About Me

My photo
Fifty six year old empty-nester. Wife to one, mum to four and nan to three precious grandies. 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, September 19, 2015

Around Here ~ weekly catchup

What a beautiful week of Spring weather we have just experienced.  The nights are cold but the days are just lovely. I spent a lot of time outside doing some jobs in the garden.

 I planted out the silver beet that my parents gave to me.
The plants are sulking a bit in this photo, but by tonight they were standing upright again.
I have had to put the shade over just until they are over the shock of being planted.

A few weeks ago I planted some cucumber seeds in one of the garden beds and finally two have popped up.
I was starting to think they were going to be a no show.

Last week I planted some of the same cucumber seeds in a punnet, placed them in a little hot house container and they have sprouted already.  I also planted some zucchini and basil seeds in the other punnets.

 Here is how my fig tree is progressing. 
I am very happy with the way it is growing.

I think this may be why they are doing so well.  I have covered them with plastic bags, they must really like the humidity.

 Here are the other sticks of fig tree I potted out. All but two have taken off, but they may still shoot out, only time will tell.

I found some potatoes while digging around in the garden.

I kept these to eat.

And put the rest in this large pot.

 Rocks in the bottom, then some dirt, potatoes, and topped with straw. As they grow I will layer more dirt and straw.

Today we added three more barrels to the garden.   It is a little disorganised out there at the moment as we try to remove old beds and add the new barrels.  Hopefully we will be going to the city to get some more barrels this coming week.
These three are ready to have plants put in.  
Maybe tomorrow we will get to set the baths up. It is time consuming to make the wicking beds so hopefully they are going to produce well.

Hubby made me an outdoor fruit/veg dryer.

I nagged asked and he produced.

I love how clever he can be.

No instructions to follow, just figured it out for himself.

I will post the process next week.

He used an old dog bed frame to sit them on, and I have put it on a table outside.
I have saved some cans to put on the legs to keep ants away from the fruit.  I will fill these with water if the ants venture too close.

This quandong was the largest one we picked this year!

Usually the seeds from the quandongs are thrown around our block and they come up by themselves everywhere. However this year we learned that the seeds are worth money to seed collectors. I was told that they pay $5.00 a kilo for these.  So next time I will keep them to sell.

I am trying this out for the dryer.  I mooshed up some cooked and sweetened native peaches (quandongs) to make fruit leather.  I hope this works J

And while hubby was in the mood for creating, I showed him a picture of one of these from the internet. Within half an hour I had one!
These are designed to wash veggies as you pick them.

My very own gathering basket,

 I am getting quite a collection of these jars. 
My mum has been saving them for me.
These are a great addition to my pantry.
I have cleared out the shelving in the pantry and placed them there.

And here in my tea station,
I have used some of the smaller jars and added home made labels.

To make more usable space in my pantry it was out with all these recipe books!
I have only kept the ones I use regularly.

I gave the pantry a good tidy up and had some cake mix and pie apple that were passed their best before dates, so I decided to make up a slice to use them up.
Apple and sour cream slice. 
Mmmm delicious!

If you use facebook the recipe can be found here.

After reading Phil's post, I decided to gather our vintage scales together for a photo.
These are the three we own. The blue one was given to us by friends when they moved.
I would like to get hold of the original bowls for the older ones.  Maybe one day I will find some in my travels.

I checked to see if they still weigh accurate, and they sure do!
This one I am going to start using.  
Most of my recipes use the old measurements so this should work well.

Bringing a little nature inside.
Pretty Geraldton Wax.

And to finish off with one of our lovely sunsets from earlier this week.
We are lucky to view a lot of stunning sunsets from our back door.

Well that sums my week up. 
What about you? Did you have a productive week?

Take care dear friends.


  1. Looking good, I would think figs should do well for you if they can get enough water. Mine freeze back to the ground every year so until they get real established I won't expect much. It was so cold last winter that none of the peaches bloomed last spring though the trees grow like weeds. They make good shade for the chickens.
    Of course we are into fall here with cold nights and warm days, a nice time of year. but it would be nice to get some rain.

    1. I already have a fig tree growing quite well. It produces a lot of fruit every year. It is a white fig whereas my new ones are the dark ones. And yes they do need a fair bit of water.

      We could do with some rain too, it is very dry at the moment :)


  2. Wow! So resourceful you folks are!

    Question: Do your candle jars still possess the scent of the formerly housed candles? Does anyone have tips on how to remove the scent fr those wonderful jars? I've stashed buttons, trims, seashells and sea glass, etc. mine but never food.

    *hugs* from I-90 New York en route to Ohio, USA,
    Letters Unfolded

    1. The jars are Moccona Coffee jars in Australia

    2. Oh dearest Kelley, the jars I have pictured in this post are coffee jars as Dee has mentioned. They clean up really well. Annabel informs me that they may not be available forever so I collect them while I can.

      Sounds like the scent in your jars linger. I bet your buttons etc smell delightful! I don't think I can help with recommending what you could use to remove it, as the aroma is probably ingrained into the plastic lid.


  3. Dear Tania, I don't know what to comment on first! I love the solar dryer. Totally brilliant. It is jot like you are short on sun. I can't wait for a post on this and to hear how it goes. Also love the wash your produce basket. What a good idea! PhiL is on fire! Do you hire him out!?
    Love all your planting and as you would guess I love the jars.
    I too gig rid of Cook books bar a few I use all the time. The rest I clipped or copied the recipes and got rid off the books. This gave me a whole shelf of room. I scrap book recipes now which trunks whole liked of books into a few srsp books of very best, tested, loved recipes. A great space saver for sure.
    Your week was wonderful. I am loving the weather too. Today I used the sun to dry a heap of washing, the woollen bed underlay included. It came out so fresh and fluffy and is dry back on the bed. Lots more spring cleaning to do.
    Hope you are having a great weekend, with love, Annabel.xxxx

    1. Haha, whenever I ask Phil to do something, he usually rolls his eyes back and sighs!? But he does it anyway! As for hiring him out, you can have him for free lol!



  4. I've been slowly planting seeds and just waiting for them to sprout. The weather here is still too unpredictable to really plant out. Still getting really cold nights and frosts. Your garden is looking great

    1. Yes Angela, the cold nights are a nuisance being around this late in September. I am not planting my tomatoes yet.


  5. Wow - as per usual a wonderful read. Your Phil is so capable and practical....a keeper hey!? Yesterday I bought Moccona coffee in those big jars as they were 1/2 price....half my motivation was the jars themselves. I love how prolific your garden is despite the obvious challenges.....if you can garden like this then nobody has an excuse not to garden. Your line up of scales is great....I like our old one as it is calibrated in imperial so I do not have to convert in my head on the fly.

  6. You really have done a lot this week. I am a little envious of your vintage kitchen scales....I searched high and low in Hobart last week for a "new" set of vintage looking scales but the only one I found was red....I want blue! I like coming by your blog....I hope you have time to visit me sometime as well.
    Cath from Cath@Home

    1. Thank you for commenting Cath, it is great to know you were here, and I will definitely visit your blog :)

      My favourite colour is blue too!


  7. Tania, are the white scales considered 'vintage' as I have that one too which I have had for years? Hubby bought a solar dryer from a garage sale years ago but the glass broke on it so I have just been drying my flowers for soapmaking in a roasting dish with a pane of glass over the top but leaving a little space so there is no condensation and that works fine but I haven't tried doing veggies or fruit that way. We do have an electric dehydrator he also bought at a garage sale but I have never used. You have had a productive week.

    1. Yes the white scales are vintage Nanna Chel, especially if they have the imperial measurements.

      I have an electric dehydrator too, and it is still in its box. That's where it has been for quite a few years. I am a bit iffy about the plastic trays and heat. Hubby says its food grade plastic with no bpa, so probably should give it a try.


  8. Beautiful picture of the sunset, Tania.

    It's good your husband can make the things you need. You get them quickly and it saves money.

    1. Thank you Harry, yes hubby is very handy indeed!


  9. Someones mum drinks a lot of Moccona. I do too but only the big jars. I'd like some small jars too for storage. I did type a big comment but its been lost in the ether and im at work so it short and sweet. Tootle Peep!

    1. Not my mum Lynda. She volunteers in a local op shop in her hometown and that is where she finds them.

      Thats annoying when you lose a long comment, it has happened to me quite often. I try and remember to cut and paste in word just before I click publish :)


    2. You know that whatever i said, would have been worth it. Sorry for implying that your Mum has a bad addiction but i was hoping that she was my kindred spirit. I've got it bad.....

  10. Hello Tania,

    The new look of your blog is beautiful. My, oh my, have y'all been busy this week. It is so nice to hear your weather has been so lovely and you are starting to get your garden in.

    Regarding the fig tree starts, yes, fig trees like heat and humidity with slightly moist soil. When we lived in Texas we were only 100 or so miles from the Gulf coast. Consequently, we endured extremely hot and humid weather, an average of 47 inches of rainfall per year and our fig trees were planted near a gray water drainage area. They produced amazingly. We now live in Montana and or winters are too cold and harsh for figs. Mr.B misses the fig preserves and the children and I miss the fig jam and fig cake.

    Looking forward to keeping up with your gardening progress.


  11. Well hello Mrs B, so wonderful to hear from you again.

    Thank you so much for the information about fig trees. I make fig jam every year, I absolutely love it!


  12. What a busy week you've had Tania. Love the wicking barrels, I can't wait to hear how they hold up to your summer. If they work well for you then we'll be in with a better to middling chance of success here :)

    My beans were looking a little like your silverbeet for a couple of days, but they've perked up and seem to be thriving, I'm looking forward to a bumper crop with enough to eat, freeze, and dry this summer.

    Have you tried the sour cream slice with apricots or plums? Yum! Even better than the apple version. I've made it with leftover fruit salad too and it was good (just picked out the melon and drained it well).

    Our weather has gone back to winter today, we had to light the fire this morning! At least we get some variety in the spring :)

    Hope you have another lovely week.

    1. No I haven't tried other fruit in the slice yet Cath, although I did add some quandongs to the apple the other night. That turned out really nice. Cant wait to try it with apricots :)

      It is freezing here at the moment too! Down to 4C overnight...unbelievable!?! So I guess you wont be warming up until we do :)


  13. How lucky to have a clever, carpenter type hubby who can make things - and how good are they? Love that wire veggie carrier! If you're growing tomatoes, they'll be fantastic semi-sundried.
    I use Moccona coffee and the jars are great for storing stuff and for gift giving too.

    Cheers - Joolz xx

    1. Oh yes Joolz, cant wait to try some tomatoes in the dryer :)


  14. Gosh Tania. So much cleverness here, I don't know where to start! Now...we had what I now realise was a Quandong tree. It just sprouted up out of nowhere. We didn't know what to do with it or whether the fruits were edible so we pulled it out....arrrrgh! Curses! Your garden is brilliant, and what a clever husband you have. Nice work! Mimi xxx

  15. Thank you Mimi.

    That's a shame about the quandong tree, you would have enjoyed the fruit.



I love reading your comments and will do my very best to reply. PLEASE NOTE that if using an anonymous account to comment, you MUST add your name within the comment otherwise I will not publish them. Thank you for understanding.