Saturday, November 27, 2010

Red Lantern Markets Newcastle

Red Lantern Markets Newcastle
Family walk along from Newcastle Beach down through the mall to the Red Lantern Markets, which operate from 4pm to 10pm on Saturday Nights.  Very impressed with the atmosphere and numbers of family people milling past the many stalls and food vendors.  Weather-wise a breezy Nor-Easter kept skirts billowing and the little side streets cool.  No summer humidity here!
Atmosphere was Relaxed Christmas Markets - Cool!
 Bounced around through the old side alleys that were converted for the previous markets venture - it was busy but bearable and people smiled at us as we weaved the Phil and Teds' through the crowd.  Can't complain, it was shoulder to shoulder across the food stalls, so long in fact that we meandered on by and settled for a pistachio gelato from a side stall.

Red Lantern Food Markets Newcastle
  Wife really disappointed not to order a spinach and cheese Golzeme(?) from the friendly ladies who weave their magic.  But little H had her heart set on something...

Kiyoko Bag from Fugu Fashion
And she bought it for AU$10.  It is a funky little slip shoulder bag for a three year old.  My wife lifes it too.  The Fugu Fashion bag sits neat o her 3 yr old hip and holds a few coins too!

More Designs at Red Lantern Markets Newcastle

A neat evening out for the family, with some great music, street theatre (especially the shadow puppetry) and smells of market fresh foods.  Look forward to next visit.  Let's Know if you have an experience at the Red Lantern Markets...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Backyard Chickens in Merewether

Have been researching about keeping a few chickens in the backyard.  It is such an attractive option for us to make some use of the vast amounts of kitchen waste we throw out into landfill.  And it would provide us with some eggs, which we are currently eating at a 5 eggs per breakfast scrambled eggs!  The girls just love what they call "eggies" (scrambled).

Our New Adorable Egg Producer?

So, as you would expect, round a few beers I put it to the neighbors for feedback.  Unsurprisingly, they were completely sold on the idea at the mere mention of it.  We discussed plans and sourced a site and even worked out how and when to get the materials.  We decided on two chickens per family - six chickens in all.

We have placed the chicken coop out near the rear of the house where it will get some afternoon sun and be sheltered from the prevailing southerly.  It will sit atop an old sandpit that was generously built by my father in law, but has sadly been neglected and is no longer a feature on the girls play calendar.
The Chicken Coop Palace

Now, we were at Taronga Zoo on the weekend, and we observed in the Asia section a fantastic chicken coop, complete with spotted deer and pheasants.  What we noted for the structure was plenty of food bins and solid fence posts supporting thick gauge chicken wire. It was open plan with a lovely shaded section but most of all plenty of room for birds to scratch and forage.

It would be perfect backing onto our reserve, but I will have to consult with the neighbors, as it would involve a bit further walking to service the chooks.

Will keep posting as things develop.   Bukark!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dixon Park Beach and Merewether Beach

Dixon Park has some creative street art on the side of the old kiosk, much like Kurri is known for it's street art. Larger than life depictions of local scenes on the side of buildings usually.  These two figures are side by side and overlook the children's playground.  Both perhaps of Mark Richards - or at least they are riding boards with his logo.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Backyard Rainforest

Our backyard Rainforest is thriving during the heavy rainfalls we have experienced this Spring. Here are some of the images we took recently.
 This is a Red Cedar.  We planted three saplings last autumn so they could grow along a natural water flow line.  They have well and truly established and are showing great inter-nodal length.  I have kept up cow manure, chicken manure and all purpose fertilizer granules along with generous mulching.
 These are the rough tree ferns, which I planted in a circle around a emergent Eucalypt.  They too have established and handle the heat and dry spells with a thick layer of rotting mulch.
 This is the King Tree Fern, I planted another half dozen of these around another damp spot.  They are surprisingly resilient too, given the foliage looks very delicate.
 A Crows Nest, I have planted dozens of these and they are doing OK, except for having to compete with grass weeds and wandering jew.
The Dickson Tree Fern has new emergent fronds, it is a slow old grower but does reward with lush green growth.

Will keep you updated with the latest developments in the vege garden next post.  Plus, the plans for the chooks....

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