Keeping up

I think my title should read more like ‘Not Particularly Keeping Up’
Anyway, cooked another bucket of plums, still to depip. Took a bag of plums and some eggs to Ruby (flying visit)
Had to cook the raspberries and spent ages deseeding them… I can’t ‘mooley’ them as the seeds just go through.
So I have to sieve by hand. That takes longer than it should!! But I am sadly & tragically down to one raspberry chocolate left. So I want to make some more raspberry leather and fix that problem!!
I filled the space in the fridge that the raspberries were in… with more raspberries! Have you ever picked raspberries out of slightly wild patches?? Its not a quick process!

As you can see, I brought my garlic in and hung it up in the library. The library smells pretty amazing now!!

Mostly I am not able to indulge in new projects as pretty much all my time is taken up with the essentials – watering, picking, cooking etc.
Its really great stocking up on food again and its a fabulous time even though it gets a bit relentless.

Hope your week is going along swimmingly!


Lotsa Plums

Good Evening/Morning!
Well… the birds are getting noisier and noisier as more of them find the plum tree.
We noted a few squadrons out there this morning and decided we should get back and make a big effort to pick what we could while there were some left!

(Re photo – this is why we can’t net the tree!!)

Most we just can’t get to… but with some ladders, water tanks and a garden hoe, we did ok

Happily Jeff didn’t fall off anything as he is the only nurse we have on the property!

Tomorrow I HAVE to get cooking!

Haha – fluffy chook-bum!

I got some of the plastic that wraps the silage off one of my cousins… just laid it out on one of the patches in the duck yard to see if I can kill off the weeds. It really doesn’t look pretty…. (Its cut off the bales in an awkward way so laying it out in an ordered manner doesn’t work )

Started on making the ex-garlic patch useful. Got rid of a lot of the major weeds.

I’m not so happy with my beetroot patch in the duck yard so thought I would start another one. Plenty of time I think before the season ends.

Wanting to give it the best start… so a generous helping of mushroom compost.

And done

I finally got around to slotting in the corn seedlings to fill the gaps in the patch. I am also wondering if its too late to rip out the rest of the lettuce and plant a new batch of corn in the raised bed…

Finally got some beans!! I ate these. (Yeah I know… hands!! I’ll let you know how that goes tomorrow haha)

The outside tomatoes are coming along nicely! These are the heirloom beefsteak.

Our timing for overseas travel meant I didn’t get a lot of the snow peas… however I do now have a nice stash of new snow peas seeds!

And here is something to warm the cockles of your hearts… we have been watching a little family in our apple tree for a few weeks.
I would never have known they were hiding in there but I startled the mother one evening.
I think they might be European Goldfinches. (An introduced species)
And just to make things even more delightful, the collective noun for a group of Goldfinches, is a Charm!!

Time for bed I reckon!
Have a lovely day!







Its a good start to the week when you get a parcel in the mail! My best mate sent us a Christmas box of bits and pieces. Looking forward to reading this gardening book. She also sent me a house cleaning book with a post it note on it saying she never used her copy. Made me laugh!

First things first, I got into the plums and fished out all the pips then mooleyed what was left. I now have a nice lot of pulp to do with what I will.
I put three trays in the dehydrator for leather and froze the rest.
Jeff picked 2 more buckets of plums when he got home from work. Suppose I will have to work on those tomorrow!

I just went and checked… they look done. A bit tart because I added no sugar but I like the flavour and don’t mind if its a bit bitey.

This, however was my super success of the day. I had dried some raspberry pulp (mostly deseeded) – it was partly chewy and partly crispy.
I broke it up and added it to some chocolate

Apart from in the future me having to learn how to melt chocolate properly, this turned out totally great! Again the raspberry was unsweetened so the leather is a bit tart, but I love that mixed in with the sweetness of the chocolate.
Tomorrow I will be making a LOT more raspberry leather and stocking up on cooking chocolate from the supermarket!

I picked up 3kg of cherries yesterday from a farm just down the road from us. Jeff especially loves cherries and I was aiming for a few extra wife-points for having them chilled in the fridge for when he woke up from sleeping off his nightshift.
I cooked a kilo and started the process for making ice cream… cherry flavoured ice cream is divine!

Anyway, out to the garden… moving sprinklers around all day. Parts of the ground are cracking!
Time to trim that basil back again!!

Its actually slow drying in the netting so I thought I would hang this lot. I am sure I will be making more pesto, but Jeff ate all my cashews!!

I picked up these nifty clip hanger things in Japan with no idea what I needed them for but couldn’t resist having them. Found a use for them today.

Now the waiting begins.

Picked my first capsicum today! I wanted to wait until they went red but this one is showing some heat distress so I thought I should pick it and use it before it went funny. Lots more lovely tomatoes too.

I spent a couple of hours on the back veranda cleaning the dirt off the garlic and trimming them up. Now I can take them and hang them inside somewhere to dry properly.

Why not a garlic selfie?
And might as well get the cat involved while I am at it.

Pip not really into it…

Anyway, hope your Monday started just as well as mine did!




Catching Up in the Kitchen

Hello! How was your weekend? All those in winter, I hope you are keeping warm enough with those insanely low temperatures. As for the rest of Australia that is baking – keep cool!

I made a bit of an effort to get on top of some of the fruit. Raspberries got made into jam. I also put some pulp in the dehydrator. I want to make it crispy dry then make raspberry chocolate. I am sad that its not ready yet because I am ready to eat it.

Cooked up the first bucket of plums. Tomorrow I will take out the pips and mooley it into pulp. Not sure if I will make jam straightaway or freeze it.

Some strawberries also got added into the dehydrator – I am quite attached to those – as well as the lemon peel.
Then a few trays of zucchinis to make chips!

They turned out quite well. I sprinkled some with cajun spice and some with garlic salt. I could have increased the amount of garlic salt but was a bit hesitant after the very salty cucumbers last time!! Will have to wait for the garden to produce more zucchinis before I can experiment further.

Oh – and here is a quick update photo on the blanket-sized shawl!

Hope your day was great!

Plums and Pots

Looks like the plums ripened overnight! Now the trick is how to reach as many as possible. The big old cherry plum trees don’t have many options for leaning ladders against them safely… not while I am on my own anyway.

So I tottered about on the shorter free standing ladder, managed to pick a bucketful and not fall off.

A split second ago Pip was sitting up posing beautifully. Sigh.

First zucchinis! Yay! Been wanting to try out making zucchini chips in the dehydrator.

Went scratching about for potatoes and also dug up a few wonky carrots, more tomatoes and a lovely 2.5kgs of raspberries!

I’ve been wanting to try a few potted vegetables. I am not so good at container gardening. But I run a small gardening group for raw beginners and some people have limited space and were asking about it. I thought I could put together something and show people.
So I scavenged a few pots from around the yard (we have heaps!!) and mixed up my mushroom compost and some cheap potting mix. (I get the cheap stuff because I use half and half with the mushroom compost and when I have done that in the past things have been happy)

I used the bigger pots for the tomatoes. I just dug them up from the garden. I suspect they will be cherry tomatoes.

Not long after planting this one got depression – but pleased to report has totally perked up tonight!

I also relocated that celery that appeared in the hothouse

There was plenty of parsley to pot up and I am trying to rescue the basil and chilli plants that were in smaller pots and looking tragic.

Now I just have to remember to water daily!

I have a few hopeful butternut pumpkins. Lots keep dying off but happy to see one or two actually getting bigger

Well… I am going to find myself a movie and pick up the crochet. (Which is why I didn’t blog yesterday – found myself on youtube at midnight working out how to crochet a beret!)(As you do)



Dug My Garlic!

Hello! How is everyones first week of 2018 going?
I treated myself to a trailer load of mushroom compost today!!

Now I can move on to some more planting and feed up some areas.

But I really had a lovely day digging up all my garlic! (and the extra bonus is a whole spare plot!)
It was a mixed bag of sizes, but overall I am pretty happy.

Think I have enough?
I have put them all on the back veranda to dry off for a few days, then I will be able to brush the dirt/mud off more easily before hanging them inside upstairs to dry properly.

I weeded a plot at the back of the hothouse yesterday…

Just enough room for a few more tomatoes

Dumped in a barrow load of mushroom compost and mulched with the last of the seaweed grass (yup – next trip out with the trailer will be to restock on that!)

The self seeded ones I have just recently noticed are doing quite well here too… weeded them and fed them some compost.

Cherry plums slowly starting to ripen!

Of the four unenthusiastic apple cucumber plants… I have only one cucumber developing!

Looks like I can quit buying potatoes at the supermarket!! Yay! I love new potatoes (some of these were on the dinner plate tonight, steamed and served with butter!)

The cucumbers are slow… but mostly steady enough to keep up with what we are eating each night.

Enough tomatoes now to make our favourite side dish of stuffed tomatoes (centres just scooped out and mixed with breadcrumbs, garlic salt & fresh herbs – under the grill for 5 minutes!!)

Loving the fresh food!



Sunflowers Out

My sunflowers are finally starting to unfold! Things look really cheerful when they are out!

We were outside off and on doing random yard work… weeding, mowing, chasing wayward chickens! The weather was also off and on, rain, sun, wind warm, cold. Sigh.

Spent an hour or two picking nearly 2kgs of raspberries…

Lots more self seeded tomatoes appearing in the hothouse

Only getting the odd handful of strawberries now

Tonight for dinner we had some new potatoes along with tomatoes, cucumber, basil & some home made rissoles. Rounded off afterwards by some home made strawberry ice cream!

Who does New Year Resolutions?? I can never make up my mind about them. But I have a heap of goals running through my head that I should write up and attempt to achieve!

Goal One: Make List of Goals.


2018. Day One

Happy New Year!
We decided to pack up a picnic, and walk up a mountain to start 2018.
Fiona came along with us too.

We probably hiked about 7 hours – 17kms up Mt Roland & back.
It was just gorgeous.

Its a reasonable slog up for most of the way. It stops been quite so steep at about the 2/3rds point
It was really lovely stopping to have lunch & a rest. Fabulous views.

Tiny wildflowers carpeted the mountain side as we got closer to the top

Of course, its never quite over until you reach the trig point! And just before that there are a number of boulders to navigate and climb before you’re done!

Its always so worth it when you reach the top of these places!
I have more photos but I am a ‘bit’ tired tonight, so will have to add them to my vast list of post processing jobs.
Anyone else do something mad on the first day of the year??


Goodbye 2017

Hello there!
Are you all ushering the new year in in style or going to bed early like me??
I was going to do a post rounding up the years highlights… but…with 15,000 images to choose from the task ended up slightly more daunting than I first thought!
Since I have plans for an early start to 2018, I will try that again tomorrow!

Thanks a million for sticking with me this year, following along with the gardening and other adventures and for those who had time to drop me a line. I really appreciate it!

Have a great night, whatever you are up to and all the best for a smashingly awesome 2018!


Hey Pesto!

Well… its just ticked over to the last day of 2017!!
Wow… didn’t that just fly by!!??

Yesterday I crumbled up the oregano I dried and popped them in these jars. I am liking the look!
Was pleased with my first efforts, so went and picked a bunch more oregano and a basket full of basil.

They are now all in my little netted air dryer in the sunroom doing their thing.

Today the wind was howling and it was no fun being outside. Still… the raspberries needed picking. They were being flung about into jam before I could get them inside!
So happy to get a few more tomatoes too.

The capsicum are really getting lovely and big. Now I just want them to change colour – I like the green ones but I am quite partial to the red!

My replacement corn seedlings doing well. The need to catch up to the ones outside so they can be slotted in and hopefully grow at approximately the same rate. (wishful thinking huh?)

More cucumbers – and lots of flowers

The basil that I trimmed back last week to take cuttings kind of exploded out pretty quickly!

I was able to pick another basket but this lot was destined to make more pesto!

I had more time up my sleeve today, so I baked the garlic.
Apart from the baking, the whole process is very quick.
I plan to do a chicken, pesto pasta for tomorrow nights dinner and there is enough there to freeze as well!!

I hope the last day of your year finishes fantastically!