Monday, April 30, 2012

April Veg.

Another month has passed and I'm pleased to say that we didn't buy many fruit or vegetables.  We are eating  carrots, onion and potato that I bought ages ago so I do need to get better at growing those things but really I'm not too fussed if I need to buy them again.

We're adding chokos and eggplant to last months list of potato, capsicum, onion, chilli, sweet potato, silverbeet, lettuce, butternut pumpkin.    I have had my first taste of Jerusalem artichokes.  Not bad.  Very knobbly so not sure how you're suposed to peel them so I just washed them and threw them in with all the other veg.  They are something I will need to try different ways to see what we like.

Fruit we ate this month was mainly apples.  We did get a couple of watermelon, not the best but OK.  Too late in the year though, they took forever to grow and get ripe so not sure what we did wrong with them.  We have had 1 bunch of bananas.  They broke off the *tree* so we ripened them in the shed.  They were small but nice.  There are still another half dozen or so out there but not ready to pick yet.  I've had a few Indian guavas, they are OK.  Not something I would ever buy but OK if I am out there and there is one handy.  Strawberries are still growing but not many, maybe a couple of handfuls each week.  A few passionfruit.

Still getting eggs though the chooks aren't laying much.  There are way too many out there and some need to go as they are costing more than they are giving.

I have finally got some new plants and seeds in but we will be eating the same things during May as we ate diring April.  That's Ok, we haven't gone hungry yet and I grow what we like so there shouldn't be too many complaints.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Seeds Are In.

I have some seeds and plants in the ground.  How good am I!!  OK, I know I haven't done anything more than I should be doing every week anyway but I like to make a big deal of the little things I do.

Daughter bought some Broccoli and Cauliflower seedlings for me and some Spinach seeds.  They are all in.  I had seeds for carrots, lettuce, beetroot, snowpeas, celery, so they are in.   I transplanted a pot of Sweet Potato that wasn't doing anything into a big tank, transplanted some Strawberries that were getting too clumpy...what else...Put some Garlic in.  And some, I think garlic chives but am not sure.  I found them in a cup on the table after a daughter left so am thinking she gave them to me but forgot to say.  They are in a pot so I can keep an eye on them and they don't get lost as there is only a few of them.

I didn't put the potatoes in soon enough so half got eaten by the bandicoot.  The rest is now in, some in a fridge garden and some in the ground.

That's about it but at least it is done.  It's not a big job, it's not hard, it's not rocket science so I have no idea why I don't just get out and do more more often. 

I have all the seeds still inside where they don't go so need to put them away.  That will take, oh, 2minutes, maybe.  It should have been done 5 days ago!  Might go do it now 'cause I know I'll swear a bit if the mouses get them.

Good to see others are planting things too.  I've never grown parsnips or swedes or radish...lots of things really, because we don't eat them but I sometimes think I should try different stuff now and then.  I did put in some Jerusalem Artichokes last year, they are a new thing for us.  I'm pretty happy with how they are so should try other stuff as well.  Should probably get everything that we do eat in first, that would be a great start.  Onions come to mind.  Will do those this weekend sometime.  And I have Kale seeds, I might get some of them in too.

Off to do those seeds

Friday, April 27, 2012

I Didn't Get Eaten.

I know you'll all be pleased to hear that the wall chewing rat didn't get me.  I didn't hear it last night either so I'm thinking it found another way out.  That wouldn't be hard, once daylight hit the house little rattie would have seen lots of ways out. 

I was laying in bed last night though and heard the cat munching on his bickies.  Listened a bit more because it seemed louder that usual...His bowl was being moved across the floor and I could hear the bucket where we keep his biscuits being knocked.  OK, not Rufas.  We have had a stray hanging around so I turned a torch on and heard the catflap flap.  Heard it flap again not long after then heard the bowl move.  Then the bucket...I quietly slipped out of bed and tiptoed out into the living area.  Turned the torch on, ready to yell at the stray cat but it wasn't that.  There was a bandicoot sitting there looking at me.  So cute.  It must have come around to the back of the house and through the doggie door to get to the biscuits.  I asked him what he thought he was doing but he didn't answer, he just turned around and went out the flap into the dark night.

I went back to bed only to wake up to more noises, this time out on the front verandah.  *Something* was on the table out there.  This morning a kids chair was turned over and stuff I had on the table was moved and the potatoes and peelings that I had out there waiting to be planted had been eaten.  Not all of them but at least half of what I had there.  So either this bandicoot can jump onto a small chair then a bin then the table or the stray cat eats potatoes and knocks chairs over for no reason.  Either way I need to start making sure that everything that I want to be safe is put into containers with lids or planted when it should be.  I know the bandicoot eats the chookfood from the bucket if I leave it out in the open so I really need to do better with this.

I will have to start putting the cats food away at night as well.  I'm sure he can wait until breakfast for a meal and it might stop a few mice as well.  It might actually get him to chase down some of the mice that are still here so that will kill 2 birds with 1 stone.  Or 2 mice with 1 cat.  haha, I am so funny!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


There is one in my wall and it is trying to chew through so it can eat  me. 

Well, there is what we are pretty sure is a rat and we can hear it munching on the wall.  Our internal walls are thin panneling so it wont take long if it keeps going the way it is and then it will be able to get on the bench and from there it is a short jump to the other bench then a shorter one to me.  

Husband has gone to bed and left me to be attacked by the rat.  I'm sure that is what he has done.  He is there in bed and I am here and the rat gnawing is getting louder and more frantic sounding.  I want to go to bed but am worried that if I am not here to keep banging on the wall to stop him for a bit that he will get me too soon.

If it does get through the cat might get it but the cats mouse catching record isn't all that great so I might wake up in the middle of the night with a rat munching on me toes.and seeing as me toe bone is connected to me leg bone and me leg bone is connected...If I'm not here over in the next couple of days then you'll know it got me.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday Morning Musings.

OK, my post page has changed without me wanting it to...I hate that!

Just popping in to report what some will have guessed, my Friday planting plan didn't happen.
Apparently I had arranged to go over to the zoo with daughter and grandaughter...I admit I did arrange this but forgot until she rang to ask about which car we'd take.  Thank goodness she did otherwise I wouldn't have been anywhere near ready to go when she got here.  As it was she was late and I was still putting things in the car.  We had a lovely day out though and will do it again.  I think it will end up being a regular school holiday outing.  The bleedin' penquins were not on display again though, this was the third time that I have been there and not been able to see them and they are one of my favorites.  Maybe next time...

 Another daughter rang this morning saying she was going to be buying seedlings and did I want some so I have asked her to buy me any seedlings she thinks I should plant.  It will be a surprise and will give me good reason to get out and plant something.  As  it was I had forgotten to call in get the Spinache seedlings on Thursday.  So tomorrow will be a planting day.

I have the Really Really Free Markets on this afternoon and have been clearing out some cupboards so have a few bags to take in to them. 

I fixed the fence this morning so the young chooks can no longer get out and go awandering.  I wired some chicken wire to the bottom of the ringlot wire fence so that should keep them in.  It better because if it doesn't I wont be able to let them out in the paddock and they will be cooped up in a small pen.

Best be off, I have to pick some chokos to take to the markets this afternoon.  I have heaps if anyone wants any.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Planting Plans.

I've not done anything that I planned to, not sure why.  I hurt but I always hurt so shouldn't be using that as an excuse and it's really not a good reason.  Afterall, it's not hard to stick a seed into the ground.

I have cleaned up an area where I can put some seedtrays and the chooks can't get to it as long as I keep their gate shut properly.  It's a good area as it is walked through every day.  It has water, shade during summer, a high area for putting the trays on up out of the way of anything.  I used to use it for growing seedlings but stopped as I was letting the chickens into this area but I've decided not to do that again so it will be just right. 

I have more than enough seeds to plant but will call into Mitre 10 tomorrow and see if they have any Spinach seedlings.  That's about all I will need to buy. 

I'm not home tomorrow but Friday will be a nice day to get some things in.  I'm busy with the Really Really Free Markets on Saturday but Sunday might get some more done.

Off to sort some more seeds.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Get Some Seeds In...

We are nearly halfway through April and I have not put anything new in the ground for weeks, probably closer to months...This will change as from this weekend.  I know, it should be from today but today I have other stuff to do.  Yep that's right, I can't even manage 10minutes to bung in a few seeds...
What a load of ****   Of course I have 10 spare minutes.  I've been on this thing for nearly an hour already, that would have seen a lot of seeds planted...if it wasn't too dark outside to see...

Today I plan on getting a seed planting area sorted.  Somewhere that the chooks and chickens can't get to that is close to where I am passing so it doesn't get forgotton as has happened too often up to now.   I will get the seeds sorted and work out what I need...I know I have another heap of seeds somewhere but cannot find them so will have a proper look for them.   I'm not sure if I have any seedraising mix left so might have to put something together as I am too tight to go and buy anything.   Hmmm  Tight is such a negative word and as I want to be sustainable in how I plant and grow things buying stuff in is not in my plans.  It's not that I am *tight* as such, it's that I want to be self sufficient with the gardens.   I want everything to stay here and come from here, I don't want to buy fertilizers or soil or compost etc.  It all has to come from this place not some place miles and miles away.

Ten things planted by the end of the month sounds good but I can't think of 10 things that I have or I'll say 6.  I will get at least 6 different things in the ground or in seedtrays by the end of the month.  That sounds more doable for me.  I hope I can find 6 things that we like to eat...

I will buy in seedlings if I have to ...I'm thinking I don't have any Spinach seeds left so I won't feel too bad about buying seedlings if I need to but don't know where from as I have no plans on going to any shops.  Might have to call in somewhere next Thursday.

So there's the plan.  What have you, or will you, plant this month?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Stinging Nettle and Rosehip Tea.

I am a coffee drinker.  The second thing I do in the morning after getting up is have a coffee.  Hot.  Strong.  Bit of milk...I have a couple throughout the day and I like one sometime at night before bed.

When it is hot though I prefer a strong white tea during the day.   Well did anyway, up until a month or so ago. We read something about Rosehip tea with blackcurrant juice added being good for iron.  One daughter went shopping and brought me back some Rosehip tea and juice.  It's nice.  Another daughter came for a visit and brought some Stinging nettles to make tea with.   It was nice with just a touch of honey...   Now as there is only so many cups of tea that I can drink in a day I started mixing them together.

I put 2 cups of water in a jar and nuke it 'til it starts to bubble.  Take it out and add a Rosehip teabag and a teacage of Stinging Nettles.  Pour in a slurp of Blackcurrant juice.  Makes 2 cups.  I have one hot and the other warm.   SO NICE!!!   I try to have 2 jars a day.

This is the first lot of tea in it's bag.  It is finely chopped.  *They* tried to get me to put my hand in and feel it but I know them and knew they were up to something.  This stuff stings/itches you if you touch it just like the living plant does.  It loses that once the hot water has been added.   I was told that this stuff can be added to soups and cooking too.

 A cup of Stinging Nettle and Rosehip tea.  
From jar to mug...just for me.

I was getting low on my supply but the SN DD had found a source for Organic Stinging Nettle Tea and we were awaiting her order.  She brought the bag around last Friday..  Below is me (on my birthday!) with the bag.  A massive bag with a kilo of dried Stinging Nettles in it.   The jar that I had ready was not going to be anywhere near big enough for my half so I had to take stuff out of others...I now have 3 big, 500gm, coffee jars full.  This tea is not as finely chopped as the last lot but we all, well the three Stinging Nettle Tea drinkers, had a cup and it tastes the same so no problems with that.
I don't know how this $30 a kilo tea compares to the shopbought black tea leaves pricewise but I think this will be my main tea from now on.

It has been said that I am *not allowed* to grow the SN here so buying it this way is what we will do.