Thursday, June 15, 2017

Around here...busy, busy

Hello dear friends,

Once again time has escaped from me and this poor blog has been neglected. 

There has been a bit going on around here since I last posted, starting with hubby having wisdom teeth removed a few weeks ago.  We had to travel to a nearby town for him to have the surgery. He is fully recovered now.

He was a very sorry sight with an ice-pack held in place with a tea-towel and a pair of my pantyhose lol!



While waiting around at the hospital, I read a couple of books on permaculture that I had taken along with me. The whole process got me intrigued, so I have been looking further into permaculture hoping that I can implement the methods around here to help with the growing of plants. Working with nature, it all makes so much sense. 


After watching many a youtube video I have been inspired by the works of Geoff Lawton and his helpers with the greening of the desert in Jordan. He has done amazing things over there.  I also watched a video where Ethiopia has also been transformed into a green oasis, just by adding permaculture principles.  So there is hope for me yet.

With all my new found knowledge, I have many ideas buzzing around inside my head that I want to try, so stay tuned.




There has been a bit happening out in the veggie patch.  We have had to put a makeshift cover over to protect the plants from the overnight frosts we are having. 




I have replanted some young tomato seedlings that came up after the last rain.  Not sure how they are going to go through Winter.  Time will tell.



Celery...



 Kale...




Capsicums...



Tomatoes. I still have heaps on the vines. They are taking their time to ripen because of the cold. The plants are still flowering.  Only this morning I had a blue bummed bee out there buzzing about.




 Beans...




 Leeks...



Rhubarb...



There are still plenty of capsicum on the bushes.  I pick them and crunch like an apple. So sweet and juicy, yum!!



The hens have been laying really well for this time of year. We put our sign out to sell but there were no takers, so I have frozen some of the excess eggs for the Winter season.




Our son has a Guava tree in his yard and it has had an abundance of fruit on it.  They weren't eating them so I gathered up a few to bring home.  I wasn't sure what to do with guavas so I stewed them up and dried the mix to make fruit leather. 






Luckily for me, quinces have been readily available at the nearby farmers markets.  I love this yummy quince compote, served with homemade yoghurt and muesli.


A neighbour near my parents had a clearing sale...I got all this lot and lots more (books) for $2.00! Very useful information in this old pile of books.


Also at the sale was this retro bench that we bought for $25.00. It is in really good order and is very sturdy. We have plans to repaint it.


A little bartering went on last week. I swapped eggs for some freshly caught salmon.




The olives are done and dusted.



 Rhubarb cake for hubby to take to work.


While out back last week, I saw this strange looking thing near my succulents. Apparently it is an exploded puff ball.  I don't recall ever seeing one of these before. 


The fire is on and I put it to good use by heating, cooking and drying.  


Here is sourdough drying by the fire.  This batch is going to my daughter in Sydney.



Sourdough brewing on the kitchen bench.


Hopefully my daughter will be making loaves like this soon.


Roasted pumpkin soup.



 Grapefruit and limes? Or are they lemons? I thought limes were green!



I had this weird looking spider inside today. A cross between a bug and spider?  I gently relocated it outside. Anyone seen one of these before? His front feelers (or legs) were constantly moving back and forth...


I saw these pretty succulents whilst out and about last weekend.  I brought home a couple of pieces to propagate.


Outside my kitchen window...


Loving clean windows and sunshine!



Wandering around the yard on these lovely days,  everything is looking pretty even though it is Winter time.








Beautiful sunshine makes everything look bright and green.







Chooks enjoying their greens.



Out the back today I stumbled upon a ruby saltbush with its pretty fruit on show. Apparently it is edible bush tucker and it is growing abundantly this year. I am not going to put it to the test though.


And lastly, I created this cute little cottage from bits and pieces around the yard.  All it is, is some gravel rocks stuck onto a firm piece of bark or wood.  I used an odd shaped bit of bark, small pieces of the same bark to make the door and window, and some flaky bark for the roof. Moss could also be used. Add some pretty paint and a couple of flowers and there you have a lovely knick-knack to place on a window sill or outside somewhere. 



Well that about wraps up what has been going on around here.

See you next time xx



35 comments:

  1. I love guavas. They import them from Mexico to sell in our grocery store. 8 little guavas cost $3.00 but they are tasty and good for you.

    No lizards about? I guess it is winter there and maybe they have all gone underground.

    I had no idea you could freeze eggs. My dogs go around the nests and eat the eggs every day here, maybe I should start picking up the eggs we don't need and freezing them for later.

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    1. Sorry Harry, still too cold for lizards :)

      Try freezing your eggs and use them when there is a shortage.

      Nice to hear from you again.

      xTania

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  2. Remind me I never want a wisdom tooth out! You have beautiful pics there. I wish our winters were like that. More akin to our summer.

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    1. I was thinking that about the temperatures the other day when I was watching a post on youtube based in Ireland. They said it was hot there, 19C! We are having those temperatures now during our winter lol!

      Thank you for dropping in,

      xTania

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  3. I'm all for perma-culture. I'm trying to plant edible native perennial plants that don't require honey bees for pollination, and to encourage native fruit and nut trees.

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    1. Glad to hear you approve of permaculture Gorges. Hope you have success with your attempt to grow native fruit and nut trees.

      xTania

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  4. You really have been busy Tania. I had no idea you could freeze eggs. I'll keep that in mind. Coincidence when I saw your roasted pumpkin soup as I had this craving for just that all day yesterday, then I saw your post. Must get onto that now,
    Your little cottage is beautiful too. You are so clever and creative.
    I'm very new to permaculture and have so, so much to learn but I know exactly what you mean by working with nature. Yes, it makes total sense to me as well. Looking forward to your ideas.
    Kylie

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    1. Hi Kylie,

      This is the first time I have tried freezing eggs. I read somewhere that you can do it and they are just fine to use as normal once they thaw out. We will have to wait and see on that one :)

      My head is full of permaculture ideas, but I am not sure where to start. I did try the chop and drop method in my front garden this afternoon. Also made a bed in the old wheel barrel using cardboard and wood as the base. I cant wait to see how it turns out. So that is a good start :)

      Hope you got your soup made :)

      xTania

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    2. I have been leaving fallen leaves and bits of pruning on our garden bed along the blind side of the house. We have winter roses there. Didn't realise it actually had a name 'chop and drop.' I was doing it as an experiment because it just felt right. We also have a stone path where the leaves fall however I pick those leaves up to keep the path tidy and toss them in the garden bed. I was reading that you can do the same with kitchen scraps however it looks a little messy. I think I'll keep them composting.
      I'll be interested in how your front garden goes with the chop and drop.
      Have a great Sunday.
      Kylie

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    3. Sounds like you are doing things right Kylie. Not sure about the scraps either, I'm with you on that one. Put them in the compost :)

      Keeping in mind what nature would do is very helpful. I cant believe that most humans go against nature and then wonder why they fail. Me for one! Just help mother nature along, it makes so much sense :)

      More chopping and dropping will be happening here tomorrow. And I will be working on some permaculture type garden beds, going to do some experimenting...

      xTania

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  5. It all looks so pretty and productive
    Hope hubby's teeth are all better now

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    1. Thank you Angela.

      Yes hubby is all recovered now and feeling the benefit of having the teeth out. They were causing infections all the time and he had to be on antibiotics.

      xTania

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  6. Tania you will find that a lot of the systems you already have in place fit with permaculture principles. I'm not expert and in fact, like you, my knowledge has been gained through reading, watching youtube and talking to Zaytuna Farm one day and see Geoff Lawton's ideas at work.
    I'm glad hubby is over his wisdom teeth removal. Ouchies big time!
    You garden is looking wonderful as is all your cooking. You look like you wont be needing to think about getting more olives for the next wee while.
    Good to hear you're up and about and getting on with life.

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    1. Tania I forgot to tell you that I have shared your Apple Slice recipe with some friends and the extended family. Besides being a hit here, it has been a hit with all who I shared it with. Bluey was talking to his cousin in the Mallee today. Ron's wife made the slice and it is now requested by the Grandies. Sue is a CWA lady from way back and is an amazing baker. SHe loves how simple and quick the apple slice is. Just thought I'd let you know this.

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    2. Hi Jane,

      I am so pleased that the apple slice is a big hit with your family, it is still a favourite here too. Everyone asks for the recipe when I make it :)

      Re permaculture; I think I still have a lot to learn re gardening. I have been doing some of the ideas but not really understanding how permaculture worked. I cant wait to get up and going now I am more knowledgeable. You are so Lucky having a talk with Zaytuna Farm and seeing Geoff's ideas. There is a fresh video on youtube and I have enjoyed watching Geoff's tour of Zaytuna immensely. Wish I could visit :)

      Thank you for your input, it is very helpful.

      xTania

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    3. Tania I should always re read before I hit enter on my comments. Oops What I meant to say was I so wanted to visit Zaytuna Farm and meet Geaff Lawton. I have not done so. However I watch his you tube videos and try and employ his big ideas into a smaller scale suburban garden. I pull ideas from Permaculture and from Peter Andrews, "Back From the Brink" author. It becomes a case of what works for you really,

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    4. Lol Jane, it only takes one word or lack thereof to change the context of the sentence. Never mind, I am sure it would have been great to have been to Zaytuna and met Geoff! If only... ~smiles

      I have heard of "Back from the Brink", might see if the library has a copy :)

      xTania

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  7. Another lovely and interesting post Tania. Thanks for the frozen eggs tip! Winter is lovely isn't it, a welcome reprieve from our harsh summers, but the frosts have been vicious here too. :) X

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    1. Thank you for dropping in Sally.

      xTania

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  8. Tania, our Simple Living Toowoomba group is having a permaculture workshop tomorrow which I am looking forward to. I hope your hubby is over the surgery. My son had two or perhaps all of his wisdom teeth taken out when sitting in the dentist's chair at the public hospital. My oh my, wasn't his face swollen afterwards. I can't remember is he had two trips to get them all out. It was so long ago. Your garden is looking lovely and it is certainly a nice time to be out and about and not being stuck inside due to the heat of summer.

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    1. I am so jealous Nanna Chel! The closest permaculture course/workshops here are three hours away in Gawler. I hope you share what you learn, I would be very interested to hear :)

      xTania

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  9. No wonder you have no time to blog, I'm exhausted just reading about your happenings!

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    1. Hi Cheryl. So glad to hear from you :)

      xTania

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  10. Is that a quongdong fruit (Wild peaches) in your photo? I love these and many happy memories of going for a drive with my Dad to find and pick these.

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    1. Sure is wild peaches Barb.

      I have many memories of going out bush to pick these too. Climbing on top of the vehicles to reach the ones at the top of the tree. I am lucky these days to just walk out my door and pick straight from my own trees. They seem to like the conditions for growing here. We have had great success from throwing seeds around, there are trees popping up everywhere.

      xTania

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  11. Dear Tania, Beautiful produce and cooking! The eggs swapped for the salmon was good. The rhubarb cake looks excellent too. I love the fire with the kettles and seeing the sour dough too! Sour dough has taken over here... I have bread rising now!
    It is so happy to see all your productivity! With love Annabel.xxx

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    1. Dear Annabel,

      Thank you for dropping by and for your sweet comment.

      I have bread rising too at the moment. It wont be baked for another hour. The cold weather has slowed the rising process. The fire has come in handy for sitting the dough nearby too, it loves the warmth as I do :)

      Much love to you,

      xTania

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  12. Oh my goodness!! Such beautiful things and so interesting. I feel like I just had a nice visit with you!

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    1. Thank you loves2spin, it is lovely that you called in :)

      xTania

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  13. What a productive time you've been having, Tania ... and what a "creative" use for old panty hose! Your blog has reminded me there is much to do, like clean windows and put a rock into the middle of the bird bath I received for Mothers' Day, it's quite deep and the bees will need a safe point. Your capsicums look fantastic! I have become really interested in Permaculture too but have found there are very few books in the local libraries that I can borrow to read. I did an Intro to Permaculture course a few months ago and it was great. I came away with lots of ideas and a list of plants to try too in the garden here. I look forward to catching up with your happenings again next time. Meg:)

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    1. Hi Meg,

      Our library looked at the database on their computer for permaculture books and sourced a couple of great books in for me. If you know the name of some good books like the one pictured at the top, ask them to get it in for you. It only took a few days :)

      I wish there were more permaculture options for me to learn hands on, but the nearest course is three hours away. I am hoping to find some local people and pick their brains lol! The search has begun! Thank goodness for the internet, I have learned so much already :)

      Have a great week,

      xTania

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  14. I always smile when I see you have posted ....

    I was quite surprised to see that your garden with wiki planter pots is so close to the surrounding salt bush. Like a food island:)

    Thank you for all those glorious photos and recipes. Reading about the apple slice reminds me to try it...simple but good by the sounds of it :)

    Here's hoping your journey into permaculture is successful . ...I remember reading about how the Jews set up their Orange groves in Israel many years ago . Their land was desert!

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    1. Thank you for the lovely comment Alexa. If they can grow food in those desert countries, then I can too!

      So good to hear from you again xx

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  15. Your poor husband. I feel so bad for him having to have that dental surgery. Praying he heals up quickly.

    Your yard looks so pretty. I'll bet the cooler temperatures are very welcome after that scorcher of a Summer you had. The Bird of Paradise flower took me right back to my childhood yet again, it was always one of my favorite flowers. :)

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    1. Hi Debbie,

      Hubby is fully recovered and back to normal now.

      I love the Bird of Paradise plant too. For many years it did not flower and now it seems to be very happy and flowers every year.

      Thank you for dropping by,

      xTania

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I love reading your comments! Through them, I have learnt that there are some truly lovely people out there. Thank you :)