3 May 2019

Autumn vegetables and homemaking

After a couple of weeks of rain, we now have sunshine and the gentle heat of late autumn. The strawberries are growing well, raspberries and Youngberries are developing their canes for fruiting later in the year and we have tomatoes, lettuce, French beans, silverbeet, spinach and Welsh onions almost bursting out of their boxes. The cayenne chilli bush in the old sandpit is so full and heavy, it keeps snapping off side branches and I've been giving away chillies to who ever will take them.

Strawberries in hanging baskets this year.  It's part of our way of easier gardening.
Afternoon sun on the back verandah and box garden.  French beans below.

When sunlight falls on the back verandah in the afternoon now it's soft light and it brightens up the backyard without scalding the plants and sending all sensible humans and Scottie dogs inside. I'd like to have six months of autumn, three months of spring and three months of winter. Weather like this creates a tranquil and relaxed environment for sustainable living that I think it would entice a few more people to this way of life.

And speaking of winter, yesterday was the day I changed the bed linen from summer's cotton to winter's flannel. However, due to the warm weather, we have a flannel bottom sheet with a cotton top sheet, as well as a doona and a quilt.  I always look forward to the day I change the linen. It seems like such a non-event to most people but it's a marker for me that we're moving into cozy nights, soups, casseroles, warm rice pudding, hot showers, cardigans and slippers. Surely that's worth a small celebration.

This week we've been eating warm homemade milk bread, beef, barley and vegetable soup, sweet potato soup, meatballs, chicken curry and kartoffel puffers. I'm making bread again today and yesterday I made another batch of dried apricot jam. It must be the easiest jam I've ever made. There's no peeling or chopping and you end up with an intensely flavoured jam that tastes more like apricots than sugar.  My ingredients cost about $13 and I got one large jar and five smaller jars. That would have cost me about $28 had I bought the usual apricot jam from the shop.  But there is another thing I love about this jam - I can store it in the cupboard to use during the rest of the year and I know exactly what is in it and how it was made. That's priceless.

This week I've enjoyed reading the new Treloar Roses catalogue and Homespun Mom Becomes Unravelled by Shannon Hayes (of Radical Homemakers fame).

And the message today is above.

I'm going to do two workshops here at my home on 25 and 26 May. On 25 May I'll have a blogging for beginners workshop. You can bring along your laptop, or just take notes, and I'll help you either create a blog or revive an existing one.  The following day there'll be a writers workshop.  This is for people who are already writing and who hope to have their work published. I have a lot of experience to share - I've been blogging for 12 years, written books and have been a columnist for the AustralianWoman's Weekly and Burke's Backyard. We'll be talking about writing and how to write as well as how to get published, contracts and what you can expect to be paid.  I'll take only six people in each workshop. Each workshop is $175, tea, coffee and water will be supplied all day but you should bring your own lunch along.  You'll pay your deposit of $80 when you make your booking. I'll write another post about the courses over the weekend. Please email me if you need more information now.

I hope things are good were you are. 💕
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