Austin wanted me to get a photo of the daily Chicken Parade. He is Mr. Popularity when he walks by with his buckets. Further up the hill there are more than double this number just waiting for him, not to mention all the juveniles in their “mobile rearing pens”
Hungry little buggers. In spite of being given ice cream tubs of feed they totally stripped the grass in one day. To the right you can see the grass with one day of recovery.
Here is this pen over fresh grass. We had to move it a little further because of a small hill. The pen is to prevent mongoose predation. We do not want to give them access through a gap on the underside of the pen.
Then Austin has to show off his pride and joy.
And another one. He says he has some that are spotted like Dalmatians, and he is thinking of breeding for it. If I weren’t doing this blog, I might not ever look twice at the chickens except to chase them off our walkways.
This week I started watching a delightful old BBC series called “Pie in the Sky.” A detective/restaurateur cooks and solves crimes. He also keeps chickens and spends a bit of time in his chicken coop each week, playing Mozart to them with a small cassette player and meditating about his current cases. The chickens are lovely and healthy – but you know what is missing: chicken poo! There is NEVER any chicken poo. Even with the hens standing on the tape deck. It’s a miracle! (One only wonders how often the stagehands had to change the straw and clean off the cassette player every filming day – ha ha ha.)
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I made one more trip up the hill for schooling purposes for my Canadian grandson.
Dr. Grandpa Arborist in Canada hoped that Victor would do a project of pressing leaves and flowers while here. I went up to consult Dr. Granddaddy Smarty-Pants about the project. Granddaddy said to focus on edible plants … in fact — TA DA — there are some right here!
Right now they are planting coconut trees.
Okay, I see a few trees.
Austin mentions how they are planted very close together.
OH….. He says they will protect each other and survive better through a cyclone, and they will also grow out from each other like a bouquet. All right.
“And here is MORE food,” he says, pointing down. Okay, I see kumala (sweet potato) leaves. “Ratu, see if you can find a root.”
Hunt, hunt, hunt. Okay, here is something.
A proper little root. I take it to the house and cook it for Victor. He is not impressed. But neither is he really hungry.
To teach is to learn. I sit down and try to make a list of all the food plants I can think of on our property: bele, moca, moringa, beggar’s tick, turmeric, ginger, curry leaf, oregano, basil (if it’s not dead), corn, coconut, pineapple, banana, papaya, guava, lemons, guava, mango, tamarind, chillies, jackfruit, breadfruit, cassava, kumala. Akka sees the list and says, “Why did you leave out pumpkin?” (Answer: because I don’t think about pumpkin, even when we have a stack of them. Obvious I am never really hungry either.)
And now I think duruka, taro, cowpeas, pigeon peas, cactus, soursop, starfruit – the list is going to be a lot longer… what am I still missing?
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Happy week, everybody.
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