Monday, 30 May 2011

Breakfast Time

 The Night before!

                                Everyone needs a little breakfast especially when its -1C.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Must do, To Do & Finish off Lists.

I have lots of good ideas for the garden but some of them end up a lot of hard work and take longer than anticipated and end up on the Finish off List. Take my idea to build a stone wall around the entire vegie garden, I started it about six years ago and still going!  plenty of rock on our property but by the time I've collected a ute load then unloaded it and then put them in place the afternoon is nearly over! and I need about 50 more ute loads!!! 

The wall so far is about 50cms in height so I have a fair way to go considering the walls in total are about 30 metres in length! 
Time to invite the adult children (5) for a weekend maybe bribe them with a roast dinner and beg them to help collect rocks to finish the wall!! 
Then of course there's a gate to build to enter the far side of garden, I found a old iron bed head and was hoping the other half could make it a gate but he has a list of things to finish as well!
Ok next on the list and a bit easier (with a cup of tea)  clean up gardening shed  sort out packets of seeds, tools,buckets of lime, netting,etc!! 
Next the Must Do list, weeding and pruning that should be easy! Where did all these weeds come from?(in the compost they go) five hours later I'm heading up the road with my ute full of rose and assorted prunnings to our community green waste pile. Good job done and one crossed off the list!!

Sunday morning  (I'm still thinking of ways to finish my rock wall) and time to walk out some tired muscles, I headed down to our creek thinking I may spot a platapus, no luck but I did come across a beautiful butterfly, not sure what type it is and a toadstool. Sitting beside this creek is just magic the beautiful big gums are sometimes home to Koalas too!
 Back to the vegie garden to finish the last item on my list for the day , last of the garlic cloves planted!

The above photo shows(large clump of Dietes) but behind that an original stone wall built in the late 1800's on our property which inspired me to build my own.!!!!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Friendship Gardening.

I woke today to find a beautiful sunny but frosty morning, I headed straight to the kitchen garden to take some photos and then grabbed the watering can to shower new seedlings to lessen any damage.
While I was taking photos I started to think of a dear friend, the first I made when we moved to the country, Beth arrived (with cake & plants) and welcomed us to the area and also with an invitation to join the local spinning/weaving group(that's another story).
My garden is full of her generous gifts, rhubarb,bunching onions, lettuce varieties, golden oregano not to mention autumn crocus, sedums, candytuff and numerous other bulbs...
Time for a visit and to take her some Golden lettuce seedlings! After a cup of tea and chat we headed out for a look at whats growing in her garden, not many lettuces so mine were much appreciated.
Beautiful healthy Rhubarb.

Two varieties of Beetroot and White Radish.
Now I know us ladies like to keep our ages a secret so just let me say I hope I'm still smiling in my garden when I'm Beth's age!!!
Also in her garden,carrots,garlic,turnips, asparagus bed,onions,lots of herbs and seeds just planted of broad beans. A small orchard includes varieties of apple, peach, plum and pears.
I'm sure to have forgotten something.
Off I went home inspired yet again with more produce to share with others and for my own garden.
Merle's carrot seeds, Suzy's white radish seeds, Beth's parsnip seeds as well as pods of perennial sweet pea which I must plant tomorrow.
Next week its spinning day at Suzy's, another great gardener so a  great opportunity for me to take some produce and seeds to share!

                                                                       SWEAT PEA



Thursday, 5 May 2011


Last years Compost was made in a old water tank with the ends removed, it was quite large so I just kept adding to it which took almost the year.
I then planted pumpkin seeds and in no time up came the seedlings, and over time climbed over the sides and travelled all the way to chook pen. As we were lucky to receive above average rainfall we had a wonderful crop of pumpkins. Also other seedlings appeared and were removed and planted elsewhere, a couple of tomatoes and cucumbers were a added bonus!!
Soil has now settled down, some manure added and it will be ready for the potatoes.

                       Recycled wire basket keeps birds and chooks from parsley seedlings.

Old water tank recycled for compost bin.

First time so many pumpkin plants actually produced ! Butternut, golden nugget and the one above which weighed in at 10 kilos!!   This weeks recipe Roast Pumpkin and ricotta lasagna. 

Big Clean up!

Another beautiful Autumn day and a great one to spend cleaning up the vegie patch !
As I have quite a millipede invasion it was time to act, upon reading up on them found out just what they love and one of the main thing is mulch, so that has been raked away and now added to a large round water tank with ends removed, which will be the next home for potatoes later on in the year. Also removed were a few weeds and then beds tilled over , I don't know where they came from but lots of stones removed as well !
I like to border my plots with perennials and annuals for extra color and to attract more bees so these I trimmed up and removed lower foliage resting on the ground and also dead leaves etc these went into the worm farm.
All paths were raked and weeded , grass mowed and horse manure added to compost and all turned over.
This years 2nd garlic bed was dug over , tilled and then dusted with lime(another thing millipedes don't like)  and will be ready for garlic in a couple of weeks.

                                             Keplie Lucy keeping a close watch on the girls!!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Harvesting Olives

Well about 10 years ago we planted a few olive trees, we were living in Melbourne at the time and just visiting our farm on weekends. They are producing plenty of olives but last years effort to preserve them was a disaster and they ended up in the compost . This year I have a bumper crop, a good friend from Swan Hill has  passed on the following recipe to try.

Cracked Olives
5 kg Green Olives ( best when turning dark green to light green)
1 litre White vinegar.                           ½  litre Good Olive Oil
250grm Salt                                          2 litres Water

*Crack Olives by placing on wooden board and using a firm object to crack open
and remove pip. Place in clean jars.

*mix salt with some of the water to dissolve it.
*Stir all well together and pour on top of the olives (cracked and in clean jars)
*On top of jars use green aniseed stalks to hold down olives under liquid.
*Top with a little extra olive oil.

Cracked olives take around 2-3 weeks before being ready to eat
Whole olives take around 4-5 weeks

Harvest with Glee

New green shoots emerging from soil, dew driping from spinach, the first ripe tomato are just a few of the joys of Gardening and dirty fingernails!!
Gardening has always been one of my great loves and no matter where you may live a garden of any size can brighten up your day!
I enjoy working in my Farmhouse Kitchen Garden most days , even in winter(we can have some mild sunny days) I can be found rugged up, hoe in hand ,weeding or picking something for the Soup pot.