The Noobie Gardener

Trying to get my thumb green, and going in the deep end!


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Grafting lil chicks and hoping Mama will take em in!

“Would women find vampires even sexier and more romantic if instead of fangs they had rose thorns?  It’s thoughts like these I think of when digging in my garden, looking for my one true love ( If only I could remember where I buried her!)”
Jarod Kintz

HELLO!! Ahhhh a brand spanking new glorious day especially after yesterday, how are you? I hope you’re doing well! My goodness that was such a sad start yesterday but hey new beginnings with a new day!  I am so so so so tired, I know this sounds silly but after last night I couldn’t sleep very well.  But more about that later, in the meantime  let me introduce the other chicks that have come our way. Fresh from my Chicken Guru’s brooder, here is :

the hopefully adopted chicks!

the hopefully adopted chicks!

I know it’s hard to see , from the above picture, in the meantime the one on the far right upper trying to get under Scarlett is Cashew (husbands idea that we should have a brother to Peanut ) she ( i hope) is a Wyandotte silver laced chick, the yellow chick who decided to be in everyones food including herself is a Peckin Bantam called ” Popcorn” and the one next to Mum is another Peckin Bantam called “Munchkin” and way in the back all confused and happy like is , who everyone knows “Pip”. So thats the whole gang! Okay I got pictures of them all!

Cashew; Wyandotte bantam chick

Cashew; Wyandotte bantam chick Pretty shy lil one, always hiding under Mum or runs away!

Popcorn : Peckin Bantam chick

Popcorn : Peckin Bantam chick, bit of a ditzy one.. the only chick i’ve ever seen who does.. circles.. litterally and a bit clumsy. Entertaining and cute to watch! Survived the onslaught of Rosie! the Survivor!

munchkin

Munchkin : Peckin Bantam chick, bit of a Brat, already today pecked both mums eyes and made her squawk LOUD! Not to mention around her face and a little adventurer. This one is one to watch, I’d call her Cheeky if she didn’t already have a name!

pip

Pip: Peckin Bantam Chick; who looks just like Munchkin although you can tell the difference as she’s a bit smaller. Must’ve been born a day or two after Munchkin but a bit more placid and settled as she was with Mum all yesterday and the day before.

As suggested by my Chicken Guru aka Fleur, we managed to quietly and with as little disturbance as possible swap her eggs out for chicks one by one. However Rosie was in the coop. Now I checked them again at 12 midnight to be sure everything was going okay which they were.. and then woke up first light to check on the coop. Worried however that Rosie was getting into the chicks when we checked this morning. Really pecking at Sunshine ( who seems to be alright) and Munchkin. So we closed up the coop and Rosie is hanging outside for the day. Our dilemma is tonight when everyone has to go to bed, where will Rosie go? As we don’t want her to attack Scarlett or the chicks and also be alone. This is the question that i’m posing to my chicken Guru as we speak.

I guess the reason why I was worried last night was that Peanut when we found him was smooshed. I’ve heard of Broody hens/mama who thought that the chicks were intruders, not theirs, for some reason didn’t belong and killed their own chicks. ( thanks Dr. Google!) But so far so good. I keep checking now and then and rest assured they’re kinda doing okay.  So that’s the chicken side of the story. Any suggestions on what to do with Rosie would be greatly appreciated!

Also the noob that I am in the gardening side, i’m really excited for someone who has never really grown anything that developed vegetables before!

So i’m doing the whole cycle of cleaning out the pen, putting it on the Garden, and letting everything feed my garden and so far even though they’re in pots temporarily the vegies are doing great! So after checking out the chickens, the cats, myself and hubby and I perused the garden and low and behold this morning I noticed some vegetables growing! Baby chicks and Baby Vegies!!Firstly the broadbeans that i’ve planted from seeds are sprouting onwards and upwards pretty fast!

Broadbeans shooting for the sky

Broadbeans shooting for the sky

This is my first tomato! ( great guns!! you would’ve thought that i’ve never seen a tomato before)

Small as a cherry tomato at this stage but hopes for it to grow more!

Small as a cherry tomato at this stage but hopes for it to grow more!

as well as..

My first eggplant! (YAY!)

Yes that purple thing there is a small small teeny weeny eggplant but my first. My dad keeps boasting that his eggplant plant has 15 on it... I'll start with one and hope for more to come!

Yes that purple thing there is a small small teeny weeny eggplant but my first. My dad keeps boasting that his eggplant plant has 15 on it… I’ll start with one and hope for more to come!

Okay okay, i know it’s just vegetables Detty I know, nothing to be really excited about. I guess the difference is that i’ts not from the grocery store, i’m reducing my carbon print by doing exactly what i’m doing now.. growing and eventually eating from my backyard! I’ve never watched vegetables really grow and after looking after and hatching pip, and watching my vegetables grow it’s sparked a deeper respect for where food comes from and how.  We really do take our food for granted and how it gets on our plate.

So other than that, there’s a whole stockpile of clothes to iron, clean, do the floors and recheck Scarlette and the chicks! ( so much to do in so little time!)

Well seeya later alligator!

Detty
XO

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Going in the deep end

“I grow plants for many reasons; to please my eye or please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow. “

David Hobson

So… Noobie.. definition: A person who is new to something; a newcomer.. Describes me to a tee  especially when it comes to gardening.  I live with my Husband, two cats in my lovely house, however my garden is something else.

Lets just say.. that my garden.. didn’t used to even resemble what it is now. Even now my garden is pretty bleugh but it’s a far cry than what it used to be !  I’ll put a picture up of what it is now but before it was a jungle. I wish I were exaggerating.. but unfortunately and ashamed to say… this is true. You know the humble weed? How it starts off small .. well.. my weeds were the size of medium plants. Now imagine that.. and then multiply it by say 40-50 .. and in a small backyard.. I think I sum it up when my Mum who came to visit said to me, ” Detty when are you going to do the backyard? I’m scared that you could have snakes!”. When you hear that you absolutely , undoubtedly know that you really really truly have to do something, anything! This year I made it a point to make a New Years Resolution: Tackle my garden. Make it somewhere I can really and truly escape outside. I’m going to take back my garden!

So early this year,  in came “my backyard heroes” armed with lawnmowers, gloves, shovels and whippersnippers.   My parents church group swung by (needing to raise some funds) , battled my backyard for a good donation. It took 8 full grown men ( including hubby) a whole day to clear my backyard to the bare minimum. Albeit uneven in some areas, lumpy, and bare… it was one of the first since I moved in.. the first times that I ever stepped out in my own backyard. I realised.. that i should do something out here.. and I liked being out here!

So what type of garden do we want? That was the question.. do I just want a pretty garden full of flowers and lawn and water features? Maybe.. I don’t have much space, in fact the whole yard is wrapped around the house but only meters from the house is the fence.  I was uhming and ahing for quite a while until researching gardens, I came to good old youtube.

And.. I found Josh Byrne and Permiculture Gardening Australia.

Suddenly my eyes were opened to the potential that I could have. Firstly it is becoming more and more expensive to eat healthier. Seriously when you think about it, it’s cheaper to eat junk food then to eat healthy. But what about the backyard? What if you could grow your food? Or some of it at least? Have fresh food, where you know where it came from ( obviously the backyard), you know how it was grown ( because you grew it yourself), it’s definitely fresh ( as you picked it out not moments before and you’re cleaning it now) and it’s really healthy! No pesticides ( unless you use it), not much travel time or wait time for your food to travel to you.  The plus also is, if you plan it right, you can utilize your space no matter how small your yard may be and still come out better. Fresh herbs, vegies and fruit! Awesome!

Then came the thoughts of how about we try having some chicken. My hubby ( The voice of reason in our marriage) announced that he didn’t want to buy chickens unless we knew for sure that we were able to cope with chickens. You can rent a house, you can rent a car.. who knew that you can rent chickens!? Chickens that are delivered and setup in your own backyard. Explanations given, information and support for as long as you have the chickens. Chickens check.. coop check.. food check… now.. did they lay eggs? YES THEY DID from the very first day! If you’re in Melbourne and you come across this dilemma BOOK A CHOOK is amazing! The lady who runs this amazing rental business is clearly passionate about everything chicken! http://www.bookachook.com.au check it out!

Anyway we had them for 4 weeks.. in that time they worked their little ways into our hearts. When that chicken ( Peckin Bantam) arrived and the first thing that they did was weed my garden.. they had me! They are amazing, the eat the weeds more than the plants, have dust baths ( but in turn aerate my soil), fertilise and ate my scraps. After the rental period was over we ended up falling in love with the chickens. So we now have chickens, a coop, food and support from the bookachook owner who continues to be invaluable and very very patient.

So after the chickens we thought we should plan our garden moreso.. put some more thought into it. So that we did! My husband is studying at the moment so alot of the time he’s away so really the main person to look after everything including garden wise is moi. I’m working full time and thought to call in someone to just do the front lawn. IN comes this really great Gardener.. who lets me know.. hey not only do I do lawns, I also do landscaping ( aha lightbulb sprung up) and gardens.

So tomorrow he’s going to let us know what he proposes to do to the first section of our cleared out backyard which is exciting. He’s going to also install a gate whereby we can put the chickens in , in the event that my parents dogs Charlie bear and Pepper come to visit for a while.

In the meantime i’m putting everything into containers ( all the plants and seedlings) to keep them mobile until the whole garden beds are completed and we can organise who goes where. I’ve delved a little into companion gardening.. and im still doing a lot of research… I mean alot!

here’s a few websites that i’ve visited

Everything Chicken!

Everything Garden!

Well amoungst all that we did today, we went to Masters to visit the nursery and there is this person who works there : Rod. He’s amazing he’s an avid gardener over the years and well.. he told me , even though we research on the internet, nothing compares to reading it from a book. You wouldn’t cook without a recipe right? It makes sense!

So in a way even though me and hubby are going into making the garden ourselves, we’re surrounded by some support or direction. There is already casualties in the plant department.. but all is not lost as I am learning as I go along.

Whats going to happen in the next following weeks?

  • One of our chickens Scarlett has gone broody, so we put some fertilised eggs under her and hopefully we’ll be raising some chicks
  • Gardener coming over tomorrow to plan our garden out more
  • Establishing a compost bin/ worm farm
  • Repotting plants and establishing where the fruit trees are going to go
  • Water feature in pots with goldfish
  • Installing a gate
  • leveling out the backyard
  • Using every bit of our small backyard to the full potential and making our backyard edible and pretty at the same time. Making it useful.

I know this is alot of hard work and there will be some duh moments as we are completely newbies ourselves. However welcome to our journey you’re more than welcome to stick around, pop in and out from time to time and see how we are progressing or more or less… stumbling our way to a better garden!