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Win a Copy of “Even More Chook Wisdom”

Even More Chook Wisdom

A while ago, I was invited to write an article for Even More Chook Wisdom about my current method for using chooks to garden.  As a result, they sent me several copies, and I have three that I’d like to give away to you.

I have been mulling on what I can bribe you to do for them.

I’d really like a bit of inspiration about where to go with Witches Kitchen in 2014.  Would you like more garden?  More kitchen? More living with a little carbon footprint? Something else entirely?

So the bribe is: If you make a suggestion in the Comments here, you will go in the draw.

Sadly, postage costs mean I have to limit it to Australians only. I’ll randomly select the 3 winners next Thursday.

{ 75 comments… add one }
  • Lydia January 31, 2014, 8:28 pm

    I follow your blog mainly for the gardening, so I’d love to see more of that. Or maybe some guest posts on permaculture? With possibly how others have adapted your methods to their area. For example, my chooks can’t dig out grass from my clay ground (soil would be too kind a word) and I can’t make compost :/ so I get a little stuck when it comes to making new gardens. Oh, and looking after seedlings tips please 🙂

  • Linda January 31, 2014, 8:31 pm

    Thank you Lydia. All that is very doable.

  • Steve Kerwin January 31, 2014, 8:49 pm

    I would love some more ‘how to’s’ in the garden. For example your post on using banana leaves to make pots for seedlings was great. Reading how you integrate chooks in the garden would be another interesting topic. Whether you still use the mandela system and so on.
    Love your blog… 🙂

  • Kate January 31, 2014, 8:52 pm

    I don’t know how you can improve on perfection. I just love the combination of topics. But what I do like to hear about is posts which talk about your community and the various things that you do with them as in your soap making and baby quilt project.

  • Zara January 31, 2014, 8:59 pm

    Congratulations on having your article published.
    I’d like to hear your tips on keeping chickens healthy, including pest control and any particular foods that you recommend buying/growing for them to eat.

  • Louise January 31, 2014, 9:14 pm

    Congrats – I would love this book. We got chicks for xmas and they are now 5 weeks old so this book would really come in handy!!!

  • Liz January 31, 2014, 9:15 pm

    I really enjoy your blog. More tips on soil improvement, dealing with drought and anything on the chooks. Hope you’re getting more rain than we are. My garden was suffering badly from the drought.

  • Michelle January 31, 2014, 9:48 pm

    Love your blog & the frequency you post – not too much, not too little. Love the seasonal recipes too.

    I’d love to see a bit more about ongoing sowing through the season – and how to decide what is enough to feed a family but not get super gluts (zucchini’s, I’m talking about you). I’m great at planting in spring, but then not so good at keeping it going throughout the summer, and my cucumbers are finished but now I have heaps of tomatoes and no cukes to go with them in my fave salad.

  • Kathryn January 31, 2014, 10:21 pm

    Your blog is awesome and I read every word of it. Lately I have been losing the battle to keep my plants and veg alive – no rain, one week temps of 25-30 then the next 40+. With the climate being in a tizz what can I do to even out the climate in my garden. The Chook Wisdom book is great – how wonderful to be asked to write in this book.

  • Ruth January 31, 2014, 11:16 pm

    I agree with Michelle about frequency of posts – thanks for your efforts.
    The thing that helps me is the connections between what is in season in the garden (or at the market), and what to cook in the kitchen. Please also continue my education about permaculture principles demonstrated in what you’ve been doing.

  • Amanda February 1, 2014, 6:55 am

    The garden info is my favourite part of your blog, but your occasional mention of other aspects of life has led me to thinking further about chemicals all round. I loved hearing how you macerate lemons in alcohol to make a safe cleaning product. What do you do for shampoo, moisturiser, washing the dishes, pest control on your chickens (if needed)? When I read stand in the shower and read the labels of what I’ve bought, I recognise barely any ingredients and wonder what it’s doing to my skin and to our garden, where the grey water ends up…

  • Linda February 1, 2014, 8:30 am

    And here I was thinking, I hope I get at least 3 comments so I can give the books away!

    Steve, there’s a post about how I use the chooks these days at Using the Chooks to Garden, but I could definitely write more about that.

    Kate, I can write more about living in a community – I do take it for granted sometimes and it will do me good to write about it.

    Hi Zara, I don’t know how much I can help with your request. I don’t really do any pest control with them – just move them to a new bed every month. I have treated them for Scaly Leg once a few years ago, just by dipping their legs in cooking oil every week for a few weeks. There’s a post about feeding them at Feeding the Chooks and the Chooks Feeding Us, but I could write more about the garden plants I grow partly or mainly for them. (Amaranth is the main one right now).

    Hi Louise, welcome to the world of chook rearing (you will never get free now!)

    Liz and Kathryn, we have been so lucky the last few weeks – not enough rain yet, but at least not drought weather. I know how heartbreaking that is. There were a few years through the 90s drought when we were carting water for the house and I just had to let my garden go completely. I can write more about soil improvement. I live on a hill, and the original soil is – well – the foundations for our house were easy at least!

    Hi Michelle, good succession planting is a real skill, and one of the most valuable of all. I could definitely write more about that.

    Ruth you are my favourite commenter so far! When I first started with Witches Kitchen, that was my goal.

    Hi Amanda, that’s another really good idea for posts. I think when you manage your own grey water the reality of it hits home and you do learn ways to keep it from poisoning your own back yard, so I could definitely write more of that.

  • Marijke February 1, 2014, 9:23 am

    Love the mix of articles and your writing style.
    Personally I can do with a bit more help in the garden, so an article on succession planting, yes please!
    Keep up the good work.

  • Deb February 1, 2014, 10:37 am

    Hi Linda. I love your blog. My favourite posts are your recipes based on your garden produce. I’ve tried a few and the girls like them all. We used to have chooks, but I’m thinking about getting some more so I would love to wi. Your book. Plus it would look good on my shelf next to your other book! Xx

  • Helen February 1, 2014, 11:29 am

    Hi Linda
    Love your blog and would like posts on all the things you mention – gardening, recipes, sustainability! Like many others I’m always interested in how to better plan my planting and harvesting which in the past has been a bit too erratic. Having just moved to Tasmania, I’m currently re-learning how to garden in a very different climate. We are yet to build our proper chook house/run so I currently just have two girls, but can’t wait to get more. Once my gardening books are all unpacked I must unearth your book for another re-read. I’d also love to hear more about different ways of incorporating your chooks into the garden, and different foods to grow for them.
    thanks, Helen

  • Tracy February 1, 2014, 12:07 pm

    I like your blog as it is, a good balance of all of the things you mentioned.
    I like gardening and cooking(especially with the things from my garden) so more of those types of things will be great. But then again more on lowering carbon footprints would be eagerly read too.

  • Gwenda February 1, 2014, 12:10 pm

    Having only discovered your blog in the past year I am enjoying all the variety you bring – from the garden, kitchen and carbon-saving sustainable living. I often find parallels (and contrasts) with my life in rural Tas and share your laughs and concerns. So thank you for all your posts, though my favourite so far was the antechinus handbag day care. I can offer few suggestions for topics beyond continuing to respond to the issues that daily life throws up – and I could certainly do with some chook wisdom to help with the girls and their foibles.

  • Tricia February 1, 2014, 12:56 pm

    Hi Linda. More of all the above. I particularly love your recipes, always appreciate gardening tips and like your outlook on living with a little carbon footprint. I know that doesn’t really help 😉

  • Tricia February 1, 2014, 1:01 pm

    I was just reading the comments above and noted that you feed your chooks Amaranth. I grew some Red Amaranth specifically to feed to the chooks. It has thrived – but so far they surprisingly ignore it. It’s almost like they don’t see red as a food. I throw a branch laden with seed in each day and it gets ignored. Have you fed yours the red variety? I’m thinking I’ll persist and perhaps they will get the taste for it.

  • Linda February 1, 2014, 1:13 pm

    Thank you Marijke, it seems like succession planting will be a definite theme. Hi Deb and Tracy and Tricia, I’m glad you like recipes from the garden – that’s my own favourite theme. Hi Helen, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to design what you really want. I hope you win one of the books, because there’s some good ideas in there. And Gwenda, you will be pleased to know I can hear antechinus scurrying round in the roof so I have hopes they survived my negligent day care.

  • Linda February 1, 2014, 1:17 pm

    Mine love red amaranth Tricia. Maybe yours need to be hungrier! Mine were introduced to it as a growing plant when they were moved to a bed with it growing. I can’t remember now whether they took any time to get the idea of it. I think what I would do with yours is give them amaranth first, before any grain or other food and see if they can be inspired to try a new vegetable before they get any dessert.

  • Frogdancer February 1, 2014, 2:01 pm

    I’m glad to know they like amaranth… I have some seeds I need to plant but I wasn’t sure if we humans would eat it.

    I’d like to see more on Garden planning, both with the actual garden beds and with succession planting, which I think others have already mentioned.

  • Tukie February 1, 2014, 4:53 pm

    I love the frequency of your posts too. I don’t have chickens so please don’t put me in the draw (I’d love to one day when hubby lets me and will set aside some yard space).

    I visit mainly for the gardening posts and would love to see more about how you maintain balance with garden pests and keep the good bugs around. As others have also mentioned successful succession planting information would be awesome. As would more drought proofing of the garden.

    Interested also to know your thoughts on wicking beds in the garden.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences.

  • donelle February 1, 2014, 5:57 pm

    I love your variety – you post about sprouting, planting, growing, permaculture, sustainability, recipes, lifestyle, your personal journey, the list goes on! Each post is a joy and a surprise.

    For this year, I would love to continue to hear your recipes/ideas for glut crops, and at the beginning of the process, when to plant these so my glut crops coincide (roughly) with yours.
    In the past I have been particularly touched by your personal stories of life in and around your garden. You write so beautifully and capture these moments with such emotion. I hope to hear more of these in 2014.

  • sara stevens February 1, 2014, 6:48 pm

    Hi Linda – I also love your blog. Your permaculture book was one of the first we came across when we moved to australia and we have developed a garden (albeit on a completely different rotational system based on our climate – just outside of ballarat) based on your mandala system. I really enjoy the recipes and would love more of these. Sometimes it is a challenge dealing with gluts.I would also be interested in the community living aspect of your life.

    Regards

    Sara

  • John February 1, 2014, 7:09 pm

    I really find all your posts useful because I garden in a similar climate and then look for ideas on using the produce. But, I really find myself ‘lifted’ when you feel you must comment on climate change, local food, renewable energy and other green issues.

    Of course we will have no gardens with a dead biosphere.

    Regards
    John
    Bellingen

  • Clare February 1, 2014, 7:13 pm

    I look forward to all of your posts. I have used a mini mandala setup on our verge, and constantly reference your book or the gardening posts, and with my eldest starting school on Monday I have been looking through your breakfast and lunchbox challenges. You are in fact one of my Desert Island Blogs! The only thing is that I live in the upper blue mountains, so I agree with another commentor that guest posts or how to adapt to environments other than sub tropical, wold be amazing. Three days ago we picked up our first chook tractor so any chance of winning this book is exciting or any posts on chookies. Also, anything to reduce the cost of gardening – striking cuttings, saving seed, creating enough compost would be fabulous. Thanks for all you do and write Linda.

  • Sharon February 1, 2014, 7:17 pm

    Absolutely love your blog, particularly the garden tips, as I live 20km from you, so find them really helpful, Love seeing the “abundance” photo’s of all the yummy produce, also what’s happening re, chooks, ducks, the nature that we live with….sharing with our animal/feathered friends. Enjoy the veggie recipes (we do eat meat), and also anything involving community and sustainability/ethical living.

  • Xan February 1, 2014, 7:18 pm

    Hoping for 3 comments….!! Ha ha, not a chance Linda, you have many many regular readers and we are all so grateful for your advice and efforts 🙂 Thank you! For me, I greatly enjoy the variety of your posts and gain so much wisdom from all of them, so, more of the same for 2014 please 🙂

  • Virginia February 1, 2014, 7:32 pm

    Being a beginner I am finding my own way in my own garden, young orchard and veggie patch with flowers to draw insects in. I hope to see more gardening tips and permaculture ideas on your website. Many thanks with what you already have shared with us.

  • Linda February 1, 2014, 7:43 pm

    Hi Frogdancer, Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial introduced me to the perfect way to eat amaranth (leaf amaranth). I break off the top 30 cm of stem and leaf, chop it into 7 cm lengths and stir fry with some garlic, then add oyster sauce. Her mum does it like that, and it’s really good as a side dish. But it is prolific and one plant is enough for us, and of course I can never manage to plant just one plant, so lucky the chooks like it!

  • Linda February 1, 2014, 8:01 pm

    Hi Tukie, I’ve read about wicking beds, and a friend has them, but I’ve never tried them myself. I haven’t written much about pest management, so that’s a good topic for this year too. Donelle, thank you for the compliment. I’m actually very shy and I always wonder with personal stories if anyone is interested. Sara I’m very glad you have adapted the rotation to work in your climate. That’s the essence of permaculture – getting to know a place in all its moods. John, I usually try to stick to food related posts on Witches Kitchen but food is at the base of the whole web of life so everything is about food one way or another. Hi Clare, I do like the idea of guest posts so as to cover a bigger climate range. And I also like the idea of frugal gardening. It’s one of the things that gardening at a commercial scale taught me – how to do a cost benefit analysis on crops and systems. Sharon, we eat meat too but we do eat a lot of meals directly out of the garden. Xan, you are too nice!

  • sharon February 1, 2014, 8:48 pm

    I love your blog Linda, I love the cooking most as I myself are always trying new ways to best use the mountains of produce that heave out of my often neglected garden. I also love how you introduce carbon footprint and enviro awareness to your readers. I think you would inspire people with your enthusiasm.
    If I win I will add the book to our community garden library.
    thanks muchly Sharon

  • Kathy February 1, 2014, 8:57 pm

    Hi Linda, I always look forward to your entries. I love learning from what you write and the how to of things and getting back to basics. I appreciate the permaculture principles. You inspire me to get into the garden e.g. today I made prototypes of rocket stoves in order to figure out which is best for making passata next weekend. Looking forward to learning even more in 2014 and actually doing and not just reading 🙂

  • Julie February 1, 2014, 9:15 pm

    Hi Linda.
    I love the posts that integrate a bit if everything. Sustainability, growing your own crops and what to do with the produce (especially if you have a glut) when you harvest. The whole cycle and permaculture, self reliance theme really appeals and inspires me. But to have someone like yourself to guide us with the when and how would be awesome. Thanks for considering this.
    Cheers
    Julie

  • Di February 1, 2014, 10:29 pm

    Hello Linda
    I really enjoy reading about what’s happening in your garden and love the recipes using your home grown produce. I grow some of my own fruit and veggies so am always on the lookout for interesting recipes to use my produce. I like the way you are able to just whip up something out of what you have on hand. X Di

  • Cherie February 2, 2014, 5:00 am

    Hello Linda, have only just discovered your blog and i am sure to while away many happy hours back reading your posts, Personally dont have chooks but fully intend getting them in the near future, would love to see some ‘Kitchen Witchin’ preserving excess produce and the like various recipes and remedies would be super awesome
    Many blessings to you and yours from me and mine

  • Helen Thomas February 2, 2014, 9:02 am

    Hi Linda
    I think I would benifit from more infomation on living simlpy, slow cooking and eating what we grow.We have just bought an acre of land in Albany WA which runs down to the river, so I need to learn about fire prevention and control, run off, and how to design a kitchen forrest from scratch, which plants and animals will be best suited all under the umbrella of living simply…..no pressure at all really 🙂

  • Linda February 2, 2014, 9:19 am

    Right Helen. That will keep me busy for the next year!

  • Linda February 2, 2014, 9:26 am

    Hi Di, I do think that is one of the big pleasures of having a garden. If you have a few kitchen staples like flour and oil, you can almost always create something for dinner, and usually something dinner party worthy. I have the slow cooker on at the moment, for no reason but that I had a bone I thought would be a good stock base and excess electricity. I’ve been adding bits and pieces to it for the last day – the core of an old celery that is in the bed the chooks are about to go into, a leek and a couple of older carrots from the same bed, some kale, the last of a pumpkin, zucchini (of course), some lemon basil and thyme, lots of cherry tomatoes. It’s starting to look really good, and now I am thinking, I could make a loaf of sourdough to go with it and there’s a little bit of parmesan in the fridge and who could we invite to dinner?

  • Linda February 2, 2014, 9:28 am

    oo Kathy, passata cooked on a rocket stove – that sounds so interesting. I would love to hear how it goes.

  • Rebecca February 2, 2014, 10:36 am

    Hi Linda, I love reading your wonderful blog and my husband and I enjoy trying your recipes. Slow food is of particular interest to me and more posts about food seasonality and gardening how-to’s would be great! Your blog is a wonderful source of information and inspiration, and I look forward to reading more in 2014!

  • Elaine de Saxe February 2, 2014, 11:49 am

    Always an interesting blog Linda, covering a variety of topics. Recipes are great too. I’m not bored with them though!
    Suggestion: although I’ve read a bit about Permaculture I have little knowledge of applying whatever are the principles to everyday life on a suburban house block. I have made a Banana circle though and it works a treat. So what I would like to see is where you have applied Permaculture principles to your daily life and to your garden.

  • Yve February 2, 2014, 12:24 pm

    I love following your blog, mainly for the gardening but the cooking is great too. I like the way you describe your initial experiments then the ongoing developments over time – like you did, for example, with the sourdough. Its great to see ideas for approaching things a bit differently in the garden and in the kitchen while still fitting in with work. You are an inspiration for living life happily, healthily, responsibly and harmoniously within our communities and the environment.

  • Kristy February 2, 2014, 1:35 pm

    I love reading your blog for the variety, but the posts that have the most resonance for me are those about cooking (particularly from scratch) and tips for sustainable living.
    I’ve just recently integrated two new chooks into our system so would love a copy of the book too!

  • Bronwyn February 2, 2014, 1:47 pm

    I have had a modified version of your chook dome, and 7 circles, for 11 years now, so I’m gardening in compost. Despite such a high level of moisture-retaining organic matter, water is an issue – we are in a much drier area than you. I have been looking at combining dome and wicking beds, or dome and drip irrigation, or perhaps fortress with either wicking or drip. My husband is also finding getting into the dome harder as he ages, and fortress is walk-in.
    But I hesitate to go fortress because the thought of all that concrete mesh and chicken wire visible in winter when climbers are few, turns me off; as does the cost to both our purse and the environment of all the steel needed. Your initial book and regular posts have been most inspirational. (We have also bought a Prius and it’s halved our petrol costs!)

  • anneke paijmans February 2, 2014, 2:53 pm

    I love the garden-to-kitchen recipes with gardening tips thrown in.

  • anneke paijmans February 2, 2014, 2:53 pm

    I love the garden-to-kitchen recipes with gardening tips thrown in.

  • Fiona February 2, 2014, 3:31 pm

    Hello Linda. Having just embarked on life with chooks, I’d love a copy! As to the subjects on your blog, I love the combination of topics, though I do especially like the posts on the wonderful things you’ve cooked up from your amazing garden produce.

  • Jan February 2, 2014, 4:28 pm

    Hi
    I would love to have some ideas on protecting vege beds from free range chooks if possible and even to stimulate a discussion about this topic

    Thanks
    Jan

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