Tag: chickens

Old Mac Gray had a farm…E I E I O

Is it a nursery? is it a farm? ..Its Good Hope Gardens!!!!

  Meet Noot-Noot, the best mouser in the Deep South, possibly the world.

Mr. Jackson, the meanest Billy in town.

  Pretty maids all in a row…our four baby milking goats, the very shy one is hiding in the shadows and the super shy one ran into the bushes.

Pollox the friendliest old foxdog ever.

Jokes. We don’t have elephants.

But we do have chickens, chicks, ducks, roosters, more dogs, another cat, and a host of wildlife that would be very upset if we didn’t mention them in this post. You will just have to come and meet them yourself next time you visit us!

A fresh start with spring

So new and exciting beginnings have begun! Good Hope Gardens Nursery and farmstall is fully operational. Coinciding with the beginning of Spring we relaunched with a bang and a bloom…flower power and fynbos kos. Take a peak:

We are also starting kids parties,

And pony parties ..introducing Patches the Shetland pony to the nursery!

Speaking of introductions….

we have two new puppies. Codi and Lani…heres Lani:

And our mommy goat died after eating a poison bulb called tilp (Beautiful orange flower with long green strap leaves) leaving her three-day old kids orphaned. These are the two  kiddies Dandelion and Star, whom we now have to bottle feed untill they are ready to eat by themselves.,,

I mean how cute does it get? Not much more than this.

So come on over to the Deep South and see what we have changed!

Cockadoodledoo 🙂

A wedding cake, an olive tree and three feral chickens.

Early in the mornings we hear the cackle, scratch and crow of our three feral chickens. Always roosting in a new place – never to be seen.

To cut a rather long and gumbooted -in-the-dark story short, after a false wringing of one chickens neck, he let his two buddies know their pot luck fate and they never came within three metres of us again.

Yesterday, however, they were tired and hungry and sneaked into the chicken hok. But Taskmaster was on spy mode. He saw them out the corner of his eye through the passage the window, jumped out the window and closed the door on them in one fluid movement. Ninja farmer skills. Kingoftheplayground has inherited said skills and captured 4 songololos the other day while I was cracking eggs for breakfast.

The Fynbos and Food event is getting closer and closer….a confirmation of more stallholders today who will be selling organic apple juice, farm honey, gluten-free bakes, unsulphered dried fruit, kids fun stuff, crystals and gemstones.

We are lucky lucky lucky to have three pretty ladies playing guitar and singing for us on the day. Shady tree and lunch anyone? Aaaaah.

Here is our olive tree:

This is the first year is has bore us/fruited/produced/developed olives. (Must look in John Seymour’s book for correct term..that book is constantly open in this house) We picked these: It may looook like a little – but you try doing yoga moves in a pokey olive tree and then say “Small bushel” or whatever the collective for olives are. A host of olives? A hoard of olives…a press of olives? hmmm. Anyway, here:

A gloriously decadent Rooibos and pink buttercream icing wedding cake was made last week for a wedding in Stanford. Please note: If you are delivering a fully iced and decorated cake some three hours car ride away…its best to buy coverup goods for the unforeseeable meltdowns….in my case in the form of meringues and strawberries 🙂 Oh and drink chamomile tea to calm the jagged nerves. …Think we stopped about 17 times to check it was still fine. So not too much tea or more stops, which means more checking up. Which counteracts the chammomile. Ahem. CAKE PLEASE!!!!

So concludes this post. Off to jump in the Ecolodge jacuzzi and then water the animals and veggies too. We jamming this week, and preserving veg, so any spare glass jars you have lying around – recyclers/hoarders/bottled produce lovers …. I would love to use them! Pretty please 🙂

Fynbos Summer Sale and a bad bad blogger.

The time has come for our Summer Sale. Our Fynbos Summer Sale on Dec 16 – 10am – 4pm!

It has been so so busy here at the nursery. So busy I forgot to blog in months! In the space between my last blog entry and now, we adopted 10 baby chickens (Township lovelies, i swear they say “Hy wena” or worse every time I walk past without feeding them) and two goats who had a cute cute little baby kid we named Girl Goaty (Kingoftheplayground named it) but actually a few days later it turned out to be a boy. Billy the kid? Naaaythan? help us out here…

We also have Samson and Max, our two rescue dogs – but have had them for a while now. If you come to visit us and are bowled over by a thin snake on legs with fur and a brown frown face with ear-splitting woofs – that’s them. We love them even after eating three chickens (the baby Redhill ones – no funeral, Kingoftheplayground was asleep) and chicken eggs (Samson bites holes in the sides and sucks out the insides…WhipetXeggeater?) They are the best watchdogs and will bark at anything even the sprinklers and the wind.

Not sure if I mentioned before, we also adopted Henry the Rooster from the Cape Farmhouse a while ago. He has a rocky history and was even in the local papers…small people stay away from him? But he has his 3 chicks (our 3 chickens) who are completely henpecked. Oh. Except for chicken #2 who got slicked by a genet cat. Rude.

So life has been farmy to say the least. Its fun, but hard too sometimes when you upstairs trying to catch up on admin and you hear shouts from the garden. Make sure Kingoftheplayground is fast asleep still and go downstairs. Find that Billy goat has escaped and is eating the veggie garden. Everyone drops tools and the  chase begins. Let me just stop here and mention that goats can run ridiculously fast. So catch goat. Goat scrapes hand with horn. Bite tounge. Put goat back in pen. Feed Goat. Walk past chickens who start swearing at me in Xhosa. Fetch chicken food. Henry the Rooster sees chicken food and struts fast towards me. I stumble backwards (I’m very scared of Henry) and bang head on recently pruned tree branch. Swear loudly and have to go and slam garden gate a couple of times to feel better. Feel better. Think pure thoughts. Feed chickens. Go back upstairs. Turn computer back on just before Kingoftheplayground wakes up and shouts for cereal with the runny honey.

Taskmaster is completely landscaped out what with everyone who is anyone wanting their garden finished before Christmas. A few roof garden in the mix and even time to build more goat pens. Ownerlady is full steam ahead in organizations for the Summer Sale…big tree clearances, getting all the flowering plants ready and filling up the retail. All staff working hard:

We will have succulents for sale in decoupaged recycled tins – a Thank You Kitty range, as most of the tins are from our cats food 🙂 cute hey.

The Tea Garden is going well too, with fab new staff and a home cooked meal on the menu every day.  Fresh organic produce continues to feed us and the Tea Garden from the veggie gardens, we even had the most amazing artichokes the other night.

The figs are out and homemade fig preserve will be on sale at the Summer Sale – best eaten at once with red wine and a selection of cheeses…mmmmmm.

I’ll leave you with this pretty pic of an Agapanthus almost in bloom….and hope to see you next week at the Sale!!!


Fynbos walks and cupcakes.

A wintery chill is in the air. But the wind died down and the sun came out on the weekend so we went for a hike up the Fynbos Walk.

We walked and talked

and climbed and saw some stunning flowers and had a picnic and oohed and aaahed at the magnificent views…

And jumped off boulders like Big Boys.

…well, one incredibly happy body did….

Today, with thanks to the inspiration from Ravishing Rayne, I embarked on making Decadent Cupcake for a Birthday Party order. I first followed the recipe given…but unfortunately for some reason or other they tasted a bit like washing powder(?) so the chickens had an interesting second breakfast. Then I adapted my own recipe (secret one, not telling) and the results were as follows:

<<<cupcakes with creamcheese icing and cranberry and edible glitter decorations     ****       ***Wheat-free rose cupcakes with pink chocolate icing and crystalized lavendar decorations>>>>>>

And Wheat-free chocolate cupcakes with a vanilla centre, choc ganache topping and mint choc ball to decorate.

And here they all are…….

A cluster of cupcakes?

A snuggle of cupcakes?

A comfort of cupcakes?

Well whatever it is, its time for tea!

Bye bye for now…Sweet dreams!

The sun, the rain, tiny tomatoes and chickens.

I had to relinquish the camera back to sister # 1. So for todays story, you’ll just have to use your imagination for the  images!

It was a hot, hot, week. The plants looked sad and dusty. Unfortunately it was also the week where the irrigation in a certain plant area decided not to work properly and we lost a lot of plants. They did not quite die, luckily,  but will only look good again in a while. Thankfully a strange summer storm appeared, mist rolling down the mountain (picture it), bringing  a brief respite from the suns harsh rays.

On the brighter side, two days ago, Mike the BB man was clearing out the Protea area and ripped out a pile (and I really mean a PILE) of baby tomato plants growing wildly there. (Imagine three buckets full of baby tomatoes) So, tomato tart for all!!! (Imagine, a sumptuous  mouth-watering tomato tart – crispy pastry, melted cheese and fresh origano on top, mmm..)

Apart from never wanting to see another baby tomato for a long while (only so much amazing tart one can eat) the Big Move is happening. Phase 1 starts today…Ownerlady begins her move – exciting changes. Our turn next week maybe – just hope the chickens can deal with the stress of it all…they really are pea-brained. Have visions of them wandering back to their old roost wondering why it’s so drafty.

Heres a photo I took a while ago of Kingoftheplayground having a chicken of a time:

Have a great weekend!!!

Tomatoes and prep for the revamp.

Yesterday was a howling wind.  It whipped and whistled around the nursery. I decided to try and escape it by going out to ‘Town” for last minute buys for the Ecolodge revamp.

What a ridiculous idea.

It was at least ten degrees hotter! Without the wind though, so I couldn’t complain. Much. I got white cotton bedding for the beds, white curtains, roof paint, tile adhesive, toilet roll holder, and some supplies for the Tea Garden. Three shops. It took me 5 hours. Time warp? Space vortex? Suburbs on a Saturday.

Once home, I was so thankful for the cooling wind, that I went tomato picking for pasta. I got there only to find that the tomatoes had been unattended for a few days and the slugs had arrived under a bush. They were having a party. They looked quite drunk. Sighing, I reached out for the first when I heard a Bark. Looking around, chicken #2 and chicken #3 had followed me like dogs and were peering round the fence with beady eyes. Brilliant. Took chickens to slugs, chickens ate all of the slugs and a few tomatoes and then I threw a stick and they left. No, I actually just chased them out.

Taskmaster had been busy finishing up our house (relief) and continued today. Ownerlady sewed up the new couch covers and I drew Proteas on the scatter cushions. Blinds painted white, bookshelf painted white…Collecting paint tomorrow – because it all starts!!! Four days, total revamp…from Rustic Drab to Eco Fab! Here are some of the before shots:

More photos of the During and After coming this week!!!

Smile like you mean it.

Yesterday was a great day. I decided to be nice to everyone. Eye contact, smile, full attention. It was very interesting. I got:

  • 1 Proposal (from assistant at hardware shop-very flattered but, er.. no thanks, not ever. )
  • 1 free sausage and the best service ever (no, not what you thinking-from the lady assistant at the deli)
  • Lots of wierd looks as though “what the hell do you want/what are you on/where’s the hidden camera/where did you escape from”
  • Mimed apologies (From confused road-raged drivers in the wrong after I waved and smiled)

And I had a good luck day too:

  • Designer friend emailed to say paint shop had donated large amounts of paint for the Ecolodge revamp.
  • The wind stopped.
  • The sun came out.
  • Taskmaster stopped work for the first time in months and we went surfing.
  • Kingoftheplayground didnt run away and get lost once…oh wait, just the once. Found him barefoot in puddles “just runnin’ alon’ “
  • The renovations should theoretically be finished by tomorrow.
  • The jumping castle has been booked for Good Hope Nursery’s next event on 5th April – Fynbos Family Day.
  • Found this Protea repens in flower:                                                                                                                                                    Later on…

We discovered where on earth chicken #2 and chicken #3 have been hiding their eggs. Mike the BB man found a clutch of old and new eggs all cosy in a nest of sticks under an old gum tree. Got given dirty looks of hate and the beady-eye each time I passed them…. Smiles do not work on chickens!!!