Saturday, March 21, 2009

Back to Basics update 3 and garden stuff.

These are some of the great pumpkins we have grown at the Crib Point Community Garden, these ones are Australian Butter pumpkins and are really big and heavy, I hope they taste as good as they look!

There seems to be alot longer than one week between my updates, so it might look like I have been busy, but I will try and put in everything I can remember since the last update.

Back to Basics Update 3

Harvest (Mostly from the community garden)
Last of sweetcorn

Lots of Autumn things (see older posts)

Fed lime tree.
Worked on garden bed outside our back door, pulled out dead things, weeded and dug it over to aerate it a bit, added chicken and horse poo and mulched with lucerne.
Trying to keep on top of the cabbage moths, killing quite a few with the squash racquet.

Lots of snowpeas, kales, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, and silverbeet seedlings, also celery seedlings.

Lime tree has really perked up with lots of flowers and tiny fruit setting. Lets hope all the extra poo and water it has received will give us a good crop of limes for the first time in 5 years.

Rain on the weekend has half filled the tank, so we can start watering in earnest again. The roof area provided by the new extension has really increased our catchment area, it won't take a lot of rain to fill up the tank now, which is great. Time for another tank!

Dahlias that I thought had died in the heat wave, have all reshooted and are looking really healthy! I don't think they will flower now though, it might be too late in the season.

Lucerne is a wonder mulch, everything that I have mulched with it has taken off fantastically!

Planning for the future
I have decided that the front yard needs to become the next area for an "edible overhaul"
It is looking very tired and drab so I am going to create some beautiful edible borders and fill it with food and herb plants.
A few crafty friends and I have decided to work towards an 'open house' Christmas sale in November to earn some extra cash at an expensive time of year, so I am dusting off the sewing machine and getting out the knitting needles to make some cute things to sell.

Working for the future
Sowed new seed for market stalls.
Had new antenna put on roof for new room.
Finished painting new room.
Organised new carpet to complete house renovations. (Yay!!!!)

Created a weekly craft group with some friends to meet and complete half finished projects.
Worked at community garden working bee.
Had a stall at the Seaford Farmers Market with my seedlings (Living Larder Productive Plants) and 'networked' (had a chat) with Regina from the Frankston Community Garden.
Volunteered at school in the garden and kitchen for the Kitchen Garden Program they run.

What else has been going on.

I spent the morning yesterday and today planting out my patch at the Community garden, it took me 2 days because I took the boys with me yesterday and they find the garden interesting for a very small amount of time , so we came home with half the job done. I went on my own today and it was much more peaceful. I have taken a few photos of the garden to show you what's been happening down there recently.

This is a view of the main garden areas with the 10 communal beds to the rear and a few of the individual beds in the foreground. The tomatoes are just on the way out and there are a few beds with root crops on the right hand side.

This is looking from the main vegie area to our little orchard, it's a bit hard to see, but there are about 15 different fruit trees and a large raspberry row, we are also slowly building up freeform vegie areas around the outside of this area. In the foreground are pumpkins and zucchinis.

This is my individual plot at the Community Garden, just planted with sugar peas, snowpeas, broccoli, cauliflower,kale and some lettuces. My space finishes just behind the pea teepee. The broccoli at the back of my bed belongs to my neighbour Troy.
I love being involved in the community garden, there is so much growing there, and the other members are lovely and have so much knowledge to share, there is just a great vibe when you go there. ( Even though it is usually pretty quiet there as we don't have a huge amount of members.) They are doing a big renovation on the old community house next to the garden, so when that is all finished and people are back visiting the house, hopefully they will be so impressed by the garden that we will have a heap of new members!

We tried the first glass of my homemade ginger beer today, Gary thought it smelt disgusting but tasted very good. It did have a sour lemony smell mixed with a gingery aroma that was not very pleasant. I think the lemon juice I added to the mix changed the smell, because the plant was smelling great (nice and gingery) before I bottled it. Any hoo, I thought it tasted great and was quite fizzy which I was very happy with. I will start another plant soon for batch no.2. (Stupid me didn't realise I could keep that plant going, so it ended up on the compost heap, so I will start from scratch again.)

I was reading Rhonda's blog about the return of the homemaker, and it really struck a chord with me. I feel that skills that can make you more independant and self sufficient are so important, and are just not valued enough in today's consumer society, so it was great to read that other people are feeling the same way. I often feel that I have to make excuses for why I haven't gone out to work and am a stay at home mum, especially now my children are all at school. I sometimes think there must be something lacking in my personality, in that I don't have a strong desire for a career and lots of money, I am quite happy to get by on our one wage and live within the limits of our budget. I like being around my children and family and friends, I like to take them to their afterschool stuff and just chat with them as they come in from school, I like cooking our meals from scratch and having the time to do so, I like growing our vegies and keeping our chickens and riding my bike around when I can. Housework may not be my strong point, but I muddle through and am making a big effort to be more consistant with laundry and cleaning efforts!
There has been such a huge move towards everybody working and most homes have 2 incomes these days, that I guess it is unusual to spend your days at home, but I think what we stay at home types do is also important and a valid life or 'career' choice. I just wish I didn't always feel like a dumb freak when people ask me 'what I do', and were not so embarrassed to answer I stay at home.
My son was saying the other day that he thought we (I) were too old fashioned and low tech, I tried to explain that a lot of my hobbys like knitting, cooking, gardening, sewing and "family stuff" are really quite hip these days and I'm really a pretty modern mother! I don't know if he appreciated the point!

Anyway, enough of my raving on. Happy days for everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Your Community Garden looks great - would love to find out more information on how it works - there is a community center where we live and I think that something like this would be great. The pumpkins look great.