Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer (September Edition)

One of our bottlebrushes (callistemons) in bloom.
One of our bottlebrushes (callistemons) in bloom. | Source
Late afternoon view from or front window. Kangaroos and wallabies seem to be camera shy and never hang around long when I am trying to take their photos.
Late afternoon view from or front window. Kangaroos and wallabies seem to be camera shy and never hang around long when I am trying to take their photos. | Source

Welcome to the Cackleberry Farm

Welcome to the September edition of the Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer. If you are already familiar with the series and have read the first two parts it's good to have you back. If it's your first visit to the farm .. "G'day Mate! It's nice to see a new face." Let me take you on a virtual tour and fill you in on what's been happening over the last month.

When I started this edition I doubted I would have enough new content to fill a hub, but as the month progressed it actually became quite eventful both in terms of life on the farm and family related matters. Therefore an essay I expected to be lucky to reach 800 words looks likely to come in at over 2000. I hope you find it interesting enough to stick around to the end.

What a view
What a view | Source

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Spinners and Weavers' Exhibition at the Wondai Art Gallery.
Spinners and Weavers' Exhibition at the Wondai Art Gallery. | Source
Grandsons Ashton, Timothy, Jordan and Dylan
Grandsons Ashton, Timothy, Jordan and Dylan | Source

Away from the Farm

Late August and early September was quite a busy period for my wife and I and found us spending as much time away from the farm as on it. Kathy is the craft convenor for the CWA (Country Womens' Association) so between monthly meetings, market days, craft demonstrations and courses, and working bees, at least two days per week are devoted to this group. I am usually required to go along as a taxi driver and to help with the set up for the markets etc. and spent a good half a day weeding and digging a garden at the front of a hall the local group has been given. It was well worth the effort though, and I was given a free lunch.

During this time Kathy also had a display in an exhibition at the Wondai Art Gallery for her Spinners and Weavers group. We had to devote time to setting this up and taking it down when finished.

We were also called on unexpectedly late one night to baby sit three of our grandsons in Kingaroy. Their brother Ashton had come down with appendicitis and he and their parents had to rush to Toowoomba for him to have his appendix removed. This resulted in us being away from the farm for three days.

The jasmine in flower
The jasmine in flower | Source
Another bottlebrush in bloom
Another bottlebrush in bloom | Source
More jasmin. It's delightful fragrance wafts through the kitchen.
More jasmin. It's delightful fragrance wafts through the kitchen. | Source

Spring Has Sprung

September 1st, here in the Southern Hemisphere, signals the beginning of Spring and with this delightful season also comes a new list of challenges.

Many of the shrubs and plants that have lay dormant during the winter months are springing to life and beginning to bloom. Our bottle brush are looking splendid and the jasmin on the back landing has erupted in profusion of fragrant white flowers.

Spring also sees the emergence from hibernation of various cold blooded reptiles such as lizards, frogs, and the nemesis' (or is it nemesi?) of the cackleberry farmer farmer, cane toads, goannas, and snakes.

Cane toads are a pest because they get into any uncovered water at night time to lay their eggs. Unfortunately this includes the dogs'and chooks' water. The major problem is this that they release poison into the water which renders it undrinkable, and if the dogs or chickens do it can be fatal.

Goannas and snakes (especially pythons) are the worst problem as they will steal hen's eggs and also chickens.

Hen and Chickens
Hen and Chickens | Source
The mother hen and her chickens (about 4 weeks old)
The mother hen and her chickens (about 4 weeks old) | Source
The hatching cage
The hatching cage | Source

New Chicken Progress

The batch/clutch of chicks that hatched during the writing of the second in this series are now about six weeks old. Well, three are. The numbers have gradually reduced by about one per week with no sign of any bodies, sadly indicating that some predator has been taking them.

They still haven't grown big enough to be allowed to free range unfortunately. Being organic farmers and Permaculturists, our poultry are not fed anything containing growth hormones or steroids whereas commercially farmed meat chickens are big and fat enough to eat at eight weeks old. Ours at six weeks are still only about the size of full grown quail, which isn't really a problem as we are only breeding them as egg layers anyway.

Even though they are caged I still have to be constantly vigilant for predators (having lost three chicks already I am obviously failing at this) and the chicks are becoming quite accomplished little escape artists. Any gap under the cage or loose wire and they take advantage of it to escape into the outside world.

Moppet on her nest
Moppet on her nest | Source
Speckle nesting
Speckle nesting | Source

Cackleberry Production

Cackleberry production has fallen a little this month as two of our best layers have decided to go clucky and nest. Muppet and Speckle are the two hens in question and are both sitting on only one egg each but they seem happy.

We are still getting three or four cackleberries per day which is still enough for our own consumption so it isn't a real problem, and there is the hope of getting a couple more chickens. I will need to try and get these hen's and eggs into cages soon before the chicks hatch and they are at the mercy of predators.

Lousy jacks and magpies trying to scavenge chicken seed
Lousy jacks and magpies trying to scavenge chicken seed | Source
Close up of an apostle bird (lousy jack)
Close up of an apostle bird (lousy jack) | Source
A flock of lousy jacks drinking
A flock of lousy jacks drinking | Source

Pests and Predators

Apostle Birds "Lousy Jacks":

One of the most annoying pests on the Cackleberry Farm are a group of birds we call "lousy jacks." They are more commonly known as "apostle birds" due to their habit of often forming flocks of twelve (though these may vary of between six and twenty).

I like most birds, actually placing seed on bird feeders for the king parrots, red-wings, and finches. I don't even begrudge the butcher birds, magpies, currawongs and noisy mynahs the left over dog and cat food, but the "lousy jacks" are certainly not on my favoured list.

These birds are noisy, an ugly grey colour, and I think evil-looking. They seem to be constantly hungry and always trying to scavenge food from wherever they can such as the chicken feed, bird seed we put out for the king parrots, and even road kill. They are like the rats of the air. Their one advantage, so I've read, is that they can act as rodent controllers in the event of a mouse plague.

They are always hanging around the chicken cage looking for food and trying to push their way through the wire or burrow underneath. I have often come home from a day out to find the mother hen distressed and the cage full of lousy jacks trying frantically to escape after somehow finding a way in. If they can get in so can predators like snakes, so I have to constantly inspect the cage to find any gaps. The following account forced me to get proactive and actually make sure the cage was predator proof. I must have spent an hour reattaching loose wire, securing the gate and moving it to flatter ground. I hope it was time well spent.

A python
A python | Source
The fireplace and wood heater
The fireplace and wood heater | Source

Carpet Pythons:

If you read the first Cackleberry Farm hub you will remember my encounter with the carpet python in my lounge room. Well, with the warmer Spring weather here .. he is back .. or at least another carpet python is. Last weekend I was sitting in the lounge (living room) and working on my laptop computer when I heard a rattling sound coming from the vicinity of the fireplace. The dogs started barking at the uncommon sound but at first I couldn't see any sign of the reason for the furore. Another bout of rattling and barking ensured that I check out the situation more closely.

Ok, I admit I was told (by my wife) that when relocating snakes you need to take them at least five kilometres away to ensure they don't keep returning to the scene of the crime, so to speak. That is however easier said than done. Each time a python has made an appearance I have been home alone, and on this most recent occassion was without a vehicle to take it anywhere.

So, getting back to the story. I heard and saw the wire warming rack fall from the top of the wood heater and clatter to the floor. Amidst more barking I stood up and walked over to the fireplace again, thinking it may have been one of the cats. Not so lucky John Boy! There staring me in the face, tongue flicking in and out, was a snake.

"Not again!" I exclaimed. Now although I don't consider myself a coward, I am definitely not the bravest guy alive either. I could feel my heart beat quicken with an instant adrenalin rush - the old fight or flight mechanism had kicked in.

Just try to move me
Just try to move me | Source
The bush (forest) where I released the snake
The bush (forest) where I released the snake | Source

Now if I had been in the snake's natural habitat, the bush, I would have just let it be and walked away quickly. But, here it was in my house as an uninvited guest - so I had no choice but to evacuate it. My mind was working overtime trying to figure out how such a large creature could get inside undetected, past me, three dogs, and four cats, until it got to the fireplace. The only logical conclusion is that it came down the chimney - like some reptilian Santa Claus.

So, the problem was now how to manage the eviction? The fire tools were close at hand but not much help. The snake was slowly and smoothly flowing into the woodpile next to the heater. I didn't have much time to procrastinate, so settled on the successful method from my previous encounter - an oven mitt. I grabbed the python by the part of its tail still exposed and began to drag it from the woodpile until I could grip it around the neck directly behind the head with my mitted hand.

The antique milk can
The antique milk can | Source

Fortunately this python did not appear to be the nine foot giant from before but still quite a challenge when struggling and coiling around your arm. I carried my friend outside and proceeded to search for a sack or container to place him in. I decided to use an old antique milk can beside the back door.

Uncoiling him from my arm I slowly lowered him into the can which proved to be the perfect size. Covering the opening with a tile, I then carried the milk can containing the snake across the field to a forested area about 800 metres away. Placing the can under a tree, I uncovered it to release the snake but he obviously considered the can a cosy place to ride out the upcoming cool night and decided to stay put.

I went back the next day and retrieved the now empty milk can. I hope the python takes the hint and doesn't come back in a hurry, but I can't guarantee that.

Daniel with Radane and Kahlia in Brisbane
Daniel with Radane and Kahlia in Brisbane | Source
Macadamia Nut trees
Macadamia Nut trees | Source
Macadamia Nuts on the ground beneath the trees
Macadamia Nuts on the ground beneath the trees | Source
Nuts ready for cracking
Nuts ready for cracking | Source

When Kin Drop In

We received a most welcome message on Facebook last week from our eldest son Daniel advising that he had taken three days off work to come visit as a belated Father's Day gift to me (In Australia this is celebrated on the first Sunday in September). He, his wife Widya and children live in Brisbane, about a four hour drive from our Cackleberry Farm. So it is great news when we hear they are coming to visit.

Daniel and Widya arrived on Tuesday afternoon with their two youngest children Radane, four, and Kahlia, two. It was great catching up with what is happening in their lives and to spend much needed time with these two grandkids who we only get to see about three or four times a year.

They live in the big city so always cherish their time spent on the Cackleberry Farm, running wild outside, chasing the chooks, and searching for cackleberries. Because they have no pets of their own the children used to be frightened of our dogs but they have finally grown out of that and actually had fun playing with them too.

Kathy, Widya and the children spent time collecting macadamia nuts from beneath two of our trees, and then had fun cracking open the shells and feasting on the treasures inside. We get so many nuts off these trees that we can keep all our friends and family supplied year round. If we sold them we could make a pretty penny as they bring about $10 for a 500 gram bag.

Radane at one of the dingo caves
Radane at one of the dingo caves | Source
Stopping to water the dogs
Stopping to water the dogs | Source
Widya and her umbrella :)
Widya and her umbrella :) | Source

On their second day with us I decided to take the whole family (including the dogs) on the famous "walk to the mailbox." Daniel was a little reluctant but when I said it would be good for us all do do something together, he agreed. On the way I led them to the dingo caves which they found very interesting and took lots of photos.

The walk home was eventful as Widya took an umbrella to protect her from the sun, but a big wind sprung up and turned the umbrella inside out, stripping the fabric from the frame. Quite hilarious, but please don't tell her that :)

All in all they thoroughly enjoyed the break from the hustle and bustle of city life, and said that they had a relaxing time and wish they could visit more often. It seems that every time we have visitors/family stay-overs our gas bottle runs out due to the extra showers, cooking etc. That was a small price to pay for having the much needed and cherished company at the Cackleberry Farm.

A leisurely stroll along the drive way
A leisurely stroll along the drive way | Source

Thank You to The Readers

Thank you for taking the time to read this hub. I welcome and enjoy reading your comments so if you enjoyed reading this essay let me know so I can decide whether to keep the series going. I am sorry it ended up so long but hope it wasn't boring. The python incident is responsible for that and I promise not to mention any snakes in the next edition (if I write one).

If you want to read where it all started, when we first moved to the "block" now called "the Cackleberry Farm" you may like to read: Life on the Block and In Search of Self-Sufficiency.

© 2015 John Hansen

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Comments 66 comments

chef-de-jour profile image

chef-de-jour 12 months ago from Wakefield, West Yorkshire,UK

Thank you Jodah. You're making me envious - the cold weather has set in here in the UK and that means fog, mist, damp and rain. And you have just welcomed in Spring!

Enjoyed reading about your chucks and snakes and kangas and lousy jacks - great name for the apostle bird - and hope to catch your next instalment. Stay safe.

Votes and a share.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for being the first to read and comment chef. I appreciate it and that you shared as well. Yes, when one part of the world welcomes Spring, unfortunately the opposite is happening in the other hemisphere. Enjoy the weather as best you can.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 12 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

Oh! I love your Cackleberry Diaries, John. I do hope you keep the series going. I even enjoy reading about the pythons - they sure seem to like getting cozy in your lounge. It is intriguing how you figure out the best way to evict the snake and take them away. I like reading about the chickens, too. What amazes me so much is all the photos you take to show us what you write about - that really brings it home. You have a lovely family - good to see the grandkids.

Another wonderful essay on the Cackleberry Farm. Thank you, John.

All votes Up and shared.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hello Phylis, good to see you. Thank you for the very kind and encouraging comment. I am glad you are enjoying this series. I did think I would have trouble keeping it interesting, but so far so good (the pythons see to that). Looks like there will probably be an October Edition to follow. Thanks for the compliments on the family and grandkids too, and sharing. Cheers.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 12 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

PS: I forgot to say I really enjoy the walks to the mailbox - something new each time you take us down there and I look forward to it. I think your diaries would not be complete without that long walk - good on ya, John.

Cheers


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Phyllis, I love my long driveway :)


Chantelle Porter profile image

Chantelle Porter 12 months ago from Chicago

What an absolutely fascinating life you live, Jodah. So jealous that you have a farm. I'd love one but to do that I'd need to divorce my husband, haha! You're grandkids are adorable btw. Thanks for sharing. I loved it.


annart profile image

annart 12 months ago from SW England

'G'day mate!' I love this series and it always reminds me of visiting Brisbane as well as being out in the hills at Imbil; wonderful!

I remember reading about your walk to the mailbox. I hope you keep this series going because it's so wonderful to see what goes on and look at your remarkable photos. That python is certainly big enough for me, thank you very much!

Hope you don't lose any more chicks and that your hens keep laying. How lovely to have Spring on the doorstep, such a lovely time of year. We might be over to Oz after Christmas, still planning and trying to find reasonable insurance (not so good these days as we're now 'oldies'!).

Hope you're having a great week, John.

Ann


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading and for the kind comment Chantelle. Yes the grandkid are cute, and I am fortunate to live on an acreage/small farm. I wouldn't suggest divorcing your husband to get one...but if you have to...(just joking)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

G'day Ann, good to hear from someone who has actually visited my part of the world.. Brisbane and Imbil, both within 4 hours. I am glad you are enjoying this series. I hoped this hub wasn't too long, but I guess the personal photos help. I hope you get the insurance sorted and are able to visit after Christmas. Take care.


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 12 months ago from North Carolina

John,

Please continue with this series. I love reading about your farm and family life. For one thing, it is very educational. Here in your part of the world, it is just turning Spring; whereas in my part of the world (NW NC),

Fall is upon us with overnight lows in the 40's. I love the names of the people, critters and places. For example, Toowoomba is such a fun name. I hope your grandson is doing better from his appendectomy. As always, this is a stellar hub and voted and pinned so others can enjoy.

Blessings,

Kim


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Kim for your unwaivering support. This series is turning into one of my favourite pieces of writing. Although it takes me around three days to complete one of these hubs (taking suitable photos etc) it is good to be able to write about your life in a way others find interesting. Just for you I will keep the series going :)

Yes some of the Austraian place names are great Toowoomba a good example. Many are traditional aboriginal words. Thanks for sharing too. Bless you.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 12 months ago from TEXAS

OK. I'm hooked! Now I must retrace and read the first installments of the Cackleberry stories, as well as re-read this one for more concentration. It's fascinating!

I'm still reeling over your finding that big snake in your house! Not pleasant! But maybe if you left the milk can out there, since he seems to enjoy sleeping in in, he might be content to retreat to it, instead of coming back inside the house!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 12 months ago from Southern Illinois

I couldn't help wondering how you find time for writing? I enjoy your stories about your family life on the farm. You're getting ready for spring and we're getting ready for fall. I love your blooming jasmine. I must add that I would die if a snake was within 50 miles from me. lol. Your photos are great. Your grandchildren are sweet. I wish you lived close, I would buy your eggs and chickens, the ones in the stores are so big and fat I know they are not healthy. Keep the series going, it's good to read about life on a farm and especially in a different country....


billybuc profile image

billybuc 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

I love this series, John, as you knew I would. I need neighbors like you next door to us. :)

Our chickens are just about done laying for this summer. The number of eggs is dwindling.

Love the view of the kangaroos....now that would be very cool. :)

Keep this going. I love it!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

In fact, I'm going to link this to my last urban farming hub...it belong there.


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 12 months ago from Oklahoma

Always enjoy learning about life on the farm in your neck of the woods.


annart profile image

annart 12 months ago from SW England

Definitely not too long! I could read about this all day.

Ann


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 12 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Very enjoyable and interesting article, John!

BTW, I looked at the pics before reading the article and wondered at the weird Aussie umbrella until I read the reason.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 12 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello John. I enjoy your farm journal diary. You capture the aura of the small urban farm well. I think my solution to that snake would have been a machete. Too many Dragnet television shows as a kid I guess. Thanks for taking us along on the journey.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 12 months ago from Arkansas

John, I love your roos and you chickens. I guess the roos are as common to your backyard as deer are to ours. The photos are wonderful and so is the series. Hope you keep it going. Don't you just love snakes! Somebody recently found an 8 ft. long boa constrictor going under a neighbor's mobile home on a mobile home park here in our city. She called the police, and it was so funny to hear her tell it on TV: "The two male officers stopped the snake, and the female officer picked it up." Anyway the snake belonged to a neighbor across the street who had not reported its loss two months ago. They were all shook up until they found out it was a pet.

It's still in the 90s here in the Southern U.S., and I'm not looking forward to the weather change around the middle of October. Enjoy your spring!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Nellieanna, so good to see you. It's been awhile, hope all is good with you now. Thank you for reading and getting hooked on the Cackleberry Farm series. I'd be lying if I said the snakes don't scare me too but you do what you have to do. I thought of leaving the milk can there, but I may need it for different snakes as it is not always the same one. Take care.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 12 months ago from The Beautiful South

Maybe a dingo ate your babies, John! J/K that came from a Seinfield scene, lol.

I would put screen over that chimney; weigh it down with a rock or something! I have no pity for snakes and you are certainly brave!

Also I use netting to help keep my chicks safe. It is real inexpensive and some is harder plastic which I guess some things could gnaw through but I have been real lucky with it. I want a rooster so bad so I can get baby chicks but am afraid it will bother the neighbors. Just my next dream I guess! Sure love reading about your life; thanks so much for sharing it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Ruby, sometimes it is hard to fit in the writing but it's what I love to do now, even if I have to stay up late at night to do so. It's great that I can write about my everyday life and people actually enjoy reading it. Glad I started this series. Yes, I am sure my chickens are healthy and the eggs taste great. I wished you lived closer too and I'd gladly sell some to you. I admit, the snakes are scary.. Even if they aren't venomous, better the pythons than a King Brown or something. They are deadly. All the best with your own writing.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for visiting Bill. I wish we were neighbours too. I am sure we could collaborate and throw ideas off each other. I admire what you have done on a small urban block. Oh, the property next door is for sale. Have you ever thought of buying your dream farm in Australia :)? Cheers.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey thanks for linking this to your hub Bill, I will reciprocate. It's a great idea.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Larry, life's never dull on the Cackleberry Farm down under.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for adding that Ann, much appreciated.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Haha Will...weird umbrella. Actually Widya is from Sumatra, so it's a weird Indonesian umbrella, but blame it on our wind. Glad you found the article interesting and enjoyable.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for joining me on the series Mike. I admit when I saw the snake this time I did have evil thoughts of wishing I had a weapon such as a machete, especially as it seems to have been eating the chickens. Then common sense, or the live and let live philosophy that I have, kicked in. I really don't like killing anything anymore. I even relocate spiders outside if I can..unless my wife is looking and she insists they are squashed.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for commenting and adding the story of the bia constrictor also. My daughter breeds them and must have around 12 or so. I guess that helps me to some extent though I will never be completely comfortable with them. I wish she lived closer and I could call on her to do the evacuations. The weather is pleasant here though kind of weird, one very cool day, the next quite hot. Enjoy your warm weather wild it lasts.


cat on a soapbox profile image

cat on a soapbox 12 months ago from Los Angeles

Hi John,

What an interesting life on your farm! I love to hear your latest and look forward to the next installment. ( Cackleberry is an amusing term too:)

I've got to admire your bravery and tenacity at the python removal- snakes in general give me the heebie jeebies, but, like you, I'd try to get it safely back to its environment w/o harm. Pet snake? No, thanks !

Take care!

Cat:)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Cat, I am glad that you are enjoying this series. Hopefully there are no snakes mentioned in the next I stallment..touch wood. Yes, "Cackleberry" has a ring to it, much better than just "Diary of an Egg Farmer" don't you think :)? You take care too.


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 12 months ago from United States

Wonderful reading my friend and thank you so much for sharing this most interesting info from your life in the country. It has been and continues to be a very special journey.whonu


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you so much whonu, I really appreciate your kind words. I am glad that you are enjoying this series and my tales of life in the country.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 12 months ago from LOS ANGELES

I love hearing about your farm and life in the country. I am a country girl at heart. When I retire I wouldn't mind trading the city for the life of simplicity. Although I'm sure farm work is hard work, it seems rewarding. Those grand-kids are cute as a button, I'm sure they bring you and your wife much joy. Take care my friend and stay blessed.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Wit's always to pleasure to receive a wonderful comment from you Dana. I am sure you'll return to the farm one day. Yes, it is hard work but very rewarding. They say if you include kids and animals in your writing you can't go wrong.. So yeah, I did and it seems to work :) blessings to you.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Just marvelous. What a wonderful world we live in and you do a great job of reminding us of that fact. The wild where it meets our domestic is just about as entertaining as it gets. Thank you and please give us another treat next month.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement Eric. It seems there is enough interest to keep this series going. Where would we be without nature?


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 12 months ago from Florida

I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoy reading the "Cackleberry Farm" hubs. You start off with the Aussie G'day Mate, and I think that grabs the readers instantly. I love how Australians talk.

I loved reading how everything you grow is organic. That is awesome! I just purchased a bag of chicken breasts from our local grocery store, and these breasts were super huge, and I thought to myself; yep, these are definitely steroid fed birds.

Your pictures of everything are awesome. I loved the kangaroos! You don't see them here in America unless you visit the zoo. You mentioned wallabies out and about with the kangaroos under one of your pictures, and again I thought; Wow, That would be something to see!

Your life sounds so interesting, and there really is nothing like living in that peace and serenity of a farm. I've lived on a few in my life. I miss a lot of things about farm life, my pet pig "Fancy" mainly. lol...

We have some bottlebrush trees here in our front yard, they bloom pretty nicely, but I fear my cats are chasing away the little hummingbirds, as I never see any as of yet. :( The jasmine is gorgeous too!

I would not know what to do if I caught one of those ugly breeds of snakes in my house. Oh my goodness!!! You are braver than I am for sure!! I must confess Jodah, I had to hurry and rush through the parts about the snakes; the pictures freaked me out! lol

You have a beautiful farm and a beautiful family, and it is such a joy to come here and read all about "Cackleberry Farm" and your way of life. I really love your stories, and you set everything up so well; the way you write and all the pictures. Just Superb!

Oh wait! One more mention; I love birds. I am a bird watcher, but I agree; those lousy birds are so ugly and evil looking. I don't like them at all. Alright, I think I have blabbered on long enough now. lol...

Great Hub! :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

What can I really say Missy, other than thank you for your wonderful comment, kind words and encouragement. It makes me extremely happy when someone seems to truly enjoy what I write. Sorry about the snakes. Blessings.


MarleneB profile image

MarleneB 12 months ago from Northern California, USA

I truly enjoyed reading about your life on Cackleberry Farm. The farmer's life is filled with endless events. Even when you end your day, there is always something waiting for you to do when you wake up in the morning. Hint, Jodah, you will never run out of things to write on this subject. This is a fun series to follow.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks you very much for reading this hub Marlene. I didn't teally think too hard about how eventful or interesting my everyday life would appear to others until I began to write about it. I guess you are right, it doesn't appear I will run out of content in a hurry. Glad you found this fun to read.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 12 months ago from london

That snake was scary, all right. Good to see you have some farming in you, like Bill. Actually you are in a great place for this, but it's probably hard work. What is the Cacklebury? A kind of fowl?


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 12 months ago from southern USA

Ahhh, another Cackleberry Farm piece! I love these stories of your true life experiences on the Cackleberry Farm. They are truly endearing. I am glad I saw your forum post and came to find that hub, and then I realized you had published this gem ... Oh, we would be in heaven seeing kangaroos right there on our property! My grands would have a fit of joy in seeing them, but I guess they are common to you. Speaking of grands, boy, you sure are blessed beyond measure with your precious grands. I am so happy for you to have a surprise visit, as I know how that fills one's heart with so much joy.

I will confess, I had to scroll through the parts about the python as they just truly creep me out. I can't take any kind of snake, but I am glad you are able to deal with them!

I love your bottlebrushes bush as it looks like a bush with poppies on it from your photo. I've never seen one before. Boy, those particular birds are annoying. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful photos, and I do remember that walk to the mailbox from your previous hubs. Always a delight to see up close and personal how others live around the world. In about a week or so here, it will be officially Fall, so it is always interesting to me that others are experiencing a different season altogether around the world.

I know you wife is so grateful for your help in setting up. All so interesting.

Woo, you are so blessed to have Macadamia nuts right there on your property for they cost a pretty penny here in the US! Yum.

Thank you, again, for inviting us into your world.

Peace and blessings to you and your precious family.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Manatita, you probably need to read the first in the series where I explained what a Cackleberry is. Anyway it is another word for an egg. It can be hard work but you get used to it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for finding this hub and the great comment Faith. Yes we probably do take the Kangaroos and wallabies in our yard for granted. I would be as excited as you to see squirrels, raccoons or the like. I hope I don't have to write about any more snake encounters. Although I can deal with it, I don't consider it fun. I also know that many people are like you and can't even handle seeing photos of them.

Thanks again for all the kind words about my

Grandkids etc. Peace and blessings back to you and yours.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 12 months ago from Central Florida

John, I love this series and urge you to keep it up. You introduce me to a world I've only read in books or seen on movies.

Love the kangaroos - hate the snakes. I would totally freak out if a python was in my house!

Your farm is flourishing. I have jasmine in my yard, too. The scent when in full bloom is amazing!

Too bad about your chickens that end up missing. Maybe one day you'll catch the culprit.

Sorry I'm so late in responding to this wonderful post. I've gone back to work and have very little time to read these days. Bummer.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Shauna, thanks for your kind words. Congratulations at being back at work, I totally understand that you have to prioritize and that you'll get to reading other's hubs when you can..not a problem. I think from all the positive comments I have to continue this series..I promise not to mention any snakes in the next. Cheers.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 12 months ago from Central Florida

Oh, I don't mind you mentioning them. It amazes me that you actually handle them! Please, don't leave anything out!


Vellur profile image

Vellur 12 months ago from Dubai

Enjoyed reading about your farm. You must have been really brave handling that python! I would have ran from that place to God knows where! Keeping unwanted intruders is a tough task like those Lousy Jacks. Thank you for sharing.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading this Vellur, glad you enjoyed my real life story.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 12 months ago from England

Hiya Jodah, I love reading your Cackleberry Farm news! living in England its lovely to see what's happening 'down under' so to speak! lol! the snake was a scary bonus, and the photos are amazing, enjoy spring, as we get to Autumn, great hub! nell


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 12 months ago from Florida

Hey John, have you ever found something like this on Cackleberry Farm?

http://buzz.bitecharge.com/play/giant-egg


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Nell, so glad that you are enjoying this series. It is fun to write and I am looking forward to the rest of Spring. We got some good drenching rain last night which we badly needed. Enjoy your Autumn too.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Nell, so glad that you are enjoying this series. It is fun to write and I am looking forward to the rest of Spring. We got some good drenching rain last night which we badly needed. Enjoy your Autumn too.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Missy, thank you for sharing that video. Very interesting, and no I have never found an egg like that on the Cackleberry farm. Our oldest hen lays huge eggs and a few have had double yolks but no eggs inside an egg. Amazing.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 12 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is another interesting installment in your Cackleberry series, Jodah. I hope you continue the series. I'm enjoying it very much.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for your support for this series Alicia. I'll take your advice and keep it going. Have a great day.


drbj profile image

drbj 12 months ago from south Florida

G'day, Jodah. This was a fascinating exposition. Seems there is never a dull moment on the Cackleberry farm. How brave to tackle that python like that. Make sure you place that milk can far away from your home. The python may want to make it HIS cozy home away from home.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

G'day drbj, no never a dull moment on the Cackleberry far. Actually it sounds a lot more exciting written down in a couple of thousand words than over a whole month but I am glad it makes good reading. The milk can is outside the back door again..in case I need it again...hmm you have a point though.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 12 months ago from Stillwater, OK

You sure have your share of adventures, eh? I'm wondering if you might make a concrete pad for your chicken house and use the thicker hardware wire to embed in the concrete. Perhaps that will keep your pesty birds and snakes out of the coop. Also in this country we have chimney caps, which are covers that go over the chimney and allow the smoke to escape. Just make sure that you have wire covering the hole to keep the Python clan out of there. Hope this helps with your problems. I enjoyed the story!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Deb, thanks for the tips. The chicken hatching pen is portable so that I can move it around onto new green grass every few days so it can't really be put on a concrete pad. The chicken pens for the other larger poultry are embedded but the wire is not fine enough to keep in little chickens. They should almost be ready to transfer, but soon I will have some more newborns. I do have a chimney cap but as you say, I may need to put some wire around the opening to keep out the pesky pythons. Glad you enjoyed the story. Do you have apostle birds in your neck of the woods?


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 12 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Not, apostle birds, but people do find the crows to be a bit of an irritant on farms, as they will take seeds, or whatever else they like. Also, they steal other birds eggs during nesting season. I have also heard that magpies can be awful.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 12 months ago from Ohio, USA

An amazing read. I have a small backyard free of deadly snakes and poisonous frogs. We have suburban rats, also called deer, but that's as threatening as it gets. There was a mouse in the garage two winters ago.

I also looked up Cackleberry. You Aussies have the coolest slang.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Good to see you nicomp, glad you enjoyed this read. Sounds like you have some pretty scary critters at your place....a mouse even....I'm on a chair just thinking about it. Yeah we like our slang

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    John Hansen (Jodah)686 Followers
    267 Articles

    John has a certificate and Permaculture design from the Eco School and is an avid organic gardner, recycler, and supports renewable energy.



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