Vegetable Garden Update

With the strange weather patterns we have been having here in the Huon Valley, Tasmania, it is good to know I am not alone in not having tomatoes ripening in the garden. In fact my garden is slow in many areas.

I forgot to mention I picked some plums that had to ripen off the trees, as the birds were getting too interested in them. I was happy with the plums as this is the first year that I actually managed to get some. They have never produced as they did this year, and it was not a huge volume, about 3kgs for four trees. I obviously am not doing something right with them.

I am delighted with aspects of my Three Sister Bed, Corn, squash and beans growing in one bed. As you will see below the corn and beans are flowering, sadly the pumpkin is only just producing some flowers now.
I have a feeling that I will be buying pumpkins this year. I may have planted to many beans. I put in climbing and bush. All the plants look healthy, the corn has a few swelling cobs. Fingers crossed I will at least have succeeded in growing edible corn.

I harvested some things from my garden today Yipee! I picked some beans, tomatoes, silver beet and kale. They will go into my dinner tonight.

Bumble Bee in Sea Holy

In my vegetable garden I grow flowers along with veggies. Sea Holly which I have no idea where it came from. I had this weird plant growing in a veggie bed, and thought I shall let it grow as it looks like no weed I have ever seen. I did and the first year nada/nothing well just green leaves flat on the ground. This year it has grown and I love it. Great for cut colour just watch the spikes, and as I said the bees love it! Not just our huge bumble bees. (above photo).

Bumble bees are not native to Tasmania or Australia. They were imported from UK to pollinate tomatoes in poly tunnels but escaped and are now found here. They can get massive here. When I moved from the mainland 20 something years ago, I had never seen a bumble bee. I loved them and would watch them flying about pondering how something so chunky could fly. I was told you could stroke them, and they did not sting.

You can indeed stroke them, but be warned Bumble bees do sting. Unlike honey bees and native bees (I think) they do not die after stinging you.

Honey Bee in Sea Holly

In the photograph above is a Honey Bee I assume from my neighbours hive. Similar to a bumble bee with a lot less hair.

Which makes me wonder how Bumble bees keep cool in the extreme temperatures we have been having this summer. Yet I see and hear them buzzing about the flowers on my deck.

I make sure I have water in small shallow bowls with some pebbles to help them access the water. I also put a rock and stick or some thing to help them access water in my other bowls and bird baths.
I have Blue Banded Bees but have not been able to take a clear enough photograph to share here.
I also see dragon flies, butterflies, hover flies and most delightfully frogs.

The little frog in the photograph above was rescued and just popped into the jar for a minute or two for safety as I was moving pot plants about the deck and he/she had been contentedly sitting about between them.
I popped a bit of shade cloth over the top of the plant where I sat the jar as I moved it to its new location and the other three I then let the frog out and it hopped in behind the pots. I see frogs regularly when I am out watering the pot plants on the deck.
I also see geckos.

A sad lack of sun ripe tomatoes growing on my vines out doors. I do have tomatoes, and some small ones have reddened the majority remain small and green. I am not having a good season with getting bigger tomatoes. Last year I grew cherry tomatoes. This year I am not but I may as well be.

Tomato bed with self sown sunflower

Tomato Timing
Hurry up and turn on the red
The sauce must be made
before retiring to bed

The garlic, basil, and oregano are waiting
the jars sterilized and warmed
there can be no time for hesitating.

Mother can slow living down to a trickle
choices I honor, but please be fore warned,
you will soon be a jarred green tomato pickle.
https://allpoetry.com/Brownisk

Now onto the deck first order of the afternoon was to get all the brassicas together, then began the search and destroy mission. The enemy had succeeded in landing, and dumping leaving eggs behind. Which in turn ate and ate my brassicas! No option but to find these green blighters and leave them for the birds.

It was a task to gently rub my fingers over ever leaf, every nook and cranny of the plant to find eggs, cocoons, and caterpillars of the white moth! As you can see the mission bore great success.

I realised my current method for stopping the white moth from laying her eggs was not working. I decided to move all the brassicas under the netting I had put up to keep the birds from getting to my tomatoes.

Now in thinking about this I have come to realise that this may not be so great either. As during the day I usually drop two areas of the netting to create openings that hopefully will not let birds in but bees can come in and pollinate. (I have done some hand pollination). If I leave these openings the white cabbage (thought her babies eat all brassicas so she will lay her eggs on any) moth can also enter. Sigh. Back to the planning board.

A lot of people do not like leaving their gardens to self seed. I am quite happy doing this. I do not let everything and I do pull things out as I need to. I love letting any of the Allium family flower and go to seed. The leek flower heads are also attracting so many bees.

Capsicums (peppers) these were in a punnet that for some reason I just grabbed in December from the local hardware shops nursery. I usually do not purchase any vegetable seedlings from them. The one on the right is in the asparagus bed which is more shaded than the other two which are in the tomato bed, They are only about six feet apart, but such a difference. The one on the left is twice the size of the other two and has capsicums forming well. The other two have heaps of flowers but I am not expecting huge if any capsicums to develop.

Along with the capsicums, in another bed where the Sea Holly grows are some chiles. I have no idea what sort, nor what is going on with them. See photo below. It looks like something has been having a try at eating it. On the other side it has scratch marks. Mystery plant mystery as to what is going on.

When I was in the vegetable garden I realised that some of the tomatoes were beginning to go a bit reddish. That will mean the birds will be wanting to get them. I popped tow bird wire cylinder around them and I am pondering if the birds will still try and pop on down into the area. I may have to cover the tops with some netting and hand pollinate the flowers that are still appearing. You can see the protection below. I have used bent wire to pin them down.

In the right of this photo below you can see the self sown sun flower. It is growing and I may end up with at least one. Which would make me so happy.

In the back ground You can see the brassica bed. The Kale on the left of picture the dark green is tall and very healthy. On the right is silverbeet going to seed. The green bending plant is seed of the silverbeet.

On the 9th Feb I sowed some beetroot seeds and carrots in areas of the vegetable garden. I also sowed several cabbage seeds. I left them in small seedling pots on the deck. I was so pleasantly surprised to see some of them have already germinated. I am hoping that they can go in the garden and perhaps the cabbage moth will not be about to lay eggs.

My intention is to sow some carrots in pots on my deck and perhaps some carrots too. I am going to plant more in the veggie garden.

I cleared out the garlic and coriander bed, putting some old manure on it. I have to work out what I will plant there next.

I noticed this week in one of my smallish pots on the deck a couple of broad beans are growing well. I intend to plant more about so will put some about the vegetable garden

I am so thankful for my garden, and to be able to spend time with nature. I am grateful for the bees that come in to collect pollen for their own needs. That the insects, spiders, lizards, frogs, all the creatures that make their home in and about my gardens are here.

I am thankful for the garden producing food some of which I had for in my dinner tonight.

With the addition of garlic and spring onions from my garden, the only purchased items for my meal were two eggs. So my delicious meal cost me a whole $1.10.

The blackberries grow on my boundary, in a hedgerow. It is a wonderful season for the blackberries this year.

blessings to you all, Tazzie.

Frugal Vegetable Gardening

I have been told by some people that it is to expensive to begin growing vegetables. By the time they purchase soil and pots or planters, the seeds or seedlings, fertilisers, it all adds up. They just can not afford it. Or composting is such hard work.

I was able to pick up pots of varying sizes from a gardening shop in Hobart for free. These were just plastic pots that people bought in to recycle and others could take and use. Rather than just throwing them out. Any second hand pots I suggest just a wash in hot water with dish washing detergent and dry in the sun. I have also been able to purchase from my local tip shop chipped and cracked ceramic pots and garage sales you can also pick up cheap pots sometimes with plants in them. (if you dont like the plant give it to someone and keep the pot). Also look out for hard rubbish pick up days.

However you do not have to have plastic pots or lovely ceramic pots to grow plants in. You can use all sorts of things. Tin cans, have been used by many people for a long time to grow veggies. I have used large veggie oil cans and biscuit tins. Drill a few holes in them, they are a pot.
Plastic storage boxes can be used, polystyrene boxes, I can usually get mine for free from seafood shop veggie shops sometimes my local supermarket.

Now for soil, here is a wonderful Youtube Channel Robbie and Gary Gardening Easy. Wonderful for those who want to begin to grow some veggies. Robbie grows veggies in her own soil/compost that she makes from scratch. It is so easy and involves little work. I have been doing it and it is brilliant! She saves all her kitchen scraps puts them in a plastic container, or container with holes drilled in it, uses the weeds she pulls up before they seed, and places them at the bottom of the container. She puts her scraps straight into the container, waters it a bit, and places a lid/cover with a weight on it to stop animals getting into it.

Because you have drilled/put holes in the bottom worms will make their way into the scraps and begin to break down the food scraps into wonderful soil/compost. Add dead or leaves and paper if you wish. Robbie can explain her system here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6eSaIEz2rQ

I also compost in place, meaning I will just put any leaves I pull off or that have fallen off I leave there in the area to compost in the bed. I will break up the stems and some plants such as legumes I leave the roots as when they break down they release nitrogen in the soil.

Some advice I will give you about seeds and seedlings. When I first started my vegetable gardening here in southern Tasmania, I was caught out by buying seedlings that were totally inappropriate for my location. The nurseries and gardening centres were selling seedlings, so I assumed they would be fine. Unfortunately no. Some were way to early for planting outside, and were actually for people to grow in hot houses/green houses/poly tunnels situations. Or were just not seedlings that were ever going to do any good down here.

One of the problems with purchasing seedlings from large garden centres and nurseries is that the seedlings may not have even been grown for this area. Same problem can occur with seeds. Some seed do not grow for me so well from big suppliers. I am in the fortunate position that we have a couple of relatively local seed savers who have began businesses that have seeds that they have grown and saved from the fruits, here in the area I live. I see a big difference in how they perform to how the others I have in the past purchased.

Being involved in a seed saving community group, and my local Crop Swap group has been marvelous as I get seeds and seedlings for no financial cost. Where seeds and seedlings as well as produce and anything related to veggie growing and food, can be shared. For the seed saving you grow one variety of say a bean that year, and you try to keep it pure. You can share some of the fresh peas or beans and then the majority you save for seed. Sharing and some will be saved so we have a supply of local seeds available if there is a crisis such as the bush fires here last summer (2018-2019) the crop swap group grew seeds and gave seedlings to the people who had lost their veggie gardens due to be evacuated and their veggie gardens were not watered so died. A simple thing the group did but such a welcome and unexpected thing. Others grew trees to help replace trees for free.

My growing awareness of the importance to monitor flowering of my veggies especially the brassicas, as they will cross pollinate, as will tomatoes, and other vegetables. I am also much more alert as to flowering weeds. Some I am happy to have flower as bees and birds will feast on the seeds Some such as sorrel and dandelions can be eaten. Scotch Thistle I love the flower it is wonderful as the root goes deep, I will let it flower and then take the flower off before it seeds.

Another thing that you can do is if you buy a cos/romaine/butter/iceberg lettuce is sit the base in water to keep fresh and as you use it, it will often keep growing. Cut the top of a pineapple and plant it you just may get a pineapple plant growing, spring onions place the bulb bit in a glass with some water so the roots are in it and it will grow more greens. I have even had a cabbage grow more when I sat it in a bowel with some water,

I recall a farmer saying to someone I knew that if you missed weeding one year it would take you seven to eradicate it. (he did not use weed killer) I have been working hard on a couple of weeds this year that have prickles that get into my dogs coats and my feet.

The other important thing I wish to share is You do not have to grow heaps to start with. I personally began with some garlic, and asparagus. Rather expensive to buy every year, but both really easy to grow. Garlic you can grow in pots. You may be able to grow some asparagus in a large container. I am not sure. Ginger and Tumeric I will bring mine indoors over winter. I have only planted them recently and they may grow may not.

Garlic grows form a clove, each clove will grow into a bulb. I need about 150cloves of garlic a year minimum for myself and my dogs, I also need to plant for the next year so I will be looking at growing about 50 cloves minimum. If each clove produces a bulb with 6 cloves I will have enough for the next year. hmmm Might plant more..lol

Herbs are expensive to buy and fairly easy to grow in pots. Lettuces grow beautifully in polystyrene boxes with holes in the bottom. As do spring onions, and chives. Strawberries too. If you grow lettuce grow an assortment. You can grow carrots in pots.

I really want to encourage people everywhere to be growing their own veggies, to ensure they have fresh and healthy produce.

Which does bring me to one area that can be of concern. If you do have a garden you really need to be aware of what possible sources of contamination may be or have been in your area. I had a flat in Hobart that thankfully I was not growing veggies in the ground, but neighbours in houses were. It turned out the soil in the area had been contaminated by the zinc works. It was never told to you when your were buying property in the area impacted, and the only way most people were alerted to the problem was a flyer that was put in letterboxes, saying that people should be checking for contamination in the soil, and to speak to council. We were on the opposite side and down from the zinc works but the wind blew contaminants over to our area. Apparently it was not common incident but happened several times over the years.

Similarly in Broken Hill in NSW lead levels in some children (and adults) were extreme levels the children were living in houses near the railway line and the BHP trains would go buy spreading lead filled dust as they went past. Peoples had tonnes of soil removed from their yards, their roofs, inside their homes under the roof. Yet people had been growing and eating vegetables in their gardens.

So growing many vegetables, herbs and some fruits in pots is possible, It is only as limited as your own abilities, and finances. Start with just one or two containers, think of something you really love to eat but find it to expensive to buy. Research it online and give it a try.

Please check out the Youtube channel I put above. I am not in anyway involved or gaining anything from promoting it. I just find wonderful and it worked for me.

I had my second tomato ripen and ate it today. I was so thankful to have it as it was delicious and worth the wait.

I will do an update of my Veggie garden soon.

blessings Tazzie

Vegetable Garden Lammas Celebration.

I am so thankful to the Goddess for all I have harvested enjoyed and prepared for later on. Thankful to having the space, the provision of food helps me on my low budget. It is a blessing to be able to grow what I have and share and enjoy it.

It is Lammas the celebration of the harvest. The Godess, (Mother Earth) Gaia, thank You for all I have harvested over the summer. Sweet tasty peaches 18kgs so wonderful to share with friends. My attempt at dehydrating my peaches was a failure. I have picked 4.5kgs of plums.

My garlic and the scapes wonderful. A few green peas grew and were lovely as were the broad beans.

Lettuce and spinach, kale, silverbeet. Rhubarb
Apricots from a friend, nectarines and cherries oh my delicious cherries from a local orchard and blue berries sigh summertime fruit in a temperate climate. Lemons, the flowers sweet peas, corn flowers, nasturtiums.

I notice my wattle trees are in flower! This is really strange as they usually flower around August. In fact September 1st in Australia was known as Wattle Day.

Wattle Day is a day of celebration in Australia on the first day of September each year, which is the official start of the Australian spring. This is the time when many Acacia species (commonly called wattles in Australia), are in flower. So, people wear a sprig of the flowers and leaves to celebrate the day.

Mother Earth is in some turmoil.

While some Christian communities may still practice a “blessing of the loaves” on Lammas, it is a tradition that is beginning to diminish. Nowadays, most Christians who want to celebrate Lammas do so by attending mass or by adorning their house in fall symbols such as corn husks, wheat strands, apples and other traditional harvest symbols.

Lammas Day (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, “loaf-mass”), is a holiday celebrated in some English-speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere on 1 August. It is a festival to mark the annual wheat harvest, and is the first harvest festival of the year. On this day it was customary to bring to church a loaf made from the new crop, which began to be harvested at Lammastide, which falls at the halfway point between the summer solstice and autumn September equinox.

The loaf was blessed, and in Anglo-Saxon England it might be employed afterwards in protective rituals:[1] a book of Anglo-Saxon charms directed that the Lammas bread be broken into four bits, which were to be placed at the four corners of the barn, to protect the garnered grain.

In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to regularly, it is called “the feast of first fruits“. The blessing of first fruits was performed annually in both the Eastern and Western Churches on the first or the sixth of August (the latter being the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ).

Lammas has coincided with the feast of St. Peter in Chains, commemorating St. Peter’s miraculous deliverance from prison, but in the liturgical reform of 1969, the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori was transferred to this day, the day of St. Alphonsus’ death.

In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to regularly, it is called “the feast of first fruits“. The blessing of first fruits was performed annually in both the Eastern and Western Churches on the first or the sixth of August (the latter being the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ).

In the Northern Hemisphere it is Imbloc on the 1st February 2020.

Imbolc today for those in the Northern Hemisphere

Unlike Samhain, which transformed into the much loved night of Halloween, Imbolc is one Celtic festival that hasn’t quite survived through history. Although Christians still celebrate St. Bridget’s Day in Ireland and children still learn how to make crosses at the start of February, little else remains of the ancient Celtic spring festival. However, Saint Bridget’s cross, made from rushes and hung around the home just as the Celts would have done, is as good a reminder as any to the festival’s ancient and mythological origins.

Blessings to You all Tazzie


Happiness is…

You know as a gardener you have been waiting, the flowers have come.

The bees pollinate and you slowly watch the little green shape slowly get bigger and rounder expanding.

It seems that you are just waiting and watching for that little touch of colour,

You watch it every day become redder and your mouth starts to salivate as you imagine that flavour of your first home grown tomato the first of summer . You know what I mean.

Oh my today is it, that round red ball of flavour. I know just how I am going to enjoy.

On toast for breakfast.

YUMMO!!!

So this is a very short post cause I am off to eat my first tomato!

I don’t have a green house. Netting is coming!

darn birds

Arrrgh!

blessings Tazzie

Veggie Garden, envy, CPTSD and me !

Do you get veggie garden envy? Do you look at others gardeners around you and compare your veggies to theirs? I do have a bit of a complex about this. Firstly I have an elderly gardener down the road from me whose garden is astounding. He has lived here for over 40 years and he grows amazing produce. Then up from me is a relatively new garden I look at each day and see how his pumpkins are growing (actual pumpkins) whilst my pumpkins are just flowering and tiny balls. Sigh.

The CPTSD part of me gets a bit triggered by this. What am I doing wrong, how can I over come it, beat him. What am I doing wrong? Why cant I grow these like they do? I’m hopeless. What is the point? I am a failure!
I have spent a few hours today and I mean hours just doing that kind of fixated thought processing.

That is until I went for a wee walk in my little veggie garden and looked and saw what I have achieved this year so far. Sure mine is not the pristine, stunning, with all the appropriate structures for each veggie garden as my up the road neighbour. Or the old established garden of my elderly neighbour down the road.

My garden is my garden. It is a reflection of me, of where I have been and am coming from. It shows a hope for harvesting what I have sown. It is a simple display of my illness in so many ways. I started the day of with the what ifs, and have ended it with the wow look at how far you have come Tazzie. My garden shows even how I have been using the treatments to help me and each time I walk through it, my garden, I am filled with hope of a bounty of good produce. I am productive, I am working, I am contributing and I am looking after mother earth.

I did not realise I would be triggered today by such a benign thing such as vegetable gardens. I have a feeling that is possibly why I did not get to the first crop swap of the year, and possibly why I did not make it to the last one for 2019. My feeling of inadequacies. Yet I am not inadequate. My garden is showing that. Things are growing fruiting and ripening.

It is so frustrating to question myself by comparing. I do not have the experience of the older neighbour, and I do not have the money to spend on compost and the right soils or structures. I am not in a competition. I am doing this solely for myself. So how HOW does this become what it did for me today. Isn’t that the million dollar question for anyone with CPTSD. How and why does a trigger trigger you into that down hill spiral. I am so proud of myself that I eventually got up and walked out side, into my own garden.

I have been attempting to remove old growth and rearrange some pots on my deck, I am also making my half wine barrels into more flower space than food space as the wallabies seem to be able to get to almost anything I put in them though I have allowed several brassicas to self seed and hope that they will grow and I can share those with the wild life. I had to fence of my deck area to discourage them from coming up on it and eating everything. It includes the possums who love to denude my lemon and lime trees.

grapes under the leaves, tansy flowers behind almost dead

My fig and grape both have fruit on them, as long as I can keep the birds off them I may get some this year. I need to get more tulle material for next year as the netting can cause smaller birds to get trapped in it. This year it might be some tulle bags I have to attempt to save the grapes. If I can It would be my first harvest.

Fig black genoa I think

The chili I planted last year is looking quite happy and I have a couple of small purple appearing fruit on the one below.

Chili

The three sisters bed is going well the beans and corn are flowering, though I do fear that the squash is overshadowed for flowering. Which means I am extremely doubtful that I will be successful with any squash from this bed. I will wait and see February while a short month is usually the hottest in Australia including down here.

The tomatoes are fruiting and have more flowers which is great finally! The lettuces are doing well I have been picking some, the brassicca that has self seeded in here I have no idea what it is meant to be and has bitter leaves, but I have eaten them. It just seems to go to flower fairly rapidly. There is the self seeded sun flower growing extremely close to the the tomato plant on the left of r side picture. Everyone else’s sunflowers are flowering. My garden is an anathema. Eggplant/aubergine, has flowered though it is not doing as well as the one I had in last year. The marigolds are growing and flowering, yeah! There are also two capsicums in this bed that are tiny but have fruit, I also feel there is a zucchini/courgette or two in this bed that is beginning to take off but no flowers. There is such a schamozzle of vegetables growing in this small bed, it is a wonder any thing is happening really.

Brassicca bed is doing OK the cabbages have vanished, but the kale is holding on and the broccoli is beating the white cabbage moth with my help. Silver beet is seeding so I will let it and spread the seeds about other areas also. Perhaps not in beds as it grows quite well just in the grassy areas of the veggie patch.

these are barlotti beans

My barlotti beans are flowering there are several around the edges of the three sister bed, the climbing beans whose name escapes me has purple flowers and is looking good.

Crab apple
yellow gage plum

The apples on the Crab Apple are getting larger. Down in the paddock the yellow gage (might be the green gage) plum is not ripe but the birds have tried them. I assume it will be a race to see who can get them. I have hardly any leaves on either of my gage plums they seem to have been devoured. Which is really weird, as it is not wallabies as it is more the higher leaves.

green gage plum I think.

Blackberries look abundant, these are wild usually delicious and with the rain we have been having the last few days it should be a good season for them. Like wise apples this is the first time since I planted this apple tree (above right) and the plum( below ) they have fruited. The apple is loaded and the plum is well not so loaded but has some fruit. All the trees in the paddock get no extra water than what nature provides. The gage plums get the run off from the french drain which is the reason I believe they are so much bigger. Where as these two trees are totally reliant on nature.

Apple tree

The apple tree (above left) is on the boundary of my land my neighbours and the road. I prune it every few years and it has helped it fill out more and it gives heaps of apples. It looks like a big harvest from this one this year. On the right photo are Busby and Miss Treacle and looking back over the paddock, You can see my attempt at a Heugle bed,(https://permaculturenews.org/2010/08/03/the-art-and-science-of-making-a-hugelkultur-bed-transforming-woody-debris-into-a-garden-resource/) sadly it has been taken over by bracken, and it has not really worked. Instead of creating a soil area it is more a home for weeds, though the smaller birds like it.

A berry off my neighbours vine, I am not certain it may be a mulberry, it was lovely. I had picked it and popped it on the post while I looked for some more. This was the only one.

The Deck. I am growing quite a bit on my deck this year. I have onions, herbs, sage, thyme lemon thyme, rosemary, basil, I have tomatoes in pots and above right shows my first ripening tomato. OH MY I am excited. The basil has been doing well in the photo below left with the other tomato plant which also has fruit. There are two other pots with tomatoes that are flowering. I have lettuces growing in containers. I have Tahitian limes, normal limes, and a couple of types of lemons in pots. I have not as yet put any in the ground. I neglected my citrus trees and spent another few days cleaning aphids and scale off them, making ants very unhappy as I destroyed their farming. I have some strawberries growing but they have not taken off, and I know this is due to me not putting them in a more acidic soil. I have grown potatoes in the past but they take up a lot of space and I can buy them fairly cheaply fresh local produced. I don’t eat a lot of potatoes.

You can see the fencing I have used to keep my produce garden on my deck safe from possums in the left photo above. It is great easy to take away and move about, I can pack it away when not in use.

My garden is all my own work, I make the compost, I bring in manure from local horses, and a friends sells sheep manure. I am proud of what I have achieved this summer so far.

My garden in whole brings me so many blessings, the wild life, the birds, the views, flowers, shade on hot day, wind protection, a place to sit and watch the world go by. A place to earth myself, to get down in the dirt and feel at peace. Connected to Mother Earrth. To see the cycle of seasons, life, death. To plant a small seed and see it grow and provide food for me, for creatures. To have land to just lay down on and watch clouds roll by in the sky. I am so rich, I am so content, and I have all I need.

Mother earth is important to care for and all that lives on her now and in the future.

Blessings to you all Tazzie

Managing Life's little accidents


My dogs were inside Busby had hurt his leg after all the activity from yesterday so no walk today. Toilet privileges only Miss Treacle is 12 and has not been that adverse to just lying in the sunshine and coming in and lying in the cool.

I decided that I would water the veggies, grabbed the hose, and spent a lovely hour watering and doing a bit of spot weeding. I am so thankful that my thingy on the end of my hose has an off switch so I don’t have to keep going back to turn the tap off and on. Every thing in the veggie garden is growing, some things better than others. So I am happy enough.

I decided to pick some more peaches. I was picking them and gently putting them into my T-shirt holding the hem up to form a bowl shape. I decided to move around to another part of the tree, and next thing I know I am on the ground. I am winded and more worried about the peaches than myself. I feel a wetness under my thigh, and move a squashed peach from under me. I ache and my foot hurts, I lay there on the ground surrounded by peaches and wiggle every bit of my body. Nope all OK. Oh I notice blood a small cut on my big toe.

i become more concerned about the peaches. So after about 10minutes of just laying on the ground feeling all sorts of things, I get up (yes all working) and rescue the peaches that have survived the fall. Most have. I guess tomorrow they will be bruised as I am sure I will be. I wonder if peach juice is good tonic for the skin? At least the animals tonight will not have to pull down the branches. Quite a few peaches fell off the trees.

I decided enough of being in the garden, and headed in side. I sat on my chair after putting peaches in a box, and my dogs came over excitedly. I moaned as I sat down, and began to feel nauseous. A little shock. I decided that I too along with my dogs would have a very chilled rest of the day.

I ended up heading up stairs to lay on the bed at about 16:00hours, and realised I am not as young as I think. I don’t bounce back as well. The interesting thing is we have all been sleeping and resting on the bed. All just recovering.
My shoulders and neck hurt and I have no real memory of hitting the ground. I guess I did not put my arms out as I was holding the t -shirt. I may feel stiff tomorrow but I am fine . I know I need to clean up around my garden. It is on the list…the very long list..I can laugh about it. I am not injured and I am fine.

So an early night of good sleep for us all and a better day tomorrow.

Garden Update

(c)Echidna Home 2020 Bumble bee came to sit near me as I was weeding in one of my veggie beds

The bumble bees were certainly out in force this morning when the dogs and I decided to get out in the garden. A bit of weeding and checking if the veggie beds needed watering. At present they are all OK, a job for tomorrow I think in the morning. All the ollas have water still in them, and the soil is still damp when I push my finger in near the plants furthermost from the ollas.

As I settled in to weed the birds that come to my birdbath and live in the garden and surrounding area, were singing, and chasing bugs. I watched mesmerised as the Weclome swallows swooped and dove one scared Busby it flew right over his head. The wrens were hoping about and sitting on the fence waiting for me to move so they could come and see what I had been doing and check for any tidbits I might have uncovered. Unlike the black birds who just come along mainly after I water and shift all my mulch and labels about. I don’t think I really mind. Lovely to have the music of nature as an accompaniment to your work.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 Another bumble bee on a leek flower.

I had placed news paper down and was going to lay my free wood chips from the company clearing the power lines. So there is a wonderful mix of all sorts of timber, leaves, bark, chopped up in it. Like many things for me if I really do not focus on something, I do some and get distracted there bye not completing the whole job. So the news papers I laid down to cover the weeds and grass has blown about in the wind we had yesterday afternoon and last night. I am not going to fret about it as I will be able to get more newspapers from my local library to lay down and cover to form paths.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 Three sisters bed is taking off finally.

I am so thrilled that the Three sisters bed is taking off. I actually picked a bean and ate it. It was a bit of impulse that I should have refrained from as it was very small and well a day or two longer and it would have been great.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 oh joy the corn, beans and pumpkins are looking great.

Everything seems to be happy with the weather. I had to add some more climbing bean strings as there are so many tendrils they were all entangling themselves along the ground. I sat and sorted them out, winding them up the strings. The corn is growing but it seems somewhat slowly. Any ideas how I can get it taller My pumpkins which are butternuts have begun spreading. Yeah one bed of possibilities.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 Busby came to help out in the veggie garden by chasing the skinks about

Miss Treacle was off doing her own thing. Busby came in to see how he could help me in the veggie garden. He decided that chasing the skinks was the order of his work to help. As long as its skinks and not snakes all is fine. They are way too clever for him.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 Tomatoes the one in foreground has little tomatoes on it. Lettuces growing and capsicum far right corner getting taller.

Both the tomato plants in this bed are flowering and if you look closely you may even see some tiny green tomatoes. Lettuces good and capsicums look as if they just might shoot up. The marigold in the corner has taken off and is flowering. I put it in here to help with bringing in the bees and insects, to help with pollination.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 look closely you will see a tiny tomato or two
(c)Echidna Home 2020 I did not include the brassica bed last time.

I forgot on the previous update to show the brassica bed. It seems the cabbages have been eaten or turned up their toes. Not one out of the four I put in is to be found. The broccoli is shooting and getting tall. Even my nettting did not stop the cursed white caterpillar moth laying eggs on them. Since my garden is small I prefer to remove the caterpillars by hand. Kale in the far left corner and silver beet in the right corner I left them there to attract the moths. Ah but no!!

(c)Echidna Home 2020 destruction and can you see the culprit hanging below

My method for removing the caterpillars is to run my finger over every part of the plant, looking in every nook and cranny. Often as I am doing this I will see caterpillars drop and hang underneath as in the photo above. I just catch them and squish them in my fingers. I continue looking as not all will drop off. It can be really hard to see the little blighters.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 my hand with a young caterpillar from the white cabbage moth

Especially when they are first hatched. This one is pale yellow but as they grow from eating your lovely green leaves they become big green ones. They can be really hard to see on the green stems and leaves. Which is why I don’t just look but run my fingers over every leaf and into the new leaves forming, where ever a wee caterpillar might hide.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 This is a large rwhite cabbage moth caterpillar sadly about to meet its end.

This caterpillar above is larger than the previous one and is more green. We know why that is! So i squish them all. I then cover the plants with my net and fingers crossed I have removed all of these. I will check tomorrow.

(c)Echidna Home 2020 A stunning flower. No idea what it is







If anyone can tell me what this flower is and the plant it is growing on. I was sure it was a vegetable. I thought it was one of the plants I bought home from Crop Swap. Incredible flowers.

It was a pleasant morning in the garden. Miss Treacle came in and sat next to me panting, as if to say come on its too hot out here, I need a nice cool drink and comfy chair to lay in, in the cool inside of the house. She leaned right into me and that was not enough for her. Oh no she likes to make her point. She climbed up onto my lap, and than looked up with her big brown soulful eyes, and looked directly in my eyes. Whats a good dog mamma to do?

t(c)Echidna Home 2020elling me its time to go in way to hot now

The only thing. Inside we went. All three of us. I did a load of washing and hung it out. Such great drying weather. There is nothing I like more than having a shower and going to bed in fresh clean sheets dried by the sun. I hung all our doonas over the rails of the upstairs deck. I will feel so amazing hoping into the sun scented sheets. It makes me feel rich.

Tazzie

New Years Garden Update.

I have been attempting to get the Vegetable(veggie ) garden going well this year. I am proud of what I have achieved so far. It is a very strange summer 40dC one day down to 17dC the next is it any wonder my garden is a bit all over the place.

I have shared before I am not a organised or brilliant gardener. My garden is very much like me. A bit all over the place, so we suit each other.

When I first began veggie growing here. I chose a north west facing area. Some thing went brilliantly for the first couple of years and than it was just to much heat and sunshine for them, So that area went when I needed to put in a new french drain.

The area I now use was begun the year I had my breakdown. Over the time since then I have got things going but generally they just had to look after themselves. Understandably a lot of things did not make it. The Onions in the wheelbarrow did as did the peach and crab apple, blueberries and hazelnuts. Some of the other fruit trees have not done very well. Though a couple like an apple I planted which has never done anything has fruited this year. .

Onions, self sown and doing OK. I am finding Acqual’egia/Columbines/Grannys bonnets, popping up all over the place and I love them. They can be a little problematic when they pop up in my little veggie beds or as in this case in the wheelbarrow. I do need to do some soil building up here and I feel that it will perhaps find a new place in the garden.

These pumpkins took quite a hit with the weather , I have given them some blood and bone and charlie carp. The new leaves are looking healthy so fingers crossed they will soon take off. My neighbours pumpkins went in later than mine and are just growing so fast. I have to admit I do have garden envy. I have another veggie gardener down the road from me. He is a gentleman almost 90 he walks every day and is out in his garden. It provides all his fruit and vegetables. I know I am not a great veggie gardener. Perhaps 2020 is my year to improve exponentially and have great harvests.

(lucky I pulled my garlic last week ) it is not my best crop of garlic but I am thankful for all I have grown.

Above These two plants I have a feeling are chilies. I planted them 2018 and they have never done anything. I have to say they are looking better this year, there is even a flower on this one. So it will be very interesting to see how they grow, and if I end up with any fruit.

Now the bed above is my three sister bed. Beans zucchini and corn. It is doing wonderfully well. The corn is an experiment for me. The beans and corn (well nearly all the corn are growing thick and solid, the beans are developing tendrils and leaves. I even have some red flowers developing on these climbing beans. I have fed them some Charlie Carp today so fingers crossed that will help them become happier. (photo underneath)

One of my blue berry bushes above. They are healthy but it is not the best crop this year. I will enjoy any I manage to get. The blackbirds have been beating me to most of my berries. Never netted them before but lost red currants and jostaberries to them.

Three sisters bed again showing the healthy beans and corns. Very happy so far with this bed.

Looks like the butternuts pumpkin is taking off, I it has more leaves all of a sudden. I am crossing everything in the hope of growing some great pumpkins this year.

Oh look one of my Ollas we are back in the 3 sisters bed. The Ollas were fantastic on the really hot day. I find them really helpful.

Above and below are two capsicum plants. Both have flowers. I am quite worried about the bottom one as it is not getting any height yet there are five flowers on it already. First time I have attempted capsicums,

Below is my zucchini I think, the labels have been blown about by the wind and the birds digging up the sugar cane looking for worms and grubs. It has begun taking off this week so I am hoping for yummy zucchinis, love them.

This poor tomato is one I accidentally broke the top off and it is finally recovering It has grown taller

Above the other tomato, oh just noticed it looks like a sunflower growing right next to it. sigh.. will have to thing about it as it would be the giant ones from last year and some of them were 9foot high with thick stems. Probably transplant is. The lettuce are picking up.

Anzac peach has so many peaches on them. I am so grateful that the super hot day did not seem to damage them. I feel that by the weekend I will be eating my own peaches. They are a white one.

My half barrels are evolving , finally the corn flowers I planted from seed are flowering. Another great flower, and makes a lovely pop of colour in a vase. Also in here are parsley which looks to have gone straight to seed. Also a small nastutium, I am hoping it is the red one, I took a cutting off last year, and vaguely recall popping it in here to see if it would grow.

Another plant I could not grow up until this year the marigold. I took a cutting from out side the local library(they have a garden, with herbs and flowers some silver beet. You can help yourself). It is flowering now and growing. The borage that you can see is tiny. Self seeded. I do hope that the seeds have spread further afield. Bees adore borage flowers and great added to salads.

I love this part of my garden, it is always a bit of a work in progress, to make it better for the birds to access the bird bath. I think I will move the salvia right next to it as it is one that grows super high and bushy. It will cut my view of the bird bath. I have lovely photos I will share of the birds, that visit my garden.

Sweet peas continue to flower and they are a favourite these ones are perfumed so beautifully I put them in my toilet. Beats artificial sprays.

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