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Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer (Spring Edition)

Updated on December 22, 2021
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We have had up to four roosters and fifteen hens. We have downsized since moving to town but still have a few chickens.

Mother hen and chicks
Mother hen and chicks | Source

I was born in the Chinese year of the rooster, so maybe that explains my affinity with chickens.

— Adriano Zumbo
Earth and Mars Orbiting the Sun
Earth and Mars Orbiting the Sun | Source

Time Passes Quickly

Well another month has come and gone. It amazes me how fast the days seem to pass the older we get. I did read somewhere recently that the Earth's orbit around the Sun has actually been slowly increasing in speed over time and, if this is true, time may actually be passing more quickly. That sounds like a good excuse to me anyway.

So, welcome to the long awaited October Edition of the Diary of a Cackleberry Farmer.

A nest containing cackleberries
A nest containing cackleberries | Source

NO Snakes or Pythons!

Before I get too far into the article I'd just like to assure any readers who suffer from "Ophidiophobia" that there will be no snakes or pythons in this hub. So you can read on in confidence that you won't suddenly be confronted with a photo of one of those scary looking reptiles. Oh, if you didn't know what "ophidiophobia" was, you do now. It is the abnormal fear of snakes. Yes, it was a new one for me too. Writing is a great way to increase one's knowledge. I am always learning something new while researching articles.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The outdoor setting (rain restricted its use)Kathy and IA new grandson Cyrus Jax
The outdoor setting (rain restricted its use)
The outdoor setting (rain restricted its use) | Source
Kathy and I
Kathy and I | Source
A new grandson Cyrus Jax
A new grandson Cyrus Jax | Source

There Is Life Outside the Farm

The month started once again with Kathy and I spending more time away from the farm. On this occasion it was to attend the wedding of one of Kathy's favourite cousins. The wedding ceremony and reception was held at a beautifully restored homestead located in the lovely town of Dayboro.

The wedding itself was a wonderful event, despite the ceremony having to be moved indoors, instead of being held in the garden, due to rain. I have included a couple of wedding photos here. As Dayboro is close to Brisbane we spent the weekend at our eldest son Daniel's house and travelled from there to the wedding and back.

On the following night I had to drive Kathy to the airport so that she could catch a flight to Darwin to spend time with our youngest son Trent and help out as his wife Cheenee was due to give birth to our newest grandchild. If you read my recent article "Off the Cuff.." you will know all about that event (if you didn't, why not?).

Beautiful Irises
Beautiful Irises | Source

The domesticated chicken is probably the most widespread bird in the annals of planet Earth. If you measure success in terms of numbers, chickens, cows and

— Yuval Noah Harari
Jackson, one of the toy poodles
Jackson, one of the toy poodles | Source
Hippiastrums blooming
Hippiastrums blooming | Source

Back on the Farm

We had arranged for friends of ours who live nearby to feed the dogs, cats, and chickens while we were away. I arrived home to find that everything seemed to have gone smoothly enough in our absence, and a usually the dogs greeted me excitedly. Coco can actually say "Hello" I kid you not. One day I will try to capture her on video greeting me.

The chickens have finally grown and are independent enough to be released from their pen. So now they are free ranging with the rest of the poultry. Three of the hens are now nesting, however the cackleberry that Speckle was sitting on disappeared (probably taken by a predator) and she has been sitting on half a dozen macadamia nuts instead.. silly chook.

I actually felt sorry for her and placed an egg, laid by one of the other hens, underneath her. Otherwise she'll be sitting for months trying to hatch those nuts.

If I hadn't started painting, I would have raised chickens.

— Grandma Moses
Canna lillies
Canna lillies | Source
Hibiscus and happy plant
Hibiscus and happy plant | Source

In the Garden

In the garden new flowers are continuing to bloom now that Spring has sprung. The purple irises are looking beautiful, as are the hippeastrums, hibiscus, and the bourganvillea are beginning to flower. Even the mulberry tree has tiny fruit forming.

I have been spending some of my alone time weeding the gardens and have planted rozella and capsicum seeds. These should start to shoot and bear by the coming summer. The spinach and Chinese cabbage that provided us with greens all through winter are surprisingly still bearing new leaves.

I don't know what organically grown chickens are; I've never seen one.

— Tony Curtis
Silver beet
Silver beet | Source

Life as a Batchelor

On my first shopping day alone I went to a venue called "The Pantry" located at and run by one of the local churches. It is like a food bank where you pay $40 and receive a hamper of grocery and household items, fruit and vegetables. You get a choice of items and probably around $120 value. All the food is donated from Supermarkets and local farmers, and all money raised goes to helping the needy.

The hamper contained so much fruit and vegetables that there was no way I could use it all myself. I sold a box full to some friends nearby for a greatly discounted price and blended what I couldn't use immediately into juice which I froze so it wouldn't be wasted. Any left over vegetable matter was fed to the chickens.

With Kathy away it's my responsibility to do all the housework and cooking.I don't really mind, especially the cooking as it gives me a chance to experiment and practice my culinary skills. Besides, if I need help or advice she is only a phone call, Skype or FaceTime away.

A few of the poultry
A few of the poultry | Source

Until Next Time

Well, that's it for another month. As you see, I was being truthful when I said there would be no snakes. I'll say goodbye now, and look forward to seeing you again next month. Thank you for reading and your support of my articles. I look forward to reading your comments.

But just for a little excitement before I sign-off, here is a picture of another regular visitor to the Cackleberry Farm. I encounter at least two or three of these little guys almost every night. They don't mean any harm and they do keep the cockroach and insect numbers down.

A friendly Huntsman Spider
A friendly Huntsman Spider | Source

© 2015 John Hansen


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