And here we are – back again already with round 2 of the August update !
With the heat of last summer gone and the cool days of winter still in the air – it was time to get the big veggie beds back into service.
Last summer was so incredibly hot and dry, that there came a point when we decided that it wasn’t practical to keep pouring the effort and water onto beds that were struggling so much, for a fairly poor result – so we left them to rest.
Now that the cool is here, we are ready to get them prepped for the next round of growing, and to pour the love and water in – to get that delicious produce out!
So with that in mind, we spent a few days solid of chopping and dropping the weeds – then letting the chickens do their work of turning the weeds into the soil, and adding their fertiliser.
We then completed the job by adding compost, adding some more soil and mulch, mulch, mulching them – then adding some temporary fencing to ensure that all the hard work wasn’t then undone again – by the roaming chickens!
We’ve started to plant back into them, and have tomatoes, onions, basil, marigolds, amaranthus, kale, celery, capsicum, tree lettuce, corn, strawberries and rhubarb all growing beautifully – and have lots of other seeds in the nursery, either just sprouting or ready to sprout, and these will be added to the beds as well.
In the house-yard, we’ve also put in a new hugelkultur bed near the nursery, which will be a dedicated herb bed – interspersed with some pretty flowers – so that its nice and easily accessed for mealtimes.
We have a wonderful rustic wooden tiered garden bed waiting to be picked up from ‘The Boys’ place, which we purchased from one of the Market vendors, and which we will probably also use for herbs and flowers, but haven’t managed to get out to Milla to get it yet.
We haven’t had the mulcher out and running for a while, but to pad out the logs and sticks a bit in the bottom of the bed, and to add to the microbiology – we mulched up some of the older branches and sprinkled them throughout.
Its always creepily satisfying to us both, to play with the mulcher!!
Neither of us like horror movies, so maybe this is [thankfully] the closest we get to the whole ‘bones in the insinkerator’ film… lol
The neighbours probably hate the noise, but we take great delight in preparing a meal for our gardens 😀
The lettuce, spinach and tomatoes in the house-yard beds are all growing like crazy, and are loving the current weather as much as we are it seems – and the salads that we have been having are amazing, with such a glorious variety of different leaves and herbs in them.
In the next couple of weeks, we are going to have a red-hot-go at actually propagating some cherry seeds!! ?
A few weeks back, we got a really scrumptious bag of sweet, juicy super-tasty cherries – and so we seed-saved – hoping we might be able to get at least a few of them to strike once the weather warms up a bit.
With cherries – to get a better and quicker strike rate – you need to crack the hard outer shell, but manage to do that without squishing the soft seed within.
Its a bit of a delicate art!
We managed to get quite a lot of undamaged seed by the end of the hulling process, so it will be fun to see what eventuates once we get them into some pots!
We’re hopefully going to have another food variety to add to our little Farm soon – as well as the cherries – after getting some tamarillo from one of the Op Shops last week.
We’ve scraped and saved quite a lot of seed, and will pot those up too once the weather warms a little more.
It’s a pretty exciting thing… not only to grow your own food, but to also be able to experiment with the growing of brand new plants, or the making of new recipes with your own produce in them!
Now that the mowing season is creeping up on us once more, we are again reminded of how stupidly annoying it is, that every time we mow the house-yard, we have to move the picnic table to mow the are where it sits.
We finally gave in a few weeks ago and got some pavers to put under the table – which will not only makes the mowing a whole lot more streamlined – but also makes whipper-snipping the area even easier. Win win!
As probably almost everyone who reads this blog will know by now – the short Mumma has notified her work of her intention to retire, and finishes up at the end of September.
Its an exciting and terrifying time for us both – but we are both looking forward to it – and have grand hopes that it will work for us how we are planning it to!
One of the benefits of this will be that a whole lot of extra time, focus and energy can be put in to the growing, making, canning, and cooking of our own food, cleaning products etc – rather than super-market purchased products.
More time will also be able to be allocated to inside our home and the jobs that we haven’t yet got to, because they haven’t been a huge priority to us – but there is definitely no worry about us suddenly becoming all main-stream – so fear not good peoples!! 🙂
We’ve been making and canning loads of jams and jellies lately as its that time of the year for citrus gluts, and a few weeks ago we made enough delicious fishcakes to see us through a couple of weeks (meals).
We also canned up some chicken when it was on special recently, which was fun to do – and sooo much less labour-intensive than the jam/jelly making.
Canning is definitely a wonderful and satisfying way of being able to store excess produce, or produce that you can get on sale, without having to waste all that freezer space.
Its also great to be able to grab something off the shelf for a quick meal, when you’re having one of those days when – by the end of the day – the last thing you feel like doing is preparing a full-on meal, but don’t want to be eating cereal for dinner!!
We threw a few surprise bones to the puppas (dogs) a couple of weeks ago and to say they were delighted is an understatement!
However – we quickly realized that doors had to be closed and a keen eye kept on all three, to ensure that none of them snuck in with a bone and hid, to quietly eat it on our bed! ?
A month or so ago we had a lovely time at Palm Cove with our cherished friends ‘The Boys’, winding down and having a little much needed R&R.
It was a great time, and we all enjoyed one of our favourite bands:The Bad Boys of Uke.
And yes – that is a ukulele group
And yes – they are bloody fabulous!!
We also to got to meet the Parents / In-Laws of ‘The Boys’ while they were up for a visit, and got to have a couple of lovely meals with them also.
They will hopefully be moving up here towards the end of the year.
The Boys have bestowed upon us a huge haul of bulbs, and whilst we’ve yet to find a home for them all, they are growing well despite the neglect.
We were also lucky enough that a random stranger happily gave us two huge bags of chokos that were already shooting, after over-hearing that we were looking for some more after our last lot drowned.
Sometimes it pays off to have a big mouth / voice! lol
We’ve had one more little apple off our tree.
We of course shared it between us, amongst much ceremony 😀
It was lovely and sweet.
We were invited and went over to one of the newer neighbours homes for a few drinks around their fire pit a couple of weeks back – and that was a nice evening.
They are currently having built one of the hugest sheds we’ve ever seen – so we’ve given permission for the workers to use our driveway rather than crack G&Ts cement one with all the heavy traffic.
In exchange they are going to have our driveway tidied up again after its all done, as the driveway sustained a few washout potholes during the recent long-running rains.
Our northern side neighbours (M&M) harvested some of their honey again a little while ago and we were again the lucky recipients of some of their ‘Lindsay Gold’.
Such incredibly dark, rich, delicious honey – and it gives us a buzz (pun intended!) every time we have some; that the bees will have been in the flowers that we plant especially for them, in order to make that wonderful liquid gold… ?? and we get to exchange jam, jellies and eggs with the neighbours in return.
Well…there is still more to tell – so we think that we’ll just have to hold the rest over until next time… and if you get super-lucky– there might even be a part 3 to the August update – but don’t hold ya breath…! ??
Weed & Comfrey laden beds that were left to rest over summer
After chop&drop, we covered with newspaper then compost, then soil, then mulch
Because Billie has such a low profile ride, we had to do a couple of trips to get soil for the beds.
We’ll definitely be using the Colorado to get the soil for the big bed in the paddock!
After the soil has been added
…and a while later comes the mulch, and then planting and fencing…!
paving under the picnic table.
we’ll probably add another row in each direction when we put the bigger table here.
puppas Hamish and Molly with their bones
Mabi with her bone
Starting the hugelkultur bed, including home-made shredded woods
our mulcher makes wonderful plant-food
bulbs from the boys
the tall Mumma was not happy that Blaze was napping in the new herb bed
and then of course there is Dusk, who is always an accident looking for some place to happen!
Wonderful seeds trays given to us by our middle son and his wife.
Zucchs and Corn popping up from the dirt
some of the chokos we have yet to pot-up
seed saving from the tamarillos
Mandarine being made into jelly