Monday, August 30, 2010

Eating Out Of Our Garden

10mm in the rain gauge this morning is making me pretty happy, the tanks are getting another top up and I don't have to water the garden. The rain is still coming down today which means inside stuff today, and that is fine by me.

Last week was quite busy with me going into town twice for dentist appointments then for Tai Chi and can't remember what else but I spent a bit of time away from home, so it is nice to now have a few days at home.

Yesterday our number one and only son had a friend come up for the day with his parents and bring his motorbike. The boys had a great time riding around and the track is now getting well worn.

My partner in crime and life had his first day off work in a few weeks so that was good, and things should now be easing up a bit for him which means that life at home will also be easier and we miss having him at home.

I have picked a few things our of the garden the last couple of days - corn, beans, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, radishes, sweet capsicum. The beans and corn went into our chicken curry last night,(just sliced off the kernels), radishes and lettuce went to our visitors yesterday, lettuce, tomatoes and sweet capsicum went onto a toasted sandwich for my breaky this morning.

I picked two corn cobs but one had been eaten, and had little wiggly buggy things, the other one was small but perfect :D

On one of my many trips into town last week I bought some outdoor tables and chairs to put out in the paddock. This has been in my head for quite a while, and I have on occasion dragged out on old lay-about thing and sat out there with a beer or cuppa.

We already had the umbrella, and the table and chairs (and the nicely mowed grass)finished the picture perfectly. Unfortunately, we have only sat out there once since getting them as it has been raining the rest of the time, but I can look out there occasionally and look forward to all the times when I will be able to be out there with a book and a cup of tea or a beer in the afternoon after my partner in crime and life gets home from work and watch the sun set :D

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Moon Is Round

The moon is round. I know, most of us are aware of that fact, but how often do you actually look at it and last night was the full and it was very in your face, large and round, pretty spectacular.

Speaking of the moon, many people swear to planting their gardens by the moon, no, they are not gardening in the middle of the night but by the waxing and waning of the moon. It is like how the tides of the oceans rise a fall depending on the gravitational pull of the moon, I think, and due to plants having a high water content they are also influenced by the moon.

It sounds way more scientific than my method, which is just chuck it in the ground and hope for the best, I really am a lazy gardener and the only reason I have been working so hard out there is to establish them. When they are established it will just be maintenance, and as long as we keep eating out of it all will be good ;)

Speaking of the garden, we have gotten our first couple of cherry tomatoes, not many yet, but I am sure the rest will ripen together and we won't know what to do with them all. My partner in crime and life can't eat them as they make his arthritis worse so he will be no help, at least our number one and only son likes them so I will just pile them up on his plate :D

The corn is also getting large, and I think the second lot has overtaken the first lot and they look like they might be better. The second lot seem to have larger corn then the first, and the plants look much healthier, not sure what I did different.

I have finally put in reticulation through the garden rows, even though I haven't yet made the fifth row. It was just taking far too long everyday to water so it was really necessary, just have to add on when I have done the last row and then do some tweaking. For the time being at least I can water and take the washing off the line at the same time.

I think I have finished my granny rug, it didn't use up as much wool as I though it would so I think I will have to do another one(or five), especially as I found more wool the other day. I am going to back it with material, I am sure I have some somewhere in a box or something :D

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What Is In Our Dirt

Someone asked me yesterday what was in the soil I was putting into my gardens, and I honestly couldn't say. It is garden soil I buy and put the plants and seeds in it with worm castings and they grow, the only thing I know for sure is there is peanut shells in it.

I went and got some more dirt this morning so I could make a sweet potato patch, so thought I would ask while I was there. I was told that it is a secret formula and if they told me they would have to kill me. So I figure that I can live without knowing, especially as it is working and everything is growing :D

I already have a small sweet potato patch but it is not very big and we eat lots of them so need a big patch. The small patch is going very well and there are now some flowers on it, not sure what that means, probably nothing as I can't find anything about it. The plants I put in there came from our old place so I am glad that they taken off, though at one point I nearly killed them, but then I them saved them :)

The new patch will be grown (hopefully) from some organic sweet potato I bought, and I have cut them into pieces and have been drying them for a week. They are now ready to put into the ground, and they had better grow.

The sweet potato is part of my larger plan (and I know sometimes I don't look like I have a plan) for a garden that grows year round. The things that grow well in the dry season are the sort term things like tomatoes, capsicum, lettuce, though I will be giving some of these a go over the wet as I have heard some varieties will grow at that time.

I really want to have a year round vegetable garden and things like ceylon spinach is one of those things. I planted seeds when we first got here and I really don't think they are doing well as they are still small, they may still grow but I think I will go and get a plant to put in. They grow all year round and they can get quite big so you have to be careful they don't take over, but during the wet when not much else is growing it won't matter.

The other edible plants for all year round are pumpkin, Rosella (for jam), abika(New Guinea spinach, which I think I am going to buy another plant as my current one is lonely) and of course my banana circle. There are others (which I can't think of right now) but if I can have some basic vegetables and leafy things to eat over the wet I will be happy.

Another part of my (long-term) plan is to put in bush tucker plants. There is a nursery not too far from here that sells all the natives and apparently has a huge variety everything. A friend went there last week and has picked me up a catalogue so I am going to check that out,do some research, and go plant shopping (plant shopping soon is another plan).

My current plan for today is to make my sweet potato mounds and get them planted, so I had better finish my cup of tea and get working :D

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Very Foggy Morning

Very foggy morning today, it was quite a heavy one too, and when I walked past the bush down the back it sounded like a light rain with all the water dripping through the leaves. It wasn't so cold and the day has cleared up to another lovely one.

The washing is out in the morning sun and there is plenty of work to do.

Our number one and only son went to a friend's over the weekend and took his new motorbike. We had some drama getting there, we thought the bike was secure in the trailer but with all the bumping around on the rough roads the bike tipped and then fell over. So here I am with our number one and only son trying to tie down the bike off the side of a rather narrow road and hoping no-one came along, the return trip home the next day was better as we had a different plan.

The boys had a great time, there is 125 acres and lots of tracks, so he got lots of riding done (and dropping the bike, running into trees and that sort of thing) they had a great time. I think he was still thinking about it this morning as he forgot his sports gear for school, guess he will muddle along :)

I have little broccoli growing, it is taking a long time but it is getting there, it is very exciting. I have six plants and all are growing great.

Well I have a long list of things to do, all listed in my new IPOD Touch. It is a great thing to organise your life and to play on, gotta love technology and all it can do, pity it can't do the dishes or make the beds :D

Friday, August 13, 2010

It is Cold In The Tropics

I seriously considered not getting up this morning as it was so cold, nine degrees at 7.15am according to the car. They say that we have at least one more morning like this and then (I think) it should warm up again.

I was going to do more garden stuff today but I really need to catch up on the other things like dragging some timber across the paddock to cut up so we can get through another cold night :)

Our water tanks are holding out very well but it has been a bit of work to keep it like that, I really still want to shower every day. So I have been bucketing in bore water to the washing machine and making sure that everyone has short showers. One day it would be nice to have a small tank for bore water that is connected to the washing machine and toilet, but until then I will be bucketing in water and waiting for the wet season and the big tanks to be overflowing. At least I don't have to worry about going to the gym or anything like that, I am developing some nice arm muscles and good core strength :D

This week I have been breaking in new work boots, and they are now becoming so comfortable that I want to wear them all the time. I really need to get some clothes that work with gum boots and work boots, I rarely wear anything else. Our number one and only son also got a pair of the same boots for on the motor bike, however all this shoe wearing means we are going through lots and lots of socks, and I have discovered that not all socks are equal :(

We ate some mutant carrots the other day, strange looking but tasty, and homegrown so food miles are about 15 paces, and organic, no pesticides (so that doesn't explain the weird mutations).

The rest of the garden is also going well, we have some little corn developing and we are looking forward to those. The stick mulberry tree is also going great guns, with little mulberries on it and new leaves. There are also the tomatoes, little capsicums, cabbages (though not sure how these are going turn out) and I have planted more carrots, beetroot and onions (another first for me).

There is just a bit everything in so we will end up eating in bits and pieces, but if the pumpkin takes off, we will be having lots of pumpkin.....eventually :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

It's OK If You Can't Do It All

I think I have caught up with myself. I was so tired last week and I think I was just trying to do it all without giving myself a break and saying to myself it is OK if I can't get it done. Didn't help that I had to go into town three times during the week and so lost those days.

I have finally caught sight of the snake that the dog has been going on about for the last four or five days. I knew it was there but couldn't see it, but this morning I did, it is going around the edges of the roof and you can hear it moving against the tin as it slithers along. It looks like a green tree snake, very cute and fairly long.

We bought our number one and only son a motor bike last week, we did promise him and despite some reservations on my part I had to say yes. I have had a good while to get used to the idea, besides, we get to ride it too and it is fun.

I really must work on the garden this week seeing I didn't have time last week, more seeds to put in and some more garden beds to make. I have the fifth row to make and I plan to (maybe not this week but soon) have another pumpkin patch, paw paw mound, banana circle and when I paint the containers (at least one side) that is where I will put the passionfruit. I had really get a move on with the painting as I already have two passionfruit plants that are in little pots and climbing through the garden.

Had a lovely sunset last night, there were some dark clouds around and the sun was shining through and made it all look gorgeous.

And while we are a little lower in the valley and are in the shade (great in the summer), the top of the hill over the way was bathed in the last of the golden sun.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Want To Linger By The Fire

I have now officially become one of those people who move their laptop around so they can access it under in any circumstances. I have moved mine to sit on my little stool in front of the fire as it is too cold at the table. It was 11 degrees this morning at 7.15am according to my car, so when I got home again at just after 7.30am I put another log on. My partner in crime and life very kindly relit it early when he got up.

We had a fog yesterday morning and it was cold then too, but this morning is colder. Though yesterday I also had a Tai Chi class so I couldn't linger near the fire like I am this morning, and the kettle is also keeping hot on top of the fire for all the cup of teas I will no doubt drink this morning :D

Some of our natives are flowering beautifully right now and I will certainly be planting more of these in the future.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Busy Weekend

It was a very busy weekend. Our number one and only son had a birthday party Friday night and Saturday, and my partner in crime and life worked most of the weekend.

Where the party was held was just lovely. The property is 125 acres and finishes at the river. What a perfect place for teenage boys to be, running around the bush, swimming in the river, eating home grown food and generally having a great time. These parents are braver than me though, I couldn't do it.

I went out there on Saturday for the BBQ on the river and it was the best place to be. The river is low at the moment so the boys could walk across to the other side and muck around in the mud and do boy things. They all had a great time, and us adults got to enjoy the magnificent view of the bush and river.

We cut up some more wood yesterday for our fire but we haven't been lighting it as it hasn't been cold, though it is tempting to light it just because we can. At least we have some wood ready to go, which may be today as it is a little cool, so I think I will get it all ready.

My partner in crime and life came home for Sunday afternoon and he helped me get my fourth garden going. I still need some more dirt as two squares are not filled yet, so I will do that some time this week.

I have finally got some beans on and I think I will pick them today and put them in our meal tonight (whatever it is we are having). These are snake beans, though some people call them long beans.

I have also discovered some little tomatoes on the plants which is quite exciting, though the cherry tomatoes haven't got any yet but are full of flowers. We were given some tomatoes on the weekend which taste gorgeous (all home grown stuff is), and seeing the price of tomatoes is going to go through the roof shortly due to the crop poisoning, home grown is what most people are going to be eating

The corn is also progressing and is feathering at the top (whatever that means), don't know very much about growing corn, but ours is looking great.

The little mullberries are going well with a small leaf growing too, not sure what they are going to do but we will see. At least it is growing and I can see the buds of more new leaves coming on :D

The cabbages have been eaten by caterpillars, and some things are so big they are over shadowing other stuff. The garden is quite disorganised but seeing it is a new garden I just wanted to get as much in as possible and see what would grow (which really is everything). So I think I will continue on this wild path because I like it, and I have more plans in my head which I hope to work on soon :)