Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Australia Day - New Chairs

Here are our new stools. Both were picked up for nothing - one on the side of the road and one at the local tip. Old, rusted and 70's vinyl covering we have been using them in the kitchen for months - in one case over a year. But this Australia Day was the day. A gorgeous day in the The Blue Mountains around 28 degrees and perfect blue sky - I decided today was the day. I had already purchased some Japanese material from a online store in Australia called SANSHI - (click here to visit) . We have a slight Japanese theme (mainly colours) going on in the house and we thought it would be lovely to bring elements into little things we do - like these stools.

We painted them black and reupholstered in the farbic - and great new stools! We are all very pleased.

Slide show below - click on a photo to vist the larger image.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Pond

We have finally advanced our Pond. A new above ground water pot has been placed slightly uphill from the inground pond. We then created a small creek bed of rocks and now pump the water from the lower pond - up to the higher pond - where it overflows and flows back to the lower pond and so it goes on! As our existing pump had two outlets we also still have a small trickle of water streaming down the big iron stone water fall at the back. We are going to look for a solar power pump on e-bay so we can in good conscience keep the pond going all the time. We also sourced some disused offcut bamboo to accommodate the plastic tube, and rescued some trampled water grass from a muddy water hole (being used by motor heads to drive through) and have given the grass a new home. The main big goldfish will be soon moved 'upstream' to their new water pot - and the little non frog egg eating fish will be left in the small inground pond to hopefully attract some frog life. (for the history of this pond click here for old posts)
From Pond

From Pond

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Our new Ducks

Please meet our new Ducks. Just brought home only a few mintues ago. Muscovy ducks are apparently the best 'pet' ducks to have - don't really quack and get along fine with chooks. Now while they aren't the most attractive adult duck - in fact a lot look like they are just plain ugly - I am sure raising them from ducklings I will acquire an attachment to them. And importantly for me they will contribute to our sustainable mission with their Duck eggs. (good for pavlovas apparently!). Click here and here for some recipe uses (including pavlova)

From animals

My PUMPKINS have started!

I am so excited - the pumpkins flowers did the right thing and fertilised themselves (some articles I have read suggest you often have to do this manually) - and I have now spotted a few tiny tiny beginnings of what will become my pumpkin patch. My first pumpkin patch. This is truly a great day. Here is the evolution - from the beginning of the leaves growing (right side closest one in bed (behind them are the cucumbers and they look similar in leaf). The next is a few weeks on - and then the last ones are my precious pumpkins. I needed to carefully look under the leaves to find these, like finding little suprises bit by bit.

From pumpkins

From pumpkins

From pumpkins

From pumpkins

Monday, January 11, 2010

Experimental Winter Tomatoes

I am experimenting with Winter tomatoes from Russia. In the Australian magazine 'Burkes Backyard' they are conducting a nationwide experiment with these winter toms and gave away a seeds with every issue. They are mostly from Russia and grow extremely well in the cold climate. So I have planted out the seeds in the seedling mix...will update on progress as I go. My only other seedling experiment never worked so I'm not hopeful!

Interestingly they put a safe colour dye on the seeds to distinguish between the varieties.
From winter toms

From winter toms

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Capertee Valley

We have spent the last few days in a beautiful place called Turon Gates at Capertee Valley. Turon Gates accepts dogs so it's perfect for the family. We hired one of the mountain cabins, but intend to go camping there soon too. We spent ages by the river yesterday, looking at the local wildlife (photos below!). The landscape shot is our view of the deck of the cabin. It was spectacular and highly recommend it to anyone nearish Sydney or NSW really.

From summer garden more
(to see the full landscape picture click to load)

From summer garden more

From summer garden more

From summer garden more
This one is a witchetty grub. Good bush tucker to eat if you are stuck believe it or not. We weren't.
From summer garden more

From summer garden more

From summer garden more

This log we picked up from our stay - we are going to incorporate it into the water feature somehow. It has a perfect water channel in it.

So much rain - good for the garden, not the holidays

It's seems like it's been raining forever. I can only remember one full day of sun in the last three weeks. The garden is doing really well. The kids aren't - not fair for school holidays. The Wii Cricket is getting a good workout!

From summer garden more

From summer garden more

Tomatoes! Cucumbers! Pumpkin!

Here are some photos of the amazing Tomatoes - so many are fruiting - now just need them to go red. Also our cucumbers and the pumpkin plants (although quite young still) are looking healthy. Also what I think are our sweetcorn!

From summer garden more

From summer garden more

From summer garden more

From summer garden more

New Summer Harvest

I have harvested my carrots and beets - another failure - kind of. The button carrots were ok - but not enough to do anything with except for 8 year old to pick and eat for about three weeks. The photo below shows my total efforts! I am determined to get a carrot garden happening as they are the most popular food around this home. Below that photo are my far more successful first harvest of beans and cucumbers. They are harvesting regularly now - my first real experience (apart from the salads) of having enough to continually pick. We are getting around 2 full cucumbers or more per week - and they just keep coming.
From summer garden more

From summer garden more

From summer garden more