Happy Father’s Day and happy day to me

Happy Father’s Day for yesterday to all the fathers out there around the world, whether or not your country celebrates Fathers Day today or not. 🙂

I had the pleasure of a good hour or 2 of time to myself yesterday morning. 🙂 Not so pleasurable was the 4:30 start time for said time to myself. 😦 Still, it was so worth it and to be honest, there’s not much better way to slough off a nightmare but to get up and pour some positivity (and coffee) into your brain.

A few weeks ago I watched a wonderful YouTube clip about air pruned roots and growing plants in containers with holes to air prune roots which helps prevent plants becoming pot bound. I decided to give it a go...

A few weeks ago I watched a wonderful YouTube clip about air pruned roots and growing plants in containers with holes to air prune roots which helps prevent plants becoming pot bound. I decided to give it a go…

but before I had a change to do so I was gifted 3 of these baskets by Lynda D and with a lining of newspaper and filled with potting mix I gave them a go.

… But before I had a chance to do so I was gifted 3 of these baskets by Lynda D. I lined them with newspaper and filled with potting mix before planting out some Painted Mountain Corn seeds.

I planted out sweetcorn as we have a very short growing season here between frost dates (and we had a New Years Day frost this year). This is my first corn peeking through.

We have a very short growing season here between frost dates (and we had a New Years Day frost this year) so if I can start these sort of crops out earlier… This is my first corn peeking through the soil which now means I have a 2 month head-start on the season!

Being Father’s Day here in Australia, Martin requested a sleep in. Until after 7am. 😉 Sadly, 7am IS a sleep in around here. I ended up with 3 kids up so we made the decision we’d hit daddy up with breakfast in bed. Kettle on, kids finding milk jugs and buttering toast and then in to deliver drawings, breakfast and kisses to “wake up” Daddy. We’re not much for the commercial events around the year and like to keep things very simple. Martin requested though that we take a trip to Bunnings (seems an oxymoron there doesn’t it 😉 ) so we loaded in the car, attached the trailer and headed off up to Ballarat.

Our first face painting event. Jas wanted to be a superhero

Our first face painting event. Jas wanted to be a superhero

Allegra is a butterfly - pink and purple of course!

Allegra was a butterfly – pink and purple of course!

Orik wouldn't sit still for face painting yet so rather than hold up the line we opted for a little red nose which sent him into a fit of giggles and then sent him to touching.

Orik wouldn’t have sat still for face painting yet so rather than hold up the line we opted for a little red nose which sent him into a fit of giggles.

We’ve been planning to buy some cube shelving for the kids room after finding the unit we bought for the living room has been a huge success. We grabbed the 2 units we wanted and then stupidly I walked into the nursery. As much as my awareness of at least some of the tricks of the trade of nurseries, I was absolutely unable to resist the veggie seedlings. Suckered, I know! I came home with punnets of leeks, chives, lobelia (I’ve been jealous of Lynda D’s beautiful blue flowers for a long time), dwarf cos lettuce, a Vietnamese Mint and then to plant many of them into I purchased 5 self watering pots in the same grey as the trims on the house. They fit nicely on the window ledges on the back deck. 🙂 The potting mix in which to plant them all was added to the overloaded shopping trolley and a bag of seed raising mix too as it’s tomato seed planting time for us. 🙂 It can be so hard to balance being conscious that consumer practices contribute heavily to the state of our environment versus buying items that work in with doing our best to grow our own food etc. I can justify everything we bought today (although 2 small candle holders are more about aesthetics than solid permaculture and self-sufficiency principles) but I ask myself how much am I justifying to myself? Sometimes I hate my head space.

Martin had a band gig up at one of the local pubs so headed off after assisting with unloading the heavier items from the trailer. The kids and I hit the garden. 😀 Allegra helped me pot up the chives, lobelia and lettuce although she took off as Butterfly Girl as I got to seed sowing time. I sowed 2 types of tomatoes, capsicums, eggplant and some honeydew melon seeds too. I know it’s early but I simply couldn’t wait any more. The sun is shining down and outside in the twilight last night it felt more like a balmy December evening instead of an early September evening.

My little bed of lobelia. this will migrate outside but for now it can stay here and bring some greenery and later beautiful blues to the sun room/deck.

My little bed of lobelia. this will migrate outside but for now it can stay here and bring some greenery and later beautiful blues to the sun room/deck.

With Super Hero Boy chasing Butterfly girl and the 2 of them killing all the evil aliens (never the good ones) and Orik motoring along behind me I planted out the leeks and then a large polystyrene crate of garlic chives (more like the size of edible spring onions) along the edge of what will become one of my tomato beds this year. Finally, before Martin came home I started moving raised beds.

Chitting my oca, ready for planting. I bought these from Yelwek Farm, the same place from which I purchased my potato onions.

Chitting my oca, ready for planting. I bought these from Yelwek Farm, the same place from which I purchased my potato onions.

Little hands with pretty oca. The one I had to try was sort of like a carrot and sort of like an apple and altogether delicious. I can't wait to harvest these. I'm assured they're very easy to grow too.

Little hands with pretty oca. The one I had to try was sort of like a carrot and sort of like an apple and altogether delicious. I can’t wait to harvest these. I’m assured they’re very easy to grow too.

One of the things planned with our excavation (finished by the way and most happy with the results :D) was to install some terraced raised beds closer to the house. A good place to grow the herbs which we use frequently, and fast maturing crops such as radishes, spring onions, baby carrots and salad greens which we can pick and eat. A growing snack bar if you will. 😉 The location to the immediate west of the back steps means we can collect eggs from the chooks and on the way back to the house, pick the necessary accoutrements to go in an omelette or quiche. I dragged out the raised bed edges, scrounged the necessary corner posts and managed to get 2 installed before the light went. I’m stoked with all I achieved in 4 hours in the garden this afternoon and never expected to have beds ready for filling with soil and planting! 😀 Looks like I need my hops plant and herbs in short order. Soil first thought, lessons learned there. 😉

The first 2 garden beds going in. I've levelled them out more since taking the photo and they're ready to fill with soil now.

The first 2 garden beds going in. I’ve levelled them out more since taking the photo and they’re ready to fill with soil now. I’ll also plant lots of pretty flowers in there to jazz up the back of the house.

I was assured by many people that I could NOT grow a passionfruit vine here in Ballan. The frosts would kill it. Well, we had at leat 3 mornings I can recall of temperatures down to -6.5C with severe (for us) frosts and it's still growing! New growth everywhere! The water tank upon which it's climbing is truly a thermal mass.

I was assured by many people that I could NOT grow a passionfruit vine here in Ballan. The frosts would kill it. Well, we had at leat 3 mornings I can recall of temperatures down to -6.5C with severe (for us) frosts and it’s still growing! New growth everywhere! The water tank of which it’s climbing over the top, is truly a thermal mass.

This week, if the weather holds, I hope to be able to get another 2 raised beds in and a longer thinner bed in place ready to plant out choko and kiwi vines. I need to source a few chokos to sprout up first I guess.

Wish me luck with the week. Big plans, not such wonderful weather (although the sun is shining beautifully this morning) and here’s hoping the kids enjoy the garden or joining in with the garden beds too. 🙂

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7 thoughts on “Happy Father’s Day and happy day to me

  1. Linne says:

    What an awesome day! Honestly, though, I think you might stop criticizing yourself so much. I think that adding beauty to our lives is important and I doubt you have time to be crafting candleholders at this stage . . . maybe once the kiddies are larger and the garden more established, though. lol

    It’s been very exciting to see all the changes in your growing area; next I get to enjoy the seedlings, plants, then the fruits or your labours . . .

    I’m so, so impressed with all you get done, Jess! Happy Father’s Day to Martin, too; I love how you keep things simple, yet fun. ~ Linne

  2. foodnstuff says:

    Sure was a lovely day for gardening 😉

    Re the choko….I saw, in the comments at my blog, that Chris from Gully Grove blog was offering to send you a choko. Did that not happen? I have a sprouted one you can have.

    • Ooo I must have missed that comment. I shall go check it out now. I’m actually after 3-4. I LOVE choko! 😀 I also want to use them to create some shade for chooks and goats, the greenhouse and for the house. And I will give them away merrily when we get our glut (mine growing up cycled a bad year, a good year, a mega-glut year). I must look up and see if the goats can eat them too. 🙂

  3. Lynda D says:

    Sounds like a lovely day and i agree with Linne, cut yourself some slack girl. No judgement from any of us (as we quickly hide the receipts from our latest nursery trip). I hope your Lobelia brings you as much happiness as mine. I also love edging garden in Alyssum with its many varieties as it hangs over and softens the edges. Great companion plant as well.

  4. Gosh, you do so much Jess. Do you know, sometimes we just have to buy ourselves something we just want because they feed the soul…we are allowed to 🙂 I have this battle with myself at times too and have decided I do better than many and if I truly want something I will jolly well buy it. My (and I suspect yours) wants are few but I am not about to deny myself the odd ones I do have. I don’t expect you are the kind of girl who buys $200 pairs of shoes because they were on special 🙂 I know wmen who spend a fortune on themselves without batting an eyelid and we don’t come anywhere near that category. Buy yourself the candle holders in life!!

  5. narf77 says:

    With everyone above and can only marvel at your tenacity and willpower (and drive) to get all of that done in a day! I am still shackled to the PC but not for too much longer…my spring lust has set in and I can’t wait to see the back of this thing!

    • I can see it now. A Narf swirling around the top of Serendipity Farm, singing her heart out in 1930’s vintage folk costume… THE HILLS ARE ALIVE…! 😉
      It makes me laugh that spring fever has bitten me even with plans in place and in action to do the garden. Yet, like a complete newbie gardener I’m bitten and trawling the Bunnings nursery section with all the rest. I refrained from buying tomatoes though. 😉

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