We'll burn them out

11 November 2010
I send my sincere thanks to everyone who wrote a comment over the past two days. There were some very helpful suggestions there and I'm sure many people would have been helped by them.

Lets take a leisurely stroll around our place. This all happened yesterday afternoon when I saw Hanno building a straw bonfire in the chook yard. We've had an infestation of lice in the chook house and he wanted to clean everything out and make sure the lice were gone for good. So he collected all the straw that was in the coop and set it on fire.

While I was out there with my camera in the late afternoon sun, I took a stroll around to see what the chooks were doing. The black girls always stay together and wander around like innocent young things, but I know they're cooking up something.


This is Lulubelle, our barred Plymouth Rock hen, she's quiet and shy and is generally by herself.

This is where we grow most of our fruit. That's our large water tank - it holds 10,000 litres. Just in front of it is a grape vine just starting to grow again in the warmer weather. In front of it are bananas, a loquat and an orange tree and just out of sight are pink grapefruit and mandarin. Over the fence I see mangoes growing.

If I look to the left I can see towards the front of the house. They're grape and passionfruit vines on the lattice in front of the house and another Washington navel orange along the fence line.

Hanno put our last three bales of straw out in the sun in case the lice are in there too. The chooks discovered them and had to check them out.

This is Mary, our little chook that is usually broody and sitting on the nest. It's good to see her out walking with her sisters.

And here is Lucy, Mary's mother. Lucy is an Old English Game hen, a strange blend of mentalness, cunning and motherly love. Lucy came to us with her brood of miss-matched chickens she'd hatched out on the farm where Shane and Sarndra live. All the chicks have grown now but she still gives them a bit of a hurry up when she feels like it. She always looks like she's doing something important.

Further over, under the palm trees, Anne Shirley, a New Hampshire hen, is resting in the afternoon sun.

And now, after my stroll around, I see the fire has turned to smoke and the attendant is still at his post.

He will start putting everything back into the coop soon so I'd best get back inside and continue with the preparations for our tea. Before I went outside I'd started soaking old bread in milk to make the most delicious and moist meatballs to be cooked in homemade tomato sauce and served with pasta.

I still haven't unpacked my harvest basket of cucumbers and capsicums/peppers that I collected this morning. There are a few overgrown Lebanese cucumbers in there, the golden ones are lemon cucumbers - a delicious, crisp one, easily grown and very prolific.

And last, we have the egg custard I made earlier. I used 4 eggs from our girls, local Jersey milk, some sugar and vanilla. Into the oven for a short time and it comes out still wobbly and utterly delicious. We had it warm last night and will finish it off tonight, cold, with pears.

After all these years, I still find it pleasing and a bit surprising that we can make so much from our backyard. There is nothing special out there, it's just an ordinary productive backyard, but with a bit of work and care, we eat like kings and live the life of Reilly. I enjoyed this stroll around, and showing you an afternoon at our home. I finished off a day of writing with that short stroll and cooking dinner. I feel satisfied with what I've achieved, so I'll let yesterday go and let tomorrow be what it may.