Friday, December 24, 2010

Corporate support!

A local company, Safmarine, recently made a contribution to the farm and offered their labour for the week to help. They managed to get allot done and had a good time too.

On the first day they painted 2 of our storage containers green. They are definitely less of an eye sore now.

 We also got 6 fruit trees that they planted and a whole lot of seedlings and seeds that they filled the new veggie beds with.
This group helped with the fruit trees.

This is one of the completed beds
as shown in the blog post 'permaculture veggie patch plan.'

Seeds getting planted.

 Seed racks full and germinating.

Seedlings planted and happy in the sun.

A big thank you to Safmarine and their staff for their generous donation and all their hard work. I hope you all have a merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Chicken Dome Experiment

I first learned about the this chicken dome design from the book - The Permaculture Home Garden by Linda Woodrow. She calls it a 'Chook Dome' and it's a design for a chicken tractor which is a kind of pen for chickens that can be moved from place to place. It is an essential part of the veggie garden system and although I've decided to upgrade the design and outsource the construction it's been useful in rearing my first lot of little forest bantam type chickens known as Blue Dutch Kriel.

This was the basic structure, made with 20mm 3.3m conduit piping. We cut steel droppers (stakes) to about 30cm bent them to the correct curve and glued them inside the joins.

This is how it looked when it was just about done. It was just missing the Tarp. The tarp is supposed to be tied to the ground by stakes and NOT to the frame. My workers have managed to forget that golden rule twice so it has been airborne a couple of times and sustained a little damage but it's still going strong.

I'm hoping to have one of the 3 upgrades by early next year.

The I had bought 2 cocks a hen and 4 pullets(chickens under a year old). One cock died but between them they've had 15 chicks of which 12 remain...some have disappeared in the night but I'm hopeful that most will make it to adulthood and help make me a good size flock. 

A hen and the chicks managed to get out one morning.
 I've since secured the dome a little better.
That's the little cock that died.
That hen had 8 little chicks after I paired her with the other cock.