BTW good sheep effect!