Wednesday, September 30, 2015

After a bit of thinking (yes it does help to do that) about my lack of creativity in the kitchen of late, I realised part of my problem was I had stopped planning my menu. So, after consultation, a list of meals for the week was constructed and voila, I know what to cook and no more of the last minute dilemma of what's for dinner. The best part, I didn't have to think about it really, I just asked everyone else one what they wanted.
Butter tofu, lasagne, zucchini fritters and salad, gnocchi, stir fry. Nothing exotic but tasty, healthy and easy-peasy.
Now I hope that by signing up for Cheryll's Friday Night with Friends I can get back the crafting bug. I'm planning to finish off a dishcloth and then do something in my art journal. If I haven't fallen asleep by then I'll probably do a little cross stitch on my large work in progress. 

I am in love with my garden right now. It is blooming and a treat to be outdoors. None of the taxing sun and heat that is to come (next week it might be a different story).

My track record with tulips is pretty poor. There is no trouble getting the plants to grow but it usually gets hot quickly before they flower. This year when I was planting out some new bulbs I put these ones in a shady spot out of the way and hooray, they are flowering. The reality is, by the time I had planted out the other 200 or so bulbs, I was over it and just dug a trench and dumped the tulips in the garden behind the shed without any thought or care and they repaid my lackadaisical attitude very kindly.

Thank you tulips.

I wish gardening was that easy all the time. I would definitely never fall out of love with my garden if that were the case.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Creativity...where are you?

I've noticed something. Of late I have had very little creativity. No crafting whatsoever and almost zero in the kitchen too. I thought signing up for Cheryll's FNwF a few weeks ago would get me moving but no way. In the kitchen, I am doing what has to be done and that's it. Boring! That's not me. I like to try new things, make things and just generally have fun.

My friend Sue told me in a letter to stop looking for my creativity. It will come back of its own accord. Or not perhaps. I think it might be time to try to force the issue a little.

Joan has said at different times she has "lost her mojo" but always seems to locate it and has plenty to show for her efforts. And don't even talk to me about Shez and Jeanette, they amaze me with their creativity and productivity.

I'm trying a new recipe tonight. A cauliflower and coconut tart. Looks good in the pictures and hopefully does justice to the cauliflower because if I grow something and nurture it then I want to make something special with it (if I can). I've never made a tart base in this manner before so that will get some creativity going in the kitchen or have me offering up eggs on toast if it all goes haywire.
Thanks for reading today and looking at my totally random and unrelated pictures from my time in the garden this morning.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Catch up.

This past week I have had a daughter finish school, chalked up another birthday and best of all, had a visit from my only sister and my nephews. I'm one lucky duck. And oh so happy.

 I did not make nor eat any cake on my birthday. I don't really like cake much at all (and my waist line doesn't need it anyway) . A taste is enough for me. I did go out to our local French cafĂ© and they provided some very sweet and rich cakes that believe me were best shared. Now if a bowl of soup was on offer, I would have definitely ordered that.

The weather has taken a chilly turn so I've been a little worried about the tomatoes I planted out early. They seem to be fine. As long as there are no bumper frosts then I'm sure they will be ok. Peas and asparagus are powering on which is a good thing. No sign of broad beans as yet, just flowers (hurry up broad beans, I miss you).

This week I have hardly been gardening at all. Visiting and then out and about sightseeing doesn't make for garden time. I'm not fooled, the garden doesn't need me, but I really need it. It is My Place. Today I have the energy and the time so I have planting to do- a camellia for green tea and a tree dahlia tuber and then whatever seeds I think might want to go in the ground. There is no room in the greenhouse until I evict some seedlings so it has to be direct sowing today. Maybe some carrots that Yates kindly sent me. Maybe just pottering about daydreaming until I get too cold.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Time flew

This past week flew by. I had every intention of sitting down and writing and moreover of reading what others have to say but it just got away from me. Lots to do with school this week and then there are the chores and then there is just being too tired at the end of the day. I'm here now.

Full frame of honey

 Hives were opened up post-winter this week. I did not take good pictures. I managed to get honey on my gloves and in turn on my camera and everything else I touched. Honey on the camera... aaargh. Sticky!

I'm glad to say the bees have been very busy. Three hives and all with full honey supers. The three-tier hive had two full honey supers so we have already extracted one. I think we will leave them all alone for a little while now. All is as it should be and in my opinion the less we intervene the better. I just like their presence in the yard and any honey is a bonus. I'm not a honey lover so the pollination factor is more what I am interested in.

Chooky in the sunshine

I sowed and sowed too. 60 little punnets of seeds and direct sowing as well. Some are up and going well and some are still thinking about it.

I would dearly like to say that I have been sewing and sewing too but alas no. I still haven't stitched or knitted or crocheted a stich. Not for months. Maybe tomorrow when I am taking a special day off. Maybe. Just no inspiration for that kind of thing at the moment.

The sun is just peeking out from behind some clouds now so I'm off. It's cold today so if there is any sun shining then I want to be out in it.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pleasantly busy- that's spring

Vegie garden today- almost empty

 I always think (in the middle of summer especially) that winter is my favourite season but you know what? Spring is. Early spring in particular. In my area it is always green at this time of year and the outdoor jobs aren't too demanding (unless we have lambs due of course). I remember because a) I take a lot of pictures to remind me and 2) because my birthday falls a little later this month so it sticks in my mind. Pleasantly busy with enough to do but not too much.


The hearstease are everywhere and they are delightful. So cute and absolutely no maintenance. Plant once and you will have them year after year. I know they are edible along with so many other flowers but I am not a fan. I have used them to decorate cakes and such but I don't like the way they feel in the mouth. It's just not right for me so I don't eat them.

Lonely potato

In a moment of serendipity whilst tidying up the rose garden, I found a volunteer potato plant. It is one of my character flaws, that I cannot pull out a useful plant even if it is growing in a less than ideal spot. My philosophy (does one really need a philosophy for this kind of thing? NO) is that it is growing in the ideal spot for the plant so who am I to remove it. These volunteer plants generally perform very well, nature knows best. So the potato remains and has the pleasure of growing amongst the roses. I think that would be a very nice place to grow.

This weekend we are opening up the hives. The weather is just right for it and I know Tim is itching to get out into the apiary after the winter break. I've been painting some new supers as replacements for some older boxes that have seen better days (that's to say were damaged by rambunctious rams).

Also selling some rams this weekend. I hope. And honey.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Out of habit

Three months hiatus and writing here has slipped off my radar. I'm sure I'll get back into the habit though that doesn't really sound too positive. Writing out of habit. I'm not, I'm writing because I wish to.
I have been quite tired lately. Most nights I am first into bed and usually by 8:30pm at the latest. I just can't stay up late. I would like to because an extra hour or so would be good for stitching or reading or letter-writing or whatever. It will be school holidays in a little while and oddly enough that always gives me a burst of energy. I'm looking forward to it.
Boring pots of ungerminated tomato seeds
 Lots of seeds have been sowed of late. All the summery things that I am very much looking forward to eating. I use the Gardenate website as a guideline for my sowings. It is useful as a reminder even if you don't stick to their recommendations.

The crimson broad beans that the cockatoos haven't destroyed (yet) are looking a treat. Broad beans may not be to everyone's taste but I think they could be planted just for their flowers alone and as bee fodder because they love them.

New seeds- yay.

I need to sort out my seed box. it is a mess. There are seeds in there that were marked sow before 2009. Ever the optimist, I sowed them but marked the pots as old seed so if they don't germinate, the seeds are gone. Not in the bin, just broadly sown in the garden in the hope that they will emerge as green manure at the very least. Yes, I am an optimist.

My hat and my cat

I have been looking at food forest type of gardening (mostly on Youtube). I really like the idea. A jungle of food with things tucked in here and there. I'm aiming for that kind of garden this summer. Beds heavily planted to out-compete the weeds and inter-planting good companions to fool the pests. I'm sure it will look a right mess to someone else but I love the picture I have in my mind.

I also want my vegetable garden to work hard for me this summer. I am on a mission, saving money in earnest for a big trip next year. I hope I haven't jinxed myself.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

First of Spring

What a lovely day to mark the first day of spring. Sunny, breezy and even better, a foggy morning to start off. My family have convinced me that there really isn't enough in the garden yet to keep them interested or happy so I am postponing my challenge until their tastebuds say it is time. That's ok, a month of planning and planting will make the challenge all the more tasty. 
Satsuma plum in bloom

 I really have missed this space. The blog that is because I haven't missed my real life space at all. I have been very much living in it and enjoying it.

Apricot blossoms

Orchard pic

 Plenty has been happening and there have been some changes here on the farm and some other big changes in our lives are in the works but that will all come out in time. I have a to-do list today that is in desperate need of completion.

Next job- something to do with a sourdough starter and actually starting it. Then write some birthday cards etc. Tough jobs...not.


It has been some time (three months almost) since I have published a post publicly so I'm not sure if anyone will notice I'm back or indeed that I have been absent.

I'll be glad to hear from you if you have noticed that I am back.
Bye for now