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Productivity in Isolation

It was a wee bit weird to be heading off to my small village, after being at home for 14 days. I had to get a script filled, and buy a few essential things.

I was really quite amazed at how busy it was in my small village.
My local supermarket, IGA was stocked well with everything I certainly required. Yes some things I had to buy a different brand or variety, these things were a small price to pay to have what I needed. It was good that my Tasmania milk was available. There was toilet paper, flour, pasta, I did not need any of these. Dried fruit was a bit lacking. I was fortunate to get some sultanas. Just what I wanted. I have dried apricots I dried at home

I think I may have over dried them hard but delicious.

The plants in the photo below, are three I bought plus there are two lavenders on the right you can see the flowers. The three plants cost me $9AUS/$5.46USD/4.42 UK pounds a small prostrate rosemary, and two salvias, The two large lavender plants were selling for
$24AUS/$14.56US/11.14UKpounds each, but they were in the unloved plants area and were $12AUS/$7.28USD/5.57 UK pounds each. I have some cuttings I had taken of some friends lavender plants but they would take several years to be as large as these plants. I know exactly where all of them will be going.

I also purchased some potting mix. I had a lot of seedlings of cabbage and cauliflowers to pot up. I accidentally ordered to many from my local seedling man Dave. I thought they were one seedling in each pot when I read his post on what he had available. So I ordered three of each of four cabbages, two red and two white, and four cauliflowers two different varieties. When the order was picked up they were punnets. So I have so many to plant. I am attempting to put them in pots and in the veggie garden.

If You look at the photograph above you an see seedlings basically in the middle of the photo these are some of the seedlings. I have to take out the tomatoes I have picked them all and wait for them to ripen.

New England Honey Eater

I love my garden this salvia is loved by these birds. This wee New Holland Honey Eater was happily getting nectar as I was potting up seedlings on my deck.

Above are the 3kgs/6,61Lbs for $12AUS/$7.28USD/5.89UK Pound of tomatoes I purchased from my friends who had a veggie store at the Cygnet Market,(which is closed due to the Covid-19 virus). They are selling their produce from their gate, you order and they book you to come one at a time to pick up.
I wanted them for sauce. I had not told them this and they had picked me a lovely lot of varied ripeness tomatoes. I had to think fast. How could I ripen them all at once? I put them in my car, with the windows up. The next two days were gorgeous. Hot sunny and clear. This is how the box of tomatoes looked (photo above) when I took them out of the car/glass house. I have also used my car as a greenhouse for seedlings in the past.

I started the sauce yesterday (Tuesday). I had picked some rose hips in the morning to make some rose hip syrup. I put them on to cook, I just took the tails and heads of them, popped them in the saucepan whole put them on to come to a boil and left them to soften. I came back twice and mixed them to break the hips up and to release the juices. I then strained the seed and skins overnight catching all the juices. I then added some sugar. I do not add a huge amount as I do not like it too sweet.

The history of rosehip syrup

During the war, government scientists realised that, weight for weight, rosehips have over 20 times the vitamin C of oranges. So the Ministry of Food (UK) recommended rosehip syrup and a generation of children began receiving a daily dose.

During World War II, a national week for the collection of rosehips was established in late September. Scouts, guides and other groups would head out to harvest the nation’s hedgerows. In 1941 this produced a 200 ton haul of hips which made 600,000 bottles of commercially produced syrup!

With the growing popularity of foraging, the vitamin saviour of World War II has been making a welcome comeback.

As well as vitamin C, rosehips are a great source of vitamin A, D and E. They contain an anti-inflammatory and have been shown to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis.

Home goods for my pantry.

In the photo above the tomato sauce is in the large jars on the left( with the seeds in them). The small jars in front with the red colour are my four jars of rosehip syrup for over autumn and winter. To the right of that t

Blackberry Thyme Oxymel

Based on a recipe from “Wild Drinks and Cocktails” by Emily Han


6 oz container of organic blackberries (approx. 1-1/4 cup)

½ cup roughly chopped thyme

1 ½ cups of raw apple cider vinegar

1 cup local raw honey


Place berries in a bowl and lightly crush.

Coarsely chop thyme and combine with blackberries in a glass mason jar.

Cover with vinegar, making sure thyme and blackberries are submerged with at least 1/4 inch of headspace.

Use a non-reactive lid and store in a cool, dark space for 2 to 4 weeks.

Strain the mixture using cheesecloth, add honey and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.

Add your oxymel to seltzer or use as a base for sauces, marinades or salad dressing.  It’s a great way to stay healthy through the winter.
Recipe from

The final jar the tall jar on the far right with all the chopped up things in it is my Fire Cider Vinegar. I followed the recipe from Danus Irish Herb Garden. on Youtube. It is not quite ready to be strained.

I feel happy to have these items to go in my pantry in any year. This year with all that is happening as we here in the Southern Hemisphere are heading into Winter and the normal cold and flu season. The added concern of Covid-19. Well I want to be as prepared to have things to assist me and my body as best I can.

My garden provides so much the rosehips, the black berries, the garlic. All for free, as I now grow garlic from my own previous years supply. Horseradish seems to have fallen out of favour with Wasabi seeming to be many peoples preferred heat these days. I am very content with Horseradish.

I am thankful that Mother Earth provides me with so much free food. I am also thankful that she has given me the ability to grow things for myself.
I am thankful that I was able to go out and do what I needed to today. I am thankful to be home, in my safe, isolation with my two dogs. I am thankful for the lovely fresh produce that is grown around me in this beautiful valley.

keep well blessings to you all Tazzie

6 thoughts on “Productivity in Isolation

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  1. I have put rosehip syrup on to my shopping list (for post virus….whenever that is). With all that anti-inflammatory arthritis action it should be good for my Fibromyalgia. Chronic inflammation is my biggest enemy. I’ll see if my younger brother can source some as he lives in the ‘berry’ and market garden area on the other side of the hills overlooking the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. He is more likely to find some locally home-made organic syrup than me. In fact, there’s nothing organic in the western suburbs of Melbourne where I live.

    Your tomatoes look marvellous. I’m most envious. My younger brother (on the farm) was looking for 100kg of good tomatoes to dry before the lockdown. I guess he’ll have to wait till next year now.

    What a good idea to ripen them in the warmth of the car.

    BTW that’s a New Holland Honeater not New England Honeyeater. I made the mistake of calling it a New Zealand Honeyeater once and a fellow blogger kindly let me know my error.

    Do you have a bottling outfit or do you do them in the oven?


    1. Fingers crossed you are able to find the rose hip syrup. Heck 100kg of dried tomatoes to dry. that is so many. I may save up to buy a second dehydrator as the one I have is ok it does not seem to hold much. How does he dry so many. Oh thanks for the correction always fine with anything I fluff up, I was watching something about Armidale NSW and as I had lived there I feel my mind just took over as I typed that. too funny.

      My own green tomatoes are ripening and I feel I may have way to many so I may end up bottling these too.

      I have a bottling outfit, yet for some reason I find it easier to just do the oven and heat the lids in boiling water. I do not have a lot of space to sit my fowlers set up in the kitchen. Though it would be useful to use it outside on my covered deck on a hot day for stone fruit.
      I was listening to ABC News and I thought NSW Premier was saying things were going to stay this way for them for 90 days? I hope I misheard that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am anticipating 6-12 months self isolation if they can’t find all the asymptomatic carriers. I am thinking of the worst possible scenario, so I can get a thrill and pleasant surprise if it ends in 4-6 months. I suspect we may have to wait for a vaccine to finally get rid of all the virus.

        My brother has a large custom-designed kitchen and pantry with many shelves (as he built his home in the country). He does a lot of bottling & preserves from his 50 fruit tree orchard and large veggie garden. I believe he gives a lot of the excess away to neighbours now he is single again. He’s always trying something new and now makes cheese, yoghut, his own sausages etc. I don’t know how big his dehydrator is. If I had the room, a car and the money, I probably buy a dehydrator and pick up large boxes of fruit/veg at the end of market day at the Queen Victoria Market in North Melbourne. I remember being there once after the stalls had closed and there were whole boxes of fruit being given away. or thrown out. What a waste when there are so many homeless. That was about 8 years ago, so it may be different now.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are wise Vicki to be prepared, We have had two hospital staff in the north of the state who have contracted it and authorities have not been able to isolate how or when. Thought the first person to die in the state was in the same hospital. Though if they contracted it there, how? I mean if they had cared for the person it would be through contact. Yet the Government is saying it is not. That does cause more worry. As You say asymptomatic people will be the issue. I wonder what the anti-vaccine people are doing and saying now? Wow your brother sounds like an amazing man. That is a huge orchard and garden. It is always lovely to be able to share. i hope that the Markets have changed their disposal, I guess for many growers/sellers it would be no good perhaps the nest week. I


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