The Chicken Diaries -Day 1

Dear Diary,

Friday 5th June 2015 – 9:00am
Things are chaotic here at the egg farm. A whole bunch of us have been moved over the last few days to special holding cages and and there’s a lot of gossipy clucking going around as to why. Word in the shed is that we’re off to some place called the “Shopping Block”. Hooray, I love shopping! There’s been a lot of cars coming and going all day. Small groups of us are taken and shoved into all manner of boxes and cages. I’m guessing that’s how they’re shuttling us to the shops.


Oh dear, talk about Chinese whispers gone wrong. It’s the CHOPPING block, not the shopping block! I now have no idea if I really want to get into one of those cars, my small world is in turmoil. The good news is that someone put this appeal on something called FaceSpace or something and and it went viral and the egg farm owners certainly didn’t expect to be run off their feet loading chickens in cars all day. There’s a good chance a lot of us ladychickens may get an opportunity to prove that we’re not past our use by date. Wings crossed, I’m hoping I’ll be one of them.

The family that owns us supplies bulk eggs but also sell eggs direct to the public from a little shop out the front of their house. I can hear the farm employees complaining that they’ve been run off their feet constantly loading chickens into cars since 9am without a break.  The workers keep saying to the arriving humans that they’re running out of chickens. What about me? I’m a chicken. Oh dear this is highly stressful.

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The Permaculture Project Inspiration

This is the story of how it all started. I went across the world to the Nevada desert to meet a guy named John who lived one suburb away from my home. We bonded over a game of Giant Jenga at Burning Man and upon our return back to Brisbane I had the opportunity to head out to his permaculture farm for a party beneath the misty peak of Mt. Warning.

I decided to stay an extra night and recover from the party and he asked if I’d assist in shelling a garbage bag full of pigeon pea. He had harvested them from a couple of plants he’d had growing with the aim to use the seed to scatter over his 100 acres and thus increase the amount of nitrogen fixing vegetation available to his dirt.

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Easy Home Made Super Thick Yogurt

When I was growing up we always had yoghurt in the fridge. It’s so cheap and simple to make. Some people stuff around with getting their milk to 67.84341°C and then trying to maintain temps while it forms. My Mum would mix a tablespoon of yoghurt into a bowl of milk, cover it in cling wrap and shove it on a shelf out of the way. 8 hours later it was yoghurt and ready for the fridge. No thermometers no special tools.

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Spit Roast Pig – Brass Monkey 2012

Every year a group of lads head out bush trying to find the coldest place to camp and do a bit of 4wd’ing. This year we decided to do a whole pig on the spit. Needless to say I was excited about this project.

In the preceding weeks we were getting email and video updates from Ironpaw on the spit building and testing.

Adjustable Legs to raise pig above heat.

Getting the Speed right.

Spit Roast almost done!


We pre-ordered the pig from Carey Brothers Butchers in Warwick, about 15mins from where we were camping. All up it cost around $200- @$8.80/kg.
I asked the butcher why the whole pig was $8.80/kg yet their website mentions they sold half pigs all butchered up nicely for $6.80/kg. We were told that they don’t normally have young whole pigs in stock and that it had to be specially ordered in by one of their brokers.
We arrived at The Springs 4wd park on Fri lunchtime, set up camp and then began salting the pig. I made a rub of mustard, garlic and ginger powders mixed with salt. This was rubbed all throughout the inside of the carcass. The outside was kept simple with a hefty rubbing of salt. We then wrapped the pig up in the plastic sleeve it came in and then a second layer of plastic sleeve with two bags of ice in between the layers (That way if the ice melted it would not waterlog the pig). This was all them rolled up in a tarp for storage overnight. We weren’t too concerned about the temp as we were expecting it to be well below 4°C overnight.



We then focused on getting the fires going. One ludicrously large one for our general warmth and a secondary one to cook the pig on the next day. You would think that dragging two whole trees as well as dozen or so large 6″ thick branches to feed the firepit would suffice but this is Brass Monkey and pretty much all was consumed come morning.

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