15 June 2008

Winter vegetable garden

Lyn at Patchwork Angel is having a gorgeous redwork pattern giveaway. It will be drawn tomorrow so if you want to be in the draw, go here now.

The garden is coming along well. I spent some time out there yesterday planting, picking, sitting, thinking, talking to the chooks and planning. I still haven't finished my herbs but it all waits for its own time. Not much is hurried here. If it isn't done today, it might be done tomorrow, or the next day.
(Clicking on the photos will enlarge them.)

We have been eating the cucumbers when they're small and sweet and so far we haven't had a glut of them. If we do, I'll be making bread and butter cucumbers. The little yellow cucumber flowers keep blooming and every day there are more cucumbers to be picked.

There have been quite a few caterpillars and grasshoppers this year. The weather is mild and they've not been killed off or driven off by the cold weather yet. pfffffffft. We have some organic spray here to be made up today, so hopefully, the bugs will be gone next week. We will still eat these sugarloaf cabbages. Organic food rarely looks perfect and after a good wash, this produce will be good to go.

There are some lovely looking baby cauliflowers almost ready for picking. They will probably be picked for the table late next week.

Here are some snow peas and frilly lettuce. I think this is Darwin lettuce.

And among the growing plants, the buzzing bees and the clucking chickens, there is always work to be done. Here is a new bed of Chinese cabbage (bok choi) and silverbeet.

We grow a lot of green leaves because we eat them, I freeze them for later and the chooks get their fair share every day.

The lemons are juicy and fabulous this year because of all the rain we had a couple of months ago. Many of these will be juiced and stored in the freezer for summer cordials.

The newer chooks have settled into their new home well, are growing fast and preparing for egg laying. One of the Australorpes - Kylie, started laying early last week. Here are two barred Plymouth Rocks, a Faverolles, and the egg laying black Kylie having their afternoon siesta.

We always grow pigeon peas which are a well know permaculture plant. They're drought resistant, good for mulch and produce a fine pea that the chooks love when they're green like they are now. Sometimes we let them dry on the tree and pick them as dried peas. They store well in the cupboard and make a fine pea soup.

But while they're still plentiful and as green as a leprechaun's hat, we feed them to the chickens. The girls are also being fed warm porridge during the cold months, lots of green leaves and always have grain mixed with pellets in their feed hopper.

And last, but by no means least, on your touraround my winter garden is Hanno's latest recycled creation. He was concerned that rain was messing up the inside of the chicken coop, so we decided to harvest that water and in doing that solve the problem. He attached some old guttering to the front of the coop and has a down pipe running into a bucket. This will probably be upgraded to a 200 litre tub as soon as we move it over there.

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ADDITION: I've added the Amazon box again. This time there are two - one for the American Amazon and one for the United
Kingdom Amazon. I had an email request to put them back, thanks, Anwen, for your support. I don't want them to intrude too much on what we are doing here and I've tried to blend them in as best I could with the look of the site.


  1. Oh, I just love the pictures. Thank you for sharing!

  2. The pictures just help put it all in perspective--thanks for sharing:-)

  3. Good Morning Rhonda
    What a great garden everything is looking fantastic. We are starting to eat out of our garden now. The snowpeas are fabulous and we picked our first Turnip yesterday and put it in vege soup. Yum.
    It is very satisfiying when you have grown it yourself.

    Have a great Sunday..

    Tracie xx

  4. Ooo I just love the look of those lemons. Your garden is looking wonderful, so productive. I have sown pak choy for the first time this year and it is coming along beautifully. Nibbled a few leaves in a salad yesterday.

    Have a happy day.


  5. Well, Hello Rhonda. I found you this week and am enjoying your writings. You are a woman after my own heart. Except I'm not quilting much these days, however I have two to finish hand quilting on. Thanks for all your wonderful pics and advice!

  6. I was just wondering what greens you freeze and what you cook with them. I've frozen my spinach crop but didn't think of freezing any other green leafys. How do they turn out after being frozen?
    Always love the pictures.

    Regards, Marilyn

  7. Hello everyone! Happy gardening.

    Hi Diane, welcome. I'm not much of a quilter. I'm making one for my son, but I usually do patchwork to use up fabric.

    Marilyn, I freeze spinach, silverbeet, beans and peas. If there are any spare cauliflowers, I'll break them up, blanche them and freeze them too. I ALWAYS blanche my vegetables before freezing. Cucumbers, tomatoes and beets are preserved in jars.

  8. Rhonda Jean,
    Your garden is so lovely. I am so happy to have found your blog again. I use to read it all the time and we ended up moving and my computer lost everything. I missed reading about your daily doings. You had always inspired me to do more in my life. Thank you for that. Your chickens are pretty. Hugs, Bobbi Jo-AZ

  9. Rhonda,

    Thank you for the wonderful pictures. It is so nice stepping in to your life. I wish we could grow lemons:)

    P.s Thank you for the encouragement for slowing down. It is my weakness to try to get everything down in one day. I then feel I never get much time to just sit and stitch. I wish I could think of stitching as part of my day:)

    Thank you again! I look forward to you posts everyday!!!!


  10. Renee, if you're stitching, knitting or mending things for your home or for gifts, then what you are doing is part of your work. Even if you enjoy it a lot, it's still part of what you need to do as part of your homekeeping.

    Never feel guilty for stopping for a break during your day, that is when you'll appreciate your work and why you do it. And don't forget to slot an hour or so into your regular routines for your needlework.

  11. Your garden is so very lovely, like always.

  12. How we miss our girls! We had once had half a dozen ex-battery chooks (which we had to teach to walk and scratch), who loved their second lives and were quite good layers.

    The next batch we raised from day old, in a box in the spare room with a light bulb in a clay flower pot. What brilliantly strong girls and layers they were!

    Medium density housing around us prevents us having girls now. :(

    Rhonda, would you address needlework for backward beginners in a post? I find I can't understand most Web sites. I know how to do a simple hem stitch and that's it.

    Thankfully I knit well and have for 45 years.


  13. I think I've commented before but I wanted to say that I very much enjoy your blog. I don't remember how I got here initially but I love it when bloglines notifies me that you've updated. You're definitely very inspirational and obviously incredibly happy living the simple life.

  14. Hi Rhonda, I was just wondering if I can purchase a book through the US Amazon site? Do they post to Australia? I've never used Amazon before and am a bit unsure how it works.
    Thanks, Michelle in SE QLD.

  15. HI Rhonda,
    Since I'm pretty new at gardening and only do a few lettuces and herbs can you post some advice on freezeing this stuff, when I tried it before it didn't seem very editable when it came out. I don't want to waste any of it .

  16. I welcome good morning post here. Everything is beautiful - but I love the lemon tree - just a dream in this cold climate.

  17. Rhonda,
    I'm with the other readers...I LOVE all the pictures. What a blessing you are to share your life with us through your words and pictures.
    Blessings to you,

  18. Your veggie gardens are incredible Rhonda! Am really enjoying your blog.

  19. One of the comments reminded me of a funny sentence in a Hungarian memoir where the author said when he was a little boy (pre-WWI) on any good day in the summer half of his class would be working in the teacher's garden as a reward, and the other half would be working there as a punishment. It still makes me laugh.....

    In Ohio, where our growing season is so much shorter and cooler than yours, planning for a winter garden with parsnips, kale, and parsley and other things that can still be harvested when snow is on the ground, is important.

  20. Hello everyone!

    Michelle, a few years ago I bought books from both the UK and USA amazons. I bought my American books in the US and English books in the UK. I also checked on the currency conversion as well as postage. You might find a better price, depending on the currency conversion, buying an american book in the UK, or vice versa. It's worth checking before you buy. I've never had any problems buying books from Amazon.

  21. Such a thoughtful and thought-provoking blog! Reading each posting always smooths out the wrinkles in my day.


  22. I'm pretty sure I saw an email address somewhere around here when I started lurking a week or so ago. Anyway, I'm really enjoying myself here and hope you don't mind that I am adding you to my blogroll.

  23. Hi Rhonda, Can you tell me how you feed the pigeon peas to your chookies? We're about to get some chooks again (Yay!) about the end of Sept, and I want to grow Pigeon Pea for them, as well as a lot of other yummy things. However I know very little about Pigeon Pea. Thanks!


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