Saturday, 30 August 2008

Afternoon Tea

...with Charlie and Deborah.Well, actually, the chaperones had afternoon tea and Charlie and Deborah were enjoying each other's company. I think.

Thursday, 28 August 2008


These are 1 day old chicks in our neighbour's brooder. 12 of them are ours. Not sure which ones.
Here they are - 1 week later. How they have grown! Still not sure which ones are ours.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Grow, Galangal, Grow!

Maggie from the Hills & Plains Seedsavers gave me a Galangal plant on Sunday. Thank you again, Maggie!

This is where I planted it. Just behind the garlic patch (doesn't the garlic look great?!), in a new little bed, specially made for it.

There it is.

All mulched.
Then some clear plastic around it to protect it from cold nights (and days).

Monday, 25 August 2008

A new potato bed

Saturday saw us out in the garden. Making new beds, extending existing beds, building up the soil. All in preparation for our potato planting.

This is my new potato bed. There were still some good pieces of wood and some sleepers about, so I decided to use them to make a new bed.
Once the border was finished, I put a thick layer of newspapers on the ground, then a layer of sheep manure, on top of that a layer of horse manure.

Let's hope the seed potatoes arrive soon! When I plant the potatoes, I will put them on top of that soil and put more layers of manure and compost on top of them. All covered with a thick layer of mulch.

These are the corrugated iron beds I built last season.You can see the Komatsuna (Japanese Mustard Spinach) trying to take over the raised bed.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

I was in Nirvana today!

I had a great walk around Nirvana and wonderful lunch with lots of lovely people.
All part of International Kitchen Garden Day 2008.

Here is only a little selection of the food we had at Nirvana. Everybody brought something that was made from produce from the garden.
A big thank you to Deb & Quentin who were wonderful hosts.

There are lots more photos of the gardens and orchards, etc. but these will have to do for the time being.

It was not all about food, of course, but that's all I have the energy for at the moment.

Saturday, 23 August 2008


...on the paddock.
Ps.: This is one of our neighbour's lambs.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Sow, sow, sow the seeds...

... of tomatoes, capsicums, chillies and eggplants.

This is an experiment. The seeds in this box are cold-tolerant tomatoes.
The box is filled with a layer of pulverised cow manure and a thick layer of grass clippings. Then a layer of good potting mix. The grass clippings should heat the box from the bottom up.I cut out the bottoms of square punnets to divide the box in sections. Stick the label in each section and sow the tomatoes. Cover with a thin layer of potting mix. Then cover the box with a window pane. That should protect the seeds from the cold and give them some warmth on sunny days.
The more conventional way of sowing seeds early.Fill little pots with good potting mix or seed raising mix, sow seeds (approximately 2-5 seeds per pot), cover thinly, label. Put in your seed box. I do not use punnets anymore as they take up too much room for just a few seeds. This way I can sow quite a variety of seeds and still only use 3 seed boxes like this. They are now inside beside the heater.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

That's a radish!

I did a bit of tidying up in the garden during the weekend and discovered a few radishes that had been growing happily and unobserved in one of the winter vegetable beds. The variety is called "Candela di Fuoco" and I can only recommend it. I shall let one go to seed to save some for next autumn. It is long, red, crunchy, crispy and does not go all woody even if it is in the ground longer than necessary. I cut up one of those pictured below and it was still sweet, mild, crispy and juicy. Unbelievable! The smallest was 'only' about 30cm long, the longest nearly half a metre. I am very happy with the soil in that particular bed.Underneath the radishes the box is full of beetroot. I haven't decided yet what to do with them. Roast them? Preserve them? Grate them to eat raw? Suggestions?

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Harriet the Kefir Monster

Here she is - being strained through the sieve.
All the kefir grains.Ready to be put into a glass jar.Add milk, shake a little, put on lid.
Place jar into a cupboard and leave there for approx. 24-48 hours, depending on how cold or warm it is.

This is the strained kefir. Pour into a jar, place in fridge and use for smoothies, etc.
When you have enough kefir for the time being, just add milk to the grains and place the jar into the fridge instead of the cupboard. That slows the grains down.

The grains grow and multiply rapidly. You can divide them and give some away, or eat them, or put in your smoothie, etc.

There are tons of helpful websites that will tell you more about the benefits of kefir. One of them is here.

Friday, 8 August 2008


Here are more of Flower Gnome's wonderful jonquils.
They brighten up a dreary winter's day.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Turmeric harvest

I had 2 medium-sized pots with turmeric growing in them. The tops started to turn brown and dry up. So I decided it was time to check whether I had successfully grown turmeric.

Here is the haul.
Mind you, I still have one big pot to go. So it will be interesting to see what I will find there.

Anyway. Not too bad for a first time turmeric grower, I'd say.

Monday, 4 August 2008

It's cold

...and we all have to rug up - even Charlie.