Spring 2022

Spring has arrived in Perth, and is evident with the fabulous colours in the garden at McCarthy Park!

The clivias are a fabulous splash of orange in the garden, and look amazing in a vase!

The bees are very active and bringing in lots of pollen. We have taken advantage of the weather and had a good look inside, even showing friends who are interested in getting into bee keeping. There was plenty of brood and some good honey reserves they can now add to.

We recently bought a couple of female rabbits– a Giant mix, to restart our rabbit breeding (for food) program, after selling them all prior to moving to McCarthy Park 2. With the lovely warm weather we have been able to bring them onto the grass to enjoy the fresh air and get lots of handling, as well letting the dogs get used to them.

Bruce getting acquainted with Kep and Kaanya.

Spring has also been a great time to establish more wormwood plants around the chook run. This has been a goal since the chook run was completed at McCarthy Park 2, as wormwood is a natural insect repellant and anthelmintic, meaning it can reduce or eliminate parasitic worms if ingested. Last spring and summer we grew plants around the chook run in the ‘pumpkin palace’ (the area around the chook run is divided into three, providing fallow ground and growing space which are rotated each year).

This was to get the plants really established before the chooks were let in once harvesting was completed, and to let the leaves poke into the chook run so they could peck at them as needed- apparently they will leave wormwood alone most of the time and only ingest when they need to self medicate. We also put a sprig in the nesting boxes at regular intervals to repel insects.

It was a great success, with the wormwood growing sturdy enough to cope with the chooks once they had free access to them in the old pumpkin palace. We have now planted around the other sides in this year’s ‘pumpkin palace’ and will let them get big and strong before letting the chooks in to this section, again once harvesting is complete. This now gives us a complete wormwood barrier around the entire chook run!

The plants in the foreground are recently planted, while those in the back ground were last seasons plantings. These have been eaten by the chooks but have remained strong and vigorous despite that.