Greetings beauties around Planet Earth.
So here we are in a New Year, a new Solar Cycle- a time when the Earth has now embarked on a new journey around the sun. I will say that on New Years day, my chickens decided they would stop laying all at once. Bring on the New Year!!
Venus & Shallaha have laid since then (only yesterday), but Erethae has laid soft eggs (more on her later), and Deema's eggs are no where to be seen.
On the Cusp of the new year, Shallaha had her first case of being egg bound. It's a dreadful thing to deal with, and very stressful/painful for the chook. I knew by watching her behaviour that she was in pain, as her feathers were all sprayed up at the back, and she was very distant, quiet and all she wanted to do was close her eyes.
I had to do something, and so tried to help her push the egg along. I took her into the workshop and got some gloves on. Helping a chicken with passing an 'egg bound' egg is having to put your fingers inside her vent, and first feel if there is indeed an egg there, and then slightly massage the area to help her push it out. Its a delicate process, because one wants to avoid cracking the egg inside of the ovarian duct, but it does encourage her to try her best to crack on and get the egg out. We did our best working together, and she did not protest.
After, I gave her belly gentle massage for about 15 mins and then it was touch and go from there. I knew she could very well die through the night, but I knew I had done the best I could do for her.
An hour later, as I was watering the gardens, lo and behold Shallaha comes out back to her normal, perky self, with her regular voracious appetite. I was so relieved! I went into the workshop and found this:
This is a 'leather egg'. It is very soft without a shell. It would have been very painful to push out because there would have been no traction along the ovarian duct (which would usually come from the shell) for Shallaha to push it out. Egg bound chickens are a life threatening condition for them if not dealt with. I am glad she lives to see another day!
We have had worms with one of the chickens. Erethae. She has been unwell for the latter part of the year--first with Bumblefoot (as you can see with the previous blog post) and worms. I did a lot of research on worming chickens and I hate giving them anything very toxic. Ivomectin is a last resort, which is applied topically, but I opted for grounded pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are used as an anthelmintic, and have an amino acid called cucurbitacin, which acts to paralyse parasitic worms inside the intestines, which they will then pass through the chickens poo. I gave them all a good dose of seeds, and so far, I have not seen any worms in their poo's for over 2 weeks.
I will continue to give them pumpkin seeds every month.
So the new year was eventful at El Noor Gardens. I am not one for parties and big celebrations, but I do like to celebrate the new cycle in my own way.
I pay honour to Mother Earth, and let her sing to me through my harp. I will often take it out and let energies of the Earth sing through it. Its a beautiful interface....a translation of Mother Earth's beautiful healing energies of 432Hz.
The weather has been unbelievably good. I cannot believe my luck. I sit here, writing with a sweater on! It has been cool for weeks and although I find it strange, I am not one bit complaining. I would rather cold weather than hot any day. Hot weather brings mosquitoes, which are very testy to deal with at El Noor.
The abundance of ants and other critters I can deal with, but mosquitoes are my biggest challenge. They love the aromas, (especially me) at El Noor. I haven't even seen Violet yet! Violet is my 'pet' brown snake, and I think this weather is a little too cold for her also.
Mrs Fox is here almost every single day, but she usually only comes at night.
Here is my beautiful 70 year old Peach tree. So far, I have only found one peach!!
This is a fig that was almost dead when I arrived, she is also thriving right now.
The new rose garden is doing extremely well also. The back roses, known as the "wedding rose", is almost looking like the 2 year old rose bushes I have in the David Austin rose bed. Further in the back, you can also notice the current fate of my hot house. Abundance is still plenty in there however! Just look:
And some lovely little tomatoes and more Zucchini (Lebanese & regular)
I have been cooking up the zucchini with onion/garlic and either eating it with homemade flatbread or with homemade sourdough.
Nothing beats having homemade food from the garden, and from your own hands. The sourdough process has been a challenging one, as some of you know!
The red roses are doing extremely well lately. Thanks to the cooler weather, the roses have had a chance to give me a second & third flush. Here is Kardinal looking gorgeous.
I truly believe the healing properties of gazing into pure colours like these. Flowers, sunsets and sunrises. Bright, natural colours given from Mother Earth in general. Colours are Photonic light rays, and according to the frequency these light rays oscillate at, will determine the colour that you see.
Florentine saturating the camera lens. The colours are so intense, the camera has a challenging time to encapsulate the fine detail of the rose itself!
Here is Unconventional Lady--again, the colours are very intense.
The date palms are doing very well also. Granted, they do love heat, but this cooler time is allowing the little ones to grow well, and I have been allowed to ease with my watering schedule for this week.
Here is one of my thriving Barhee date palms. She's looking very strong and healthy. This is from tissue culture of Barhee mother stock.
Here is another date palm grown from seed. Very fragile at this age, so the cooler weather is doing good favours!
Here is a Mazafati (originating from Bam, IRAN) seedling, doing very well. Planted from seed.
Sprouted date palm seeds going strong! These are Safavi dates and Sukkari dates, originating from Saudi Arabia.
I have also got a bunch of seedlings on the go. I have pencil pines, carobs, and fruit trees growing. These middle to top canopy trees, that provide shade for lower story trees/shrubs.
Here is my front garden during the Summer. Note also the luminosity of the red from the geraniums--this is one plant that will never let you down. Always green, and almost always flowering. One of the most hardy, drought/heat tolerant plants I know of!
In amongst the geranium, is a flanking of stock and stock seeds. These make the garden very aromatic!
The frame for the new shade house is starting to look the part. I only have a couple of more posts on the west/eastern side that I need to cement, and then I can start laying the shade cloth. A project of mine later on in the year will be to salvage my poor hot house. I will replace what is remaining of the galvanised steel frame and fix the timber frame. I hope to add more polycarbonate sheets along the sides, and a piece of shade cloth on top of the frame. At least everything is still growing nicely inside!
The first crop of pomegranate at El Noor, there are only two fruits on the tree, but even so, I am thrilled she is thriving.
Another huge job I have completed over the festive holidays is the painting of my dreaded ceiling. It was essential to get done and after toiling with an old roller and lots of swearing and back/neck aches, I decided to invest in a small $30 spray painter. It was the best investment I had made all year. I finished the painting much easier. The finish was much more even. Because the ceiling is bowed and buckled, there was no way the roller was going to give me an even finish. Why I didn't think of the spray gun earlier is beyond me...
Wishing you all a very happy, peaceful, healthy and prosperous year. Life is what you make it, and do the very best with what you have. Fill your life with good people, good situations, good feelings and lots of good gardening.
Andulairah, Venus, Shallaha, Erethae & Deema