About Me

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Wife, mum and nan. Living simply is my passion, I enjoy growing food, living healthy and playing with a variety of crafts. I am always up for a bargain and love to op shop for vintage treasures.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

bee workshop

Last Sunday we traveled about three hours to attend a bee workshop at Jembella Farm. We went down the night before and stayed in a caravan park for an early start on Sunday morning.

Thirteen eager bee enthusiast were in attendance and they were a wonderful group to be learning alongside of.

We all gathered in Brian and Sally's shearing shed, and after all the introductions, we discussed a few important subjects regarding bee keeping, and a few questions were answered before moving up to the house for a smoko break. After a cup of tea and yummy cake, we returned back to the shearing shed for a few outside demonstrations.

Here Brian is teaching how to light a smoker. A smoker is used to calm bees when you want to inspect a hive.  


Next we learned how to make frames that go into the hives.


   
After a lovely lunch prepared by Sally, it was time to suit up. 




And head down toward the hives...Ill let the photos tell the story...


















 

Next we learned how to extract the honey from the frames.

 






Beeswax.

Beautiful views...


And the baby frizzles were too cute.


I really enjoyed our day at Brian and Sally's. It was wonderful to catch up with like minded people and learn a common interest together.

If at all possible I encourage anyone who is interested, to have a go at keeping bees. They really are fascinating little creatures, and we need them to survive here on our earth. The more bees the better. 

No bee, no me...

Have a lovely weekend and I will see you soon.

xTania


Sunday, January 12, 2020

this morning in the veggie patch

Hello dear friends,

I am so sorry to be absent for such a great length of time. Mostly I have been trying to keep things alive here as we in Australia are having the worse time this summer. 

Most of you know about the fires that are raging, destroying everything in their path. I just wanted to let you know that the nearest fire to us is on Kangaroo Island and that is a long way from here. So we are safe. Thank you to all that have asked and were concerned.

We have been experiencing incredible weather so far this summer.  From cold days, cool days to extremely hot days, where everything wants to curl up its toes and die. It has been a battle to keep things cool enough to survive and sadly I have lost some plants, but mostly all of them are still alive and hanging on. And that is all they are doing, just hanging on. No growth or fruiting happening at the moment.

This week we are having a milder week, although tomorrow and Tuesday are supposed to be hot again, but otherwise it should be a lovely week.

Here are some photos of the veggie patch I took earlier today.

Not sure if I have shown you these tomato plants before, but they are planted in the ground as an experiment. They do not seem to perform well in the wicking beds, so trying something different. They were doing well until last Thursday when it was another 44C (112.4F) day. I had checked the garden in the morning like I always do as I had watered the night before. They all looked fine. 

Later in the day when I went out there, a lot of the plants were laying down with the heat, so this meant that I quickly watered them and they did bounce back. As a result, some of the tomatoes on these bushes have blossom rot, and the capsicum are showing signs of it too. So I am a bit cross at myself for not having kept a check on them like I normally do. I got so busy tidying up in our outdoor room that I forgot to check on them sooner! Hopefully I have not ruined them completely.



The capsicums are doing quite well considering, but they only get the morning sun mostly and not the heat of the rest of the day.


Most of the herbs, like this sage seem to love the hot weather.


Sweet potato vines are surviving.


 Oregano.


Beetroot and round zucchini plant.  I have picked two zucchinis so far (forgot to take a photo), but the heat is ruining the plant.


Here we have Salvia planted in a pot for the bees, it is just starting to flower.


Egglants are going really well, with lots of fruit growing on the bushes.



Kale.


Wrinkled butternut and beetroot. Not having much luck with the butternut. Apart from the heat, the lizards are eating the yummy flowers as they appear.


Jerusalem artichokes reaching for the sky, and now flowering.



Amaranth in a pot.


Cucumber and honey dew. I have picked heaps of cucumbers, and one honey dew melon, but they are being slowed by the shade I have had to put over everything.



Beetroot and sage. I am growing beetroot for my mum, as she is unable to grow in it her soil. I will also preserve some more like the ones I made last November.  We are on the last jar now.



I planted Ford hook giant silver beet.  It is doing okay except for going a bit leggy from having too much shade over them, but what can I do? I do not have any option but to cover them in the very hot weather.


I have two empty beds that did contain Zucchini plant and silver beet.  Still undecided whether to plant more now or just leave them. We will be going away for two months over winter, so it might be best left until next spring.


What the heat does...this was in the above barrel.


This big zucchini is struggling to produce fruit, the heat has beaten it I think.


A few tiny black cherry tomatoes growing.


These tomato bushes are just about finished for the season. I hope they shoot out again, maybe that will happen when we get a decent rain.


I have planted more basil to dry as I am nearly out of last years supply.


More silver beet.


Spring onions.


Kale and silver beet


Artichoke.  These were doing so well, but they are starting to feel the strain of too much heat. I picked these two up for a dollar each on the reduce rack.  They had one leaf left on them, but they boomed once I planted them out. A bit sad to see that they are struggling now.


More beetroot.


Paw paw, nectarine and pomegranate trees, all in pots. Also there are lemon verbena, and a bay-leaf tree.


Dragon fruit.


 Lemon thyme. I trimmed this today to dry.



The rhubarb has managed to survive and doing quite well, and the comfrey is still going okay.  In the background is a blueberry tree that has new growth and a taro plant.


In between the shade, are seven year beans. They have reached the roof and branched out to the outside.  These handle the heat well, and will hopefully last seven years.



Last night I planted out garlic chives.  I am hoping to replace garlic with these, as I cant eat garlic anymore because of stomach issues. I already have chives growing, and they are doing great.

  
Chives.


Silver beet, mostly grown for chicken food.


Capsicum.


Our little tree stump we had in a pot has shot into a fig tree.  So happy about this.


My sunflowers grew beautifully and flowered last week. The bees are loving them! As you can see they protect the tin from the hot afternoon sun.


Dragon fruit escaping from the garden.


Seven year beans on the outer side. Loving the sunshine.


The sunflowers are starting to droop now, but there are still a few to come into bloom.


Bee food.


Love this happy looking flower.


The saltbush are progressing, but the heat has taken a toll on them too. Now this is a tough plant, and this is saltbush country, so it shows how hot it has been.


The extra shade we put up over the veggies.



We have lost some of our quandong trees due to the heat and lack of rain. Very disappointing indeed.

A bit hard to see the trees dying in the photos, and these were only young quandong trees.



I had to share these photos of a goanna from Christmas day. He came right up to the house, and my little grand daughter was squealing with delight. Once we went outside he ran up the nearest tree and was not coming down.



This kangaroo was so hot last Thursday, that she came in to our yard, had a drink and then ate some our lawn. I took these photos carefully through the laundry window just so I didn't disturb her.







And to finish with a couple of smoky sunsets. Although no fires are near us, we still had smoke drift over our town. The sun was actually blood red, but the camera wouldn't pick it up.



Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year. I know that many of us didn't because of the fires. So much suffering for our fellow Australians, and the animals. Those poor animals, this makes me the saddest of all.

See you all soon,

xTania