Tuesday, December 29, 2009

End of the year

Sorry for the long absence but you know what the end of the year is like. Add to the fact that hubby and I were able to get away to Bali alone for 5 days and well the year is over.
So here is how the garden stands at the end of 2009. Way less plants then I hoped but plans and actions for a blasting start to 2010.

Heirloom Pumpkin I think it is a Red Kuri.

Black Beauty Zucchini

I want to:
Install 6, 2 by 1 m wicking raised beds
Solar pergola down the east side of the house
Add another layer of soil conditioner,manure and mulch to the whole garden
Re-engineer the reticulation system
Create an outdoor shower,bali themed tropical food forest, jungle down the dead side of the house including an aquaculture setup.
Alfresco area with cob oven,outdoor kitchen and space to hang my hammock.

Nothing too major right???? We all have to have dreams.
We will work on one project at a time and keep you informed.

Till 2010, happy gardening!!

The good, the bad and the plain ugly.Garden beds still bare...sigh!

Seedlings to fill beds

Happy New year Honey and Soy!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009


The colour in a spring garden is glorious after months of only green.

English Mulberry



Globe Artichoke


Purple Podded Peas

Sage Flowers

Friday, October 16, 2009

Is anyone out there?

I have a large number of blogs that I visit and granted I don't comment on them all but I was wondering today if anyone out there is actually reading this or if it's for my own entertainment. Not that I really mind I just wanted to share with others and think maybe the others out there are just my imaginary friends. If you have a moment let me know you are there,I like friends.

Red Centred Lime

Donut Peach

Anyway Spring is officially here.Today was a glorious day filled with music lessons, sports carnivals in the sun and freshly baked bread. Lots of eager plants are awaiting their transfer into the big garden beds and we are starting to pick food daily from our garden.(Granted the kids eat it before they leave for school but I am not complaining about children that get disappointed that there is not enough peas )

The weekend will probably involve some more paving,gardening and taxi-ing but hey that is what being alive is all about.
Have a great weekend and enjoy the sunshine if you are lucky enough to have some.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oh Ok then

Well since I found the time to write that I would find the time I thought a quick update wouldn't hurt.

Currently Eating

Frizzle Lettuce
Cape Gooseberries
Sugar Snap Peas
Broad Beans
White Star Potatoes

"Honey" our mixed bantam getting cuddles from Roh.

Currently Growing
The above plus
Black and Red Kale
Purple Podded Peas
Sweet Potato
Sugar loaf Cabbages
Edible flowers
Plus what's slowly developing on the trees

The joy of springtime Strawberries...there are never enough!

Currently in seed trays
Fat Bastard Asparagus
Lazy Housewife Bean
Mini Cabbages
Sweet and Striped Cucumbers
Bull's Blood Beetroot
Baby Cos Lettuce
Mixed Heirloom Pumpkins
Mixed Heirloom Tomatoes
Gem Squash
Stars and Moon Watermelon
Black Beauty Zucchini
Mini white cucumber

and last but not least....

Happy Birthday Baby Boy! Pace shares his birthday cake with his older brothers.(Lala was away)


I am still here. So much is happening and although I have taken tonnes of photos I have not had the time to upload and share them. Maybe once school has gone back I will allocate myself a day. Until then hello and happy gardening!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Welcome Spring!

or at least I will when it arrives.

Oh well at least the new plants that went in yesterday will be happy.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sustainable Schools

I had the pleasure of spending the weekend at the annual WACSSO (Western Australian Council of State School Organisations) conference. We were privileged to hear from many excellent keynote speakers but the ones that stood out to me were those from Sustainable Schools. Environmentally two schools stood out a mile with their innovative and environmental focus to schooling.
Australind Senior High School used a vacant piece of grass and transformed it into an Earth Garden complete with chickens, worm farms and outside classroom. Senior students completed brick laying courses at the local TAFE to built the raised garden beds and students from the Home Economics rooms located next door harvest and cook with the produce. Really what could be better,
Harmony Primary School in Atwell, a school close to my heart, has recently increased their growing space with the addition of 7 aquaponics grow beds with 150 Rainbow Trout in the winter and barramundi in the Summer.
These students are responsible for maintenance, promoting and selling of their harvest and livestock. They are also a WA pilot school for the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Gardens Scheme.

I also heard stories from around my table of other schools that are on this sustainable path.
What a fabulous resource for our children. This truly is the future and hopefully these children take their skills home and plant in their own garden and inspire their parents.

As Richard Joyce from Friends of the Earth said " It is too late to leave it up to our children, that was thirty years ago.We need to be making the changes for them."

An inspiring weekend and one that has increased my desire to see this happen at my own school.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

If everything grew this big

"That's either one big leaf or one small boy" quoted from Phil.

It's both although the small boy is about to turn 5.

This has been my first attempt at growing rhubarb and I think for gardener ego boosting it is a keeper. It's such a shame the leaves are poisonous because they are so impressive. Another plus was the fact it made the most delicious rhubarb pie. This was my first attempt at handmade pastry, yummy but still needs work. Can't wait to try it with the mulberries.

Inspiration and challenge

It's early morning and I'm lying in bed with the new (gifted) laptop. The house is silent except for the tap of the keys and the dog snoring softly below me. What am i doing up? I'm gaining inspiration. This is my time to disappear into the wonderful world of bloggers.If you look you will see I have an extensive list of blogs I follow, and follow them i do.Everyday I open their pages and dive into their worlds, their gardens, their crafts. These are my mentors, my inspiration and, although it might sound sad, my friends I just haven't met yet.It all started with the Notebook story on Ally and Rich from Happy Earth. After sending them an email Ally suggested I start blogging our journey. Literally that day the You tube video was created and the blog began soon afterward.I don't kid myself that is anywhere up to the standards of say Little Homestead but it has already provided a journal of our nearly first year. Then two days ago I read a post from the Simple Green Frugal Blog.They were looking for new writers. What a great opportunity. However they had three stipulations, blogging for a year (not quite), blogging at least 3 to 4 times a week (not currently) and provide them with two entries a month (achievable). So now the challenge has extended. Not only do my list of blogs provide simple living inspiration they will now be the stepping blocks for my blog writing. Maybe by next year I will be able to fulfill all the requirements. Until then I will live in the gardens of others, will learn from their success and failures. I will continue to move my life in a direction that is gentle on the planet and uplifting to the soul and I will blog about it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

slowly but surely

Little by little the garden is coming back to life.
I wish the gap between the super hot and the cold had been longer and I had more time to plant winter veg because it is only now that I am harvesting again after what seems like a very long time.

In the past week I have harvested 5 Pepinos. 2 Chinese cabbages and a few cape gooseberries.
The gooseberries didn't have a chance of being photographed as they headed straight for my mouth.

Slowly but surely spring is coming...I can't wait!

Self seeded Basil pushing its way up.

Dwarf Sugar snap peas

Gorgeous Mulberry, can't wait for this years pickings


Chinese Cabbage weighing 2 kgs after the outside leaves were fed to the chooks.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Part 4 : Garden update

Well as we reach the 10 month mark I thought I would give you an update of the garden.
I took the photos from outside the fence this time to give you an idea of the space of our garden.
With the entire parcel of land at just over 400 m2 in total the garden is very small scale but is already proving to be very productive.
I have started sowing seeds in trays to out in as soon as the ground warms up. Can't wait to start the spring planting and watch the trees come back to life.

Part 3 : Casa De la Chook

It's finally finished. The chicks are now outside in their two storey chicken coop.
It requires some final paint to make it look swish but functionally it's all done.
The chicks spent last night in their new digs and seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.
Now we just need to teach the Barnie how to climb the stairs.

It makes a wonderful addition to our garden.

Nestled snuggly in the front yard to show the community that its possible to do a lot with a small piece of land.

Pace gives it the final inspection

Nesting Box

Part 2 : A Simple Meal

I love it when I can take produce from my garden and that of others and make up a simple wholesome meal.
After receiving some pumpkins from a friend and combining it with my last one I made a lovely pumpkin soup with homemade bread.
The joy was doubled when a friend needed a meal for her family because she was ill and I got to share the joy.
I don't follow a recipe anymore and just go by feel but basically it's ;
2 onions cooked in butter
add boiling water and vegeta or vegetable stock
pile in the pumpkin (i used butternut)
simmer until soft and then puree
There is no need for cream as it is buttery from the onions.
I served it with artisan bread in five minutes.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Catch Up Mayhem Part 1 Green Loan

Well with the school holidays and returning to work I have been away from my blog.
So the catch up begins with our Green Loan Home Assessment that took place yesterday.
Our lovely assessor Chris took a thorough look at our house and our energy use and had lots of great tips. What a great resource.Talk about eye opening. We went through every room and estimated the frequency of use of every and I mean every switch,light and appliance in the house.
We anxiously await our report so that we can see exactly where we can improve our energy use.We had some great conversations about gardening and products available.
To follow up he sent me some great links about aquaponics and wicking garden beds that I would love to implement.
I recommend that everyone gets an assessment even if you are not planning on taking out a loan.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Waste Free Week

Well today was to be the beginning of waste free week,where we tried to create zero landfill waste for the week.Well within 5 minutes of waking I discovered that this challenge was going to require a lot more research and preparation before just diving in.
Firstly I awoke to the plastic insides of the cereal boxes as the kids finished the cereal this morning, hmm first obstacle.
Solution: buy cereal from the bulk food place in town and take my own containers.
Secondly a deliver of clothes from a party I had a week ago wrapped in a large plastic delivery bag and each piece of clothing individually wrapped in plastic.
Solution: a) don't buy from this company again
b) ask specifically to have my garments sent unwrapped or at least wrapped in one bag only (not sure this would happen)
Thirdly: the kids went to the deli so buy themselves a treat. Bubblegum!! The paper looks like it might biodegrade but the out wrapper and actual gum i am not sure about.
Solution: research recyclability of bubblegum and educate the kids on making other choices that are more environmentally friendly.
Fourthly (phew) nappies!!! Now I have a huge stack of cloth that I have gotten slack about using so I washed and prepared them all yesterday and have them on him today but I still have last nights nappies to deal with. Granted they are envrionmentally friendly nappies but I am sure they will still create waste. Will look on their website for more details.

All this and only 11 am. So some changes to make already. I guess this is the point, to learn and then to make the choice to change.
Maybe we will call this week waste free training week!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Simple Home Audit

Rhonda over at down-to-earth has challenged us this coming week to do a home audit. After the whole clothes dryer discussion I am feeling like I really need to put things back in perspective. Only half a year left and time to follow through on those New Years Resolutions and prepare for the growing season.
You can find Rhonda's daily audit on her site and I will post my results here.