Wednesday, January 13, 2010

what's going on out there

It is summer here in the southern hemisphere, and we've been enjoying some beautiful warm sunny days. It's been so hot, most days we have to water the garden day and evening (we're lucky to live in a place where water is not in shortage... yet). It's all well worth it though, our garden is going nuts.
It's so nice, and so rewarding as well, to be able to eat fresh fruit and veges from the garden.
I must have made a really good compost last winter: I'd planted some courgette, tomato and sunflower seeds, and suddenly that corner turned into a real bush. A pumpkin managed to sprout as well, and it's slowly taking over the corn patch.
So far, we've had close to a kilo of courgette a day (they're slowing down a bit now), a handful of beans every couple of days and a few strawberries and radishes. There's also sorrel, rhubarb and spinach ready to be picked, the tomatoes are not far off, a heaps more things sprouting: watermelon, cabbages, rock melon, carrots, lettuce, salsify, corn, eggplant, capsicum, rocket, kale, onions, pak choi, sliverbeet. Cross fingers things will grow!
We're also lucky to have a little orchard with golden queen peaches, granny smith and cooking apples, mandarins, tangelos, oranges and lemons. Our latest additions, three lovely Orpington chooks, love resting in the shade they offer in the heat of the afternoon. 
I have also been growing all our herbs: thyme, rosemary, basil, mint, coriander, dill, stevia, sage and chives. Most herbs have medicinal properties, which we value as well, and I have added a few more: lemon balm, chamomille, calendula, aloe and echinacea. I am very excited about the echinacea. Although I don't think I'll be digging out my only plant yet. I'm waiting to get some seeds and plant them next year.
We've been using soapnuts (or washberries) for our laundry, and I've been using it as a shampoo as well (it works a treat), and every now and again I'd find some seeds, so I planted all the ones I'd collected so far and two produced seedlings. I have to figure out how to care for them this winter (indoors or outdoors?). It would be so nice to get our own soapnuts fro our tree. The only thing is that it takes about 10 years before getting the first fruit! Hopefully we'lle still be here in 10 years' time.


  1. Hello, look forward to following your fantastic blog.
    Wow! What an oasis, wonderful! :)

  2. Looks like you have a rally nice garden spot. We got some chickens about 4 months ago and we love the fresh eggs. The kids especially love checking for them. I'm sure yours do as well. Oh how I long for warm weather again! Looks like your blog is really coming along. :)Congrats!
    I'm trying but would appreciate any pointers.
    Seeing yours really encouraged me. I love your stuff!
    Fellow etsy seller and sewer
    BabyBeanBy JACI

  3. We were probably more excited about the chickens than our son was! It's been so nice getting fresh eggs, although they've stopped laying, we're not sure why... we think it might be a lack of protein so we ordered some grains. Any suggestions anyone?

  4. Natahsa lee- Are they molting? I know they can stop laying when they are molting but they should start laying again. They also need sand to help them grind up their food. We weren't very good about this and then we gave them some and it seems to help. We also give them alfalfa in the winter. We never use laying feed because there are a lot of things in it that I would consider yucky. We feed them only chicken scratch, veggie scraps and about once a week, after washing and saving all their egg shells, I cook them with corn meal, liquid aminos and some water. They love this and it gives them calcium and protien.
    I hope this helps.