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Recent Entries to this Blog 2012 already it's May. Starting anew for Autumn
Posted: 24 May 2012
latest info about the patch
Posted: 29 Nov 2011
Damage to new seedlings
Posted: 06 Jun 2011
Autumn 2011 veggie patch startup again
Posted: 18 May 2011
homemade glasshouse/seed raising area
Posted: 26 Aug 2010

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Teale Vegie Patch Blog

Who knew chooks were carnivores?

Category: critters in the patch | Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:24 am

An interesting thing happened today.
I was just going to top up the water in one of the chook pens, when I noticed that the water was mucky.
I tipped out the water, to run clean water in, when I noticed a hole in the ground under where the water tub had been.

Hmm.. Snake, or mouse?
I had a running hose in my hand at this point, so decided to just fill the hole with water, keeping a close eye on what might come out of the hole. I was prepared to drop the hose and run!

It took a heap of water, so the hole must have been plenty deep, when a head appeared out of the water. A mouse, followed by several more. They were all adult size, so either no babies, or they didn't make it out. I jumped, and called the dog. She didn't come. Guess what? One of the chooks ran over and grabbed a mouse in her beak and banged it on the ground several times, then ran off to eat it! Amazing. I had no idea they would do that. The rooster who was in the same pen ran over, but didn't see the other 4 or 5 mice huddled by the side of the pen, and they ran off under a small hole to the outside and freedom.

I'm still shocked and amazed that a chook would eat a mouse!

This blog entry has been viewed 344 times

two new chickens!

Category: critters in the patch | Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:30 pm

It's so exciting! Chickens.

I know it's very late to be hatching chickens, but she's done it. Our dear little bantam hen has been sitting on about 5 Guinea fowl eggs, and two have hatched out. Unfortunately, a couple of chook eggs also got laid under her, and she's been sitting on them as well, but chickens are chickens.

It's very exciting! The kids are enjoying them too!
I'll post some pics later

This blog entry has been viewed 1830 times

Hot, dry and grasshoppers!

Category: critters in the patch | Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:18 pm

I was so looking forward to a bumper crop from the Vege patch this year. Sadly, it was not to be.

From the first grasshopper emerging from the sandy soils here, it was doomed. We've had wave after wave of grasshoppers devastating most of the crops I planted. I haven't the heart to spray, and it would seem to defeat the purpose of having organic foods grown at home.

We've let the chooks roam pretty much whereever they want, and while they do a great job, they also scratch up most of the beds as well. They seem to prefer worms to grasshoppers, and where better to find them? Compost, mulch etc from the beds.

Still, I have found that some plants aren't on the menu, and it seems to be those plants whose leaves have prickles. Something to remember.
The potatoes had almost matured to a big size when all their leaves went. I decided to dig over the bed to save what I could, an it wasn't a bad harvest. Washed and stored in the pantry, I'm very proud to have grown enough to last a couple of months for the family. Some interesting shapes, too.

Cucumbers, pumpkins and some varieties of tomatoes don't seem to be attractive to grasshoppers, so I'm remembering them (definitely not the grosse lisse) to replant with those next year.

Although the leaves have been eaten off the carrots, they don't seem to eat the roots(which of course, we do!)so they can be left in the ground to be harvested as we please. They did have a go at my beetroot, as the forono variety seems to poke up out of the ground, and subsequently got eaten right off.
They don't seem to like onion, leek, strawberries or watermelon.

And when it's all over, I'm going to go right out and buy some Guinea Fowl hens to live here. Hopefully next year we'll be having that bumper crop.....

This blog entry has been viewed 1852 times

keeping the grass mowed

Category: critters in the patch | Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:13 pm

I'm constantly amazed at how fast the lawn grows in springtime.

I've just mowed again through and around the veggie patch. I'm going to keep it down to keep the worry of the resident tiger snake down.

The bantams are apparently laying an egg a day each (we have three of them!) and we haven't been getting to them before the snake does! That seems to indicate it's still around. It's going to be a worry digging potatoes this year. They're very tall and leafy at the moment. I'm being very careful walking past that bed.

The upside though, is it all looks great!

This blog entry has been viewed 1808 times

Spring flowers the bees love in my garden

Category: critters in the patch | Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:02 pm

my happy honey bee ( photo / image / picture from debbieteale's Garden )

Bottlebrush flower ( photo / image / picture from debbieteale's Garden )

pretty pink wattle flower ( photo / image / picture from debbieteale's Garden )

This blog entry has been viewed 2095 times

Tiger Snake in the vegie patch!

Category: critters in the patch | Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:03 am

I wish I had a photo of the look on my face when I came boot to face with one of our most dangerous critters on the planet! I was watering on Saturday morning, not really thinking about much except how great it was all looking, when I looked down about 30 centimeters from my boot, right next to a wooden sleeper edge to the bed, and there was a Tiger Snake basking in the sun. Luckily it was pretty overcast, and fairly cool, so it didn't have a lot of get up and go in it. I didn't even realise I'd moved, when I found myself about 4 metres away. Oh boy! What a fright. It had gone by the time I'd gathered my senses and remembered to keep an eye on it. Needless to say, we spent most of that day clearing away all excess grass from the gardens, and picking up and mowing. It looks great now, but I'm still getting over it. Today I had another scare with a skink, and they're not even poisonous! I was apparently between it and it's bolthole, so it ran straight towards me to get to it. (Under a caravan) I'm still getting over that one. They do say things come in threes......

This blog entry has been viewed 1865 times

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