After considering more what our desired trees will be, we went out over the weekend in search of some stone fruit trees and some kiwi fruit vines to bury the chicken house with (it’ll double as shade cover and provide fruit).
We had no luck on the stone fruit trees, the plum varieties on offer were in bad shape, and the kiwi fruit were both male at one nursery, and the other nursery had sick looking kiwi fruit plants for $30 each (pass…).
We did find a “Lady Finger” banana tree, decided on that. Bananas are a little bit fussy when it comes to heat and cold (they love humidity). We’ll have to try and create that artificially in a micro-climate of sorts.
We’ll go looking for the stone fruit varieties in spring when there should be more of a variety.
Fruit trees at the nurseries we go to are typically grafted varieties – to get them in Dwarf form for example. This takes a good 2 or 3 years to confirm success, so we aren’t actually able to source them locally any younger than 3 years – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
I was hoping to get the kiwi fruit in action due to the growing time (the shade requirement is more of a ‘now’ thing). But with Winter coming up in a few months, perhaps the chickens will be thankful for all the sun they can get.
Adding the extra fruit trees poses a small issue as to where they’ll sit in the block – many of them love sun, so orienting them so they can get the best amount of sun, at the same time ensuring they don’t cause shade problems takes a bit of thought.
I also want to look into Aquaponics some more. My partner doesn’t seem to want to breed chickens for food (and the council won’t let us have a rooster anyway), so that leaves us with fish as an alternative (suprisingly, she will let me kill fish).
The worm farm is something of a poor performer – we added lettuce to it some weeks ago, and it’s slowly disintegrating. I want to take the old castings out, but in my last attempt at doing that, I removed so many before I gave up due to my impatience in separating worms from masses of castings.
The idea was to get them to migrate over to one side of the farm (by feeding ONLY that side), and then clear the other side out – but there were worms all through it.
This alone raises questions for me, like, if there are so many worms, then how come there is still lettuce in the top of the box after 2 weeks with no food! Something to look at later.