RIP Goldie

Goldie, it would appear, was 9 1/2 years old, which isn’t bad going for a chicken. She came from a breeder down at Rokeby who had hatched the chicks for the display at the Royal Hobart Show. That happens in October each year, and the oldest photo I have is datestamped from January 2003.

100_2994.JPG

and here she is a little older, with two of the others from the same batch. [Amber the clack one in front is still with us]

Amber and Goldie

Goldie used to like weekend lunches – where possible we take our weekend lunch outside and eat it on the steps at the front of the deck. She’d learnt to sneak up behind us, ready to clean our plates when we put them behind us. She also used to hide in the (outside) laundry to lay her eggs, or climb/fly up onto the bench hopeful that we’d left the lid off the chicken food tub again. Goldie was a Modern Game Bantam, if you were lucky enough to pick her up it was possible for your fingers to touch around her – but then she’d flap and show you how strong she was by pushing and flapping out of your hands.

Her last few days were quiet – I gave her a bit of water through a syringe, but the fact she let me pick her up showed her age. She is now next to a nectarine tree in the new fruit tree area alongside the driveway. A quiet but strong character. Let there be more chickens like you, Goldie Girl.

Weekend gardening

A couple of weeks ago I weeded a couple of  circles, and discovered much of the spinach seed I roughly sprinkled about 8 weeks ago had actually germinated! I’ve not been very lucky with spinach in the past, mollycoddling it in the greenhouse. Which sometimes means erratic watering. Now I’ll direct seed it and forget it.  In another circle I found some of the collards I’d broadcast as well on the basis they’d come up where they were happiest. Good idea to mark a circle when you do this as in another spot I’d been wondering what the rogue brassicas were and pulling them out. Ahem!

Big news – the chickens have started laying again after a few months freeloading rest. Finally!

Green stuff is still growing in the garden, and on the second official day of winter  this self-grown sunflower opened up. We throw grain mix on the lawn for the chickens and this is one seed they must have missed. It’s looking a bit tired now, a month later.

Winter Sunflower

Robin scooped up the lovely rotted mulch from the paths and added it to our resting circle. It was dark, full of worms and practically weed-free. The paths have been topped up from our mulch mountain. This will make a huge difference in the spring – the paths will be less rich for weeds to grow, the paths will be drier underfoot and the berries that will be planted in that circle will love the wood-rich rotted material. Perfect.
Intentional carrots and onions

The worms are happy, there’s enough coriander, borage and forget-me-not seedlings covering the spare space to stop other weeds thank goodness. I did have to pull out excess coriander and english marigolds from the carrots and onion though.
We’re eating lots of granny smith apples (a batch of bottles of stewed ones are in the preserver at the moment). The rabbits get the battered windfalls and prunings (disclaimer, Dutchy has a Fuji apple here)
Dutchy taking a leisurely approach to her work

If you look carefully in the photo below you will spot a rosella also enjoying a granny smith.

Feeding the wildlife

Click to enlarge

And the lemon trees are loaded – I decided to do a bit of gentle pruning, which led to putting a box of lemons out the front as giveaways.
Lemon surplus