Sunday, 26 July 2009

Winter cold; but spring weather...don't plant anything in the garden..

Well it has been a hard week I have been battling a cold and finely succumbed. Fortunately it has not been so bad that I have had to cancel working. Many of my colleagues have been quite sick with flu and yes some have swine flu. So I could be working many extra shifts. Which works okay as the garden is really too wet to work in, so being off colour makes it easier to not be in the garden. It is looking lush and I have my first daffodils and foxgloves. I have been looking at what is growing about the deck. My mint is still going ,usually it dies off in its pot during winter, so maybe all the rain is the secret more water required. Mixed lettuces in my protected set up (polystyrene box with bird wire protection from possums and rats)are not so happy , too much rain for them perhaps. They have been under the deck up stairs so should not have had frost on them. I have aloe vera in a pot with a lot of pups so will have to separate and plant pups in other pots soon. The photo below shows my miners lettuce growing. It is prolific and grows all over the place, but easy to get rid of and great to eat in leafy green salad mix. I use it with my mesculan mix, corn salad, parsley and turnip greens salads. The little gnome like character is actually a watering device to help get water down to the roots. We have not done any fencing for the chookies run at Chookie Tajmahal however my DH is building me a great pergola as an entrance to the chooks and I will grow either kiwi fruit or passion fruit over Tajmahal well passion fruit may be the better to grow. lol If you look in the distance of this photo you can see it under construction.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Felt like spring was here in the valley today, but I will not be fooled into planting anything!

Well it has been another lovely day in the valley today. Very cold again overnight 1deg in Hobart so most likely a bit cooler down here. Last night I was so appreciative that I had fixed our new electric blanket. We have a kings size bed, and I begrudge paying the money they ask for a blanket for it. So I bought two kingsize singles (fitted) and was able to join the two together and make one for our bed. How lovely to hop into my roasty toasty bed. Out in the garden weeding again, clearing some of the flower beds. I also did a bit of clearing about the vegie garden. Picked some greens for salad tonight, but when we ate them they were not so good. Not enough sunshine I think and too much rain. I planted some daffodil bulbs I had forgotten about in pots, and some garlic that had sprouted and needed to thin out. I am still getting mushrooms from the compost (See photo)I bought ages ago. I picked a few more raspberries today(added them to the salad tonight). I thinned what I thought was a raddish only to find it was a very small beetroot. (sadly not ripe enough to eat but such a pretty one). Gleanings from the garden My vegie beds are to wide so I am looking at making them narrower, and reshaping the vegie beds to make it easier to tend. Whilst my lemon tree is looking so much healthier I am pondering when is the best time to move it. Or is it better to leave it and just buy a second tree. I was speaking with a neighbour today, who has the most amazing vegie garden and water catching system. He makes sure he never misses any moisture, he uses corrugated metal on the slopes to gather some more water into drains. I am hoping to talk with him more and gain much needed information and knowledge. He has a garden ablaze with daffodils at the moment, they form some of the borders around his paths. Amazingly pretty. He was saying that they are late this year, only a week but late. I always get a bit excited when my bulbs and the wattle start flowering. I want to get out in the garden and sow seeds, and feel the dirt on my hands. I was getting some seedling pots ready, filling them with a mix of worm castings and soil, thinking about what I can sow now that will be ready to plant in 8 weeks.(second week of September) not my tomatoes a bit early for them, unless I put some plastic about them to make a mini green house. So planning for spring is my main priority I just cant actually plant anything much in the ground as yet. I have to dig holes, for the lilacs, fig, grapes, kiwi and passion fruits. This all must be done in the next week as well as the fencing for the chookies. It is written here so I can report back.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Did I say it has been cold down here?

I did say it has been extremely cold down here lately. Just to show you how beautiful a frosty morning (well actually it was after 12pm when I took these photos on the way home from a night shift, having done some shopping on the way. Got out into the very wet garden today and finally cleared some weeds out of the winter garden bed.(at least I am pretty sure they are weeds.) I am going to plant carrots and maybe some more onions in this bed. Broad beans are doing well, silver beet is not so great, peas well some are okay(those that are protected by eaves of the house. My raspberries are still flowering? It seems kind of strange. I made some Naan bread to have with a great curry the other night. It was so easy that I will never buy it again. Sure it takes a little while, but the knowledge of what is in it, that I have made it, and the simplicity off it. I started to think about it Naan is made by many millions of people in Indian so it must be a simple process, which I discovered it is. You do need a little time, as in bread making, but the taste is so delicious. Naan an extra treat with indian take away. $3 each I made 8 naans for 2 cups plain flour, a teaspoon of dried yeast a bit of salt and sugar and some water. I have frozen those not used. Just grilled them under the grill on our stove. The wire for the fencing for the chookrun has been delivered today, so we hope to get the run up in the next week. I am keeping my eye out for chookies, I have seen a couple of adds lately but we are not quite ready so have had to wait a bit longer. It is going to be another cold night, but I did notice in my garden the first of my daffodil and jonquil bulbs are about to flower. The happy wonder on the deck is looking so lovely in its purple flowers and the wattles are begining to flower. The daisys are begining to flower too! We have foxgloves flowering. I am almost begining to worry that I have not begun to sow seeds for my summer garden!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Why the change in spelling of my Blog Name?

I was chatting on one of the American sites I visit, and someone asked me if I was a maid from Austria, working in America..I had to laugh and said no I was a female (maid) and from Australia where we call ourselves Aussies. I had to chuckle, and then thought well I am made in Australia so decided to go with Aussiemade.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Hmm blogging nightmare, photos and words awol!

Views on my way to do the shopping.

As it has been so cold lately and I have done very little work in the garden I thought I would share some of the beauty in the valley where I live. Frosty mornings created some great photo opportunities. The river and frost are at a little place called Nicholl's Rivulet, a very scenic and slower pace trip to Cygnet via Margate, Snug, than taking the more direct but highway through Huonville. The photos of the snow capped mountains are taken on my drive from the little village near where we live, they are the Hartz Mountains great place to walk in summer. Nearest town is Geeveston. The river in front is the Huon and truly a delightful place to see but living here is heaven.. We are having a slow cooked lamb roast with home grown rosemary and garlic for dinner tonight. Something very simple and delicious. Meat falls off the bones. Tomorrow I am going to try a very old bread recipe out from a book I have just finished reading. I am also waiting Seville oranges to arrive at my vegie place so I can make some lovely marmalade. I will also be making some lemon butter as my beautiful SD gave me some lovely lemons of her tree. Hers has been so productive unlike mine! Maybe I will have a go at making some preserved lemons as well. Oh so many options. I have actually been drinking a lovely lemon cordial that a local lady makes and is selling at our produce market. May even try a cordial. More vanilla essence with vanilla and vodka is in the process of being made, as to is vanilla bean sugar. Will let you know how it goes.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

hhhm said there was a hiccup

So you can see hopefully that it all went a bit wrong with the photos and the writting laugh. I am putting the third photo here. The Chookie Taj Mahal in the distance, green grass, and berry patch.

Raining still we are snug and by the fire

Sally A the first photo shows my polystyrene boxes on the deck with onion seedlings in them, covered with bubble wrap, the seedlings are sprouting. I do take the plastic off them when the sun is out, which has not happened much down here lately. I am not really complaining it just is so wet and slippery underfoot everywhere. The second photo is of lettuces, in frame, with mesh to stop possums eating the lettuces I am trying to grow in there. Just showing you the bubble wrap insulation on top to protect the seedlings. The third photo is showing the finished chookhouse in the distance and showing how green and wet it is apparently we have had the most rain in June in over 50 years. So it is wonderful as all the water sources are filling up or overflowing, the underground water areas will also be full and the soil is so wet and spongy. Saddly it means I have done little weeding and not much else. Our next project is the fencing for the chook run. I also have to extend both the vegetable garden and berry patch in area so more fencing. The very cheap bird wire I used a few years ago is now failing under the pressure of wind and wallabies so it is all being replaced. At least that is how I am hoping these photos will turn out..sigh as I had a hiccup in the downloading so fingers crossed.