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Tiny farm tales... August 2019

Tiny farm tales...

I have 48 quail eggs in the incubator, on day 7 now. They have about 10-12 days to go. That’s left me with four dozen eggs for eating. That’s a thought process that I mostly leave alone. I also have four or five old birds that I can tell will drop off the perch soon. I lost one on the weekend. Nature says the old must pass so the new can come on. People aren’t any different, except the span of years Is greater. 

I split a native bee…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on September 2, 2019 at 22:44 — 5 Comments

Environmental warrior... or dirty old dumpster diver?

Am I an environmental warrior or just a dirty old dumpster diver?

Some folks would probably suggest that I am a tad over obsessed with climate change and living a life aimed at helping save the environment. There's some elements of that lifestyle which I normally don't talk about for fear of being labelled a dirty dumpster diver. But you know me - I'm gunna talk about them tonight!

I reuse and recycle a lot of wood and stuff. Why would I buy new stuff…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on August 4, 2019 at 23:02 — 10 Comments

A late blogs... March/April 2019

April 2019

I have pumpkins coming in now (taking up a lot of room). I've planted spuds out too.  Lettuce seeds are growing but I'm not sure how valuable they'll be in winter - pesto sounds good.  Silverbeet are also doing well on the north. 

There's a fair bit of citrus to harvest but the south side of the yard continues to die back.  No sun.  I've slowed down feeding the fish.  There's very few eggs from the chooks but the quails are still…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on April 3, 2019 at 22:30 — 19 Comments

Tales from the Tiny Farm: November 18

Salad/veges: I've been trying to show a few pics of modest harvests each day (facebook posts). The idea is to explain that little bits each day add up. If I can make the odd meal from zucchinis then that's great. The same with eggs, tomatoes, silverbeet, lettuce or whatever. Rather than worry about making a whole meal once a week, I find it's better to contribute one thing or two to most dinners.

Fruit: tends to come in batches. I try to make jams, chutneys…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on November 25, 2018 at 0:11 — 6 Comments

That's ahead of plan!

I have grapes on the north side of the yard.

Citrus like oranges and  

Lemonades 

And…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on September 3, 2018 at 13:00 — 4 Comments

SERIOUSLY?!

I want to post about some "Captain Obvious" things that I am surprised that I didn't know.  As a result, this blog will probably be updated regularly.  

1. Calcium.  

Yep - deficiencies cause blossom end rot in fruit/veg.  Sometimes yellow veins in the leaves.  I know that.  I've always tended to use trace elements to fix it.  

Easier answer is to throw gypsum into the soil when you plant.  It alters the soil composition to break clay and clump the soil to make nutrient…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on August 29, 2018 at 23:46 — 9 Comments

Quail slaughter and other stuff

UPDATE (February 18):

For those who watched the video, things have moved on from the previous post below.  I am now slaughtering spare males and old females who no longer lay.  Yes, I'm quite comfortable with the decision.  No, there is no cruelty what-so-ever.  In a complete random act of insanity, I am testing whether Big Bertha (the barred plymouth rock) will sit on quail eggs.  Oh, the quails are laying and it's too hot for the chickens to want to perform. …

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on February 17, 2018 at 20:30 — 14 Comments

How being frugal fritzed my Fajita kit

I found A Fajita kit in the back of the pantry today around 3 pm when I was seriously lacking inspiration for tonight's dinner.  Well, that's an easy answer.  I have some chicken breast in the freezer.  I know!  I'll duck out and get some greens from the garden .... and that was how the fritzing started!

Thinking about it, I also had some spinach wraps I wanted to use.  I'll just replace the burrito wraps from the kit with them.  Oh, damn.  My Saudi students cooked last night.…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on September 7, 2017 at 22:11 — No Comments

It's gotta melt your heart

One of the kids across the road, young Andrew aged about 9, watched me put the vege patch on the footpath.  He advised me that people would steal the veges.  He was very happy when I told him that I wanted them to take them.  "You can't steal it, if I've already given it to you."  

I've been trying to space my planting out there so that there won't be sudden feast followed by months of famine (inspired by a recent tomato debacle in my yard).  Young Andrew decided that I wasn't…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on July 13, 2017 at 21:06 — 10 Comments

It started when I made some chutney - or - what the hell is in my fridge?

I found some apples that weren't looking their best today.  After a bit or work, I ended up with three bottles of chutney.  One of these bottles went in the fridge - where I immediately bumped into an existing bottle of "paw paw, tomato, zucchini, and date chutney."  

"Oi Roz.  Where the hell did we get this paw paw chutney?" I yelled.

My Roz says, "Sophie made it.  You got it at Christmas."

"Oh, that explains the sauerkraut bottle beside it!"

Anyways, that got me…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on June 26, 2017 at 22:10 — 5 Comments

The tiny farm deli.

Expanding the deli here on the tiny farm.



None of you will be shocked by the fact that I like to make my own deli items. From cheese, sauces, pestos and sausages; it's all part of the deli fun. Well, I have decided to add a new item to the McDowall Manor deli. Home dry cured and smoked, nitrite-free bacon. I'll also try to whip out a smoked pork belly dinner, just to see what it's like. 



In other news, the farm flock has returned…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on April 9, 2017 at 23:23 — 9 Comments

What's going on at the Manor? Stardate: 20160822

I have a batch of 20 quail eggs in the incubator on day 15 now.  I took the egg rocker out today and laid them gently on the floor of what I am hoping will be their brooder soon.  What's the difference between an incubator and a brooder?  An egg rocker.  I use the same incubator for both purposes.  Real quail breeders have two separate bits of equipment.

The alcoholic ginger beer is ready to bottle tomorrow.   I'll try not to add too much sugar and avoid some beery explosions.…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on August 22, 2016 at 22:17 — 5 Comments

Andy's Regular Program - Garden Updates for August

2016

Out the front:  the building patch is still doing bugger all, in fact, it's mostly ornamental now.  The Mulberry seems to be thriving (although not right now due to winter).  The blood orange is dead.  The sugar cane is a real standout which I didn't expect.  The cumquats are being wasted because I have no room to freeze them since I shut down the second fridge.  The roses are…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on August 6, 2016 at 21:34 — 39 Comments

Stardate: 17072016

Couldn't find a July update to ... um.. update... so I've started a new one.

I've been fighting my infrastructure here on the tiny farm for around two months now.  My roof leaked in the first East Coast Low.  I got it fixed but waited for the second low to make sure it was right.  Then, they ripped up the inside of my house to fix the ceilings.  I took the opportunity to swap to all my lights to LED bulbs while the scaffolding was up. 

Until the last two days, the solar system…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on July 17, 2016 at 23:54 — 5 Comments

My dirty secret... OR .... My little mate

Late at night, I sneak downstairs into the garage.   It’s fairly isolated so I can turn the light on.  I creep across the carpet (yes, my garage is carpeted) and check the young quails.  Occasionally, they’ll need water or food, but usually by night they are asleep.  Then I look in the other, smaller box.  My special little mate usually gives me a chirp.  It has no use of one leg and the other appears only partly useful. 

I’ll pick him up and help him drink some water.  I check there…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on May 4, 2016 at 22:41 — 11 Comments

Spring Update: Stardate 17102015

16 October 2015

October seems to be when I travel.  I've been on a road trip out to Lightning Ridge for a week.  Yes, of course I did a video. LOL. 

Back to the yard.  The fish survived again, but the water was really low and very dirty - same for the chickens.  The grow bed was fine because I learned the "summer-proof with shade cloth" lesson from last year and made sure that was done last month.  The girls must become cranky about their water because I'm down…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on October 16, 2015 at 0:20 — 8 Comments

Of possums, water cress and rats. The update.

September update:

Dear diary:  Just over 2 months have passed since I first posted this blog.  Time for an update!

Pleased to announce that the Percy problem has been solved with no harm to her or myself. I've now removed all the damn skewers and wire from my garden beds with no further worries in that regard.

The great War of the Grey Rat Clan is continuing.  Greens are still vanishing from the aquaponics bed.  The bloody things have almost killed my…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on September 22, 2015 at 13:30 — 56 Comments

A burst of enforced silence....

My pc died tonight.  I'm not going to post much until it is fixed.  I have access by the phone but it is painful. 

Keep growing.  Don't worry, I can seek solace in my Kumquatcello.  LOL.  

Andy

Added by Andrew Cumberland on September 8, 2015 at 21:03 — 6 Comments

A lazy Sunday at the Manor

I was pottering about in the yard today at a lazy old pace.  It was pottering in a literal sense because we'd pulled out a heap of Bromilliads that I potted up into six huge pots.  I also finally planted out Farina's ArkLiving pot which has become a lettuce garden (you can never have too many greens).  Anyway... that was when the "Manor Bug" as I call it struck with full force.  I was obsessed to get in touch with Farmer Andy.  

Firstly, I bottled up 25 liters of alcoholic…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on August 16, 2015 at 20:30 — 25 Comments

2015 Annual update of Stardate 29.05.13 - when real life gets in the way.

I like this idea of updating previous years' blog entries.  So I will continue:

2015

(Note to self: it's quite warm this year. Winter has been delayed).

So, this year the snow peas are going well.  They've been in for a short time but are already producing. Having said that, they are in a more sunny garden this year.   I also have around 8 beans in.  They're growing okay…

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Added by Andrew Cumberland on May 30, 2015 at 1:04 — 15 Comments

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