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Thursday, March 26, 2015

I'm Back

I'm back but I didn't actually go anywhere, just felt poorly with a cold. A day or two of rest and a Saturday spent stitching at the Girls Day in the Country and I'm all good.
 
We have had some unruly weather lately. HOT in the mid to high 30s degC and extra strong wind on the weekend. The wind is the worst, it knocks trees over which knock fences over which cows then see as an invitation into the neighbours yard. Then it's all chainsaws and wire straining and those jobs are not my favourite farming chores.
 
 
We did have some rain on Tuesday evening which was lovely. 15mm, it's not a lot but very nice and refreshing.
 

The chillies are magnificent this summer. Jalapenos especially so, big and extra hot.


My favourite flower right now is of course the dahlia. They really come into there own in early autumn. Such a pity they don't have a scent but then they would perhaps be too good to be true.


My roses are suffering from the dry weather but the Chameleon rose close to the house is still pretty and producing some flowers. The rest of the roses need a prune and a rest.


No rest for me now. I have bulbs galore to plant. The garlics are no problem, they have a spot just for them in the vegetable patch but all those spring flowering bulbs. Every time I order them I succumb to temptation and buy up big and forget that I will have to find a place to plant them all.

No planting or gardening or much of anything for now. I'm going to watch the cricket and write a letter or two... multitasking.

Tracy

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Off colour


Just popping in to say I'm feeling a little off-colour this week. A kind of cold that is making me feel tired and sore and generally blah. I want it gone tomorrow. I haven't even made my swap item for next week's Girls Day in the Country and I'm feeling bad about that. I'll get it done though... I'm going to feel better tomorrow and that's all there is to it.

Tracy

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Garden Share

Messy
 The beginning of the month is time to share bits and pieces from the vegetable garden via the Garden Share Collective. It comes around so quickly.

This month the theme in my garden is beautiful mess. It truly is a mess out there. Grass growing all over the place because I won't disturb the pumpkins rambling every which way. I like a beautiful mess now. I'm not sure how keen I'll be when it's time to tidy up said mess.


Beautifully messy cucamelons

 Harvesting
  • flowers
  • herbs
  • cucumbers (the cucamelons/ Mexican sour gherkins are a favourite)
  • tomaotes
  • chillies
  • capsicum
  • melons
  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • tomatillos
  • strawberries
  • limes
  • eggplants
  • spinach
  • zucchini

 I'm waiting impatiently on pumpkins of all different sorts.

Messy again

Atlantic Giant .
 Planting
I'm sticking fairly close to the Gardenate guide this month so I have plenty to sow directly and into seed trays. I also have an order from Diggers on its way so I'll have spring flowering bulbs, garlic and such to go in too.
 
 
A mini disaster a couple of weeks ago, the little greenhouse with my seed trays blew over. Not all were lost but it is disheartening. The survivors are looking a little worse for their experience but maybe it will help toughen them up. Fingers crossed.
 
 
To do
My list of things to do this month will probably take me longer than a month to complete. That's all my jobs, not just gardening. I'll stick with the gardening chores here.
  • remove plants as they become non-productive
  • mow
  • tidy up compost bays and make compost
  • weed herb garden path
  • plant autumn/ winter vegetables
  • and all of the things I've forgotten or don't know about yet
 
http://www.strayedtable.com/grow/garden-share/
 
The Garden Share Collective is a group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills. Creating a monthly community to navigate through any garden troubles and to rival in the success of a good harvest we will nurture any beginner gardener to flourish. Each month we set ourselves a few tasks to complete by the next month, this gives us a little push to getting closer to picking and harvesting. The long-term goal of the Garden Share Collective is to get more and more people gardening and growing clean food organically and sustainably.
The Garden Share Collective runs on the first Monday of each Month
 
 
Happy gardening
Tracy

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Roger, Crinkles, Tim

 It was a getting jobs done kind of day today. Brought the two rams closer to home that is they are now in the yard adjacent to the house. Last time they were here, the big bully Crinkles knocked over one of the beehives. That won't happen again, the beehives have a fence around them now but I'm sure they'll get up to some mischief. I hope it doesn't involve the vegetable garden... again.


Ewes are much easier to handle. Well mine are because they come when I whistle, they know where to go and best of all, they don't butt. I like it that way because I can do it on my own.

It was hot today and autumn is going to be welcome here. While I was watering the garden I was going over my mental list and I really do need to write it down. As I've mentioned before, it's a long list. It made me tired thinking about it. I might have to learn to delegate.

Letters to write this afternoon.
Bye for now
Tracy

Monday, February 23, 2015

Today

Today the sun is shining and it's a lovely late summers day. A little rain would be nice... very nice but it doesn't seem right to ask for it when there has been too much in parts of Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory. I like to focus on the positive, that's my way. So I'm not dwelling on the letter from the Blood Service telling my ferritin levels are low again and they won't be collecting my blood for the foreseeable future. Well maybe I am dwelling on it a little.
 

I've spent the morning outdoors. The dahlias are good. Some are excellent and some need dead-heading and some need tying to stakes (stakes are a hot commodity here).


I'm only going to show pictures of the nice ones. No one wants to see a daggy old dahlia collapsed on the path.

Pumpkins are all over the place. I'm eager and impatient for them to be ready. I love pumpkin.

Jalapenos

 Chillies are good today too. I'm making up a batch of sweet chilli sauce tomorrow or Wednesday and I can't believe it but I'm glad I didn't grow any super hot chillies this year. The Bhut jolokia I grew a few years ago were sold as the World's hottest chillies and they lived up to their names. We are still using the sauce made from those and from all accounts it is too hot (Tim thinks it's fine).

Tabasco
That's all for now.
Tracy

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Words and letters

www.lettermo.com

Wow, a week has flown by and I haven't posted here. I've been busy here.  I think my words have mostly been written in letters this month. I'm truly enjoying writing so many missives, especially as most are to fellow letter-writers. I've posted cards, postcards, proper letters and even fabric for a quilt and plenty of surprise mail. Even if the recipients aren't inclined to correspond by post the letters at least bring  smiles to their face and joy to their hearts which in turn makes me glad.  Everyone loves happy mail right?

I'm not just sitting at a desk writing letters and cards all day. There's still the regular work to do. I thought I wasn't going to have to water the garden today as the clouds looked promising but alas, that's what I'll be doing next. I guess it will rain later then. I hope so. We even squeezed in robbing a hive this morning and have the honey extracted and settling in the drum. Yum!

Bye for now,
Tracy

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Home alone and taking stock

I'm only home alone until the girls get home from school and Tim arrives home from work but today is the first day since November last year that I have actually been by myself. It felt strange at first. It also felt strange to drive the car because I haven't done that since last year either. I'm surprised I didn't stall a time or two.
 
Bees love sunflowers

Now that I have had some time alone to think and wander around and take stock. I can see that I have some work to catch up on and there are a few jobs that I have let slide whilst in holiday mode. Lots of cleaning and tidying and de-cluttering... LOTS. Sheep to move. Lambs to sell. Compost to make. And so on. I need to make a list. A long list.

Vegetable futures

What I did do in between cappuccinos and tea breaks on the weekend was sow some seeds. Just one tray of broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts and hooray they are on the way up. While I love vegetables of all kinds and the summertime ones are a common favourite, brassicas are mine. Maybe because I love the cooler months so much or maybe just because they are delicious.

Right now I have to bake. Lunchboxes need something sweet tomorrow and there is only one way that is going to happen. So I'm off to make the sticky cinnamon buns that everyone loves so much and I'm not even going to eat any.
Tracy