Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How to use Diatomaceous Earth

When you need to control pests in your organic garden or trying to avoid using strong chemicals on your pets  to control flees, ticks, mites and lice, then food grade Diatomaceous Earth is a must.

I came across Diatomaceous Earth when I was researching alternatives for chicken coop cleaning, chicken pest dusting and for our local school garden. It seemed to cover just about everything I was looking for. So when I discovered I could buy Diatomaeceous Earth online here in Australia I decided to give it a go.

I purchased mine from Planet Poultry.

There are two types of Diatomaceous Earth:

  • Pool grade with silicon 
  • Food grade ☺

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

Also known as DE, is a naturally occurring soft fossilised (algae) rock that is finely ground to a powder. It has a drying effect when applied to any bugs. The dust simply dehydrates and suffocates pests to death. 

How to use DE:

Even though the food grade Diatomeaceous Earth is a 'safe' product, because it is a fine powder it can be breathed in and cause your hands to dry out. So when applying always use a dust mask and gloves.

Application: Use an old talc powder container, Pest Pistol Mini Duster or Dustin-Mizer applicator to spread the Diatomaceous Earth effectively.

Animal pest control
Apply to bedding or nesting areas as well as to your pet.
When dusting your pest, go against the grain of the hair or feathers.
To apply to poultry, hold up-side-down by the legs and shake dust through feathers.

Bed Bugs
Dust through the bare mattress and carpets.

Garden pest control
Light spray down all the foliage with water before applying DE top and bottom of leaves. The dampness will help the dust to adhere more efficiently. Do not apply if rain is expected. Reapplication will be necessary when most of the dust is no longer visible.

Fertilize by Foliar Feeding

I love this article and had to share it with you. Article originally published on Organic Gardener.

One of the most efficient and effective ways to fertilise your plants is foliar feeding with organic liquid fertilisers. That's right, plants can absorb nutrients via their foliage. It’s fast acting too - you see results almost immediately.
All you need is a sprayer or atomiser and an all purpose organic liquid fertiliser. Go for a blend of organic fish emulsion, liquid compost and liquid seaweed - that way you know you're giving plants a broad range of nutrients.
Just fill your sprayer with water and add the organic liquid fertiliser/s, but not too much - check the recommended rate and divide it by 4, that’s all you need. Also, pop in a few drops of detergent - that will help it spread on the surface of the leaf.
All you do then is give your sprayer a good shake and start spraying - making sure you completely cover all the leaves on their upper and lower surfaces. The best time to apply the solution is in the cool of the early morning.
Do this foliar feeding once a week for a few weeks and in no time see your plants start to green up and perform much better. It really is an effective and economical way to feed your plants in an organic garden - particularly when they are showing signs of nutrient deficiency.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A+ Anzac Biscuits

These Anzac Biscuits are a modern twist on an Aussie/Kiwi classic. They break some rules but they are worth it! The credit goes to my hubby's work mate, Helen for this recipe. I think she has held back her true secret ingredient in this recipe that she has handed on to me; but every good cook must protect their secrets.

A+ Anzac Biscuits
Makes 32 crunchy biscuits


1 cup Rolled Oats

1 cup Plain Flour
½ cup Sugar
1 cup Dessicated Coconut
125g Butter
2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Boiling Water
½ cup Choc Chips
½ cup Sunflower Seeds
½ cup Dried Cranberries (or sultanas, currants, etc)
2 Tablespoons Crystallised or Naked Ginger, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 150ÂșC (slow oven)
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl: oats, sugar, flour, coconut, choc chips, seeds, cranberries and ginger. Stir.
  3. Melt the butter and golden syrup together in a small saucepan.
  4. Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water and stir into the butter mixture in saucepan.
  5. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
  6. Roll mixture into balls and place about 5cm apart on oven trays lined with baking paper.
  7. Flatten slightly with a fork.
  8. BAKE for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Allow biscuits to stand on the tray to cook (about 15 mins) then transfer to a wire rack.

Mix dry ingredients together

Melt butter and golden syrup together

Add hot water and baking soda to butter mixture
Add butter mixture to the dry ingredients
Mix together well
Form into small balls and press down on baking tray
Makes about 32 - Slow Oven

(very un-Anzac Biscuit but sooooo delicious!)

I dare you to only eat one! And remember to pause to honour our fallen Diggers this Anzac Day.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Little Lemon Tree JigSaw

Click on the image below to start your jigsaw.
It will save when you exit so you can return later if you choose.
Have fun!

100 Little Lemon Tree..

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Anatomy of a Chicken

If you have trouble knowing a chickens wattle from their comb, these diagrams from Keep Hens Raise Chickens will soon help you to become an expert.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tea Infuser Design

Loving the amazing array of Tea Infusers designs!
Here's some crazy but beautiful infusers.

Deep Tea Diver Infuser

Teatanic Unsinkable Tea Infuser

Tea Leaves Tea Infuser

Tea Leaf Infuser

SOOHAP Camellia Floating Tea Infuser

'Mr Tea' Infuser

Licorice Herb

I discovered a beautiful new plant this week that I really love. Add it to the herb garden this month!

The Licorice Herb (Botanical name: Tagetes Filifolia) from the Haars Nursery is available through selected garden centres Australia wide.

It really does taste like the real thing. Every time I go past my new plant I find I'm always taking a little to nibble. At this rate there won't be much left. It's beautifully tasty♥

The Licorice Herb is classified a rare plant as this is not a standard Spanish Licorice that most people would use medicinally. The roots of the Licorice Herb would not be used, for example, but both are excellent for flavouring food and drinks.

The delicate dill-like foliage makes it easy to add as a flavouring or to pick during a garden wander.

Absolutely loaded with flavour and can be added to sweet and salty foods, herbal teas, vinegars or white wine.

How to grow
  • Prefers full sun to partial shade. ☼
    Will thrive in shade but will not be as lush.
  • Plant direct into garden bed or into pots on the patio to enjoy the aroma.
  • Grows to 40cm in height. ↑
  • Plant in well drained soil with an application of organic fertiliser ever 3-4 weeks.
  • Regularly harvest to encourage bushiness.

Tea Recipe

To make Licorice Tea, simply cut 2 teaspoons of freshly picked leaves, cut up small, add to tea cup and fill with boiling water. Allow to stand for 4 minutes to infuse.


If you are growing a Licorice Herb already, let us know how yours is growing and what you use your plant for the most.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Announcing the Launch of the Adelaide Chicken Sitting Service

Adelaide urban backyard chicken owners can breathe a sigh of relief as there is now a unique pet sitting service in South Australia. I am so proud to announce the launch of my new business, Adelaide Chicken Sitting Service.

Serving the Adelaide southern suburbs, run by the chicken lady herself, Janine Zschech.

Backyard poultry owning is growing rapidly in popularity Australia wide. Sometimes trying to find a good neighbour, friend or relative who is nearby and likes hens can be tricky to organise. With one call Adelaide Chicken Sitting Service can be on the job looking after your feathered flock!
I come to you.

Stress free holiday and so affordable ♥

Don't let owning chickens stop you from getting away!

Raising hens is such a pleasure, however the need to get away for a weekend or a longer holiday can be difficult.
  • Most pet sitting services are aimed at dog and cat owners and charged per pet.
  • It can be hard to find the right friend or family member who will always turn up (or even like chickens!)
  • Don't stress your flock with crating them up and moving them to a place that they don't know.
  • Keep them in their own healthy home environment, stress-free, awaiting your return.
  • Take advantage of the extra services on offer in the comfort of your own backyard!

I will care for your chookies when you are away.

Make a booking for a day, a weekend, a week or longer.

Give me a call or email today.

Esaplier Garden Wall Progress

Used instant bags of cement - 8 April

Besser bricks cemented in - 8 April

Using Miniwall blocks to get the right angle on the corners.

Right now, you're going to need to use a little imagination, but it is all coming together!

The besser blocks, concreting and retaining wall blocks have arrived and have started going in!

Here's the progress so far:

  • Instant bags of cement mix (x27)
  • 19 medium besser bricks
  • 144 Miniwall blocks in Oatmeal from APC (Hallett Cove) @$3.50 ea

Cost to date:  $875



Completed in just 2 days!

Coming up next:

  • Loamy soil
  • Espalier frame
  • Drainage gravel for inside of wall
  • Extra paving on each end

Check back for more to come!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Offensive (1940)

If you have watched the WarTime Farm (BBC series) you may have seen an episode where Ruth and the boys watch a farming propaganda news reel called the Spring Offensive.

After much searching I have found the film in full for you.

How farming was intensified in Britain during World War II.
Cue the dramatic music!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Life Cycle of Plants - Teaching Aid

Teachers and students are going to love this! Even I had fun playing with this site.

Learn all about the life cycle of plants with interactive time lines and different weather conditions.

Click on the image below to begin.