Woohoo, we have berries again! Garden, kitchen and “stuff”.

Garden:

The garden is growing well and keeping us busy….well in fairness it’s keeping Roger more busy than I, summer and autumn are my times of busy….busy. Sorry this post seems rather long!

This morning Roger made a black mesh cage for the raspberries to keep to keep the birds off them. The three rows of berries are coming along nicely, so far we have had 1.25 kg off them. Not bad for the first week 🙂 Likewise the strawberries – a breakfast of strawberries, raspberries, banana and homemade yogurt is a good and welcome one!

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All the vegetables are growing nicely except the first patch of potatoes. We should be eating them by now and they are tiny, we have no idea why.This has had Roger researching and scratching his head. All the conditions have been good and there are no bugs on them. He read about thinning the top growth out to encourage bottom growth so if this hasn’t made an improvement  in two weeks these will have to come out to make way for something else. The frustrations of gardening sometimes!

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Tiny zucchini are appearing. We have 4 plants this year.

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Beetroot, carrots, onions, beans and garlic all looking good. We have multiple patches of these growing, in the front raised garden they are all more mature than this.

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This photo shows one of our few flower gardens we have left. It’s a rock garden following a path up the side of the house. This has beautiful stones walls like the one at the bottom however becomes overgrown by the many trailing plants in it. These are all going to be ripped out and the herb gardens will be transplanted and increased, plus strawberries will go in here. There are quite a few small ferns in here that will transplanted to the fern garden at the bottom and beside the steps on the other side of the house – this is my favourite spot to sit. It’s overgrown by trees and has the most beautiful energy to sit, calm or cool on a hot day so more ferns will be nice there.

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We decided this year to journal how much we are getting from the garden because we have no idea. It’s very easy to underestimate how much one is growing so it will be interesting to see exactly how many kgs of everything we have grown by end of autumn.

We have managed to collect 12 packets of seeds from a free giveaway with the bread we eat…$36 worth so far! Anything free is good, free seeds…. great. For NZ shoppers who like Ploughman’s Bread http://www.growyourownsandwich.co.nz/

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Kitchen:

In the kitchen I have been dealing with herbs; making mint sauce, lots of pesto, freezing and drying what seems to be an abundance before they seed and new growth begins. The freezers are getting cleaned up and we are trying to use up what is left ready for the new harvests. Bottling jars etc are all being tidied – oh my gosh, that was a mess. Shelves that were filled with food were all slowly replaced by empty jars chucked on them in a hurry. We have two jars of apples left and one jar of chutney so are waiting on the beetroot (beets) pickling onions etc to begin again, hopefully just a few more weeks.

I don’t post that many recipes for meals in my blog, the reason for this is they are reasonably basic – well heaps of variety but at the end of the day either meat (for hubby) and salads of whatever there is or meat and vegetables. No recipes used, good nutritious, tasty meals but no recipe needed. Healthy deserts or treats are where we get our “something different” from and I made these last week. I make them once every so often but never thought of putting them on here until I saw another blogger do so.

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Chocolate Fruit and Nuts:

220 g bar of chocolate, I use dark 70% cocoa

3 tablespoons coconut oil

fruit and nuts – dried apricots, strawberries, slivered almonds, peanuts, raisins etc

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler (I use 1 pot inside a larger pot of water). Cool a little to thicken then dip in whatever fruits you are using and lay on baking paper on dishes in the fridge. I use little dishes of nuts etc, pour chocolate over, mix and drop by tablespoons onto paper. Rum essence can be added to raisin ones, peppermint essence to plain chocolate. Simple but a relatively cheap treat I shall be making to add to Chrissy presents.

Chickens:

Production was falling off for eggs and they were getting smaller, we checked for mites and no sign of them but cleaned out their coup anyway and sprayed with a mixture of salt, vinegar and garlic. We wondered if they had parasites so gave them a mixture of 2 tablespoons cider vinegar and 3 cloves chopped garlic in their water bowls. Just over a week later we have much improved eggs, in fact they are really large! so the mix really works.

We lost one of our chooks a few weeks back. She was one that came in our first lot of ex poultry farm chooks and we had her 7 years which made her around 9. This was the first chicken Roger ever had to put down and he was most miserable having to do it.

Personal:

I have applied for a full time job at my work at which I still only do very irregular shifts. IF I get it it will be higher paid than what Roger is earning now and the plan is for Roger to take some time off from working, as I have done – to focus on the garden and where he would like to take it and to reassess what he would like to do work wise (or maybe study) Some time out. He’s an exceptionally hard working man and wearies himself so I think it would really be good for him. Finger’s crossed!!

And a month ago I mentioned a new boarder. She has gone. No, it didn’t work out!!

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29 thoughts on “Woohoo, we have berries again! Garden, kitchen and “stuff”.

  1. Wow, it’s all go at your place Wendy – who knew a quarter acre could be so very productive! It’s very impressive to me!

    The chocolate fruit and nuts is another great idea – especially to give as gifts. I’m off sugar in most forms, so none for me this Christmas!

    I felt for poor Roger with the chookie – that is such a hard thing to do – but I also think it is real life and it is good for us to deal with these things – Chickens don’t really arrive via plastic bags, plucked, gutted and ready for roasting!! And on the up side you saved a poultry farm hen from a [much shorter] life of misery!

    I shall keep my fingers crossed for you with the job scenario – though how you will find time to do everything else I don’t know….

    You must go through your days like the energiser bunny!! I just can’t tell you how impressed I am – it takes me back to the good old 70’s, when as a young and energetic hippie mum my kids ate nothing that I had not grown – or co-opted – and made myself. All those hours in late summer nights putting up jars of preserves and jams and pickles and preparing things for the freezer. It was a great life! I’m glad you are carrying on the tradition!

    Big hug!!

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    • I am a 70’s girl myself and learned well from that period 🙂 I laughed at the Energiser Bunny bit, Roger may be compared but certainly not me – I am a plodder, well and truly. I only have energy to plod lol.

      Thanks for crossing fingers, I do hope I get it and Roger has promised to be chief, cook, bottlewasher and preserver of all things. Now….I am not so confident in this but willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. After 38 years of being almost solely responsible for meals and laundry etc I would be more than willing to pass the baton.

      You are right about the chook thing of course. He farms and had had to do this to animals but has always asked someone else to do it if needed here for the chickens. Old Red was a favourite so he did find it hard but realised it was his job as a owner. He was miserable, a big softie 🙂 Not something I could ever do!

      Hugs back 🙂

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  2. Hi Wendy. It is so cool to have the garden back up and providing the goods. We have more strawberries than we know what to do with and the raspberries are just coming into their own – so we had a bit of a gorge last night! Yummo! I have so missed fresh veggies! Your garden looks fabulous! Bring on summer – Yay!!!
    Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. What will be will be but I am hoping that you get the full time work and that Roger can spend a bit of time in the garden communing with nature and winding down a bit. The end result might be an amazing and eclectic range of glasshouses that take up your whole property 😉

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    • Lol, the mind boggles at what he would do “Home Alone” with all that time – I honestly could come home to anything. If I found a giant wire netting giraffe towering over the house it would not surprise me! He is full of creative ideas but no time so……it would be a really good thing for him. Who knows, my farmer may well end up an artist, or he’ll go mad with no one to talk to all day lol

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      • He would talk to himself 😉 He could turn the house into an ark! How about putting verandah’s and decks all over the place, tiers and tiers of wooden platforms at various heights from the front gate to the boundary fence 😉

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      • lol…it just gets better and better Fran lol

        The worse possible scenario to that – he ends up as a resident where I will be managing (I say will be because all this would’ve happened because I got the job)

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      • We can but hope… some of us lead boring lives ;). I just spent 90 minutes waiting to talk to Centrelink on the telephone and when the girl answered my phone went dead…lucky I was able to tell her what I needed to say or I might have gotten quite twitchy there! “I” might have been on the news 😉

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      • 🙂

        Oh, I hate that!!!! You poor thing, that’s a really frustrating way to pass precious time, a pet peeve for me. By the time you get through you are so cranky it’s hard to think polite let alone speak it.

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      • Especially when they just cut our payments off because (for the 5th year in a row) we need to tell them our study details for next year (and we already did but the online system is USELESS). We are getting used to twitching for our pittance 😉

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      • I can’t repeat what I called them but lets just say I was a bit miffed as I am going to have to repeat the 60+ minute phone call to see if they got everything that I needed to say before the phone cut off…I have to wait for the phone to charge again though (as you do 😉 ). Lucky I am finished my OH&S and am on cloud 9 or this might have made me twitch…as it is I am off for a cup of tea and a sit on the balcony in the sun with the dogs…I will think of Rogers HUGE structure in anticipation 😉

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