A busy home

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.


25 comments

  1. I sowed my tomato seeds this morning, I have been looking forward to it for weeks because it means the dark days have properly turned. I have returned to being a homemaker full time now, and I am struggling with motivation. I realised that if I do a little gardening before I attempt anything else, it bumps my mood and makes me feel a bit more purposeful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one whose hens lay in spurious and random places

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am so looking forward to autumn. I think it is my favourite time of year. In our part of the south, we have had a weird year - too much humidity, mildew on the cucumbers and a really poor tomato season. It was almost like living in Townsville again! And now we have a week of heat. Hmmmmm! Still, it is brassica time for us, so the beds are being prepared. The hens have a new fence that they are not eggstatic about .. but I am, as they get to stay out of my roses! Enjoy your milder weather and happy planting 😻

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hanno and you are both very self-reliant. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your hens are funny girls! You and Hanno are a great team, accomplishing so much between you both. Starting tomatoes is on my to do list for the week. I'm looking forward to the season ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like you and Hanno have been busy bees! My Don will be 76 this September and he will tackle just about any job too. He just bought me a new bird feeder, red, and I am looking forward to more pretty birds in our yard. Laundry is calling my name so good-bye for now. Blessings, Carolyn in Florida

    ReplyDelete
  7. We are certainly looking forward to the new season but unlike you ours will be spring.
    At the moment following a mild spell when lots of plants were tempted to throw out new growth and flowers the latest storm came along and spoilt many of the flowers and "burnt" the new shoots!
    Oh for some warm dry weather.
    It's odd to think that you like us will be planting seeds but in autumn not spring. Sue

    ReplyDelete
  8. I know exactly what you mean about having clean, organised and well sorted cupboards Rhonda. I am starting on the kitchen cupboards again. Since decluttering and organising last year it is now due for another good wipe down and sort. Also, having our laundry sorted means I can make cleaners, wash/fold/sort clothes and have everything right where I need it. It is actually then a pleasure to work in.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Good Morning, Can you please tell me Rhonda, What pattern book is that you're working from?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's one pattern in a four page booklet called Kids Seamless Sweater. It's published by Cleckheaton. I'm not using their wool. I'm knitting with the fabulous 8ply organic cotton from Eco Yarns.

      Delete
  10. The picture of the egg beside the pipe reminded me of a story I heard years ago. I was in a Bible study with a group of ladies and one of them owned a small farm. Their barnyard was pretty close to the back of the house and one day out of the back window of the house, she saw one of their sheep resting beside the fence and not moving. She finally went out there thinking the sheep was caught in the fence as it had not moved in quite a while. She was relieved when she got to the sheep to see it was not caught in the fence. She discovered one her chickens had gotten up on the sheep's back and laid an egg.

    ReplyDelete
  11. the change from summer to autumn is one I always rejoice in, we are in cold climate area and can not grow the variety of things you do but there are still all the root veg and onions to go in. I am going to knit my first dish cloths and cleaning rags this season as well as doing some home improvements. Also i am looking forward to soup and casserole and lovely hot roasts, yum. Hanno is good to be dtill doing such work, I wish i had a handy man , best wishes to you and your family Rhonda, I enjoy the little visit each blog brings thank you from Judi

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello Rhonda Jean,
    I got out of the habit of reading your blog when I moved house a couple of years ago, and am so glad to have found it again. Lovely to see that you are still continuing - you have been an inspiration to so many people over the years.
    The reason I remembered to come back was the fact that I'm knitting dishcloths at the moment!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good morning Rhonda Is the bar from the forum gone ? I hope you have a great day .Did find any grafted tomatoes,I will look for some too Cheers Jellifus

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're not accepting new members on the forum now and I'm sure current members have the link.

      Delete
  14. I am down in there Caloundra area & our mornings have also taken on the cooler air & I am in love. Autumn is my favourite season of the year. It is probably my busiest gardening season as well. I am struggling though. I'm not sure what happened, but our new home had unclean fill put into the garden areas & I am struggling with an overwhelming amount of clay. Have you written about getting through it, or have any ideas? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most houses in this area are built on clay. When we had our soil test done 20 years ago we were told it was undisturbed clay so we started fixing it straight away. Read this post. It explains what we did and how you can grow vegetables while you're fixing the soil. It's a slow job, it takes a few years but you'll have excellent soil in the end.
      http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com.au/2010/02/simple-living-series-enriching-soil.html

      Delete
  15. We are looking forward to seeing whether summer will linger like it did last year or if the temperature will drop soon. We set up our (very ad-hoc) veg patch before Christmas, encouraged by the cooler weather of Auckland compared to Brissie. What a reminder to plan properly ha! It is a bit all over the place, and I definitely think the basil will need a new spot for maximum success but we have been eating from the garden over the last 6 weeks and it is wonderful. We are renting this house, so I suspect the time will come when we move on - for now though, it is about setting up a compost bin and improving the soil. The tomatoes will come out over the next couple of months and winter veg will go in - it is very exciting! Much love, Ayesha xox

    ReplyDelete
  16. What is the delicious looking dish you have pictured today?

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think it is great that Hanno did the fence al by him self...nice that the weather is better over there...here we can smell a bit of spring in the air but you never know in March, I like the sweater you're making for Alex, I think it's gonna look great! Have a nice weekend!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. My goodness I,m feeling hungry at the moment and those two dishes look really tasty ! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're just pasta and meat sauce with a little grilled cheese on top. It was the third day I'd served it so I jazzed it up a little. lol

      Delete
    2. Have you tried grafting your own tomatoes? If you have hardy volunteer cherry tomatoes and some heirloom seeds, it might be a good experiment. You've got me curious about trying it here!

      Delete
    3. Not yet, Naomi, but I haven't been able to find any grafted tomatoes so I'll give it a go. I won't use cherry tomatoes though, I'm going to use eggplant root stock.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment today. I love reading your thoughts and ideas.
All comments in English, please.
Comments containing personal or commercial links will not be published.

Back to Top