Weekend Reading

19 June 2020

I'm taking a break from posting here and on IG. I'll sign off for now but I'll see you again soon. Thanks for your recent emails and comments. They really do make it more interesting for me.

I hope you enjoy this week's reading.
🍃🍃🍃

Valuable and useless vegetables

16 June 2020
We're learning hard lessons lately. The ongoing drought and coronavirus have taught me that to be resilient enough to bounce back time and time again, I need to strengthen my systems, learn as much as I can about what I want to do here and then put in the work to make it all happen. We have recently gone from a very productive vegetable, herb and fruit garden to a much smaller setup of flowers, herbs, fruit and a couple of vegetables. When I work through this season and my new systems start to evolve, those hard lessons might save me in the future.

One of the lessons I stumbled across years ago was to only grow the fruit and vegetables we eat. Even though it's enjoyable and rewarding, gardening is time-consuming and can be difficult at times, even for experienced gardeners. Growing vegetables that look different but are harder to grow isn't worth the extra work when you can get the result you want with something easier.  For instance, a few weeks ago I found a few vines I hadn't planted starting to colonise a large area around one of the roses. I thought it was a cucumber and left it to see if we could use it.  When it started to flower, the flowers were smaller than the cucumbers we usually grow but I let it mature to see what it really was.  This is it below - an African horned cucumber. The seeds were probably dropped in our garden by visiting birds.
Apparently, the skin goes yellow when it's mature and it's FULL of seeds.  It tastes like cucumber but the horns are spikey and there are very fine prickles along the stems.  It's very difficult handling it in the garden so all the vines were pulled out.  Good riddance to bad rubbish. In a few weeks time, when I'm ready to plant cucumbers, I'll choose a delicious apple variety, either Crystal Apple or Richmond Green. Both are well worth growing.


Weekend reading

12 June 2020
We're quietly working away in our home with a day out here and there for Hanno's doctors' appointments and grocery shopping.  Life at our home is a mix of house and garden work, sitting in the garden, morning teas on the verandah, reading, knitting and thinking about what's happening in the world around us.

Above and below: we drove over to Bribie Island last weekend where Gracie discovered ibis.

Weekend Reading

5 June 2020
We've been really busy this week. Hanno's had a couple of health issues and had to go for an unexpected checkup with his eye specialist. The doctor uncovered a problem, a retinal vein occlusion,  and did an operation on the spot.  As I'm writing this, he's visiting his GP because of high blood pressure. Hopefully, there will be an easy solution for that too.

The garden on Wednesday.

Weekend Reading

29 May 2020
Another week has gone by in lockdown, although the tough restrictions are slowly starting to lift here. The days are beautifully slow but the weeks seem to fly by. I'm not really sure how that works, but that's what it feels like.  We've been doing our regular chores, reading, gardening, sewing, knitting and cooking. Nothing much has changed. 

After two days of sweet potato and pumpkin soup, today's lunch is roasted pork belly, sweet potato, cauliflower and onion, and yes, I'm still eating my junket. 🙂

 Amazon lily.

Weekend Reading

22 May 2020
This is the farmhouse hard cheese I used to make.

I've been going through my old photos and there are several I'll share with you in the coming weeks. I used to make cheese fairly frequently, I loved making it and it was delicious.  I haven't made any for a couple of years but that's because I found it difficult getting enough fresh milk rather than I stopped liking it.

Slow and safe havens

19 May 2020
I live in the slowest of slow lanes and there is a lot to love about slowing down. I get the full measure of what each day brings, I have time to enjoy what I'm doing, I sit and reflect and don't feel guilty and every day there is a growing appreciation for having the time to enjoy the quietness of my own home.

A sign of the times.

Weekend Reading

15 May 2020

It's soup time!  I would live on soup if I could. Most soups are nourishing, the flavour improves each day and they're so easy to make. With each passing day, you can add something different like croutons, hot bread, dumpings or fresh herbs so instead of being boring, your soup is comfort food during cold and dreary weather. My favourites are pea and ham and beef, barley and vegetable, which the vegetables photographed above are destined for.

A cruise through the past week

13 May 2020
I have a collection of photos for you today with not much writing. The garden photos were taken yesterday and the others over the course of the past week.  I hope you enjoy them. I'll have more garden photos for you when I tidy the place up a bit and things start growing. Where you see the straw above, I've just scattered seeds - alyssum, aquilegia (granny's bonnet) and bee and butterfly mix.

Weekend reading

8 May 2020

Imagine my surprise and delight when this little beauty glided down our driveway a couple of days ago. It's our "new" courier vehicle. It's a customised US delivery van, the same van that used to deliver parcels and mail between Gympie and the Sunshine Coast (where I live) in the 1940s. The man driving has restored it to its original condition. You can't see them but inside those blackened windows, the van is packed with parcels. It was such a pleasure to see it and talk to the owner/driver who is obviously very proud of it.