Tasmania Trip - Home to Launceston

Friday February 17th

Jan's dad came to stay the night and saw our new home for the first time.

Saturday February 18th

We caught the ferry to Devonport, Tasmania from MelbourneI was very scared, I have been seasick a few times, and it's very memorable.  I took 5 seasick tablets so I couldn't drink.  The food was really good at the buffet, we sat with Jan's dad and chatted then tried for an early night.  I felt quite sick lying in the bunk with the boat rocking side to side. Jan read my book to me until I slept.

Sunday February 19th

Breakfast at a hotel then I drove a short distance to the chocolate factory, House of Anvers.   They also had a lovely garden with large old trees.  I liked the circular seat around the tree, a wooden chairI was looking for garden inspiration all around Tasmania! :).  On that note, I reckon we should plant some more trees in our paddock with the goal of expanding the garden to our fence lines over the years.

We stopped at Ashgrove farm cheese shop which had many impressive painted cow sculptures.

Pruning Apples

We have 9 apple trees.  I'm guessing we have 50 trees in all on our property, I haven't counted yet.  We've just started our first ever pruning.  Lets just say it's going to be a big job.

I mised taking a before shot of the two apple trees we spent 3 hours pruning this after noon, but here's the one out the front

Jan in action.   The three sheep, two chickens and two cats all crowded under the tree to catch any treats that fell.

Not sure if you can see, but we'll be taking this one down to about 7 foot tall, which is where the blue thong is being  used as a support wrapped around a thick branch.

Here is the sister tree, we'll also take it down just above the thong.   The design for these two is to do an espaliar wall along where the bins are,  We'll let it be a bit wilder at the back.   However it needs to be 7 foot tall at most so we can net it.  We got zero apples from this tree this year due to fruit fly and coddling moth, however the sheep ate every apple that landed on their side of the fence.

Drupal Development

I've taken on a new gig working with a group of people doing Drupal Development.  I've dived back into using tools I haven't used for a while.  Our team meets at 10am every day with a video conference.  It's kept me pretty busy lately, so maybe there hasn't been so many garden related posts to write about

 

Belladonnas

For valentines I picked a bunch of Belladonna lilles for Jan from our garden.  Jan bought me roses.  We shared some chocolate.  I cooked breakfast, we shared takeaway sushi lunch and Jan cooked dinner for us too Chicken Rex and Creme Brulee with some dark purple plums from Karen's garden.

Amaranth

We planted some amaranth seeds under Jan's window.  They're flowering.   The chickens and sheep will be happy with this crop.

Lonely Sunflower

I probably planted a hundred sunflowers, I only ended up with one.  Not a great picture either, it kept bouncing around.

Water Melons

Jan wasn't able to mow a spot in our front lawn the other day, because there are water melons growing there!

Glut of Grapes

We have so many ripe grapes that I've advertised on freecycle for people to organise a time to come and take as many as they want.

We have four sets of vines around the house and they're all covered in fruit.  We have had 10 people come through taking over 10kgs of grapes away from our vines.  It hasn't made much of a dent in the crops.

 

Dehydrating

Jan bought us a cheap dehydrator from the internet.   So far we've dried Lemon Verbena, Mint, Basil, Curry Plant leaves and two trays of grape leather!  I think i did it wrong as it's crunchy.  But it tastes fine.

Jan connected a power meter up to the dehydrator to see how much electricity it was using.  We used about 60c to dry the grape leather.  That plus the 2 hours labour picking and then mashing!

Tomato Sauce

Jan spent a long time picking every ripe tomato we had in the patch

The most tedious bit was picking them in the garden and pulling all those stems off.  Very tedious, that's why bigger tomatoes would be better for us.

5 bags of tomato sauce (Tomatoes, chilli, basil, onions all from our garden) Some local garlic in there as well. We also used a cup to make ourselves little cottage pies for dinner too.

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