One busy week deserves another

Hi All,

 

Last weeks picture post was apparently greatly appreciated by most people. I think I wrote a blog post in comments which seemed to suit everyone so I think I might just carry on with this kind of post for a while (till something better comes along and inspires me πŸ˜‰ ). Ms Rabid shared a pin with me this week that completely blew me away. We have a little groundcover growing on the desperately dry area between our driveway at the front of the deck and the first garden (lower down). Every year it survives with the odd squirt from the hose and keeps spreading. I just found out from Ms Rabid that it is actually a form of creeping groundcover raspberry called Rubus pentalobus. You learn something every day! Mine flowers but hasn’t ever set fruit and the conditions that the poor plant is living in I am not surprised. Guess who is going to take lots of cuttings and care for it and fertilise it and plant it ALL OVER THE PLACE now that I know that it has value in a permaculture garden other than holding the slope together in the arid conditions that we call β€œSummer” here. What a valuable little plant! πŸ™‚ Ok, lets get into it then…what has happened since last Wednesday…

This is the Rubus pentalobus that Ms Rabid mentioned the other day. I am quite sure it's what she was talking about and here's the blog post that backed me up... http://tcpermaculture.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/permaculture-plants-groundcover.html

This is the Rubus pentalobus that Ms Rabid mentioned the other day. I am quite sure it’s what she was talking about and here’s the blog post that backed me up… http://tcpermaculture.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/permaculture-plants-groundcover.html

 

Steve needed a new workbench in his shed and so we cut up our old kitchen table to repurpose it for the job.

Steve needed a new workbench in his shed and so we cut up our old kitchen table to repurpose it for the job.

We didn't disturb the tenants, they get angry when you make too much noise...

We didn’t disturb the tenants, they get angry when you make too much noise…

Once the table/bench was in Steve decided to rearrange his shed and tidy it up and here's what it looks like now

Once the table/bench was in Steve decided to rearrange his shed and tidy it up and here’s what it looks like now

We took a lot of rubbish down to the tip (and lots to the tip shop) and we always check the tip shop in case there is something we can use in the garden. This time we found this half keg with holes drilled in the bottom that is going to be Steve's new shed bin.

We took a lot of rubbish down to the tip (and lots to the tip shop) and we always check the tip shop in case there is something we can use in the garden. This time we found this half keg with holes drilled in the bottom that is going to be Steve’s new shed bin.

We also bought this very deep corner shower unit for $5 to be repurposed as a pond under the new tap that Steve installed in Sanctuary for me. Here, Steve is removing the lip from the top of the shower/bath

We also bought this very deep corner shower unit for $5 to be repurposed as a pond under the new tap that Steve installed in Sanctuary for me. Here, Steve is removing the lip from the top of the shower/bath

Nice smooth top and time to make sure that the water doesn't come out when it is filled

Nice smooth top and time to make sure that the water doesn’t come out when it is filled. Steve found a thick plastic lid and cut a circle out of it

Then he applied lots of silicone and let it dry/set before we took it up to Sanctuary.

Then he applied lots of silicone and let it dry/set before we took it up to Sanctuary.

The tip shop has a shed with more discarded treasures and we picked up some teddies for the dogs to play with and when I was sorting through them to weed out the teddies that didn't have beans inside them (bad mistake to buy teddies with beans inside them for dogs ;) ) I found this lovely little rabbit. He is very cute but that's not why I bought him...

The tip shop has a shed with more discarded treasures and we picked up some teddies for the dogs to play with and when I was sorting through them to weed out the teddies that didn’t have beans inside them (bad mistake to buy teddies with beans inside them for dogs πŸ˜‰ ) I found this lovely little rabbit. He is very cute but that’s not why I bought him…

This is why I bought him for the princely sum of 20c. He is a vintage Steiff bunny.

This is why I bought him for the princely sum of 20c. He is a vintage Steiff bunny. Sometimes it pays to go to the tip shop πŸ™‚

We had been working very hard so we stopped for a beer (Steve) and a shandy (me...I am a lightweight ;) ). Nothing tastes as good on a hot day as a very cold beer

We had been working very hard so we stopped for a beer (Steve) and a shandy (me…I am a lightweight πŸ˜‰ ). Nothing tastes as good on a hot day as a very cold beer

More zucchini's from our 4 plants that are about to be made into zucchini and lemon curd and vegan zucchini brownies

More zucchini’s from our 4 plants that are about to be made into zucchini and lemon curd and vegan zucchini brownies

Bev from foodnstuff talked about bush tucker the other day and when we were walking the dogs in the local bushland we found these Pale flax lilies (Dianella longifolia) so I collected them and am drying them out so that I can grow some Serendipity Farm bush tucker for the native animals. Thank you for telling us about them Bev :)

Bev from foodnstuff talked about bush tucker the other day and when we were walking the dogs in the local bushland we found these Pale flax lilies (Dianella longifolia) so I collected them and am drying them out so that I can grow some Serendipity Farm bush tucker for the native animals. Thank you for telling us about them Bev πŸ™‚

2 more sacks of cherries and after someone who shall not be named ate quite a few of them we turned them into these...

3Β more sacks of cherries and after someone who shall not be named ate quite a few of them we turned them into these…

Dehydrated cherries that taste amazing!

Dehydrated cherries that taste amazing!

This was the state of the area behind the glasshouse and just inside Sanctuary's entrance last week...

This was the state of the area behind the glasshouse and just inside Sanctuary’s entrance last week…

A few scratches later and we were left with this...

A few scratches later and we were left with this…

And now we have added a piece of old trellis and have planted out our kiwiberry in this area.

And now we have added a piece of old trellis and have planted out our kiwiberry in this area.

A closer shot of the kiwiberry. It will take up to 5 years for it to fruit but once it starts it produces a lot of berries.

A closer shot of the kiwiberry. It will take up to 5 years for it to fruit but once it starts it produces a lot of berries.

Here you can see some blackcurrant cuttings from a lovely lady called Ruth who I met through a facebook page that I am actively participating in called "Fans of Grassroots Magazine". I love finding amazing community and this group of people are wonderfully interesting, very helpful, incredibly generous and know a huge amount about growing food plants. I got talking to a lady in Queensland and she mentioned her friend Ruth who just lives over the river from us and yesterday I met Ruth and had a really lovely time chatting to her about gardening etc. She also gave me some perpetual leeks to add to our garden mix, 2 different kinds of mint for my new mint bed (in the half fridge) and I can take some cuttings from her fig tree that grows figs the size of my fist. I LOVE community! Also in this shot is my new thornless blackberry that Stevie-boy bought me yesterday when he did the fortnightly shop in Launceston

Here you can see some blackcurrant cuttings from a lovely lady called Ruth who I met through a facebook page that I am actively participating in called “Fans of Grassroots Magazine”. I love finding amazing community and this group of people are wonderfully interesting, very helpful, incredibly generous and know a huge amount about growing food plants. I got talking to a lady in Queensland and she mentioned her friend Ruth who just lives over the river from us and yesterday I met Ruth and had a really lovely time chatting to her about gardening etc. She also gave me some perpetual leeks to add to our garden mix, 2 different kinds of mint for my new mint bed (in the half fridge) and I can take some cuttings from her fig tree that grows figs the size of my fist. I LOVE community! Also in this shot is my new thornless blackberry that Stevie-boy bought me yesterday when he did the fortnightly shop in Launceston

Here is the thornless blackberry at the end of one of the new garden beds with it's new support structure

Here is the thornless blackberry at the end of one of the new garden beds with it’s new support structure

Stevie-boy is still looking for photo opportunities at any given time ;)

Stevie-boy is still looking for photo opportunities at any given time ;). I am reading a Patricia Cornwall novel here. I love a good forensic crime novel.

We stacked all of the woodpile at the bottom of the driveway together into 2 large rows so that the split wood will dry well over summer and to make room for the next load of wood arriving soon.

We stacked all of the woodpile at the bottom of the driveway together into 2 large rows so that the split wood will dry well over summer and to make room for the next load of wood arriving soon.

In the process we found something amazing. The last load of wood got dumped on top of one of our brachychiton babies that we grew from seed and planted out down the driveway. 14 tonnes of wood sat on this poor little tree for the best part of a year and when we moved the last of the wood pile to stack it up we noticed that not only was it alive, but it had new leaves! How resilient are plants?!

In the process we found something amazing. The last load of wood got dumped on top of one of our brachychiton babies that we grew from seed and planted out down the driveway. 14 tonnes of wood sat on this poor little tree for the best part of a year and when we moved the last of the wood pile to stack it up we noticed that not only was it alive, but it had new leaves! How resilient are plants?! Stevie-boy is going to dig it up and move it. I doubt it will be so lucky after another 14 tonnes gets dumped on it…

This is our front gate (open) as we headed out to take the dogs for a mystery walk. It was a mystery to the dogs and I but Stevie-boy was driving and knew where he was going...

This is our front gate (open) as we headed out to take the dogs for a mystery walk. It was a mystery to the dogs and I but Stevie-boy was driving and knew where he was going…

We went to Georgetown, 20km away on the coast where the dogs love to walk. Here's a windswept pine on the boardwalk as we were walking (being dragged in a most determined manner by) the dogs

We went to Georgetown, 20km away on the coast where the dogs love to walk. Here’s a windswept pine on the boardwalk as we were walking (being dragged in a most determined manner by) the dogs

This was taken on the boardwalk further up. We live in a lovely place :)

This was taken on the boardwalk further up. We live in a lovely place πŸ™‚

Georgetown is very historical but not as historical as Low head where we took a snap of this very old house and gardens. We thought it particularly fitting to include it in this weeks post as next Monday is Australia day and that's our flag folks! :)

Georgetown is very historical but not as historical as Low head where we took a snap of this very old house and gardens. We thought it particularly fitting to include it in this weeks post as next Monday is Australia day and that’s our flag folks! πŸ™‚

Steve saw this naked bathing beauty on one of the Georgetown beaches...

Steve saw this naked bathing beauty on one of the Georgetown beaches…

She then had a bit of a swim ;)

She then had a bit of a swim πŸ˜‰

Steve took this photo on today's walk. It was overcast and very humid and the tide was out so we were able to walk out to this little outcrop that is usually an island in the water.

Steve took this photo on today’s walk. It was overcast and very humid and the tide was out so we were able to walk out to this little outcrop that is usually an island in the water.

The other day we walked the dogs on a bush track and Steve saw these hibiscus/cotton bugs. I have NO idea where they are going to find cotton or hibiscus around here! Most interestingly, the adults live together with the young in a colony.

The other day we walked the dogs on a bush track and Steve saw these hibiscus/cotton bugs. I have NO idea where they are going to find cotton or hibiscus around here! Most interestingly, the adults live together with the young in a colony.

Steve took this lovely artistic shot today when we headed over to Hillwood, over the Batman bridge to walk the dogs this afternoon and see if we could buy some more jam cherries for $1.50 a kilo

Steve took this lovely artistic shot today when we headed over to Hillwood, over the Batman bridge to walk the dogs this afternoon and see if we could buy some more jam cherries for $1.50 a kilo. The person who lives in this house has several brightly coloured unusual items artistically displayed in their garden and Steve liked this door in particular

I am going to dehydrate 10 kilos of these cherries and Steve is going to make cherry wine with 3kg. The potatoes were dug up when we were planting out my turmeric this afternoon. I wasn't intending to dig up spuds but there they were, right in the way of my turmeric planting venture so they had to come out.

I am going to dehydrate 10 kilos of these cherries and Steve is going to make cherry wine with 3kg. The potatoes were dug up when we were planting out my turmeric this afternoon. I wasn’t intending to dig up spuds but there they were, right in the way of my turmeric planting venture so they had to come out.

I planted out my 4 pots of turmeric as well as my 2 pots of cardamom after doing some research and finding out that both should do fine in the ground here.

I planted out my 4 pots of turmeric as well as my 2 pots of cardamom after doing some research and finding out that both should do fine in the ground here.

Here's my ungrafted Nelly Kelly passionfruit vine. Even though it might be less vigorous than a grafted version, it won't send up suckers from the rootstock and we already have enough weird and wonderful weedy passionfruit on the property thank you! I will take cuttings from it when it gets older to make sure that we never have to buy another one. The vines last for about 7 years.

Here’s my ungrafted Nelly Kelly passionfruit vine. Even though it might be less vigorous than a grafted version, it won’t send up suckers from the rootstock and we already have enough weird and wonderful weedy passionfruit on the property thank you! I will take cuttings from it when it gets older to make sure that we never have to buy another one. The vines last for about 7 years.

While I was starting to plant out the cardamom the skies opened up and we got a torrential downpour. Steve and the dogs hid in the glasshouse but I decided to carry on planting

While I was starting to plant out the cardamom the skies opened up and we got a torrential downpour. Steve and the dogs hid in the glasshouse but I decided to carry on planting. Stevie-boy took this photo from the dry glasshouse while I was out in the rain

 

Here I am with a shirt full of spuds after slipping over in the slippery mud. I won't show you the back of my pants ;)

Here I am with a shirt full of spuds after slipping over in the slippery mud. I won’t show you the back of my pants πŸ˜‰

Here are my 5 cherimoya seedlings loving the glasshouse temperatures and my little population of indigo seedlings that I am letting grow on a bit till I repot them.

Here are my 5 cherimoya seedlings loving the glasshouse temperatures and my little population of MoringaΒ seedlings that I am letting grow on a bit till I repot them. There are more moringa’s germinating every day so I will just let them grow a bit till I pot them up.

I potted up these 2 as they were growing well. The 4 pots in the rear contain some fresh macadamia nuts, 3 seeds in each pot (12 in total). In order to have the best chance of germination they need to be under 3 months old and they need to be planted with the blossom end sideways. Fingers crossed I get some to germinate and one day macadamia nut trees will grow on Serendipity Farm :)

I potted up these 2 as they were growing well. The 4 pots in the rear contain some fresh macadamia nuts, 3 seeds in each pot (12 in total). In order to have the best chance of germination they need to be under 3 months old and they need to be planted with the blossom end sideways. Fingers crossed I get some to germinate and one day macadamia nut trees will grow on Serendipity Farm πŸ™‚

We finally finished the water wicked strawberry bed. Here is a strawberry blond dog inspecting the bed for comforts sake

We finally finished the water wicked strawberry bed. Here is a strawberry blond dog inspecting the bed for comforts sake

After being busted for pelting through one of my garden beds, Earl has retreated to his favourite spot in Sanctuary to sulk...

After being busted for pelting through one of my garden beds, Earl has retreated to his favourite spot in Sanctuary to sulk… I am not holding out much hope for my poor strawberries once I get around to replanting them in here πŸ˜‰

Isn't this tuberous begonia pretty? I bought some a few years ago that were in the plant throw-out bin at a local nursery for $2 each. I ended up with 3 of them that grow and flower ever year. Lovely leaves and lovely flowers and very easy to grow.

Isn’t this tuberous begonia pretty? I bought some a few years ago that were in the plant throw-out bin at a local nursery for $2 each. I ended up with 3 of them that grow and flower ever year. Lovely leaves and lovely flowers and very easy to grow.

Steve took this shot of an interesting seaweed that had washed up on the beach the other day

Steve took this shot of an interesting seaweed that had washed up on the beach the other day

Lastly, I was just about to squash some aphids infesting the new growth on this loquat japonica when I noticed a ladybird was just about to do my job for me. I love it when natures cycles kick in to deal with our pests :)

Lastly, I was just about to squash some aphids infesting the new growth on this loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) when I noticed a ladybird was just about to do my job for me. I love it when natures cycles kick in to deal with our pests πŸ™‚

 

So that was our week folks. Pretty full on and we did, and accomplished a whole lot in this time. I hope that you all spent your time productively and enjoyably. I am off to cook a bechamel sauce for a lasagna that I am making Stevie-boy for his dinner tonight. He turns 50 on Tuesday, the day after Australia Day, so he will get an extra special dinner on that night and a very scrumptious cake. See you all next week and whatever you are doing, do it well. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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47 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thecontentedcrafter
    Jan 21, 2015 @ 18:31:56

    I love that photo of you with your shirt full of spuds and dirt on your nose – you look so happy! This is a real ‘narf77’ captured moment – spud and mud and happiness!

    I am amazed at how you two work and walk and get around. The way you see things and have an immediate alternate use for them is truly inspiring. I find myself wondering what will Serendipity Farm look like in ten years time with these two at the helm and their futures all paying off …. and Earl and Bezial getting round in their perambulators…….. πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 22, 2015 @ 04:10:18

      Lol Ms Pauline! Bezial will be on a skateboard and Earl will be on roller blades ;). I was sodden in that photo. It was almost like a tropical downpour and very local too. We headed about 5km away to pick up those cherries and there was no rain at all on the east side of the Batman bridge! Planted out my turmeric and fingers crossed both it, and my cardamom survive our winters here but they had to go out sometime so yesterday was “IT!” I am all fired up with growing things again and very happy even if it means getting covered in mud. You should have seen the rear end of me as my not inconsiderable derriere hit the mud πŸ˜‰

      Reply

  2. The Snail of Happiness
    Jan 21, 2015 @ 19:29:17

    Your post has brightened my day – it’s dull and grey here. We too harvested unplanned spuds this week – emptying one of the dumpy bags of compost, we discovered several kilos of potatoes that we had clearly forgotten to collect in the autumn… what a treat!

    Reply

  3. brymnsons
    Jan 21, 2015 @ 20:14:33

    I love the photo of you in the rain Fran πŸ™‚ Another great post and plenty of pictures to salivate over. Earl looked quite at home in the boat lol. We are finally home and it feels good. Had a terrific time in Melbourne. It’s hot and humid today, so missing that mild weather in Melbourne lol.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 22, 2015 @ 04:13:47

      You were lucky, it is heating up in Melbourne as we speak. 28C here today so Melbourne will be hotter but then you guys are used to it now. It was very humid here yesterday. Mental weather as after that tropical style downpour that soaked everything (and was only local as just over the bridge they got no rain at all) the sun came out and everything got hot. I guess we are the new queensland ;). Glad you are home and in one piece. It always feels a mix of missing the fun time you had but ever so grateful to be back in familiar surrounds where you can rest and relax isn’t it? πŸ™‚

      Reply

      • brymnsons
        Jan 22, 2015 @ 21:19:29

        Yes I love to travel and visit but definitely nice to get home and go ahhhhh. Even Toby has a smile πŸ˜ƒ. Very hot and humid here yesterday 😰 The sweat was pouring off me. Got to 44 degrees! Much cooler today but forecasting hotter again tomorrow. Weather is all over the place hey.

      • narf77
        Jan 23, 2015 @ 07:02:42

        We got to 28C and about 100% humitidy and we were hot. I can only begin to imagine how disgusting it was over there! It’s raining here today. Hopefully that’s the end of the humidity. I can take the heat but NOT the humidity with it.

      • brymnsons
        Jan 23, 2015 @ 11:49:48

        I’m with you on that one! Humidity sucks big time 😦 Much cooler today too, thank goodness πŸ™‚

      • narf77
        Jan 24, 2015 @ 03:51:24

        Glad! We had a 26C day but the humidity was much lower and we had a lovely cool breeze. I spent the day moving terracotta pots up to Sanctuary and stoning, slicing and dehydrating cherries. Just about had enough of them to be honest πŸ˜‰

      • brymnsons
        Jan 24, 2015 @ 13:09:13

        Getting stoned huh πŸ˜€

      • narf77
        Jan 25, 2015 @ 03:55:52

        Lol

      • brymnsons
        Jan 24, 2015 @ 17:00:10

        Or is it pipped off??? πŸ˜€

      • narf77
        Jan 25, 2015 @ 03:57:14

        VERY. But now it’s over I can look back at it with fondness (but not enough fondness that I would go and buy more cherries now to process again in a hurry!) I have many jars of dehydrated cherries now and they taste like the best raisins you ever ate. I can think of all kinds of things to use them in and they are great just to eat as snacks and I guess I could reconstitute them?

      • brymnsons
        Jan 25, 2015 @ 17:23:58

        Sounds yum πŸ™‚

  4. aFrankAngle
    Jan 22, 2015 @ 00:01:19

    Wow … the two of you work hard … and now I’m tired, and it’s only my morning! Stevie-boy’s birthday dinner sounds delightful, so hopefully you provide a good pic of the goodies. In that pic with the potatoes, you seem a bit drenched! Love the pic of the rocks with the grasses by the water.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 22, 2015 @ 04:15:36

      I was a tad damp Mr Frank. Tasmania is a volcanic island…sort of like Hawaii without the benefits ;). Some of the beaches have black volcanic sand on them around here. More hard work here today but the best bit is you sleep like babies. I will be sure to share the birthday feast with you all πŸ™‚

      Reply

  5. Littlesundog
    Jan 22, 2015 @ 03:19:12

    I am always amazed and inspired by all of the work you get done! I think I used to get that much done just a few years back, but slowly age creeps in and I find myself without the stamina I used to have. Is there ever a day Earl is not in trouble? Ha ha! He can’t even find a good place to sulk without being in the dog house!

    It’s been nice here the last week, but today it’s turned back to winter. I worked in the woods gathering wood and burning a little. It’s so therapeutic to get out there and work. Plus, I often see wildlife in its element… you just can’t beat that! Have a grand week, Fran! πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 22, 2015 @ 04:21:38

      Thank you Lori, we have been “flat out like lizards drinking” and talking about lizards, Sanctuary is full of them! They are our local skinks and don’t get all that big but some of them are teeny tiny. They eat snails, slugs, other insects (hopefully grasshoppers as they have just started to invade) and they rule the roost in Sanctuary…until Earl the great gets in that is! Earl is like a cyclone when he gets cranked up and it doesn’t take much to get Bezial to join in and when 2 big hippo’s on steroids are frolicking around Sanctuary as fast as they can run there is always collateral damage. Earl won’t be able to lay in the boat after today as I am transplanting my strawberries into it so he might have to be confined to a lead in Sanctuary. Sad but if I want to keep my precious babies alive, it might have to be the case. We are trying to put in the hard yards now so that we don’t have to do it when we get a few years older and we are able to confine ourselves to maintenance rather than digging holes and planting things. I am in the process of trying to get all sort of seeds and plants to grow here. I wish I could access some North American pawpaw seed. They are VERY expensive here and over there they grow wild! Have a ball in the garden and loving falling into bed at the end of the day, knowing that I have accomplished a whole lot :). You have a fantastic week too Lori and big hugs to both you and F.D. πŸ™‚

      Reply

  6. christiglover
    Jan 22, 2015 @ 03:43:20

    Good work and fun post, Frannie-girl, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Stevie-boy! How’s he taking it? The 50s are wonderful. I love the photo of you reading. I can just feel Steve sneaking up and taking that photo. Your expression says, I love you. I love dried fruit and I bet those cherries are fabulous. I’m working out how to solar dry all our pineapples. I’ve got a few months to figure it out. And Keith is digging depressions (no holes in lava) for avocado and macadamia nut trees! Love from Hawaii. xo

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 22, 2015 @ 04:29:10

      I think Stevie-boy is have a teeny tiny midlife crisis thinking about approaching 50. He was grumpy all day yesterday but that might have also been to do with the fact that it was like tropical Hawaii here being hot and humid all day and he hates that kind of weather. Steve was out on the deck when he took that reading shot and I got the feeling that I was being watched and looked up to see him, camera ready, taking the shot ;). My expression says “I love you but don’t you think it’s time you stopped taking photos of me?!” ;). I really don’t like my photo being taken. There are MUCH more photogenic things out there than my mug! πŸ˜‰ The cherries are an awesome find. Jan and Peter told us about them before they headed off to Germany and it’s the best thing that they ever told us! $1.50 a kilo for cherries that are slightly blemished is amazing. I am going to dehydrate 10kg of them today (once I get those poor strawberries into the good ship strawberry that is!) as the last lot are SOOO good! They taste like the sweetest, most amazing raisins on the planet and I am busy thinking up all of the amazing things that I can add them to :). There are lots of solar dryers (D.I.Y.) online. If you would like me to send you a few links I will. I stored them away in my Pinterest “Permaculture” page so they are easy to find and would give The B.O. something fun to make for you. You get our problem with our rocks now. We figured out a way to get through the rocks yesterday when we were attempting to dig holes to plant a thornless blackberry inside Sanctuary. I was holding a star picket and Stevie-boy was doing the hard yards with a mallet and we hit a rock. He was just about to move the stake to another spot and I said “Just keep hitting it HARD” and see if we can’t break the rock? The rocks here are dolomite and quite soft (as rocks go) so he hit it hard and it cracked and the stake went through to the heavy clay below! Now we know how to deal with the rocks, we just have to stake them to death like vampires! πŸ˜‰ I love hearing how your garden is going and what you are going to grow there. It excites the heck out of me :). BIG hugs from Sunny Sidmouth to you rock understanding guys over there on one of the small islands πŸ™‚ XXX OOOXXX

      Reply

  7. Robbie
    Jan 22, 2015 @ 05:35:29

    hibiscus-cotton bugs!!!!!STUNNING!
    I just searched for information on these bugs-WOW those are little painted walking pieces of art:-) REALLY COOL-
    I know, I am weird, I enjoy things like that with patterns on their bodies-no human looks that neat!
    I agree with Pauline-that place will be a food wonderland one day. It will be a jungle of FOOD + you won’t ever have to go to the store again.
    The picture of the yellow door + historical place-really amazing:-) Felt like Bilbo lived there-you never mentioned him living near you-lol?
    Oh, I need to find the time to read-a good mystery by Patricia-now that sounds like a good idea…
    I enjoyed this post, it takes a person through your week + I agree with people above…exhausting-all that work- the wood pile-YIKES..how do you do it all? Do you ever sleep? LOL
    Looking good all of it + you both look so happy:-)

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 22, 2015 @ 05:44:36

      I am with you all the way Robbie. We stopped (hard when the dogs really REALLY want to keep going and are whining to carry on while you are crouched down looking at bugs πŸ˜‰ ) to look at entire colonies of these beautiful Christmas ornament like beetles and were most impressed that they range from tiny nymphs to big adults in the one colony. I am madly collecting all kinds of things at the moment. “You can’t grow that there” is NOT in my ethos ;). I am yet to come up with something that won’t grow here but I dare say I will find it but most of the fun is in the thrill of the chase and one day this place will be amazingly full of the most awesome things (most of which “you can’t grow that there!” πŸ˜‰ ). Lol, Bilbo probably does live over the river in Hillwood. It’s a gorgeous little hamlet of folk who I would love to live with as they are all very friendly, the houses are all “my kind of houses” and it just feels inviting but we love where we live and at least we can visit easily :). We sleep (a lot when we have worked hard) and we work and we have fun and we enjoy our lives. Lots of work at the moment so that we won’t have to do quite so much later on. Thank you for this lovely comment Robbie. I was dripping wet in that image of me standing inside the door of the glasshouse but the dogs and Steve were bone dry ;).

      Reply

  8. foodnstuff
    Jan 22, 2015 @ 12:38:39

    I’ve already planted my dianella berries…I don’t wait for them to dry. I filled a larg-ish pot with potting mix and spread out the berries on top, poked them in a bit with a blunt instrument (finger) and put a layer of potting mix over the top. I try and do things the way Mother Nature does and I reckon the berries would fall on the ground as is and get covered in soil/leaves/mulch and just germnate when they’re ready. They do take a couple of months, though. Of course, some would be eaten by birds and animals and the seeds would come out in their poo, but while I have a composting toilet, I’m not into the personal-poo-inspection-for-seeds lark as yet (or ever probably πŸ˜‰ )

    Re collecting seaweed, check out Kirsten’s latest post at Milkwood.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 23, 2015 @ 06:57:31

      I will plant mine today (half dried, half still berries) with my blunt instrument ;). Yeah, I laughed when I saw Kirsten’s post and save it πŸ™‚

      Reply

  9. Boomdeeadda
    Jan 22, 2015 @ 16:29:36

    You really do have the fullest weeks of anyone. WOW!

    Hey, I snooped Etsy and found this Stieff Bunny that resembles yours in that it’s collar fur is very similar, the nose and wiskers match too. Your’s looks in good condition too. This one is $52.00…so you scored on that one.

    I might have put Barbie in a bottle with a wee note and see who finds her next. I think you are not going to have success with strawberries in Earls new sleepy spot. He looks way too comfortable .

    I really like the hedge trimmed into a doorway at that house with the yellow garden door. I wish we could do that here. It’s take a lonnnnnng time to grow.

    I didn’t know you could dehydrate cherries. How long can they last like that? Do you reconstitute them in water then?

    What could possibly be left to do this week? I’m sure you’ll find a million things. xo

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 23, 2015 @ 07:00:30

      Dehydrated cherries taste AMAZING. Like the best raisins you have ever eaten and they will keep like that for ages. You could reconstitute them or you could use them like craisins (dehydrated cranberries) or other dried fruit. I see dehydrated cherries in muffins with fresh blueberries in my future this week πŸ™‚

      Reply

  10. Lynda D
    Jan 22, 2015 @ 23:55:40

    So much in one post to drool over. You truly live in paradise and are making a wonderful life for yourselves. $1.50 a kg for cherries!!!!!!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 23, 2015 @ 07:04:15

      I must admit I am OVER stoning cherries and cutting out the split bits! I have 4 trays of them dehydrating as I type this and have another 8kg to deal with today and the thought of all of that stoning has me twitching ;). I only show you guys the good bits, paradise has some serious flaws that you never get to see. One day I will post a totally honest post and you will think “SO glad I don’t live there!” πŸ˜‰

      Reply

  11. rabidlittlehippy
    Jan 24, 2015 @ 19:10:36

    Tee hee, a very soggy Narf! I want to see the muddy other side picture. πŸ˜‰

    You are going to send me some of that creeping raspberry right? Actually, not a question! πŸ˜‰ Ok, manners back on, PRETTY PLEASE?!?! As the Artful Dodger sang, “I’ll do anyfing, for rubus calycinoides, anyfing”. πŸ˜‰

    It’s so deeply satisfing when you get out and get heaps done in the garden hey. We’ve been working hard int he garden here too and in fact, I’m signing off to go and finish shovelling compost and plant out my kiwiberries too. πŸ™‚

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 25, 2015 @ 03:58:52

      Yup, I will get you some runners and send them :). Today we are planting out a little red currant grape we picked up in Bunnings yesterday and turning a big heap of wood into a neat pile to finish drying out.

      Reply

  12. mommermom
    Jan 25, 2015 @ 03:55:16

    You have so much energy! So much going on in this post I don’t even know where to begin. Most of all I was so impressed with the cherries -that was really great. I had never thought of something like that and I may give that a try-cherries are my favorite fruit after all. The two of you work so well as a team. It also looks like you have fun doing it. It was a really enjoyable post! I enjoyed every fun-filled moment!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 25, 2015 @ 04:06:42

      Thank you mommermom. We had a very busy week and a most productive one. Most weeks aren’t as productive as this one was but it is the middle of summer so there are a lot of things pulling us all over the place. Today we stack a big heap of firewood up to continue drying out for this years fires in winter and plant out a little red currant grape we picked up yesterday in the city. I bet I sleep well tonight! πŸ˜‰

      Reply

  13. Margaret Griffin
    Jan 26, 2015 @ 15:45:55

    Hi Fran, Once again an action packed week! Will the pace slow down when you and Steve recommence your studies?

    I used to grow Dianella plants in my Ferntree Gully garden. The chooks and roosters loved the berries. I was highly amused watching them jump up to grab the highest berries on the stems. No berry was to be left uneaten.

    As for dried cherries, Yummo!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 26, 2015 @ 17:43:17

      That goes to show that some chooks have good taste and that dianella might just be worth eating ;). Thank you for your lovely comment Margaret and we hope to be powering on in the garden etc. even when we are back at TAFE studying πŸ™‚

      Reply

  14. Yelena
    Jan 27, 2015 @ 10:29:08

    Zucchini and lemon curd and vegan zucchini brownies sound so wonderful, I hope you will post a recipes for them! I would love to try it!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 27, 2015 @ 12:37:04

      I just hunted online for a recipe Yelena but I will share the link to the recipe that I made. It was yummy and Steve liked them as well. I will also post a link to the zucchini and lemon curd recipe so that you can try it. Look for them both in my next post πŸ™‚

      Reply

  15. Sue Dreamwalker
    Feb 03, 2015 @ 09:14:39

    Phew… you are making me look very lazy right now.. So pleased you didn’t hurt yourself when you slipped spud picking.. and I can now see why those wrists were in action drinking by all those bags of cherries..
    Poor Earl. can’t do anything right.. But love the new strawberry bed.. Seems Earl getting it all cosy for them.. πŸ™‚
    You do live in a very scenic place.. and tell Steve his photo skills are great.. as are yours… just not to take sides LOL πŸ™‚
    Barbie seems to be enjoying getting her tan.. I have a spare Ken doll here curtsy of my Granddaugher.. She is into marrying at the moment.. at 4.. God help her Mum when she is 14.. πŸ™‚ is all I can say.. πŸ˜€
    I was fascinated with the Pale flax lilies (Dianella longifolia).. Never come across it before.. and probably never will again.. πŸ™‚

    On a personal note.. Yes I put my feet up at the weekend.. It was our Ruby Wedding Day on Saturday so Hubby cooked… We were going to go out.. but I was still a bit soar with a black beard for a chin! Soooo We had a lovely meal a Huge whole bottle of champagne that we had been saving since well, can’t remember when.. It was a find in the attic! when hubby went clearing out .. I thought it might have been off.. But it was a good make bottle ‘French’ πŸ™‚ LOL …. ( Maybe we should have put it on ebay LOL.. (kidding) .. and a bottle of wine between us.. Needless to say I enjoyed my evening, but prefer to forget the morning headache that followed πŸ™‚

    Really enjoyed my visit to the farm this evening my friend.. And Enjoy your week..
    Thank you for your amazing visits.. I know.. you get up at 4am…:-) You have to, to fit everything you do in..

    you inspire me.. πŸ™‚ Love and Hugs
    Sue xxx ❀

    Reply

    • narf77
      Feb 03, 2015 @ 19:55:45

      I actually get up at 3am, I need time to get that first cuppa into me before I start to make any sense at all ;). Sounds like a lovely anniversary celebration and French Champagne? Perfect! It’s a hot week here this week so I am laying low like Brer rabbit and only coming out when it cools down a bit. Maybe the tomatoes might ripen? Fingers crossed πŸ™‚ Have a great week Sue and take time to recover properly before you start tapdancing around in the snow again πŸ˜‰

      Reply

      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Feb 04, 2015 @ 01:11:20

        Big smiles.. and Much love your way,, you early ‘Bird’.. And I will take it easy… And hope your tomatoes ripen well.. I got the paper and pen out the other evening and started to draw a plan of where I am going to plant this year.. I am trying to convince hubby not to just plant in LONG straight rows, but to make the plot more efficient… We had two lovely self sufficiency books bought us from our Son at Xmas.. and lots of great ideas in there…. I will just have to be patient for Spring!! πŸ™‚ And yes I will be careful more snow on the ground today.. xxx Hugs to you xxxxx And Thank you πŸ˜€

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