Tuesday, June 12, 2018

these simple days


Grown and gathered ~ the garden is hanging in there even though we are now into the winter season. Every day there is a tomato or two to gather, but overall the last of the summer vegetables are now gone. A couple of recent frosts have finished the cucumbers for another season. I did not grow the bottle gourd pictured below, but I have saved some seeds for planting. Have you heard of the grow free cart movement? This is where the gourd came from, a local grow free cart right here in my home town. Have you tasted them? The inside is similar to zucchini or squash, so they can be used in the same way. You can see more about the carts here.  The first of the garlic plants has appeared out of the soil, and since recent rain there are more poking through. Rain does amazing things don't you think?






Rainy days ~ speaking of rain, we have had a few wet days since I last wrote here. Only last Friday we had another inch of rain. A nice steady drizzle for over twenty four hours, it was simply lovely. Just the day before I had planted beetroot, silver beet and bean seedlings so the rain has been very welcome. The first rain photo was taken at my daughters place on a recent visit. She had placed a couple of garbage bins to catch the water from the shed to use later on her garden.




Homemade ~ Just like in days of old, I love to use the top of the winter wood fire to cook some of our meals. It doesn't get  much better than this.


Among other things, I have been spending my time in the kitchen creating healthy vegan meals such as veggie pasties, egg plant schnitzels, and some delicious sweets like bread and butter pudding and healthy cookies. 





I love seeing my pantry shelves full of things that I have grown, dried and preserved. This brings so much joy and satisfaction.


I am still brewing Kombucha, and it is something I can almost do with my eyes closed now. See the jar on the far left? This is what is called a scoby hotel, and inside is where I keep all the spare scoby's (mothers) until they find new homes.   


After finding myself with so much excess sourdough starter, more than I could possibly ever use, I decided to dry some for safe keeping. I have done this before and happily given some away for others to try.


For many years now I have used this homemade cleaner. It has very simple ingredients and smells really lovely, and who could pass up such a pretty colour blue? I do not really measure out the contents, just mix some sugar soap with water and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil. This is it, and I find that it cleans remarkably well.    


Pink ~ these flowers were a gift from my son and his girlfriend for Mother's day last month. They stayed in bloom for ever so long and I have only recently placed the remains into the compost.



Out back ~ succulents are my favourite and are so easy to grow. I have been tidying them up and placing the spare leaves on fresh dirt. See all those little babies forming?
                   


A different kind of geranium. This unusual one was found in a tiny plant nursery along one our country roads. I was told it can be a little more delicate than the standard geranium, so we will see how it goes.


This succulent was also found in the same nursery. I have plans to transfer it into a hanging basket.



We were gifted these tiny chili plants, but they haven't really grown. I do not think it is the right season for them to thrive.


The orange pig-face daisy always adds colour and beauty.



Pretty bougainvillea.



This faithful old red geranium is so easy to propagate and I have had it growing for many years.


These emus passed through one bright sunny morning. They have been roaming around our area for weeks now. Maybe they are looking for food or water as it has been really dry this year and food has been scarce for the native animals. I have placed water out for our feathered friends. 




Hubby chopped dead branches from one of the trees and turned them into mulch for the garden.



Another year of chopping and dropping. I cant believe that for years after cutting plants back, I removed all the cuttings instead of putting them back into the earth to enrich the soil. 
   

I am loving this whirly gig I found in an op shop. Its spins and whirls so beautifully. I also love the gentle sounds of the wind blowing through the nearby wind chimes, they are so peaceful and calming to listen to.    



The cart is ready to move some horse poo around the yard.  I am so thankful to my now grown children for getting this for me a couple of years ago for Christmas. It has been a real blessing and used for many odd jobs.

  


The wood has been chopped for winter.



Our happy chickens are laying eggs again after their molt.



Hubby has something else to keep him occupied. He is learning how to use this little Kanga, and so far it has been really useful for doing little jobs around here and at my parents property.


Lovelies ~ Love these two precious babes with my whole heart. 



The rain was steadily falling outside on this day.




Days end ~ beauty in the sky.




Hope all is well in your world.

See you soon,

xTania


33 comments:

  1. Beautiful post Tania! I love the sight of the cast iron pots cooking on top of the wood fire. I love the little tractor, the chickens and the cut wood. These are things that make me happy! And the rain and garden. You have beautiful Grandchildren!
    I hope you are getting more rain, it all adds up and there is nothing better than full tanks!
    You have a beautiful sanctuary and set up. A proper homestead! This is what we need in this world. Just lovely thank you! xxx

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    1. Thank you Annabel, I really appreciate your kindness and friendship xx

      No more rain here yet although it is overcast, so fingers crossed :)

      xTania

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  2. Over here, folks are getting their first harvests of the year and hot weather is coming in. You probably already know this, but beet tops make delicious greens.

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    1. Glad to hear you are getting the warm weather now Gorges. We are lucky enough to only have a short cold season, come August and it will be warming up again, cant wait.

      I did know that about beet greens, I have used them before in salads, stews and juices. It applies to some other plants too. We cut off the bits that can be eaten, my chickens usually get these. I've believe that the greens from carrot, radish, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radish and also sweet potato leaves can all be eaten. If this is the case, you will double your crop :)

      xTania

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  3. Such a beautiful post. You are such an inspiration, growing all of that food. It's really an accomplishment. Lovely sunset and babies, too.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Stephenie.

      xTania

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  4. Beautiful post, I didn't know you can dry the sourdough starter, I always wanted to make it but was afraid that I wont be able to use it all. I have try now.

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    1. Welcome Ivona, I am so glad to have you here :)

      You can also freeze the excess sourdough starter which is what I will do next time. Good luck making your sourdough. I made four bread sized loaves today to use up some more. I will give away some of the bread and bake again in a few days :)

      xTania

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  5. Such a lovely peaceful life you lead Miss Tania. Think I might have to move in. Oh oh there goes the peace and tranquility

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    1. Oh it is not always peaceful Jane, but I do make the most of my time alone when hubby is away for work lol! I do try to create a peaceful home with in my walls.

      Hubby has ten days off as of tomorrow, so my quiet time will be a little hard to find :)

      xTania

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  6. I hope you get enough rain to help the wild animals through. It's always hard to see them having trouble. Enjoy your winter...I won't be putting my tea kettle on the wood stove for a few months, I think. ;-)

    Lovely photos and cutie pie grandkids!

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    1. Hello and welcome Lisa.

      I am hoping for more rain as it has been very dry so far this year. The animals have bred up in the good years and now the food is running low they have ventured into populated areas. I do not mind at all, I love seeing our native wildlife.

      xTania

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    2. I'm having a problem with rabbits and deer eating my garden. I'm trying to scare them off with coyote urine and blood meal. We'll see how that goes. In the Midwest US.

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  7. Thanks for sharing the garden and life with us again. I was chuffed to see the emus. I wonder if because native animals are normally so elusive, it's such a privilege to see them, up close. All my sweet potato leaves have been gnawed off by the kangaroos, as well as the leaves off my pigeon peas. Just not enough feed out there, right now. Dry. Glad you're getting some rain though.

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    1. Hi Chris,

      We have seen a lot of emus this year. Even down the road that I walk I have encountered them, and kangaroos. I think the food and water was getting very scarce before the rain, so they moved toward civilisation. The emus have been wandering around our local town, and it is a wonderful sight to see :)

      xTania

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  8. Another beautiful post Tania - thanks for all that you share Xxx

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  9. Thanks Tania, just a lovely post of the simple things in life.

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    1. I love the simple things in life, and I am pleased to hear that you enjoy seeing and reading my posts. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment earthmotherwithin :)

      xTania

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  10. lovely photos of your simple life, looks very dry, even with that rain, it's the same here & further out farmers are losing livestock cos there's not enough to feed them!
    we are hoping for some rain, it keeps teasing us, even throwing a few big drops down but nothing substantial yet, keeping fingers crossed.
    what a brilliant sunset!
    thanx for sharing

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    1. Hello Selina,

      Some of those photos were probably taken before the rain last Friday. And yes it has been so dry, the ground had turned to powder in some areas. Hopefully an inch of rain will bring forth weeds to hold the soil together :)

      xTania

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  11. Hey Tania, Glad to see a little rain down your way. When i was in Adelaide I loved the grow free movement and gained many goodies. Such a great way to share and build community connection.
    I'm completely on the same page with the sense of achievement and contentment that comes from shelves holding home preserved and dried goodies. I've just been starting to preserve some olive harvests and these will stock up the pantry preserves nicely.
    Hope you get a lot more rain to keep things growing.
    Cheers,
    Laura

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    1. Hi there Laura, welcome!

      Thank you for reminding me about olives. I have a quick and easy olive preserving recipe I have been meaning to share. Hubby was the one who came up with our recipe. He borrowed three recipes from Italian and Greek friends and tried their different methods and then one night he said, I think I can improve on these recipes and came up with a simpler way that doesn't take as long as the others. Its a combination of all three methods rolled into one. We have tried it with great success! Now anyone that tastes our olives wants the recipe lol!

      It great that you could visit here today. I look forward to browsing over your blog :)

      xTania

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  12. I have only just recently heard of the grow free carts, Tania, and felt so glad that these kinds of initiatives are finding a place in the world. That bread and butter pudding in your photo has me thinking of childhood days, my mum would make that dessert often. I can almost taste that! Meg:)

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  13. Hello Meg,

    The grow cart idea was dreamed up by a man in Adelaide, they are a great idea. I left some eggs and took the bottle gourd and some pieces of Dragon fruit I hope to get to grow. I got to meet someone new (and she has a brilliant garden I hope to have a look later), it was a good day :)

    Bread and butter pudding is a favourite in our house, I have had to change the way I bake it, but it is still delicious!

    xTania

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  14. Tania, I so love the music that is playing at your site. It is beautiful and so soothing. What is the name of the song please?

    You have so much going on at your homestead. I love that you are able to propagate so many new plants from those you already have. I got a kick out of seeing the imus wandering around. Those babies are so precious also. I love the innocence of children and being able to see the world through their eyes. :) Be blessed!

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    1. Hello Debbie, thank you for dropping.

      The music is lovely isn't it? I heard it and thought it was too good not to share. You can find it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KbauuM9EhY&t=143s

      xTania

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  15. Everything looks and sounds so lovely at your place! I have never heard of egg plant schnitzel. How do you make it? I have some very happy eggplants growing in our garden and need to find a way to use the fruit when it comes on. Thank you for sharing your life.

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    1. Hi loves2spin,

      The recipe for eggplant schnitzel can be found here http://www.veggieful.com/2013/08/vegan-eggplant-schnitzel-and-coleslaw.html

      It really is a tasty alternative to meat. I cut the lot shown in rounds but it can be also prepared length-ways for a more "snitty" look :)

      xTania

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  16. The veggie pasties look delicious...

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    1. Those pasties definitely are delicious Kathy :)

      Thank you for dropping by today.

      xTania

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  17. Hello My Old Blogging Friend,

    Yes, I've been away for too long ... life changes have been keeping me too busy.
    I've enjoyed my short catching up with you via your blog. Thanks for all the lovely photos. I think I may want to visit Australia some day. Your sunsets are as breath taking as ours on the Montana prairie.
    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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  18. What a good report Tania! I cant wait to be doing the exact same with my wood fire. I love this. Who needs electricity too cook! We have had so much more rain... I am a bit behind with reading with my move...
    I also love seeing your produce!
    Andy would love a tractor like that! So would I actually it would be heaps useful. Loved getting here for a catch up. We have three days until our move! xxx

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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 :)