Second month of summer and busy…busy!

I must apologise for my lack of posts πŸ™‚ I got an email from dear Robbie asking if I was ok just as I came on to do one. We have had visitors for nearly a month, different ones coming and going and I have also been relieving at work so things have been a tad busy. There’s alot going on in the garden but I have done little preserving yet (though I have done beetroot) it’s early daysΒ and we are just enjoying all the fresh food. Tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicums, chillis etc still have a ways to go and won’t be ready for another month or two.

The garden.

Mr QAL has planted beans for Africa and we have picked 8 kg so far without even starting on the second lot of plants (or 3rd!!)They are beautiful ones we plant every year because they yield so much, are small in size to freeze whole and are sweet and tender. The breed is Cabot.


The second harvest of carrots is being pulled up tomorrow. These have grown beautifully this season.Image

The garlic harvest on Roger’s homemade drying rack.Image

The first lot of onions are ready to come out.Image

Pumpkins are doing there thing across the only piece of lawn left in the back yard. This was where I sunbathed but no more!


The first decent bunches of grapes on our vines. These were planted two years ago and now growing all over the bottom pergolas.


One of two rock gardens has been ripped out and replaced with more herbs and two passionfruit vines to grow against the house in the only spot we could grow them. It doesn’t look much at present but will fill out nicely. Roger informed me proudly after this, when the next one is done there will be nowhere you could step on our property that doesn’t have food growing within a metre πŸ™‚Β Image

The garden is flourishing with hot sunny days and many wet ones which we don’t normally get. We have one woeful crop this year, our potatoes haven’t done so well. The first were tiny but still edible, the second lot a little better and only the third crop were half-pie decent. We have no idea why this happened.Image

A gift πŸ™‚

Roger’s sister has recently been to stay. She is a nun working in Salvadore, Brazil. I have enjoyed listening to her stories of her life there, she has a garden full of banana trees and wee monkeys. We see her only every few years and this was her first stay here. She was terribly excited to see her brother’s garden and skited much on our behalf to the other relations who dropped by. When she left she gifted us this, a worm farm πŸ™‚ Yet to house worms but they live down the road so not long.Image

Our garden shed

When I was taking photos it occurred to me I have never shown you this, our garden shed. We bought this our first summer, the only shed here was an old container which became our chook house very quickly. We are fortunate to have an underhouse basement that is very large but a way from the garden. We searched an online auction site here and it took some time before this came up…it was a pigeon coup full of pigeons. We got it for $60 and Roger and a friend bought it home, barely fitting on the back of his ute. The pigeons were rehoused to a relation and we got a shed with lots of wee cubby holes very cheaply. Image


Much as hubby loves his chickens I often wonder if they are worth the hassle!! Our chooks have been eating their eggs which is a really hard thing to break. Some suggest blowing eggs and putting mustard in, we will try this. Apparently in Brazil they burn their beaks with a lighter…we won’t be trying this! Roger came up with an idea though which we think has stopped them. When they escaped last time we found a eggs a few weeks later we hadn’t seen. Too old to eat they were put in a bowl and left in the garden. He put those back in the chook nesting areas and I imagine they got a very nasty surprise when they pecked those! We think this has stopped it but time will tell.

I hope other Kiwis and Australians are enjoying their gardens and all others are keeping warm, dry and well!

35 thoughts on “Second month of summer and busy…busy!

  1. Your garden is BEAUTIFUL! You have color:-)You have beans, onions, carrots OH MY! I am so glad to see you are doing well, was wondering where you were since people do stop writing on their blogs + you would be missed!
    When you have visitors/family who has time for computers + blogs when you have neat people visiting with great stories:-) You enjoy that sunshine + food!


  2. I am green with envy over your garden and your worm farm! I really want to get myself organised for next spring and have at least a salad garden going – heavens knows between you and Robbie and Alys and everyone else I get enough hints and inspiration!

    You obviously work very hard – your job, a huge garden, pickling, freezing, preserving, cooking, baking – all that research on the interwebby and a blog! When does Mr 1/4Acre get to see you. And how exotic is he with a nun/sister in Brazil no less!

    I have never heard of hens eating their own eggs before. Does it maybe indicate some mineral/vitamin missing from their diet? Or are they just cannibal chooks? Great to have you back posting!


    • I only work hard when I am asked to work, especially if it’s whole weeks at a time. And this week my granddaughter is coming to stay so that will be busy…but, generally, I potter doing things. I don’t have high energy so just pace myself. Mr 1/4 acre gets to see me when he’s not working, playing golf, spending hours in the garden or dozing on the couch exhausted lol. He is the active one!!
      Isn’t that exotic πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Roger has 8 sisters and is the baby of the family, he’s very “special” and has been raised to believe so I think lol
      Oh, the eggs. It’s entirely our fault. I used to grind the shells to put in their food (for calcium) but we get complacent and just break into bits and they got a taste for them. When we started researching we found it’s quite common, damned annoying though!


  3. RT says:

    I, too, was wondering about the quiet from your neck of the blogosphere so was happy to see your post. LOVE your garden pictures! Congrats on the worm farm; what a boon! I am slobbering over garden plans as it is almost our turn for Spring – it’s so encouraging to see your successes. There is at least one thread on that addresses egg-eating chickens … if the rotten eggs didn’t fix the problem, that is. Take care!


    • Cool, thanks for that, I will check it out.

      It’s nice to know people notice if I am not around πŸ™‚ What a nice community we have here! Enjoy your planning, that’s a really exciting stage of gardening. I was rapt with the worm farm, we have been wanting one for ages but Roger hadn’t got around to making one….now we have a “WormCafetaria” how very flash that is!!


  4. Nice you are back; I agree that when you have visitors, writing takes a backseat. I sort of assumed it was a combination of garden and Christmas busyness. I love all your photos, but those grapes . . . If I had a canoe, I’d be tempted to paddle over the pond. You would know I’d arrived when the grapes were diminishing in number πŸ˜‰ I think they are my favourite fruit, but it’s hard to say . . . I envy your worm farm. I wonder if one of those would work (in the shade or a basement) for growing mushrooms . . . Enjoy that harvest! ~ Linne


    • Linne, you may be a fortune teller and don’t even know it. Roger is planning mushrooms in the basement…after all his other “wants” and projects get sorted.
      We have to put up shiny, silver things to discourage birds from eating the grapes, I wonder what would work for you πŸ™‚
      Yes, I never get on the computer when people here unless they go out. Even when Roger is here I rarely get on it. Very unsociable things sometimes. I figure I can catch up on computer stuff at other times, which reminds me….I have an email of yours I need to reply to!!


  5. Urban Overalls says:

    What a lovely garden. I will live vicariously through you until it is warm enough to start planting here in the States. Our temperatures have been in the 20s and 30sF so at best, I am just daydreaming as I thumb through seed catalogs. By the way… your green beans are gorgeous!


  6. Your garden is gorgeous and absolutely heaving with produce. Your onions and garlic look amazing, something I would like to grow next season (actually, I had a few growing this season, but one day they just disappeared?!).


  7. Lubbly jubbly πŸ™‚ Loved EVERY part of this post except the chook bit. We get the odd broken egg that I think might be something to do with feral cats but I, too, am starting to wonder about the crazy urges that get us to consider keeping chooks. Mine undermine my entire garden. They have entire areas that they have completely tunnel mined and turned into dust in order for the flock to dust bath (and for Sidmouth to have little dust storms like you see in the desert courtesy of narf7 πŸ˜‰ ) and they do a lot of damage whilst hiding their eggs in blackberry bushes (cheers for reminding me about the blackberries chooks NOT 😦 ) and as I don’t even eat eggs and Steve eats them sporadically…can anyone remind me why we keep chooks?!!! Thinking about paring down the “herd” and getting rid of the roosters (one of which is currently crowing under the deck…sigh…) Hot weather here but our harvest is so far behind yours! I can’t believe you are just a hop-step-and a jump across the Tasman. My carrots are teeny wispy rooted and I love the look of your beans. I am going to have to quiz you for next season. I want to grow everything from seed and need some ideas for good cooler climate veg. I envy you your rain as Serendipity Farm has become Serendipity Desert in the last week and it is amazing how dry the soil can get in a single week. Hot HOT weather forcaste here for next week so it looks like all hands on deck (literally πŸ˜‰ ) with a nice frosty glass of kombucha…talking about kombucha…I gave up booze this year and steadfastly refused to drink any and yesterday, after a stinking hot day out in the sun tackling blackberries and 8ft tall spear (Scotch) thistles, I downed an entire bottle of my homemade booch only to be knocked on my head by the alcohol content! I was dead drunk! Couldn’t even walk straight…Steve was laughing at me…seems like the dreaded drink is my arch nemesis even though I was trying to avoid it πŸ˜‰


    • I guess it’s that old saying “Everything in moderation” lol. You poor old thing, or happy wee soul….whichever way it affects you πŸ™‚ I hope there is no hangover this morning!

      The chooks remind me of that rhyme, when they are good they’re all good and nice to have as garden pets, when they are bad they are horrid. When they decimated the raised garden last winter (all we had growing) I was ready to shout “Off with their heads” but my darling loves his chickens…until they started eating their eggs and that didn’t go down well with him, He was ready to give to the Vanuatans to eat and was going to replace them. I’m not ok to spend more money on chickens so we will see how we go. Bl…y things!
      Last year we had a drought, this year it’s been raining every few days, at least it keeps the water bill down and everything is very green and good. The beans are not a breed we can buy commercially here (don’t know about other countries) they are grown for commercial use, we ‘acquired’ seed one year and have kept them going.


      • No hangover whatsoever and feeling bright, cheerful and happy in our lovely warm Sunday heat. Any chance of doing some kind of intercontinental swap with some beans? I will swap you something spesh from Tassie if you like πŸ™‚ Last year was drought in summer this year looks like being drought again as well 😦


      • I can send you some of our heat if you like as a swapsies ;). Roger didn’t think that the kefir grains would get through either but they did πŸ˜‰ The “problem seeds” coming into Tassie are anything in the solanaceae family like tomato and capsicum seed. No gingers and nothing to do with honey (not seeds but hey, just saying πŸ˜‰ ) and for some reason no pines whatsoever which made Steve and I shitty when they introduced that one as we collected pines at the time. You don’t owe me anything for anything, a gift is a gift :). I am just glad you got to try the kefir and see if you wanted to keep using it or not. The first time I tried it I flushed it after about 2 months of being it’s slave and I did the same with my water kefir grains (even more demanding than the milk grains πŸ˜‰ ). Have a fantastic week and enjoy that rain while it lasts πŸ™‚


      • Ok, I will give it a go and see what happens. Yes, I remember he didn’t think they would get here. Email me with your addy. It won’t be a huge amount but enough for a season and get you started πŸ™‚
        You have a good week too. I have my granddaughter for the week so that should keep me busy!


      • I have Kym, my highschool bestie and her husband Bruce visiting on wednesday and thursday. Lucky we just painted the deck so that bit of the house is at least somewhat tidy ;). I am going to spend the next 2 days cleaning house and whipper snipping and generally tarting up the bits that you can see (window dressing) for their visit. The problem with being a hermit is you just don’t know what other people are seeing when they come to visit! πŸ˜‰ Cheers for the share. It’s always a good idea to spread the seedy love around so if you lose your crop/stock for any reason, you have a backup and I will always send you some back. Anything you would like to try from over here? I don’t have any exotics but I am off to a seed swap on the 15th (hopefully) so might find something interesting there πŸ™‚


      • Enjoy your visitors πŸ™‚ Yeah, we generally panic when we know visitors are coming lol
        No worries, we have extra but have passed them around to all and sundry because they are too good not to share πŸ™‚ Nope, I don’t think there’s anything thanks Fran, alot of your fruits etc wouldn’t grow here I don’t think.


  8. Most interested to hear if the rotten eggs worked to stop your egg eaters. Our flock will get stuck in if their grain runs a little low so we have to be very vigilant. I’m not sure the rotten eggs would work for us though. Our ducks are sitting on a nest of gods knows what (they get almighty vicious the minute I come within a metre of the nest) and I smelled a rather disgusting and distinctively rotten egg smell the other day and knew one of the eggs had burst or been cracked open. The ducks were joyfully munching. *vomit*. I hope your hens have better taste.


  9. What a really lovely garden you have and I love that you’re never to far from food growing happenings. The shed looks great, gotta love a bit of recycling. Hope the worm farms gets going soon, ours has been great. And as for the chooks, I’m no help, but have recently decided that as much as I love the idea of them and the eggs etc it is more than I can handle right now (with the two young kids, the cheeky dog, studying and everything else), so my plans are on indefinite hold. Thankfully I have a friend with more chooks than they can get through egg wise so we’re trading goods.


    • Thanks Barbara πŸ™‚ It sounds like you are very busy, I don’t imagine we would be doing alot of this if we still had kids at home, much less wee ones!! My own study has been put on hold for now, this IS a commitment. Be happy with your friend’s eggs, honestly the chickens drive me crazy lol. We have two dogs and now a cat as well, the place feels like old McDonald’s madhouse at times. Trading is wonderful, we manage to do a bit too. Also love recycling πŸ™‚ Thanks for comments πŸ™‚


  10. Loved your blog. Beautiful garden. I’m busy harvesting nectarines, plums, blueberries, loganberries and any day now apricots! Bottled some and jammed others and some we just eat straight of the trees as we walk past πŸ™‚


    • Oh yum! Our fruit still all has a way to go, except for the raspberries which have finished their summer run. All our stone fruit trees are quite new so we don’t get alot yet but in the coming years they will be great to have. Your selection sounds divine. Isn’t it nice when you can eat your way around the garden πŸ™‚ I looked out the window yesterday to see what Roger was up to – he was standing eating a large carrot with the greenery attached, made me laugh….he just looked like an overgrown bunny and virtually every time I search for him he is munching on something πŸ™‚


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