What’s all the excitement at the NZ Ecochick household?

Hi there, so I know it’s been AGES since I’ve written a  post; thanks heaps everyone for sticking with me. So what’s been going on? A few weekends ago I had an amazing childfree weekend away with some wonderful ecomums. We went up to Napier and got to meet the very inspirational Janet Luke from green urban living. Janet took us around her amazing garden. These few hours I spent in her garden COMPLETELY changed the way I think about my own garden and green lifestyle. Janet’s garden is entirely built around feeding her family and living off the land in an urban setting (she has just realised her new book Backyard bounty about her family’s journey to living off the land I can’t wait to read it!!).
So what did I learn and why have all my views changed? Janet’s garden was beautiful but also super practical and all about reusing items gathered for free or very cheaply. This is not a new concept to me as this is what I’m all about but I have been trying to make my garden far too home and garden and so this has definitely tainted the way I’ve viewed items coming into my garden but now no more! Now I’m even more determined to reuse even more items rather than just reuse pretty things.
So what have I learnt and what new and exciting things are going to happen in the next few months?
Most exciting news is we’re really, really, REALLY getting chooks. I’ve been trying to decide for the last year if we should get chooks or not and now that my girlfriend who writes every sensory has loads of baby chooks I’m going to take the plunge. We’re starting with 4 girls who are still little babies at the moment and wont lay till next year but still what fun. I got to hold a day old chook which was super exciting! 
I can’t wait to eat our own truly free range eggs! So how have my views changed with regards to the chooks? I was going to buy one of those fancy runs that look super pretty and had convinced myself I needed one of these fancy hutches because it would look good and would be easy to clean.    
So what am I going to do now? I have access to some dog runs and kennels so we are now going to use these and turn them into my chook run. Total cost free and recycled!!! This will require a bit of work to add nesting boxes and transform the dog kennels but oh how exciting!!! 
Next bit of exciting news is we’re getting quails as well as chooks. Why quails? Their eggs are so tiny; about 3/4 quail eggs equals one chook egg but our huge bunny is finally getting a new much needed bigger home (we were going to build her a new cage but today I scored one off freecycle!) so we will have a spare hutch and what did I see at Janet’s house but quails in an old rabbit cage so of course I thought why not!?! We’re getting 6 female Japanese quails to begin with. They only live for about 2 years so we’ll see how we go who knows I might get some males at some stage?  
What’s the next project? A rain collection system. Ages ago I bought a cheap wine barrel off trade me that we’re going to use. Wine barrels look fantastic but are now CRAZY expensive. Again I was convince I need two pretty wine barrels in my garden (I want two; one at each end of the garden). So I’ve given up on the pretty and expensive wine barrel and got a big blue plastic drum to collect rain off the garage. Plastic but practical. It’s only for watering the garden!
So yes I am getting off my high horse and rethinking what I am doing around my garden. Practical and reusing rather than reusing and always pretty.         
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