Tag Archives: chickens

Tassievore Eat Local Challenge Week 1 – Food Forager

I’ve been busy walking this week, so I haven’t given the Tassievore Eat Local Challenge my full attention.

I wrote a post about getting started last week,  and have been doing what I can for Week 1’s challenge, which has been to “seek out Tasmanian food and drinks . . . whether an old apple tree on the side of the road, a bottle of wine you haven’t tried before, or a recipe that has tweaked your interest”.

Funnily enough, the apple trees on the side of the road that I noticed last Sunday got pruned to within an inch of their lives during the week. Something about power lines, I believe . . .

Foraging at my house is primarily the search for eggs.

The oldest chicken decided long ago that the laying box wasn’t for her and has taken to laying in a spot in some bushes that we’ve nicknamed The Egg Butty. This comes from something Juniordwarf used to do when he was very small, and it kind of stuck. She’s had more than one Egg Butty over the years, but this is the current go-to spot.

Egg Butty

Egg Butty

The new chickens are gradually getting used to laying and are figuring out where to do it. One of them has even found the laying box.

Laying box

Laying box

The other one has decided it’s better to lay in the very back of the chook house, between the two perches, right in the chook shit from the night. She invariably knocks the perches off and we have to perform contortionist acts to get the egg and set the perches back up.

Not the laying box

Not the laying box

Foraging in my own back yard.

One of the new chickens

One of the new chickens

I also got 2 strawberries off my plant this week. I think that’s about 10 now. None of the other plants have fruited, so 6 plants for $10, and 10 strawberries = $1 per strawberry. Bargain! At least they aren’t fumigated with methyl bromide.

Gourmet strawberries

Gourmet strawberries

And by happy accident I discovered a self-seeded oregano plant in amongst my pennyroyal in one of the most shady parts of the yard. How it got there is anyone’s guess, but I’m not complaining.

Feral oregano

Feral oregano

Because I managed to kill my raspberry plants, I didn’t get any raspberries this year. So as a consolation, I’ve been drinking the raspberry cider from Two Metre Tall. It’s very good.

My main source of raspberries this year

My main source of raspberries this year – note deliberately out of focus cider so you can read the sign in the background (ahem)

I had a couple of ideas of new places to go foraging, but other things got in the way and I didn’t make it.

I did pick up some Tasmanian produce from Eumarrah in Hobart, and I really like the new labelling that Hill St Grocer has for its fruit and vegetables.

Apples at Eumarrah

Apples at Eumarrah

Garlic at Eumarrah

Garlic at Eumarrah

Hill St's produce labelling

Hill St’s produce labelling

This morning we went to our local market, the Big River Growers Market, which has some wonderful people with fantastic produce (and also excellent laksa).

Big River Growers Market

Big River Growers Market

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Laksa!

Laksa!

And we were walking past a new business that has recently opened, so decided to have a look in there and picked up a few different vegetables as well.

Spud Hut

Spud Hut

So we ended up getting a pretty good haul for the weekend.

Weekend's haul

Weekend’s haul

And dinner tonight was accompanied by one of my favourite wines (which I foraged for in my fridge because I needed wine for the dinner recipe . . .)

Derwent Estate Chardonnay

Derwent Estate Chardonnay

Week 2’s challenge is to “grow your own”.

I used to be a gardening fanatic, but since we’ve been in this house – in fact probably since we had Juniordwarf – my commitment to the garden has declined and I haven’t grown anything (successfully) for several years.

Perhaps this is the time to fix that.

Stay tuned.

Week in review – 2-8 February 2015

Week Goals:

  1. 16,000 steps per day – achieved every day. Gold star for me!

What we did:

This week was almost back to normal. School went back on Wednesday, and you already know how I felt about that.

Juniordwarf was with Slabs on Monday and I went to work. It was my last long day, where I got in to work and left at around the same time as most of my colleagues.

Since going back to work from maternity leave I’ve worked full-time (for 5 months), part time (3 days a week with 2 days at home) and part time (reduced hours for 5 days a week). I’ve made this choice because I want to spend time with Juniordwarf. I don’t want to put him in afterschool care every day and I don’t want to impose on my mother too much.

I’m grateful that I’m able to make this choice and that I have the opportunity to hang out with Juniordwarf after school.

But (there’s always a but) – I’ve found the reduced hours-per-day model is a lot harder than the 3 days full time-per-week model. I find it very draining, and one of my goals for this year is to make it work better for me.

The 6-hour days, where I take a lunch break and leave work some time between 4.00 and 4.30, aren’t too bad. It’s almost a standard day. But the 5 hour days, where I have to leave at 2.30 are awkward. I feel like I’m walking out almost straight after lunch, just when everyone else is settled into their afternoon.

I’m sure they don’t think this, but I’ve convinced myself that they’re thinking that I’m a slacker and not committed to my job because I’m leaving so early.

Of course this isn’t the case. First, I’m only paid for part-time hours, so I’m doing exactly what I’m being paid to do. Second, spending the afternoon with Juniordwarf isn’t the same thing as taking the afternoon off to do stuff I want to do. Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s tolerable, and sometimes it’s downright frustrating and I wish I was back at work.

Mostly I let him decide what we do. If I try and get him to do something I want to do that he’s not interested in, it usually ends badly. So, rather than stress about this, I’ve dedicated the two afternoons we have together as Juniordwarf time. He can choose what we do – mostly. Sometimes I have things that I absolutely have to do, but mostly it’s up to him.

As I said, sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s tolerable, and sometimes it’s frustrating and I can’t wait for Slabs to be ready to go home.

So no, it’s not an easy afternoon off. As several parents I know have said, spending time with a small child – while you’d never give that up – can be way more draining than the time you spend at work.

I could go on, but I think I’ll leave it there for now. There’s work to be done here!

Here’s another picture from the main street – this is the Shoe Mart, a longstanding establishment in the town, which is closing down soon. I love the signage. I hope it can be preserved.

The Shoe Mart

The Shoe Mart

The Wooden Boat festival is on in Hobart this weekend. Two Metre Tall has a stall there, so there’s no Farm Bar this weekend. Unfortunately I had to go out at lunch time on Friday. I’m not sure how I ended up here.

Ooops! How did this happen?

Ooops! How did this happen? It’s a Salty Sea Stout by the sea …

While I was enjoying my Salty Sea Stout, the Constitution Dock bridge was opened to let boats into the dock. I’ve never seen this before. My initial hopes that I’d be trapped in the boat festival’s Waterside Tavern indefinitely were dashed when I realised I could get back to work the long way round. Oh well.

Constitution Dock

Constitution Dock

I’ve been walking every morning in preparation for CARE Australia’s Walk in Her Shoes Challenge. On weekends I’ve been doing 90 minute walks that include the track around the river. The forecast for Saturday was 34 degrees (it actually got to 35 degrees). You’d never have known that in the morning.

Misty start to the morning

Misty start to the morning

We got two new chooks on new year’s eve. Today we got our first egg. This one is compared to the old chook’s egg.

Little egg

Little egg

Today we took Juniordwarf to MONA. Slabs and I had been in 2013 (it was one of my 100 things to do that year – and one of the few I actually ticked off).

We’d told Juniordwarf about it and, as you’d expect, he was fascinated by the idea of the ‘poo machine’. Slabs and I had seen it get fed the day we went, but didn’t stick around for the other end of the process. So today we finally got to see it. Juniordwarf said it was gross, or to use the terminology of the day, courtesy of Coraline, ‘gross-sgusting’.

We had an interesting afternoon and we think Juniordwarf enjoyed himself.

IMG_7689

IMG_7694

Snake!

Snake!

Yes it's the poo machine

Yes it’s the poo machine

Fat car

Fat car

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Next week’s goals:

  1. 16,000 steps per day – I don’t want to peak too early.
  2. Go to bed before 11.30pm.

Week in Review: 26 January – 1 February 2015

This week started off as part of a five-day weekend. I had a day of leave on Friday, a weekend, a public holiday on Monday and then another day off on Tuesday.

On Monday Juniordwarf and I filled in for a presenter who’s taking some time off, at our community radio station TYGA FM on Monday’s midday show, The Time Tunnel. This is a show that features music from a particular year. We looked at 1981 and played Australian music for Australia Day.

TYGA FM

TYGA FM

Juniordwarf was very excited that we were going to have another day together on Tuesday. I was excited too. We hadn’t had a lot of time together these holidays, so it’s been great to have a few days where it’s just him and me doing pretty much whatever he wants to do.

It was a really relaxing break. We didn’t have to go anywhere or do anything apart from the radio show. It was good just to be at home and potter around and spend some time together. It made me miss the days before school started when I’d have a day (or two days before he started kinder) at home with Juniordwarf and I actually felt like a proper mum, instead of someone racing between home, school, work, school and home every day, with hardly a second to take a breath in between.

Sadly, it had to end, and I went back to work on Wednesday.

I’ve kept up with my walking in the mornings and I’m trying to adjust my wakeup time to be able to do the walk I want to do and still give myself time to be ready at the time we need to leave.

I exceeded my 13,000 daily step goal every day, so I’ve increased my goal to 16,000 steps a day leading up to the CARE Walk In Her Shoes challenge in March.

Getting ready for the CARE WIHS Challenge

Getting ready for the CARE WIHS Challenge

Ducklings I saw on my walk on Saturday morning

Ducklings I saw on my walk on Saturday morning

The most interesting thing that happened was that our new chickens, which we got at New Year, have finally started getting up onto the perches in the chook house by themselves at night.

One of the new chickens

One of the new chickens

Oh, and I got another strawberry from my strawberry plant. Yay!

We saw this bird in the garden on Saturday (dodgy photo because I took it through the kitchen window on maximum zoom).

Bird in our garden

Bird in our garden

This was an interesting ‘uncover’ on the main street I noticed during the week. When we first moved here, this shop was called Cooper’s and it was a hardware store. It was most recently True Blue, which had been a real estate agency as well as a removalist service and a ‘bits & pieces’ store. It closed down at the end of last year and is now a store selling local hand-made crafts – but as they’re doing it up, the old Cooper’s awning was uncovered.

Coopers awning

Coopers awning