Garden and giveaway.

Teenage son said "why can't we get veges out of packets, you know cut up or grated, like normal people"? I hope an explanation about unknown sprays, fertilizer and goodness deteriorating as soon as veges are picked will one day sink in. He's heared it all before and might be just winding me up but I'll be so sad if he grows up not sharing similar values. I told him we're normal and they're not.

I got a parcel in the mail today from Pherenike of Sunshine dew.

I'm really looking forward to a few quiet moments to read the magazines, my budget doesn't often stretch to magazines so that was a treat. Seeds as well, excellent timing, I'm itching to do some more planting. See the cool little packets with horticultural text.

And finally some new bags and I thought I'd pay it forward with a giveaway. A zip up wool bag with a doily and button. It will vary slightly from these two cos I hope they will both sell this weekend. Just drop me a comment.


Solo mum

I'm wishing I was enjoying a wine, I've had a really full on few weeks. There's been very late night sewing for yesterdays fantastic Ngatimoti School festival, early morning watering and weeding (not enough mind you) in the garden, dehydrating kiwifruit for our Brooklyn School country Fair next weekend, Playcentre work and meetings, learning sign language and the associated homework. Whoops, I'll have to cram tomorrow morning. I'm not complaining though I really like to be achieving things so it's been a satisfying few weeks also. My mothering has not been up to scratch I must admit. I flagged the reading last week in favour of getting kids to bed early so I didn't throttle them. The red head drove me totally nuts on Thursday, none of my other kids are quite like him I'm convinced only mothers of red heads would understand he is into EVERYTHING! Has to fiddle, loves attention, displays a fantastic temper,is good at winding siblings up and at the moment not making it to the toilet on time. If I'd had him first I might have only had 1 child.
I'd love to show off the bags I made for the festival but no. 1 teenage son has been lending me his camera batteries for awhile now and decided last week to withdraw the favour so I shall have to buy some new ones. I will show when I make some more bags. Also the garden is worthy of some pics it's changing every day at the moment.
Any locals who are reading come and visit our school fair on Saturday at Brooklyn School there'll be food and entertainment,books, plants and crafts and stuff for kids too of course. If that's not tempting enough how about fresh whitebait sammies? We're fundraising for a new community pool.


Self sufficiency project

Living on just under half and acre of land clearly we'll never be truly self sufficient but I'm practicing in case my circumstances change. I dreamed, but wouldn't have guessed 15 years ago as we were traveling and living in a 1963 house bus that we'd be home owners now, so..... you never know.

I've updated my side bars to reflect what's happening in the garden. I reckon if L and I were retired we might be able to live out of our garden. I'd long for meat and fresh milk though. I grew up on 2000 acres so we ate lamb nearly all year round with fresh pork,beef crayfish and paua for a bit of variety, we didn't know how lucky we were. My Dad even kept beehives and we fished for eel and trout in the river. At my Mums side I learned how to spin wool and knit, dye using plants and sew my own clothes. They gave us an unforgettable childhood to which I'm truly grateful and wish I could provide to my own kids. They have everything but the space and security that I was raised with.

What we're eating fresh:broad beans, eggs, silver beet, lettuce, peas, spring onions, carrots, asparagus, grapefruit, oranges, lemons

What we're eating from stores:berry jams, pumpkins, potatoes, frozen berries, frozen tomatoes

What's still growing: strawberries, carrots, garlic, asparagus, broccoli, cauli, cabbage, onions, peas, giant red mustard, kale, tomatoes, cucumber, corn, celery, capsicum, sunflowers, potatoes, yams, kumara, beetroot, pumpkins

Seeds sown recently: chili, beans, more corn,

Herbs growing: fennel, basil, parsley, Korean mint, mint, sorrel, tansy, mother wort, mug wort, hypericum, Valerian, lemon balm, lemon verbena, dill, caraway, echinacea, elecampane, horseradish, comfrey, bay tree, sage, white sage, tansy and weeds

Fruit trees, vines and bushes: Plums, blackboy, golden queen and white flesh peaches, apricots, cherry, mulberry, elderberry, figs, lemon, grapefruit, mandarin, orange, hazelnuts, fejoias, thorn less blackberry, boysenberry, blueberries,red and yellow raspberries, red and black currants, nashi, nectarine, home grafted apple- "golden delicious", " Hetlina" apple, mini kiwifruit, prune plum, red skinned pear.



Yeah Ha

Yay for the first day back to school euphoria! 3 kids out the door with no fuss. 1 off to Montessori for a full day. Wicked! He was very particular, had to have his sunhat and sunglasses but threatened to cry and lay a guilt trip when I dropped him off but with a skillful bit of cajoling I made it out the door!

I got a wee taste of being me before I got whoopsie pregnant with the red head four years ago, it all went back to zero with a new baby. These child fee days seemed such a long way away but it hasn't been long really and I miss my babies, but I went swimming! I did heaps of lengths. When I got out I was weak and pathetic but I'm going to do an hour a week at the pool. Hopefully I can fit in some walking or biking too. I haven't done any exercise since I was at high school and am really looking forward to it. It's getting priority before the garden and craft cos I can't do either if I'm a slob.
Saved seeds- Indian red corn, cannelloni, horticultural bush beans, strawberry popping corn.

Even had time to poke a few late seeds in. I know the moon's for liquid feeding but better late than never. I collected some seaweed from kina beach on the way home . I had to check out my uncle's bach, it's a lovely wee holiday rental , check it out if you want to stay in our beautiful region.


Where are my scissors?

None of these scissors are the ones I'm looking for. Like my grandmother I'm very protective over my scissors. I have been known to scream upon seing someone else using them especially the current cutting favorites which I cannot find today. L and I nearly fell out once when I caught him using some to cut gasket paper when restoring his vehicle.( The grey handled pair from memory) Also asking me "why?" when I've just caught you in the act is not a good idea it usually triggers some manical ranting. So I've spent most of the afternoon looking, found quite a stash of retired sewing scissors and pinking shears, but not my supreme cutting pair. It's causing a little anxiety.
oh look there they are in the previous post. Damn why can't I find them at home.


Notes from a negligent blogger

Sometimes I compose really good blog posts in my head but they're long gone by the time I sit down. I'm very impressed by bloggers who can make even things like cleaning the oven sound fascinating, I should have payed a bit more attention during English at High school instead of filling a folder full of notes between my best friend and I or planning the weekends antics.

With the garden, I totally peaked at the wrong time so that when the planting moon was good I was exhausted. I got a few more seeds in but became disheartened as a few bad chooks escaped and scratched all the compost away from new plantings of lettuce, sunflowers and garlic. Everything needs weeding badly too.
Also each day I've noticed plants slowly going into decline along my back fence line, making me madder and madder. This morning I wrote a letter to the arrogant orchidist responsible and took photos as proof. As you can see he's been very heavy handed with "round up" possibly spraying it deliberately on my plants. It has damaged the mother wort, mugwort, some raspberries, a rose and grass on my side of the fence. All will recover but that's not the point. I have investigated and it's an offence under the pesticides act for his spray to go onto my property.

The plants are affected by going yellow at their tips. You'd have to lift your spray pretty high to contact the mugwort.
I'm so angry that i don't have words for it!

I'm working on letting it go and have done some sewing to make me smile.

PS. I looked for labels for this post and decided my "thinking" posts would for the most part be more appropriately labeled "ranting"


We've had fairly good frosts the last few nights. Not enough to ruin the asparagus but the zucchini and cannelloni beans that were waiting in the glasshouse got their leaves a bit burnt. I spent a beautiful day in the garden, I'd been getting withdrawal after the obsessive housework and visitors earlier in the week. I probably shouldn't have been gardening as the moon's not quite ready but I just stuck to squashing aphids on seedlings and transplanting the ones that needed it into bigger pots. I sorted out my messy piles of pots and trays finding heaps of snails which the chooks enjoyed. A wee while ago I planted out the first sunflowers, they have so far escaped frost damage and it's interesting to note the ones I planted with the rising moon are thriving while the others are a little crooked and getting attacked by aphids. I've been mounding up potatoes and making sure the peas get enough water so their little pods fatten up quickly. I need to get onto making some liquid fertiliser out of things like comfrey, nettles and seaweed as things are looking like they need to be fed. The worm farm is only supplying enough for the seedlings. There is a rampant hop plant in my garden! Last year I should have been more severe with it but I ignored it. It dropped alot of hop flowers which have composted beautifully where they fell but the great big underground runners are coming up everywhere so I also spent a good part of the day trying to pull them up. This week is primo for planting seeds, I'll be still sowing into pots in the glasshouse as the ground's not quite warm enough yet. I'll be putting in more sunflowers, corn, melons, basil and lots of flowers to try and attract those horrible garden pests away from my veges. I won't mention what's doing well incase a nasty frost wipes them all out tonight! When L brings the camera home I'll post some pics of what I've been sewing.