Its been a bit quiet at the ranch while we struggle with the monsoon season. Not that it is bringing any downpours. This time last year, the river was in flood and I could quietly and dishonestly tell work that I was flooded in and have a day at home. Of course, hubby was actually flooded in to work. Imagine having to sleep at work. But me and pets were snugly enjoying wet season 2015.
Not so this year. We just have to endure the endless humidity and sticky high temperatures with no respite except going to work because there, someone pays for the airconditioning.
But we’ve finally done something worthwhile putting on the blog – the start of the grow tunnel empire.
This all came about because we had a horrendous year for snakes this year, especially the chook eating pythons. We specialise in hens who sit their own eggs and mother so we are always thrilled when we get some chicks. Its very different from loading an incubator and coming back in 21 days. The thrill wears off a bit when we are nightly removing pythons and we started to lose not only chicks but full grown hens and roosters. That was a bit scary – wondering which Jurassic python was waiting to drop on us when the chooks were no longer enough.
We considered ways to protect the chook pens, from tiny wire to electric wire. Then at the same time, while patrolling for snakes, we realised how many possums, bandicoots and rats thought we were the mcdonalds of the vermin world and were getting a free feed at the expense of all our produce. Again, there had to be an answer.
Enter the snake proof grow tunnel. While rats cannot get through shade cloth, neither can snakes. So we started building these with the idea that this years half grown chookies could live in there for a while, scratch up the weeds, fertilize to their hearts content and generally condition my grow tunnels. Then we’ll rotate them onto the next grow tunnel while establishing crops after them.
So we will not only rotate crops but we’ll rotate poultry as well and everyone will be safe while I turn the old chook pens into pig pens or shade houses or something else useful.
YAY for safe. I hope to live to eat some more pumpkins. I have visions of beans or cucumbers growing up strings in the grow tunnel, like you see them in commercial farms while pumpkins or sweet potatoes or just herbs roam the floor. Hanging baskets or bags may grow strawberries if I’m in luck, all the while hopefully with the chookies handling the weeds on a part time basis.
Sure hope this works. But thanks, Johnny for appreciating my scheme enough to help. Enjoy the goodies.