Saturday, October 1, 2016

October 1st 2016.

Haha, told you I'd be back in a few months!  I didn't really think it would be that long though, thought I was just being funny.  haha seems not.  Seems like I am not really very good as this blogging thing anymore.  I will work on it as I used to have fun here and am sure I can again.

The gardens are wet and soggy.   Chookpens are wet and soggy.  And it is always cold outside.  I am feeling the cold!  It is now October, we should be having cold mornings but lovely sunny and warm days, that's not happening.  It is still like Winter, wet, cold, miserable.  I usually like Winter and prefer it over Summer but as of 2 weeks ago, I am over it.  I need me some sun.

I do have plants in though and food is growing, thanks to daughter T that bought lots of seedling for me.  Once the sun comes out they should really take off.   We can still get a feed from out there. Can dig up some spuds whenever we want them, sweet potatoes too.  Cabbages and broccoli.  A few capsicum.  Chooks are laying so I am eating lots of eggs.  Cauliflowers aren't doing much even though they have been in the ground for a few months.  We are still getting oranges but not much other fruit, some lemons but I can't eat those like a proper fruit snack so don't count them.  .The apricots are forming fruit, peach tree is covered in flowers, grapevines are shooting, strawberries are covered in flowers.  Apple are too.

The bees don't do much over Winter but husband and I had a look at them last week.  They are starting to get honey in the frames so we should be able to do an extraction in a couple of weeks.  Husband wants to do a bottom box inspection before we extract though, just to check there is no disease and the queen is still going strong.  I do need a nice warm day so I can get out and give the extracting shed a decent clean before then.  It's dusty and messy as it hasn't been used in a while. A proper clean will make it, well, clean! 

Off to read about what some others are doing then it will be bedtime.  It's blowing quite hard outside but the fire is going, the house is warm.  All is good.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hello, it's me...

Hello. Remember me?  It has been a long time since I came here, a long time since I had anything to say.  Haha, I still don't have anything much to write about but thought I'd better get off Facebook and see what was happening in the land of Blogs.  And you know what?  Some people have fantastic gardens that they eat from every day.  Some people are healthy and fit and doing what needs doing to get and stay there.  Some people are travelling the countryside and having adventures.

What have I been doing?  Umm, let me think.  Not a lot I don't think but I have been busy.  Doesn't seem like I have achieved much and that is another reason for my checking in here.  If I can get what I have done down on paper, so to speak, then I will see that I have achieved some things and can tell myself that I am not the fandl person I sometimes think I am.  Well, I am fandl, that hasn't changed yet but I'm sure that I have done stuff too. 

I am still planting stuff though not a lot and not often enough but I could go out there and pick enough to eat for the rest of the week.  So that's good!  Not going out there just yet though.  It's 7:30 and still a tad too cold outside for me. I am sitting inside with the fire burning having a hot lemon and honey drink as I think I have been subjected to granddaughters cold germs.  My lemons and honey though so yeah, I still got it!

I have lemons because it is Winter and citrus time.  Loving the Oranges straight from the tree and have a pile inside here that need juicing.  I will pick some more later and put them out the front and see if anyone wants to buy some.  Need to work out what to do with the lemons too.  We only have 1 tree now, a Eureka I think.  Husband chopped down and pulled out the massive bush lemon that fruited always and hid the house from the road but was dangerous with 2inch spikes everywhere.  And we didn't need that many lemons but the chookyard looks bare.  He "trimmed" some other trees too...sad face.  I have honey because husband help me extract the hives...oh months ago now and I still have some left.  My poor bees have been unloved and uncared for and I am not sure what to do with them now.  I want to keep them, want to be able to go out and check them every week, want to be a good beekeeper.  But I "forget" about them and husband gets cranky and does the checking himself...This is something that I need to get better with, especially with Spring coming up.  If I don't make an effort and they swarm then I may have to get rid of them.  But I am going to make an effort, prevent them from swarming, get off FB and back outside...

I am still with Vinnies and still loving it.  I have been busy there instead of here as we don't have enough volunteers and as Manager I am the one that steps in if I can't get someone else to fill a shift.  I was there Monday, usual day.  Tuesday as a fill-in.  Thursday is usual day and I may have to be there Friday but hoping not.  Rules are we need 2 volunteers but sometimes people go on holidays, get sick, have appointments...The small group of volunteers that are there are brilliant and a few have stepped up, a big thankyou to them, but we will be short for all of July.  And, much to husbands disgust, I have taken on another role and am now a Commissioned member of our Conference.  This means that I help out with the Welfare side of things now too.  So Volunteer Manager of Retail, which sounds more impressive than it is, and Conference Member.    I'm liking it but it does all take up a lot of time and I'm not very good at time management so seem to be just bumbling along with everything.  With the house and yard and bees missing out because of me wasting the time I do have on unnecessary thing like Facbook!  HoHum, not much different to normal really.

Anyway, I'm hoping to get motivated by reading a bit more before I go outside, coming here more often, and actually doing stuff. 

See you all in a few months time! haha.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Not Much Honey.

I did check the hives, I was sure they would all be full and need extracting and I'd be busy jarring up tons of honey.  I was wrong.   Husband came out to help and he was a bit cranky with me as they really should have been checked regularly...and they weren't.  But I think he was a bit surprised with how little honey there was in the hives.  Out of 4 hives, 9 frames in each hive, we needed to extract only 8 frames.  That is not good.  Three frames from1 hive and 5 from another.  Two hives were not doing very well so we left all the frames in them.  Husband did check the bottom box on all 4 hives, said it looked like a couple had requeened themselves but that there was plenty of brood so that was good.  He probably explained it all to me but I don't remember.
So all up we extracted a bit more than 10 kilos of honey.   I jarred it up, cleaned up the stickiness in the extraction shed, this time right away, same day.  So much easier!  I have put the price of this lot up to $12 kilo because there is so little there, only 8 x1 kilo tubs and a few 400gm glass jars.  Not much but if it all goes then it's still a decent wage for a few hours work.
I am selling it via Facebook and a rough roadside stall we have set up out the front. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bees. Hives need checking.

I have been slack with the beehives.  I know, who'd have thought!  But I know that I need to go out and have a look at them, I *know* they will need extracting.  I keep saying it's because I am too scared but maybe, probably, most likely, it's because I am too lazy.

Husband is away and I want to get it done before he gets home but keep putting it off and now the weather has cooled down and it has been raining and they might be a tad grumpy so I have again put it off.   And now he will be home before I get it done and wont be pleased if he has to do it!  And rightly so.  My hives, my hobby, my job.

I don't know if it's bad for the hive or the bees to be left alone for so long but I do know that I have run out of honey to sell and people are asking for it.  That in itself should get me out there...but hasn't.   I am a bad beekeeper.

I have tidied and cleaned the extracting shed though so that is ready to go when I do finally get-out there.  We bought more jars a while ago and they are cleaned and boxed up ready.    If I leave it too long though the place will need dusting again!

I was going to have a go this morning but it's been raining and is too cool.  Maybe tomorrow otherwise Thursday for sure.  Unless I need to go in to Vinnies then it will have to be Friday....see this is how it gets away from me.  I was going to do it 2 weeks ago but it kept being put off for one reason or another...And now it's nearly a month since I've even been out there to check on them!   Bad beekeeping.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Spaghetti Squash.

A long time ago I went to some markets and was given a spaghetti squash plant. It had a tag saying it was in fact a SS.  I planted it, it grew a bit and I ended up with 1 fruit. 
This morning I went to a garden SSS meet up and brought home a Spaghetti squash.  The woman that grew it, and several hundred others! said that it was in fact a SS.

Hmmm.    Are these actually the same thing?  Is one just malformed?  Or not ripe yet?  Or something completely different to a Spaghetti Squash?

I will cut them open sometime this week and see what the insides look like but thinking mine isn't *quite right*    But maybe it is *quite right* for what it really is...

Someone will know and that someone will tell me.  I hope.  And thankyou if that someone is you.

Update.  I knew someone would know!  I have just been told "Green Hubbard Squash. It's a pumpkin, Cucurbita maxima species." It's ripe and I eat it like pumpkin.

SSS and visiting another garden.

I am going to a neighbours house this morning.  She is having a SSS morning so I am hoping to get all inspired and interested in the gardens again.    The SSS stands for Swap, Share, Shuffle and people will bring something garden related to SSS and we'll have a look around her garden and talk gardens.  I'm looking forward to it in an I can't really be bothered doing anything today way.  But I need want this, I need want to get me gardening mojo back!

I feel I am getting old and I'm not, I'm just eating too much crap and not doing enough.  As I do HoHum.  I need to get interested, need to do stuff, need to challenge myself again.  Today is the start of all that!  And as I write and think about it it is looking like a fun way to spend a few hours!

Have you heard of SSS days?  Do you have gardening friends that you visit and talk with?   It should be interesting.

I have yet to decide what to take though.  I have lemon balm that needs thinning and that grows easily and the sweet potato grows from slips so decision made, I will take some of that as well and hope others take it home with them.   

Last evening I weeded all the half 44's along the driveway then mulched them with the composting grass and weeds from the chook pen.  They look much better and are ready if I bring anything home.  It's always better for any plants I bring home if I have a spot ready and they can be put in right away.   Some poor plants have to wait a few weeks and then they don't do so well.

If you have any ideas on finding lost gardening love, let me know them please.