Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

I've had chooks for years. Usually I pen them because they are so destructive among the veges growing. Brutal with seedlings.
'Tis a crisis when a chook gets out and does feral things.
But I live with a woman who grew up with a chook run across half the fam back yard and I'm always being told to let them roam.
I'm no dogmatist. I'm not a poultry once a few of my orchardy trees survived I expanded the pen to surround them too.
Then I planted Pigeon Peas inside this pen by protecting the saplings inside milk crates.
I now see that aside from fruit trees, the chooks have allowed Turmeric, yam and sweet potato to grow unmolested among what is usually Ground Zero.
My usual practice is to ring plants, I need to protect, with twigs and branches as a mulch so the chooks can't dig up their roots. I also ring young plants with stakes and sticks driven into the ground so the chooks can't get through the grill effect.

So now I've added a second pen that I let the chooks into as required. Here I have my Vetiver nursery and the chooks keep the weeds and grasses down.
But I'm finding with careful management I can grow some veges -- like the squashes, Jerusalem artichokes and Piper lilot, Okinawan spinach -- in such a chook run.
I had been thinking about this for some time as I wanted a fence that was mobile.
I had a few old pieces of corrugated iron sheeting and, with three starposts, and some plastic clamps, I got myself a mobile wall I can dismantle and move about in 20 minutes.
Much better than relying on chicken wire which curls up on you, cuts your hands and doesn't sit straight.
Any height issue -- and I do have an escapee type in the flock -- I just run a rope a little ways above the top of the iron sheeting. What they don't know, chooks don't trust to land on.
So all good.

[In the photo: Behind the Vetiver is a Cassava hedge, moringa, a banana and to the left, one of my mulberry bushes covered with choko vine.]

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Comment by Sophie on March 22, 2021 at 14:41

haha cactus barrier seems effective. hilarious really

Comment by Dave Riley on March 21, 2021 at 16:08

Here's the cactus barrier in situ. A good machete goes along way...

Keep off you !!?#@!! chickens mulch! Lasts for some time. At least a year.

Here protecting Jalapeño peppers and a Bottle Gourd vine.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on March 20, 2021 at 19:31

I wouldn't free range quail.  Absolutely everything eats them.  I only let them out under strict supervision.  Maybe I could get Doug to build me a life savers tower in my back yard so it can be my predator monitoring station.  Probably not, I'd only get drunk and fall out and hurt myself. 

Comment by Dave Riley on March 20, 2021 at 18:17

But ducks cack like everywhere.

Then, my other half wants ducks too...

Goes no where near the poultry. It's all ambience for her.

Back in the day, at the old place, we had a couple of ducks.

FYI: We did eat the quail you bequeathed to us. Really, after my sufficiency  days interstate raising rabbits for meat, quail meat isn't a menu preference.Not much meat for the kill. No party-in-the-mouth.

I'm not being Vegan moral, just ergonomically efficient. If I could only convince the other about Guinea Pigs -- and butcher them in secret -- I'd be interested in that project as a menu project.

I forget to mention that one of my fav anti-chook mulches was sliced up stems of Peruvian Cactus. My neighbour has a huge one and while I've planted out my own, it isn't of the true apple persuasion.

So I hack off pieces and the savage spines keeps the poultry at bay when laid around treasured plants or fence lines.

Even stopped the dog getting out.

I am growing the true apple cactus from seed  and I'll replace my other specimens with that. I keep the others -- fruit is useless and rare -- because of the stunning flower show and it's such a bee frenzy.

Peruvian apple cactus fruit is delicious with a slightly richer and denser flavour that Dragon Fruit.

Comment by Doug Hanning on March 20, 2021 at 17:33

That's why I only have free ranging ducks now. They don't destroy the joint like chooks. Looking for another couple of khaki Campbell's to join the flock. Plus they are insect eating machines

Comment by Dave Riley on March 20, 2021 at 10:40

The Chook Run moves!

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Vetiver grass helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion.  It can protect against pests and weeds. Vetiver is also used as animal feed. (Wiki.)

GrowVetiver is a plant nursery run by Dave & Keir Riley that harvests and grows Vetiver grass for local community applications and use. It is based in Beachmere, just north of Brisbane, Australia.

Place your business add here! ($5 per month or $25 for 9 months)

Talk to Andy on 0422 022 961.  You can  Pay on this link

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