Monday, September 3, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Boysenberry Bakewell Tart

Yum yum - the last of the summer's boysenberries went on this wonderful Bakewell Tart on the weekend. Mmmmm Mmmmmm

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Aaaaah! Blessed Sunday

A wonderful Sunday full of relaxing, knitting and baking. Our weekly loaves and some White Chocolate and Lime Cookies! Yum yum

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Good Friday

Productive day today - cooked up a big batch of our staple tomato pasta sauce. It used up just over 2kg of my tomatoes, some of which were beginning to look a bit tired, so it was good not to waste them. Also picked about 350g raspberries, and planted up my garlic in one of the front beds. I must show you some pictures of the front yard's transformation. Perhaps tomorrow ...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hidden Treasure

Look what I found hidden (amongst the weeds actually! LOL) right near the ground as I was admiring all the new baby eggplants coming along towards the top. Yum yum! And I have a few quite large green capsicums that I've been trying to be patient enough to let turn red in situ - so I feel a caponata coming on ...
Have a great week everyone!
Greenie x

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weekend Heaven!

Ah! The bliss of sitting on the deck eating home grown tomato & basil on home-baked toast after having planted carrots & leeks. Another loaf in the oven ... Heaven!

What are you doing this weekend?

Monday, February 6, 2012

February update

Hi everyone, I made a few goals and shared them with you at the beginning of the year. So I thought it would be good to share where I’m up to at the end of the first month:
  • Loads of quality time with the family
    • Good progress. Finally sorted little Charlie’s swimming lessons out so they are at a time that suits her (early morning rather than late morning when she’s tired and grumpy). Looking forward to spending some more time with DD when she goes on mat leave for baby II in April.
    •  Love spending my days with DH, but he’s going away again in a couple of days. 
    • And today is my darling boy’s 39th birthday. I miss him terribly but am trying to think happy thoughts and conjure up happy memories – he had the best, most infectious laugh ever! Nearly 3 years since we lost him, and I still think of him every day. 
  • Establish front garden
    • The wonderful Sustainable Gardener comes back on Wednesday for the first time this year, and I think he’ll probably finish the infrastructure this week – ie finish gravelling the paths, and mulching the beds. Then its off to the creek for some tadpoles and the garden centres for some plants.
    • This is a whole of year goal …
  • Find a moveable chook house that works for me and the chooks and is secure enough to keep next door’s cat out!
    • Well, I’m kinda pleased with this one! It’s a bought hoop-house greenhouse, courtesy of Ebay and manufactured in China. It’s dead cheap, super easy to erect, and light as a feather. Obviously, not particularly sturdy, and I nearly had a disaster before it was even in place. I fell into it while trying to fling the tarp over the top, and bent a couple of the struts, and broke a couple of the connectors. But 20mm pvc pipe fits over the connectors perfectly and keeps it all together. The girls (did I tell you I have 6 now?) like it because they are protected from the pesky cat next door. The three new girls are in the first photo below. Wellesummer/New Hampshire crosses apparently. They're very sweet but very shy.

  • Make more staples from scratch – bread, biscuits, pasta, preserves, yoghurt etc 
    • I finally mastered the art of the choc chip cookie – DH’s staple for morning tea!
    • I went to a wonderful bread-making workshop hosted by one of the Canberra Urban Homestead Clubbers, and made some truly wonderful focaccia. Also received a wonderful everyday bread recipe which I will try out. Am on the look-out for plain rice crackers/rusks for littlies. And am about to try a couple of cheese savoury biscuits.
    • Haven’t made pasta or yoghurt yet.
    • We do make most of our meals from scratch, which is why it wasn’t listed as a goal.
  • Get rid of the weed trees 
    • This is a job for autumn or winter
  • Maintain and improve the back garden’s food forest production 
    • I was interested to read Gavin’s post about not having a great year because he’d forgotten to mulch way back before Christmas. I have had a very mixed Spring/Summer with bugs galore eating most of the seedlings; some nasty getting to the tomatoes, and the nectarines rotting on the tree thanks to the leaf curl infestation in early spring.
    • However, on the up-side – I have made fabulous compost! So, I’ve mulched a bed whose soil was in a terrible state and mulched heavily and planted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bush beans, cucumbers, lettuce, and sunflowers just this last weekend. Here’s hoping!
  • Exercise, get fit, and lose weight – ie improve and maintain my health 
    • Definitely could do better on this one. February must be the month I start walking and cycling again.
  • Continue to Learn, Grow, Share and Enjoy!
    • I love this aim, cos it can be applied in so many ways! I believe I am learning and growing as a gardener, and as a cook, as a professional in my job and as a family member – especially learning to be a Granny! I’m sharing my produce and my expertise wherever I can, and for the most part, enjoying life!
Enjoy your February everyone!
Hopefully I’ll post a bit more regularly again now …
Greenie x

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Goals and a Challenge

Well hello everyone in Blog-Land and Happy 2012! 

I for one am glad all the festivities are over, so I’m no longer tempted by the gorgeous food and wine that accompanies the season. Although – there is still lots of my lovely SIL’s wonderful Christmas cake to finish off before we head home!

It’s been mild, but still cold over here in the North of England over the Christmas season. No snow, no frost, but lots and lots of rain, so everywhere is drab and damp and grey. A bit different from last year when it was a White Christmas and very bright. Beautiful – but Oh so cold and treacherous underfoot as well. It had melted by the New Year. So, we saw in 2011 in England with DH’s parents and we saw in 2012 in the same way! We had a lovely, quiet time and I turned into the biggest kid ever over the fireworks – running up and down the stairs to see the differing views from all of the windows!

Anyway, its January 1 now, so one’s mind turns to plans for 2012. Not resolutions as such, more a wish list and set of goals of what I’d like to achieve this year in my food forest, and more sustainable lifestyle. I've just read Gavin's and Hazel's blogs and my goals are in line with what they're saying.

First, with the help of the Sustainable Gardener and his wonderful team, the front garden has gone from a dream to being just about ready to plant up. Yippeee! I think by the end of January, or perhaps February, I’ll be raiding catalogues, visiting garden centres and market stalls (darling daughter gave me shopping vouchers for TWO garden centres this Christmas, and I have $100 saved from my birthday stash as well!) to buy the canopy for the forest. And probably a few other bits and pieces that I just won’t be able to resist – LOL!

In terms of the canopy, I have to find room for a black mulberry, my lovely fig from one of the Urban Homesteaders, and one of those beautiful magnolias with the huge dinner-plate size white flowers. Not a food tree I know, but it will attract birds and bees and other good insects, so it’s a helper.

I’ve also learnt as a result of some of my research, and some of my lovely blog-friends, how important it is to have lots of natives, especially native shrubs so the little birds can hide from the big ones – the flowers act as a decoy from the fruits of the forest, and there’s lots of good insects that are attracted by native shrubbery as well. Excellent! Add that to shrubby food producing trees, and I have the second layer of the forest sorted too! So native shrubs are on the list as well. As is a bit more research to find out what is truly local so that I help to rebuild and sustain the truly native flora. We have quite a few native trees, so they are contributing to the food forest’s canopy as well.

Stay tuned for pictures of progress once I get home.

So as not to make this post waaaaaay too long, here’s the short list of my goals for the year: 
  • Loads of quality time with the family  
  • Establish front garden  
  • Find a moveable chook house that works for me and the chooks and is secure enough to keep next door’s cat out! 
  • Make more staples from scratch – bread, biscuits, pasta, preserves, yoghurt etc 
  • Get rid of the weed trees 
  • Maintain and improve the back garden’s food forest production 
  • Exercise, get fit, and lose weight – ie improve and maintain my health 
  • Continue to Learn, Grow, Share and Enjoy!

Well, that should keep me pretty busy! Let’s see how we go.

What are your goals for 2012? Leave me a comment or link back to your blog in the comments section below. 

I’m thinking I may start a monthly review section – research suggests people who review their goals regularly are more likely to achieve them. Do you want to join me?

Have a great start to the year everyone!
Greenie x