Sunday, January 31, 2010

Establishing a Routine

Oliver the Pekin rooster

The pictures are completely unrelated to the title of this blog. I just want to make note that I find January a month in which it is difficult to return to routine. Bedtime is later and the household operates in holiday mode.

Gladioli bloom
I guess the routine of January is fun. No school, no homework, warm weather, swimming playing cricket.

The lawn also can get out of hand if there is rain and then warm weather. Thankfully I have some lawn mowers that don't produce quite as greenhouse emissions as a regular lawnmower. The sheep had a couple of days access to this lush grass and then were moved on to not so green pastures for their benefit not ours.

I have drawn the winner of my giveaway and the lucky lady is Linda.

Tomorrow is February 1st so hopefully with school and music lessons back in full swing, we can settle down and establish a routine.

Bets wishes,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Small Victories

There have been some small successes in the garden. The pests which have been causing us so much disappointment seem to be under control.They haven't disappearded but they are in numbers that seem more like a natural balance. It is once again a joy to head down to the vegetable patch and potter for a moment or an hour or two.

Today I harvested the first thing from the vegetable garden for the year.A lovely,crisp and tasty lemon cucumber.It was on the small side and probably should have grown for a couple more days but I was impatient for something homegrown to eat with our evening meal.

This brown,messy bunch of sticks is what was left of my Southernwood in the herb garden at the beginning of January after the grasshopper plague.I decided to leave it in the garden along with a lot of the other 'skeletons' of plants.I was hoping that maybe just maybe they might revive when the problem passed and guess what...

there are signs of life.Thank goodness.
Til next time,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Zucchini Choc Chip Cookies

Zucchini choc chip cookies

I don't have any zucchini in the garden yet but the grasshopper threat seems to be subsiding so there might still be time to have a harvest this season. I was however the beneficiary of a couple of zeppelin size zucchini that would have been too big and tasteless to serve as is. So far I have made some zucchini choc chip cookies which are delicious. The recipe is easy, and turns out a moist and chocolatey biscuit which kids (big and small) love. They aren't too sweet and have a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg.They also use some wholemeal flour so are probably a little healthier. I think they tastetoo good to be healthy though. The other zucchini is destined for chocolate zucchini cake/muffins which I will show next time.

The recipe comes from Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal,Vegetable,Miracle which is a good read if you are interested in finding out about local,seasonal eating.

Let me know if you try the recipe or have tried it or something similar, I'm always after interesting ways to use fruits and vegetables.

Until next time,

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Pumpkin Challenge

My youngest daughter has been home schooled since October 2009. As part of her schooling, we joined the Junior Landcare pumpkin challenge. You are sent a packet of Yates Atlantic Giant pumpkin seeds and have to weigh in monthly and also submit pictures of your pumpkin. Unfortunately I don't think she will be a contender for biggest pumpkin this year as so far we only have flowers but no pumpkins yet. However, she has learnt about bees and pollination, seasonal eating and is having fun as well. Thankfully grasshoppers don't seem to like pumpkin leaves. One of our observations has been that there we haven't seen any cicada shells this season which my kids usually have a collection of.

I have now sent in my application to join my local Landcare group to be more involved in caring for the environment beyond our boundary fence. I'm not sure what kinds of activities this involves but it something to look forward to.


Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year and Something to Give

Our duck family
Happy New Year to all who read here. Although the beginning of a new year is really just another day,I can't help but feel positive about the idea of starting afresh. 2009 was not the best year that I have lived but I am still glad for it.

Anyway,to mark the start of a new year full of potential and promise, I would like to offer a small giveaway. The prize will be humble, acouple of dishcloths, a shopping tote and maybe a couple of surprises. Just leave a comment here over the next week and you can be in the draw. As this blog is only new I am hoping that this might help new and old friends find me so please feel free to pass on a link to kindred spirits.
There are no great resolutions here to start off 2010. However,I am giving up caffeine for health reasons. It caused me some health problems during last year even though I am not a big consumer of it.I seem to have developed an intolerance to it with some undesirable side-effects.
Best wishes