Sunday, 10 November 2013

Simple Living Sunday 3

Another busy week for this little household. I have managed to keep up with work and my simple living projects, looked after the family and even scored a little rest and relaxation. Cleaning and washing are my main priorities today. Every week when I look back through the photographs to post I am amazed at how much I have achieved.

My salad has a lot more variety now. Everything here was sourced from my garden and tastes wonderful!

I baked my own sour dough bread from the starter I made. It didn't rise as much as I thought it would and was quite a dense loaf but very tasty. I will try another recipe next time. This was made using 200g of starter, 400g bread flour, salt and a cup of water. I kneaded the dough and let it rise for about three hours then did the same again for another three hours.

It was supposed to rise to double its size but it didn't get quite that big. Still I was very proud of the fact that I had made a loaf of bread from scratch with my own yeast. Something I have always wanted to do.

My ginger beer bug has not really done much. I smells wonderful, like sweet ginger cordial but is not yet bubbling like I understand it should. I have only been feeding it once a day so will keep going for a few days longer and see what happens.

The alfalfa was so easy to grow and a lovely addition to my salad. I will look into sourcing a large supply of seeds and a few different varieties of sprouts now I know how easy it is.

 The Bok Choi seed pods dried out and I harvested the seeds for my collection.

This is my largest Zucchini plant and a few of them stopped growing and rotted away. I pollinated last week in case this was the problem and they seem to be growing better. I have read about blossom end rot and just in case this is the problem I decided to treat for that too. A lack of calcium can lead to blossom end rot.

So, I googled and found out that you can get calcium to your plants via egg shells, either in the soil or by spraying with a calcium/eggshell spray.

So I ground the shells in the blender and added to water in a spray bottle. I strained first and used the grittier residue to dig into the soil. Fingers crossed all my squash will now grow bigger and healthier.

I have lots of yellow button squash on this bush now.

This is a yellow Zucchini type of squash.

The standard dark green Zucchini.

My pride and joy this week. The teeny tiny baby rockmelon from last week is now the size of a cricket ball - in one week! Amazing.

We now have a teeny tiny baby watermelon.

I have a dozen little cucumbers growing and picked my first one today. These are a small variety and if I let them grow too big they will be bitter.

More cherry tomatoes that just appeared beside the cucumbers. A welcome addition to my salad..

...As well as my first home grown tomato. It's only small but very tasty. Not sure why my tomatoes did not grow big. Could be due to the fungus that I treated last week.

Still getting a few snow peas. These have done okay but I found out it is the wrong season for them. Why do they sell them here locally as seedlings if its the wrong season?

The gumtree garden has been a winner with the heat. The leafy greens thrive here and I am planting more on the other side. Spinach, kale, silverbeet, bok choi and rhubarb are all happy here.

I picked my first batch of kale and can't wait to try it. I have never eaten it before but everyone raves about kale chips so will give them a go.

I am so glad I started on this journey. Looking through my posts and seeing how far I have come fills me with such a sense of achievement. Not every project is a great success but I am learning so much every day and every project leads to another one, equally as fulfilling. My fascination at the moment is with herbs, both culinary and medicinal, so I am researching what herbs I would like to grow and planning the next vegetables to plant to replace those I have harvested.

I visited an amazing herb farm yesterday and will post about it later this week.

No wonder people have green thumbs. It is such a rewarding past time. Have you ever baked sour dough bread? If so, I would love some pointers. Do you grow herbs for teas or medicinal purposes?

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