29 September 2009

Ducklings and Thanks.

When I went to check on the chicks today I thought I heard a few of them begging for an excursion to our backyard.

Who was I to resist?

At 2 weeks old they are so different to the chicks of the same age. They are growing so much faster, they seem more independent and confident and they are soooooooo fluffy and cute.

We brought five of them out, made them a small fence and enjoyed them for the afternoon in the spring sunshine.

And look what came in the mail today.
A week ago I won my first blog giveaway: Cathie from Melbourne Epicure had a competition to celebrate her 100th post and I was one of the winners.

Cathie's blog is definitely worth a visit. It is full of delicious recipes, step by step instructions with gorgeous photos, clever cooking tricks and gimmicks and best of all they are really doable for the normal home cook like me. In dispersed amongst all of this are lovely tales of her family life.

Cathie very generously sent three times more than she originally offered on the giveaway so there wont be any fights over rolling pins or cookie cutters.

And as for those chocolate love heart cookies, all I can say is go right now and get the recipe off Cathie's blog and make them. They did not hang around here long enough to be photographed.

Thanks heaps Cathie, here's to 100 more.

When it got cold and I poppped the ducklings back into the brooder for the night, I must admit I watched them for a while, trying to see if I could detect them telling any of the others about their day out in the big wide world.

25 September 2009

Fluffy Ducks.

Bren will be at The Slow Food Farmers' Market at the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne tomorrow (Sat 26th) from 8am - 1pm. Mention this blog and he'll give you a free certified organic, free range dozen pullet* eggs.

The Abbotsford Convent is in St Heliers Street Abbotsford, Melways ref 44G5

Have a great weekend, keep warm and Go Saints!

*Pullets are chickens that are less than a year old. Pullet eggs are small and packed full of the good stuff. People often tell us these are their favourite eggs.

20 September 2009

Ducklings & Chicks

Last Wednesday Bren brought home 300 day-old chicks and 25 day-old ducklings.

The chicks are made up of three different varieties. The whites are Leghorn cross New Hampshires, the blacks are Australorp cross New Hampshires, and the browns are Gingerhams. The ducklings are Khaki Campbells.

We have had never had ducklings before and are all absolutely taken with them.

When we brought home our last batch of chicks in July they were very sleepy for a few days and stayed huddled together, some barely opening their eyes. This time the weather was a bit warmer and they were quick to jump out of their boxes and explore their new surroundings.

Some even jumped off the side of the brooder, ready to take on the big wide world.

Did you see the Discover Daylesford exerpt in yesterday's The Age newspaper?

On page 12 there is an article about local producers.

And page 13 has a big picture of our betroot.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend.
Quack quack.

16 September 2009

Chooks Out, Chooks In.

Follow that path just a little bit further into the green clearing and there you'll find our flock of chickens that are now ten weeks old.

They are living with a flock that are about 25 weeks old and are doing really well.

Bingo the Maremma is happy guarding the chooks, although sometimes they make it difficult for him to enjoy his dinner.

Most of the time it is difficult to tell the 2 flocks apart. But look closer and you'll see the ten weeks old are smaller and their comb hasn't developed or filled with blood to make it red yet.

A ten week old above and a twenty five week old below.

Now the brooder is empty what are we meant to do?

Clean it out, restock it and send Bren off to the other side of Melbourne to pick up a new flock. This time we are getting three hundred one day old chicks and 25 ducklings.

Ooohhh, I can hardly wait.

Make sure you pop by later on to check out them out.

14 September 2009

Eggs & Lemons.

Did you see this in yesterday's The Sunday Age newspaper's Sunday life magazine?

Thanks Alla!

Look what my friend Sally just sent me home with. I am so excited. It's too cold to grow our own lemon tree here but I adore them, skin and all.

I'm off to do some baking now...lemon squares, lemon cake, some juiced and frozen for later.

Does anyone have a recipe for preserved lemon? Or in fact any favourite lemon recipe?

I hope your Monday is a funday.