Saturday, August 28, 2010

Zucchini: Golden Squashes

First lets dispel a myth. Zucchini is not a vegetable. It is actually an immature fruit - the swollen ovary of the female zucchini flower to be precise. Zucchinis hail from the Americas... at least the squash family did... the varieties of squash typically called "zucchini" were developed in Italy over many generations. Ok I didn't actually know that until I Googled it but I won't tell if you don't...
Our zucchini are the yellow variety and appear happy and content in the middle vege patch. Zucchini are a personal favourite of mine though not so with the boys. Oh well... more for me.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Borage is one of our companion plants. It is very useful in helping tomatoes grow (increases cropping and also makes them even tastier) and also repels tomato pests like the tomato hornworm. It is also good for protecting legumes, spinach and brassica as well as strawberries. It is also a vege in its own right and can be used in salads or as a garnish.

It also has many health benefits like boosting metabolism and some believe also for hormone management in women. It is also used for colds, flu and chest infections. Looks nice as well.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mango Mango Mango

We have a new Mango Tree which we have decided to plant down the western fenceline where it will be a little more protected than the last unfortunate fellow. The soil is fairly clayey there so we have dug out a good meter round, meter deep hole and filled it with fresh loamy soil and some compost. The tree was already four foot high when we bought it so already it has a good start. We have planted comfrey next to it which is good at breaking up clay soils and bringing up deep nutrients. It may need some wind strength assistance but we will wait for the annual Westerlies to blow in and see how it fares first.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Chicken Coop Extension - Phase One

We inherited an old dog enclosure from a family member and decided to add it to the back of the chicken coop. It would not only extend the area available to our chooks but would put them in and around our twin avocado trees and the super passionfruit. Chooks are great for fertilising shrubs and trees as long as you can keep them away from the roots.

The whole family pitched in and during a beautiful day of family fun we pulled the wire off one side of the enclosure and attached it to the chicken coop. We wired off the avocados and the passionfruit vine and let the chickens in. The portion nearest the coop is an old sandy loam garden bed so the ladies will enjoy hunting for bugs and worms I'm sure. The chook access to the new section is via a small cut out wire section that can be closed off if we feel the plants and grass need a break.

The bottom image shows the wire around the twin avocados which are still going well. In all the others you can see the super passionfruit vine that is fruiting like there is no tomorrow on the bottom of the main coop.

Phase two of the extension is to attach the coop to the side of the mower shed. This is scheduled for the weekend of 21/22 Aug. I will keep you posted.