With nine new layers, we hatched and raised, joining our existing four layers, we've had a surplus of eggs to get through recently. When our fridge started exploding with full egg cartons, it was time to return the favour.
Fried eggs & fresh tomatoes - ones I can actually eat!
We've given away 4 dozen eggs, to 4 people in David's workplace. The first two said, "are these REAL eggs!" We were happy to inform them, yes, they were indeed, real eggs. And the chickens who laid them, were indeed grateful for their food offerings.
Recently, we received two large bags of tomatoes from David's employer's garden. Several kilos worth. They were big, red, and tasted like REAL tomatoes! No astringent after-taste, which I find comes from store bought ones. I can't normally eat tomatoes, as they're from the nightshade family. I tend to have reactions with itchy skin, bloating and twitches. I could eat these however, without any problems.
Home grown tomatoes
We can't seem to grow tomatoes here, but we can grow chickens who lay eggs - where David's employer doesn't have the time or space to keep them in town. So a good exchange of produce, from two productive households.
None of us "expected" these acts of generosity. It just seemed the right thing to do when a surplus came alone. Use it up. Don't waste it. That's what a community does - keep it in the loop. We also help David's employer, by taking buckets of coffee grounds home to put in our garden. It saves them from having to pay to throw them out. Plus it helps our garden!
Haul of coffee grounds - December 2016
We even started giving some of the empty 10 Litre buckets of ice-cream away from his workplace too. They accumulate, after we empty the coffee grounds. But an acquaintance, we met at playgroup, thought they were perfect for planting their daffodil bulbs. So we've passed on, at least a dozen their way too. They said to keep them coming!
I'm happy to report, all our chickens managed to survive through the scorching heat over the weekend. They predicted 42 degrees Celsius, for our area - but I recorded 44 degrees (111 Fahrenheit) on the verandah at 4pm. So I don't know how hot it got during the day!
With the new tank we installed last year, and the rain that filled it, we were able to hose down the coops, on both days. Which probably made the difference in their survival. Instead of sitting still with their beaks open, attempting to cool down, they would come over to the wet ground and start clucking. They even rolled themselves in the cooler, dirt - despite the fact it was wet.
You should have seen our birdbath yesterday though. The above picture was taken back in November, last year. With 2 rainbow lorikeets, having a drink. I didn't take photos yesterday, when the kangaroos, brush-turkey's and every imaginable species of bird, wanted to take a drink.
It was full, they just had to wait their turn. I even put an extra bowl out there at ground level. But I still had birds come up to the house, near the verandah, as if to say, "come on human - bring the water!"
I'm relieved it's a lot cooler today though, and I pray we get that predicted rain! The ants have become really active, which is a good sign.