Friday, February 29, 2008

Gardening Australia Expo.

Debbie & I arrived at 9.30 on the dot for our day at the Gardening Australia Expo. I wasn't sure what I was going to be seeing or hearing, but let me tell you....... it was more than what I could have expected.

For 9 years I have been growing vegies using Peter Cundall's DVDs & books as a guide in what I wanted to achieve in our backyard. Then when Josh Byrne joined the team as a presenter, I incorporated his permaculture practices in with what I was already doing out the back. Learning as I went along, I was already doing some of the permaculture practices without knowing I was.

So to be actually about to walk through the doors and into a world of information on gardening by my teachers was overwhelming.

We didn't even get into the Jubilee Building when we saw Josh talking to someone. As he walked away I used my best drooling manners I had and said "Excuse me Josh, have you a couple of minutes?"




Not only is Josh a lovely and charming man, he's genuinely friendly. I showed him the photo from yesterday's post and his face lit up and said he remembered signing the photo. I have 2 photos of us together and so does Debbie.

Oh I wish I didn't have to ever have a shower........ he's just so lovely..... (cute too)


Through out the day there were presentations of different topics related to the garden and depending on the presenter as well.



Josh showed us how to make a live salad pot with lettuces and silver beet for salads, showed how to make a worm farm from a broccoli box and talked about growing fruit trees in small areas. Also how to make a pond using a car tyre.



Peter Cundall entertained us with stories of using braces to keep his pants up and about eating well and the fact he's 81 next month. Also he's retiring in June this year. So to get him to sign his "The Practical Australian Gardner" book I have followed and referred back to over the past years, was a highlight of the day.



Sophie Thomson spoke about bugs and helped us to learn more about the good bugs and the bad bugs. The talks were for 45 mins, but with Sophie's talk on bugs.... it could have gone much longer. She was just a joy to listen too and was just so full of information on the bugs.

Afterwards we were able to stand in line and meet and greet the presenters. With Sophie both Debbie & I were able to have our photos taken with her.



At 3.30 Deb & I were listening to Peter talk about his "Little Vegie Patch" that the viewers get to see most Saturday nights on the ABC Channel.

The 6 beds were set up in the actual sizes they are down in the Hobart Botanical Gardens. Just the areas between the beds isn't as big as the original site, as they have cameras on trollies going down in between the beds when filming.




The great man himself........ Peter Cundall who inspires so many people like me to grow vegies in the backyard, organically and to enjoy what we are doing.

So this little garden groupie (as Amy called me this morning) had the most wonderful and incredible day. To meet and listen to the people who have helped to shape my garden and give me the passion I have.... I say thank you.


More photos to come tomorrow as I am pooped mrgreen

Until next time....hoo roo

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Going To Garden Australia Expo.


This signed photo of Josh Byrne was sent to me by 2 lovely gardening friends over in W.A. last year. Tomorrow I will get to see this man in the flesh.

Tomorrow my sister Debbie & I are going to the Garden Australia Expo here in Adelaide.

We are so excited about seeing not only the expo and what it has to offer, but to see and hopefully meet the presenters.

My 2 idols will be there tomorrow, Peter Cundall and Josh Byrne. For people overseas and not familiar with these names, they are gardening gurus here in Australia.

Peter Cundall is well known for his organic vegie garden and I have learnt so much through his books, TV show and DVDs.

Josh Byrne is very much into permaculture and I use his practices where possible in my backyard.

So tomorrow I'll be in my element listening to them and looking at what the expo has on offer.

Must remember not to drool too much lol as to me they are the Brad Pitt and George Clooney's of my world.


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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

In My Next Life.


Spring onions are starting to get big enough, that I can see them as I walk up to the area. These I just sprinkled into an area and covered with soil and then prayed they would germinate. As we had 3 days of weather up around 39 degrees.



When I come back in my next life, it'll be as a cat.



Harley and Rebel were cat napping when we came home from our daily walk. Didn't see these two tom cats out exercising. No they were happy on a kitchen chair catching up on some zzzzzzzz's.

Me, I think when I came back in my next life it'll be as a pedigreed cat. Talk about a comfy life our cats lead.

Until next time.... hoo roo

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Little Chicks 1 Month Old

Little chickens will be 4 weeks old this Thursday (28th) and they have that scruffy look about them. Late yesterday I tried to grab then to take photos, but in the end I felt like Wylie Coyote as they are the Road Runners.

Man can those 3 move and move they do. Zipping just outside my reach, between my feet and around me.

But this morning I was quicker. lol Much quicker.





When all 6 chickens hatched, they were all a fluffy yellow colour and so I marked the 2 cross bred ones with a permanent black texta. The 2 cross bred chicks have no black feathers coming and are still bigger than the only remaining Light Sussex Bantam that has survived.

I am hoping that they all hens as when I grabbed them, they sure squealed like girls. Anyone would have thought I had a skewer with cherry tomatoes and onion quarters in my other hand. Boy did they carry on.......




The little Light Sussex bantam is starting to get coloured markings around her neck. They are more prominent when she stretches her neck, when looking at something.



Just starting to colour up in her tail as well. Must admit when little chickens start to get their second set of feathers their little bum feathers are just so funny to look at.



There is some colouring in her wing bar, looking at her parents this will disappear in the next moult.

In 4 weeks again they will be different again, as little chickens grow so quickly.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Garlic

Yesterday we had a couple of light showers of rain, enough to run outside and take Amy's washing off the line. That was spread onto the clothes rack in the rumpus room to finish drying.

Then last night just before 9 pm we had another shower of rain and was treated to that lovely fresh smell of rain in the air.

We measured 2 mm this morning in the rain gauge.

When we are talking to family interstate, they are under the impression we are getting a fair bit of rain. Weather person on the TV interstate tells them... rain showers for Adelaide. What they don't see or hear is, our weather person telling us, the rain went bye-byes and forgot to rain over the city.

Its that dry here, even new houses are starting to crack. So if you thought we were getting rain here....... sorry we're not.



Lets talk cheery things....




My garlic chives is out in flower and its just putting on a stunning show. I don't actually use this in the kitchen. I wanted it for the flowers, to help attract some bees to the garden. This plant came from our "good gardening buddy" Pepper, last year on one visit to his place.




Not the best photo to show you, but it was overcast and the flash wanted to work. Garlic chives plant. Lovely and green and oodles of flowers to liven up the vegie patch.


Couple of my cloves I harvested at the end of last year. These guys were earmarked for my first loaf of garlic bread that I made this afternoon.

I have been able to grow garlic each year from my previous years harvest. Taken a few years to get enough to have what I want for the kitchen and what I need for the next crop.

So when I plant out my garlic next month, they'll be organic, local, big and plump. Gotta be a good start before they are even in the ground.

I have posted over on my Garden to Plate blog the result of the bread I made. It was so yummy (had to try it straight away) and no more buying garlic bread at the supermarkets from now on.

Pat said the house stunk of garlic.... he doesn't eat garlic bread, so more for me & Amy.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Oh It Was So Cool Today

Today was such a lovely cool day here in Luckyland. Temp yesterday reached 39 degrees and today was about 20 degrees. Big differance and was it such a joyful day.

I was busy in the kitchen and cleaning the house, after the hot days we had. House looked like a bomb had gone off.

So while I washed, ironed, put fresh sheets on the bed, vacuumed and pottered round. I managed with my bread maker to make a batch of hot X buns, dinner rolls & a loaf of bread.


Plus a yummy meal with capsicums from my little vegie patch. mrgreen





If you'd like to see my buns, loaf of bead or how to make this meal... check out my blog...
Garden to Plate.

Had the usual playtime down the back with the animals. Only got 2 eggs from them today. Guess the girls we overcome with joy at the cooler weather and forgot to lay any more eggs. lol

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hair Raising Time Today.

Today being payday and it so hot outside, I said to Pat, well actually I told Pat..... I'm getting my hair cut today. Last hair cut was back in Nov 07 when we were in Sydney and even then I was debating whether to have it cut and not trimmed.

So while out shopping I treated myself to a shampoo and blow dry at the hair dresser. I've had long hair now for over 5 years and I much prefer my hair shorter. Pat loves long hair and so he can grow his to his hearts content and I'll have mine the way I want it.

Looking at all the hair on the floor after the deed was completed, I felt like I was leaving a part of me behind. So I asked my hairdresser, if she could collect it for me to bring home.





Weight was 40 grams and this will be added to my worm farm. Human hair can be added to a worm farm as long as its not had perms or hair colouring put through it. Plenty of hair to split between all 3 worm farms.




That is what I look like now and I feel so much better for it. That's my natural curl and no curling chemicals was put into my hair, when it was blow dried.

Much better and I don't feel like I need to take my broom when I go anywhere now.

Another good win for today was going back to the supermarket about those pricing practices on the environment bags.

Today I noticed at another supermarket by the same chain, had all their prices splashed everywhere showing the different prices for their shopping bags.

So when we hit our local shopping centre this afternoon, I checked ....... and nothing had changed.

I asked very nicely to see the manager of the supermarket and said only he could help me.

Well a different story today mrgreen he listen to my questions and my point of view as a customer. No glaring from him, no "nope we don't want to be helpful to you today"...... he said the prices will be up and also wanted to know who I spoke too. He wasn't aware that the had been a problem and wasn't happy I had been fobbed off and had to deal with the front end lady in charge.

And look what I got for free...... my blue bag.



May have been only $1.39 that he gave me in goods, but it the fact he acknowledged there was a concern from the customer and he then promised it would be fixed. That is what made me feel important when I left the shop, I had been listened too, not had ones hands thrown up into the air and given a swap over bag to shut me up.

So today I have done battle and come up trumps. I feel really good for it too.

until next time....hoo roo

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Summer Is Back

Even though we're in the last month of summer and it can still be hot into March, we have had some lovely cooler days and mild nights.

Guess it had to come to an end at some stage and it's today and for the next few days. Looking at a temp of 36 here and for the next few days.

So all animals are ready for the heat for the next few hours, from fresh water to frozen milk bottles in their hutches. Bird baths are full of water in the front and back yards. So hopefully our animals and the feathery visitors, don't find today too uncomfortable.




Nice to know at least the capsicums are thriving in the garden. Love to see the red capsicums on the bushes. Heaps of green ones at all sizes and stages of growth on the bushes.


With it being so hot here, we are inside keeping cool. So to fill my hours I am knitting a pair of socks for myself and a white baby jacket. If you haven't checked out my other 2 blogs you can find them here....

Garden to Plate

My Knitting Box

I tried preserving some roasted capsicums in oil...redface.....................eek oh boy wasn't that a flop. You can find out how I did it and maybe offer some advice on where I went wrong. Its over on my Garden to Plate blog.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ducks On The Move

This evening at feed time, the "boarder gate" was opened and 9 not so little ducklings were allowed to mingle with the "great ones".

Opening the gate and getting the ducklings through the "boarder gate" took 2 trips round "Freedom Road" and by this time Twinner had joined in. Twinner was just busting to get back with her kids and she wasted no time when my back was turned.




Okay now that's a few ducks in this duck run. I have 2 families calling in and looking and hopefully taking some home with them. Seeing as its the end of February and 1st week of March, we thought it was time to shift them into the bigger area.




All 9 ducklings and yep, you guessed it.... Twinner in the back ground. That duck so needs to get a grip and let her kids go.


Now that is a pond! Not that little orange dish they had out grown. But a grown up pond and did they have fun hopping in and having a grown up swim.



So now Bonnie and her 3 chicks have a peaceful meal time, no ducks thieving their chick crumble. The wild birds is another thing. eek

When Oprah's chicks hatch out, she and her bubs..... should be able to wander safely in "Freedom Road" and not worry about being run over by web feet.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Green Bags



I have some of these bags in the car for our main shopping day and as you can see, some hang on the front door. This is to remind us to take a green bag when walking to the shops, so we don't need to use a plastic bag the shops offer.

They are a great idea and can carry more food in these than a plastic bag.

Often I hear people say, they forget to bring them when they go shopping and they either buy new bags or use the plastic bags supplied at the shops.

Yesterday while walking to the shops I noticed the bag I had in my hand had developed a frayed hole in the bottom near the seam area. Pretty well making it not much good for cans or milk and a walk home.

What do I do with a environment bag that has started to break down? It becomes the poultry green bag for carrying loosed leaves from our grocery shop home for them.

So I needed to buy a new bag while in the supermarket. Figured for a change I'd have a pretty blue bag instead of the green bags on offer next to the coloured bags in blue, yellow, pink to name a few colours.

Buyer beware...... the coloured bags are 40 cents dearer...because they are not green. They look the same but the colour makes them dearer at the check-out. I wonder how many people think they are paying 99 cents for a coloured bag and don't check their receipt to find they have paid $1.39 per bag. Also my local supermarket doesn't show the price of the coloured bags, but does with the green bags.

So after a deep and meaning discussion with the front end operator, regarding this practice. I had my blue bag exchanged for a green one and my 40 cents refunded.

This now brings me to the following questions.

  • Do you wash your bags every so many trips to the shops? You are putting food into them, mine are washed regularly.

  • What happens to the bags when they are not any good for carrying stuff in them? Do they go to the land fill and if so, how long will it take for them to break down?
I use these bags all the time, not only in the house, but Pat also uses some of the old ones to store tools in.

They are a great idea, but it does lead me to more questions about their impact on the environment in years to come.

Until next time ....hoo roo

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

This And That #2

I'm sitting here waiting for the bread maker to set off the beep that tells me the Hot Cross Bun mixture is finished and ready for me to divide and get ready for cooking. I always make my own and I find they have much more flavour and I can make the sizes bigger than those scrawny ones in the shops. Also I don't start making the buns until Lent has commenced.

So while I wait, I thought I'd pop up some news here.

Yesterday Pat & I went to a funeral and as it was out near where our "Good Gardening Buddy Pepe" lives. We called in to his place and had lunch with him. We didn't go empty handed as worm wee and a bottle of home made tomato sauce was our gifts to him and his lovely wife.

We had a wonderful visit and lunch was wonderful, including some freshly picked sweet corn and salad items.

While sitting outside having a cuppa, we talked about the water restrictions South Australia is subjected too. Plus gardening thoughts on when and what to plant in the coming months.

After a few hours we headed home with organic food from Pepe's (now know as Pepper) garden. Lebanese cucumbers, an egg plant for me to eat and some kale leaves.

I was meant to go to a evening meeting, but I wound up with a migraine and was in bed by 6.30. After a wonderful nights sleep, I am refreshed and busy as a bee today.

Oprah's plastic egg has been removed and replaced with 5 Light Sussex Bantam eggs. Due out on the 3rd of March.


While servicing the worm farms I found this not so little slug in my worm farm. When not stretched out like in the photo, he's one huge fat slug. Have to be one of the biggest slugs I have ever seen. Also one of the biggest slugs Banjo has ran round the duck run, trying to swallow it.Amazes me how the slugs and odd snail get into the worm farms. Going from the size of this slug, life must be good, for the worms as they are fat too.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Almost Finished.

Well our backyard blitz is almost finished and its looking so FAB TAB. Can't get over the backyard on how tidy it is now. I took before and after photos so we could see what had changed, as in today's hard playing.

The lawn gave off a small amount of green cuttings mixed with dry cuttings. Not the usual amount, with the lawn only getting the odd bit of water from when the duck pond is emptied or any recycled water put onto it.



Before photo looking from the back door to the vegie patch. Mostly all that needed doing here was the table sorted out and moved back under the veranda.


All finished. The blasted whipper sniper fuel cap decided to crack, so not all the edges were done. I'll have a go at this later in the week with sissors or pruning shears. Lawn looks a bit browner after the mowing.




Where are the raspberry canes?


Oh there they are lol Can really tell the differance in this photo. Garden looks much better now.

While Pat was either using of trying to fix the whipper snipper I was collecting other forms of additives for the compost bin.

  • Rabbit hutch bedding
  • That wheel barrow full of other composting stuff I had collected or added to over the last couple of weeks.
  • Rakings from "Freedom Road" as the ducklings have made themselves at home in this area.
  • Anything out of date or turned yucky from the crisper (mostly Amy's left overs from the last week or so..... she loves to take salads to work.)
  • Chook bedding.
Once the lawns were finished I mixed all the compost ingredients and filled my black compost bin. I'll start turning it weekly, to keep the air up to it and keep the micro organisms breaking down all that lovely compost and turning what is left overs from the kitchen or waste from the garden into lovely food for the garden.

Gardening can't get much better that that in my books mrgreen I am so proud of the amount of recycled and composting garden/kitchen waste I have saved from going to land fill.

On that note I have a date with a few fresh prawns as a reward for working so hard the last couple of days.

Until next time....hoo roo

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