I felt like bookmarking your post in my favourites!
I am going to have to keep coming back to this one.
Thank you very much for that.
Warwick, Sth East Queensland
Permaculture Design Warwick Pty Ltd
Light travels faster than sound ..... that's why some people appear to be bright, until you hear them speak.
Do you want to post that again in the recipes section?
Warwick, Sth East Queensland
Permaculture Design Warwick Pty Ltd
Light travels faster than sound ..... that's why some people appear to be bright, until you hear them speak.
I made the mistake of removing all the eggs from Houdinis nest and now she is laying somewhere else.
At first, she just laid in the nestbox I kept outside in the garden but today she managed to push the hoe out of the way and get out of the dome again, I did see her walking determinedly towards the plum tree and thought that she would lay in amongst the bracken, I was wrong.
Now I am going to have to spy on something that is not much more than a foot high.
In the last week I have finally been able to actually mow lawns and which has given me some much needed mulch.
The kumara have now all been mulched.
I scraped off the old mulch from the temp path onto the potatoes and replaced it with new stuff.
Its actually starting to look like a vegie garden again.
The seed sowing bizzo is better in some ways but I am sure that things are slower to come up than last year.
Not sure if its a watering thing, so I've taken to soaking the trays in a long plastic planter box that hubby brought home for me.
This filled up with rain water which was great.
After a couple of weeks is starting to look alittle green and for some reason there seems to be more and more dead and greening snails in this water.
I didnt bother to replace the water or remove the snails, I figured that they would add needed fertiliser to the mix.
My experiment with the frost clothe versus the bird mesh was a washout.
Ants and snails moved into the beds with the frost clothe, so I will have to do alot of replanting in those beds because of them.
With the other two beds, it isnt so straight forward.
Last year, I dibbled holes and dropped in the sweet corn seed and got great results.
This year, a week after I sowed the seed, it rained heavily which of course meant that the beds got really wet and filled all the holes up with soil.
This, I think means that the seeds are now too deep and although some struggled to get up and out the top , alot didnt.
Consequently, I have sweet corn sown in TP(!) rolls as replacements,not much I can do about the soy beans.
Lack of forsight meant that I had sown the whole packet already, so we will just have to infill with something else.
I didnt grow the Austrian oil seed pumpkin last year as we had heaps of seed for the kitchen.
I had 3 seeds left that I knew were definitely not crossed with something else and thought I had better do these this year or they might be too old next year.
Of the pumpkin seeds sown, these were the last to sprout and so far two have come up.
We are going to have pumkpins scattered throughout the section, each well away from the other and hopefully far enough to make sure they dont cross.
My family love pumpkin and although butternut is great for us, they are alittle small for my brother and his crowd, same for my step sis.
Now that the bank is cleared away, its pretty much bare and I needed something to cover it.
The old prostrate Rosemary has been covered in flowers and has had so many bees on it, I just had to take lots of cuttings of this and plant them along the top of the bank.
Its a differcult area and I dont think its very good for annual type plants so I took as many cuttings as I could of the different currant bushes for here as well.
I had intended to move the plum tree next winter, but decided not for a couple of reasons.
Its growing so well and is big and its holding up my clothes lines-where would they go?
Its an area that I seldom need to weed, the violets do really well under it and the bracken doesnt grow anywhere else.
If I did moved the tree, the bracken mightnt like it and I Need it to fight against the starlings.
The big pot with the baby Bay tree in it is now holding down a rope that is bending down one of the plum tree branches so that it grows out over the garden to give it allittle more shade than it was before.
I did this last year with a couple of branches that now grow over the courtyard.
There has been a huge increase in the amount of bees in the garden this spring, last year it was just about all bumblebees.
We even have at least one nesting hornet-I found the nest she is making and took a pic of her on it, but I'm sure there are afew others as well.
I dont mind them, you just have to rememeber that they are alittle bitchy if you get in their way.
Today I took time to watch what flowers the honeybees were going for, there are quite afew for them to choose from.
I wasnt surprised to see them in the brassicas-turnips, swede,black radish, rocket and white mustard.
I didnt expect them to be interested in the Herb Robert though and they still love the Rosemary even though the flowers look to me to be alittle jaded.
I'm seeing a lovely bank draped in rosemary with currants peaking out the top and the forgetmenots that have moved in nestled in amongst them.
Most of the Black Raspberry that were put in along the bottom of the bank behind the swing seat have taken with only 3 that are needing to be replaced.
The bird mesh over the strawberries had to come off as 2 of the asparagus that got planted along the edge of these were starting to poke up through the mesh.
In its place I have put in the bracken fern, to discourage the starlings.
I doubt it will stop the chooks, so they will be let out later than they have been and herded off towards hubbys side where they like to dust bath, or more towards the back beds.
Last year, I tried putting red things in front of the ripening berries, actually, it started off by putting some ripening strawberries in a red pot to hide them from the birds, it worked so I did it again.
That time the wind blew it away from the fruit but they werent eaten, so I figured there was some truth in the story of putting red things around strawberries to confuse the birds.
This year we have red clothes line pegs so they have been commandeered for the garden.
The mushrooms have now got their peat layer added to the pot and the mysilium is starting to grow around the edges of the buckt, hopefully, it will cover the whole thing and Voila la- mushrooms.
Broody mum has settled in, I dont know if she has actually come out to eat or drink at all- I've never seen her do it but I do have a look specifically at her comb to make sure its not going dark and so far so good.
She can see out now cos I raised one side of the towel just in case it was too dark for her.
I do feel like an expectant dad tho..."Is she supposed to be doing That?"
We had our first feed of home grown mushrooms tonight, bliss!
Hope they continue to do well.
I did try sneaking alittle piece of the peat with mysilium on it out into the garden to see if it would start growing in the composty soil there but so far it hasnt.
On saturday, when I came home, I was surprised to see my neighbour sitting up on the ridgeline of his roof.
I thought he was alittle early to be up there to watch the fireworks, but no, he was trying to seduce a cockatoo into coming inside with him.
Apparently this 'white parrot' as my mother called it, has been in the area for some months now and seems to have quite a wide territory- it was seen about 15 minutes drive south of my place months ago.
Needless to say my neigbour was disappointed as this wise ol bird flew off and wasnt at least tempted by the wheat I offered either.
Things are moving slowly at the moment.
I have repotted the tomatoes, eggplants and okra and they are doing alot better.
The seedlings are definitely slower than last year even taking into account that I did start later this year- the nights here are bloody cold!
Mum started her tomatoes a couple of weeks before me but didnt give them a feed of liquid seaweed fert like I did so hers are still at the two leaf stage while ours have four.
The tray of asparagus has just about all sprouted though.
I have been inching the dome along the current section of garden,its not a circle any more.
I did find out why the dome didnt seem to fit how I expected it to.
I got in and measured the diametre, it wasnt the 2.9-3 metres I thought it was but was 3.2 which would definitely explain why it felt the section ahd shrunk, not too sure how the dome expanded though, did I actually measure it when it got built? I thought I had.
Houdini hasnt been able to get out since I hit on the idea of wrapping the lacing of the 2nd windbreak(trampoline saftey net) around the handle of the door.
She was not a happy chappy for some time and I do wonder if she has stopped laying in protest cos we are only getting 6 a day so somebody isnt laying.
For some reason they had stopped laying in the nestbox over the last 2-3 days,so today I upended it, cleaned it out and laied fresh twigs, leaves and scrunched up fern fronds to make it nice and welcoming again.
The girls seem to look forward to their late afternoon release.
I have gone back to keeping an eye on them while they are out since they ate all my Kim Chi cabbage.
They do seem to be more interested in the worms and snails though and each obviously has favourite spots they head to as soon as they get out.
Broody hen is eating every few days and seems to be drinking more often now too.
I never actually see her do it but the water level goes down sometime s quite dramatically and her feed gets less as well.
Strange how she manages to poo only once a week(?) and enormous!!
The sourdough starter started getting a strange skin on it and smelt rather vinegary, which didnt seem quite right so I threw it out onto the compost and scrubbed out the crock to start a new one.
That was abit disappointing it was dooing so well.
I wish I knew why it suddenly went wrong after, what a whole month or two of being brilliant.
Still,it was a definite improvement on previous attempts that never seem to get going at all withput turning odd colours.
Perhaps the next one will be even better.
My daughter came to stay for afew days and we made cheese-feta.
I might have started something here,her partner has been looking for a sausage maker so he and a mate can start making theire own sausages,hehe, and at a time when daughter is seriously considering going vegetarian.
She even stopped off at a local temple and had a long chat with a buddhist monk and maybe going to their meditation evening to start learning more.
Its all Sunburns fault for putting Buddhism out into the ether in such an exuberant fashion.
We have chickies!!!
So far there are four but mum is still sitting on the other two so maybe they will still hatch out.
I was expecting them next week, I thought it took a month for them to hatch out but it was only 3 weeks and one day.
They are so cute and look like they have kohl liner around their eyes.
I've put in a shallower water dish and a lid with crumbed up wheat and corn thats been soaking for a bit which thye seem to be enjoying.
One of my mum chickens disappeared for a few weeks.
One day she appeared from under a dense bush with about 20 baby chickens!
It was an amazing and joyful sight!
"You can fix all the world's problems in a garden. .Most people don't know that" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohI6vnWZmk
Music can solve all the world's problems. Not many people know that- MA 2005
"Politicians will never solve 'The Problem' because they don't realise that they are the problem" R Parsons 2001
20!!! Bloody hell.
I wasnt sure if I should remove the last two eggs or not so I left them there.
The next day she had moved them out of the nestbox so I figure she was done with them.
Its really hard to see how a chick that is only an hour or so old could possibly had ever fitted in its egg, they are so much bigger.
One of them has already learnt the art of scratching to find its dinner which is unfortunate cos it winds up scratching it all out of the container.
I might have to move them to the dog kennel sooner than I thought so they have a grass run to move about on.
They still seem happy in the rabbit hutch though.
Hubby bought home a sort of soaker hose that holes in it and instead of soaking it sprays a fine mist over the garden.
The kumara are looking really green again since I've started using this and it doesnt seem to use much water compared to the oscillating water thingy.
I did transplant all the sweet corn and soy beans I could find out of their previous beds and into the most recently vacated, they werent lookng very good and are doing much better now.
I'm annoyed because thats pretty much 3 beds that I dont know what to do with, if I plant anything in them now they probably wont have time to mature before the chooks are back on them.
Around the edge of the kumara bed I have planted out one lot of tomatoes- the Albenga Oxhearts with a row of onions in front,yes they are really late going in but what the hell.
Along the north side of the bed I have put the Okra and have left a space between each for the peppers to go in.
These just havent sprouted up very well.
I learnt how important it is to label the trays before you sow the seed and not let anybody distract you.
I thought I had some mulato peppers starting to appear but they looked very strange and it wasnt until they got 4 leaves that I could see for sure that I some how had already sown the Rhubarb there, which meant that I had to repot both the Rhubarb and the peppers.
I have discovered that the fence outside the back door is a great place to put the larger pots on- it has a 4x4 running between the posts and acts as a great shelf for the pots so longs as I leave one particular spot clear where the cat like to jump up and over it.
This is the first fence I ever built 15 years ago.
I had to build it before we were allowed to bring our then new dog home from the refuge and it is still standing and still straight.
I was thrilled when I realised that it gives me alittle more room in the porch for the smaller things so now I dont have to fret so much about not having the space for more seeds to get sown.
If I need more room, I might put another shelf or two in under the top one.
This side of it get sun for most of the day.
We've been eating Broad beans.
The first lot were quite small so I chopped them up and popped them in a mild curry which tasted pretty good.
I decided that prehaps they are okay to eat and have been using them like this in just about everything.
Now they are getting alittle bigger and I am not too sure whether I am supposed to shell them out or not.
The pods are starting to taste alittle odd so I dont want to eat them any more but the beans themselves look too small to shell out so do I just wait for a bit for them to get bigger or is there another use for them.
Part of my daily rountine has now become cruising the garden looking for different bugs and spiders and seeing if I can photograph them, its been fun and interesting.
Another thing I have started doing is taking note of when things are flowering with the idea of getting the whole yard to have at least afew things in flower at all times.
I specifically planted Alysum because I had been told that bees like it but 2 years on I have yet to see one single honey or bumble bee on them, so I wont be bothering with this anymore, although I love the look of the plants growing alongside of the steps up to the garden.
I'm wondering if a hive keeper has moved their hive away as we dont seem to have the same masses of honey bees around at the moment as we did have even though there are still alot of different things flowering.
At the begining of this growing season, the idea was to have set things growing together as companion plants.
This has proved alittle more differcult than I thought due to still not being very good with the seed sowing.
I was starting to dispair that my green thumbs had turned black but things are looking greener and alot more healhy looking than they did afew weeks ago.
I am starting them off in trays that have 24 wee pots per tray and then potting them up into a bigger pot at the 4 leaf stage.
One difference I noted from last year is that then I often had to pot them up at the two leaf stage because they were sending heaps of roots out the bottom of the pots wereas this year they arent doing that.
I think it is because I have been giving them alittle feed of watered down liquid seaweed every so often.
We've eaten all the first lot of mushrooms that came up with still lots of little bumps showing.
I have had differculty watering the bucket with the water wanting to just dribble over the sides.
There is a definite gaps now between the side of the bucket and the top of the soil which probably isnt good.
I popped the bucket out last night when I was watering the garden with the soaker/sprinkler, it has such a fine mist I didnt think it would do it any harm and brought it back inside before the temperature dropped too much.
I popped another little piece out into the compost bin where one of the side boards fell off in the hopes that it will innoculate the heap,that would be fantastic.
My brother was able to stop in after doing a job down here and wants some mushrooms too so I will be getting a bucket in a couple of weeks time for his birthday.
The milk run is going really well.
I made lots of yogurt this week and strained it.
I did put it back in the hot water cupboard for an extra hour cos it looked alittle watery but dont think I should have because it seems alittle more sour than last weeks.
With the soft cheese this week, I put in alittle rennet along with the citric acid to see how this would change things and it did, the cheese is still a soft salty cheese but has a different texture not like the feta from last week- more softer almost cake like and just as lovely.
The bit left over from the other week got rubbed all over with some blue vein cheese I bought for a treat-just the last few crumbs really but it has permeated this cheese so it actually tastes like blue vein even though it doesn look like it.
Not too sure how long it would take to start turning blue,might have to just eat it as it is.
Been eating my own cheese for AGES now and not one tummy ache although my mum got a special tea to stop her from getting the trots after having our milk in her coffee.
I do make sure that everything is super cleaned for this including putting everything in a stock pot thats half full of sterilising solution.
Will have to get some more of that before too long too.
I love reading your updates. They are so down to earth and I feel I am there. Thanks annette