Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wheel Barrow Conversion





Last week end on my daily walk to get the paper, I went past a house across the road only 5 blocks up from my home to see a garage sale was on. Not one to refuse a look to see if there any decent gardening gear.

I have lived here for 16 years now and I am pretty sure the person in that house has been here the entire time. I have never seen him. He was elderly, they lawn was always cut, the place tiny and neat, the men's shed HUGE, so I assume he spend most of the time in that.

All the people manning the sale looked to be in their 60's-70's and I hesitantly asked what happened to the man.

He had passed away. I guilty left feeling like the worst neighbour ever, how is it possible to not even talk to your neighbour, to not have clue who they are for 16 years?

I have no idea, I have walked past that house I would estimate well over 80,000 times as I walk twice a day usually past there. I never can recall seeing him. As I left the sale I passed a broken down wheelbarrow, I asked and found it could be mine for as little as $5. I rushed home got my money rushed back and toddled home with a wheelbarrow that bumped every turn of the wheel.

This is what I did with it and put out the front of my home to honour the nameless man from small house up the road, a kindred soul who also liked to garden in his backyard anyway. May you rest in peace. I wish I'd had the chance to at least say g'day.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

School Garden Planting











Today we had our fruit tree planting day and as a nice touch one of the teachers had brought some pansies to put around some of the older more established trees, we had our normal crew of year 4 kids in the Environmental group and also some older grade 6 helpers.

We were lucky in that its been pouring the past few days but the rain held off for pretty much the entire 2 hours we planted so here is what we put in the Orchard area:

1 x Royal Gala Apple Tree
1 x Golden Delicious Apple Tree
1 x Granny Smith Apple Tree
1 x Josephine Pear Tree
1 x Mariposa Plum Tree
1 x Satsuma Plum Tree
1 x Flavourcrest Peach Tree
1 x Preston Prolific Fig

We also planted in another area as feature trees;

1 x Moorpark Apricot
1 x Hick Fancy Red Mulberry

The soil was shocking, just pure clay probably pushed over to the site from building works years prior, so the school brought in a soil compost mix which we added to the soil. We staked with wooden stakes and stabilised the trees wit hot pink string, then raked over and added straw to the base of the trees

I have also included some pictures of the school veggie garden, it's looking awesome, some plant's I donated and notice they are growing so much better than my own in my veggie garden planted at pretty much the same time! Just that collective green gardening thumbs of the kids and their spirit that goes into gardening and planting I am sure makes them grow better.

They are using no chemicals on the garden so they are pretty much organic and just look incredibly healthy, so please enjoy I have loved working with this garden and hope we can continue to add more sustainable trees and area's for the kids to enjoy being around nature. :)

Winter 2012










I have been very remiss in updating my blog of late but very busy at my massage work, my Philosophy Course, book clubs and attending children's sports! I am also advising my sons Primary School - just as a help to the 2 teachers that run it on Environmental Studies. We have planted out the School veggie garden too with donations from many, although I do note the plants I donated are doing so much better tin the school garden than my own - I feel from community spirit of the children attending to the gardens! We have started a Worm farm from old re used boxes and started a compost and its all coming along well but tomorrow we plant a whole Orchard with 10 fruit trees, if the school allows I shall do a blog page on that also. Also been spending a lot of much deserved time in the garden, and loving it! We have 5 new veggie beds which we made with left over bricks that were stored in the paddock and wooden beams. They are all planted out we were able to fill with compost from the compost beds and only one sat a little low until a friend came over unasked and kindly gave us 6 bags of rotten down bunny poo that had turned into the most delicious compost!

So now all the veggie beds are fully planted out and we are growing this Winter: Rocket, Kale, Pak Choy, Bok Choy, Garlic, Potato's, Spinach, Carrots, Broad Beans, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Potato Onions, Snow Pea's and Red Onions. I may have missed a few things!

I have also added a Mulberry tree to the Orchard today, cannot wait to get some tasty berries, hoping I have planted far enough away from the washing line for those pesky birds that may decide to taste!

Will begin planting seeds in the glasshouses soon,you may remember we were planting in polystyrene boxes with glass sheets over the top. I stored these right next to my chicken run and apparently polystyrene is like chocolate to chickens as they have eaten the entire side to the box!

On that note 2 chickens are laying this year - YAY as we have had to buy eggs for months now, glad they are earning their keep again!

Thank you for reading hope you enjoy the pictures. :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Talbot Market and the Herb bed






Today I took the teen to the Talbot Market, & how I love that term and being the parent of a teenager for one whole week!!

It was a gorgeous day here in Ballarat and I had heard there was a lady there that had organic seeds (Green Circle Organics) and the food there is divine so after only hearing the night before that it was on we made an inpromteu decision to go.

Didn't regret it one bit! I brought a some treats for the family - A belt for hubby after sizing up a slightly overweight man and asking him his size so I could work out hubbies ;) a wallet as hubbies has also seen better days. A couple of pkts of Pokemon cards for the boys - that is the latest phase, some Yellowbox honey, a Jade plant, some chocolate liquorice - well you do need sustenance, a Curry plant, a French Sorrell plant, Garlic Chive seedlings, Cauliflowers seedins, Pak Choy and Asian veggies seedlings & Kale and Jade Plant (brings good luck) and so many seeds I will need to list!

Garlic Chives
Kale
Cauliflower
Cabbage - Red
Red Onion
Mizuna
Pak Choy
Endive,
Sunflowers
Sweet Pea

I have planted the Endive, Garlic Chives & Mizuna in pots, most of the seeds bar the Spring ones like Sunflowers in the new and exciting glasshouse beds and the seedlings in the actual veggie garden, even though it isn't really the right time to plant by the lunar planting guide. So feel a bit guilty about that! We had an awesome day though, I love these special moments with the one child and we had a lovely Cafe style lunch and scones and creme with a Latte, a must on these occasions I feel.... :) Hope everyone else had as wonderful a weekend as I did!!! I have also taken a photo of the herb garden bed in the trough it's coming along really well with Coriander there, Parsley and Basil, all looking very healthy!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mini Hot Houses & Autumn happenings





Sorry I haven't had much time to post of late, work has been flat out, however after a lovely evening walk while Ken was putting together a desk for one of my boys we I snuck out to the garden and make some hot houses. I usually use the Bunnings brought greenhouses to grow my seeds, but they don't last I don't really mind a couple of years use and then use the frames to hold the seedling trays however last year it was 4 months use before the plastic tore in a storm so the whole thing was useless and this year decided to take some valuable advise from the Ballarat Permaculture Facebook people and built my own! I got the idea from a link given to me by them;

http://www.urbanfoodgarden.org/main/seed-planting-and-propagation/seedlings/styrofoam-propagation-box-advantages-disadvantages.htm

I have been to a talk by John a few years ago and a tour of his garden and did see these boxes but had forgotten so really excited to finally get a chance to use them. I collected 6 boxes years ago to do this, then promptly forgot the whole concept and they sat in the corner of the shed un-used. I am going to plant some Pak Choy, Bok, Choy, Broccoli and Cauliflower seeds, and off to browse my Phoenix seeds catalogue that arrived this week for more seeds. You will notice in teh pictures it's light and quickly gets dark, I was determined to get this part of the houses finished so I can plant on the weekend!

This week end hoping to plant some see dings - Broccoli, Sprouts and Cauliflower too, and maybe some Winter Lettuce. The beds have all had a good dose of manure and been turned over so ready for planting now. Have my last bed of Corn ready to pick -it not really that yellow though, I am unsure what that means hopefully it's still edible though.

Also have an exciting project coming up, we will re fence the chook pen and regain some garden back to be used for a tank and another 2 veggie beds. Stay tuned....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Berry time :)




I love berries and am happy to pay for them when in season although its wonderful to grow your own! Once again this year I have been picking berries Black this time as unfortunately there is a creature taking my Strawberries, it is unfortunately as my son planted them and was looking forward to them! So this weekend in between working as I have had a flood of clients all wanting Massage this week my middle son and myself got busy picking Blackberries and later in the evening I got busy making a creating with those and some brought berries :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

From the garden to table




Very excited to see some vegies finally growing in the garden beds. We have Zucchini, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Onions all harvested but we are still using them, some Lettuce, and Potato's which didn't do too well although I have been able to harvest some for a soup I made. Recently we didn't get too much time to get down to the shops, we run 5 plus businesses from this house Kens 3 my 2 plus Jordan's new venture will I will blog about in the future, so sometimes things get very, very hectic around here.

I have some pictures of a meal we made on the day to prevent a last minute dash to the shops and it was delicious - please enjoy the pictures.The Slap up soup recipe is as follows;Handful of Zucchini.Few Potato's.Few onions.Some water to cover.1 litre of stockCook altogether and then mulch up with a stick blender - enjoy

Resolutions 2012

I have just been reading over last years resolutions and am quiet amazed at how many I didn't achieve and how much they have changed for this year! The things I did not do were complete 3 fun runs - in fact I didn't complete any! I possibly became more unfit although I did lose 6 kgs I rapidly gained 4 back around Xmas 2011. I didn't go on many day dates with Ken although we did get quiet a good walking routine up through Winter - they always ended with a coffee though so not so sure how much they helped with weight loss! Going on the kayak more - I didn't seem to achieve this much either but we have been on an average weekly paddle over the school holidays. I did manage to get back to Fernwood regularly, but now I am now using my gym quipment at home and finding it's too busy with massage work and kisd schedules to be going an extra 3 times a week doing weights. So thought I would continue there but concentrte on Zumba, Bike class for when i am not riding in Winter and maybe some Yoga there and also re-start my Yoga at Absolute once DLS end as its too hard doing mcuh in teh evenings when Rylans medicatio wears off. No Ken didn't get the snip either not my fault though he won't go and see the specialist so there's another resolution down the drain! 2011 was am amazingly hard year. I think I grieved for about a year for the last little baby we lost in November 2010. Rylan was diagnosed and susequently was put on medication which was the answer to our prayers but the meds do wear off and life is still difficult at times. I am looking forward to 2012 and some special moments! After all the best moments are the ones we are in RIGHT NOW! :)

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