Friday, 29 July 2016

Oh, and when I pruned the fruit trees this week, I decided on a whim, to try and strike the cuttings.

There is very little science in this experiment.  I hadn’t planned this at all, so the cuttings were all just in a pile together (ie, I have no idea which one is which!); I had to leave them a couple of hours before I went to the shops and got some root hormone; and I have never done this before of course!  And then, after the event, I realised most of our fruit trees are grafted on dwarfing root stock so if any of these take, they will be full size trees.  Ah, the fun of gardening J.

Before the weather turns today, I needed to spray the peaches and nectarine to try and prevent leaf curl.  I read somewhere that you could try raw milk, so I have.  It sure has a lot of cream!

And I think I am only just in time to spray, because the nectarine has already started to blossom – gorgeous pink blossoms:

Apparently, it is too early for them to blossom – oh, well we can only wait and see.  This year we also have a new nectarine tree, another variety (a gift from our neighbour J), that is still only budding, so maybe if this one succumbs to some weather, the other one will do ok??  We are really hoping for some fruit this year – but we will have to beat the kangaroos to them – the monkies are eating the buds in the orchard L.  Time to build the orchard enclosure…it’s on the list…

We let the chooks prune the food forest beneath these trees too – they did a sterling job!  Boy did they trample and peck at the greens! 


I am perpetually amazed at how much they eat!  But we do like letting them live a good life here – and of course we are rewarded – 5 eggs yesterday!

And, when we cleaned out the garden beds to plant up the seedlings last week, Michael chopped down the rhubarb – and now it is doing this! 


So amazing to watch the unfurling.  I didn’t even realise they started as little balls of leaves.

Dinners from the garden this week have included pumpkin, sweet potato, silverbeet, broccolini and herbs – yum!

But this lot is a dog’s dinner!  Only the carrots are from the store – and I probably could have picked some tiny ones from the garden if I wanted. 

It really is so very nice to grow our own organic veges – thank you garden – and gardeners!

Monday, 25 July 2016

I was going through a bit of a funk in the last couple of weeks.  It was cold, wet and miserable – and pretty much so was I.  I expect this of myself because I REALLY DON’T like winter, but still I was thinking, “Just pull your socks up and get going!”  I wanted to be feeling good to get things done inside the house and in the garden – but it just wasn’t in me…

Then a bit of a reality check hit me.  And it said to me, “Traditionally winter is a time of rest.  The garden gets a bit of rest and so do the humans”. 

I’m good with that thought!   J

But, what a difference some sunshine can make!  Today has been most productive – a lovely morning walk; washing galore; gathering chook tucker (=weeding); and then a little bit of cleaning inside, which - since Michael has steadily been working on building the extra shelves we needed in the pantry – turned into a full pantry clean – gotta be happy with that J.

Don’t the shelves just do the trick?!

And he put in a few hooks so we could hang these lovelies too J.

My vintage cutting board collection (two…so far).  The one on the left (paper lanterns and cherry blossom) was a wedding gift to my parents and the one on the right I found at an op shop – it has Australian native flowers. 

So, we have had some rain…well over 100mm in 3 days…and the earthworms couldn’t cope :-(.

Still, the chickens didn’t mind the extra protein snacks.

We harvested the sweet potatoes (read this as Michael dug them all up, and I just moved them under the verandah):

And I planted out the seedlings that I have raised.   

They weren’t doing much in their trays so I figured they were ready to fend for themselves.

Monday, 11 July 2016

I had a bit of a crafting moment over the weekend J.

Cards to send out just because.  #imbringingbackhappymail

Meanwhile in the kitchen:

Rooster stock:

And a massive fail…this used to be butter…

Oh, well it cleaned up and Anzac biscuits were still baked – and eaten – YUM!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

So my Honey was able to borrow a digger from our neighbour last week – to move a couple of fruit trees we decided would be better in new spots:

Then I left him home for an hour and this is what I came back to!

Of course, he cleaned it up with a bobcat the next day – and since then the rain has come, so it is all good – much better drainage away from the garden beds now.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Well the seed raising experiment is still a work in progress…they certainly germinated and grew to 2-leaf stage very nicely in the mini-greenhouses – but after transplanting into the square pots, they grew to only normal seedling size – not giant seedling size like I was hoping/expecting…I am putting it down to our very autumny autumn!  The chill has pretty much set in and we have had a lot of rain (not complaining!) – so the seedlings just haven’t got that extra warmth they might have liked.  Maybe next year eh?  Or next season at least!

Meanwhile, there have been some lovely firsts in our family:

  • ·        Pepper the puppy’s first birthday
  • ·        First fog of the year
  • ·        First campfire when friends were visiting :-)
  • ·        And a first visit from the tooth fairy to our youngest :-)!

There has also been our first (and following) eggs from our newer chickens – yay!  Miss Clucky laid her last egg on Easter Sunday and we didn’t really expect the new Silver Laced Wyandotte hens to lay over winter but we are very happy they proved us wrong:

And there is even a first purple asparagus spear making an appearance – very happy about that too!

We also have managed to plant new natives in the front garden – we are expecting some pretty flowers from the Eremophilas.  They are all kangaroo fenced so hopefully will grow to a good size quite soon – at least sooner than being grazed to grow-bag height.

I have also had a go at hay-box cooking – not using a hay box of course, but a "just-boiled" pot wrapped in a woollen bed cover – it worked so well to cook the dog’s veges – was still very warm to the touch after 7 hours!  Will definitely have to do this again – a great way to save on energy for slow-cooking.