You will have to excuse my lack of posts in recent weeks, really I have had little to post about! I am enjoying our winter and some downtime from the kitchen and garden. There have been other things going on though….reading, napping, odd craft things, been to two weddings πŸ™‚

First things first, the garden This is about all that’s happening for Roger at the moment, lots of maintenance, clearing, pruning.


We have garlic planted, carrots are still being harvested along with leeks, beetroot (beets), broad beans (edame?) are growing, broccoli, winter lettuce, baby spinach, onions, red onions and silverbeet (chard).



I realised I had never put a tally on here of how much we grew over the first 6 months of recording our harvests. This doesn’t include some, we either forgot to record or grabbed some for visitors and never thought at the time to write it down. Some good crops, some flop crops.

Berries (Cranberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Worcestor Berries) Β – 39 kg

Figs (not a great season) – 25.5 kg

Carrots – 42 kg

Feijoas – 50.5 kg

Beetroot – 46 kg

Leeks – 8 kg

Onions – 14 kg

Pumpkins 80 – 90 kg

Apple cucumbers – 16 kg

Potatoes (terrible season!) 14.5 kg

Capsicums x 24…. Chilli – less than 1 kg

Zucchini – 44 kg Marrow 52 kg

Peaches (Two trees didn’t fruit at all) 6 kg

Beans – 38 kg

Tomatoes Β – 28.5 kg

Sliverbeet – over 100 kg (we grow two large patches for chook food as well)

Lettuce, brocolli, spinach, herbs etc – picked most days but we didn’t weigh them

Eggs – over 100 kg

We bought extra tomatoes to preserve as this was one of the worst seasons we have had, bought extra capsicums to preserve and peaches, plums and walnuts.

The Kitchen

This will sound terribly boring for me but it’s really not, it’s a good thing. All we are eating is our meals based around the garden, eggs, meat Roger gets. All the fruit was frozen for smoothies. Lunches are sandwiches or leftovers usually and dinner is 1001 ways of cooking the same things, occasionally buying chicken on special or a little fish. I have not baked for months and the reason for this is we haven’t wanted it. I made desserts that didn’t get eaten, cakes that were left in the tin….so I stopped. We are eating really well and are not desiring anything other than pretty basic foods. Have I lost weight though – nope! Not an ounce even though I could do too.


Roger got a great buy online with carpet for the bedrooms. He bought what was listed as 6m x 3 m of beige 1 year old pure wool carpet and underlay for $50. When he went to collect it the guy said it was probably quite a bit more, he wasn’t sure. It is enough to do 3 bedrooms and his friend’s sleepout. This is presently sitting in a huge, heavy pile in our lounge waiting for us to lay it. It’s taking a little time to gather the motivation required!!!!! It is sitting in front of a cabinet that contains the stuff I need to finish some projects but weighs a ton.

Remember the cat bed I made that Mittens did not like? We came home from a weekend away to find he had decided it was OK after all – to lie ON though not in.


Life: A couple of weeks ago we attended the wedding of my most special niece and her man. We almost didn’t make it, both coming down with tummy bugs, but managed to rebook flights and get there. It was a fancy dress wedding and we went as Indiana Jones and Magenta from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was such alot of fun and we thoroughly enjoyed it. My oldest son whom I only get to see every couple of years made it πŸ™‚ The bride and groom are the loveliest couple and they had a movie theme… red carpets and Oscars and all sorts of Hollywoody stuff! It really was a neat wedding πŸ™‚

And this Saturday just gone my youngest son married his sweetheart, a young lady from Indiana, USA. I couldn’t be happier – after a difficult couple of years for him he has found great happiness with a really special lady and they adore each other. I don’t think they would like their photos put on a strange blog they know little about but I thought I would show this one. It was raining and cold and though my granddaughter started out with the intention of holding the umbrella over the bride while they went for a walk this is how they returned lol





29 thoughts on “Winter…downtime.

  1. Great score on the carpet, Wendy! and woollen, too! Nice to hear you are getting some down time. Hope those tummy bugs get lost soon. Not fun, are they? Have to say I’m in envy of your ‘poor’ fig crop; Pays to live a bit closer to the equator, doesn’t it?

    Love your eating plan, too. If you aren’t craving baked stuff, you must be getting the nutrition you need . . . Maybe you need a wee pup like Pauline’s, to drag you around the block several times a day . . . πŸ™‚ Hugs to you. ~ Linne


    • lol, I have had those sorts of pups and have sworn never too again lol.

      This was the worst year ever for our figs but we really enjoyed what we did get πŸ™‚

      How are you Linne and how is all the shifting going?


      • Thanks for asking Wendy; I’m regaining my equilibrium πŸ˜‰ I tend to rebel at being forced to do anything, but once I’ve had time to adapt, I sort of get over it and get on doing what’s needed.

        The good thing is that I moved so much out earlier, first when I had the flood in my own place down near my Aunty’s, then when we were told we couldn’t use the balcony to put things on, so Mum’s things had to come inside and mine went to storage.

        The bad thing is that I still have to go through what’s in the storage already and it’s not going to be fun. I start out being firm and discarding; after a bit it becomes too emotional for me and I find myself wanting to hang on; I had plans for most of what I have, so it’s challenging.

        Things like my few antiques (a three armed brass chandelier from the Art Deco / Arts & Crafts era comes to mind; do I keep it, hoping that someday I will have a wee place and be able to enjoy it? or do I give up my dreams and just ‘settle’ for whatever is possible? With all the articles in magazines, online and even on tv now, about ‘de-cluttering and downsizing’, I find I want to hide my things, as I feel I’m not supposed to want them. But I grew up in a different time and culture.

        My dreams have kept me going for a long time and while I know it’s probably the most efficient thing to let them go, I’m not there quite yet. I am discarding some things, but the yarn and fabric have gone to the Craftys’ attic. If I decide to give them up, at least they will have a good home . . . It’s the other things, though . .

        I’ve collected tools, supplies, decorative items, baskets and more (not going to admit to my books here πŸ™‚ ), all with an eye to the future (partly to set up a home and partly to give me something to do for the rest of my life, in case I live as long as my Mum) now that future’s looking less likely to happen and I’m not exactly growing younger . . . πŸ˜‰

        Oh, well, I’ll just go on doing my best and likely do another run-through later this summer or else next spring. Once the Craftys have their new place set up, I am giving them all my old cupboards; they like the same sorts of things that I like, so that will be good and it will reduce both the amount of what I have and leave me with mostly boxes, which I can shift by myself.

        Well, enough about me . . . didn’t mean to write a book there! I’m so glad you had at least some figs; they are lovely, aren’t they? Green or dried, I like them.

        Hope your week is lovely, relaxing and not too chilly. ~ Linne


      • Would you like my opinion without being asked for it? πŸ™‚ Keep your dreams and keep your beautiful treasures Linne. We are all different and while others downsize and purge that is not for me either so I know where you are coming from. While I have spent alot of money on things I do have my treasures, all coming with memories and they mean alot to me. I like beautiful, old things (value is meaningless) but that is who I am, ME, not anyone else. That’s who you are. If you live to your mothers age you should be surrounded by all the things that bring you pleasure.

        I too rebel when made to do things but then adjust lol. We are in fine company together!



  2. Lol – I am so glad Mittens has at least deigned to lie about on the top of his house. You never know what may happen next πŸ™‚ You produced a huge amount of produce, I am so impressed! I am still harvesting perennial spinach for some meals which makes me hopeful for what I might be able to do come spring. How great that you had two weddings, got over tummy bugs, somehow got all that carpet into your lounge and have given up eating those extras! I am glad you are easing back over these colder days – it is a good time to sit and contemplate nothing much or something important. Especially in front of a lovely warm fire πŸ™‚


  3. Amazing how you cultivate such big amounts in order to feed your family all year round!
    My ideal πŸ™‚
    For the moment I am happy if my balcony plants produce anything and proudly boast about it on my gardening category πŸ˜‰
    It’s work but surely nothing compared to you…
    You must have years of experience to know all you do in order to come up with results.
    Enjoy & good luck with it further πŸ™‚


    • I imagine you just love your balcony garden though πŸ™‚ Though I had had smaller vegetable gardens for years Roger had not and learned all about gardening when we met and bought this place 8 years ago. It’s really only been the last 3 years he has got so into it πŸ™‚ He is the gardener now, way too big for me….I just potter and pull a few weeds.


  4. You do grow a lot ! About 3 months ago hubby and I decided to only eat from the garden and like you, had to find 1001 ways to cook the same veg ( we gave up meat). Hubby declared he has lost weight, me…….. not an ounce !!!! Oh well, at least we should be healthy eh ?


  5. Great to catch up and read.. πŸ™‚ love your down time.. And the fact like us at the moment we are freezing our strawberries I shelled around 5 pounds of Peas and froze.. and the courgettes I smiled at your 1001 ways of cooking something.. You don’t happen to have another 998 ways of cooking courgettes do you..?? LOL… we having with salads, beets..
    Have you tried Beetroot smoothies??? we simmer and cook around 4 or 5 depending on size, put in the blender with apple juice and wizz… add cinnamon too if you wish… we have got into the habit of drinking a glass daily… πŸ™‚
    Loved reading and seeing all the produce you have gathered.. Brilliant.


    • Hi Sue. Yes I have tried beetroot smoothies and love them, they are soooo good for you! Whereas I will throw anything and everything into the blender my husband is rather more conservative in his taste πŸ™‚
      It’s funny ay, you start off the season with such glee at getting fresh zucchini then by the end it’s “Oh, for goodness sake, what am I going to do with all those!” Thank goodness they freeze so well lol


  6. congrats on the weddings, + it is so good when you child is happy:-) This is your quiet time, you worked so hard during the growing season. YOu enjoy your down time!!!I have a lot of fresh food, so I am not near my computer much these days:-)


    • You enjoy your summer, garden and fresh food!! πŸ™‚ I will try and not be envious knowing my summer will be here soon enough and I know how much you itched for summer when you sat in winter and read my posts πŸ™‚


      • oh my goodness, ain’t that the truth….we are having very cool weather, maybe 52 tonight,but it actually is rather nice! It is not below zero:-) lol ….soon enought you will be in summer + me near the fire:-)


  7. Wool carpet? What a great deal. Wool carpet here is so expensive very few can afford it. It will definitely keep your toes warm on your floors in the winter.

    You said your garden is pretty well done but you are still getting a lot out of it. One day my garden will be as productive as yours. Your meals don’t sound boring to me, that’s how I eat. Rare when I have desserts, and I eat from what comes out of the garden or I find at the farmers’ markets.

    Congratulations on your son’s wedding, his bride must be special to not worry about her dress in the rain while her new daughter had the umbrella.


    • It’s very expensive here too Lois, considering we produce so much wool in NZ. This was such a good buy.

      We actually really enjoy our meals, no recipes, nothing complicated but delicious food. We don’t feel any need for anything else. Yes, we still do have a bit going, more than usual in winter.

      She is very special, she arrived with a grin from ear to ear thinking that was very funny. I was rather mortified on the other hand !


  8. Ever practical kids eh? πŸ˜‰ “Hey “she” isn’t going to wear that dress again but “I” am!” ;). You scored cheap carpet? BONUS! I love hearing about bargains. Makes my old frugal heart sing :). Yeah mittens, you are the king of that bed ;). At least he didn’t do what Earl would have done with it and rip it to shreds ;). Edamame is green soybeans by the way. Broad beans are sometimes called fava/faba beans when they are dried. Downtime? You do more in your downtime than we do in our busy season!!! πŸ˜‰


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