A busy home

28 February 2017
I've made the first steps towards our new season garden. It will be planted up some time in March but before that, we'll have the chooks in there to search for bugs and scratch around, and then we'll start the process of improving the soil. This is done throughly every March when the garden is bare and again every time a plant is harvested and removed, before a new plant goes in, more manure and organic matter is added. Doing that gives us healthy crops that can stand up to small invasions of caterpillars or grasshoppers and it gives the vegetables a really good taste.

So far I've potted on parsley seedlings and sown sweet peas seeds and heirloom tomato seeds - a French variety called Rouge de Marmande, a delicious ruby red tomato. I'm also on the lookout at the nursery and markets for some grafted heirloom tomatoes. I have no doubt many cherry tomatoes will start popping up in the garden as soon as the weather is milder and the soil wetter.  They grow like weeds here so we pull out most of them and keep one or two of the healthy ones.

If they find any new place to lay an egg, our girls will be there.  This is one of the holes Hanno dug to replace the water pipes.

Hanno has almost finished the huge job of installing an electronic fence to keep Gracie in, even when the front gates are open. That will also keep her out of the bush house, her favourite outdoor spot, where she's been chewing plastic pots and digging in all the terracotta pots that are standing on the ground. Hanno also finished a big plumbing job a week ago when he found the source of a water leak in the ground on the side of the house. He dug up the pipes and replaced the old leaking metal pipes with new plastic ones.  Not bad for a 76 year old. I suggested we get someone in to do the job but he insisted he wanted to do it and by taking it slow, he got the job done and we saved a couple of hundred dollars because he did the work.

Inside the house I've been organising the linen cupboard, tea towel drawer and stockpile cupboard.  I'm slowly working my way through other drawers and cupboards too and will soon tackle the gadget drawer, the plates and bowls drawers and two cupboards holding my saucepans and bake ware. This isn't my favourite kind of housework but that feeling satisfaction when everything is clean and tidy and ready for the work ahead outweighs the hesitation of doing it. Well organised cupboards contribute to the running of a home as much as a pair of extra helping hands.

I'm struggling through the jumper I'm making for Alex. The top-down, one piece pattern I'm using isn't complicated but it's not clearly written so I've had to redo a few rows at the top of the raglan sleeves. Still, having a project that will produce a warm and serviceable garment for one of my loved ones is worth a bit of frustration and unpicking. I rarely go through any knitting without unpicking some of it. I know that once I'm passed the sleeve stage, it's all plain and easy knitting from then on so I'm soldiering on.  😇

The weather has become milder here in the past couple of days.  I was watering the garden earlier and it was a perfect temperature with a lovely breeze in the backyard. A new season ahead for all of us, friends.  I wonder if you're looking forward to it as much as I am.