Ginger new gentle sheepdog in training:
It has been hot -90F in the shade and dry here. I found five mynah birds had drowned in the big bucket trying to get a drink of water. They are an introduced pest and steal from the chickens and also spread disease between the pens. I am happy that Ginger, our new young female dog, has a healthy respect for the sheep and does not take glee in chasing them like Winky dog did, chasing several lambs into the fish pond where they drowned. So as we usher in 2024, Ginger will train the sheep in a more gentle way.
Progress on modified chicken house with retaining wall and concrete flooring:
The new chicken sales and feed storage room is in progress, made from a cleaned out and modified chicken house. The retaining wall was poured yesterday and the new floor was poured today. It should be all finished by the time Kim returns, so that her allergies to clouds of chick dander are no longer activated. The fuel and paint will be stored there- away from this very flammable wooden house! These improvements for our Happy Chickens are in part thanks to our GlobalGiving donors like you.
Honeybee Mutiny or Takeover by New Queen:
The last honey hive collapsed, perhaps a disease, but most of the bees took off and ran away into the wall of our nearby wooden house and then they came back and took away most of the honey. I think they made a new queen and she did not like her old home! On the positive side, we will reclaim that neglected area and cut down the tall grass which is a fire hazard to the said wooden house.
Macadamia nut tree's Astounding Abundance:
The macadamia nut tree is absolutely covered in nuts this year, the first good crop since it was pushed sideways in Cyclone Winston 3rd March 2016. We have another six trees that are completely stunted, and I got the bright idea of putting some of the soil from the big healthy tree around the base of one of them and it shot right up from knee height to over my head in a few months, and so we have now done that to all of the trees now. It is likely we have discovered something very important-- that they have symbiotic bacteria of fungi required for their proper growth and health. We learn something new every day!
I could have learned that on the internet though! Key nut tree species are ectomycorrhizal: Hazelnuts, Pecans, Chestnuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachio,
Brazil Nuts, and Macadamia Nuts.
We are just lucky that one of the seedlings somehow got what it needed from the soil, so that we can now pass it on!
Happy New Year, and may you see bright sunshiny days ahead!