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

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

a simple life

Hearth and Home ~ A Simple Life ~ Off-Grid Cabin in New Zealand

This is simply lovely and I thought you would all enjoy.

Many Blessings, 
xTania


Winter memories, winter song
Summer's come, and summer's gone A fireside Our chairs close together The world's moved on That's what they say But I, I remember an older way A simple life for you and me Seasons turning, wood fire burning We watched the flames dance higher We've always loved the simple things A match, a flame, a fire Now what of spring? And what of summer? When autumn leaves are turning, It's for winter, Hearth and home, That my heart is yearning Stoke the fire, bake the bread, make tea The kettle singing, for you and me A simple supper by the fire, With the one I love Thinking back on bygone times Forgotten hymns, And old love-song rhymes Body and soul, warmly knit together Seasons turning, wood stove burning We watched the flames dance higher We've always loved the simple things A match, a flame, a fire Now what of spring? And what of summer? When autumn leaves are turning, It's for winter, Hearth and home, That our hearts are yearning It's for winter, our hearth and home That our hearts keep yearning

Thursday, April 8, 2021

the reason for my absence

Hello dear friends,

Apologies for my absence. It was my intention to start the New Year off with a blog post showing all the latest news from around here, but 2021 has not had a good start for our family.

My life has been in turmoil since the beginning of January with my Mum being diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer. As you can imagine this has been a huge shock for our family as it came on so suddenly and without warning. 

I am not sure when I will return to this little space. I simply am not getting the time to write or the motivation to do so.  Between spending time with my parents and trying to keep things going at our place, my life is pretty full right now.

I would love and appreciate if you could say a special prayer for my darling mum, she is so very precious to me.

xTania

Monday, October 26, 2020

out back garden tour ~ long post

Hello friends,

It has been a busy time here at home. The best news is that we have had rain, and it has been a regular occurrence this Spring. We have had very little hot weather with only a sprinkling of warmish days.  Needless to say the plants, especially the fruit trees and vegetables are growing ever so well.

The soil took extra time this year to warm up, so I had to be patient, but now almost everything has sprung into life.

There are a lot of photos in this post, so I hope you can make it right to the end. 

First up is a self sown Zucchini which came up in the soil of a wicking foam box and it is the small round variety. This is the first female flower and I hand pollinated it this morning.




The garlic is looking sad after all the rain. It has fallen over and I need to make a decision as to whether to pull it out before it rots in the damp soil, or leave it to see if it will be okay.


This is climbing spinach.  It died over winter so I buried the remains under some fresh top soil and this is what happened. Tomorrow I hope to pot some of these up and find homes for them.

Sweet striped cucumber vines taking off up the weld mesh.

Lebanese cucumber.

Lots of self sown tomatoes have come up, this is how I know the soil has warmed enough. I think these are tiny black cherry tomatoes.

I transplanted the comfrey from pots to a wicking box and it is loving its new home. 

Rhubarb looking healthy.

New shoots on the bay leaf tree.

My first pomegranate flower, so pretty.


Dainty flower of the lemon verbena.

Seven year beans.

Mixed lettuce seedlings.

More zucchinis, these are the black jack variety. 

In this bed are self sown capsicum plant and spring onions. The blackbirds have been playing havoc in the garden beds, scratching around looking for treats and destroying some of my plants in the process.

The blueberry bush.


Stupice tomato plant.


Black Russian tomato.


Silver beet seeds I planted and self sown green zebra tomatoes.

Eggplants.

Carrots.



Today's harvest.


Tommy toe tomato.

Spring onions and beetroot plant.

Capsicum and silver-beet.

Self sown peas from pea-straw in the spring onion bed.

Garlic chives.

The chives are flowering at the moment.

A rocket plant appeared in the ground after rain.


White yarrow and is about to flower.


More self sown capsicum that I have moved to a bed with spring onions.

Baby spinach.

Leeks.

The Jerusalem artichokes have re-emerged this spring. There are also tiny silver beet seedlings in this bed, I will be moving these to another spot tomorrow.

I do believe this is a potato plant that has grown from potato skins I dug into the soil with other scraps.

Mustard greens flowers left for the native bees.


In this bath I planted melon seeds. From left to right are; candy melon, rock melon and honey dew melon. Yet to come up are small round watermelons.

My overgrown carrot bed!


Strawberry plant. I have this one growing in an old bucket in potting soil meant for acid loving plants. My soil is too alkaline to grow these well. It seems happy and I have been picking strawberries.

Fig tree in a pot. You may remember that this was a tree stump when we put it in here. 


Mixed lettuce and eggplant growing in these wicking pots.

This is what happens when chopping the top off a cabbage. It grows multiple little ones! Now it will become chook food.

Another bed of capsicum and spring onions.

Leeks.

Salvia.

Sage in flower. Herbs produce such pretty flowers.

Oregano growing crazy!


Here come the sweet potatoes.

Globe artichokes.


Lemon balm.

Parsley.

Silver beet seedlings and weeds, also one beetroot.

Cabbage.

Beetroot.


Volunteer capsicums.


Silver beet seedlings.


Potatoes growing from peelings and reusing a grain bag. This is how I grow spuds.


I went to a permaculture fair in Port Lincoln on the weekend and came home with these. Warrigal greens {I have been after some of this for a while to use as a cover crop}, borage and chamomile. The brown pot has a plant that came up in another bed and I am trying to figure out what it is.


I was tidying up the Jasmine in the front yard and discovered one of the branches had taken root, so I potted it up.


I have bought a raspberry and grape vine, and hopefully I will get to plant these this week.


Mish mash of plants, apricot and nectarine trees that germinated from seeds, a white fig tree taken from my bigger tree, climbing ficus {fig}, rosemary, celery and spring onions.


I planted Ironbark pumpkin seeds in this old apple box, and I hope to train them to grow up the fence.

This yarrow has been moved to the outside of the veggie patch. I have too much growing, and I need to decide what to do with the excess. I have tried planting it in the ground under the fruit trees but it died or was scratched out by the chooks. So I have planted some near where the drain water comes out under one of the wicking baths, and noticed a couple of random young plants growing in the ground around the patch.

In the process of setting up more wicking boxes.


Row by row...





In the orchard the bees have been extremely busy. 

Bunches of mandarins...


And oranges.



This is the healthiest I have ever seen this white fig tree, normally it is dry and straggly but with all this pleasant spring weather and rain, it is booming.


Baby figs forming.


Even the mango tree is doing well.

 
So is the mulberry tree.



The orchard. You can see how green it is. Usually this time of year we are having hot dry windy days.






I planted Jerusalem artichokes bulbs under the grapefruit tree. I was going to post these ones to my friend Jane, but the postage here in Australia has been way too slow during covid, so will wait until it improves. I didn't want to risk them going bad in the mail...


The grapevine is growing like crazy. Unfortunately more leaves than fruit, which seems to be happening a lot on other trees also.



Hopefully this little guava tree will bear fruit this year. Another rescued tree that was just a stump.


Flowering saltbush.



Here we have pigeon pea. I had purchased seeds a while ago, so popped them in the ground expecting them not to grow. But they did! So I am very happy.



The moringa tree is taking off after struggling with severe frosts over winter.


And I noticed this one also has shoots. Woohoo!


This is a controversial plant and I don't know if I will keep it or not. This prickly pear was given to us by a friend who grows it to eat. Apparently you can eat the fruit and the leaves. But because we know it can be a pest and spread out of control, so I am thinking of putting it into a pot to try and keep it contained and away from the birds somewhere where it can't be spread. Is that even possible?


So pleased to see pods on the Sturt's desert pea, this means I should have more come up next year.


This year I picked about fifty lemons from this Lisbon Lemon tree I grow in a pot, and now it has more fruit.


Using small buoys cut in half for the bees water. This idea came from a friend and he gave us some to try.


Planted more beetroot in the pots. I have harvested the first crop and preserved them.


Strawberries. These are growing in our alkaline soil and don't do as well. I am hoping the pine needles add some acidity to the soil.





I left this beetroot to go to seed but the strong wind has blown it over and out the soil.


Letting the lettuce flower for collecting seed.


The buddleia is about to flower.


Gold.


And lastly a look inside of my worm farm to see the healthy fat compost worms. 



As you can see the garden keeps me busy. 

This week I will be trying to catch up with a few jobs.  My patch needs a tidy up, there are weeds to pull, wicking boxes to be finished, plants to pot up and plant out, and the chook house also needs a clean out. No time to sit still lol!

See you soon.

Take care everyone,
xTania