Trying a Bit of Permaculture!

Eggs!! I think a skink and I HOPE not spider!! haha

Well… it was about time I got back into my rock-wall garden and started making something happen!

I’d like to know who the colossal idiot was that buried three barrels of cement here. I’d like a word with them!!

Stage one. Have decided to outline this plot against the barrels and run a pathway over the top of them since we can’t move them without serious machinery and we can’t plant on top of them.  I have this grand idea of a little boardwalk. Currently convincing Jeff what a fabulous idea that is!

Anyway – layer one – thick newspaper, thoroughly wet down.

Then a layer of hay. Yes yes… I am going to totally regret this, but no budget for buying straw right now. I am figuring to pull up any weeds as soon as they show themselves and hope for the best.

I was really pleased to then be able to make use of that compost I have been putting together – for a lot of last year. There seemed to be a really nice mix to use – and just enough for one layer!

Tomorrow I will go and raid the big compost heap for another layer

Anyway, today I finished it off by adding a final layer of hay and watering it in really well.

This is supposed to be an extension of the herb garden but I haven’t thought it out exactly what I want in here. I am sure it will come to me! Time to browse the market stalls on Sunday and see what people are selling!

Lastly, a nice little harvesting afternoon – digging up potatoes and carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, the last of the lettuce and some zucchini!


Maureen gave me this cool bird feeder – or water dish – that her husband made. Yet to decide where to put it in the garden, but it made a good prop for the vegies to sit on for their photo!


In time I will be able to make more sweet chilli sauce!

Hello! How is everyone?
Things seem to be going along slowly – I don’t think I have done much that has been interesting really. Lots of mundane stuff like shopping & banking & sorting insurance. Blah.

I did get a bit of  a wander in the garden later today. It rained pretty much all day, which I am sure was hugely appreciated by the garden!

I found 4 beans!

So I ate them raw as I did a garden inspection

Each time I have been in the garden I have been searching for signs of life in my apple cucumber plants. Nothing nothing nothing. Lots of flowers, no fruit.
Then suddenly today (probably by magic) I found these!

I’d say this one is ready – will pick tomorrow

The beetroot I transplanted into the lettuce garden have all perked up nicely and are looking very promising!

The lot that I transplanted last week look a bit woebegone, but I am seeing new leaves appear so I am suspecting that they may take hold.

One of the tomato patches

I wonder how many tomato plants I have in the garden?? I guesstimate about 60. That’s just silly.

The cucumbers in the hothouse are mad. Totally mad. I am going to have to get in there and try to tame and train them.

There are a few ready to pick
A LOT of flowers!

Despite the cucumbers crowding them, the heirloom capsicum are doing nicely

Yesterday we bought 3kg’s of cherries. Jeff especially loves them – but most I will cook up and puree to make into cherry ice cream. I have prepared the first half of the process today. Hopefully tomorrow I will finish the job.

These were purchased from a place quite some way away from us. Our local cherry farm produced no cherries at all this year!! How sad is that? I rang them up and the lady told me that the season was too cold for the bees. They finally got some blossoms and then of course the wind got up and blew them all off!! 🙁 How sad for them!!

Anyway – that’s all from me. Almost bedtime. Got to resist the fresh baked bread I can smell wafting in here! mmmmmm

Have a great week!


Chook House Spruce Up (& Stuff)

The sunflower gives up! (Warning for those eating, next photo includes chook poo)

Hello! Whats on everyones weekend agenda?
I figured it was time to give the chicken coop a bit of a clean up – the weather was lovely and hot, so figured the whitewash would dry out super quick.

Lots of hay & manure into the compost
I accidentally whitewashed Screecher! She snuck back into the nesting box and some of it dripped through!!
Lovely and fresh again!

I am excited to see the corn has silky bits!

Everywhere I look I have little tomatoes forming!

If they ripen I will be able to stock up on my sauce and relish again!

All flower but few beans showing
I found one to eat – lovely and sweet

Marigolds are scattered all about the garden
Colourful chillies!

Was good to see the bees out working in the sunflowers

Dinner tonight was great! I thawed out some rump steak for Jeff to BBQ, and I thought I would make some stuffed tomatoes as a side dish to the steak, potatoes & salad. Its a bit of a favourite and we haven’t had it for ages!

Its so easy – just scoop out the middles of the tomatoes and smush or puree.

Whizz up some bread crumbs and chopped herbs (I also like to add garlic salt)

Mix through the tomato pulp and spoon back into tomato cases

Tonight I topped them with butter, basil and parmesan cheese. Five minutes under the grill and done!
We thoroughly enjoyed!

Hope your weekend is fantastic!


PS Occasional extras on my Facebook Page
PSS Some other flower shots from around the garden today

Planting More Tomatoes!

Hello!! How is everyone doing?? Lovely summery day today here in Tasmania!

Time to get back into my garden and do something useful!
I had those self seeded tomatoes in their pots growing away happily. I think they may be cherry tomatoes. Anyway, seemed a shame to not do anything with them so I thought I might clear out the ex-garlic plot and chuck them in

Thinking upon the advice about the bees from yesterday, I figured I could pull up the carrot plot, save a few seed heads and leave the bees to play on some of my other flowers

And I am pleased to report that my ‘Lazy Gardening Technique’ works well. I am getting food from the random potato plants that have popped up that I didn’t bother pulling out.


That’s given the rhubarb and celery some breathing space!

Back to the tomatoes…

They are used to being outside, but a bit of wind-support around here never goes astray!

That’s 27 new plants!! It is a bit late, but whats the worst that can happen?? Fingers crossed there is enough time left in the season to get a bit of fruit off these!

In other news – the pesto was great! I was really happy with how it turned out. Last night I cooked up some fettuccine, stirred the pesto through and topped with Parmesan. Too busy eating to take a photo. 🙂

Tonight I used the pesto again, but in a different way. Please forgive the very much not magazine images of my dinner prep –

I got some chicken thigh fillets and topped with the pesto (I never use breast as I can’t seem to cook it right for most of the ways I use chicken – we prefer the thigh)

I rolled them up in bacon and skewered them to hold. They went into the oven.
Meanwhile I made up a tomato-zucchini sauce thingy to pour over the top of the new potatoes that I steamed.

Totally nothing fancy – just garlic & onion fried, then added the zucchini & tomatoes. (Couple of spoons of sugar because Ruby said so) salt and fresh herbs. Let that simmer away while everything else was cooking.

Dinner was appallingly late because we didn’t get inside until after 7.30pm!! Summer is like that here!

Hope you all had a lovely day!


Nothing like fresh herbs to liven up your dinner!

Garden Visit

Markets with Maureen

G’day! Midweek already!
I had a lovely day. Remember my friend Maureen who took my lettuce and sold it for me at her market stall? Well I finally got my act together and popped around to visit her, meet her husband Gerry and check out their fantastic garden.

I’d never been to Maureens home before, but I didn’t have to even look at the number to know it was the right one – no lawn, all plants & pots etc!

A welcoming entrance made by Gerry.

Their backyard is amazing! No lawn again, but so wonderfully organised into areas totally focused on growing food! This is just a regular town plot, but I was so impressed with how productive it was!

There were four of these magnificent trellises – and I admit going a little green (envy not thumb) I am pretty sure I need these in my life! (Jeff darling are you reading my blog today? Just giving out some hints)

Each trellis has about a foot of garden on the end so plants types can be swapped to each side, each season in the interests of crop rotation

Loving the chickens on guard!

Something I learned today (actually I should have taken a notebook as there were lots of amazing things I learned today) – see the end of the bean shoot has been pruned off?
We have had a very distressing lack of bees this season. Once a branch had produced enough beans, Gerry clipped the remaining flowers off and threw them in the compost. His reasoning is that there were plenty of beans and the few working bees didn’t need to be unnecessarily pollinating those flowers when they could be doing good else where.

Speaking of compost… Maureen and Gerry have theirs tucked away behind the garage.

Interestingly they do not dig or aerate it! They just keep throwing new composting materials on top. Gerry told me that when he wants to use his compost, he forks out the top layer into that small section on the right, then gets into the good stuff below! The front tin lifts up like a roller door (without rolling) and what I could see of the bottom layer of compost was divine!

The raspberry patch was literally bursting out of its netting. There are plans to move one row (the one we can see here) a foot or two away from the other so there is more space to work between the rows when picking.

They don’t bother thinning the carrots – they just grab a big handful to pull up at once – wash and cook!
All the gardens are mulched with pea straw.

Sparrows and other birds have been a real nuisance  picking off seedlings so Gerry has made up a series of bird proof cages to use on their plants at different stages of their development.

These were also effective against the cabbage moth but not another bug, so I was happy to share my information about the vegie netting I use. They are keen to find some and make use of it!

And a really simple way to store them – a nail on the back fence! (No really Jeff – are you taking notes?? I like these!)

Maureen and Gerry went overseas last year and this was a fantastic solution to watering a large potted kumquat while they were away! A simple water slide was created to catch any rain water and direct it into the pot.

Oh – and I also have ‘Outdoor Tomato Envy’

Superb Grosse Lissie

Gerry telling me this spare spot had broccoli and beans. (eaten) Also the potatoes on the right are a recent planting! I am now wondering if I am too late to put in a few more plants! (Probably)

This garden holds so much! Zucchini, beans, peas, rhubarb, eggplant, herbs, pumpkin, leek, garlic (done) lettuce and probably a ton more I have forgotten to list!

We went inside to enjoy a morning tea/lunch and a chat. The biscuits (crackers) were made by Maureen and of course home grown tomatoes & cucumber!
Maureen is an AMAZING cook! She has been selling baked goods, jams, sauces etc at the markets for years. Sausage rolls were her specialty. (She has decided to slow up on that recently!!)

Today she had two types of zucchini loaves to sample – one with ginger and apricot and the other with dried fruits. They were sooooo goooood!
I brought along my banana/raspberry loaf to add to the fun and they really enjoyed that too (whew!! Hard to take baked goods to the expert! haha)

Maureen is one of those special people that make you feel like you have been friends for years after only meeting for 10 minutes! She has an infectious laugh and is full of energy!

She is always potting up and nurturing plants for the market… She sells them at super prices as she reasons that the more people getting into gardening, the better the world will be! (I happen to agree) 🙂

All sorts of fun things lurk about her garden

It would have been fabulous in spring!

I am quite inspired to get back into my garden now and put a bigger effort in!! I really enjoyed seeing what they had been doing and they were both so generous with their time and information sharing!
I hope you have enjoyed it too!


Maureen has given me a pot of this – I have promptly forgotten its name! Lavender something!! Will ask!!






Kitchen Day

Filling my pinny with tomatoes!

I had a mad day in the kitchen. There was a list of stuff I wanted to get done floating about my head, so on with the apron and into it!

First things first – raspberry/banana bread!

Frugal tin lining – taking Ruby lessons!!
Success and I ate some and its good 🙂

If you would like the recipe, click here.
Round one of dishes.

I had a box of bananas to sort out, so I got on to that next.

Into the freezer so I can make my cake anytime and not rely on finding the appropriately ripened bananas at short notice!
All whizzed up and ready for the compost.

Running distressingly low on gourmet ice cream… so began stage one of the process, so it could cool as I did other things.

Todays flavour is strawberry

I felt bad I had deprived the chooks of cakes for quite some time… so I whipped them up a couple of cakes too.

They were delighted.

I only took them a few slices, but they were gone in short order!

Next – pesto! The thing I have been madly growing basil for!

That’s 4 cups of basil!!

The recipe called for roasted garlic. So the smell in the kitchen took on a radical change! mmmm

Its crazy how much the basil reduced when chucked in the Gee-Whizzer! I used cashews instead of pine nuts (I was price driven in that choice.) The taste test seemed good, but I will make some pasta tomorrow night and get some Parmesan cheese and try it out properly. Will let you know! 🙂

In there somewhere today, bread got baked and dinner made and I was up to round ‘who knows’ of dishes (btw I hand wash – never had a dishwasher)(So I am over dishes today)

10pm rolls around and I have said see ya to Jeff (night shift), done the dinner dishes and then finished up the last part of the ice cream

Vanilla ice cream – whisking through the strawberries

Taste test on this was creamy-dreamy
(Aaaaand the last lot of dishes!)

So – I am all done for the day! Hope yours was a good one!


Pip was instrumental with moral support.

A Few More Raspberries…

Hello! Monday has to be a great day when you pick 1.7kgs (3.7lb) of raspberries!
To be honest… I hadn’t gone down to the patch in a number of days because I thought they would be cactus with the amount of wind and rain we have had (except the last two days)
This was a pleasant surprise.
I have a taste for some of that banana-raspberry loaf, so I went down to the local fruit and veg shop to see what I could find

Yay!! Will smoosh and freeze most of this – and make my loaf!

In other pleasing garden news – my corn has started to do something!!!

Seems my self seeded tomatoes in one of the raised garden beds is really taking over the basil. Perhaps tomorrow I should stake it back. Looks healthy enough 🙂

Poor crowded basil!
Lots of tiny tomatoes on the heirloom beefsteak tomato bushes. First time I have raised tomato plants from seed successfully (thus far)

One of my hebes has burst into flower! I love the colour!

The lions ear is also looking amazing… even one or two bees buzzing about! Despite all the amazing flowers we have, bees are hardly to be seen this season which is a huge worry! Very seriously contemplating a hive.

The chooks are doing well. Greedy as always… laying reasonably well.
This girl is funny – she does the ‘Squat-Waddle’ when I go near her – kinda crouches with her wings out and paddles her feet. I can’t resist giving her a pat while she immobilises herself!

We nearly lost her a few months back – I separated her and forced her to keep drinking… eventually she bounced back. Sometimes you have a win!

Hope your week starts fabulously!


Potted hydrangea – one I started from a cutting!


You’ve Seen It All Before

Jeff is heading back to work tomorrow so we decided to go for another hike in our attempt to get fitter (and leaner???) for our upcoming Overland adventure. So we tootled back over to Sisters Beach to walk over to Anniversary Bay

Perfect perfect perfect weather today!

Inviting waters and acres of beach. Still trying to work out why we hiked over hill & dale and rocky shores for 4 hours instead of swimming today!!

Instead of our usual circuit we continued walking up the coast – headed for our favourite shell collecting beach

A glimpse back to the beach
Looking forward to the walk ahead

As soon as you leave the sandy beach, rocky shores greet walkers. Its actually a tricky walk on unstable surfaces – in many parts jagged rocks to scramble over that pretty much say ‘don’t fall down’

The Overland Track will be a lot more straight forward than this!! At least they have formed paths!!

The colour and form of the rocks change several times as you walk up the coast.

We reached the stream that flows down from Doone Falls and soaked our bandannas to wear around our necks. The water was lovely and icy cold

We found an easier path! Was a brief respite from the rock-hopping

Once we got to our spot we enjoyed searching for shells (we will find out tomorrow who collected the most cowries!)

Time to reluctantly turn back – and see it all from a different angle!

I don’t suppose it’s called Rocky Cape National Park for nothing…

Oh it was good to see those sandy beaches again!

Time to take off the boots and cool the feet down!

The paddle was quite invigorating, which was handy as we still had one hell of a hill to climb before we were done for the day!!

Hope your weekend was also fabulous!


A Bit of Heavy Lifting

Hello! How is everyone’s weekend going?
Cousin Jeff dropped off a load of firewood yesterday, so thought I might stir myself and get it stacked. We figure its a good thing to slowly get properly stocked up over the summer months – so its not a rush when the weather changes and the job is harder in the mud and rain.

Our lovely new wheelbarrow (thanx Mum & Dad) made the job a doddle. It fits a lot in and the spongy proper tyre goes over the bumps with ease

Terrible ignored mess
I feel good about this.

So – while in the mood of flinging things about, I thought I should do something about those umpteen bags of seaweed

Weeds creeping back already

I like checking up on my outside tomatoes… I think all around there is a distinct lack of bees on the job this season. I have plenty of flowers on everything but the fruit isn’t happening as it should…

There are some at least!
Yes and some got put into the duck yard too!

Zucchini & pumpkin patch. I still need to jump the fence and train my pumpkin back!

Not bad!! We ate it for dinner!

The outside beetroots are going along alright. Not quite as impressive as my hothouse one, but not bad!
They really needed thinning out and weeding… so I did


Some that I pulled up that looked promising got transplanted into the garlic patch. I just realised I forgot to water them in! Oopsie. Better do that first thing tomorrow!

Oh and why not? A bit of weeding never goes astray
At least that’s something…
The original lettuce have almost had it. The new small ones have survived thus far. The older transplanted beetroots have taken well and there seems to be lots of self seeded tomatoes that I have just left to do their thing. This bed is a total mish-mash!

Again it was BBQ steak, new potatoes and salad for dinner. It will be a while before we get sick of that menu!


Freezer Restocked

OK – this is not one for the vegetarians, but we are happy to finally be restocked with beef – especially now summer is here, so BBQ’s with salads are all the go at this time of year!
I spent a few hours at my cousins place packing and labelling – and choosing how we wanted our meat divvied up. We don’t care much for roast beef, for example (prefer lamb or chicken when it comes to roast dinners) so the roast cuts I just got cut into steak sizes.
Picked up a lot of bones – some to make stock, some for friends dogs 🙂

Lots of newspaper

Having learned some lessons from previous stockups, this time I am ahead of the game. Its no fun diving into your freezer with a hammer and chisel trying to get dinner out.
So – heavy linings of newspaper to soak up blood hopefully will sort out some of that problem. Sometime tomorrow or the next day before the freezing process has completed, I will take it all out and reposition so cuts don’t meld into each other – even though I have done several linings of newspaper.

Can I say dinner tonight was divine.
My lovely husband’s main skill in the kitchen is cereal (I say this in a nice way… he is marvellously domesticated and I am a most grateful wife due to the fact that he LIKES IRONING!!)(whereas I am allergic)  But I am the chief cook.
However – Youtube can teach you almost anything and boy oh boy can he bbq a steak!!
So tonight I bandicooted some new potatoes and steamed them and made up a salad – all from the garden of course. We indulged in the eye fillet steaks first because they are (were) sooooo goooood!

The supermarket isn’t going to do much good out of us for the next few months!!