aquaponics / chickens / rants / veggie garden

Odds and sods

AKA a small random collection of unrelated things

We are now into October so Spring is certainly here. It’s lovely to see fresh growth on the Jacaranda which we planted two years ago in memory of my brother. In the last two years I think it has doubled in height but in that time we have not seen any flowers—those beautiful bluey-purple bonnets that were on full show throughout the Brisbane suburbs around the time he passed in 2010. I am hoping for some flowers this year, but if not, next.

We had our first good rain storm of the season a week or so ago…it bucketed down and completely filled the 4000 litre storage we have. Since then, Chris has wrestled the extra three IBCs into place under the deck (that’s an extra 300 litres), and while not connected to the others yet, we have siphoned water into them as a back-up. Sadly there is no more rain on the radar for the next week, but you never know. We could do with a good soaking.

We have harvested some lovely bits and pieces from the soil garden, including potatoes, beetroot and broad beans. It amazes me the colour that the water turns in the pot when you steam broad beans—a ruddy brown—most surprising.

Another surprise the the advent of a ‘rubber egg’ which we assume is Georgie’s (see pic above). Rubber eggs are perfectly formed—entirely intact membrane-wrapped white and yoke…there just isn’t any shell. Most reference sites will suggest this is due to low calcium but we are on top of all of that. We just think there is something a bit weird about Georgie’s physiology. Despite the odd eggs, Georgie seems happy and healthy enough. The question is, when do you take a $20 chicken to see the vet and be handed a $70 bill for the consultation. It’s a bit of a dilemma. And yes, Chris and I have discussed the prospect of this ending up being the ‘Woody Point Home for Aged Poultry’, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Last two observations.

Chris has deployed anklet stockings over the return taps to the aquaponic fish tanks. These act as a filter and have been responsible for cutting down a large portion of the suspended solids that we seem to have in the system. Chris has identified that we need to introduce an extra device—a settling tank—that will fix this issue but for the time being the ‘sockette’ arrangement seems to be working well although it does look a bit odd.

Our yellow cherry tomatoes are at an end and so I have picked all of the remaining fruit including what was about 1–2 cups of green ones. There are myriad recipes on the net for ‘green tomato this’ and ‘green tomato that’, but I settled on a no nonsense throw it into a jar and pour over some dill pickling liquid and pop it in the fridge solution. It’s only a cup or two so if it doesn’t work, no big drama.

OK—LAST comment 🙂 : As I sit here I am reminded of the pigeon ‘infestation’ above me—they are cooing loudly and scraping about on their tiny little feet. We had solar panels installed almost three years ago and in the last six months the number of pigeons has been building and building. Unfortunately we have not been able to pigeon proof the areas as, when the panels were installed, they didn’t do the best job and managed to cover over a gutter and butt together two arrays, so getting access to mesh in and around them has been impossible. Just last week we had one array moved incrementally forward, but that has allowed access and now we can get the cleaning-come-exterminating-come-proofing guys in. I CANNOT WAIT! The brood seem to have designated the space directly above my office as their grand meeting area come dance hall. The noise on some days drives me to distraction! Arghhh. Bring on Thursday and the days thereafter where our little winged friends will have to find another haven to make nests, have babies, dance and drop their poop!

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One thought on “Odds and sods

  1. I so hope that it will not be as dry for you this growing season. It sounds like you are ready for the new spring season.
    I liked the idea of planting a tree in memory of your brother.
    Honey

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