Thursday, April 30, 2009

Seed viability

Hi all, I have to say the viability of the seeds I received from Veggie Gnome continues to astound me.
After just 10 days the Purple podded peas (see A Lovely Surprise) have erupted out of the soil like a space rocket, just incredible. There must be some good soil down their way or magic green thumbs.

As you can tell I don't have a trellis up yet so I'd better get cracking on that job in the next day or two.

Also making their way into the world are the Purple Dragon carrots.
They have come up like fleas on a dogs back so I'll be doing a little thinning in the next day or two as well.

I'm truly looking forward to tasting these guys so I'm hoping all goes well from here on.

On top of the strike rate of the lettuce 'Drunken woman' and 'Red leprechaun' that's about about a 1000% success.

I'm loving my Kohlrabi at the moment too, so I'm just putting up a photo to show you how they are going.

I'm thinking of slicing this one and frying it in some olive oil.

Bye for now and happy veggie gardening.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jerusalem artichokes. aka Fartichokes

Hi all, I harvested my Jerusalem artichokes on Sunday just gone and from three corms about the size of your thumb this is what I harvested.
Apart from planting them into some compost enriched soil, back in August, I didn't do a thing to them.
Definitely one for the easy to grow part of the veggie garden.

I then went off to work Sunday night and because it can be a slow night at times I buy the Queensland Sunday paper The Sunday Mail to help me through the night.

Well you could've knocked me down with a feather because in the event section of the paper under the Dining In sub-section was a whole page devoted to the Jerusalem artichoke plus a recipe for Jerusalem artichoke soup with chestnuts (see below).

This article is written by Matt Moran who is co-owner/chef of ARIA Restaurant. Sydney.

Titled, What lies beneath, Matt goes on to say

SOME names have no mystery.
What you hear is what you get. Others are a little misleading.

The Jerusalem artichoke, for example, has nothing to do with

Jerusalem, nor is it an artichoke. It is thought the name came about as a corruption of the Italian word girasole, meaning sunflower, to which pendulum artichokes are related.

What it is, though, is an under- appreciated knobbly little tuber (stay with me, it gets better) with sweet earthy, nutty flesh, and a great vegetable to add to your repertoire in the cooler months.

You'll find and them trickling into greengrocers about now, and they'll hit full throttle between May and October, plenty of time to become well acquainted.

Jerusalem artichokes look a little like ginger, with their knobbly shape and light brown skin and have crisp white flesh similar in texture to a water chestnut.

You need to look out for tubers which are firm and store them as you would a potato, in a cool, dark, dry place, for up to a week.

My tip is to buy more than you need, as quite a bit can be lost in the peeling. Newer varieties are less knobbly, which makes peeling them a much simpler task than in the past.

Cut away the largest bumps before you start to make the job easier, and have a bowl of acidulated water to hand (squeeze a lemon into cold water), as the flesh colours very quickly once exposed to air.

They're a unique vegetable in that although they're a carbohydrate, they contain no starch.

However. the type of carbohydrate they do contain can't be broken down by any human enzymes, and the undigested carbohydrates pass into the gut intact.

Delicately put they're renowned for creating a lot of gas!(aka Fartichokes) This, though, is no reason not to try them. Just make sure you are - ahem - comfortable with the company you keep the day after eating. (Honestly, this effect isn't universal, but makes this vegetable the subject of much hilarity).

Jerusalem artichokes can be cooked like potato, but their flesh becomes much softer. They can be boiled, but steaming is better as it prevents them becoming water-logged.

From there it's a cinch to turn them into a gorgeous, silky puree, perfect to serve with pan-seared scallops or roast barramundi.

I also really like them roasted, which brings out their nuttiness. Or turn them into a velvety soup like I have here (see below). Roast chestnuts bring complexity, while crisp slivers of Jerusalem artichoke chips and pancetta add up to one big bowl of autumnal bliss.

Jerusalem, artichoke

soup with chestnuts

Vegetable oil, for frying

1kg Jerusalem artichokes,


500g chestnuts

50g butter

1 brown onion, diced

Salt and pepper

1 liter chicken stock

100g flat pancetta

Olive oil, for frying

2 teaspoons-continental

Parsley, chopped

Pre-heat a deep-fryer to 160C and

pre-heat the oven to 160C.

To prepare the artichoke crisps,

thinly slice 2 of the artichokes

using a mandolin. Carefully place

the artichoke slices into the

vegetable oil heated in the deep

fryer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes

until golden brown. Remove from

oil and place on paper towel to

drain. Season with salt, then leave

until required.

To prepare the chestnuts, make a cross in each of

the chestnuts using a sharp knife.

Place in the oven on a tray for 15

minutes. Remove from the oven,

then peel away their shell while

the chestnuts are still hot.

To prepare the soup, melt the

butter in a saucepan. Add the

onion and cook for 5 to 6 minutes

until soft and translucent being

careful not to allow them to gain

any colour as this will change the

soup's flavour.

Chop the remaining artichokes

and add to the onion.

Season with a little salt

and pepper, then cook for a

further 5 minutes. Add the peeled,

baked chestnuts, reserving a few

to be used as a garnish. Add the

chicken stock and bring to the

boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer

and cook for 20 minutes. Pour the

soup into a blender and puree for

2 minutes until the soup has a

silky, smooth texture. Pour the

soup back into the saucepan and

bring back to to boil. Check for


Cut the pancetta into small

lardons Heat a little olive oil in a

fry pan and when hot, add in the

pancetta. Cook until crispy.

To serve, ladle the soup into 6

bowls. Garnish with the artichoke

crisps, crispy pancetta and

parsley. Break the remaining

chestnuts into pieces and

crumble over soup. Serves 6.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Is orange the new Yellow?

Click on any image for a larger view

Is orange the new Yellow?

I'd like to think I'm a man of simple tastes.
So it was 12 months ago that I decided I wanted a yellow Hibiscus. Nothing fancy, just a hibiscus with a simple yellow flower like the one on the label below.
After 12 months of waiting, fertilizing, watering, mulching, etc, etc, what do I get?
A bright burnt Orange bloody monstrosity.

How hard is it these days to get a simple yellow flowering Hibiscus?

On a brighter note the Lettuce 'drunken woman' and 'Red leprechaun', from the 'A lovely surprise' post, planted last Sunday came up after just four days.

The photo here is taken seven days after planting.

I love Camellias as well and this one is flowering particularly well at the moment.

That's it for Sunday, catch you next time.
Cheers and happy gardening

Friday, April 24, 2009


This was one of my my Brussels Sprout plants which I had planted towards the back of one of my beds.
I had noticed it looking wilted, which after 50 mls of rain was not possible, but didn't have a close look at the time and I had hoped it would sort itself out.

Anyhow a few days later it was getting worse so I thought I'd better take a closer look and gasp, shock, horror, it was covered in aphids.

Now I had two choices (maybe more but these were immediate), I could walk down to the shed and find something to spray them with (of which I didn't have anything) or pull the poor thing out and throw it over the fence into the chook pen (hoping the chooks would devour the aphids) which is about two mts away.

So being the enthusiastic walker I am option two won out and over the fence it went.

Again, gasp, shock, horror, and to my disappointment my chooks took no more than a cursory look at the aphids ( I kept telling them its protein it's good for you) before going about their business (me phinks me feeds 'em too well).

I usually let nature do its own thing around here but if the other four Brussels sprouts I have planted become infected I'll be doing a whip around the garden and harvesting as many lady beatles as I can find and put them on the remaining Brussels sprouts to control the aphids.

Six from Eight

Sorry in advance, but round these parts there is only one kind of footy and that's Rugby League.
Just for the fun of t I thought I'd post my picks for the week and see how I go.
Your welcome to join in through comments or bag the crap out of me for supporting NRL, as long as it's all in good fun.

April 24-27

Broncos v Eels .............. Broncos
Cowboys v Sea Eagles ........ Cowboys
Panthers v Titans ........... Titans
Rabbitohs v Sharks .......... Sharks(they have to win sooner or later, don't they?)
Raiders v Bulldogs .......... Raiders
Roosters v Dragons .......... Dragons
Storm v Warriors ............ Storm
Wests Tigers v Knights ...... Tigers

Well now, that's much better, six from eight and I've climbed 422 places.
With some luck I can climb a little higher this week. Only time will tell.

I'm currently ranked 1594 out of 3216 tippers on the ABC Grandstand AFL & NRL Footy Tipping

Wk. one 135 out of 2211
Wk. two
220 out of 2531
Wk. three
893 out of 2945
Wk. four 1970 out of 3113
Wk. five 2016 out of 3179
Wk. six 1594 out of 3216

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Slow Drive

Hi all,
I've just finished two in a row of day shifts in the taxi (I usually drive nights) which pretty much drives me nuts. Trying to negotiate the traffic and the loopy drivers around here and then there's driving in the city with all its reflective sunny glare. It's also been fairly humid here as well which makes sitting in a taxi less than comfortable.
Arrggghhh, just give me the nights.

Anyhow the only good thing to come out of driving today was hearing on my local ABC radio about The Slow Drive.

Now I know there is no veggie news, but you got to love these guys sense of adventure.

So what's it all about. Below is a brief description from The Slow Drive blog where you can go to get the full run down of what is going to happen.

My name is Brett Pollock; I’m a pastoralist from Wooleen Station in the Murchison, Western Australia. I’ve decided to revive the connection between Wooleen and the Model A Ford. Wooleen purchased its first Model A in 1928 and eventually owned three. When the last car became too old to drive its back was turned into a tray for working.

I’ve bought a 1930 Model A in Gladstone, Queensland and intend driving it back to Perth starting on Anzac Day, 25/4/2009 via this route.

The trip is 4700 kilometers through outback regions.

They plan to visit as many towns as possible and raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service ‘Flying 1000′ project. Funds go towards medically equipping RFDS aircraft.

Anyhow I hope you find this interesting and if inspired you could make a donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service

Bye for now

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A lovely surprise

When Veggie Gnome from The Mad Gnomes Strike Again won the This little piggy went to market competition she was kind enough to surprise me by sending back several packets of seeds.

Even more surprising was the seeds themselves.

Check out this list and a big thanks to Veggie Gnome.

1. Blue Podded Capucyner Peas.

I can't find much info about the Blue podded peas spelt Capucyner, but spelt Capucijner I found the following information.
(I guessing they are the same). Skippy's blog has a story on Blue podded peas as well.
'Blue Pod Capucijner' is an heirloom variety. It has particularly beautiful flowers, pink and red, fading to blue as they wilt. The pods are deep maroon which change to blue through the season. They are delicious when young, but turn leathery as they mature. Peas are hardy, weak-stemmed, climbing annuals. Custom has it that you can make a wish if you find a pea pod that has nine or more peas in it. Edible pea pods are grown the same way as sugar peas, just harvested much earlier, prior to filling out.

2. Carrot. 'purple dragon'
Botanical Name: Daucas carota.
Very nutritious vegetable originating from central Asia. This variety has a beautiful and unique purple-skin with amazing contrasting yellow-orange interior.

3. Red Orache

Atriplex hortensis is a member of the genus Atriplex and is commonly known as Red orache.

Interesting blog story on Red Orache here.

4. Lettuce 'r
ed leprechaun'

Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa
'Little Leprechaun' is a variegated Romaine lettuce with leaf colors from red to forest green. It is generally ready for harvest 75 days after sowing.

This gorgeous mahogany red and green romaine is small in stature and big on taste. Miniature heads are prime harvest size when only 7-8" tall, ideal for container culture and for serving individual main dish Caesar salad.

5. Lettuc
e 'drunken woman' (I see plenty of these on a Saturday night thanks) Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa
Italian Heirloom. Attractive bright green leaves with ruffled almost frizzy edges in deep bronze. Leaf lettuce type with dense center that is very showy and slow to bolt.

6. Chinese Broad leaf celery.
Can't find any info on Chinese Broad leaf celery. Anyone care to help me out?

Cool list of plants huh, my only problem is that I've never grown any of them before.
Luckily I'm always up for a challenge and to be put on an interesting learning curve.

So far I have planted the peas, the two types of lettuce and the purple dragon carrots, the rest will have to wait until spring.
I'll keep you updated on the progress as they make their way to full grown veggies.

This is where I have planted the lettuce. That's four of each.

Friday, April 17, 2009

a couple of blogs with very interesting story's

Just a couple of blogs with very interesting story's I liked so I'll post their links here.

First is from about the Veggie growing trend.

Second is from Mollies Cross Roads blog. GM Genocide: Thousands of Indian Farmers committing suicide

Five from Eight

Sorry in advance, but round these parts there is only one kind of footy and that's Rugby League.
Just for the fun of t I thought I'd post my picks for the week and see how I go.
Your welcome to join in through comments or bag the crap out of me for supporting NRL, as long as it's all in good fun.


April 17-20
Dragons v Knights .............. Dragons
Eels v Bulldogs ................ Bulldogs
Panthers v Broncos ............. Broncos
Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles ......... Sea Eagles
Sharks v Cowboys ............... Cowboys
Titans v Raiders ............... Titans
Warriors v Roosters ............ Warriors
Wests Tigers v Storm ........... Storm

Well bugger, I say, I actually tipped a few winners this last week and I still manages to slip from 1970 to 2079. I'd have hoped I'd to climbed a spot or two.

Anyhow, better luck this week.

I'm currently ranked 2016 out of 3179 tippers on the ABC Grandstand AFL & NRL Footy Tipping

Wk. one 135 out of 2211
Wk. two
220 out of 2531
Wk. three
893 out of 2,945
Wk. four 1970 out of 3113

Wk. five 2016 out of 3179

Jackie, I make it you got 6 from eight. Where does that put you now?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Garlic Part 3

It's about time I got around to part three of the now Garlic post trilogy.

As you can see the Monaro Purple hardneck garlic I planted in the Garlic pt. 2 post on the 31st of March is well and truly on its way.

After planting care After planting your garlic it will need a good watering and from there on the soil will need to be kept moist at the least.
While garlic will tolerate dry periods it will preform best if the soil they are growing in is kept moist.

Mulching is also important to garlic for two main reasons.
The first is to assist in the watering and keeping moist (prevent drying out of) the soil it is growing in .

Second is to help suppress weed growth.

I used straw and autumn leaves that I put through the chipper for my mulch, but any of the usual suspects will do.

I'd also recommend a dose of seaweed and fish emulsion at the beginning of each month just to keep them ticking along.

Click on photo for larger view.

Harvesting and storing garlic will happen sometime in lateish summer when the top of the leaves start to yellow but before they have died right back.

Go easy when harvesting the bulbs as they do bruise easy leaving them open to rotting. It's also best if you can harvest during a dry period, so lay off the watering at least a week before harvesting if possible. This will help harden the bulbs and allow better storage.

To store, keep the leaves on the bulbs and don't separate the cloves until you need them, allow them two or three weeks to dry in an airy place out of direct sunlight.

And if you want to get really creative then you might like to try your hand at plaiting garlic softnecks only.

Finally growing problems, pest and diseases. The main issue with garlic is humidity which will go on to cause fungal disease.
If you are growing garlic in a high humidity area then space your plants a little further apart and plant and area that gets full sunshine all day.

Downy Mildew can be a problem in damp and overcast conditions. Treat accordingly or your favorite way.
There are several other problems that can occur, but if good crop rotation and plant maintenance is followed they should not be a problem.

Garlic is also good for you, so they say at Garlic Central

Garlic pt. 1
Garlic pt. 2

Well that's it for me. I could easily write a book on how to grow garlic but it's been done a few times already and I just wanted to put up and overview of growing garlic without going into too much detail.
Happy Garlic growing and if there are any questions then I'm only to happy to answer.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


The etymology of spud is that this name for a small potato comes from the digging of soil (or a hole) prior to the planting of potatoes. The word is of unknown origin and was originally (c. 1440) used as a term for a short knife or dagger, probably related to Dutch spyd. The word spud traces back to the 16th century. It subsequently transferred over to a variety of digging tools. Around 1845 it transferred over to the tuber itself.

The origins of "spud" has erroneously been attributed to a 19th century activist group dedicated to keeping the potato out of Britain, calling itself The Society for the Prevention of an Unwholesome Diet.

It was Mario Pei's 1949 The Story of Language that can be blamed for the false origin of the word. Pei writes, "the potato, for its part, was in disrepute some centuries ago. Some Englishmen who did not fancy potatoes formed a Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet. The initials of the main words in this title gave rise to spud." Like many other pre-20th century acronymic origins, this one is false.

The first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1768-71), originally published in Edinburgh in the 18th century, referred to the potato as a "demoralizing esculent."

Monday, April 13, 2009

My recalcitrant ways, SRM update

Photo on the right shows the poor results from using potting mix v Seed raising Mix (SRM). The four tubes, using potting mix, on the right were sown eleven days prior to the ones planted in a good SRM on the left of the photo.

Tyra from Tyras Garden, Daphne from Daphne's Dandelions ,and Tricia from Little eco Footprints all expressed interest in further information on Seed raising Mixes through comments they left after I posted about some recent failures due to being a bit lax in the potting mix/SRM department, titled My recalcitrant ways, so here goes.

I'll start by showing you the product I used and what they claim about it.

It's from Searles, a local SE Queensland company, this is the SRM I used to get the results in the photo above.

Searles Seed Raising Mix

With fertiliser

• Certified AS 3743 for seedling mix.
• Contains high percentage of Peat Moss.

• Searles Penetraide® Re-wetting Granules.
• High germination performance.
• Contains fertilisers for up to transplanting (approx. two-leaf stage).
• A light fine textured soft blend containing Peat Moss.

• Water absorbent formula.
• Excellent aeration properties for good root growth and establishment.
• Searles® quality guaranteed product.

• Available sizes: 5 Litres, 12 Litres, 30 Litres and 65 Litres.

What is the Australian Standard AS 3743–2002? Click here.

Ok so far so good.

Judging by the performance of the seeds I have planted I'd say what they are claiming is true.

Now then on the right is the potting mix I used with poor results.
What I was thinking was to save a few dollars by hoping there was enough stored energy in the seeds I planted and the lack of nutrient in the Potting mix I could make up by fertilizing with fish emulsion.
My guess is the potting mix which contained mostly course composted bark was still composting and robbed the mix of any nutrient to help in its decomposing processing process.
Therefore making it a poor substitute for a good SRM.

Now the SRM on the other hand has a good blend of course river sand and peat moss along with added nutrients and as they say the proof is in the pudding.

Clicking on the photos will give you a larger photo with more detail.
A right click will open in a new window.

Tricia from Little eco Footprints makes a mix from sand, compost (sieved) and shaved styrofoam with good results

Little Farm in the City also gave me the idea of doing a comparison of different types of potting mixes and SRM's, so when the weather clears up (yes it's kinda drizzling and foggy, as close to rain as we can hope for I think) I'll gather all the ingredients and do a big seed growing experiment and post the results.

If you have any further questions or if I've confused the issue in any way I sure like to here from you.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Organic systems producing higher yields

Press release from Organic Federation of Australia.
From the desk of:
Andre Leu, Chairman

Four recent credible studies show organic systems producing higher yields

"Best practice organic agriculture can get better yields than conventional agriculture. Four recent credible studies show organic systems producing higher yields, particularly in the drier years that are predicted to increase with climate change." stated Andre Leu, Chair of the Organic Federation of Australia.
  • United Nations Study - organic agriculture increased yields by 116%
    The report by the United National Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) found that organic agriculture increases yields in Africa. '...the average crop yield was ... 116 per cent increase for all African projects and 128 per cent increase for the projects in East Africa.' Read more.

  • The Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trials.
    The Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trials found that organic yields were higher in drought years and the same as conventional in normal weather years. Read more.

  • Scientific Review by Cornell University into 22 year-long Rodale Field Study
    The scientific review found:
    • 1. The improved soil allowed the organic land to generate yields equal to or greater than the conventional crops after five years. Read More

  • US Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Pecan Trial
    • The ARS organically managed Pecans out yielded the conventionally managed, chemically ferilized orchard in each of the past five years Read more

      The Organic Federation of Australia is the peak body and the largest representative organic organisation in Australia. For further information please visit

Easter Carrots, you know you want one.

Happy Easter everyone.

Time to hop on down and get your freshly grown Easter Carrots.

Go on, you know you want one, far better than all those chocolates eggs your going to eat.

Carrots Nutrition Facts

  • Carrots are an important vegetable, and although they were known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, they were not introduced to Europe until the Middle Ages.

  • The orange-colored taproot of the carrot contains a high concentration of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a substance that is converted to vitamin A in the human body. A 1/2 cup serving of cooked carrots contains four times the recommended daily intake of vitamin A in the form of protective beta-carotene.

  • Beta-carotene is also a powerful antioxidant effective in fighting against some forms of cancer, especially lung cancer. Current research suggests that it may also protect against stroke, and heart disease. Research also shows that the beta-carotene in vegetables supplies this protection, not vitamin supplements.

  • Carrots are also a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and manganese, and a good source of vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, iron, potassium and copper.

  • Carrots can be eaten raw or cooked, but to obtain maximum benefit it is best to eat them raw.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Five best things you can do to improve your soil

I'm re posting this post because I think it got lost in the template upgrade. I also wanted to add the links for my, '10 Reasons for growing your own Backyard Organic Veggies (BOV) Part 1 and Part 2' Iposted earlier on this year.

Here are five essential things you can do to improve the health and fertility off the soil in your organic veggie garden beds.

"Feed the soil, and you'll feed the plants".
  1. Compost-Add compost, I usually use a 10lt bucket per mtr/sq. It doesn't matter where it comes from or how you make it or even buy it. I've never seen a plant die from too much compost. And don't stress if it's got weeds in it because when you pull them out they can just go straight back into your next lot of compost of course.

  2. Manure-Animal manure, dig it in-aged if you've got it, but if it's fresh spread it out over the top of your garden and let it dry out then dig it into the soil. You'll need to do this at least two weeks before you do any of the other work.
    Green manure-Green manure mixes can be purchased from most mail order companies like Green Harvest and Diggers. This is a longer term prospect for improving your soil and would be considered if your beds have been worked pretty hard over the last year or two and need rejuvenating. If you would like to know more about how to Green manure, or what is Green manure, than let me know and I'll put up a post on Green manuring.

  3. Blood and bone-My personal favorite, I usually use it as a side dressing fertilizer at about the half growth stage of a plants life. I find it helps keep the plants vigor up and growth strong through to harvest time. Amounts vary from variety to variety, but generally I find a good hand full per plant spread around the root zone of the plant sufficient.

  4. Mulch-is best added after you have watered and your soil is moist. You don't have to have plants in the ground to mulch, if you have done any of the above than they will benefit from having a good covering of mulch over the bed. Come planting time just pull back the mulch and stick your plant in. There is all different types of mulch out there in veggie land and you usually use what you can get your hands on. Here I use lucerne that I put through my chipper shredder and I never put it on more than 25mm(1 inch)thick.

  5. Water-None of the above will work unless your soil is moist. Too wet or dry and the whole process of soil improvement slows down, of course if you get lots of rain there is not much you can do except raise your beds for improved drainage. But in dry times if you can irrigate your beds than the soil improving can continue unabated.

None from Eight

Sorry in advance, but round these parts there is only one kind of footy and that's Rugby League.
Just for the fun of t I thought I'd post my picks for the week and see how I go.
Your welcome to join in through comments or bag the crap out of me for supporting NRL, as long as it's all in good fun.

April 10-13

Bulldogs v Rabbitohs ................. Rabbits
Cowboys v Titans ..................... Titans
Eels v Dragons ....................... Dragons
Knights v Warriors ................... Knights
Roosters v Broncos.................... Broncos
Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers ............ West Tigers
Sharks v Raiders ..................... Raiders
Storm v Panthers ..................... Panthers

Last week at three from eight I asked myself if it could get any worse. The answer is yes, how does none from eight sound.

I'm currently ranked 1,970 out of 3,113 tippers on the ABC Grandstand AFL & NRL Footy Tipping

Wk. one 135 out of 2211
Wk. two
220 out of 2531
Wk. three
893 out of 2,945
Wk. four 1970 out of 3113

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cabbie runs over customer

A HOBART taxi driver was feeling tired and unwell when he ran over a drunk customer, a court has heard.

The incident followed an argument over money, the Supreme Court in Hobart heard today.

Self-employed taxi driver James Carlisle, 52, admitted hitting Alan Garner with his taxi on May 23 last year.

Mr Garner, 48, and a friend got into Carlisle's cab in Salamanca about 10pm after a night of drinking.

Mr Garner asked to be taken to Brighton and Carlisle demanded a $50 deposit, which was given.

The court heard there was a continuing argument over the need for a deposit, even though it had been provided.

Crown prosecutor Jane Williams said Mr Garner became fed up and decided to get another taxi.

Carlisle pulled over and gave the $50 back.

Ms Williams said Mr Garner hit Carlisle to the face with the back of his hand and threw $10 at him before getting out.

Carlisle's lawyer Craig Mackie said the "slap" was more like a punch, which broke Carlisle's glasses and gave him a headache.

Carlisle called police and then drove a short distance, before doing a u-turn and driving at Mr Garner.

The court heard Mr Garner suffered serious injuries and needed to have pins inserted into his leg.

Carlisle pleaded guilty to one count of causing grievous bodily harm.

Mr Mackie said the taxi driver was very unwell at the time of the attack, as he suffered from diabetes.

He was also tired, having started work at 9am.

Carlisle will be sentenced later this month.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sort Of Dunno Nothin' - Peter Denahy

Just had a conversation with my daughter.

Went something like this.

Strawberry upgrade.

Strawberry upgrade.

Time for me to upgrade my favorite strawberry into a larger pot so I can get more favorite strawberries to eat.

SOS (Secrets of Success) = Good quality potting mix.

How to tell how much potting mix you need in the bottom of your new pot.
Simply put how much you think you need in the bottom of your new pot then stand the old pot in to measure the height to your satisfaction.

Job done. It'll probably send out some runners now which I'll need to keep trimmed.

I'll also plant a few of the runners so as to keep up a three year rotation of plants.

This one is just starting it's second year so I've still got two years of strawberry eating from this pot yet.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I installed the rain gauge I bought yesterday on the strength of the weather forecast for rain.

A good move on my part cos when I checked the gauge this morning it had measured 36 mls of rain which most fell in about one hour in a storm we had in the afternoon.

In my previous post I mentioned the discrepancy between the BoM official weather station and where I live (roughly 6/7 ks away from each other in a easterly direction).

Yesterdays rainfall was a good example of that when I measured 36mls and official rainfall for Toowoomba was 0.8 mls.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Guess where I've been.

Shopping, the only way a man can, at the local Hardware (is there any other way?)

The right boot of my poor four year old Blunnies has a hole in it and is letting in the water (not a nice experience) and the local Mitre 10 Hardware store is having a sale on my
treasured Blundstone boots (bury me with them if you can), "the best boots going around", so it was time to upgrade.

Read all about Blundstone Boots here

Also while I was there I decided to pick up myself a rain gauge, which, I've been promising myself for ages now.

In Toowoomba the discrepancy in rain fall from my side of town to the official BoM rain gauge can be any thing from zero to 50mls.

Also with the promise of good rainfall tomorrow (do we ever give up hope the weather man will get it right?) it seemed like the right time to make the purchase.

So there you have, me shopping.

I'm now off to feed the chooks and inspect the garden (cabbage moth squishing time) and christen the new Blunnies.