Weekend Reading

28 August 2020
The backyard at 3pm with Gracie's woollen blanket drying in the sun.
Hanno having a rest while he fixes the pathway in the chook run.  That's the mini Cavendish banana in the foreground. He's going to cut the pups off and transplant one to that bare space on the wire fence.


All citrus grow too many flowers at the beginning of the fruiting season but tend to either drop them or lose them to birds or insects in the following weeks.  Our main orange tree is bursting with flowers. I'll pick many of them off soon to help it grow a good crop of large fruit instead of many small fruit.

It's been very cold down south lately but here in south-east Queensland, the weather is starting to warm up. It's still cold at night, and last week we had frost forecast for our area (none here), but the days are in the mid-20s now. Spring is a delightful time of year where I live, it's warm with low humidity and the garden explodes into growth.

Hanno heard a report that we'll probably have a wet spring so he's upgrading the pathway in the chicken coup so we don't have to walk in mud when we go in there.  We have two lemon trees in the chicken run and we collect eggs every day so keeping out of the mud sounds like a good idea to me.

The paperback edition of Down to Earth will be published on 20 October, 2020. The price is reduced to AU $35 but if you preorder now at Booktopia, it's further reduced to $27.75.  I think that's an idea price for a Christmas gift.  The link to the preorder page is in the right side panel.  --- >

What are you doing? Are you looking forward to the change of seasons?
Added later:  Planning and preserving the harvest  Heather is a wonderful example with her methods of planning and preserving.

20 comments

  1. I've been sewing masks this week and setting sweet potatoes up to produce slips. I've reorganised a cupboard or two which is always satisfying, as well as getting back on top of washing that didn't get seen to completion whilst my old dog was having sleep issues (now sorted with new pain meds for arthritis).

    I loved the interview with Ellen Fanning - you handled her questions exceptionally well! It does remind me how strange some people still think this way of life is, although getting less by the day as Covid forces so many to rethink what's important to them.

    Madeleine.X

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    1. Hi Madeleine. I peeled a sweet potato today and noticed two of them sprouting. It must be the time. I'm glad you organised the new pain meds for your old dog. I was surprised by Ellen's questions. I thought she'd be on board. Still, it gave me the opportunity to answer her queries. That was on Canberra's ABC radio. xx

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  2. That Swedish farm is fantastic, and what a level headed farmer. That he can demonstrate profitability alongside synergistic farming methods, and a very beautiful, small scale farm is very reassuring. Clearly, Australia does not experience Sweden's more consistent rainfalls and milder summer conditions that permit more intensive meat production, but still a relevant message there. It was an interesting interview with Ellen. Could not decide if she was a bit defensive at perhaps being one of those 'mindless consumers', or she's a seasoned journalist and made you work hard for your book plug - or maybe a bit of both! But as Madeleine said, you handled her questions perfectly. I have been busy working through stage 1 of your book (organising your life), as well as baking, cleaning, etc etc. I didn't realise how helpful a folder would be in keeping things like weekly schedules and the like. Even just to be able to file those lists of gift ideas, projects etc in one handy place has been a bit of a life changer. Enjoy your beautiful springtime weather. A bit too cold down here still, although I do have seedlings started in trays. We are expecting a wet spring too, which after the last few dry years will be a pleasant start to the growing season. Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Yes, I liked that Swedish farm a lot too. I think Ellen was a bit of both.

      I'm really pleased the book is helping you so far. I hope it continues to do so.

      Have a joyful weekend. xx

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  3. So many practical weekend reading suggestions. Thank you Rhonda, for taking the time to pass these on. Love your new do!
    Blessings...

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  4. Are your books available in US? I would love to be a distributor for you if needed.

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    1. Thanks for the offer Stacy. My books are usually available on Amazon USA and Abe's but also can be ordered with free delivery from Book Depository in the UK.

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  5. thanks for the links I will try to explore some over the weekend.

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  6. Great reading options here. I have been a vinegar girl for quite a while here. Your garden looks lovely Rhonda. Have a great weekend.

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  7. I do love the change of seasons, Rhonda. I will be a little bit sad, because my morning swims at the lake have been so luxurious and refreshing. It's such a treat to be in the mountains during the summer, especially with all of these fires we are experiencing in California. Your garden looks fantastic, as always. I am looking forward to building a fire in the old, 1950's brick fireplace up at the cabin. Thanks for the tip on the citrus flowers. I never knew that...

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  8. Hello Rhonda, it's always such a treat to come and sit awhile and read your posts.
    I just wanted to tell you that I have started to design a blog of my own. I'm just taking it slowly trying to nut it all out. I do now wish I had signed up for one of your courses, however I guess the timing just wasn't right for me. You have taught me so much over the years and blessed me in so many ways, I guess I am hoping that I might now pass on some of what I know and continue to learn and share hopefully blessing others in return.
    I have always loved to write,but I have never had an opportunity to express this love.
    Starting a blog seems like an exciting challenge!
    Thank you for inspiring me and for being such a beautiful role model♥️

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    1. I like that you're intending to pass it on, Joanna. Email me - my name at gmail - if you get stuck. I might be able to steer you in the right direction.

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  9. The weather is beautiful today in Melbourne. I have been weeding and planning further vegetables for planting. Thank you for your tip regarding citrus flowers. I would not have thought of that. My mandarins are sweet but small. I will note that for the next flowering. Hope you both stay well!

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  10. Hello. I’ve just discovered your wonderful blog and am reading the archives. I’ve got to Sept 2008 - it might take some time!! But so much amazing information !! I will order your book
    One result already - I’m ‘at peace’ with housework - I mean I no longer fight it and even enjoyed cleaning the bathroom. Well, I did it willingly and loved the shiny afterwards!!
    Covid-19 has meant we’ve not been away at all this year, and I’ve not missed it one bit. I love my home and just doing a few local day trips.
    Thank you for all your wisdom
    Ps. I wish the swaps still happened πŸ˜‰
    Anna (U.K.)

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    1. Welcome Anna. You've got a lot of reading ahead. I hope you find what you're looking for.

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  11. Thats so exciting that your book is coming in paperback! much more affordable but not nearly as nice as the hard back. Its the start of the growing season here, hopefully better than last year when the overwhelming smoke choked out everything and killed off my hole garden.

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  12. Just wanted to add that I finally got a chance to sit down and watch the webinar you did with Morag Gamble and found it so inspiring. You two lovely ladies give one hope. There were so many things that helped me feel validated. Life can be simple, if we choose to follow our hearts. Thank you for all of your wisdom.

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  13. Good morning Rhonda and Hanno,we have had a mix of cold,wet and windy and calm,sunny days here but I can feel that touch of spring in the air! I think Ellen thought it was a 'political' interview and you (of course) handled it beautifully. Spookily I have been looking for an old apple sponge recipe, from my mum,who would have been about 105yrs old now, and I think this was it! The garden looks lovely,lifts the spirits looking at it! My potted lemon has 12 on it, nearly ready to pick, I have to thin the flowers. Citrus are a continuing gift! Stay safe,we only have a couple of weeks locked in left,but I doubt we will be able to change our lifestyle much for a while anywayπŸ™ƒ

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  14. Hello Rhonda, always love your weekend liks. Was surprised at how defensive Ellen seemed and thought she probably felt threatened by the consept. I very often meet that attitude, as if I was trying to take something from them. I wonder if most of us perhaps feel a little guilty deep down, for our mindless spending, but hate to aknowledge it. You answered so well and takled her many interruptions with ease. Blessings, Pam in Norway

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