Monday, 20 March 2017

Bruised and Battered!

We have taken a bit of a beating here lately. After my last blog we have had a good spell of wild winds and rain. Lots of rain. Measuring from my rain gauge we have had over 200ml. With that has come some seriously muddy play for the kids and mess for me! Plus the garden has had most of its leaves either blown off, burnt by the wind or have turned into a soggy mess. Its quite sad to see all the hard work you put in only to see mother nature destroy it. I can imagine how the farmers out there who rely on the production of food suffer from extreme weather conditions. I think I almost need to just pull out most of it and start again. Thankfully its a change in season and most of it will kind of finish up soon anyway. It is still disheartening though. I also planted a heap of winter seeds and have a few nice seedlings coming along to plant out when the weather fairs up a bit. Yesterday I picked my first cluster of bananas and they are ripening very quickly, so we are eating bananas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I may be a bit biased, but they are the best bananas I have ever tasted!!!

I have not been doing much else otherwise or in the kitchen apart from the usual day to day cooking as I am a little obsessed with watching Outlander - apdapted from the series of books by Diana Gabaldon (/ .... I also think I might end up reading the books as soon as I finish watching the second season as the next season doesn't come out until September and I don't think I can wait that long to find out all that happens. Have you seen or read this series? I sometimes think I was meant to live in another era, all that is past fascinates me. I love the life of the land, the clothes, the talk and the social gatherings. A dreamer perhaps.

And now I must attend to all the weeds and soggy plants I have pulled out on my morning inspection amongst the break in the rain and put them in the compost or green bin. Have you too been affected by some crazy weather of late? Talk soon, C xx

Banana tree blown over in the wind.

Glorious bananas picked from above tree after it blew over.

Chilli plants stripped of their leaves.

Choko and horseradish hanging onto life.

One of many puddles around the home.

Soggy Zucchini plants.

Okra, I will leave these surviving fruit on to save the seeds and try again next year.

Baby beans on the way out.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Hello again.

Well it has been a while! I have attempted to write numerous times just in this last week and am only finally finding a little time to quickly get something out there to you all. Hello again! It has been an extraordinary last few months with some crazy weather, heaps of family outings, lots of failed gardening attempts, trying new recipes and lots of running/socialising. So I have been busy and not just lazy.... 

The garden has proven to me again that each year is different and it is always time to learn something new. This growing season has been completely different to last year with some extreme heat and a lot of suffering from plants that would have otherwise thrived. What provided an abundance last year was barely able to give me a couple of less than lovely vegetables this year. Cucumbers in particular were the most devastatingly affected and the one which we eat lots of, so I was sad that I had to continue to buy these from the store. I also had a battle with the grasshoppers and they won! Being organic, the method I tend to use mostly is my hands. I collect the pests and give them to my chickens as treats. This year the grasshoppers were just too many and no matter how many I collected there always seemed to be double the amount the next day. I think they liked the hot weather. I am still managing to introduce lots of interesting and new vegetables into the garden and our diet, even though the kids are not too keen on some of them. I will just stick at it and hope that as they get older they will appreciate the good stuff so much more.

On a personal note, as you know from before my break I was feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed by it all. Having had a little time off from the pressures of life (mostly placed by me!) and really taking some time to do things for myself I have come out the other side blissfully rejuvenated and loving each day. I must mention all the amazing new (and old) running buddies that have become part of my life and the runs I look forward to just to see them all, old friendships renewed that really will stand the test of time and of course my amazing husband, that knows more than anyone, is still sticking around and me without him would just not be! Cheers and talk soon xx

My 3rd picking of rhubarb this season.

Our surfing scare crow.

My bitty baby pineapple plant.
The most obnoxious of our chickens - Maisie.

Passionfruit seedlings.

Protea grown from seed, which since this photo is not doing so well with a beating from the wind.

Okra and its beautiful flower.

Green snake beans on the climb.

Shallot central.

These buggers have had a field day this summer. I officially hate grasshoppers!

My second banana cluster.

Ginger with a few stray turmerics.

An abundance of turmeric.

Oregano which I pulled a small piece from a park and gave it a new home here has gone nuts.

Choko and horseradish up the back.

A couple of my heirloom watermelons.

A tumbling mass of butter beans, sweet potato, tomato, lima beans, rhubarb and lemongrass.

Baby cabbage growing in the shade.

Our first dragonfruit of the season, I counted another 16 on the vine.

The red mud mess that is yet to be concreted.

Zinnia and Borage flower, great for attracting beneficial bugs.

My Ganesha - New beginnings and the removal of obstacles.
I love these little blue and white bottles.

Adding to my chicken collection.

Gorgeous spaghetti squash noodles.

Chillies and more chillies.
Rhubarb in the pot.

Making Kombucha.


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