Preserving

Today I'm drying Oregano and basil & Freezing Peaches and Nectarines

Herbs dehydrating

Nectarines for Freezer

jan's picture

Adventure Christmas

Not too long after Jaime's last post on the 3rd December, we embarked on an unexpected adventure - leading to a Christmas and new year completely unlike the one we'd had in mind.

Jaime went into labour 9 weeks early on the 13th December, and was flown down to the Mercy hospital in Melbourne. After a fairly harrowing day, and in an event both terrifying and lovely, we welcomed our baby boy Arthur into the world on the 14th December.

Arthur & Jaime

We spent 3 weeks down in Melbourne, with Arthur in the wonderful Mercy Hospital, before being given the all clear to transfer him back up here to Wodonga. He'll spend the next few weeks in the hospital here, and then we can finally bring him home.

We're very happy to be back in the Grove. With great big thanks to our amazing neighbours, the place survived the scorching heat fairly well. They also oversaw the addition of 4 lovely baby chooks, and 2 baby ducklings to our brood! The ducklings hatched out from under a broody chook, which makes for a very cute entourage :)

Ducklings and "mum"

Around the house, things are fairly dry and crunchy after days of very hot and dry weather - the hottest of which hit 48 degrees! One of our lovely chooks succumbed to the heat that day, poor thing. With a bit of watering some things don't seem to mind too much though - there are some good zucchinis and some golden nugget pumpkins nearly ready in the vegie patch.

The Long Break

Well it's been a long time since I've written a  post on here.  We have been doing a lot.  Pruning trees, covering them up to protect them from fruit fly.   Jan has been carefully adding items to our harvest log but I have been sneaking inside without even weighing what we have grown.   I think our next fruit to get ripe will be the white peaches, though there are apricots in our fruit bowl that might be ready any day now.

I decided to really cut back the garden this season, I planted pumpkins, zucchinis, chives, leeks, rosemary, basil and marjoram.  No corn or tomatoes or anything else.    

Our biggest news for our blog only followers, I'm currently 6 months pregnant.  I had 4 months of morning sickness so I think that's what stopped me from blogging and keeping up with the garden and all my other chores too. I was pretty much only able to do my work duties and sleep.

jan's picture

An uncaulified success

It's been a quiet winter here on the Widget Grove blog, but things are starting to wake up and become more interesting as spring approaches.

While walking in the front yard the other day, I discovered our first ever cauliflower peeking out from amongst the borage. Just shy of 2kg, and completely delicious.

Cauliflower

We've also had a wonderful glut of eggs from the chickens and ducks. Since the start of June, we've had 81 duck eggs, 157 chicken eggs, and 88 bantam eggs - not counting a bunch that the neighbours collected while we were away on holidays these past few weeks!

Creating Paths

I've been overwhelmed with my vege patch.  It's so big and I can't seem to remember what is path and what is garden.   We brought home a ute load of red bark and got a huge pile of cheaper brown chips deliveed.  We've been creating paths with red bark all over the place.  I'm really loving it.  I'm even using the gate to get into the garden now rather than attempting to break my neck many times a day climbing over the wall.

 

I love the contrast in colours as well.  I'm enjoying the patch a great deal at the moment.

I've got a section each of brocolli, cauliflower, cabbage.  The entire back line is green manure.    I think I'll put in a section of carrots next.  I have punnets of seeds waiting but they aren't growing very well.

Mulch or Bonfire?

Here's some of the prunings we have from our work on our fruit trees.  I'd love to see it mulched or used for a hugelkulture bed.  I'm not quite ready to do either of them though.  Perhaps we should just have a bonfire?

Climbing Sheep

Our sheep can climb quite well.  Lew and Felicity dropped off this big bail of hay last week and the sheep are enjoying nibbling on it.   I think this shows how easily our sheep could escape into the house yard if they wanted to.

Basil Harvest

Usually at this time of year I look at the basil and tell myself I need to harvest some to freeze for the winter.  This time I actually have done it.  I chopped this all up and put in muffin trays in the freezer  It made about 20 large portions.  I dried some previously so we should be right for quite a few months.

Camelias

I gave this camelia a good hair cut to keep it in a boxey shape, and it's rewarded me straight afterwards by coming out in bloom.  It's looking really great now.

Apple Tree

So this is what is left of the huge apple tree at the drive way.

Here's the before picture:

This pruning exercise is a huge effort.  I hope it'll be worth it and that in the future we'll have much more control over our garden and the trees.

 

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