Thursday, 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas !!!Real Men Can Decorate!!


I've been doing a little hand -sewing each night for new decorations for my Festive Fallen Branch Table Piece inspired by Veggiegobbler and hubby did comment a few times about having a REAL tree.

So imagine my surprise when i drove in the driveway!! it did bring a big smile, and he even thought of presents too!!!

So this morning i finished the last of my Christmas hearts..................




I had dreams of setting up a long table in the garden of our Farmhouse, white table cloth, flowers, and bunting in the trees but with temperatures predicted in the high 30's we will be inside far away from the blowflys which is so typical of Xmas in Country Australia.

We are spending 2 days with our family in our Farmhouse before our first guests arrive for the Summer Holidays and then where back into the Caravan and the Reno!!!

I will be busy working over  Xmas and the holiday period so am taking a rest from blogging and hope to catch up with you all in the New Year!!
I wish everyone a Very Happy Christmas and hope you all have a wonderful time with your families. May your days be filled with Laughter, Joy, and Happiness !!!

Go easy on the plum pudding !!!!



Thursday, 15 December 2011

Where I blog and the Reno!



While i was in Italy my very talented husband started to rebuild a wee small cottage.
 Walls, windows and doors were ripped out.
Progress is happening BUT it is a bit slow so.......
Our kitchen is on the veranda and that's where i Blog with a very nice view although at times a bit cold and windy!


  
The other end of the veranda is the temporary kitchen, note bucket under the sink. About a month ago we had a big storm and the whole Kitchen blew off the veranda (neighbours had a chuckle) and hubby just gathered it all up and rebuilt it again while i combed around the grass for lost forks and coffee cups.

                                       Well i may as well show you where we sleep too!


                                                 Part of the new decking hubby is building

And a huge pile of rocks which were dug out when putting in new pipes which will become part of the new native garden which is my job. (we have his and her jobs)

The area i have to create the new garden is huge (1acre) and i must say i am feeling a little overwhelmed. There is exsisting stands of gum trees for some shade and also native grasses including wallaby grass.
I think the best thing will be to divide the area into sections and only work on one at a time. I'm also looking at lots of books and gardens for inspiration, Phoebe recently posted a beautiful  garden which is certainly inspirational and a work of love.

Maybe a visit to some open gardens may help too with ideas....................

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Friday, 9 December 2011

Seed collecting and a BIG surprise!!!

 While watering the Veggie garden this morning i noticed just how many different vegetables are either flowering, nearly flowering or just about finished flowering and ready for the seed to be collected.

I try to leave one healthy plant from each variety to go to seed, when ready collect seed and put in paper bags or envelopes, label and use when needed.

I hope to collect the following over the next week or two.


Dwarf Green Kale,    Red and Yellow Chard, Chives, Lettuce and Spinach.



Some of the flowers are really quite pretty like the Carrot.





                                                                               Leek



                                               I love the little caps on the elephant garlic


We also had a little surprise this afternoon, we are goat sitting for our neighbours and while hubby was busy mowing the grass he heard Harriet call out (not her usual call) and yes she needed a little help.




 I was busy at work when Bob called and said we had a "baby" so i missed all the excitement !
                                                                              
Little female kid all cleaned up and feeding!! Can't wait for our friends to arrive home and find her.

Anyone else had a surprise today?

                                                                          



      

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Festive Fallen Branch Friday

How did Christmas arrive so quickly?
 It only seems like the other day we were all counting down the days to spring and now its summer, 2 hot days in a row and all my young lettuce seedlings are looking extremely sad.
The beans , zucchini and tomatoes are OK , carrots starting to go to seed and potatoes wilting..........
Much to hot to be outside 35C yesturday so a little more work done on my Festive branch, using only what i have in store (packed in numerous boxes)............and i do have quite a bit......







                                                         Found a whole roll of hessian



Oh how i love the special gifts my children made at kinda and primary school, this little book made by my eldest daughter Kaleigh when she was about 7 years old, shes now 24!
Looks at home nestled beside the Festive Branch.   Won't she get a surprise!





I can't believe all the things I'm finding that id forgotten about in my shed while I'm supposed to be hunting for Xmas stuff....................Like boxes of photos.

 Who likes a good laugh??? not to sure whether to show this photo or not ........... my family looks a little strange, guess which ones me ? I'm thinking this was taken about 35 Christmas 's
ago.............erk.....

Now i have mentioned before how i can get side tracked and what with finding unfinished quilts, boxes of photos and the odd book or two hours can pass by so not much did get done on my Festive Branch but i did find some material to hand-stich some little decorations for the branch and maybe some extras to send off with my Xmas cards. (yep I'm a little late in that department too)

                                            




                                       Hey those ribbons maybe festive but their too tight!!!

                                                    Guess who?      Yep
 
Now if you have reached this far and not wandered off onto another more interesting blog head over to see more Festive Cheer with Veggiggobbler!!!!

Hope you all have a great weekend !!!

                                                                      

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Weekend Harvest.



Early this year and a little smaller than usual but lovely and tasty.


Plenty to bottle as well,  cherry's washed and packed tightly into jars , Hot syrup added, lids on and   then placed standing into large saucepan  of cold water, bring to boil then keep on boil for 25mins.
Remove from pan and cool.




                                               First attempt at bottling and all went well!!!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Festive Fallen Branch Friday !!

Who couldn't resist joining the excitable V.G and her Xmas spirit!!

Although i love having a fresh pine tree in the home and decorating it with all my favorite bits and pieces I am having the extended family over for Xmas dinner and a table deco is needed so.........

I went for a walk around the garden and came up with these gum tree branches some with little gum nuts i can paint.



Then it was off to the big shed where all my crafty things are stored for some scraps of material.....

.............. OH now i do have a problem V.G!! while rummaging around i found quite a few unfinished projects that i just had to get out of their boxes, maybe more Xmas pressys???


                                                                                     



Will be a busy weekend decorating trees, sewing, weeding.........

Hope you all have a great weekend and find some time to drop byVG and some Xmas cheer!!!

Wondering , would anyone like to join a material swap??


                                                                               

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Just Because!

While out shopping for presents (i tend to give what i would like) i couldn't resist buying this for myself.



Full of advice and wonderful quotes!

"The best place to seek God is in the Garden. You can dig for him there."
George Bernard Shaw      (1856-1950)

" Life begins the day you start a Garden"   Chinese Proverb


Happy gardening / reading
                                                                              

Monday, 21 November 2011

GARLIC HARVEST

Garlic is my favorite of all vegetables and fruit to grow.

I enjoy every aspect of growing it , getting the soil ready for planting , dividing the cloves and pushing them into the soil.
Seeing the first shoots break through, watching them grow, standing tall with early morning frost.
Waiting for the perfect conditions to harvest and then spending the day pulling, laying them out to dry and then hanging bunches to dry.


                                                           The Girls Help                                                         

I first grew just small amount from cloves given to me by a friend but soon realised if i wanted to have enough to last a year and some to give away i needed to get serious.
In 2007 I brought Heronswood certified organic cloves of different varieties to see which would grow and taste the best.

 Soft Pink , Oriental purple, NZ varieties white and purple.



                                                                        New shoots                              

My first harvest, was very successful and i was able to keep cloves(stored hanging up in a dark shed) for the following years planting.

Unfortunately over the years i have forgotten which garlic is which,  i still have purple and white and they both grow well.
I have found the best conditions to harvest is late November after a couple of dry/windy days and on a day which is going to be warm and sunny but not too hot.
I pull them in the morning, shake off any excess soil and then lay out to dry in the sun, later in the afternoon I hang them in bunches in the shed and when i have time i plait up some for Xmas presents for friends and family.




                                                                            




This year, Sunday 20th was perfect to harvest.
First meal with newly harvested garlic was potato pieces, whole garlic cloves roasted in olive oil and fresh rosemary.

What's your favorite meal with garlic?

Hey there's lots of harvesting over at Daphne's Dandelions why not take a peek!!!!









Thursday, 10 November 2011

7 week Challenge

 Well here it goes............. Finish "THE" Stone Wall around the Veggie Garden.

In one of my earlier posts I spoke about finishing projects one of which I started 6 years ago! well you can't rush things if you want a good job done I've been telling myself !!

So this last week I have started , firstly with some photos so you can see all the hard work and sweat that's going on.

Why i planted this horrible wormwood I'll never know but it had to go so you can actually see the wall.


Lots of hard work swinging the maddock until i realised i could just use my body weight and jump on the branches and they easily broke, hey I'm not that big !!


Now you can see the wall and rocks (1 wheelbarrow load) collected from around the rocky paddocks.
My kind husband helped me collect a 1/2 ute load and I'm on my way................







  I did consult a few books before starting but mostly followed the way they existing walls on the property have been constructed. Large rocks form the base then rocks are overlapped and placed slightly leaning in towards center lots of little rocks are used to fill in center and any other holes.

Did you notice the mini horse in the background sneaking some of my lucerne mulch which is for the garden?


This is one side of the wall


And this is the other side and as you can see there is a lot more rocks to be collected, any offers of help?? those who need their finger nails need not apply!!!

The other two sides of the veggie garden fence will stay as they are, part of the original chicken wire fence.                                                                              

Sunday, 6 November 2011

My Place and Yours.

Joining with Vic at My Place and Yours for this weeks meme "My favorite Piece of Clothing".




Only brought these last week but just love wearing them whilst in the garden!

 I do have quite a selection of gardening footwear, gumboots with green frogs, black gumboots and pull-on safety boots for the heavy work.
I keep these by the back door so i can just slip them on for my early morning walks around the garden with my cup tea/toast. No more dirty slippers as i usually end up digging away in the garden!!!
They are very comfy and clean up with a quick hose down .

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Simple Mondays

Today I'm joining along with Barbara and her Simple Monday theme which is always a joy to read.

Its the simple things in life which can sometimes bring you the most happiness and contentment ,
sharing a cup of tea with a friend, reading a book,(finding the time to read it) spring cleaning the house, finishing a project (however small) or receiving a cup of tea in bed. ( you can tell I like a cuppa)

I find smells can trigger simple joys and memories.
 Mint brings back wonderful memories of holidays at the seaside as a young girl, camping in the old bungalow in grandma's backyard, playing with my sisters & brother , climbing down rocky paths to the sea below,
finding treasure's in the sand, shells and driftwood.
At night the smell of mint growing along the bungalow walls would drift in through the window on the sea breeze..................

A mint bush planted on the edge of a path in the veggie path is a daily reminder of special times!!

                                                                           
While in Italy I was given beautiful Shampoo and soaps made with organic Olio Di Oliva  (olive oil)
and once a week I wash my hair and remember the smells and experiences of my exciting trip only such a short time ago!!!

What smells bring to you a special memory?

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Garden Tales

                                     


                                                                       
This last week I've had a wonderful productive time in my Veggie Garden.

First started with general weed and clean-up and trim of all silver beet, rocket and parsley plants starting to bolt, when I had a huge wheelbarrow full I then dumped it all in the chook-pen and sent the girls into a frenzy!!
Next any spare sections of garden beds were then dug over and compost added.
Next step was to check my garden diary, I started this diary in 2004 to record all garden beds and what I planted in them each season, remembering to rotate crops with one bed sown with a green manure crop. (forgot this year)
I also record rainfall, temperature and dates of crops sown and when produce is harvested and ways of harvesting, eg Garlic, over the years I've been able to work out the best time to plant cloves and when too pull them and dry them with the least amount of loss.
Notes and recipes from friends and items of interest from magazines, blogs and the Weekly Times are also scribbled in where they can fit.
Final Step was to write down which crops are now ready to sow and into which beds, seed packets sorted and then seeds finally planted.

Sunflowers                Corn                   Bush Beans
Climbing Beans          Butter Beans         Perpetual Spinach
Lettuce Cos Verdi
         Little Gem
         Rossa Di Trento
Zucchino Romaneso     Cucumber             Basil
Tomato Yellow Pear                             Capsicum Patio Red
          Mortgage Lifter


Whats been harvested this week:
Asparagus                      Red Onions       Dill
Spinach                         Silver beet         Oregano
Parsley                         Chives              Kale 2 varieties
Broad Beans                  Lettuce 4 varieties

Whats growing along nicely:
Potatoes              Artichoke             Cabbage
Carrots               Beetroot              Rhubarb
White & Red Onions
lettuce seedlings
Tomato seedlings Self sown ?

Whats soon to be harvested:
Large crop of Garlic


                                   
          Alfred came along to work with me one day but the weeding was just too much for him !!



                                                                              

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A Simple Treasure

I love coming upon a fellow blogger with lots of passion and ideas and recently was inspired to join along with Punky & Me http://punkysmamma.blogspot.com/2011/10/my-place-and-yours.html.

I know I'm scraping it in on the last day but would love to share a very simple item that i treasure.




This pincushion was made as a sampler by Marjorie my mother in law (shes 85) mother Eva, along with a needle card. 
Eva travelled by ship from America to Australia with her husband to start their new life together. 




Eva also brought along her special quilting sewing box this had travelled to many quilting days, there is even a built in shelf to rest your work upon if needed.
Many of the cottons left are woodon reels and are used now on my special projects.

A much loved treasure which i will to pass onto my daughters in the future.  
                                                                                                                                                            

Monday, 24 October 2011

Something Blue

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue !! and maybe something I haven't revealed before!!

I confess, I have an addiction which I do keep under control MOST of the time, but when I see something old that has been made by hand I can't resist!! and I rescue, barter, swap, beg (not often) or buy it . These items can range from a simple wooden handle bread knife, a hand embroidered supper cloth or to this latest find!!

                                           





I just love the cotton-reel handle and its sits in our barn (future studio when I retire) like it was made to fit.
                                                                              
                    

                                                                                     

Now this cute little fellow, Alfred is the new addition to our family and already has caught his first bunny and alerted us to a brown snake
                                                                                 


I also like to borrow other peoples ideas and isn't this a great one to protect growing seedings!!

                                                                                                                                                                    


                                  Favorite Color Blue!