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Patch to Table Weekly – Edition 1

From the Vegetable Patch

We have new Chickens!

About a year ago I added two Australorps to my flock. But these Australorps turned out to be terrible egg layers and they certainly didn't live up to their egg laying reputation. But because they were only one year old, it wasn't hard to trade them in for 2 point of lay Rhode Island Reds. I've been assured they are excellent layers, so it will be interesting to see how they go.

I’ve also added 3 point of lay ISA browns to the flock, which are already laying nearly an egg a day. 

What I’m really surprised about is how friendly the ISA browns are. They let me pick them up when I approach and they have turned out to be the perfect choice for my 1 year old son. They follow him around the backyard, a bit like a puppy. Speaking of dogs - they don’t seem too worried about ours. They even try to steal their food from under their nose. Which is why I wouldn’t recommend them if you have predator problems. Trying to make friends with a fox is probably not the best strategy for a chicken.

To the Kitchen Table

Lemon dressing

It seems like my lemon tree has a never ending supply of lemons, all year round. And I’m constantly amazed at how juicy they are compared to store bought lemons. 

With so many lemons it's become my go to salad dressing. I use a really simple dressing of olive oil, lemon, salt and sometimes a little apple cider vinegar. It's tasty and so easy. 

I’ve also found that a squirt of lemon goes great with lots of my meals. Stir fry, stews, curries, any sort of greens and most seafood. 

And here is why you should start your day with Lemon water + a great recipe for lemon water with tumeric, ginger and honey.

What I'm up to and interested in

Roundup is in the news again

It turns out the package of chemicals in roundup is more toxic than glyphosate (the active ingredient) in isolation.

Should that really be a surprise!! 

The amazing thing is, this is the first time the other chemicals in roundup formulations have been tested. Previous testing has only been done on glyphosate (the active ingredient) in isolation. 

I just can’t wrap my head around this. Glyphosate is now the most-used agricultural chemical ever. A 2016 study in the journal environmental sciences Europe reports that 8.6 billion kilograms of glyphosate has been used globally since its introduction. And there has been a 15 times increase in the use of glyphosate since 1996, when ‘Roundup Ready’ genetically engineered crops were introduced. 

Meanwhile the formulation of these chemicals as a whole hasn’t been tested.

Is this either complete incompetence or the influence of powerful chemical companies?

Samford Harvest

Living in suburbia, it makes sense to grow as much food as you can in the space you have available. But it's not realistic to try and grow all your own food. The next best thing is local and sustainably grown / produced food. Which is why I volunteer my time as a board member for a not for profit organisation called Millen Farm - which supports local urban farming. 

A dinner was held last weekend (Samford Harvest) - to celebrate locally produced food and to raise money for Millen Farm. 

The food was prepared by a local celebrity Chef Alastair Mcleod and it was
 absolutely sensational! And it wasn't overly fancy - it didn’t need to be. When you have amazing produce it almost speaks for itself. It's so awesome to have a growing local food movement and events like Samford Harvest so close to home. 

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