Friday, September 11, 2015

Out the back

Out the back of Hilltop chicken coop, before it was even built, was our first attempt at building compost bins. They were just pallets and star pickets. Crude, but mostly effective.

Former compost bin

There were two problems with this design however. Firstly, it was too far away from the house, and secondly, we'd always get compost stuck in parts of the pallet, which we couldn't get out. So we eventually abandoned the bins, dismantled them and built elsewhere.

When I say dismantle, I mean, except for the star pickets.

Star pickets (and David), left...Hilltop (and Peter), right.
Click to enlarge

As anyone knows, who has tried to remove star pickets, its somewhat physically challenging. Especially when the ground sets like concrete. So we left them in place for many, many, many, years. That is, until recently.

I had plans for this area, so managed to pull out one star picket, by myself. Then I decided to employ the big guns, aka, David.

He did war with the six other pickets, and I'm glad to say, he finally won!

You will not curse the ground with your metal barbs, again!

Except, I plan to use the star pickets a few metres over, next to Hilltop. It will hold up the trellis, for my new choko vine to climb up. Gee, I hope we don't plan to move the chicken coop, any time soon. Hell would have to freeze over first, but even then - the star pickets will remain!

What I needed to clear the area for however, is to grow chicken feed. I've planted some Buckwheat, French millet, Barley, Amaranth and Sunflower seeds and covered with a fine sprinkling of mulch. I just need the rain to help the germination process along.

In the meantime, I hope the large family of quails which frequent this area, don't find them!

Grevillea, Honey Gem

In the background of the last two images, is a beautiful Grevillea. One of the first plants we actually put in the ground. It's in full flower at the moment, and all the nectar feeding birds and bees, just love it!

It was a lovely Spring day in the yard together, and I hope the rains grace us with their presence, some time soon. 


  1. Grevillias seem so hard to grow from seed -I have given up. Were yours there or did you plant them yourself?

    1. Hi Phil. I've never grown Grevillea from seed, as I've heard its difficult. I purchased mine as tube stock from the local markets. I learned they were even propagated from a local tree in our area, so its done really well!

      If you want the hardiest Grevillea (and I've grown a few) the Honey Gem would have to be the most die hard. Second only to the tree Grevillea (silky oak) but that can get to over 20 metres, so most people won't grow them in their backyards. Honey Gem can get to about 6 metres. Perfect for small spaces.

  2. The grevilliea is gorgeous! How much chicken feed are you going to grow? I mean how many acres? I used to grow sunflowers for my chooks but not nearly enough. Growing grains is a great idea I think-at least for chickens because hand threshing isn't exactly fun in my opinion.

  3. It's only a small area - 6 metres x 3 metres, with room to extend if I can re-home some things, like the water cart. We've thankfully got some rain today, so hoping the seeds can germinate. If I can make this work and save some seed, I can expand into other areas too. I like to see how things can grow here, before I apply it on a larger scale. That way I don't spend as much on seed, to realise it won't work.

    I hope it does work though. :)


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