Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How big is your foot?

Found a great site today the Bigfoot test.
It estimates how many hectares you are currently consuming to live. Now I have done a few of these over the years but what I liked about this one was when I finished I could go back and choose some key areas that I wanted to improve on and then calculate how that affected my footprint.
A worthwhile thing to do when you need to remind yourself of all the little things you can be doing to improve our world. I am happy to say that I use less then the average Australian but since I know what huge over users and wasters we are it doesn't give me too much praise. I can always do better.

First day back at school for my kids today and with a wonderfully clean house (had a ripper of a day yesterday) I get to have an eco day woohoo.
First on the list is
  1. some homemade laundry wash,
  2. a wonder in the garden,
  3. transplanting the guava to the "Orchard"
  4. some work on the chicken coop and
  5. baking for school lunches
Should be an eventful and fulfilling day.

Don't forget Sunday marks to beginning on International Compost Week. I am so happy to see that WA has a number of workshops and talks planned. Might see if I can get to Perth to participate. I will however use this as the motivation needed to start my compost system. Having a brand new garden I have not had anything to compost, happy to say no weeds either, but now that a cycle of food production is coming to an end it will be time to get one going.

Have a happy gardening week!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Blessed are the Handy

For they shall recycle the world!!

Hubby has been super handy man lately, constructing me a laundry,shelves,a work bench (well that's for him) and the wonderful chook house (with my help).
The work bench was created out of left over materials from the building of my mum's house and is as solid as a rock.

So super kudos for super hubby!!

Chicken coop under fairy romantic!!

Super sturdy what else can I get him to make :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Strawberry Propagation

My children are strawberry mad. Luckily last year we were supplied by the Farmers Market and the local pick your own strawberry farm. This year however I would love to be able to supply our family with all their strawberry needs.
I had a dream of growing strawberries in an old pot belly stove and as soon as we moved in the dream became a reality. After a fruitive :) season we have had lots and lots of runners from the plants but how to propagate them when they were hanging in mid air. My mum came up with the idea of using little cups tied to the runners so I recycled some seeding punnets and attached some garden wire to secure the plants so the roots would grow.
Today I planted out some that I did earlier in the year that are now growing strong on their own roots. These are going in half moon pots on the outside walls. Strawberries in the air are not worried by snails.
While I was at it I used the same technique on the plant out the front. Since I ran out of the punnet pieces I used some egg carton because these are on the ground.
So from my original 7 plants I have gotten 20 new plants.
We will see if we can feed the hoards this year.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Chicken Tractor

The next major project for the garden is the chicken tractor. For those who don't know what that is a chicken tractor is a mobile chicken coop, one you can move around the garden to where it is needed. I have researched many designs and finally decided on the Catawba Coop from the US. We ordered the Google Sketchup plans and started work on the design. It will take us a while as Phil has been working extra hours and with school holidays on I have not had time to do any alone..not that I would after a major stuff up this week :)
This is it so far. It will eventually house 2 chickens that the Shire of Capel have so nicely given me permission to have ( we do not fit into the shire guidelines but after an email explainly our situation they have granted us permission).On the garden front this week saw the addition of the 30 and 31st fruit trees (and vines). I think we are about half way there!! It is so rewarding to wonder and look at all that we have accomplished.Pace is refering to the strawberries (which are still fruiting) as lollies and has decided he doesn't like the cherry tomaotoes. Rohan has become a great fan of the peas (who would have thought the vegemite kid could like a vegetable) and Mikayla is in love with the Cape Gooseberries.Xander just likes the trampoline but we will keep working on him.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pumpkin number three

Today I picked pumpkin number three. What a joy! I actually grew full sized butternut pumpkins!! It still blows my mind. I also spied a few tiny borlotti beans forming though I don't give them too much hope as the patch of ground they are in is horribly undernourished even with the assistance I gave it. That's what you get for gardening in sand.
The banana and the kiwis are still growing strong in spite of the hot weather and serious lack of rain. Why did everyone else get rain???

All in all things are coming along nicely and hopefully when the cooler weather hits I can do another serious plant up without using too much water.

In the meantime I will live vicariously through Hugh and his River Cottage gardens with their jet black soils and copious amounts of rain....ahh rain.

You tube

This a small video I made of our garden journey so far. We have been in the house (Harold) for 6 months now and the garden is 5 months old.

You Tube: Ordinary Eco