Fruit salad garden

7 November 2008
It's been a gruelling couple of days here. Tuesday afternoon my DIL Cathy was rushed to hospital with high blood pressure. My step son works three hours away, so I called him to come home, then Hanno and I went to the hospital. Cathy had a series of small strokes. She only in her mid-40s. She is okay and is home again now, and when I visited yesterday she looked good and said she felt okay.

Hanno and I went to the doctor yesterday, I got the all clear but Hanno has something suspicious in his blood test and needs a scan and more tests. He says he feels fine so we'll just have to wait and see what the scan shows. My sister Tricia phoned last night to tell me our cousin Stephen is dying in a Sydney hospital. For a family that has never had much in the way of illness, we sure are making up for it.

Next season's Washington Navel oranges - small now but they'll grow into globes of juicy sunshine by next winter.

My garden is providing much needed solace for me right now. I go out there and I swear it transforms me. It's a particularly abundant garden at the moment with a lot of fruit growing, and although it's very slow, the promise of it is there.

The pineapple top I planted two years ago is slowly - very slowly, maturing and is now presenting me with this small, but perfect, little pineapple. I cannot wait to taste this fruit. I'm hoping it will be ready for Christmas day. Hopefully, some red papaya will be ready for a fruit salad then too. We have two trees and both are setting fruit now.

Further over in the yard, on the eastern fence line, luffas are growing. I planted them all along this trellis so they'll get full sun all day with a little shade late in the afternoon. Now that all the seeds have germinated, this garden bed needs the edges cut with a spade and lots of mulch applied. That will probably be a weekend job.

The corn is healthy and producing fat, juicy cobs, and we are still drowning under a ton of zucchinis.

And while all this growing is carrying on, my lovely ladies keep producing about nine eggs every day. Mary is pictured above, making her contribution to her keep.

In the front garden, Hanno dug up the remaining potatoes. There was a small basket full which would be about 3kg (7lb). We haven't bought potatoes for months now and still have enough to see us well into next year.

We have planted some golden nugget pumpkins out where the bulk of the potatoes were and they're growing really well. There are only four plants but that will produce enough for us plus a few to give away. I must remember to grab a few small potatoes for seeds and leave them out to sprout before we plant the new crop.

Right next to the pumpkins, Hanno planted these little beauties for me - ginger and turmeric. In the photo above, the ginger is the larger one. I use ginger for my ginger beer and both ginger and turmeric in curries so it's good to have them growing in the garden.

I am moderating comments again. I was really disappointed in what happened yesterday and don't wish to discuss it further. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and look towards next week with love in your heart and hope for the future.


  1. How long does it take to get a lovely ginger root like that?

    Be well:) We love you.

  2. Dearest Rhonda,
    I hope Hanno's tests come back okay. Lovely post once again! Keep taking comfort in spending time in your garden.
    Take care & God bless

  3. I hope that things imporve health wise for your family soon. It can seem never ending at times, however these times usually pass.
    Thankyou for sharing what is happening with your garden at the moment. I would love to read more on your daily routine and tasks in your garden.
    How is Nourishing Traditions going?
    Bec xxx

  4. Rhonda,

    I am so sorry to hear about your DIL, I hope she is continuing to make progress, and I hope that Hanno's tests are ok too.

    You seem to be going through the mill just now. I will be praying for better news for you.

    I read and re-read your post yesterday, it makes so much sense..
    I am guilty too, of sitting in front of the computer when I should be getting on with something else......

    I am going to give myself two time slots for the computer and make sure I do not allow myself to be tempted to stay on longer than my allocated time.

    Thank you Rhonda for giving me a kick up the Rear and concentrating my mind once again.

  5. Hi Rhonda. Wishing lots of health to you and your entire family!

  6. PS: I love the new green frugal co-op blog!! Just started reading it. Do you happen to know the name of the flower on the header picture? We found the same flowers growing near our home, but couldn't find out what they are.

  7. Oh Rhonda-I hope that Hanno's tests come back ok and your DIL recovers quickly and completely. I have been through that with my hubby. Prayers and hugs to you, Hanno and your entire family.

  8. So sorry about the health issues in your family. That is so stressful.
    And the pineapple looks wonderful. The Christmas fruit salad sounds just right.

  9. Hello everyone. Thank you. :- )

    Hello Anna dear. The flower is a passionfruit growing in our backyard. That particular one is a yellow passionfruit. Give it a decent amount of water and it should produce fruit for you. Good luck with it.

  10. I hope that the health of your family improves soon and that this run of bad health ends here. I am sorry to hear about your cousin in Sydney though, and hope that he is not suffering.

    I am really enjoying reading your blog each day, and am so glad that I found it whilst traipsing the internet!

  11. Sending loads of "get better quickly" vibes to you and yours.

    Have a wonderful weekend they think we will get more rain!!


  12. Hugs to you and your family! I wish all of you the best and quick healing.

    Warm Regards,

  13. Oh Rhonda, take care. My love to you and your loved ones.

  14. So sorry to hear your family are really going through the mill health-wise. Sometimes it all seems to come at once and you wonder what's hit you.
    Hope you're all back to full health quickly.
    Happy weekend,
    Diana xx

  15. Hi Rhonda
    Sorry I haven't been keeping up with blog reading as I'm not too well again. So sorry to hear your DIL has been poorly and that Hanno is to have more tests but glad you are feeling better.

    With love Pippa

  16. Dear Rhonda, I really hope everybody gets better soon, give my best wishes to Hanno and please have a big hug from me just for you, I'm sure you could do with one right now xxx

    P.S I found some yellow cotton that you might like for knitting dish cloths with. I'll keep it for you for when you feel like it, Just let me know when.


  17. Hang in there Rhonda.

    Thinking of you all.

  18. sorry to hear that life is proving less than perfect right now. I hope it improves soon.

    It's fascinating watching your garden come to life (especially as ours wind down in the UK) and see all the excellent stuff you grow. Ever so slightly jealous!

  19. when we were kids my sister and i we very different. today we are still different but much closer. i know that i would not have gotten through my rough patches over the years without her patient listening, advice and just being there.
    these difficult times that are happening now are also bringing some good - my sister and i are going strong together and will come through whatever we have to.
    i feel the love and the kindness and warmth of my mother coming through my sister.
    thank you rhonda for being my sister.
    Patricia Margaret.

  20. Prayers to you and all your family members! Your garden is so lovely! That tiny little pineapple is so cute! I would love to be able to grow those but... It is snowing here today in Nebraska! Tis the season. Take care.


  21. Sending best wishes for good health!

  22. well, that just made my day! The first comment from my sister, Tricia. I didn't know you saw mum in me. I see her in you too. Funny that. :- )

    Thank you everyone for the prayers and good wishes.

  23. I'm sorry to hear of all the difficulties you've had lately. When things just keep happening one after the other (or lots of things at once) it can get a bit hard to take! I'm glad that your garden is such a place of delight and renewal for you. (It looks brilliant by the way.) I guess time management is a good comfort too because it brings some control back to us, which is always empowering. It's kind of you to share your life with us because having good skills to deal with the hard times is as important to know about as anything else.

    I do hope things start improving for all of you. You're in my thoughts.

    Kindest regards, Marilyn

  24. Rhonda, we'll keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. We've had our recent experiences with some related concerns, and we know how it can be so unexpected. Sending you warm thoughts across the pond...


  25. I hope that those in your famiy who have been poorly are soon on the mend. I know in bad times my garden has renewed and refreshed me. Just looking at your wonderful garden in the photos tels me that yours will do the same for you. One question, are you in Australia? As a Kiwi living in the UK I have been trying to guess where you are by the planting you are doing. I just can't wait until spring on this side of the world. Take care.

  26. Rhonda,

    Thinking of you and your family. Thank you for all that you share with us.

    Larissa in U.S.A.

  27. Rhonda,
    Glad to hear that your DIL is home and doing better, and I hope Hanno's blood tests come back ok. Sorry to hear about your cousin, I'll be keeping you all in my prayers.
    My husband had a brain aneurysm and a stroke just a little over a year ago (he was 42), and he is now back to work. It was touch and go for a while because he had several serious complications and had to be kept in a chemically-induced coma for almost a month to help his body heal. I was just so thankful that he was at home when the stroke happened and not out driving, otherwise he might not be here now.
    But, he's made a remarkable recovery, and I just tell people that if they doubt the power of prayer, just look at my husband.
    Hugs and good thoughts for you all.
    Take care and God bless.

  28. Hi Rhonda Jean :) Sending you hugs just now, and I will be keeping you in my prayers as well as your Hanno and Cindy and Stephen. I am sorry things are tough right now. Lots of love, Q

  29. Hello Rhonda

    So sorry to hear about your DIL and Hanno still not quite right. You are having a bad trot. Hope things improve for the better soon.

    I love the photos of your garden, especially the lovely moist soil after the rains you have had. Can't wait to see your pineapple in all it's glory, first freshly picked then sliced up for a delicious dessert. You are so lucky to have a place that brings you peace when you need it.

    Cheers for now,


  30. Hope all of you are feeling 100% again soon.

  31. I hope your family starts feeling better very soon. Many blessings.

  32. Sorry if I am sending this twice. I hit something and the screen went away. I hope your family feels better very soon. I will be sending happy thoughts your way.

  33. Hello Rhonda ~

    My prayers for ALL your family health issues; like you, our family has toodled along without a worry while dear friends endured so many rough times. Only recently it has become "our turn" for sickness and while we never took our blessings for granted, we now fully appreciate what heartache others have dealt with. Good luck dear.

  34. Rhonda,

    I am so sorry to hear about the health issues your family is facing. I'll pray for good test results for Hanno as well as for your DIL and cousin.

    I was thinking about the comments incident from yesterday, and the one thing that occurred to me is that in a way it was amazing how varied a group of people you reach. So many blogs are very focused on reaching a certain type of reader but yours has universal appeal. I suppose that was the silver lining in the cloud, if you will.

    Take care.

  35. oh dear I guess life sometimes goes into a series of this kind... my yr 2007 was the worst yr ever for me in terms of health and that of my family... so hope yours is just a short cycle and better days come back soon!

    Hope H is ok? take care krissie

  36. Dear Rhonda
    I echo all the sentiments here wishing you and your family well.
    It's lovely for you that you have your surroundings to help you through, we all need to take solace in some form when times get tough
    All the best to you and your family
    Best wishes
    Judy in Adelaide

  37. Hi Rhonda- I really appreciate your wonderful blog and wisdom and kindness.You give so much through this space of yours and I am so glad I found it and have the privilege of being shown glimpses of your life.Best wishes to Hanno and I'm so glad your garden is nourishing you in so many different ways at this time.

  38. Dear Rhonda,

    You are so sweet and your excited post, "Yes We Can" really touched my heart. I read through the first ten or so comments and then had to look away. I'm very thankful that we have freedom of speech and its a wonderful part of being American but I often feel that we take it too far. Sometimes it's best to simply be silent.

    Your blog has been my escape from all the bickering the last two years (politics, etc.) and I feel so very sorry that we represented our country so poorly on your beautiful blog. Please accept my most sincere apology.

    You, Hanno, your lovely daughter in law, and son are in my prayers.


  39. I have several pieces of ginger, wonder how to start it. Do you just leave it out?
    I do hope your dil is better. That must have been so scary. I am sorry to hear of the ill health of your cousin. My BIL just passed away last weekend.
    Hanno will be fine just all that healthy food. The tests just don't know how to respond to it:)
    I posted the wheel I spoke of if you care to look. Rest well. I am worn out tonight! I laid out 12 lanyard necklaces and finished up the earrings for the sale on the 14-15th. busy busy.

  40. You truly have a beautiful garden Rhonda. There is something comforting about stepping into one.

    My thoughts are with your family and their health.

  41. Dear Rhoda, I send you my best wishes and hopes for health for everyone in your family.........Maybe after this short time of problems you will go to another long one of no problems.

    I truly love northeast Ohio where I live, but if I were going to envy anything it would be your climate which lets you garden SO MUCH! Of course, I am happy not to have your snakes! But then we have skunks around here who leave their horrible smells lingering as evidence of moments of displeasure. No place is perfect, I guess....;->

  42. Dear Rhonda,
    Hope all the health issues of your loved ones, improve quickly.
    I love the little pineapple, I am sure it will taste as sweet as it looks.
    My prayers are with you.

  43. Hi Rhonda

    Hoping all the health issues are sorted out soon - you sure have had a run of it lately.

    Love the garden shots - especially the pineapple, chooky and your beautiful white cat. Beautiful.

    Remember to take care of yourself too!!


  44. Rhonda I am so sorry to read of your worries :o( Illness is so awful I will pray they all get back to health.Without health we have nothing.
    Love to you all x
    ps theres also alot more computer off time going on here now too,we all need a poke in the right direction sometimes lol
    GTM x x x x

  45. Rhonda, sorry to hear that you have health worries in the family at present. I hope everyone improves very soon.
    Sending healthy thoughts your way as hard as I can :)

  46. Dear Rhonda,

    I hope all your troubles pass soon. It is wonderful that you have such a good family that can hold together during such times.


  47. Just like you to know I am thinking of you and your family Rhonda and hope things improve for you soon.
    Your garden is wonderful and your stories and beautiful photos always bring joy.


  48. Dear Rhonda,
    sorry to hear that things are not going well for your family. It is good that you can get strenght and hope from your garden. I wish you a lot of strenght and faith and hope that the sun will shine again soon.
    Sonja (Margaret River WA)

  49. I'm sorry to hear about your family difficulties with health. I hope things sort themselves out very soon.

    I enjoyed looking through your garden and seeing how things are going.

    If you mention politics on your blog then you have to expect debate/rants. Your blog provides a wonderful resource for many people, it would be impossible for us all to share the same political ideals (I know mine are different to yours, I didn't like the idea of the USA electing a Marxist (regardless of skin colour)) but that doesn't mean I'd hold that against you if I wished to learn about soap making or gardening from you.

    I do not come here for political comment, I come here for simple-living.

  50. Hi Rhonda, hope you are all soon feeling back on top of the world! I visit your site every day, have asked questions via email and through comments. I am very grateful for all your help. I began my own blog so I hope you don't mind that I have listed you on it! Thanks again, Karen.

  51. Hi Rhonda,

    I am saddened by the news of all the illnesses in your family. I will pray for a quick recovery for all.

    Guess what? Our chickens are supposed to start laying this month and we are so excited to finally have some "home-grown" eggs!

    As always, you continue to inspire me with the simple ways you lead your life. Thank you.

    Blessings, Beulah

  52. Thank you so much for sharing your practical advice on time management, growing our gardens, and simplying our lives. I always leave refreshed after reading your blog! :-)

    I'm sorry to hear that you may have received some negative comments on your preivous posts. Emotions surrounding our elections (I'm in the US) are quite high. I am not a fan of Obama, having done extensive research into his worldwide, I believe it is in vast contrast to the views of the average Amercian. I think you'll find that most Americans voted for him because they were "all done" with the Bush administration. If you have an interest (and I certainly don't expect you to post this on your blog, this is just an FYI for you personally), you may want to check out this blog It contains extensive details on Obama's past and plans for the future. Not sure if other countries are privy to this sort of info. Living in the US, most of us are quite concerned with the "changes" that are going to take place.

    Again, thank you for sharing all that you do, your blog is a wonderful source of information and I really enjoy coming to visit!

    Praying that your family medical issues will improve shortly.

  53. Iam keeping you all in my prayers..
    Hope all is well with Hanno and your dil..
    love your garden..

  54. Rhonda,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your family's health problems.

    I just want you to know that your blog has been VERY inspirational to me. I am a nursing student and very busy with not as much time at home as I would like. I am looking forward to the day when I can slow down, live more simply, and enjoy life rather than just rushing through it. In spite of this, however, your blog does not make me feel inadequate or inferior. Instead of being devisive and judgemental, it is comforting and inspiring. Thank you for being a quiet oasis in a world of conflict and information overload.

    with love and care,

  55. Hi Rhonda...I have been following your blog for some time now. Just wanted to tell you how much you and Hanno inspire me. I'm not sure if I have commented before, but I frequently "comment" to my hubby about your doings and have piqued his interest in living simply. Thanks for all you do and I hope you continue to mend.

  56. I hope everyone feels better soon.

    If my post upset you then I do 100% apoligize to you with no if ands or buts, just an "I am sorry".

  57. Dear Rhonda,

    Sending happy thoughts your way!! Hope you and your family will be on the mend.


  58. The hens laid eggs for the first time today I had three eggs from the 6 hens. Perhaps I'll have 6 eggs tomorrow. I hosed off the garden and am hoping for the best . I sure do not want to use any pesticide. More beans were harvested today. I see what you mean about the joys of the garden. Your such an inspiration. Do hope your loved ones are doing better.

  59. Hi RJ

    Just got back form 10 days in Darwin, so missed all the "drama". I'm sorry you have had to go back to moderating your comments as it creates so much more work for you.
    I ate lots of tropical fruit in Darwin (mangoes & paw paw) amd wish i could grow them in Adelaide. I tried to keep up with reading your blog a few times but time ran away from me.
    My thouthgs and prayers are with you for the health of your family

  60. I hope that your family is on the mend and you will be back to blogging again soon. I know that you have chosen an alternative lifestyle and I wonder if that extends to alternative medicine as well? We have found most of our problems taken care of through either chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs or prayer.

    I find your website to be very inspiring and hope to someday have some property (outside of a large city) and be able to be much more self-reliant. I could live without a dishwasher, clothes dryer, etc. but couldn't see myself ever giving up the computer and Internet. I've learned so much from having it and enjoy the opportunity to read other's views and exchange ideas. A good discussion with differing viewpoints should not be something to be shied away from and cause for upset. We are all different and have so much to learn from each other. I don't see how anyone could be ashamed of sharing opinions with one another. The principles of this country were not built on "simply be silent". I think our founding fathers are spinning in their graves!

    Thanks again for a blog that is very inpsiring and educational.

    I wish you and your family Good Health.

    Joyce in Illinois

  61. Rhonda:

    All hopes and prayers all the health issues will resolve themselves soon, and you and your family will get back to being healthy.

    The little pineapple is adorable. I would have a hard time eating him when he was all grown up...maybe just have it as a symbol of welcome for my guests :-)

    All best,

    AM of the bread

  62. Dear Rhonda Hope things improve for you soon.

  63. First time visiting your blog and loved it (ALL of it, including your post from earlier this week)!! Was referred here from a mutual knitting friend and wanted to thank you for a great place to see how you are living out what is my dream (hopefully I'll be living it someday), and to offer my support. While my blog is not as uber-awesome as yours, perhaps you'll wander over and take a look-see sometime. We share alot of interests!

  64. Best wishes for your daughter-in-law.

    Your blog has beautiful photos and inspirational ideas. I have learned much from you. Thank you!

  65. I just wanted to stop by and say that I love your garden pictures. I would love to have a garden like that. I planted potatoes this year and we didn't get any. We tried onions as well, but they never took.

  66. Hello Beulah! It's good to 'see' you again.

    margaret's ramblings, I live in Australia, just north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast.

    Someone asked about growing ginger but I can't find the comment now. You just buy some organic ginger from the shop and allow it to sit inside on your bench until it sprouts - about 4 - 6 weeks, depending on how fresh it is when you buy it. Then just plant it in rich soil with the growing tip just out of the soil.

  67. So sorry to hear about your healthy problems in the family, I am experiencing much the same in mine. I also hope the comment problems are not bringing you down, when you need more strength support instead. Keep up the good work.
    God Bless

  68. Rhonda,

    Do you think you can grow ginger in the UK or is it not the right climate?

    Fingers crossed that all is okay with Hanno's test results.

    Not to make too big a deal of it but I apologise if my post offended you the other day. That was not my intention and I feel bad that it obviously upset you. That's the last thing anybody here wants.

  69. Dearest Rhonda, I too am so sorry for all of the difficulties, uncertainies and sorrows that you and Hanno and your precious family are having to make your way through, just now. Holding you close in my heart--with much love, and praying. How wonderful that *you* were able to be there for Cathy right away--I'm sure she found so much comfort in that. I'm so thankful that she's doing better, and hope after rest that all is well. Please give my love to Hanno. Though I know there are questions and concerns with his tests...tell him he sure doesn't *look* sick. He looks *great* out there diggin' away in the potato patch ;o) When I read what Tricia wrote to you, my nose started to burn, I had a catch in my throat, swallowed hard, and tears streamed down my cheeks. What a beautiful letter to receive from your precious sister. Just beautiful. Loved your post on Time Management, the photos. Love *you*. Thinking of you. Caring about you, and yours.((Rhonda)) (and..((Hanno)) Tenderly, Jewels

  70. Hi Suzan, they usually grow over the hot summer months, so about 3 months.

    Fifi, they do need heat. Do you can a protected area close to a brick wall? Maybe that would work. Good luck.

  71. Can I by ginger root at grocery and plant it? I so want to grow it and I loveeee your blog.



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