Friday, April 23, 2010


So in the theme of The Good Life" I pulled out a whole lot of pittos and hebes and now this area will be for the fruits. Currently it has a small rosemary plant, an orange tree , a b oysenberry and a bay tree. The aerea has been liberally covered in horse manure because essentially previous to this there were lots of stones and a it of dry eaarth. it looks like nothing at the moment but this place is a work in motion!
Then there is this that the GHIU made for the veges. In the middle is the swing (for the beans to gfrow on). This swing for a long time redundant now seems to be popular again (typical!) ut too bad it is now in the middle of the vege garden and soon the garden will be filled up with compost and soil. Awaiting spring..
And here is my 18month old battery hen "McScrunchie" In just three days she has cheered up immensely and her comb and wattle have even brightened. She is separted now from the others (vicious hoods!) in the day hours. I have packed a lot of reading on caring for ex batts on the net and raced out this morning to buy some mash for her. Which she ate with much alacrity. She loves worms and can spot a worm from a mile away that has been thrown at her. GHIU spent the day with her yesterday digging above vege garden and so she had a lot of worms sent her way. It is WONDERFUL and HEART warming to see her coming out of her shell (Boom Boom) . She now spends time stretching out her wings and flapping them about. She has begun to dust bath in small increments (thou not in the soft dirt part of the garden ). And she has gone from a few tentative little maybe scratchings at the earth to quite a rigourous scratch aroudn this afternoon!!. Honestly she is developing all those instinctive things with just a few days. I mean lock a person up like that for 18 months in those conditions and theyd need extensive pychotherapy and some time in a straight jacket! I would love to adopt more but cant do that until we have more land to work with. She hasnt laid yet, but I dont expect her to..she needs a good REST! This afternoon i alsocaught her twice charging away the chickens that were going for her mash. Hopefully this is the beginnings of the end of her subsurviance towards those other bully chooks of mine!
And talking about those brown horrors, there is nothing funnier than watching them devour their porridge. Porridge goes everywhaere, in the air, over each other and all over their faces. truly a delight from the sim,ple things at the simple life.
happy simple living
love Cherry

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The flock increases

Isnt Alex just the best photographer. She really has the touch and I wouldnt be surprised if this becomes her career later on as it is her passion.
A finish!! Hurray..
Another finish..I didnt have the heart to take this from under fat Denz but the rest of this pretty much looks like what you can see.

And this is our new yet unnamed..although it could be Scrunchie :)
Scrunchie(?) arrived in the dark of the evening. She came from the battery farm and unlike our pullets, she is about 15 months old and in the words of the farmer..had it!! But this was the challenge for me. I wanted one of these because I am sure that with TLC and nutrition she can lay like the others (Fully knowing that egg production for all chooks drops by 15% in their second year)
Anyway in the dark of the evening she looked actually okay, but in the light of the day the poor thing really looks shocking. her toenails are really long and curled over or missing..Her feathers are like an old feather duster from Great Nanas closet, but the absolute worst is her skin colour. She has this pale anemic look and dull pale eyes.  The other chooks are a bit bullying..Shelley in particular needs to pull her head in  (or should that be pullet her head in ?)..anyway being in a cage for all her life she is totally alrmed at the world but ventures out at times to look in horror at the sky, the sparrows, theinsects etc etc. 
I had this romantic idea of feeding her her own little pottle of porridge this morning and nursing her back to health, but she is do alrmed and out of sorts she doesnt want to know about food, or cuddles (which I have given..maybe the smell of me will make her more acceptable to the others) . My chooks in comparison to this sweetie are like chubby cheeky five year old children running around the yard picking up food rolling in the dust showing off their deep red wattles and alert dark brown eyes.
The only thing that I have seen that gives me hope is that she is vernturing out more (not just because Shelley is ramming her from behind) and her feet are touching the ground, coming into contact with real earth and the fresh air and the sunlight. Its just going to take time.
For the record battery farmers offer up these end of lays for a dollar or so and you ring your own boxs or bag and butterbing you have chicken for tea the next night. What scares me is the way in which some of these may meet their death.  Also for the record our new chook would like nothing better than to be back in the secure cage again....I never said chooks had great brains..a certain smartness yes but brainy..well the court is out.

The photo above is of Chrismas. Christmas is the leader of the pack. In leiu of a rooster she had taken it upon herself to lord it over the others. In the morning she gets up and wakes up the yard, and this is before she has layed eggs, infact we suspect she is telling the world everytime someone has produced!! At night, she is the last in the coop and once the last chook has gone in and is settled, Christmas walks around the coop a few times, jumps on the roof, checks that out (All good there), jumps down and walks around the whole perimeter jsut to make sure all is quiet and no danger lays in wait. it is the most funny thing to watch every night!!

Yesterday i offered a dozen of my beautiful happy eggs  to anyone who could present me with a live rhurbarb plant for my garden. The offer was taken up and the recipient said how great it was to be able to barter.  It wasgreat and what life is all bout.I mean how much more simple is it to swap something for another that you have grown and produced..isnt this the way life used to be!

happy bartering
love Cherry

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Makin' cider

or cider vinegar....

Im not sure how this effort will pan out. we are making apple cider using just the apples own natural fermentation, no yeast, no sugar...maybe a bit of honey at a later stage.
this was a whole days effort. First we spent a few hours picking the apples from my Aunties orchard (The windfall apples), then we bought them home and cut and juiced and cut and juiced and strained and restrained and six hours later we were fed up and had twenty litres of apple juice in the vat. There are so many differing opinions on making cider. I am a it concerned that y only making up 20 litres in a 30 litre container that I have condemned it all to cider vinegar..which i can and do use but...

The GHIU is fourty yesterday. i wanted a big party etc, but he left for a week on a operation for his work..and he couldnt be happier!! he hates attention.Which was why it was so funny to see him on the first episode of Coastwatch. I was so busy watching him watching himself that I practically missed the episode!!

The wind is picking up and the mornings are getting colder. Winter is definately on its way. We have covered up the pool which is always the sign of the end of the season . Im looking forward to doing a lot of quilting inside by the fire.... I have four to do.
I have all but finished my raggy quilt..just need to finish edges. It has been so warm with the polar fleece sign over me as I have finished it off. GHIU says it needs to be bigger, ut its only meant as a throw..and besides Im SICK of it now and want to get back to ordinary piecing!
Ill post photos next time.
Ive also been preserving mint jelly..first time I hope it lasts in the bottles. We had some that didnt seal the other night it was delicious. very unusual recipe using lime jelly, wine and venegar amongst others.

happy preserving
Love Cherry

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter

Easter bunny came early... Despite this embarressment of riches our children do know what Easter is all about. We always discuss this at Easter and watch the films. There was a good one on Good Friday although it was quite amusing that the BC made it and all the characters had heavy cockney and yorkshire accents. !!

Well my computer is really playing up. I have completely lost all email capacity and havent fixed it as I cannot be bothered speaking to someone in Indonesia for an hour to fix it! Also the computer itself must be full of viruss it turns itself off!! And throws me off facebook and some other sites. It does what it likes and I think its time i called dial a geek!
These holidays I plan to spend lots of days cleaning up and sprucing the winter garden and spending time with my children and my chooks. Oh and do some quilting BLISS!
I havent been well today and have slept the day away. I must go now Coastwatch is almost on and the GHIU normally gets some screen play each season. Ah the new world of the reality tv star!!
Happy Easter to everyone
Love Cherry