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Friday, September 21, 2018

Up The Garden Path


I've got another before and after story for you.
It's the story of some random stone and a path.
We bought some crazy sandstone paving and it's been accumulating beneath the peach tree.


This photo was taken back in September 2015 when the yard was just a paddock and we were marking out the first beds.


By the end of that summer it was thriving and productive and we had a rough path mapped out.


The following spring of 2016 it flooded....


TWICE!!!


This winter we finally made a start on formalising the main path.
The two large sandstone pieces were a happy find amongst our stone we had delivered for the dry stone wall. The shearer did an amazing job. I was just the TA on this one.


And voila!


From this to ....


This!


And THIS!
I am enchanted with it.


Besotted I tell you!
It might even be better than diamonds and pearls.

Monday, September 10, 2018

In The Zone


I used to feel so comfortable and at home in this world, now everything looks exotic and strange. I used to know so many of the plants but that was more than 30 years ago. Now the scenery for the most part jars my senses and jangles my nerves.

We recently went back to Queensland to see a new grandson and family.
I used to embrace the heat and humidity but now I find like a plant out of climate, I don't fare well; my skin doesn't feel comfortable and my hair becomes listless.


This is more the palette of my spring world now and the climate I feel comfortable in. It takes a long time to acclimatise and I am sure I've arrived.

It has made me think about the plants and gardening. We can and often do, blur the climate zones within which we grow things, some survive and a rare few fully acclimatise but for the most part I sympathise with those plants out of zone that fail to thrive but we persevere anyway.

My folly of a Tahitian Lime in Campbell Town is very much on my mind. It's definitely not thriving but....it just might be acclimatising.....?

Are you like an exotic flower and struggle outside of your climate zone now?

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Snow in the Garden


So I sat here yesterday morning, feeling a change in the air, the garden is coming alive and the bulbs are starting to nod with full buds about to bloom and I thought....
"I feel like finding a poem about spring and doing a post with awakening life".....

I looked out the window and this happened...


And I know there are plenty of places living with snow in winter but in my backyard it's a pretty rare thing. Our town is only 209m above sea level!

So instead of daffodils and blossoms...


You're getting this....


And the poetry is on hold temporarily.


You're Welcome


(Food in cold storage)



(Be sure to make the video full screen)
Hard to believe that much of the country mid to north mainland is in a severe drought.
Hoping for relief to those people soon.

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Bicheno Jumper


This is the third version of this jumper I have made and it won't be the last.
My nephew has been visiting from QLD and on wet Campbell Town day we drove east for an hour to find a sunny coast and enjoy the BEST fish and chips at The Gulch in Bicheno.


The boys bought some bait and ties their hooks while I found a sheltered spot for me and my needles. The yarn reflected perfectly the land, sea, stone and sky of the area, so I have called this jumper "Bicheno"


I love the texture and lines rich from the patterning and the unique spin.


I did play a bit of yarn chicken with this one (again!) and I lost. The solid gold edging the collar testifies to the 7 or 8 metres I was short!


Julien has a strong personality and can pull it off though.
My Ravelry project notes are here
The pattern can be found here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Shop Update


You may notice the "SHOP" tab at the top of the page.
This will take you to my Facebook Shop which has been updated with some Fowlers Vacola supplies for preserving. I acquired a bulk lot of brand new product and it is listed well below RRP 


Now is the time to sort your supplies before the preserving season starts and have your rings ready to go. Many of us also include a lot of well used equipment in our cupboards too and winter is the time to check your clips as they do lose their spring over the years. We put a lot of work into the washing, cutting, cooking etc and it makes sense to check your equipment to avoid disappointing fails.


Postage can be quoted and local delivery or pick up can also be arranged.
Feel free to share the link with your preserving groups too. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Rose Hip Salve


Also at that same recent talk I gave, I demonstrated making a salve from rose hips.
You can find previous posts about salve making
  here
and 


This salve is ideal for the face but can of course be used anywhere.
I roughly chopped a big handful of fresh rose hips and then covered with cold pressed almond oil and gently infused over a very low heat till the oil had taken on the colour and smelled of the hips. I used my thermomix but some people use a slow cooker on low for a few hours making sure the oil doesn't get too warm as we are trying to preserve as much of the Vit C properties of the hips. The other method is to place the hips covered in oil in a jar and leave to infuse in the warmth of the sun over the month.
Strain the oil through a cloth lined sieve and extract as much as possible squeezing the pulp. 
Measure the resulting golden oil and add 10% in weight of bees wax. This is best grated and added to the oil to gently heat to dissolve. 
Once it is dissolved, you can also add a couple of drops of Vit E oil and pour into sterile jars and label.
It's best to use a container that is not clear and keep the salve in a cool place away from light. Always use a stick or clean finger and use within a few months.
If you prefer a scent, you can add a drop of essential oil but I like to keep the salve as simple as possible and enjoy the benefits of the almond oil and rose hip oil.

You can use any rose hips but I find wild rose hips in abundance around our road ways.



We also shared some rose hip cordial on the night and the recipe is found 



Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Stinging Nettle Pesto


Recently I gave a talk at the local garden club about food and medicinal plants foraged within the Midlands area. We have plains but also hedgerows and abundant waterways providing a wealth of material and a diverse variety across the four seasons.


Nettles are common in our area and quite a super food power packed with nutrition and health benefits and a much better choice for a "cleanse" than some of the more extreme methods. They are rich in Vit. A, C and K and magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, iron, potassium and more. They aid circulation, lower blood sugar and regulate blood pressure. Ergo, if you are on medications for diabetes and blood pressure disorders you may find adjustments and consultations necessary. Anyway, this little story is not intended as medicinal advice but as a useful seasonal food resource. It's free, abundant and good for you in as an inclusion in your diet. They do have a sting but this can be disarmed by a quick blanch in boiling water.


You can find my method and recipes for 
and

And without further ado, my recipe for nettle pesto....


Nettle Pesto

A couple of double handfuls of nettle leaves, young and tender.
1-2 cloves of garlic
50g Parmesan cheese
75-100g raw chashew nuts
olive oil to make required texture

Wash and then blanch for not more than a minute in boiling water and refresh the nettles in cold water and drain well. Pat dry to absorb more water.
Place in a food processor with other ingredients and blend until you have the desired texture. You can pulse till you get a chunky crumbly style or blend well for a creamier sauce like mix.
Use this pesto as you would a basil pesto; over hot pasta, gnocchi, fish etc or delicious as a dip for crackers and crudites. 

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