Wednesday 10 December 2014

Permaculture Garden Tour

Every so often I get the amazing opportunity to spend time with my local Permaculture Group at one of the member's farms. It is a great opportunity to learn new ways of doing things and to see what I have learnt put into practice. It is this type of farm I one day aspire to creating. Hope you enjoy the pictorial.

The hill where a gravity fed tank will be installed

Permaculture gardens always have plenty of bamboo

I must ask for some Banana suckers for my garden.

Mulberry bushes and bunches of hanging bananas

I should have written down what type of bean this one is

Protecting young seedlings with poly pipe

Row and rows of productive garden beds

Leeks and spring onions

They recently added the drip irrigation system

Beneficial dandelions to attract bees, and well protected bean seedlings

I must have another go at planting sunflowers...spectacular

Love the colours and textures and diversity of this garden

A very healthy cape gooseberry. I had no idea they grew this big

They use untreated sawdust for mulch, low cost from local timber mill

A very practical outdoor sink with a view

Puts my garlic to shame
My Little Drummer Boys

Monday 1 December 2014

Simple Living Sunday 45

Squash, squash and more squash. I was really surprised to see how much these had grown in a week. We had some heavy rainfall which was a blessing and just what the garden needed. These guys are the size of a small pumpkin and overfilled my basket.

So, a separate photo of the cherry tomatoes this week. They are producing a decent size now which are so much more versatile than the tiny ones from last season.

I love the contrasting colours of the green and gold.

I had to go and get a box to carry them inside.

This pumpkin I photographed last week has tripled in size. 

I spent most of the weekend getting the layers of old paint off my deck upstairs...well, making a start on it anyway. If we ever want to sell this place, there are plenty of repairs and renovations to be done.

The boys and I tried sanding the paint off, but it was patchy and really hard work because the boards are not all flat.

A large tin of paint stripper was what we needed. Man my back, legs and arms are sore today!

This is a shot of the stairs showing the lovely finish...a huge improvement. That's the cherry tomatoes growing through the bottom steps.

With so many squash I decided to get a pumpkin out of storage and make a vegetable curry. Even after six months the pumpkins are still fresh and juicy. Makes you wonder how old they are when you buy them in stores.

I decided to stick with my home grown produce for this curry, with the exception of the spices and a little wombok that needed to be used up.

I didn't have any onions so decided to use some spring onions, freshly dug up.

And my garlic which was hanging on the verandah.

The beauty of freshly picked produce...look at the moisture in this zucchini. Beautiful!

 I diced up my vegies and stirred through some indian and moroccan spices...and cherry tomatoes.

Twenty minutes later in the pressure cooker. My dinner for tonight and lunches for during the week. Yay!! I think a vegie lasagne will be next on the list.

What's been happening at your place. Do you like squash?

Monday 24 November 2014

Simple Living Sunday 44

Another busy week has flown by. I was thankful to have the weekend at home after last week's sports carnival in the heatwave. I managed to get a lot of mowing done by getting up early and doing a couple of hours before full sun, and then again in the late afternoon. It is still too hot during the day here to get very productive outside so I am hoping for a cooler spell this weekend.

I was amazed to find these huge squash on my other plant in the food forest garden. In a week they had grown from golf ball size to melon size. I think they were supposed to be green button squash but they look more like the patty pan squash I grew last year. Anyway the size does not affect the flavour and the skins are not too tough so...I have some awesome vegies to eat this week.

Not a great photo but you can see how fleshy they are. I made an awesome relish from squash last year, so if I get too many I know what to do.

Location and soil preparation make all the difference in raising an abundant vegetable garden. This squash was planted the same time as the others, in the same north facing sun...but in a different garden bed.

This is the one planted in my no-dig food forest. Amazing how some take off and some don't.

Another example is this golden nugget pumpkin planted under my lime tree, not in a garden bed.

And the same one planted in the no-dig garden which is layered with compost, manure, soil and mulch.

Yay, I can finally see a straight, normal looking zucchini.

And I am learning to pick my cucumbers young before they turn yellow. 

This is a forgotten rosemary in the herb patch which I totally failed with last year. Would love to get some major herbs going here.

The lemonade tree is also forgotten but still bearing fruit despite the dry weather. The recent rains will hopefully see this fruit ripen.

I love the little surprises you find that grow themselves.This passionfruit vine sprung up from nowhere in the front garden...

...and I am hoping to trail it up and around the front porch beams.

Not sure if this is a pumpkin or a melon vine but it just sprouted up under the tap outside.

I try not to waste any produce but the recent storms shook up the lemon tree, and the heat spoilt the fallen fruit...I really should have picked them up sooner.

I turned the yellow cucumber which was slightly bitter into relish, together with my abundant cherry tomatoes. I salted the cucumber over and then rinsed before using.

I added a capsicum, turmeric, garlic, sugar and apple cider vinegar and let stew for an hour.

Perfect. I mixed a little in with my chicken casserole for dinner which was really yummy.

And I have enough for the next week or so with my salads...and a jar for the preserves cupboard. Only 100 or so bottles left to fill now :)

So, that's what I have been up to this week. What's going on at your place?

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