Another update

It’s been ages since my last post. In fact I’ve been most irregular posting this year. It’s far more fun getting out and living it all than writing about it I’m afraid. πŸ˜‰

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It’s tomato picking season. This is a day’s harvest.

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Meet Tiny (as named by the kids).

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Hops!

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Roast and soup futures in Lumina pumpkins.

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Tiny and Don, named (along with their sibling, Shiny) after the 3 PteranodonΒ babies from the TV show, Dinosaur Train.

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Spaghetti squash, roasted with a little water for steam then being teased into strands with a fork. Substitute anywhere you would normally use pasta. Yum!

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My first crochet project, a waffle blanket. I’m stoked with how it’s come together. πŸ˜€

The link for the blanket pattern is here.

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Mandy with her babies. Tiny in yellow, Shiny in black with a yellow bib and Don (not in the picture) in yellow and black.

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Spuds! About half the harvest. I lost a good portion to green though but they will become next years seed potatoes, about to be sown out now under manure and lake weed to rot down over the winter.

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Bottling pasta sauce. 24 x #14 jars (about 350ml each). Contains home-grown onions, garlic, tomatoes, zucchini and herbs. Delicious!

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The finished product. Enough pasta sauce for 2 a month.

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Arts and crafts using air drying clay and nature at the Woodend Sustainable Living Festival.

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The night of severe storms that came through. Nearly lost power so instead of waiting for the big dark we lit candles and curled up together to fall asleep (Martin was away and Allegra and I kind of got a bit freaked out).

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My painted Mountain Corn crop, drying to turn into cornmeal and next years seeds. We bought 3 large sacks of organic corn to blanch and freeze for kernels and cobs.

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Drying runner beans.

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I had a break out day and a cut and colour later I feel a new woman. Next time I hope to try henna and keep it natural. My hair has not liked the chemicals from commercial products. I’m still trying to get rid of the dye smell but it’s been so worth it!

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My cupboard usually has up to 6 containers full of tomatoes, 3 of ripe fruits (Roma, Moneymaker and Cherry varieties) and then a bowl or basket of each still ripening. It’s a constant process of picking, sorting the ripe ones and bottling or eating them. Fun though.

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Fermenting seeds to clear off the pulp before drying for planting in August or thereabouts.

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We planted our hops vines mainly for their fast growing and hence quick shade growing properties but I couldn’t let the flowers go to waste so they were picked (well, the 1/2 I can reach) and dried before being gifted to Gavin

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Despite having a Thermomix that makes short work of grinding, I wanted to have a hand-mill. The kids were most keen to grind so I started them on buckwheat, a very soft “grain”. They had a blast and ground me about 500g of both buckwheat and rice flours.

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Yet more tomatoes.

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And my first ever eggplant!

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I totally forgot the tomatoes out the front! These are from both front and back gardens plus a pile of comfrey. I also picked plantain, parsley, thyme, sage and oregano for drying.

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It’s been a strange season of twinned fruit. This is 1 tomato – 2 fruit on 1 stem.

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Helping Mum

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I’m not even sure which variety this is. Possibly Potkin.

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Working together! These pumpkins weigh 3-5 kilos each.

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I wasn’t fast enough to pop this spaghetti squash out before it wedged itself in place. Not pretty but still tasty.

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Supermodel with my Galeux d’Esiynes pumpkins. The largest is 9kgs! I have, to date, harvested 76.5kg of pumpkins and I still have the green ones and some butternuts and buttercups to go!

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3 little helpers in the sunshine. Tonka trucks make great pumpkin transports.

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More twinned fruit.

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Earth hour 2015. A kerosene lamp (keroseneΒ is a fossil fuel in case you didn’t know – I didn’t) which we burn rarely due to the toxic fumes.

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And candles. It gives one a real appreciation for those who live without electric lights and who manage to do chores by candle or lamp light.

Sorry for the wordless updates. Life is ultra full on at the moment. πŸ™‚

 

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14 thoughts on “Another update

  1. Linne says:

    Good to have a catch-up! Love your fuzzy ducklings and all your preserving work. I was wondering if you were planning to make beer . . .

    The kids are growing faster than weeds and are just as beautiful πŸ™‚

    However . . . that waffle afghan! I was planning to ask for the pattern when I saw tge linkie . . . thanks so much! ‘though I have no idea why . . . am working on the last two of the CAL afghans, am behind on the pillow, and today bought cotton thread for making edgings (the current project) . . .

    Won’t mention that I’ve been looking forward to switching back to knitting and finishing that hot pink Fair Isle style ‘barn cardi’ . . .

    I sound crazy, but making stuff keeps me somewhat sane πŸ˜‰

    That was a long thank you for the linkie, eh? Oh, well . . . I’ve been reading posts on as many blogs as possible, but not commenting. Once I have a PC set up, I hope things are easier.

    Anyway, was stoked to see this. TTYL ❀

  2. Chris says:

    Always plenty to do. Looks like you’re busy having fun, with all that hard work paying off. Very productive garden. πŸ™‚

  3. foodnstuff says:

    Good to see you back. I was getting worried, so glad to see the absence has been so productive. Those twin fruits are really interesting, esp the pumpkin. Can you tell me more about the hand mill, please? Make? model, etc? I have a Thermy too, but would like to put together a collection of hand tools.

    Great update πŸ˜‰

    • The hand mill is a 2nd hand 1 from eBay and based on the box, from the 70’s or early 80’s at a guess. I’ll either send a picture or post one on the blog for you soon. πŸ™‚

      • Linne says:

        Do post one on the blog, please; I’d love to see it, too. I have a hand mill (in the storage in B.C.) and it’s from when I was married back in ’80. Would be fun to see how much like mine yours is. ~ Linne

  4. Lynda D says:

    WHAT!!! You cut your hair!!! No more Katniss Plaits?

  5. Jo says:

    You are insanely productive! And looking gorgeous. Wow! Vegie harvest heaven!

  6. Leigh says:

    What fantastic photos! They make a near perfect update. And what a fantastic harvest (and fantastic helpers). I know you must be pleased.

    I’m getting a hops vine this year. I’ll have to plant it where we could use the shade! I’m getting mind for the hops. They are a lovely medicinal plus I’ve found some recipes for making homemade yeast from them. Hoping that works!

  7. Linda says:

    So much happening in your garden! And I love the waffle crochet. It looks amazing. I can’t believe how much you achieve. Not surprising you don’t find much blogging time.

  8. Wow- that crochet looks amazing, especially for a first project!
    And it’s inspiring to see what a large harvest you’ve had- the tomatoes look particularly edible πŸ™‚
    Comfrey is amazing for aches and pains. Blackmores do a commercial comfrey cream called “Flexagil”, which you can buy from pharmacy, and it’s known in my family as the “miracle cream”!
    Gee, aren’t the ducklings adorable! πŸ™‚
    Happy gardening!

  9. Linne says:

    Just popped in, hoping I hadn’t missed anything. Love the kerosene lamp. Those were all we had for the first few years of my childhood. We called them ‘coal oil lamps’ as well. When my own boys were young we used them, too, but the best were the ones with mantles; they give a much brighter light. One was pumped up to create pressure in the fuel reservoir (it was a camping lantern and hung from a hook in the ceiling to light the whole kitchen); the other was a replica table lamp with wick and mantle. That one had a lovely glass base and a hand-painted shade.
    Anyway, hope to see you back one of these days, but no pressure. πŸ˜‰ ~ Linne

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