Wednesday, September 17, 2014

All good thank you.

Just the daily livestock check. All is good, shipshape and as it should be thanks very much. You know, some days animal husbandry makes having a suburban back yard with not a sheep or cow in sight look enticing. Not today, no dramas. Everyone is happy and healthy and so am I.

The ducks deciding to go across the road to the big dam is not so good but they lived to tell the tale and probably do it again tomorrow. Luckily I love my ducks.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's a windy day

It's very windy out today and I don't like it. I'm scared of wind. I'm sure the fear comes from an event in my childhood when the wind blew me over (or so my mum says). I don't remember. All the same, I don't like it and gardens don't like it either. It dries things out, knocks them over and doesn't seem to do any good at all. A gentle breeze on the other hand is always welcome.

It hasn't kept me from my jobs though. They have to get done regardless. The washing did dry in record time so I guess that is a positive.

I've been sprucing up the orchard. Mowing around the trees, giving them a good deep water, a little bit of manure and then mulching. All the while I wish I was a better fruit grower.

Monday, September 15, 2014


There is just enough asparagus of a decent size for dinner tonight. Well maybe not dinner exactly more like a an entrée or a teaser of asparagus pleasures to come.
It's all the more delicious because I never buy it and we only eat it from our own garden so the season is short and sweet.

I've planted more.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Such a lovely day

 Sometimes it is just right outside. Not always. Sometimes. And today is one of those days. Lots of flowers to look at, not too many weeds to make me feel guilty and just the right amount of sunshine. Enough vegetables in the garden to give me a choice.

The Chinese witch hazel is truly spectacular right now. It's hard to believe that the pink can be real it is so vibrant. Pink is my least favourite colour but I like this just fine.

 The lavenders are blooming.

I'll have  to wait a little longer for the English lavender plants to flower. That's ok, it extends the season of my very favourite plant.

What I have noticed is that I no longer have any white lavenders. Perhaps they aren't as hardy as the purple flowering types or perhaps they had done their time. Something for me to add to my birthday wish list anyway.

Oh and if anyone needs me this afternoon, I'll be somewhere in the vicinity of the jasmine. Most likely with a book and a cup of tea.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Brussels sprouts grrr

Brussels sprouts are up there as one of my favourite vegetables. No one else here likes them. How could they not like them? My problem is, I can never grow them successfully. I know when to plant, what they require but I just haven't managed a bumper crop yet. Yet! This year has been particularly disappointing especially given that all of my other brassicas have performed so well. You can't have it all I guess.
I'm going to leave myself a reminder somewhere to sow extra Brussels sprout seeds next time. I'll sow them earlier and try some new varieties. Surely that will work or at the very least increase my chances.
Whatever the case, I'm not giving up. I'm stubborn like that.

What is lovely even if it doesn't quite make up for a sprouts shortfall are the heartsease. Just what I needed to see on a day when I am being dogged by a cold. The best part about them is that I only planted them once and they just pop up every year where is best for them. No molly-coddling required.

Today I gardened with one of my best girls... Puss. I think she was ready to head indoors before I was so she just had a nap and waited. My only rule for her today was to stay off the asparagus bed. They are on their way up. YUM!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sowing Day

Today is absolutely lovely. Not too hot, not too cold... just right. September is like that. I'm really glad on days like today that my job is an outdoors one.

As it was such a nice day I did some seed sowing. I still have plenty more seeds to get started especially tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes. I also want to sow some flower seeds too. I don't think you can have too many flowers.

Today I sowed:
  • pumpkins- direct and in pots
  • chillies
  • onions
  • eggplants- Caspar, Rosita and black bounty
  • sweetcorn- golden bantam
  • popcorn- golf ball
  • capsicum
  • purple asparagus
  • green artichoke
  • purple artichoke
  • cucumbers-lemon and large white
On tomorrow's sowing list
  • tomatoes
  • squash
  • zucchini
  • flowers- sunflowers ,alyssum, cosmos, marigolds, California poppy, zinnia, rudbeckia and whatever else I find in my seed box
  • beans
  • lettuce
  • melons
  • gourds
I have next to no self control when it comes to plant and seed purchases. I must say in my defence that a lot of my seeds and plants are  from my own saved seeds or from cuttings I have taken from my own plants. It is the cheapest way to fill up a garden.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I should have gone shopping

 Or maybe I should have stayed in bed. I have been a bit clumsy all morning. A full jug of water spilt on the carpet, one of the hens pecked my leg when I fed them this morning and I made a sticky mess with a jar of honey. Actually it was only half a jar so only half as messy as it could have been.
 When it gets colder sometimes honey crystallises especially honey that is au naturel and hasn't been heat treated. There is nothing wrong with the honey at all and in a way it is like creamed honey but a bit grainier in texture. I needed runny honey though so I popped it in the microwave for a few minutes when obviously only a couple of minutes were needed. The honey was indeed runny and hot.

Thankfully the honey spill was the last of the dramas for the day. So far!
 I needed the honey to make some toasted muesli/ granola. I make it from time to time but usually buy it from the shops. This batch has oats, almond, sunflower seeds, coconut, dried fruit (pawpaw, pineapple, apricots, bananas, mango, dates and raisins), brown sugar and honey. I've written about making it before here if you want to try it for yourself. I'm already thinking about the next batch, extra pawpaw and pineapple, they are scrumptious. Maybe some goji berries or cranberries too.