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Life on two acres of arid dirt, on the edge of the Australian outback.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Mother's day weekend

Saturday was a busy day at my house.

I had the day to myself and lots of jobs to tackle. First up I made up another batch of kombucha. Because of the warmth from the fire, the kombucha is fermenting really well. I have had to move the brew into the pantry where it is a bit cooler. There was a lot of fizz in this lot.

When I had finished the important mundane things inside it was time to go out into the veggie patch. Once out there I proceeded to be ruthless and pulled most of the old tomato plants out. Some still had green tomatoes on but I will chop and freeze them for later use. I may make a pie or a cake...decisions, decisions!

Next to cop it was the basil bushes. I chopped them all back and pulled the remaining good leaves off to dry.

It was lovely outside and I listened to the radio while working.

Sitting while removing basil leaves from the stems. I think this is called slow gardening haha!

I ended up with this much. Not a lot but still usable.

I then decided that while I was in the mood I would chop all the sweet potato vines off and dig around to see what I could find in the bed.

Ta Da!!

This was the result. 10.2kgs {22.5lb} of delicious sweet potatoes. Some of them were very large and the heaviest one weighed 1.5kg {3.3lb}!

This one surprised me and was hiding between the cloth and the bath and resting on the rocks in the reservoir underneath. Somehow the vine punched its way through the geothermal fabric!

Some of the pieces I will plant back into the bed once I have added fresh compost and manure in there. These will come to life again in Spring.

The empty bed.

Next I dug up some more Jeruselum artichokes.

I was on a roll, so I tackled the sage next. There is so much of this! I have put it into a drying rack, but I really don't know what I am going to do with all of this. I have been adding it to my herbal teas because it is good for health. I have two plants so I think I will pull one up and move it into the ground.

Just a few snaps of some of the other veggies.

Empty tomato bed ready for topping up with fresh soil.

Young kale loving this weather.

More cucumbers are forming. I am hoping the frosts dont knock them around too much. It is getting quite cold at night now, last night was 4C {39F}. The days are still lovely though, around 20C {68F} and usually sunny.

The basil after a haircut.

Same with the sage.

Not so baby spinach.


The harvest. Not bad for an afternoons work.


My tea for Saturday night was a homemade beetroot burger and salad on sourdough toast. On this plate from the garden is beetroot and herbs in the burger and salad, baby spinach, tomato, green tomato pickles and sweet potato chips! It was yum! I made the chips almost oil free, added spices and baked in the oven.

The finished the socks. I made these for my mum for Mother's day, but will not make them again as I was not happy with how they turned out. Still, they will keep mum's feet warm during winter.

Yesterday we went to my parents to see mum for her special day. My eldest girl met up with us there also. We had a cup of tea and then mum announced that there were heaps of mushrooms growing outside after all the rain they had. She said they had been eating them all week and there were way too many for them to manage. So off we all went with trays and knives in hand to collect these yummy specimens. I have not gone mushrooming for years. What fun!

Mum's chrysanthemums were in blossom so I brought some home. So pretty J

My son and daughter in law gave me a lovely bunch of native flowers.

And a gorgeous hyacinths from my eldest girl. So spoiled.

Work has started up the top with hubby barrowing loads of crusher dust into the space where the pool used to be. He has gone away for work until Thursday and when he gets home this will be packed down and leveled ready for pavers to go down.

It was a really enjoyable weekend. I achieved a lot, and I am very happy about that.

How was your weekend? What did you do for Mother's day?



  1. You’ve been busy! 😊

    It’s very hard to grow basil here, because of humidity. Leaves get black spots and die. The purple variety does well, but not the regular green one.

    1. That's interesting about the basil Nil. I wonder why one will grow and the other wont? I have not tried growing the purple one, but I might give it a try next spring.

      Have a great week!

  2. You sure had a busy day on Saturday. You achieved so much! I Spent Saturday baking. I was adding to the meals I had made for Mum and Dad. On Sunday I drove down for an overnight stay with my parents. Last week Mum had a fall the night before Dad had an operation. They are both OK just sore and unable to do too much. So I took them down 15 meals for two as well as banana bread and a dozen Unicorn cupcakes with purple icing for Mum for Mothers Day.
    On Saturday my daughter and her fiance came over with flowers, chocolates and cakes and we had a lovely Morning Tea for me for Mothers Day. They had already bought me a feeder and waterer for my new chicken tractor. My son and DIL sent me a lovely embroidery that the DIL had designed and made. I was very spoilt.

    1. Such a busy time for you Jane. Hope your mum and dad are feeling better soon. A real worry for you I am sure.

      Sounds like you had a lovely Mothers day, you were were spoilt.

      I haven't forgotten about your Jerusalem artichokes. I am going to go to the post office and ask about how long it is going to take to get the parcel to you because I am worried about the slow postage at the moment and spoilage of the goods.

      Have a wonderful week, full of the things you love doing.


  3. What a busy weekend & what a huge amount you achieved Tania. How wonderful! I think your tea meal of home made beetroot burger & chips looks just so delicious - I wish I could reach into my screen & try some! I love mushrooms - you are so lucky to get so many. They make such a delicious meal on toast with lots of pepper! Have a great week Tania xx

    1. I did achieve a lot Julie and it feels good to do so. Now I have to tackle the weeds growing in the ground in the veg patch, the chooks are going to have a feast!

      There is no feeling like eating produce that you have grown. Wish I could share with you :-)

      We had the mushrooms yesterday for lunch, oh they were soooo nice!

      Have a lovely week doing the things you love.


  4. Your veggie haul looked amazing...I love sweet potato and you grew some big ones. The native flowers Mother's Day gift looks beautiful too. Have a good week. Kathy A, Brisbane

    1. I love native flowers, they last and last. Such a thoughtful gift.

      Can you grow sweet potato where you live Kathy? It grows like a weed here, just add water!

      Enjoy your week,

  5. What a great harvest, Tania. Sweet potatoes and basil...yum! I have an abundance of sweet basil growing and am thinking about making batches of pesto to freeze. I am not sure pesto can be frozen though.

    I love your mothers' day flowers. So pretty! MegXx

    1. Hi Meg,

      I left my basil plants a bit long this year so the bees could enjoy the flowers, so I didn't get as much as I should have. There never seems enough spare to make pesto, and I don't know if you can freeze it or not. That is an interesting question. Might have to google it lol!

      Have a great weekend,

  6. You accomplished a lot last weekend, Tania - it feels good to keep busy plus you harvested some good foods! I see you're an accomplished kombucha brewer. Planning on trying my hand @ it this weekend. How lucky you can eat the mushrooms your mom's yard produces. We get mushrooms, too, but (if I remember correctly) I looked up the kind we get and they're non-edible. I'll have to double-check that. Her 'shrooms are beauties. How lovely your family got together for Mother's Day. All the flowers are just beautiful! Have a great weekend and week :). Mary in San Diego

    1. Hello Mary,

      Hope you have success with making the kombucha, my first attempt failed, but a lot of success since then.

      My mum says that if you can peel the skin off the mushrooms, it is edible. She has never had an issue using this method, but how true it is, I don't know.

      Enjoy your weekend,

  7. Hi Tania, I'm new. I'm not a gardener at all, in fact I think my thumb is black. I'm trying to grow basic veges. Now that it's winter I've put in spinach lettuce cauliflower, corriander, and more. They not doing well 😊I'd like to grow herbs as well. I'm in South Africa and we don't have frost where I am. I see that you grow in containers, and you have something to the side of the containers. Is that for water? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you . Patricia

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Welcome to my blog, it is great to hear from you.

      I grow food in barrels using what is called a wicking system. You can google it for more information. We are so hot and dry here in Summer that this is a necessity for growing food. The pipe you see is used to fill the bottom reservior with water and the plants wick it up as needed. It is not 100% successful for the heat we have here {live in a desert with average rainfall of 9inches}, but it is what works best to conserve the use of town water which is soooo expensive.

      Have a lovely weekend,

  8. Hello Tania,

    Love te read from you again. Hope all is well?

    Kindest regards,

    1. Great to hear from you Wendy.

      Yes all is well, been absent because of touring around on holidays. They end this weekend so will be back to blogging very soon.


    2. Glad to hear. Enjoy the holiday. We will be patient :-)


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