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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture

I think Winter has arrived!

Wet, cold and windy. That was my weekend here. Last week I was enjoying the, relative, warmth and marvelling at the fact that winter was only two weeks away, then boom, it's here!! I was out in the garden, getting a couple of necessities done (like food harvesting) when I noticed some calendula flowers still shining in the dreary conditions. Reminded me of all the flowers and leaves I've dried over summer to pull out in the cold to make some warming tea. I'm still experimenting with herbal teas and need to do some research on health benefits or cautions to watch out for, but at the moment just looking at the taste of my different blends. Today, on this very cold day, I decided to give fermented blackberry leaf, chamomile and calendula petal blend a try. It was nice, although I may have needed to infuse more for a bigger flavour. Any suggestions out there??

Had half a rooster in the fridge that I needed to turn into food when the day inspired a thought! Rooster and sweet corn soup! I have some sweet corn from the garden tucked away in the freezer so I dragged that out along with some ginger peelings that I couldn't bring myself to throw out. They were perfect added to my stock mix just for that hint of ginger flavour. Spring onions freshly harvested, along with some eggs and you've got just about all you need for this simple recipe which provided a warming bowl of goodness on this bleak day.

Up early as usual because who doesn't want to see the magnificent colours of a brand new day - right!? The chickens and ducks appreciate the early morning start and the feed of grain that goes along with it. I had my two new residents closely watching as I let the ducks loose this morning. I can already read their expressions - 'where is our hay?' I've still got them on fairly short green grass at the moment which they are getting through quickly so they are then looking for the treat of hay. My intention is to increase the paddock size and give them access to more greens then less hay as part of their ongoing transition. Judging by their poops it's all going well! Pretty excited about adding all that poopy goodness to my compost soon, getting all those nutrients cycling and working for me :)

This hen here is mother of ten growing chicks that I did have under control in the backyard until I opened a small opening in the fence to let everyone out to the pasture area. A number of hens had already found their way out and were enjoying digging around in the swale, so I thought it a good idea to let all the flock get out there too. Anyway, that backfired on me, as this girl decided that she and her family would head out this spot and then promptly back in another area of the fence, to access my front veggie garden. Mmm, not what I had envisaged. Will have to get a bit more fence, chicken proofed!

Remembered to take a look at my mushroom logs today and while no more edible mushrooms there, I did notice a few other fungal species growing. The tiny red fungi were beautiful. Slowly I'm finding an increase in diversity of the various life that pops up. Diversity in your gardens increases it's resilience for the challenges that the climate throws at it, and is something I'm working hard at promoting.

With the cold and the wet conditions I spent more time inside this weekend than out. The chicken coop build continues to call me. Hopefully the weather this week will improve, even just a little, and tempt me back outside to just get that done!

Have a great week everyone!!

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