Weekend Reading

31 July 2020
I will never tire of looking at this face. Gracie was under the table on the back verandah with the sun streaming in. She enjoys being there on winter afternoons because it's warm and out of the wind.  Good girl, Gracie!

We got another stimulus payment from the government this month, a payment that needs to go back into the economy to help businesses survive.  I bought a new camera and this week I've been experimenting with it and trying to get through the 550-page manual.  Hopefully, in the coming weeks you see an improvement in my photos.  I'll never stage them but I hope you'll be able to see more details in what I do present for you here and on IG. 

Weekend Reading

24 July 2020
I forgot it's Friday! 😳  I just came home from grocery shopping and it clicked. I'm glad I remembered now and not Sunday afternoon.  

Making finger lime and lemon cordial. The little floaters in the pot are finger lime pearls.

It's been a busy week here with a few exciting things happening that I can't tell you about just yet. Tuesday I had my eyes seen to by my eye specialist and I was convinced I'd have to have surgery again.  But no, he said a film had grown over the artificial lenses and he could fix one eye immediately, the other one will be done next week.  He burnt the film off with a laser, the entire procedure lasted less than two minutes and was entirely pain-free.  Go science!

Weekend Reading

17 July 2020
This week I've been reading through a recently published book, The ultimate guide to preserving vegetables. I've really enjoyed it and found a lot to inspire me.  Written by Angi Schneider, she writes about canning, pickling, fermenting, dehydrating and freezing fresh produce.

Weekend Reading

10 July 2020
Hello everyone. I had a good break and feel better for it. I did a lot of thinking while I was away, it's amazing how clearly you focus when you're sitting outside in the fresh air with birds swooping by. I've decided to use Instagram as the main tool to communicate with you. It's faster, so I won't spend too much time online, and the passing traffic there is much greater than here.  

Gracie is doing her afternoon checks here.  She's watching the chooks in the first photo and then she moves closer to the creek to make sure no bush turkeys are about to storm the fences. 

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.