Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Spring is on the way!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="Kaffir Lime leaves and their knobbly fruit"]Kaffir Lime leaves and their knobbly fruit[/caption]

We may only be 2 weeks into the final month of winter, but spring can't be too far away. The horse has begun to shed and 2 of our chickens...Pecky - on the left - (she likes to peck at food) and Specky - on the right - (a speckled brown)

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Pecky"]Pecky[/caption]

have both gone broody. We popped a few of Daisy's (our female Indian Runner

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Specky"]Specky[/caption]

Duck) eggs under them when they first went broody as all she want to do is run around, eat, splash and "play" with the drake!! A few days later, we were given ten naked neck eggs believed to be fertile from lovely Monica who gave us the chickens. (No they don't have mange, they are Transylvanian Naked Neck Chickens - also known as Turkens in the US) So, we have popped them under the chooks also. Hopefully in the next week either Daisy or one of the other chickens will go broody also so we can separate out the duck eggs, otherwise we will just have to take them out and try for ducklings later on. We figure it's not really fair to expect mamma hens to raise clutches of half chicks, half ducklings!

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Blueberry Flowers"]Blueberry Flowers[/caption]

Out in the garden are other signs of spring. One blueberry bush is covered in flowers while the

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Blueberry Fruit Forming"]Blueberry Fruit Forming[/caption]

other is actually starting to form fruit! Very exciting for us as this will be our first ever crop of blueberries. On the subject of berries, the mulberry tree

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Mulberry beginning to bud"]Mulberry beginning to bud[/caption]

is sprouting leaves and also budding flowers. Hopefully we will get our first crop of them also this year. We are keeping our fingers crossed for a nice abundant spring and summer as this is the first year the plants will have been in long enough as they only went in last year. We
have a single lonely Chinese Bell chilli left on the bush after I had picked all the red ones to make curried chilli with (super yum - I'll post the recipe), but hopefully with the onset of spring, we will get some more. Up in my green house, I have planted about 18 different varieties of herbs and a couple of fruit trees, all from seed. The first few are beginning to pop their heads out of the soil, so far the thyme, marjoram, chamomile and zaatar have all popped up to say hello, as have some of the sunflowers. I am really excited as they are not your standard yellow sunflowers, but will flower in a range from yellow to orange, through to a crimson red!

The lonely Chinese Bell Chillie
They almost look like gerberas. The peas are all giving us pods daily now and we have planted a second lot, and the bok choy is enormous - much to the delight of the chooks and ducks who tuck in to it for their green fodder each day. My first 3 purple cabbages are forming heads and the daikon are growing quickly too! Our mixed lettuce are probably nearing the end of their run, but I do have some new lettuces on their way up. I am really looking forward to giving some baby cos to my friend over the road who has promised me a big bowl of her delicious Caesar Salad in return!

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