Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Experiment time!

Experiment time!

I find it hard to believe that a Tomato could be tasteless if grown organically and harvested ripe from the bush. Even highly hybridized ones.

So to test my theory I selected a pretty tasteless Coles variety tomato, from here on in known as 'my shoppe tomato'. I saved the seeds as recommended on the seed savers web site.
Planted then into seed raising mix about 4 weeks ago and I have just transplanted them into the garden this morning.

So what do you think? Will they have taste or still be the same tasteless tomato I bought from the shoppe.

I'm thinking they would have been field grown without any other varieties around to cross pollinate with. Therefore they should come true to type, but I will have no way of knowing if they are the same as to original parent plant or some what different to the original parent plant.

Cheers and happy experimenting


Monday, September 21, 2009

I need to Pee

I pinched this from Tomato Casual, I think I'll have to experiment my self.

By Vanessa Richins

Many people are looking for natural ways that they can boost the production and nutrition of their plants.

In Finland, scientists have been studying the effects of using human urine on tomato plants.

Before you worry too much right off the bat about the possibility of diseases, I learned years ago in my microbiology studies that urine itself is naturally sterile, and no microorganisms are usually growing there unless fecal matter has been introduced.

Another benefit is that urine comes complete with the ingredients that are the basis of your standard fertilizers - N (Nitrogen), P (Phosphorus) and K (Potassium).

When they tested three different groups - a control with no fertilizer, one with standard fertilizer, and one with a mixture of urine and wood ash - they found that both methods of fertilizing made the plants produce 4.2 times as well as the tomatoes grown with no fertilizer.

As Popular Science explains, scientists in Finland “collected human urine during the winter of 2007-2008 from several eco-toilets in private homes. The urine was stored for about six months at 45 degrees F and tested for microbes and bacteria. The team mixed it with wood ash collected from a household furnace, and found the mixture was just as good as — or better than — conventional chemical fertilizer.

In taste tests, the urine-fertilized tomatoes tasted different from those fertilized with urine and ash, but tasters didn’t have a preference — “all tomato samples were evaluated as being equally good by the tasters,” the study says.”

It’s an intriguing idea, at least. Have you ever fertilized your tomatoes this way?

Monday, September 14, 2009

My big (unsual) word for today #3

I know I'm having a run on 'big words', (probably should be unusual words) but they seem to be popping up everywhere at the moment.

Here is another one. As I suggested it is from the Julia Gillard story in The Australian newspaper.


the methods or practices of a demagogue.

1850-55, Americanism; demagogue + -ry Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.

1. a person, esp. an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.
2. (in ancient times) a leader of the people.
-verb (used with object)
3. to treat or manipulate (a political issue) in the manner of a demagogue; obscure or distort with emotionalism, prejudice, etc.
-verb (used without object)
4. to speak or act like a demagogue.
Also, dem⋅a⋅gog.

1640-50; Gk dēmagōgós a leader of the people, popular leader, equiv. to dêm(os) people + agōgós leading, guiding; see -agogue Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.

I'm going down to the community gardens on Wednesday so I will have some veggie news to report then!!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

My big word for today #2!!!

From September 11.

John Howard remarks "In taking political mendacity to new heights.....".



–noun, plural -ties for 2.
1. the quality of being mendacious; untruthfulness; tendency to lie.
2. an instance of lying; falsehood.

1640-50; = mendācitās falsehood, equiv. to L mendāci- (s. of mendāx) given to lying, false + -tās -ty 2

1, 2. deception, lie, untruth, deceit.

Wow is this a mega slap in the face to Kevin Rudd or sour grapes from John Howard?

It seems like a pretty low blow to me!

Hey this is fun. Some real action for a change. Here is what Julia Gillard has to say in response to my big word of the day.

JULIA Gillard has hit back at John Howard over his claim that Kevin Rudd's denial of economic reforms under the Howard-Costello government represented political "mendacity", portraying the former prime minister himself as being mendacious and having a "contemptuous attitude to telling Australians the truth".

Read full story here.

If you keep reading Julia's story you might find my neat big word for the day. Here is a hint: it starts with d

Bookmark and Share

Aussie Woodcraft Design -

Aussie Woodcraft Design -

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My big word for today!!!


1. of the nature of or involving antithesis.
2. directly opposed or contrasted; opposite.
Also, an⋅ti⋅thet⋅i⋅cal.

1575-85; Gk antithetikós, equiv. to anti(ti)thé(nai) to set in opposition + -tikos -tic

an⋅ti⋅thet⋅i⋅cal⋅ly, adverb

Thanks to


Monday, September 7, 2009

B is for Birthday, P for planting and H for hope.

B is also for Bugger, bastard, bum, bitch, bloody, bloody, bugger and bum.

But no matter how much I stomp about,

No matter how much I curse and fuss,

No matter how much I wish today would miss the bus
or that tomorrow will be to late,

It ain't gonna change that today I turn 48.

P for planting. I got around to planting the purple A for asparagus this morning and some Beefsteak tomatos. As the soil has been previously prepared for other crops it was just a matter of adding some compost and cow manure and planting straight away.

H is for hoping like heck the two Isa brown hens, Bill and Ben, don't fly the coop and dig them all up.

H is also for Hot-dog. I love hot-dogs and as I am home 'all', alone today for my birthday I'm now going to take myself off to make a hot dog with cheese and fried onion as a present to myself. And unlike the modern version of a hot dog I'll toast and butter the roll as well.

Fare thee well my fellow bloggers and have a nice day

bfn Stewart.

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, September 5, 2009

S is for surprise

As regular readers might know I have a healthy disrespect for the weather bureau's ability to reliably predict up coming rain events and so it was when most of last week they were predicting some thundery rain or showers for Friday.

I continued on my merry way not expecting anything more than a 2 to 5 ml shower if lucky. Which is how last night started out. A flash in the pan a bit of spit and drizzle but to my surprise it went on with it and rained, stormed and showered all night.

Officially, at the airport, where our official weather recording station is, BoM measured 18.8 ml.
Officially, in my backyard, where I officially measure my official rainfall I measured 28mls.

With my new maths skills I make officially make that a 67.14% windfall over the airport's officially official weather recording.

How much are the potatoes Neville and I planted (see P is for Potato) on Wednesday going to love that?

So now I have the day off from watering I guess that leaves me some reading on arguments for and against Welfare system reform in Australia for my Assignment 2 Part B.

Wishing you all well at your place,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Beer o'clock

Now we're talking!!!

A Tasmanian couple say they've created a special 'clean' beer, made out of ingredients they've grown themselves - with any waste going straight back into the paddock.

Opinions: Homer Simpson: Beer Quotes
You must love this country more than I love a cold beer on a hot Christmas morning.

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

P is for Potato

Now we're talking, bugger this digging fork stuff, rotary hoe all the way.
That's right, the Toowoomba Community Organic Gardens has a rotary hoe which Neville and I put to good work to turn over the now planted potato patch.

25 sq/mts of potato bed.

6 kgs seed potatoes. 3 kgs of pontaic and 3kgs of sebago plus 12 ruby lou seed potatoes.

Added some organic pelletized chook poo plus some extra potash (I'm told potatoes like potash so I'll see if it makes a difference to add some) and still to come is some cow manure that we'll use when we hill them up.

Done, dusted and watered.

The information provided below comes from the DPI website.


Origin: Bred from a cross between Katahdin and Chippewa in the U.S.A., imported into Victoria in 1940.

Maturity: Mid-season variety with a growing period of about 130 days.

Description: Plants - Upright bush, pigmented flower buds with lilac flowers. Often produces berries. Tubers – Bright white smooth skin, white flesh, shallow eyed, regular shape, thick, oval tubers. Lenticels are often prominent, especially when grown under wet conditions and detract form skin appearance.

Cooking quality: Good for all household purposes with produce from some districts suitable for processing into crisps and French fries. It usually has a medium to high specific gravity and reconditions moderately well.

Disease resistance: Susceptible to leaf roll virus and very susceptible to blackleg, Verticillium wilt and Fusarium wilt. It has a useful degree of resistance to late blight and takes virus X only slowly in the field. The tubers are less prone to powdery scab compared with Sequoia grown in early districts. Tubers are more susceptible to "brown fleck" than other varieties - especially when grown in lighter soils.

Features: Sebago consistently produces a good sample of marketable tubers and is a major variety for both the washed and brushed markets in Australia. It has a short dormant period making it suitable for double cropping systems/ kept seed areas. It is recommended for growing under irrigation because of the greater number of tubers produced per plant. Seed potatoes and those for table use need to be handled carefully as it is quite susceptible to storage rots.

Red Pontiac
Origin: Pontiac was bred from a cross between Triumph and Katahdin and was originally released in the USA in 1938 and to Australia in 1940. Red Pontiac, a selection with a brighter skin colour, was released in the USA in 1949. Certified seed of Red Pontiac was released in 1975.

Maturity: Early maturing variety with a growing period of about 110 days.

Description: Plants - Large, spreading, dark green leaves, pigmented buds with light purple flowers. Very poor berry formation. Tubers - Many round tubers with attractive red skin and white flesh. Deep eyes.

Cooking quality: Pontiac has a low specific gravity and is not suitable for fry processing. It has good flavour when boiled or baked and is a good salad potato in that it holds its shape after cooking, and rarely shows after-cooking darkening. A good potato for pre-packing and is at its best when fresh.

Disease resistance: Pontiac is susceptible to late blight, virus X, and leaf roll virus. It is also susceptible to common scab and powdery scab.

Features: An important variety for the red skin fresh market. It produces high yields, establishing quickly and bulking early. Prone to oversize and distorted tubers if irrigation and fertiliser is excessive. Skin colour can often be poor and may fade totally with eyes only remaining red. Tubers are susceptible to shatter crack particularly when dug form cold soils. Pontiac tubers have a short dormant period. Seed which is cool-stored should be kept at a slightly lower temperature than other varieties.
Ruby Lou
Everything you wanted to know about ruby lou and then some click here.

Cheere and happy potatoing.

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Are you a gardening addict?

Hi all, I lifted this from the Warm Earth Magazines' Snip and Tips Newsletter (you can subscribe here), and thought you might have some fun with it. Btw, the image is meaningless, I just found it on the web and wanted to use it :)

Are you a gardening addict?

Find out by answering the following questions:

  • Have you gone to a nursery for one plant and come back with several?

  • Do you ask for manure or compost for your birthday?

  • Have you bought a new plant knowing there's no room in any of your beds?

  • Do you worry about your garden when on holiday?

  • Have you taken cuttings from public gardens or parks?

  • Is gardening more important to you than cleaning the house?

  • If you see a weed in a friend's garden, do you have an urge to pull it?

  • Do you have difficulty keeping your fingernails clean?

  • Do the staff at your local garden centre know you by name?

  • Have you gardened through meals or until it was too dark to see?

  • Have you ever got out of bed to check on plants?

If you answered yes to four or more of these questions, you're a gardenaholic.
Unfortunately there's no known treatment for the condition and it will probably last a lifetime, but don't despair.
The good news is that this is one addiction which is actually beneficial to your health.