Wednesday, June 30, 2010

No Buy Vegetables Challenge.

It is the end of June and we still haven't bought any vegetables to eat BUT...I did buy a 10 kilo bag of spuds to use as seed potatoes but hadn't planted them all yet.  Hubby wanted potatoes and I couldn't be bothered going out and digging some up so I gave him a couple of these.  I am pleased to say though that I didn't have any.  I had chokos instead.
The rest of the bag is now covered in dirt and mulch so I will need to tip over one of the drums and harvest our own if he wants to eat spuds next week.

Not sure if I will just not tell anyone and still count it as succeeding.    *Technically* I have failed twice now but I won't tell if you won't.

Two small slip-ups in 6 months is still pretty good and I'm not counting it as a failure.  I will NOT buy any vegetables for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Candied Lemon Peel.

I have a cold and so am dosing up on hot lemon and honey drinks and was wondering if there was anything that I could use the lemon skins for.

This morning I was over on the Simple Savings website and found a thread that mentioned Candied Lemon Peel so I am going to give it a go this afternoon. 

Well the afternoon is half over and I have made a batch of this.  It tastes quite nice but I'm not sure what I will do with it now. Some suggestions were to have it on ice cream or add it to cakes and puddings but as I don't have any ice cream here and I don't bake I will need to find other uses.  Or I could just eat it plain, it is nice enough for that.

It wasn't hard to do, a bit fiddly but as I was inside watching a movie and had the fire going anyway it was no drama.

Candied Peel

1 cup of lemon peel, cut into strips
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water

The recipe said to boil the peel a few times in fresh water and I think this was to remove any bitterness from the peel.
I put the sugar in the water and brought it to the boil and then added the peel.
I let it simmer until there wasn't much liquid left and then took it off the fire. 

I will dry some overnight on a cake rack and put the rest in a jar in the fridge.

The recipe says to store in airtight container.  If done *properly* it should last a few months.

I have just had a thought and now wonder what the peel would taste like if simmered in honey.  I will report back if I get around to trying that.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Say Hello To...

Eureka Lemon.
We have a bush lemon and at the moment it is chokkers but I think it only fruits every second year.  The fruit is small and knobly but juicy. We have bought this one so we will get lemons all year round.

We bought a couple of trees a few weeks ago and will plant them out near the dam this weekend.

I ripped a branch off of a plant at  L's place last year and now have 7 or 8 plants, some in pots and some where I don't want them.  I will get them trimmed and in their proper place over the next day or so.

One of the bushes that we have has spread and rooted so I am going to cut them off and transplant them

Chocolate Mint.
This was given to me as a rooted cutting and seems to have taken off so I am going to pot some up and see if I can get a decent supply.  It smells like After Dinner Mints and I have been told that you can drink it as a tea.  Have yet to try that though. 

Not much else is *new* but I do have things that need potting on and some things ned transplanting so will try and get that done within the next week or so as well.  Looks like I have stuff to do so will get out there and make a start.

I hope everyone gets to spend some time outside this weekend.  Much nicer than being  inside with the computer. 

Say Goodbye to...

These did really well this year but a bit of frost got to them a few weeks ago and though they were still full of fruit there were no more flowers and they were looking ratty so I have ripped them down.

Seeing that these were a couple of half dead plants *rescued* from someones yard they gave a great display but all good things must end so these are being chopped down today.   I will also take some cuttings and see what happens.

Pulled out a few dead plants yesterday.  I have 2 plants left with tomatoes on them so we are still able to eat fresh tomato each week.  I also have a few plants growing and some of those have flowers.  Whether they will fruit then get ripe remains to be seen.

I found a couple more of these growing and even though they had flowers on them they are now gone.   We don't eat them enough to have them there.

Some sort of Flower. 
These keep coming up from dropped seed but I have decided that I don't like them much so they have been ripped up and replaced with a self rooted Pepino.

Everythings needs pruning and tidying up so we will get onto that today.  Before I start mowing again.   I will get Hubby to cut down the grape vines as I can't do that and he will also need to get everything  mulched as I am too weak to start the mulcher.

So, out I go, to have some fun in my backyard..

Monday, June 21, 2010

Winter Solstice = Garlic Planting.

Winter Solstice, To a lot of people that means "get your garlic planted" 
If you believe what you read then you plant in on the shortest day and pick it on the longest day. 

I do intend planting some today but I have already got a few lots in in different areas around the yard.  Today though I want to plant some under the Peach tree as I have read that it will deter leaf curl.

I will be planting garlic that we grew last year, some of it is already starting to sprout but that just means that it wont take so long to stick it's head out of the ground.

We don't eat a lot of garlic, not nearly as much as we should but I am not sure why.  I like the taste of it, it smells divine (if you like that sort of thing) and we have it here.  Maybe if I brought more inside instead of keeping it in the shed then it would get used more. 

Just thought that what I *should* do is chop it up and put it in the freezer so that we can just grab some ready to go.  That might get us to add it to more stuff.  It's silly to have so much and to be wanting to plant more when we don't use what we have. 

At least I wont be buying the cloves to plant so it's not like it's costing me anything but I do need to use what we grow or grow something that we will use.

Winter Solstice doesn't mean Garlic planting to everyone though.  To some people it's just the shortest day of the year and so from tomorrow our days will start to get longer again.  Soon it wont be so dark at 5am and I will be able to be outside when I get up and see what I am doing.  It's actuallt 1/4 to 7 here now and still way too dark to see anything out there.

How will you celebrate it L?  Will you be dancing naked under the trees?

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I have found a hobby for me and Hubby to do together.  He thinks it's dumb but will come with me.  I think it will be lots of fun and it's something that we can do when we go away on our camping trips.  It's called goecaching and it involves looking for a cache that someone has hidden somewhere.  You need a GPS, you get co-ordinates from the website, add them to your GPS then off you go.  If when you find the cache you write in the logbook that is with it and put it back then go look for another one.  Global Treasure hunting.  Without the treasure.

I found the site for this on Sat morning just before we left on our trip last week so I quickly registered so we could get the clues before we left.  I printed out 4 in the GreenHead area so that we could try our luck.  Borrowed Sons GPS to go looking for the first one but it wasn't where we first thought it was going to be.  The GPS kept sending us to a tree in a carpark but we couldn't find anything.  We were going to try again next trip.  On the way home we tried for another one and this time T was with us and they were using his phone to find it.  We ended up going in different directions so someones GPS was out and seeing as they found the cache it looks like Sons GPS doesn't work properly.  BUGGER!  I *knew* the first one wasn't under that tree.

We told Son about his GPS and that he needs to get it checked so he will know where he is when he gets lost out bush and have decided to buy our own.

We will buy one before our next trip but there are 102 caches in the area that we live.  I'm excited!

I think that this Geocaching sounds like lots of fun but everyone that I have spoken to about it so far thinks it dumb.  They can't see the point.  Hubby will come with me becaused I sooked about him not wanting to but I'm sure he will get into it after a few finds.  I'm looking forward to it and I think it will be a great way to get some GPS reading skills.  I think that this is the only reason that Hubby has agreed to come with me.

It will give us places to go that maybe we wouldn't think of if there wasn't something there to find.  A good reason to explore more of our great state.
This is Grigsons Lookout and we would not have gone there if it wasn't for there being a geocache in the area.  The veiws from here were wonderful and I'm glad we got to see them.

We drove into Sandy Cape because T. had hidden a *treasure* there for me to find.  I think she was the only one that wanted to help me with this.  Thanks T.  This is another place that we may not have driven into.  Discovered that it has great camping spots real close to the beach so once again, a  place worth seeing.

Here is a link (if it works) to getting started in Geocaching.  I'm sure that some of you will find it interesting.

New Chookens.

Like we need more chooks but Hubby wanted them and they were *only* $3.50 each and the Isas that we have really are past it and 3 people wanted to buy eggs yesterday and we didn't have any and blah, blah, blah...

He has been talking about it for awhile and we have agreed to get rid of the Mixed Breed lot and get some more Isas sometime but Son came out and gave us a number to ring, the place was only 15 minutes away, the chooks were freerange commertial egg layers that were being replaced, blah, blah, blah.

Somehow we ended up with 50!!.  Yep, I really need 50 morec chooks to look after.   He did say that he will start culling the others though but we now have over 80 chooks here and I had too many before he got this lot.

Looks like chooken soup will be on the menu for the next few months. 

On the plus side I already have a couple of dozen eggs if someone calls in wanting some..  And I could onsell some of these chooks.  We have done that before and they seem to go pretty quickly if I put the sign out.

This lot are Hylines though not Isa Browns though they look the same to me.    

Actually we started off with 50 but because one had a prolapse this morning there are now only 49.  Funny, but I'd rather still have the 50 that I was whinging about. 

Three Nights Camping In GreenHead. 12-6-'10.

This time last Saturday we were loading up the car ready for a short holiday up at Green Head.  We *found* this place just before Easter when we made a quick trip to Jurien and promised ourselves that we would go there and stay a few nights.  It was so worth it.  I think I could move here and live quite happily.  IF I could take my chooks and gardens with me.
I really like the place, it was quiet but we were
told that it gets busy during holidays but that doesn't
bother us as we have no intention of going there
during peak times.  There is no free camping in the
area so we stayed here at the GreenHead Caravan Park.
A very clean and quiet place to stay.

Son and his girlfriend came and one of the daughters and her daughter.and partener came as well but they *sookied* out and stayed in an on-site van instead of tents.  Smart choice for her really as it was safer that way for her daughter.
So I have had my first camping trip this year.  Hubby says I was so good that he will take me again.  Next time there won't be tents though, just him and me living on/off the back of the 'cruiser.  Looking forward to that.

This is a shot taken from out the back of the c'van park, looking back into Dynamite Bay.   There are so many lovely spots like this around..  Good for fishing or just sitting and watching.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Gardens Did Survive.

Well it looks like the gardens survived us being away, there are a few plants that look like they have had their  leaves nibbled on but nothing major.   Still can't see any bugs or grubs on them but there must be something out there.  Wait 'til I get my new glasses, then they won't be able to hide from me.

The grass needs mowing but that's nothing new, it always needs mowing.  We are still getting tomatoes but I don't think they'll last much longer. Heaps of capsicum.  The chokos are all over the ground.  No flowers on the peas or broad beans yet.but the cabbages that survived are coming on and we should be able to start picking them in a couple of weeks.

We still have plenty of stuff growing to not need to buy any vegetables for the next month or so so that's a good thing.  Everything needs weeding though, I will do some of that over the weekend.

We are eating oranges and will be for the next couple of months.  We are still getting strawberries, the pepino bushes are full of fruit.  Indian guavas are ready.  Passionfruit are ripe and dropping of the vines. Way too many lemons.

The freezers are full of meat, the dam is full of marron, the chookpens are full of chooks that can be culled at any time...and that will be soon if they don't keep laying.  We are getting enough eggs for us but the saleable ones have dropped off.

All in all I think we could live on what we have here for the rest of the year.  I love that!

I've Not Been Home.

I haven't had a full day at home for 7 days so I'm not sure what is happening out in my backyard but I will be out there checking things out later on after the sun has been out for a bit and things dry out and warm up.

We have been away for a few days camping then back to work.  How people that work full time manage to do anything else is beyond me.  I am so glad that I am frugal enough to not have to.

A big thanks to L. for coming out and feeding the chooks for me whie I was away. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hatching Eggs 2

Well as of last night I have 2 little chickens out there.  So tiny so probably have more bantam in them.  There was a bit af a drama though so I am hoping they both survive.  I didn't get to check them until close to dark yesterday and one had fallen out of the nest and was huddled next to it.  I picked it up and put it back in with its mother but then thought that the same thing could happen again so I got some hay to put in the pen and tipped mumma and babies out of the nest and left them to settle.  She sqaurked and carried on for a bit but soon tucked them under her so they should be OK.

After tipping them out I found the third chick dead so the nest needed to be removed and cleaned so glad I did that last night.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hatching Eggs.

OK, a *proper* post.  One actually about what is happening in my backyard.  'Cept this happened out the front so I hope none of you are too picky. 

I have more chickens.  Well as of yesterday there was 1 but I'm hoping for another 1 or 2 today.  The clucky was sitting on 3 when I moved her a couple of weeks ago.

She was in the *tankhouse* with the other chooks and I thought she was clucky but was unsure as to let her sit or to kick her off and lock her away somewhere.  I was lazy and she kept sitting but other chooks kept laying under her.  I hate that, it makes it hard to know what eggs are devrloping but my own silly fault. for not doing my job.  Anyway, I knew these three eggs were good and laid the same time so I marked them then just kept removing any spares each day.  I put together a small pen for her, got Hubby to lift her, nest and all, into the new pen and let her go.  Yesterday I heard her clucking, heard some cheeping, and one tiny chick had hatched, probably the day before. Now it's a wait and hope she keeps sitting and the other eggs hatch thing.  Or maybe they have and I haven't noticed yet as it's too early to go out and check.  Updates coming later today.

And Again!

I was up early again this morning, just after 4am.  What is it with that.  I'd be happy to wake at 6 but no, I'm being an earlybird.   It's 6.30 now, still dark, blowing a gale outside...What can I do beside drink coffee and read blogs?...I'm ready for breakfast.  Is 6.30 too early for breakfast though?  These are the things on my mind this mornig.  It's an exciting life here People, don't be jealous now.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I Beat The Roosters Up.

It's now half past five in the morning but I have been up since before 4am, so early that I beat the roosters up.  Probably too early as it's still too dark that even the *snail patrol* is out.  No point looking for them if it's too dark to see them.

So instead I have had a coffee and spent the time catching up on reading some BLOGS.  But seeing as that is what I do most mornings anyway it doesn't mean anything, I just thought I'd let you all know.

There isn't a lot that can be done this early during winter though.  Is there?  If you have something better that I could be doing please let me know.  But not housework.  Or anything that needs a light on.   I don't *do* lights.

I can hear one of the roosters starting now, soon the other one will join in but I don't care as I am already awake.  HaHa!