Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Preparing for Chickens

I've been dreaming of chickens for about 6 months.  At first I imagined them free-ranging all over our yard, but was assured by people with experience that they will poo everywhere and scratch up the veggie patches!  Anyway, I've done some research and am planning to get some silkies in spring.  I'm keen for them to be pets for the kids as well as helping us in the garden with their manure, digging about and eating the bugs.  Silkies are apparently very friendly, great with kids, can't fly and don't scratch as much.  They don't lay as well and their eggs are smaller than other breeds - but they're so cute!
Bamboo remnants in proposed chicken corner.

Over summer I cut out the bamboo that Monkey Man planted when he first moved here 15 years ago and this is where I'm planning to put them.  It was a massive job and as you can see I'm not finished.  It is that dreadful spreading bamboo that just keeps invading.  I've been finding bits sprouting up from the roots so we really have to dig up the roots - but it's hard work!  I kept a bundle of the bamboo sticks to make climbing frames and teepees and gave the rest to the neighbours.  My plan is to have a coop here with an attached, covered run and to have a separate, bigger, uncovered run for the daytime when we're around.  This run would go along the corner back fences, under the fig tree and under the trampoline.  I'm thinking I'll plant some more fruit trees along the fence where the bamboo was and maybe I'll also be able to squeeze in another fruit tree beside the fig.

So, in anticipation of fresh eggs that are coming, here's an eggy dish I made during the week.  I adapted the recipe from Little Kitchen by Sabrina Parrini, replacing some of the carrot with silverbeet and parsley from the garden.

Carrot and Zucchini Slice

1/2 onion
1/4 cup olive oil
4 small zucchini, grated
2 medium carrots, grated
3 silverbeet leaves, chopped
3 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups SR flour
salt & pepper

Pre-heat oven to 180º.  Lightly grease a baking dish.
Put the onion in a food processor and blitz it to a paste.  Add this to the olive oil and mix well.  Add the zucchini, carrots, silverbeet, parsley and cheese.  Add salt and pepper to the beaten eggs and stir it into the veggies.  Add the flour to the mixture a little at a time, stirring well.  Pour the mixture into a greased loaf tin.  Cook for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

I served this with roast potatoes and steamed broccoli.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks VG, going to give your zucchini slice a go with the last(thank god)of the harvest which has been in the crisper for about 2 weeks!!


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