Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Forced to do another random update Stardate: 26072014

This weekend, I:

  • Switched on the solar system that I made for the aquaponics.  It's been 48 hours and it's still running even with very little sun.  I took the heater off to save on power - tank is still at 18.5 degrees at 5.00 pm.  I think she is now off-grid.  Made a video on it and posted it around the place. 
  • Fixed the worm farm after the chooks destroyed the "worm wee" tray.  
  • Threw what was left of the Kratky boxes in the bin. Damn chooks. 
  • Made a light fence to keep the chooks away from the worm farm and compost corner! 
  • Clipped the chooks wings (just to be sure). 
  • Changed the sprinkler system on the "building site" garden so it can be watered either from the tanks or from "city water."  It's also a lot more effective because I can divide that line into two, depending on what's dry. 
  • Made 3 wheels of blue cheese. 
  • Made smoked tomato compote from my home grown toms. (Have enough to give a bottle to my aged mum.)
  • Started work on a bird feeder from recycled material.  Exploring this kind of thing as a potential income.  Yes, I did go "skip diving" for waste corrigated iron. 
  • Hung a vertical garden I had laying around. Will fill and plant it tomorrow. 
  • Chores: cleaned the aquaponics filters (waste goes into compost tea), fertilised the fruit trees in the planters with said compost tea.  Pulled the last of the aquaponic carrots and turnips - really poor harvest but the chooks loved the green material.  Cleaned and steralized a bunch of bottles for canning and liquors. 
  • Noticed a few button mushrooms are sprouting.  You need to water the heck out of them.  Gentle mist only is rubbish. 
  • On a similar note, I threw my golden oyster stock into the compost because I thought it was mouldy.  Um... no Andy - that's good oyster mycilium!  I am now watering that compost bin on a daily basis.  (*face palm*)

Jeez, I'd better get cracking tomorrow.  

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Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 2, 2014 at 19:09

So here is that bird house/feeder that I said I'd make.  Only the screws aren't recycled.


Comment by Andrew Cumberland on August 1, 2014 at 18:40

Christine - I can't run the heater from the solar - well, I could but then I couldn't run my pumps.  I'm tending to run the pumps in the day by solar and the whole lot at night (heater as well) by power.  Once, summer comes, I'll just leave the pumps on solar 24/7. 

Comment by Christine Cox on August 1, 2014 at 5:48
Love to come round and check out that solar heater in the near future, sounds great Andy!
Comment by Andrew Cumberland on July 30, 2014 at 21:19

My feeder is an automatic self made one from down pipes as well.  The end caps stop the rats getting in.  Hopefully, with tips from a few of us, people will benefit from the joint hind signt. 

Comment by Susan on July 30, 2014 at 18:39

Andy, there would just not be enough hours in the day for me to accomplish all of that.  I too have a problem with the "Damn Chooks".  I'm fortunate that I already had a fence separating the main vegie patch from the rest of the yard (kept the dog out) but over the years have planted herb, flower and asparagus beds, mulch under the fruit trees and have a couple random beds around the place that they absolutely destroy.  I'm in the process of Chookifying those areas by fencing with knee high chicken wire to keep them out of the more delicate areas.

On another note Dave, I haven't had a problem with rats around my chook pen.  I have a feeder that I bought from Dine-a-Chook on ebay.   I never have any feed spilt on the ground so nothing to attract them.  I got the idea from RobBob -> he made his own, but I'm not that handy so just bought one.  I don't know if you've ever heard of them but if not, it might be worth it for you to check out to keep rats away.

Comment by Dave Riley on July 30, 2014 at 14:16

'Damn chooks'

I agree.

My terrier dogs will occasionally break into the pen after rats or mice and when I get up in the morn the chooks have used the break in site to escape and created havoc with my seedlings.

I think I've finally beaten the dogs' habits by edging the pen with shade cloth buried at its baseline.

On the other hand,I mine my chook pen for manured sand and the poultry are so efficient at turning scraps, cuttings and weeds into  the good stuff that the birds are a garden essential.

Pity about the rodents...but the blighters come in from off site...and there are several other pens in the neighbourhood. If I was redoing the layout I'd locate a chook pen away from  any fence so that it could be patrolled on all four sides by the dogs.I haven't seen a notion like that, but it makes for great hindsight.

Comment by Lissa on July 28, 2014 at 5:03

Just meant to give you some ideas for your own junk ornaments. There's a market for this stuff out there.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on July 27, 2014 at 11:47

Wow.  You got some impressive stuff Lissa. 

Comment by Lissa on July 27, 2014 at 6:04

Here's some original garden art I have bought to give you some inspiration for potential income. All made from junk:

Comment by Lissa on July 27, 2014 at 5:54

Good grief.

I'm up to buy a bird feeder from you when you are in production.

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