I haven't written anything since mid 2017 as we have been busy helping a variety of family members with gardening and building projects.
As a result our own space has been very much neglected.
This year we are hoping to build a shade house, get the aquaponics fully functional and get the back paddock growing and producing.
We're five or six years away from retirement so it's crucial that our veggies , poultry and orchards are producing well in the next few years,
We have an orchard in the chicken yard to maximise rotten fruit and bug clean ups and another in the paddock across the sewage lines to take advantage of any moisture we can find.
Our grey water system is up and running and our orchard in the paddock is kept alive with help from the grey water .
We have a steady stream of excess roosters and Drakes to fill our need for meat and our chickens and ducks keep ourselves and our grown family in eggs.
Last year we spent very little on the poultry as we had acesss to free wheat emptied from the feeder bins around our area . ( Farmers sometimes dump grain in wayside stops when a new grain is being harvested.)
The local bakery gives me stale bread for the poultry in exchange for the occasional dozen eggs for their own personal use.
I sell any excess eggs locally which allowed us our meat and eggs for zero dollars and some of this money paid for the layer pellets.
We're very happy with our results with two years into our setting up.
It hasn't all been smooth sailing though as I tried hay bale gardening and that was a bit of a flop and Mr Fox discovered our chickens and ducks and thought he'd have a snack.
We lost 10 half grown ducklings in one night .
One of our incubator rounds of chickens produced only 1 chick from 24 eggs.
So we've invested in four new chickens to give us a new rooster and a fresh bloodline.
Last year also saw us purchase some new ducks so as to add new blood to our flock.
We now have six guinea fowl which are very noisy but I'm told they help move snakes away with their noise and constant movement.
We had two sheep but moved them on as they were more trouble than they are worth.
I'd love to have a milking goat but my husband isn't convinced.
We had one years ago and I'd make cheese , ice cream and of course there was the milk but my husband thinks it would be too much of a tie.
So our paddock will become an extension of the garden but with a lot more trees and less lawn so as to become low maintainence .
Some of our Khaki Campbell ducks . They look a bit raggedy
as they're sun bleached and the mating has been fairly intense
so the poor girls are a bit bald .
new chickens consist of two blacks, two blues
and a splash.