How to keep chooks in your backyard

The 72 year old professionally trained actress won the S pandora bracelet unshine Coast Living Smart Award Edible Landscape in 2009 and ever since then she has been running gardening workshops through the public libraries.

Here Rosina shares her knowledge on how to keep chooks in our Sunshine Coast backyards with details on everything from pen designs to building the pen, nesting herbs and pandora bracelet chook feeding. You can catch Rosina talk on how to keep chooks in your backyard at the Kawana Library on Thursday 29 July, 2010 at 2pm.

A couple of years ago, after thinking long and hard about having chooks in my gardening system I decided I had to do it. First of all I needed to create a suitable space. I decided to remove six useless palms inside the back fence, which thankfully backs on to a reserve. This created an area 7m x 2.3m. Since the southern side of my shade house was placed 2.3m from the back fence, there was my other long edge for the chook pens, already there! I then only needed to divide that area in two to have two chook pens each 3.5m long x 2.5m wide, close in each end and put in doors for access. As I only wanted two chooks I felt this space would work well.

Herein I will describe how this plan became a reality and in the process showed me how, having a couple of chooks in my gardening system is so beneficial to both the garden and my personal well being.

Why you should do this:

Growing your pandora bracelet own food reduces food miles (how far food travels from paddock to plate and is an indication of how environmentally friendly the food is). Food freight, especially by air and road, consumes pandora bracelet fuel and energy, and releases greenhouse pollution. The lower the food miles, the better choice it is for the environment.

Fresh organic eggs every day.

A fantastic resource for composting and enriching the soil in your garden.

You are not supporting the hen system”.

Chooks are cheerful pets that require just a few necessities to be happy and healthy.

Chooks are the best recyclers; scraps, eggs, manure and compost.

Look at the financial benefits for one year:

Two of lay chooks cost $34.

Say three bags grain for one year cost $42.

Add another $20 for bits and pieces and this all comes to $94.

Two laying chooks lay approx 600 eggs per year.

That 50 dozen eggs at $4.95 equals $246.50. A great investment. Think about your choices in designing a chook pen:

Firstly, I would advise you to check out your local council regulations. Don give up if it all looks too hard as you can still keep bantams which are great little chooks. They are classed as birds and are wonderful pets.

Please note I am describing below what I did to build my pens. Obviously there are many alternative possibilities including movable chook pens often referred to as chook tractors.

Another idea I have seen that works very well in a well managed garden is a moveable pen, made to fit existing uniform garden terraces. Attached to the pen is a tunnel made from joinable lengths of chicken wire which lead the chooks out of the chook house during the day, to scratch in an old garden bed and return as necessary to lay or to roost in the evening. Brilliant!

Naturally ranging your chooks is the ideal if you can keep the little destructors away from your veggie system! For instance an orchard would be great with a chook house attached. The chook house would need to be secure at night against predators like pythons and goannas etc.

Diagram of my two pen system:

Wood for central roof and end frames and moveable perch (the perch is attached to two old star pickets).

How To Keep Bell Peppers in the Freezer

Bell peppers are commonly used in recipes to add flavor, color and a healthy dose of antioxidants. They range in color from green, red and yellow to purple a pandora bracelet nd are generally available year round in the supermarket but are freshest, cheapest and most abundant in August and September. Although they can be canned or dried, the best way to store bell peppers is to keep them in the freezer.

The first step is buying peppers. Farmers markets are a great way to get fresh from the farm produce. Supermarkets also deeply discount produce when it is in season. Look for peppers that are richly colored with firm flesh. Avoid any peppers that are wr pandora bracelet inkled or split. Before beginning, wash your peppers thoroughly in cool water, with a small amount of vinegar added, to help remove any pesticides that may remain.

When planning to keep bell peppers in the freezer, give some thought to the type of recipes in which the peppers will be used. Some recipes call for peppers to be julienned, which means to cut into long, thin strips, such as in stir fries. Peppers can be kept whole with just the tops, seeds and fleshy membrane removed as for stuffed peppers. The most versatile way to store peppers is to chop them into small pieces which can later be used in a variety of recipes.

To chop bell peppers, use a large knife and turn the pepper on its side. Slice off the top half inch or so of the pepper, completely removing the stem. Discard the stem but save the round of pepper that is surrounding it. This part is best used finely chopped.

Next, remove the seeds and membrane. Turn the pepper upside down so it rests evenly on the sliced top edge. Now cut it in half. Lay the halves on their sides and cut each half into thin strips. If desired, chop the strips into smaller pieces.

Now that the peppers have been prepared, there are two ways to freeze them. The first and simplest way is to place the chopped or whole peppers in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for 2 3 hours or until they are frozen. pandora bracelet At this point, they can be put into plastic freezer bags or containers and labeled.

The other way is to blanch pandora bracelet them. Blanching kills bacteria and enzymes that will cause the peppers to deteriorate more quickly. To blanch, boil a large pot of water and submerge the prepared peppers for two minutes. Immediately afterward, plunge them into ice water to stop the process and continue as with peppers that were not blanched.

How To Keep Bananas Fresh and Stop Them From Turning Off

Bananas are an affordable, appetizing produ pandora bracelet ce that provides not merely good flavor and value but additionally supplies several wonderful health benefits including being a great supply of potassium, which will help to control blood pressure (and of course prevent painful muscle cramps) and also pandora bracelet a natural antacid effect which helps to protect the stomach from ulcers. In fact, the sole downside to them is the fact that they’ve a relatively short life expectancy it is not easy to keep bananas fresh. Unfortunately, storing bananas inside the refrigerator only speeds up the browning reaction because the low temperature leads to the breakdown of cells, therefore bananas should be kept at pandora bracelet room temperature right up until they are ripe and then stored in the refrigerator to help keep them from ripening further.

Bananas naturally develop in hotter climates, so they will brown quicker through the summer months than they are going to in the winter time warmth speeds up the ripening reaction, and yellow skinned bananas will go brown rapidly, both inside and out, giving them only a couple of days or so of freshness. For maximum benefits and extended shelf life you ought to obtain greener bananas and permit them to ripen, then put them within a refrigerator after they’ve ripened; the skin will go brown but the produce will stay white and firm, extending the bananas’ freshness for as much as 4 days after it ripens.

Whenever you purchase bananas and they’re not as ripe as you would like them. You can increase the ripening p pandora bracelet rocess by placing the bananas inside a paper bag for a couple of days, the surface may still be green but the flesh of the produce would be soft and sweet.

In the event the bananas turn out to be overly ripe place them into the freezer, the banana will turn brown or maybe black, but it will keep its sweet flavor and be perfect for cooking and baking right after it has defrosted, it will likely be mushy and sweet tasting, just right for recipes like banana bread.

The moment a banana has been peeled it has a natural tendency to start turning brown, this process may also be delayed as well as stopped completely by misting it or placing it in an acidic product juice like lime, lemon, pineapple or orange. There are also a number of commercial solutions which have precisely the same effect. Banana slices have to be rubbed or brushed with product juice, avoid immersing the slices in juice, because it will make them soggy.