Keeping Chooks

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In the big back yards some of us in Darwin are lucky enough to have, keeping chicken is a fantstic thing to do. They are great pets and give you eggs- a blessing when there is no commercial egg producer in Darwin and the eggs in most shops come over 3000kms to reach us!

Their poo is amazing for the garden- the trick is fencing where you would like to keep them and their poo! They eat veggie scraps and recycle them into this amazing fertiliser.

We got 3 day old chicks from Coolalinga- which were sexed- so you know you will get girls…for us this saved giving away or attempting to eat unwanted cockrels. They need a shelter and to be looked after pretty well when small, as flying birds, crafty cats and mysterious beings can take them. We lost a couple and later on bought a couple of 3 month old black chooks from an ad in the paper. They grow pretty quickly and in 5 months we had our first eggs- which was very exciting. Because we spent a lot of time with them from when they were very young they were super freindly and climbed all over us. This of course is optional.. and we don’t have a TV as entertainment.Image

The chook held above is at about a month old.  We ended up with 7 chooks and may get more- so we also bought another house for them. When they are chicks they just need a little run and then a bigger one. we get an average of 4 eggs a day, at first it was more. We are a house hold of 4-6 so they all get eaten. We are thinking of increasing the flock, as extra eggs are great to give away or trade.Image

So before you get chickens you need a run and a house. Jon made the house in the pictures, which I only can claim artistic additions to- camouflaged with palm fronds and amazing orange and green spray paint roof. I am not sure if the chooks really care. But in the wet they definately need shelter. They also need roosts when they grow older…

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We now let them free range the whole back yard every afternoon, which is why our intensive veggies are at the front- as they dig everything up. Sometimes you just have to compromise!!

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Amazing Tastes

I will write more on here later, but its been a long and fabulous weekend at the Sustainable Living Festival, with our incredible community village, community cafe, including the amazing tasting plates and cooking and gardening demos.

I would like to say a huge Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou to the amazing people who helped out, made cakes or dishes for the tasting plates and did cooking or gardening demos. It was really fantastic it just shows what a great community we have.

The tasting plates were delicious and so kindly made from local cooks, using the most local ingredients found, often from their gardens; above, the fabulous Mitzy is holding up possibly the most wacky and wonderous of the day, delicous! -Bittermelon and noodle Asian salad. -Sweet leaf pesto and organic bread cooked on site in the solar oven. Pumpkin, local buffalo ricotta and sweet leaf frittata and a Dragonfruit, Jackfruit and Coconut jellied, double layered desert.

The tasting plates were released at certain times throughout the day and only 20 released at a time. Each time they were different. We had over 6 releases throughout the weekend and an estimated 30 different, wonderful dishes to show case what can be done with local tropical produce… They were sold by suggested donation and we sold out! We also sold out of the amazing home made cakes and yummies at the stall- and there were lots!

All proceeds from the cafe will go to various community and school gardens

The recipes will be posted here, and more photos and info, very soon

Today with my year 3 and 4 class at Alawa Primary School we planted out our new herb garden and then I took one of my last cooking lessons and sat under the trees to eat wonderful local salads and sushi with our own farm eggs and local cucumbers with our fab students. I wish I could post pics, but I need to get release first, so until later look at our website. Some of our furniture that  turned into The Learning Lounge at the festival is still under our house along with piles of boxes, and I have overdue uni work to give in and primary school harvest wheels to make, and a garden that needs lots of love and a very messy house… so until later… enjoy. Recipes and more soon!