Around The Suburban Farm

This weekend was so very relaxing, with just a little going on.

Saturday was clean out the chook house day, and treat the big girls for scaly leg mites (a thankless task).  A quick dunk of their legs in vegetable oil does the trick, and you can learn more about how to get rid of these little beasties in this post titled “How To Remove Scaly Leg Mites“.

The little pekin bantams also had their house cleaned out and rebedded, and upon inspection, they had clean legs, so I didn’t have to do the Benny Hill chase around their run (who can hear yakety sax in the background?).

I used half of the really fresh manure in the compost bin.  This was because the bin was getting a little wet from all the kitchen scraps.  The other half was scattered over the broad bean garden bed to keep it weed free.

I noticed that the cabbages, which I planted in late March were getting gnawed by cabbage moth caterpillars  so out with the Diepel to nip them in the bud.  The leaves were quite holey, but the powder soon got rid of just the caterpillars.

After fertilising the citrus trees with weed tea, I called it a day.

Sunday was spent catching up on emails from readers, setting up a few interviews for the cheese podcast, and performing a bit of weeding.  The weeding took no time at all, because I have been keeping on top of it once a month, during the dead moon (waning crescent).

So far this season, I have the following vegetables growing in the garden.

Purple and Sugarloaf cabbages

Onions (hunter river brown), radishes (3 varieties) and carrots,

Garlic (Australian purple) and Red Spanish onions,

Broad beans (fava),

and Snow Peas.

Note the recycled fence panel that I rescued to make into a trellis for the peas.  A great use for something that others would have thrown out.

Also, as we have not had our first frost for the season, there are still lots of scarlet runner beans, and chillies growing in the garden.  Once the frost hit, they will be no longer until spring when they will reshoot.

I also planted five self sown sage plants a few weeks back, which are doing very well.

All in all, I am very please on how the garden is progressing this year.

After weeding and feeding, I went inside and decided that it was a great day to make cheese.  I got out my cheese book (a great feeling), and made Caerphilly, which is my favourite semi-hard cheese to make and eat.

My mate David visited around the same time, bringing with him a nice bottle of local red.  So Kim joined us whereby we talked, joked, and laughed in the kitchen as I made the cheese.

It is so much more fun making cheese with old friends and wine.  The process just seems to flow (like the wine).  The Caerphilly should be ready to eat in about three weeks.  We are all looking forward to that, and more wine!

So as you can see, not much happened, being a very slow weekend.  No workshops, no meetings, no rushing around.  Well, slow for us, anyway :-).

What did you get up to over the weekend?  Did anyone do some food gardening or make cheese?


  1. says

    Have you considered multi cropping – planting a mix of plants in each bed, instead of a mono crop? You may find it will reduce pest problems. I get cabbage moth too but it only affects one or two plants. I guess it is like a viral infection – those in close proximity catch it.

    • says

      Hi Jason, great idea. Do you have any suggestions for the cabbage bed, that won’t get crowded out as they grow larger?

      Do I have time?


  2. says

    Hi Gavin,

    I bought your cheese book for my ipad. I’ve just made your whole milk ricotta. Last week I used vinegar. After reading your recipe for citric acid I bought some when I went to town. I’m looking forward to trying it out later!

    • says

      Hi Ami, thanks for buying the cheese book. Hope you are enjoying it. I believe you will find the ricotta made with my method much smoother than when using vinegar.

      It is almost like cream cheese the way it spreads.

      Keep up the great work

      Gav x

  3. says

    Hi Gavin, To deal with my chooks legs I have made up a mix of beeswax, olive oil and a little eucalyptus oil into a nice thick paste. When the flock needs doing we go in after dark and give their legs a massage one at a time. Works a treat.

  4. Sarah G says

    No gardening or cheese making for me on the weekend. I’m going to make some ricotta today and I’ve just hung up a piece of bacon that I’ve been curing for the last 4 days. If I get around to it I’ll thin the carrots and plant some more peas.

  5. says

    I love those Weldmesh fence panels! I must have about 20 of them around the yard, and am always looking for more. If I see them anywhere for under , I snap them up.

    Besides being perfect for climbing vegies (peas, beans, etc), you can wire them together to make a great animal enclosure (e.g. to lock up the dog, or to make a mobile pig tractor). I use them to subdivide my poultry pen, and they also make excellent gates (hung from a post with a few pieces of steel strapping).

    Sounds like a nice relaxing weekend you had there!

  6. Anonymous says

    Unfortunately I was working and unable to attend any of the National Pernaculture Day events or do any gardening. I did have an hour or two to spare to admire my 4 new baby chickens. 2 yellow ones (ISA browns undoubtedly) & 2 black and white ones (hopefully pure bred Cochins). A 5th one hatched but didn’t survive. Little chicks are so sweet. First time mum Scruff is doing a great job
    Gavin and Kim, i hope you enjoy your freed up time together. It is hard keeping up with being on a group committee
    Claire in Kalorama

    • says

      Congrats on your new chooks Claire!

      We are thinking of getting a few more as Bunty is now nearly 6 years old, and only lays one egg a week (if we are lucky). I don’t have the heart to dispatch her as she is the grandma of the flock.

      Gav x

  7. says

    Both actually! I experimented with some cream cheese alternative type soft cheeses, and did a lot of work in the garden Looks like you had the best kind of weekend!

Comments build lively communities. Let me know your thoughts, but keep it clean and green! Spam is removed instantly.