Thursday, February 3, 2011

First Chicken killed for meat

Killing your own food to eat
Well, we finally killed our first chook for meat, it was one of the first lot of  chickens we had, way back here

He was a male, and had just started crowing, so off with his head.  While it's difficult, it's also probably the most wholistic way of sourcing your own meat.  Buying them from the Supermarket having been raised in who knows what conditions, with you several steps removed from the process seems somewhat surreal in retrospect.  We keep the hens for laying eggs.  I guess I am now one of those people that thinks if you can't kill and prepare your own meat you really should not be eating it.

Slaughtered, plucked and gutted...
Anyway, we need to let him sit in the fridge for two days or so to let the rigor mortis out of his muscles, so he's not so tough.  Being so young he should make a lovely roast.  He weighs 1.5 kg, so the same as a size 15 chook from the supermarket but raised ah la natural.

Doing your own repairs
While we like that we're self sufficient in power and water etc sometimes things break down and need repairing, like this join in our main water line.

We noticed the tank had emptied much more quickly then it should have, with all the rain about it is tricky to try and find a water leak in the rain but we finally tracked it down to a really soggy patch right near the main pump itself, after a bit of excavation this is what we found, sure enough !!.

We had to go into town and grab some fittings and do a few repairs.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More fruit trees and other things

Fruit Trees

We plant a few new fruit trees each year, just planted a Eureka Lemon, 2 Passionfruit and 2 Paw Paws today.  After digging the holes, I filled them with water, waited until they drained then used our compost to fill them, watered the plants and then mulched them with Comfrey leaves.

New Paw Paw
New Eureka Lemon

The Dwarf Mulberry we planted a few months ago (Nov 2010) (below) seems to be doing okay, at the same time we did 2 x Pecan, 2 x Japoticaba, 2x Pecan and 1 x Passionfruit and 1 x Black Sapote.

Dwarf Black Mulberry

The Raspberries are coming along, here's where they were first planted back in June and we've collected a 1/2 dozen off them.  We don't really expect many until next year.

Raspeberry Canes

They all seem to be doing fine so far but the Avocado we planted earlier last year looks like it might have succumbed to the constant months of rain we had.  I assume that's what's done it in ?
Sorry looking Avocado

It has been quite hot here lately, the only warm weather we have had so far this Summer.  We often duck down to a nearby creek for a cooling swim, it's a beautiful spot.  The pic below was taken with me in the water up to about my hips.

Swimming hole in a creek  near us, lovely in the Summer heat
Native Animals
Being in the bush of course we get a plethora of native animals, unfortunately the Goannas are in abundance now and it can be difficult keeping them out of the chook-pen, inevitably we loose some of the eggs to the buggers.  
Goanna enjoying a nap in the tree !

but we also get  snakes of all sorts, like this Python on the driveway
Carpet Python

and a family of kangaroos getting some shade relief under the Olive tree.
Mum, Dad and baby enjoying the shade