Chook nipples, walking the fish & a Brassica salad..

Posted May 18th, 2013 by Rob Bob : )»

Chicken nipple waterer...
In an attempt to keep the chooks water cane toad & dirt free we have always hung the waterer from the roof so it was out of the reach of the leathery varmints & most of the scratched up muck.. This worked fairly well but there was always a small amount of water that leaked out as the chooks drank from it.. Due to the dust that settled in the tray the whole unit also tended to get a bit of an algae build that needed to be scrubbed out at least once a week..
After seeing some great little DIY water feeders on a few different You Tube channels & decided to have a crack at one myself.. I bought some water nipples online & decided to make up a small 2L waterer with a single nipple to see how the chooks would take to it..
This little unit was wired in place in the pen & within a few min I had seen a few of the girls work out how to use it.. Best part of this simple little build is that it only cost 30 cents to make : )»
So with that success I decided to pick up a 25L water drum for a few dollars at a feed store & used up some odd bits of pipe we had laying around after the aquaponic build to make up a larger waterer..
It took all of half an hour to make up water delivery pipe.. I did have to wait over night for all the glued sections to dry but didn't really count that in the build time ; )»
So far it has worked very well.. In just over a week & a half the girls have only drunk about ½ of the water.. The other bonus is that the drum is still crystal clean without any sign of algae growth at all : )» With 25L/6gal water feeders going for $50-$80 online (could be cheaper ones out there) I think this is a very SS little DIY project coming in at under $15..

Aquaponic update...
For those that are interested in the fishy side of our garden I did a bit of an update on it yesterday..
I think by next blog I might have a harvest of another type to post about : )»

Chopped Brassica Salad...
Have made up a couple of chopped brassica salads this week with all the beautiful broccoli, cauliflower & kohlrabi we have been harvesting from the patch.. This would have to be one of my all time favourite salads that can be dressed differently to suit a few different dishes.. This week I have made up Asian style dressings for the salad..
The salad is very easy to prepare if you have a food processor & is still doable by hand if you don't..
Ingredients for this salad include,
1 kohlrabi, Grated or chopped to coleslaw consistency.
1 head of broccoli, chopped into small florets, stem diced fine.
½ head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets, stem diced fine.
NB. I use the processor for this but have also done it by hand for the Cauil & Brocc.. Just need to keep an eye on it so they don't become mush in the food processor..
½ capsicum, cut into thin 3cm long slices.
½ large or 1 small purple salad onion, diced finely.
2Tbsp pine or crushed macadamia nuts, toasted.
1 chilli, finely diced for garnish.

Asian style salad dressing..
¼ cup coconut/rice wine vinegar.
Coconut vinegar is available in most Asian or Islander food markets we have found..
1½Tbsp rapadura/raw sugar.
1tsp soy sauce.
2tsp sesame oil.
Dash of fish sauce.

Add all the dressing ingredients into small bowl & mix until the sugar has dissolved.. I find that the ingredients do need to be tweaked so maybe add just a little of any you are unsure of & see how you go..
All that's left to do is to mix the salad ingredients well then pour the dressing over the salad & mix again.. Can't get much easier than that methinks..
Bianca & I garnish ours with the diced chilli..It is very tasty indeed & don't think you will be disappointed if you try it.. Goes great with chicken, fish. lamb or beef.. This batch went as a side to some Moroccan style roast chooken : )»

Harvest from the patch...
We have started to pick the first of the snow peas for the season which is always a great feeling..
They would have to be one of my favourite cool weather crops we grow here in SE QLD.. They go so well in salads, stir fries & also make a great snack as your walking around the patch.. Didn't plant as many as last year yet but do have plans of planting out some more in the next few weeks.. Also picked the second last Gympie gold cucumber this week.. Think the last one will come off tonight as the vine is not handling the cool weather too well..

The biggest surprise of the week was going to check on the spaghetti squash only to find out that the seeds must of been mixed up with some patty pan squash :D» Is no big problem but must admit I was hanging out for some baked spaghetti squash this winter.. There is always spring I suppose.. Also have another load of chillies ready to go into the dehydrator.. Will miss the fresh ones once all the fruit are picked..

As you can see from the harvest pictures from this week the early crop of broccoli & cauliflower I gambled on has paid off well.. I have been most impressed with what we have seen from them so far with some going into salads, some getting light steaming & one of each will be off to my mums tomorrow as well.. The greens & carrot from this pick went into a tossed salad that we had with some Asian style pork belly..

That's about it for this wee as I must go make a move & do a quick walk around the patch before the light fades..
Have a great one all..

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