Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Food Forest 2012

It's a jungle out there...

Through this gate is the vege garden and rows that I talk about.
This is my work space for at least 50 % of the time
and there is heaps to eat, capsicums, eggplant, tomatoes, silverbeet
also plenty of herbs to add extra flavour.
I had to clear the forest to make way for some tomatoes that have outgrown their pots and have been to enough markets to deserve to retire to a circle.
This was the circle with the most potential to find space for the tomatoes
It only took two mornings and several wheel barrows of weeds

The poor tomatoes got a bit hot and dry after the market on Saturday then I rolled the trolley delivering them to the circle. Hope they thrive in their new spot
Here's some that got a circle early on in the season.

Lebanese eggplant is stunning in the garden with its dark purple leaves and glossy fruit

My sunflowers are towering but they will have to be sacrificed to the cut flower gods as they are shading the few cucumbers I managed to raise and plant without getting eaten off at the
ground by pumpkin beetles Grrrrrrrrrr
They are beautiful though and bring the bees in which is what I need if I want tomatoes.
All of this gardening takes time so it is fortunate that I work part time and not through the school holidays
 so long as I am growing food that we can eat and varieties that will produce viable seed for next season we should be alright.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Everyones favourite summer herb!
I have had a bit of trouble getting the seeds to come up.
I think like everyone else I am in such a hurry for it to grow that I forget it needs the soil to be warm enough. I read the other day, the biggest basil mistake is planting it too early and I am guilty of the very same.
I have to have enough to plant out and to take to market

It has been a cool summer so far except for that heatwave of 40,40,40

These plants are finally big enough to plant out in the rows

I was trying to get skittles to pose next to the cherry rudbekia but she wasn't in a modelling mood.

The cherry rubekia is a very different looking plant to the regular yellow rudbekia.
Different leaves, different habit. I like the paint striped look of the cherry flowers when they have been out for a while.

They have that old furniture look about them.
Perhaps I had better pick them and let a fresh lot come through.

Skittles is a foot hugger.
We had a visit from from Barney and Dozer....this is Barney's foot.



Dozer is trim taut and terriffic since he stopped snacking on biscuts throughout the day!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Self sown Rocket

I was lamenting the lack of rocket in my garden.
It usually is thick and strong and I don't plant it as a rule
It always self seeds
I like this photo as a self portrait.
This is my fresh Christmas circle and is now green with self sown Silver beet.

I was excited to notice large clumps of self sown rocket.......
I have been waiting for it to turn up.

I couldn't help my self and have transplanted plenty of it around the garden
Planted it into punnets and into single one inch pots, for a later transfer into the garden.
Or they might end up on my market stall.

It is growing so well I was able to pick a couple of bunches and include them in my
"Coffee Town" cafe basket this morning.
Along with garlic chives, chives, parsley, silver beet

 I am getting pretty good at identifying plants at this young stage.
Can you pick out the rocket plants?
These are mostly silver beet and I can see one or two weeds in there,
but I can also identify 5 rocket plants

It smells so good when I pick it. I had to snack on a bit this morning.
Quality control
It was good.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Glass firing success

I have been experimenting with glass slumping and having some difficulties.
The glass at the top of the kiln was working perfectly
but on the lower shelves all the glass was cracked and broken.
I did some more research and found a web site that seemed to explain the problems I was having.
I had to ask what I might be doing wrong and having read Teresa's advice, I reprogrammed my auto controller to the COE96 schedule as suggested by Teresa and
It worked...I had raised the bottom shelf and still waited a whole day for it to cool down....
We have been having a heat wave so it was actually still really warm the next day
I was able to get 4 small glass bowls out of the kiln.
Very stackable bowls
I have been using broken glass that we got with a 2nd hand glass house.
I am making sure that the glass is co-efficient by using pieces from the exact same pane of glass
If I want to slump some on like the square basses on these bowls.

This is just slumped over a mould with a star pattern on it.

I am very inspired by the success and have already begun making a few more moulds,
I like to have the kiln full before firing
Given 1 mould = 1 bowl
it will take a few firings to get a set of bowls
Its a good feeling... being inspired and creatively enthused
Thanks Teresa!