The pieces of my life's mosaic are many.... family, parenting, unschooling, social justice, community, faith, ethical issues and the environment. This blog will reflect a bit of everything, I imagine, all mushed up together, just like life is. The "glue" in my mosaic is the bit that's not always visible, but definitely holds it all together: the love, joy, peace & faith without which life would pretty much fall apart. The spiral signifies the ebb and flow of life around a central point, which for me is God.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Some new additions to the fam... :)

So.... today was the day we bit the bullet, went for a beautiful country drive, and bought ourselves 6 little day-old chicks! SUCH an exciting moment. We're really nowhere near ready for them, but my friend Melissa was going out to this great breeder to buy some ducklings and suggested I come with her and get started on our chicken adventure! Nothing like a bit of pressure to get those weeds & asbestos removed, and a chook house built! At least for now they can live in our laundry at night and in a spare rabbit hutch during the warm summer days! They're SOOOOOO cute. We got one for each membe of the fam, although at this stage T & B are insisting they're not at all interested. But I'm sure the girls will win them over with their charms.

And I have to say it's also a little bit exciting to have the power balance change in the female direction, in this formerly-testosterone-fuelled household! Molly's been wishing for a sister for a long time, so now she gets SIX!! That makes 8 girls in the family now, in a funny kind of way. Actually, 12 if you count the mice. But then I suppose we'd have to count the male rabbit & dog, but I still think the girls win. Hang on while I add it up...... YES! Girls:12  Boys: 6  :)

No, it's not dead; it's asleep!! I walked in to the laundry and Miss M was singing the "Hush, Little Baby" lullaby to her chicken. Looks like it worked!

Night night
Sleep tight
Don't let the bed bugs bite


When we moved into our rental property, there was a big section up the back of the yard that was full of knee-high weeds. It didn't look pretty. But it looked better then than it does now! Before we knew it, the weeds had just about taken over the back section of the yard and grown to be taller than me!!! (And I'm not short LOL). Mate, it was a jungle out there! And VERY overwhelming.

One day my good friend Melissa came and we got started on mission-weed-destroy! We removed the weeds from along the garage wall, and to our dismay discovered that underneath them were massive root systems - basically, they were tree trunks sawn off just above ground level! It seemed our problem was even bigger than we'd at first thought! I have to admit I felt pretty disheartened. And more so when all the weeds grew back again! (I won't forget how sore my arms were after the day of hacking into the weeds, and it was pretty annoying that it was all for nothing!)

My mission then became about finding out what the weeds actually were and how to get rid of them. I really didn't want to have to use poison, especially because we plan to grow food on this land, and also just because I like to do things a la naturally, as much as possible.

After much internet research I discovered that the weeds are a category 3 noxious weed called Green Cestrum which grows as high as 3 foot. It spreads most rapidly during spring (when we moved in) and also spreads more if the trunk is chopped down but not fully removed or poisoned. The previous owners had obviously chopped down quite a few of these bushes/trees, which has actually made the problem worse. Bummer!

Anyway, our lovely landlord, James, ended up offering to join us in a working bee, so yesterday was the day we donned out workboots and got stuck into it (AGAIN!). This time we managed to remove 3 entire root systems as well as a whole bunch of the spreading weeds. We've really only just begun, but at least we know how to tackle it now!

Here's a small section of the yard, showing some of the weed spread and a small section that's been cleared:

And here's one of the weed clusters, showing the exposed root system.



GONE!! Woo Hoo!!!!

Look at the nasty buggers we pulled out. Bigger than your average bindii, hey!

But..... as is often the case, we discovered a beautiful silver lining. Look at the gorgeous little gem we found hidden amongst the weeds, just ready for us to train up the garage wall! A pretty little wisteria vine seedling (of course, this photo shows it still surrounded by weeds, but it is now free!) Yay! :)