Thursday, 30 June 2011

A Fair Exchange is No Robbery

Hello lovelies

We've had a busy few days, hence the lack of blogging.  

I may have mentioned before that we are trying hard to declutter our home, and this goes for the garden too.  We hired a skip over the weekend and so have cleared the garden of a myriad of rubbish.  I've kicked against having a skip for a long time as I hate the idea that the rubbish will simply to into land fill, however I've had to admit defeat and accept that there was absolutely no other way to go in this instance.  We've chopped much of the wood offcuts for the chiminea and crammed as much green waste into the green recycling bin as possible, however the rotten old pet hutches would never have burned (however the grilles from an old guinea pig run have been utilised as cat guards over my veggie planter so that's been another bit of recycling!) 

The metal frames from two old bikes were claimed by the ubiquitous scrap men within ten minutes of them being put out. 

Whilst we had use of the skip, Mr B decided that the chicken run needed digging out.  There was a really offensive sour smell emanating from the run, particularly after all the rain we we'd been having.  We were a bit perturbed by this, as we are quite meticulous about the cleaning out of our girls.  After checking up on a couple of forums, it seems that the smell could be coming from old feed which had been stamped into the ground by the hens and which had soured as it began to break down.  Well - we're not sure whether this is correct or not but to be on the safe side he took a layer off and raked it all over.  Sure enough the smell has gone.  Rather than putting the mash/corn/pellets (whatever they're dining on this week!) directly onto the floor now, we've tied a tray onto the side of the pen and have placed a slab beneath it to catch the debris.  Of course this won't stop all of the food escaping into the ground but it will protect it a little at least.  The chooks are happy with the arrangement and we still sprinkle the fresh green stuff and meal worms around so that they have something to scratch about after as that never seems to last too long anyway!!

The chooks themselves have been enjoying lovely dust baths in the hot sunshine over the weekend.  They absolutely love this activity and although they dig holes so deep I fear for them digging up ex-pets, it's hilarious to see them rolling around in the holes they carve in the dry soil.

Bless em - they were very naughty on Sunday and decided to assist the cats with their dinner!

Honestly - nothing is safe!!
The reason for my blog title today is the fact that my neighbour and I had a bit of a trade off this evening.  As we our  little china hen is completely full to bursting with eggs this week, there were half a dozen laid within the last couple of days which I simply couldn't find a home for.  With no time during the week to bake, I popped them 'round to my neighbour who was most appreciative and wanted to pay for them but of course I was having none of it.

About 30 minutes later however she returned my bowl - complete with a mixture of home grown raspberries, strawberries and the largest, sweetest cherries I've ever tasted.  A fair exchange indeed!   Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could return to this way of living?!

Until next time,

K xx


  1. Nice one. Our own return to chicken keeping is still on hold (for tedious reasons). Do you just have three? That's what I was thinking of having.

  2. Hi Cro - yep just the three. They produce between 1 and 3 eggs each day which is more than enough for us plus some spares for bartering purposes!!

  3. Can't beat a bit of bartering. Have you heard of L.E.T.S groups? Local Exchange Trading, could be just the thing for swapping, recycling and meeting like-minded folks.

  4. Hahaha, love the pic of them at the cat's bowl!! I think the whole world should work on the barter system :) As Kath said, there are LETS groups all over, may be worth a look.

  5. I totally understand the thing with the landfill. But, it looks like you had a productive weekend and it was well worth it. I love how you recycled those grilles and made your plants cat-proof! That is dead clever!
    I love the chooks at the cat bowl too. LOL! And those berries look completely scrumptious!
    (I still have one more cheesecake left....)
    meggs. xx

  6. Thanks Kath and Kadeeae - I've never heard of LETS before but it sounds like such a good idea! Wouldn't the world be a better place if we bartered everything!

    Hiya Meggs - ooh cheesecake! I'll be right over!! ;)

  7. Seems like a fair swap to me Kim! Both gifts utterly delicious :o) Your chooks certainly look happy.
    You HAVE been busy though - and doesn't it make you feel good when it's done?
    Sounds like you have hoards of scrap men visit too..sometimes we can have four in one day, half an hour wonders why don't they get together and make a rota?
    Enjoy the rest of the week, but don't work too hard ;o)
    Best wishes
    Rose H
    Hope you manage to get to David Austin's!

  8. Hi Rose - yes I agree about the scrap men - we get about four each day around here. One plays the tune to Steptoe and Son which always makes me laugh!! You're right about the hard work making us feel good - there's a definite sense of achievement. xx