Almost May!?!


So – it seems we’re incredibly good at growing sweet potato!!!
Who knew!!!
However, we’ve never been very good at actually eating it, as neither of us are at all keen on the ‘sweetness’ of it.

However, being that’s it’s a free easy-grow resource, we’re now thinking we’d best find some way of having it that we will like!
Alternately, we do know that it can be canned and is a really good addition to home-made canned dog food, so that will definitely be Plan B.

Editors Note: we have since tried a small piece, as we had heard that the variety we have, which is called Japanese Sweet Potato and is purple skinned with white flesh, is not nearly as sweet as the ghastly orange skinned, orange fleshed stuff – and they were right!
Its definitely palatable as is for us, and with the addition of a bit of butter, and a dash of salt – we reckon its going to be delicious!!

As at the end of the long weekend, we now have a fully fenced house-yard, and the fence that Digby has snuck through (ok – brute force swandived through!) on the odd occasion to go play with Jett the dog next door, has now been reinforced with something a little more sturdy than the quick-fix gaffa-tape remedy that we used in an emergency one weekend.

We’ve been potting up a pile of seeds, in trays and will see what germinates from them, as they were somehow inadvertently exposed to the elements for quite some time when they moved from the house in town, out to the Farm.
So much so that the beans had sprouted of their own accord, and then died ?
We already have some Kale and lettuce that have popped their little heads up, and one lonely brussel sprout seedling. 😀

Hopefully some more will be successful despite the neglect, and if not, we have more trays ready to pot up in a week or two anyways.
We also have some seedlings ready to go in, so the garden beds won’t be barren for too long!

The Purple Basil has been pruned right back in Horatios garden, and the soil topped up and remulched, so it’s ready for a few more herbs to be added there too.
The off-cuts are hanging under the out-building eaves, and once they have dried out a bit, will be popped into the dehydrator to dry further, and will then be ground down, and bottled to be used in cooking.
We also have a mass of Oregano that we will get around to dehydrating and bottling at some point too…

The big green tubs have been dug over, composted and mulched and some carrots planted.
The citrus trees have some new bigger tubs waiting for them to be transplanted into, and some late season tomatoes have been planted in the raised beds near the Farmhouse.

We also took advantage of being home over the long weekend, and got a lot of dehydrating done.
A couple of kilos of apples, a whole pile of bananas we were given by a client, and a couple of kilos of onions that were on special.
The pantry shelves are looking pretty good right now!

As we were dehydrating apples, we of course had left over peels and cores – so we’ve also prepped a batch of Apple Cider Vinegar [ACV], which is now happily fermenting away in a dark back corner of the kitchen, where it won’t be disturbed – other than a gentle weekly stir.

We’re planning on canning up some more pie apples in the near future, so will be able to set another batch of ACV then.
Gotta love being able to get free ACV from scraps that would otherwise go to the compost…
That stuff can be expensive, especially if you prefer organic – and we go through a decent amount of the stuff in our household, so not having to pay for it is definitely a good dollar-saver!
#FrugalFamily lol 🙂

We’re loving that the cooler weather has slowly been creeping in.
It makes it sooooo much nicer to be able to spend time out in the garden, without dying of heat-stroke, dehydration and sunburn!
Summer is definitely our least favourite season of the year…

The big veggie garden has been turned over, papered and mulched – all with the exception of one, which hasn’t yet been filled.
We ran out of dirt dammit!
Some seedlings have already been planted out, and if we’re really lucky we’ll have some broccoli, cabbage, book choi, spinach and brussel sprouts in the not too distant future.

We’ve also put some comfrey and marigolds in – and have some other flowers / bee-food planned to go in amongst the veggies 🙂

There is lots more still to go in, but its a slow steady process…

Thats it for this time….remember that: sharing is caring… ? you just never know who of your friends might be interested in the Strigidae Adventure!

Until next time – have a good one and look after YOU!

Lots of seeds planted – now to see what comes up!
Fencing demon action shot!
What a good looking’ fence!
It even has a set of double gates for getting the mower through, and bringing the cars in if need be!!
Some of our haul of the sweet potato as it was being dug out of the raised bed.
Thems some seriouslyyyy biiiig taters right there!
Purple Basil hanging to dry.
The makings of Apple Cider Vinegar, ready to tuck away in a warm dark corner, so it can happily ferment for a while.


a huge big bowl of dehydrated onions, ready to go into jars.
Dehydrated bananas – YUMMM!


  • The Ratrace Losers

    I’ve never been a fan of the orange sweet potato either. I’ve never tried that Japanese variety. I don’t know if they are even available in the States.

    I’m sure that Digby is fully bummed out about his lack of freedom to go visit the neighbor’s dog. Hope he’s taking it OK.

    Glad to hear that the weather is cooling — of course, we are just starting to ramp up into summer here, but thankfully it’s been pretty cool lately. We actually had to close up the house yesterday since it was only 61F (16C) here. Linda was wearing a full jacket and pants. And while my usual attire is shorts and a tee-shirt (I am extremely cold-tolerant), the temperature and the breeze led us to both agree that it was time to close up the door. BRRRR!

    What’s your recipe for the cider vinegar? I see that you put apples in some solution, but what else? Maybe a “recipe” post in the future of how you do your canning and preserving?

    • TheWhitbys

      Hi Chad & Linda!
      Great to hear from you as always :))

      Digby is not thrilled as you can well imagine, about not being able to get up-close-and-personal with Jett next door.
      He very much loved when he could dive through the fence and go tearing about like a lunatic around the neighbours yard, with he and Jett chasing each other!
      Alas – the neighbours themselves were not quite so keen on the antics… 😐 and in the interest of keeping good neighbourly relations, it seems like the best idea for the time being.
      We are hoping that sometime in the future, we might get to being able to have Jett over for ‘play dates’ :))

      Like you – we are pretty resistant to the cold, but even when it does get to the point of being a bit toooo chilly – we love that its just a matter of tossing on some jeans, a jumper and a pair of slippers and its problem solved!
      Can’t say the same for summer – no matter how much you take off, one still can’t get cool enough – and shopping naked tends to be frowned upon at the very least!! 😀 lol

      We’re planning on posting a whole series of recipes in future posts (as time permits – you know how it it!) and AVC will definitely be one of those ‘recipes’ 🙂

      Hope the cool sticks around for you both for a while longer still.
      Suzey & Sarah

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