Monday, May 25, 2009

7 months 3 weeks

My reward for a busy day's work was to plant some of our new additions in "the orchard".
Although I know our place is small I feel its "biggness" when I'm in it everyday.
Then I take some photos and realise how small it truly is. It's just a matter of perspective.
Anyway thought I would update the blog with our progress so far.

March 2009

May 2009

"The Orchard" October 2008

"The Orchard" May 2009
10 fruit trees,2 grapes,a pumpkin,sweet potato and a Cape Gooseberry

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The new additions

The weekend has brought 6 new additions to our little farm.

A Lots a lemon
Sundowner Apple
Sensation Pear
Kosui Nashi
Red Currant

The "orchard" is nearly finished and just requires these new additions to be put in the ground and strawberries to be planted as the living mulch.

We had a massive storm that hit last week that has stripped most of the trees of their leaves. I sat by the window and ohhed and ahhed as I watched them get thrown about. Nothing like your babies being outside in a storm to make you a little edgy. Luckily though it sees that none have suffered any permanent damage.

Will take photos shortly of the new additions and post about the lilly pilly jam I currently have cooking on the stove.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Listened: to the rain pelting on the rooftop (first real rain all year)
Stressed: about the newly painted chook house sitting out in said rain
Harvested: rain
Transplanted: silverbeet, sugar bowl cabbage and brocolli seedlings
Saved: seeds from the butternut pumpkin and Tommy Toe tomatoes
Relocated: raised garden bed number two and the gazebo
Loved: my husband for being so helpful
Danced: to the Bananas in Pyjamas with my two year old music class
Pounced: to Trepak with my three year old music class
Laughed : when my 35 year old friend got hit on my by the 17 year old deli boy
Ate: homemade cinnamon scrolls
Smiled: well wouldn't you after a day like that.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's the little things

Since my garden is so new I still have long periods of watching and waiting. So it makes my day when I go for my morning wander and spot these little things making there way into the world.

Cape Gooseberry

Pepino: Cameron's Apple

Butternut Pumpkin

Swiss Chard

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Zero Waste Meal

It all started with a call from my girlfriend asking if I had any sundried tomato pesto. No I said but we could make some, I have tonnes of basil.
After a quick search online we found this recipe and she was soon on my doorstop to harvest some basil. Well that got me thinking about dinner and the idea of potato gnocchi and sundried tomato pesto. Having never made gnocchi before and an extremely hectic day (that's Tuesday)I embarked upon the challenge.
When my girlfriends son arrived after school with a half jar of the homemade pesto I was already roasting the potatos for the gnocchi.
While I was peeling the roasted potatoes a thought occurred to me. Why not make some wedges type things out of the peels(they still had a small amount of potato sticking to them). So I sprinkled them with olive oil and seasoning and put them back into the oven to crisp up.
I pureed the last of the summer's cherry tomatoes and heated it through with a few spoonfuls of the pesto and served over the gnocchi with the crispy skins.
Voila a completely no waste meal.

Spring Valley Orchard

On Saturday my family and 5 others spent the day at Spring Valley Orchard just south of Donnybrook in WA. It is a pick your own orchard that I found on someone's blog (man I wish I could remember who you were.
Diana and Geoff Robb were the most gracious of hosts taking us for a tour of their beautiful piece of land. There were 13 children in our group and I don't think there was a minute that they sat still,though maybe for a second while they ate lunch.
Diana was a wealth of knowledge and showed the kids the lamb, fish, chicken house, vegie garden and a walk around the whole 32 acre property.
We stopped at the vegie patch to pick fresh tomatoes and cape gooseberries as well as bandicoot some potatoes to have with lunch. We enjoyed a sausage sizzle lunch with homemade plum fizz to drink.
After lunch we explored the property and saw the dam. The kids were in heaven. Then we walked back to the house through the orchard.
Spring Valley has 2500 apples trees (Pink Lady's and Sundowner) They also have a couple hundred plum trees.
Once back the children got a paper lined bucket each and set to work picking some apples for us to take home. What a joy to see these kids out on the fresh air picking the food they loved so much and talking excitedly about size, shape, insects and other tree issues.
After a divine afternoon tea of ice cream with homemade chocolate and caramel sauce we got to watch the original apple sorting machine in action as the kids loaded their apples into the machine and ran excitedly to see which barrel their apples would end up in.
We all returned home tired and exhilarated about our day on the farm.
All I can say is wow what a day. My dream of acreage has just been boosted to no end.
Thank you so much Diana and Geoff (and Jessie) we all had a day to remember.
If you would like to visit Spring Valley Orchard give them a buzz it truely is worth it.

A row of Pink Lady apples ready to pick

Old meets new as the need to be connected to the world sits on a piece of history.

Apples heading up to the sorting level.

Divine countryside!

Picking tomatoes for lunch

Friday, May 8, 2009

Real Mother's Day Presents

On the home front...
There is nothing like vomit to remind you that you are a mother. Today both my boys presented me with this prestigious gift. Ahh happy mother's day to me :)
On the garden front...
Things have been quiet. We have had a rather sad week with the news that my step mum has breast cancer and my brother's farewell as he joins the Australian Troops to fight the war in the middle east. A very reflective week on what is truly important in life. The garden, the little trouper that it is, has just continued on in my absence...though I was never really very far.
Today was a tidy up day.I pulled down the tomato wall and hung the remaining plants upside down to get the last of the tomatoes. I also had to fix the retic, i was hoping to wait until spring but with no rain in sight i still need to rely on it.
The chicken coop is slowly moving forward but hubby has been out of action all week recovering from a procedure. I have discovered that I am actually very handy with a mitre saw and a drill. Another skill for when we move to the big farm.
On the food front...
I pulled my first full sized carrots...what a joy! It still surprises me that this food comes from my garden.It just makes me want to grow more and more. We are constantly snacking on peas and eyeing the Chinese Cabbage for our chance to attack them.

Let's hope the rain falls soon and I can find some time for some real gardening..I'm thinking some more beds are required!!

So with the week I've had I'm very grateful to have received the gifts of my health, my safety,my children and my garden.

It truly will be a wonderful Mother's Day!!

The roost goes in and laying boxes formed

Next step is the handles so then we can move it around the garden

I know not a glamorous magazine shot but more important than any carrot I have ever eaten.