Weekend Reading

1 May 2020

Our ginger is growing well. I planted this up about eight weeks ago and recently moved it out of the greenhouse to get more sun. Now it's getting cooler, I'll move it to sit in full sun all day.  


I planted some of the crop I harvested last year and kept it on the kitchen bench until it started to shoot. Ginger generally needs warm weather to grow well so if you're down south, wait till spring to plant.



We've been in lockdown since 2 March and tonight some of the restrictions will be lifted. Our state is still shut off from the rest of the country but we can go out to do non-essential shopping (as if), drive no further than 50 km from home, go for a picnic or visit our family.  We won't be rushing into any of those activities but we'll probably go out for a drive next week. What are you doing during lockdown?

National Garden Scheme (UK), virtual garden visits
'I can see a bird. What is it?': a beginners' guide to backyard birding
How to Grow Vegetables from Kitchen Scraps
The power of pickles: a guide to preserving almost everything – from jam-making to chutneys
10 of the best road trips to take … by audiobook

21 comments

  1. Hi Rhonda, We are allowed to take our dogs for a walk and ride our bikes in California, so that has been th highlight of my day. My Labradoodle loves to run alongside the bicycle with me. One of our state parks was open today, so I took a very early morning hike. We were the only ones on the trail. They plan to close the beaches and parks again tomorrow, until May 17th. I have been doing a lot of cooking and baking, and planted a huge vegetable and fruit garden. The roses are the stars of the show. It's sure nice to have a lovely porch and cottage during this challenging time. Your ginger looks so healthy.

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    1. It sounds like you're staying active and engaged during the lockdown, Stephenie. I noticed a news report here of fires in California, is that near you?

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  2. We are still restricted here in western Canada but I am well and keeping busy. As you already know running a household and keeping up with the daily tasks keeps us busy. Throw a little reading, a little television/internet videos, other hobbies,and the garden and it more than keeps me busy. It seems to take longer these days to do the simple things like essential shopping though I don't go out nearly as often. Your garden is looking great.

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  3. I have realised that my life is extremely restricted as lock down isn't brought many changes. I do miss one of my girls. I look after my granddaughter twice a week so I see my other daughter more. My son has been away on contract but is home now so I talk to him and we see each other once a week. I long for the day when I can say to my older girl I will meet you for coffee or breakfast.

    Today I intend to plant some stuff. I have some ginger to try, garlic as well and some seeds to plant.

    Stay safe and well.

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  4. We live in upstate New York and have been sheltering in place since the beginning of March. We take a walk several times a week if weather allows. When it isn't raining we work in our yard. On rainy days (which is mostly what we've had this month) I sew face masks, crochet, bake and do regular household chores. We both like to play word games on our devices, watch television and read quite a bit. We have our groceries delivered every two to three weeks and once a month do a pick up order at Sam's Club. We really miss seeing our children and grands and this summer we are really going to miss going camping, but it is what it is and we'll deal with it.

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  5. Thanks for the links Rhonda. I love stories about animals coming out to investigate the newly quiet cities. I just discovered a nature website called Explore.org. I'm hoping to watch the Northern Lights on it soon. I saw them in person once, but want to see how they appear through the webcam. My city has been locked down since St. Patrick's day and we just got extended again until May 18, but there was also an easing of some of the restrictions that were previously in place. In a way I feel like I've been practicing for this all winter since I've been working from home for the last six months. So glad spring is here - have been for walks, some work in the yard, lots of phone calls and emails with friends and family, and watching spring birds arrive in the back yard. My oven died last weekend, which freaked me out a bit, but luckily I was able to get it fixed within a couple of days. And blessings on my next-door neighbors who kindly baked part of my dinner for me after I discovered the problem! Beth in MN

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  6. It is nice to think about the restrictions being lifted little by little. I'm not having too hard of a time staying home. I like it where I am, in my place. I am a tad fearful that things will get opened back up too fast and we will be back at square one. As for me and my little family, we will keep those restrictions going. I have a grandson due the 7th of May, by Cesarean, which means my daughter has to go to the city where there are lots of cases of COVID 19. Hopefully, she will be well guarded by her doctors and nurses so she can bring the little guy home to meet his grandma!
    We have been preparing for his arrival and stocking up on the things we will need most for the next four weeks. I have been learning the schedule on taking care of my daughters service dogs so I can do that stuff for her while she is recuperating, as well as getting my spring feeding schedule going for my outside critters. Chickens, a lamb, a goat and a miniature horse. Then keeping up with the housework and getting the garden going. In my spare time, I have been making masks for my daughter and her husband to wear while they are in the hospital, and sewing up a quilts, bibs and burp cloths for our newest family member. I'm excited!

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  7. The garden is keeping me busy, planting many spring/summer crops here in the North Carolina Piedmont. I'm still working as well, as I work at private homes offering gardening and helping my clients with what they can no longer do themselves.
    Our state is due to "unlock" around the second week of May, but our lives won't change much. We love being home.
    Glad you are doing well. I was just thinking of you yesterday.
    Enjoy your weekend.

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  8. Your ginger looks so good, I tried to grow it once but didn't go well, I might try it again. Here in Toronto we are still staying home just doing essential shopping once a week. I'm spending lots of time crafting and preparing my balcony for the growing season.

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  9. I'm happy to hear that your restrictions are lifting a bit, and giggled at the idea of you doing non-essential shopping.
    Thanks for showing your ginger progress! It's encouragement to me, as I've recently started growing some ginger and other things from kitchen scraps (first time). So far so good... almost a full salad plate!
    Here in New Mexico, we are headed into summer. I must tell you, Rhonda, it is because of your blog and books that I was mostly prepared for being "stuck" at home. These 10 years of learning from you have been truly life-changing for me! In my home keeping. In my mothering. In most every area of life. This extra time at home has afforded me that push I needed to really give gardening a go (even though we only have a patio) and get some stitcheries completed. Your book helped me with starting container gardening.
    The links to growing from kitchen scraps and preserving top my list. I also like the article you wrote about creating a comfortable home.
    Hugs to you from NM.

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    1. Reading your feedback makes me want to continue writing. I do write with the hope of helping others realise that this way of life is a real improvement on mainstream living. It sounds like you're trying a lot of things and that is exactly what you need to do. Ginger should grow well during summer in your climate. I wonder what the next ten years will bring. xx

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  10. Hi Rhonda. I live in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Lockdown has been particularly challenging.
    Prior to all of this "hullabaloo" I was studying early childcare education. We were restricted back to an online learning environment, and I struggle to keep up - let alone learn how to navigate a considerably complex virtual world.
    Understandably I have been "hiding"in my kitchen - cooking, homeschooling my children & looking out my windows at the changing seasons

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    1. Hi Bek. I'm sorry you're struggling with online learning. I think having small children and keeping them occupied and connected with their extended family would be a real challenge. I hope cooking and watching the seasons change is giving you some pleasure. Good luck with getting back to to your course soon. xx

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  11. Like you Rhonda we won't be rushing back into the world as restrictions lift. I shudder to think what Westfield Chermside looks like today. We have realised self isolating comes fairly naturally to my husband and I. We miss the kids and grandkids and hope to be hugging them in the near future. Will definitely try ginger come spring. I have your books out today reviewing what we are doing and looking for areas of improvement.

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  12. Hello,
    I had the opportunity of baking beard for the first time in awhile. This lock down period has really given me a chance to focus on the things I enjoy, without feeling guilt that I am meant to be somewhere... doing something. Although I do miss my friends. Here in NZ we are slowly returning to normal but I want meet up with friends until we are at Alert level 1.

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  13. Our restrictions have been somewhat modified since we started stay in place isolation in March. California was the first state to do so, and we are reluctant in our area to break back into the old life too soon. I have not worked in all this time; but am lucky my partner does still from home. Other than the occasional trip to the grocery store, I do not go out unless it is to walk my dog twice per day, for exercise. I have been busy in the garden, baking when I can get yeast, and sewing a shirt for myself and working on a quilt top for winter. It has been nice being home more, in some ways I have been working a bit too much; but we live in an expensive area now and it gets worse each year with water prices going up. We are entering fire season again, and water is important. We have two small water barrels, and they help but are not really a lot. I'ma also a bit nervous as I have to have a wisdom tooth out next week. It is not a good time to need oral surgery! However it is a local, so they tell me it won't take too long. Stay well everyone!

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  14. Thank you for the photos of your ginger growing, as someone that lives in a climate that is too cold for it to grow it is interesting to me to see what it looks like. We too have been in lockdown since early March and it is not going to lifted any time soon, but we are happy and content at home and when the time is right we will be happy to start doing those things that were important in our life before.

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  15. Good morning Rhonda and Hanno,best wishes to you and all your readers who are in countries much devastated by this frightening illness.I have 'grandchildren separation anxiety' syndrome,but otherwise can keep myself occupied endlessly.Cold,wet,windy weather hit here this weekend and we reluctantly turned on our inefficient and expensive to run,gas central heating. We are saving up to replace this at some stage but it's difficult to work out with what,while trying to keep the environment and our increasing age in mind. I am missing the library bus magazines so found myself reading your old blog posts,while suffering cold feet! My husband and I made our first on line purchase of Australian made slippers from Blue Mountain Uggs and now eagerly await delivery. Next up knitting wool.We're hoping people will support getting Australians back to work,not workers in other countries! Many Thanks for the links

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    1. We use reverse cycle airconditioning here. It's not the cosiest form of heating but it's economical and keeps us warm. I hope you find something to suit you. I used to buy my Ugg slippers from Blue Mountains Uggs but bought them locally this year. They arrived in the post two weeks ago and I'm wearing them now. Very toasty.

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  16. Thanks so much Rhonda for your Friday reading list. It keeps me centred and reinforces the beauty and peace of slow and considered living. Stay safe and warm. xx

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  17. So lovely to read what is happening in your garden and home Rhonda...and all your readers here and across the world.
    Definitely flannelette sheet weather here and the fire was started last weekend, much to our cat's delight.
    Yes, so lovely to be able to share produce from the garden. I just harvested two 10 kg pumpkins (22 pounds each?)One has been divided up between us, neighbours and my parents so far. Was a Qld Blue I think.
    Last year when we trimmed our big lime tree, I had buckets of very ripe limes that I bagged up and posted a sign 'Free over-ripe limes' and put on our nature strip. Thought I would have to haul them back in eventually, but they all went!
    Have just bought a fig tree..keen to see how that goes here.
    All the best to everyone.

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