Friday, February 25, 2011

Autumn Planting

The last few mornings have had a chill about them which makes me think of Autumn, which is not far away.  We have been sleeping under blankets and the days are getting shorter.  Autumn is such a beautiful time of year.  It means we need to stockpile wood, and that the sheep will be joining soon.

I have planted some seedlings this past week.  Beans, peas, cauliflower and cabbage.  I need to get some seeds in too so I can ensure a good crop of veggies for the next little while. 

I have dug some compost into the empty beds before planting.  I now have a dedicated compost area which has three sections at the moment but also has room to expand should I need it to.  Things like this are slowly coming together which is wonderful.

We put a new veggie bed in the front yard which I have started preparing but I think a load of soil from the feedlot might be in order to finish it off.

I love this old iron bed head that it a perfect for for the width of my garden beds and acts as a bit of a trellis.  It was nailed to the front porch as a decoration when we moved in but this is a more useful way for me to use it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Squash Glut

I found out that squash can be grated and frozen in the same way as zucchini.  It can then be used in stews, to bulk out mince meals and in soup too. 
Hurrah for that because we have a squash glut right now!

We also discovered that squash was delicious when thinly sliced and fried in garlic and soy sauce.  A great way to add another serve of vegetables to a meal that even the children love.  We are having it again tonight along with steak and homemade coleslaw.

Friday, February 18, 2011

New Arrivals

Today was a big day in town.  In addition to a boy's first haircut we also picked up a few new animals to welcome onto the place.

A new week old poddy calf from the dairy.  Possum has named him Charlie.  
He is being bucket fed and when he is weaned he will join Nellie and Terry out in the paddock. 

And I found some Pekin Bantams!  I have wanted some more chickens for awhile so this was very exciting.  Possum wants to name these all Henny Penny.  I think 2 of them are roosters and if they are I will see if I can find a home for the grey and white rooster on the top left and keep the buff coloured rooster with the 3 hens.  If they are both roosters maybe Mandy might like him to keep her new bantam girls happy?

The orchard is currently home to 2 lambs, 1 poddy, 3 chooks and 5 bantams.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I picked as many pistachios as were ripe for harvest and spent the afternoon, and some of this evening removing the outer hulls.  I have learnt a bit about this in one evening.  When pistachios are ripe they will fall off the tree with little coaxing and be easy to shell.  Don't pick them if they are not ready yet as it is a case of 'softly softly catchee monkey'* with these nuts or it is hard work.

I have a bundle upstairs laid out to dry on a towel. 
I will get a dry weight to see what volume we ended up with in this first round but that will take about 3 sunshine filled days, or about 10 hours in a slow oven. 

I love that you can toss them in the freezer and keep them for up to three years!  I should just need to gather a 12 month supply but more is always good!

We ate these, Possum was 'nut hungry' and even in their not so dried out state these taste great!

*I can't believe the Mr had not heard this saying before the other week when I used it for something or other.  Now I delight in using it as often as possible.

Bedroom Progress

Work has moved along enough that I decided to move the bed back in.  2.5 weeks in long enough to sleep in the dining room I think.

We still need skirting, cornice and door frames.
Painting needs to be done which means I have to make up my mind with colours....

I love the shape of the ceilings in the bedroom, as well as the board clad walls on the external side of the room.  It will look great when we finish, whenever that will be...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sheep Husbandry

 Sheep work today for our 6 ewes, the ram and 8 lambs.  Drenching (with Alban), vaccinating, and in one case a dust with some fly strike powder.

We don't own many sheep, but our yards are so bad that it is hard work treating them.
We did use some portable panels to add an extra holding yard which helped but the main timber sections are in need of replacing too.

I bought back a couple of the lambs that didn't seem to be doing well so I could keep them in the orchard, feed them up and keep an eye on them.

It is dry here as we have been missing the bulk of the rain so far this year.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lounge Room

Working in the lounge room this weekend past. 
We found another paper dated 1918 (above).

I did keep a couple of the wall paper samples for the photo album too.

I was not always the best offsider as I was easily distracted by the old newsprint and looking for ads and things of interest.

When we pulled the old cladding off we discovered (again) a lack of studs and noggins so we had to re-frame to give us something square and solid to screw the plasterboard too.

Finding this list reminded me of what else happened in 1918.  The end of the Great War.
I wanted to peel the wall paper off and try to save the list but the Mr said I would damage it more so we left it to be re-sealed in the wall behind the fresh plasterboard.

It is lovely to be working on a house with history built in.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Yesterday we harvested 13kg of potato.  This takes our total to about 17kg dug so far and we still have another couple of rows to do yet.

We picked 750g of cherry tomatoes too.  I think these will end up as chutney to compliment the cold meat we eat through the week.

Our Pomegranate shrub is covered in fruit, but not quite ready for harvest as yet.  I don't think they will be far away.  We are nearly ready to pick apples too!  I have to check the pistachios and see how they are going.

I am picking Figs now and am going to turn a lot into jam.  The spinach is growing faster than we can eat it so I am going to freeze a lot over the week ahead.  It is good to be busy!