Friday, April 29, 2011

Simon's Cat 'Fly Guy'

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Trying a few things myself

 I've had so many people give me so many suggestions on what to do and what not to do for growing a happy healthy, and bountiful potato crop without any what I'd call amazing success. That in order to get some  happy healthy, and bountifully good potatoes I've decided to try a few things for myself and see how they work out.

The first of these was the placing of the seed potatoes on a layer of comfrey in the bottom of my potato trenches (you can read all about it here).

The second step is to hill them up with a stable manure and soil mix. I'm really keen on stable manure and one day I summon up a post to show you why.

Then I tipped out a bag of fresh stable next to where I planted the spuds so it could age while the tatties were coming up and then when the tatties were high enough I spread the mix around the base of the tatties in order to hill them.

Since then they have received 48mls of rain in a storm and are positively jumping out of the ground.

Close up here on the left shows a healthy potato plant that has only received the comfrey treatment.
 After the hilling. A side benefit of having the stable manure, beside the potatoes, to age is that any nutrient that might have leached out into the soil will be available to next crop I decide to plant there.
Also with the comfrey under the potatoes and the horse manure and straw on top when it comes time to harvest the potatoes there is going to be some very rich organic soil there ready for planting.

So far I am happy with the choices I have made and their growth so far and now  the only thing left for my potatoes is to keep up the straw mulch and a fortnightly application of fish emulsion and wait to see what size crop I get from them.

Cheers for now


Friday, April 22, 2011

Bloody grubs #3

 Remember that caterpillar riddled (I think I got at least 50 caterpillars from it) savoy cabbage I posted about (see Bloody grubs #1 and Bloody grubs #2) a few weeks ago. Well after some persistence at pulling the little buggers off the plant and a garlic and chilli brew/spray recommended by a good facebook friend it looks like it's coming good.

I'll tell you I'm bloody sure every cabbage moth for a hundred miles around must have laid it eggs on my Savoy cabbage.
Here it is photographed just this morning.

Oh and the chilli and garlic recipe. Pretty simple really.
I just blended two really hot chillies, a teaspoon of garlic in a cup of water. Let it sit over night, strain and add a few drops of dish washing liquid. Make it up to about 250mls of liquid, bung it in a spray bottle and away you go.
You'll need spray all the plant and both sides of the leaves and to keep applying it after rain or watering but for me, so far so good.

I might get to enjoy my savoy cabbage yet and even more so knowing all the effort I've put into it thus far.

Cheers and how's your Easter going so far?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Planted just ten days ago

 It's an overcast day here today with intermittent light drizzle and hardly a breeze to speak of. But the temperature is still high enough to make it a comfortable, if not slightly uninviting, day to go outside and work the veggie garden.

Having said that I still needed to go and feed the chooks and collect my one egg a day I've been getting lately (that's five chooks, one egg a day, equals four freeloaders or look at it another way. It costs me about two dollars to feed them their layer mash so I make that about two dollars per egg at the moment). So while I was out I went around and checked for any action on the seeds I've planted front and I'm pleased to announce to you the arrival (emergence) of my Hunter River Brown onions.

Planted just ten days ago and I have little baby onions popping up everywhere. There is a lot to be said for using fresh seeds.

A lot of veggies, especially slow growing veggies, don't like a lot of nitrogen in the soil so I prepared their bed by digging through some compost and aged stable horse manure, leaving out the blood and bone I usually apply as well, and boy don't the worms love this. That's about it for preparation. I planted the seeds as directed on the packet and kept the soil moist.

As they grow I'll apply fish emulsion and seaweed extract and mulch with more stable manure. Keep them moist and when the tops start to wither and brown off I'll know I'm nearly there and fresh onions are just a few weeks away.

Cheers and hoo roo


Oh Chocolate egg

Q. Have you noticed how there is a song (popular, mainstream) for almost every thing going around but none for Easter?
Like Rudolf the big eared Easter bunny or Easter Bunny's coming to town etc... or where'd they get all the chocolate from to make all them eggs... or Oh Chocolate egg, oh chocolate egg thy wrapping looks so inviting....

This is the kind off eggs we grew up loving as kids but it seems the chocolate egg has won out over the sugar eggs.
They were hard too, I was always of breaking a tooth trying to get into them.

Cheers and happy Easter


Thursday, April 14, 2011

What can I say?

Well well well what can I say? As you can see from the forecast below it going to turn wet wet wet, again. So to make to most out of an ordinary situation today has moved from a weeding to a seed planting day.

I'm thinking beetroot, carrots and another round of brassicas including  broccoli, savoy cabbage and cauliflower. 

Queensland State Forecast


Issued at 4:50 am EST on Thursday 14 April 2011

Forecast for Friday An upper level trough is expected to move across southern Queensland. An associated surface trough will move east and lie from the northwest to the southern interior. Cloudy with areas of thundery rain spreading across the interior south of about Longreach, reaching the Darling Downs (that's us or me if you like) and Granite Belt in the afternoon and evening. Isolated afternoon and evening showers developing during the day between the Great Dividing Range and the coast south of about St. Lawrence. Isolated showers and thunderstorms over northern Cape York Peninsula. Day time temperatures below average over the southern interior due to cloud. Light to moderate SE to NE winds east of the trough, moderate to fresh S to SW winds west of the trough.

Forecast for Saturday The surface trough should move east a little over the central and southern interior. The upper trough will move east produce thundery rain areas over the southeastern quarter of the state. Isolated showers and thunderstorms over the Central Highlands district, and isolated showers about much of the tropical coast and interior east of the surface trough. Continuing unstable over northern Cape York Peninsula with isolated showers and thunderstorms. Below average day time temperatures over the central and southern interior.

Forecast for Sunday The upper level trough will strengthen over the southern and central Queensland interior, and the surface trough will drift westwards back to the central parts of the state. Showers and thunderstorms over the central, southern and southeast interior east of the surface trough, tending to thundery rain areas during the day. Showers increasing over the remaining eastern districts as winds along the east coast develop a more onshore direction. Continuing unstable over northern Cape York Peninsula with Isolated showers and thunderstorms. Below average maxima over the southern interior.

Cheers and beers


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Spider and the Fly

The Spider and the Fly
Mary Howitt

Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Spider to the Fly,
'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there."
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, " Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I 've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome -- will you please to take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind Sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

"Sweet creature!" said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I've a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you 're pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple -- there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue --
Thinking only of her crested head -- poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour -- but she ne'er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

The Spider and the Fly
Mary Howitt

Friday, April 8, 2011

Onions, onions, na na na

It's all about finishing. I've got at least half a dozen knitting projects started but not finished. Now I have one less. My onion bag knitted with garden twine on 15mm needles.

 Now all I need is some onions

Ooh, look. Here's some I prepared earlier.

Not a very good photo but I saw Peter Cundell plant onions by just laying them in a small trench and then back filling without trying to stand them up and in a day or two they are standing up all by themselves.

Now just water, weed and wait six months and I'll have onions for my bag.

I'll be planting more onions from seed I just wanted to get these in the ground for a good head start on the onion season.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

heirloom tomato soup with basil pesto

Heirloom tomato soup with basil pesto

Have you been looking for a really good Tomato soup recipe? Well look no further.

Watch Rodney as he takes you into his garden and shows you how to make a tomato soup using heirloom tomatoes and basil from his garden.

I'm so jealous of his Tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomato Soup with Basil Pesto from The Agrarian Kitchen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Colour Purple

 OK, you can all stop looking for paradise, I've just found it across the road from me and up and down the whole street, actually all over town even.

Tibouchina alstonville in all its purpleness is flowering like crazy this year after the mad Summer rains we, um, enjoyed here.
 To save me a whole lot of typing here is a link that will tell you more about the tree itself.

Cheers and happy purpleness to you,


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bloody grubs #2

Remember this grub eaten savoy cabbage I wrote about a short time ago? If not you can catch up here, Bloody grubs #1.

Well the next day I pulled off another thirteen grubs then five again the next then three and two and one and finally it has been grub free now for the last five days now.
And here it is freshly photographed this morning. Amazing the growth rate of a cabbage when it's not being eaten alive.

I'm really hanging out for this cabbage too, because now I have found a goodish recipe for coleslaw I can't wait to try it with my very own cabbage.

We had a big shower or very small rain event here last night so it's a wee bit on the wet side of things to be doing much in the veggie garden today. I am hoping for some drying weather today and then I can get stuck into a few veggie gardening jobs tomorrow.

Cheers and have a great veggie weekend,