Image taken at dusk ~ click to enlarge
Our new brush turkey's, have taken up residence at our place. Even going so far as perching in the tree, near the back of our house, at night. It's a tall tree so that makes them exceptional flyers. We've only ever seen two, at a time (one male and one female) but recently saw one male and three females, strutting through the backyard. They must have all hatched from the same nest, because they're not quite fully grown.
But wreak havock on the hugelkultur bed, they did! Which is why it now looks like this...
The new banana plants, have fallen into decline, and there are several reasons for this. It didn't help that many brush turkey's, our own domestic chicken and a flock of Dovetail pigeons, all decided to ransack the old coop bedding, for remnant seeds.
Over several weeks, they managed to peel back the mulch and cast bedding all over the ground. This started to dry the bananas out. So the remnants of our neighbours', fallen tree, came to the rescue again.
Using nearby resources
We put a lot of the spindly bits (above) into the hugelkultur bed itself, when we were building it. But the tree trunk and larger branches, remained hidden in the grass. Until yesterday, that is, when David got the hatchet out and broke the rest of the tree up. It was placed over the hugelkultur beds, and upon checking this morning (normally when the brush turkey's are at it, for breakfast) the hugelkultur bed, was left untouched.
I actually don't know how long the brush turkey's will stick around with me taking valuable food stuffs, off their menu. A birds' got to eat! While I'm tempted to feel bad about it, they're better off eating their natural diet anyway.
A new leaf emerges
I can't completely blame the ground foragers for setting our bananas back, however, because its evident nitrogen burn has effected its leafs. Which would be due to the fact, the bedding hadn't aged all that much, and chicken manure is high in nitrogen. I didn't think there was too much of it to make a difference, but these potted bananas had lived a privileged life, beforehand.
The good news is, the new leafs coming through, aren't showing signs of nitrogen burn, yet. So there may be hope yet.
This sucker, actually came up from the parent tree trunk, we placed inside the hugelkultur bed. So it hasn't the same kind of nitrogen burn as the other plants, as its still being fed from the parent trunk. This trunk has no roots, so is unable to take up the excess nitrogen
I'm fairly confident the bananas will pull through. I'm also much relieved, we no longer have to worry about ground foragers, digging up our hard efforts.