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

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Spring Storms

Greetings dear friends,

You may have heard that we had major storms recently and the whole state of South Australia was thrown into darkness with a state wide blackout. Could this be because our local coal fired power station has closed? I think so, but the government are making all sorts of excuses as to why this happened in this day and age. Absolutely ridiculous in my opinion.

We were without power for 25 hours and my parents for 48 hours. Other remote places are still waiting for it to come back on and it is over a week since the storms went through. Phone coverage was also out.

Here is a photo of the now defunct power station. This was taken on the day they demolished one of the small stacks on the right.

Down it goes...

One by one the stacks and infrastructure will disappear and the land will be returned to its original vegetation.

Back to the storms...
We had to venture out in the bad weather to pick our grandson up from school.
This was taken on the way.

And this is what we encountered when we reached the school.
Because of the gale force winds, a tree had fallen and it knocked over power lines and they were blowing around in the wind with sparks flying everywhere. A car had accidentally driven over a live cable and the occupants were stuck in the car.  Hubby told the lady to sit tight and not get out of the car! He phoned emergency numbers and the school to warn them of the danger just outside the school grounds. Hubby parked our car in the middle of the road with hazard lights on and redirected traffic until the police and emergency services arrived.

The conditions afterwards while driving home were quite scary. The wind was so strong it was blowing the rain horizontal across the roads, it was like driving through a cyclone. It left trees down and lots of other damage around the town. Thank goodness our place received no damage.

More photos of the storm can be seen here.

A few days later we went with the old ute, chainsaw and trailer to chop up some wood from the fallen trees.

It is so lovely to see the beautiful fields of green everywhere. We have had so much rain during Winter. Normally it would be dry and brown at this time of year.

Next we went to a nearby town where a tornado had ripped through the outskirts of town.  You could track where it had gone, there was debris everywhere.  It plowed through the caravan park up rooting trees and turning caravans on their roof!  We drove down the side road and there were fences down on properties with trees, branches and leaves strewn everywhere. It also brought down a power pole and cut electricity.

This is what the wind did to power poles nearby. And this is what caused the whole state to lose electricity.
Image result for power lines at melrose
image source

Anyway back to our wood cutting expedition. We pulled up where a farmer and his wife were cleaning up along the road and asked if it was okay to chop up some of the wood. Because my parents have just moved to the district he said yes, so hubby got busy!

We had a full load to take home.
The next day we found another tree locally and chopped that up too. We now have twelve months worth of wood for the fire.

We coped well with the blackout.  Hubby bought fuel that day because the warnings were out on the radio. He tested the generator to make sure it was working okay. We ran it to keep the fridges and freezers going and to charge our mobile phones. We have a gas stove so was able to cook meals and have teas and coffees. My freezers are full and so is my pantry. We had plenty to eat if needed.

The local supermarkets were thrown into turmoil and one did open its doors but the shelves were pretty bare. They lost lots of stock from the fridges and freezers.

Did you get storms in your neck of the woods?   Were you able to cope without electricity if it went out?

Wishing you all well,

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Spring Time in the Garden

Hello dear friends,

It has been a while I know, but I thought it was time for an update on the vegie garden.

Spring has been a long time coming with cold nights still around and lots of rain falling.  There has been a lot more rain than usual for this time of year. Because of the colder days and nights the plants have been rather sluggish in taking off. Normally this time of year it would be getting quite warm to hot.

This silver beet is from last season and is starting to go to seed. Hopefully the seeds will spread and come up by themselves. The chooks love to eat the silver beet leaves, this is why I grow them.

The strawberries have sent out runners and established themselves along the edge of the bath. I am really pleased at how well these are growing considering I have neglected them terribly through winter. They are loaded with strawberries.

I decided to plant more kale this year. This is great added to smoothies during summer.

The silver beet has been neglected too but look at how well it is growing.

I am wanting to grow apple cucumbers, but couldn't find any seedlings so have planted these ones for now. They are cucumber spacemaster and are dark skinned. I am going to look through my seed collection and see if there are any apple cucumber seeds I can plant out.I pulled out the old capsicum plants.  I was going to chop them back but thought starting with fresh plants was a better way to go.  The ones I planted last season produced good fruit right though winter.

 With all the rain we have had there are celery plants popping up everywhere. This is one of the easiest plants to grow.

The rhubarb I transferred to this wicking barrel is looking very healthy. The rain has done wonders.

I am waiting for my tomato seeds to come up.  I buried some of the old tomatoes from last year and hoping they will germinate soon. 
In the meantime I found these Stupice tomatoes at a farmers market recently. Apparently these grow well in cooler weather so I am going to give them a trail run to see how they fare.

The spring onions grew well in a wicking barrel.  They have gone to seed and once dry I will spread the seeds over the soil so some new plants can grow.

I was very pleased to see some native bees buzzing around the flowers. Last year there didn't seem to be many bees around.

This is how the vegie garden is looking.  It is early days yet, but I am looking forward to having a bountiful season.

I am going to get hubby to help me relocate these baths to the other part of the garden. Then the plants will be all contained in one area.  Not sure what I will do with this side yet but have been thinking maybe cover over and make into a green house. Hint,hint! 

 This is where the baths are going to be put. We have started removing the soil from this old bed and then will take the posts away and place the baths along the fence.

The weather is warming up this week.  This past week we have had terrible storms and power outages. Hopefully there wont be much more of that sort of weather. Our power was out for over twenty four hours, but other places were out for much longer. The strong winds brought down trees and flattened power poles. It also brought more rain for some areas and caused flooding.  Mother nature is grand isn't she?

How is your garden preparation going? What are you attempting to grow this season?

Take care everyone,