Posted by: ainslieb | September 24, 2009


My camera isn’t linking to my computer to show you our new family members – but as soon as I can I will …. we increased the family with five lovely ladies today – Martha, Betsy, Gertrude, Geraldine and Harriet!  Two naked neck birds and three cross-breeds – all about six weeks old.  I had no idea how cute they would be – they really are quite loveable.  We converted the old cot from dad – it has front opening doors, and covered it in cement fibre boards – heavy and really quick – and cheaper than wood – not our most sustainable moment – but things are a little tough financially, so we had to compromise.  I have started painting, just the bold background colours, and will add flowers and polka dots next week.  We have moved a rotating washing line to the back corner of the garden and covered it in shadecloth to give them some summer shade, and have left a few plants for them to pick at.  They are right next to the veggie patch, so as soon as it is growing better, they can peck that too.  We have a little child’s pen that we didn’t use much and have converted that to a free-range space  – a – to protect my lovely veggies and b – so that we can catch them easily while they are young.  Apparently when they know it’s sleep time they will just pop back to their chook house – Will wait and see if that happens.

Girls got to sit with them and pat them – Cate a bit rambunctious in her holding but it didn’t get squashed!! Colin handed his candidacy in last week, so we got a week with no study – it was bliss – we both worked together on the chook house and then got to spent a tiny bit of time at daycare – I did vegie stamping – using lots of different vegetables and some inks and paints with the kids.  Next week we are going to make egg-carton cress beds so the kids can see things growing from seed.

We are selling all our excess furniture -which is mostly beautiful antiques – and using the money to pay for soil and hay for our no-dig garden beds.  We are planning 15 metres square of veggie patch in the next three weeks – hopefully fully productive six weeks after that – we currently have the aquaponics producing really well, the fish are huge, and the small veggie patch has produced beautiful lettuce, broccoli, snow peas and onions, and copious quantities of coriander.  We just need to get more variety and increased yield.  Our diet has improved significantly with the greens on the doorstep.

Ok – to fess up on the car issue – we failed brutally on the no car idea – the next day I was as sick as a dog and colin was late, so he drove the girls to day care and me to the doctor.  It pretty much went downhill from there.  We have come to the conclusion that Perth is a pretty bad city for public transport.  If we lived in a bigger city with better infrastructure it would be easier, but we don’t.  So we have committed to reducing the miles in the car on a weekly basis.  During Sustainable House day last week we came across a house that records its mileage, meter readings and water usage weekly and targets to reduce weekly – we are going to start that with the car and power meter and then work from there.  We are catching the bus on the weekends when we can and we will have to work out the rest as we go!

Ok – off to check on the girls before lights out – the chooks that is,  the girls are fast asleep, happy and hopefully dreaming of their new egg-laying pets.




  1. Sounds great Ains! We shall be over for a cuddle with the girls (bird & human) very soon! Great idea about recording water/electricity … if you don’t have the numbers in front of you, there’s no incentive. Sounds as though you’ve all been very busy xxxx

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