I had to try a few different things but in the end Facebook Buy, Swap and Sell worked for me and I ended up going on two long drives to pick up new chickens.
As this took me to two different towns I went to the op shops in each and the Supermarkets in each to pick up the specials. Before going anywhere I look up the catalogue specials for whatever supermarket they have and make a list. Even though they are in the country the small towns are mostly affiliated with a bigger group and they have the same specials as the city stores. These can be good. And I also look up to see if these towns have op shops!
The first farm I went to was really fun. It was just full of all kinds of chickens. It reminded me of Greenacres the TV show. I went for six and I came home with ten. (This is known as Chicken Maths) I got six regular laying chickens and then I had to have four beautiful black ones. They are younger so I have to feed them up for a while.
Next I had another drive to get just one Wyandotte and I did it so I could order a few more now that I found a breeder. I have always wanted these!
At the end of all of this I had stocked up my pantry, found new op shops and now I have twenty chooks!
This is my fanciest chicken ever. She needs a name...
So soon I should have eleven or twelve eggs a day then later I should have sixteen. Four of my chooks are bantams. Their purpose is mainly to hatch eggs and look after chickens down the track. Lucy and her husband have huge chocolate brown hens and a rooster. So my bantams hopefully will hatch some of these!
My hens should give me plenty of eggs for us, enough to supply Lucy's family until their own hens lay and Mum and Dad (Chloe keeps her own chickens) and plenty for gifts and to barter with. I am finding eggs are one of my main barter items. Eggs, bunches of Bay Leaves and Parsley and gum nuts. I seem to be able to do all sorts of deals with these. I forgot to add... Scout just loves eggs. When I cook eggs for us I cook her one too.
I got stuck into some organising projects. Firstly I tackled the laundry cupboards. Now I have space to get a bit further ahead with laundry detergents etc.
Next I attacked the freezers. This was a big job as we had added a chest freezer and as with chest freezers things got thrown in. I have two fridges and one has an upright side freezer and one has freezer drawers at the bottom. Between these now I have a drawer that is just ready to go emergency meals. A draw that is fast and easy lunch options which is mainly for Andy and Luke. I have meat, veggies and desert sections. The chest freezer has giant chunks of venison at the bottom and baskets of bread on the top. Now I know what I have and can find things! I am really pleased!
In town I found a big selection of heavily marked down bakery items like cheese and bacon scrolls, herbed focaccia and so on. I filled a huge shopping bag for $10. These all went into my easy lunches section in the freezer. It was easily 30 lunches.
Also in town a shop had a stand out the front with everything for $2. I looked but there were many things marked $49! I think many people walked on by because it seemed the $2 sign was wrong, didn't apply to everything or something... I went in to the store and asked if these expensive items were really $2? The lady laughed and said yes they were having a big clean out. So back I went. I picked out two iPad/tablet cases made of leather in lovely colours marked $49 each. Then I picked out other things that were good gifts... travel wallets, party times and more. I spent $14 and I added up I had almost $300 in gifts for my gift cupboard!
We pruned the pear trees so we will be able to get nets over them later. While in the orchard I closely looked at each fruit tree. They are all looking good with lots of buds! It is so nice to be in the orchard. It is so nice to HAVE an orchard! Each tree has a protective surround. The calf and lambs walk around with me wanting to be patted. It is so beautiful!
I made some bath soak for myself with some of my favourite essential oils. Soaking in the bath is my relaxation!
All the laces were an op shop find! I found a bag of meters and metres of laces and trims.
We used up more broccoli from the garden.
I made up a big batch of Wool Wash. This is the most divine soap ever. I use it to wash all my things like the quilt, woollen underlay, pillows, blankets, lounge throws and my jumpers, cardigans, scarves etc. Everything comes up softer than soft. For this reason it is perfect for baby clothes. It also kills dust mites. This is a beautiful gift too.
The recipe is easy. It is a Jackie French recipe I have used for years.
4 cups of water,
4 cups of Lux flakes. If not in Australia use a pure soap flake or grate a pure yellow soap.
1 cup methylated spirits,
1 tablespoon Eucalyptus oil.
Bring the water to the boil. Stir in the flakes until smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients and pour into jars.
At first it will be a liquid and look like this...
(Sorry about the lighting it was late evening soap making!)
Oh... see the old pot? I got that for $4 to be my soap and detergent making pot.
To use it dissolve one tablespoon in a jug of hot water then use it in your bucket or tub to hand wash. I use it in my top loader washing machine all the time. The water can be warm or cold as long as it has been dissolved first that is all that matters.
Things that were scratchy will be soft. They smell glorious. It is honestly the most beautiful wool wash.
Next I made a similar recipe for fabric softener. (There are the two on the right of the picture)
This is the same... you need a little bit and dissolve it in a jug then add to your wash.
The recipe is
4 cups hot water, 2 cups Lux flakes (or grated pure soap) 1 cup methylated spirits, 2 tablespoons Eucalyptus oil. Dissolve Lux flakes in the hot water and add the other ingredients. Put into bottles of jars. Use two tablespoons in your wash. This also smells beautiful.
In a way if you have never make soap this is a way to start. These products are better than anything you can buy in the shops. I have set two jars aside for friends I am swapping with.
I made two Tuna Mornay casseroles and two chocolate cakes. One of each went to Chloe and Luke.
I sliced the chocolate cakes and put fresh strawberry jam in the middle. This was delicious and kind of a cheats version of black forest cake (ish) and was a hit!
I mended a shirt for Andy.
I am really pleased with the week as organised freezers, budding fruit trees and more chickens are all very good things. And we had rain!
Setting goals as I plan my week on a Sunday really helps me. It gives me things to keep in mind that I need to try and get done. This made me try several ways to find chickens after asking everyone failed to produce any. It made me go pick them up right away! I know next week one of my gaols will be to set up lots of new nesting boxes and perches.
How did you get ahead, build up your pantry, save and build up your home this week? I hope you had lots of good opportunities.
It has taken me ages to post this as we woke up in a blanket of fog. When there is fog the internet is either really slow or doesn't work at all! So after lunch the fog cleared a bit and now is my chance! xxx
Cookie could really use some healing prayers. And Rachel could really do with some prayers also. Thank you!