What’s happening on the farm

I finally got some better photos of our lovely animals.

And yesterday Buffie discovered where the geese are laying their eggs and we took about 8 eggs from one of the two nests. It made a lovely japanese style omelette to go with our dinner last night. The eggs are HUGE by the way, about the size of 3 or 4 large chicken eggs at least. They don’t seem to have the greasy feel of duck eggs which I’m very glad about. We still aren’t sure exactly what breed of geese they are so if anyone has some idea please let me know.

We are now thinking of getting in a drake and a gander so that we can start breeding up the birds for dinner.

We are also still working on what breed of chickens, roosters and ducks we have. We think the ducks might be pekin ducks. What ever they are I think they are lovely. I’m pretty certain that at least 3 of our chickens are brown shavers. I want to get some dog houses for the ducks and geese to lay their eggs in so that it’s easier for us to find them and hopefully when we get in the boys it will be nice and cozy for the babies we hope to get.

I’ve finished clearing out another of the overgrown raised beds and planted it with potatoes, Craig has made a start on another one and Buffie has been collecting load after load of horse poo and piling it nicely around the fruit trees as well as clearing back kaikua that has started to straggle a lot of the trees.

The greenhouse is certainly working out wonderfully (and was the only warm and dry place out in the gardens for most of the day yesterday). I’ve gotten in a few bags of compost, garden mix and sand to mix up my own seed raising mix. I’ve followed Kay Baxter’s advice and I’ve combined equal parts of dirt, compost and sand (one day I dream of the dirt and compost coming from our own gardens, but right now we have mud and a stunning looking compost pile that is at least 6 months away from cooked). This combo is in one container and into another I’ve started to sieve the mix. It’s a long process, especially because the bags of soil and compost were a little damp, but the end result is a lovely fine mix that I’m really happy with. So far I have the following seeds/seedlings growing:

  • Cannelloni beans (now seedlings just about ready to plant)
  • Borlotti beans (just sewn)
  • Slenderette beans (just sewn)
  • Chinese cabbage (seedlings that I’ve now thinned out into containers for friends, they are all ready to be planted now I think)
  • Rocket (yummy and ready to be planted out into the garden, I’ve also thinned them for friends)
  • Another lettuce (Silvia or Silvide?)
  • Mixed Basil (thai, cinnamon, lemon and purple)
  • Broccoli (just sewn)
I’m thinking I’ll sew the carrot seeds into the bed Craig is preparing and see how they go. We’ve decided to plant out a lot of these things into the “perennials” bed this season, the land is just so wet and the rain isn’t looking like easing any time soon so we just can’t do anything towards the main plots for at least a few more months. It is nice to see a little progress happening, even if it is slowly.
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Seedling Update

The peas are coming along splendidly and supper fast.

Te Anau & Southland Snow PeasTe Anau (top) & Southland Snow Peas (bottom)

Some of the Beesteak (pictured) & money maker tomatoes are starting to come up.

Tomatoe seedlings

There are actually two cucumbers coming up in this photo, one in the bottom left corner and one at the top right edge.

Cucumber seedlings

Almost half a dozen of the Kentuky Beans are sprouting. I believe these are the type of beans I grew up on so I’ll be very excited if they do come up and even more so if I can save some of the seeds.

Beans

No basil or cabsicum yet though. I also harvested my first few broad bean pods yesterday (not from the balcony garden), I’m thinking tonights dinner will be meat and three veg featuring the broad beans 🙂

Observation of seeds planted on 1st March

Pea, Lettuce, Broccoli and Beetroot are already sprouting their first leaves. I can see that some of the corn are also germinating. The lettuce seeds that I harvested on Friday are also coming up already in their dozens. I was told I would have to wait for about a week before anything happened but it looks like my seeds are all early risers.

Seedlings seem to be all perky in the planter box. From what I can see of the garden I planted at Joel and Judy’s, they seem to be perky. I need to inspect the carrots and see if they are coming up at all yet, apparently they like poor soil so I’m hoping they will do well.

Planted 2 large “seed” potatoes into the old compost bin with Buffie’s 3 or 4 that already have long stalks. We need to add more dirt but we might wait until the two new ones poke up some stems. Also planted a sweet potato (Kumara) about fist deep into the common garden beside her house.

Made another batch of the roasted cherry tomatoes, the ones in the bottom tray got too hot and burnt so I ended up with only half the batch and then I forgot to add the garlic chives!