Monday, December 28, 2009

Rain At Last

After recent hot weather the soaking rain that we have had for the last few days is such a relief. The tanks are full and the creek has a healthy flow.The picture above is of the torrent flowing through what is left of my herb garden.The garden bed to the right of the picture will have to be replanted once the grasshoppers are finally finished.All they have left there are brown skeletons of what used to be lush green herbs.

The girls have some fun splashing in the puddles.

I have some quiet time listening to the cricket and cross stitching.The only drawback is that I have had to turn the electricity on to the solar hot water system that we had installed in November to bump up the temperature.It is the first time since it was installed that the temperature has been low enough to require some additional heat.I probably wouldn't have bothered but those girls playing in puddles will want to have a bath when they finally come inside.
Happy Days

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It started so well

The growing season got off to a flying start this year. We had a mild winter and an early spring which sometimes felt more like summer. A couple of kilos of strawberries and mulberries too and enough flowers to make some elderflower cordial. My youngest is a River Cottage fan (so am I)so we made elderflower cordial as part of our home school activities. It was a little too sweet for my liking but no one else complained.
Things however took a turn for the worse in the garden. We have had a plague of grasshoppers.They have stripped most of the vegetable garden and are now at the stage of eating the bark off the 13 newly planted heritage apple trees.I'm not sure if they will survive. It is very disheartening. I think the mild winter may have upset the balance between some grasshoppers and too many.

Most information regarding the eradication of grasshoppers/locusts involves chemicals which could be fatal to our bees and propbably not too good for us either. Organic and permaculture methods of barrier plantings etc had no effect as they were in such large numbers so we had to resort to a spray. The spray is organic approved and developed by the CSIRO. It has the potential to harm bees but most research indicates that it is safe when used appropriately.I am hoping and praying that our vegetables,herbs,fruits and ornamentals will be back on track and the casualty list isn't too high.

Best wishes,