Thursday, October 4, 2012

September 2012

The new banana bunch looks a bit weird. The bananas are really thin and long, not like they were before. I'm beginning to think it's because I wrongly selected a water sucker instead of a sword sucker. Oh well, the learning curve continues.

The pickled olives are still too bitter, so I drained the brine and put them in some fresh, less salty water. We have 6 kilos so hopefully this will last us a while.

The apple trees look a bit ghostly out the kitchen window. That's because I've netted them to stop fruit flies getting at our crop. I'll report back on whether it works out.

The almond is netted too, but it's to keep parrots not insects out.

The broad beans have been great this year, but now they've come to an end. Many people dislike them, but I reckon they either have defective taste buds or they've never had fresh ones cooked well. My favourite way to cook them is to pick them when the beans are around 15mm in size and simply shallow fry them in olive oil for a few minutes. Super yum.

We just got our thousandth egg for the calendar year. This is the first time we've done this and there are still 3 months to go. The brown chooks have been a revelation, pumping out eggs like clockwork. The Australorps are laying again now, but two have just gone broody on us. The broody cage is back in action.

The worms in the Gedeye compost bin are going mental.

The leaf rich compost brew we did turned out really well. All the fruit and nut trees have had a big dose of compost, sheep poo and rock minerals which should help them put on new growth and fruit and see them through summer. The last compost brew we did has gone cold too quickly and won't be that great. We didn't get the critical mass of one cubic meter which you need to have sustained high temperatures. It's a good lesson not to do a brew unless you have enough material and time.

Amy took the yarn-bombed wooly wheelbarrow down to the Sustainability Fiesta. In the cargo bike naturally!

And Quin got his first Honours certificate at school (for joining in discussions enthusiastically and for his knowledge of dinosaurs).

Solar power generation has made a big jump in the last month and usage has dropped lots because we haven't needed to boost the hot water much this month. The gas fire has been off and gas usage is down. For the first time this year we actually exceeded our average rainfall, by about 20mm. This has meant that the retic has stayed off, the vegies are happy and the rain water tank is pretty much full.

kWh electricity generated (per day):       4.6
kWh electricity used (per day):                4.1
kWh gas used (per day):          5.3
L water used (per day):           268
Rainfall mm (4 weeks):                 108
Tank level (L):               13,500
km by car (per day):                34
km by cargo bike (per day):    19.5
Eggs laid (per day):                  5

Oh, and our old dog Porridge passed away at the grand old age of (approx) twenty. RIP Podgy girl...

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