Inspiring Blogger Award

It was a nice surprise to find a nomination for me today by Lois of ‘Living Simply Free’ for the Inspiring Blogger Award. You can check out this link to Lois’s blog – she writes about simple living in a 300 sq ft apartment.

inspiring blogger award

Thank you for the nomination Lois.To satisfy the requirements I need to first list 7 things about myself.

1. Today my hairdresser snipped off the last of my blonde tips. I am now officially 49 shades of grey. This might come as a shock to my children who have probably only ever seen me with blonde hair.

2. By tomorrow I may decide to buy a bottle of blonde hair colour.

3. A dinner without a portion of my home grown silverbeet cannot really satisfy.

4. I can never have too many home-grown vegetables stashed in the fridge.

5. I can never have too many pots of home-made preserves in the larder.

6. I love my allotment.

7. I am probably obsessive about fresh veggies. (Oh, really?)

Now I have to declare my favourite fifteen blogs. I don’t think you’ll be too surprised at the subjects covered.  So here goes.

Cityhippyfarmgirl

DOWN TO EARTH

Slow Living Essentials

The Micro Gardener – making it easy to grow your own in small spaces.

Allotment Heaven

Square Foot Gardening

The Scrumptious Pumpkin

Plot Craft

Allotment Plot 4

Gladys In the Garden

A Gardener’s Table | Celebrating the Harvest

theroadtoserendipity

Dig the Outside

Lightly Crunchy

Not Just Green Fingers

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Bread and Butter Pickles – day 2

Following on from yesterday’s post, I ended up with three jars of Bread and Butter Pickles.

Bread and Butter Pickles

Although it takes 2 days to complete the recipe it really is hardly any effort at all. Once you’ve sliced and salted the cucumbers they just sit in the fridge overnight. Waiting. Then you prepare the jars and pickling vinegar the next day.

We had a lovely downpour of rain last night and it’s over 30 degrees today so with weather like that I reckon that in a couple of days I’ll have another bag full of cucumbers. In our climate these jars need to be stored in the fridge as they do not go through a water bath –  the way my cucumber plants are going I might have to buy another fridge.

It is amazing to me just how much produce you can get from two tiny allotments (16 square metres in all). I know this is only three jars, but that was just one picking, and my three cucumber plants have only just started producing.

And did I mention that the kale and silverbeet is STILL producing. I would have thought by now that my winter crop would have given up the ghost. Must have their roots firmly established. Probably take a truck to grub them out when the time comes.

Happy gardening.

 

Cucumbers – Bread and Butter Pickle

This warm weather is really bringing the cucumbers on. I staked them but they seem to prefer running across the ground. So I’ll let them.

This is what I harvested today.

It’s enough for me to make my first batch of Bread and Butter Pickle of the season.

Here is the link to the recipe that I use. It also gives you a picture of the finished product.

The first step is salting and  slicing the cucumbers and onion to sit in the fridge overnight.

They’ll be bottled in the pickling vinegar tomorrow.

Happy gardening.

Work continues on the wheelchair access at the farm

We are improving wheelchair access at Beelarong Community Farm where I keep my allotment. Concrete paths were laid this week.

Concrete can cut an ugly swathe through any previously green area but will be softened once we relay some turf to butt up to the concrete path. We were working on laying the turf yesterday but I had to leave before the job was finished so I couldn’t take a pic.

The important thing is that this gives easier wheelchair access to the raised garden bed, the meeting area where we share our morning tea, the sheds where the tools are kept and the toilet (which also has wheelchair access).

I set out to the allotment early yesterday morning to beat the heat of the day. There was hardly any weeding to be done as the whole plot is mulched now. I harvested the last bag of potatoes and picked plenty of kale. The kale and silverbeet is still producing even though the plants are a bit long in the tooth now as they are what remains of my winter crops.

Yay! picked the first of the Lebanese cucumbers. (The tomatoes are courtesy of my local greengrocer. Gotta support him where I can with fruit and tomatoes as I grow most of my other stuff.)

I want to harvest enough of these little cucumbers over the next few months to make my bread and butter pickles.

Lebanese cucumbers, first of the season

Know what I love about my home-grown veggies? They have more personality than those in Coles (supermarket) where they only stock straight cucumbers.

Happy gardening.

A stroll through New Farm Park

My local library is in the grounds of New Farm Park so while I was there today I decided to check out the trees to see how they had stood up to the weekend storms.  (I promise not to turn this blog into a regular weather forecast.)

The council have already been tidying up after the storm

New Farm park

Dappled sunlight, New Farm park

It was a beautiful morning. It’s lovely to have this park on my doorstep.

Blue skies are back

Now that’s more like it!     The blue skies are back this morning and the sun is shining in Brisbane after the supercell storms over the weekend.

This is the view from my balcony at 6:30am, time for the first cup of tea of the day.

And yes ….   more blue skies around the back too.

Through the back window this morning

Not sure what to expect when I check out the allotment today.  I think I’ll have little cucumbers after all that rain, either that or it will be a scene of devastation.  Watch this space.

Happy gardening.

Scary weather

It’s absolutely wild out there tonight with a hail storm.

I’ve been out on the balcony trying to capture the lightening. All I got was a muddy sky -and my neighbours have disappeared,

Silverbeet and summer storms

After the long dry spell we have been through my daughter in law phoned me on Friday evening and warned me that we could expect a severe storm the next day in Brisbane.

These summer storms can cause no end of damage so I visited the allotment first thing Saturday morning. The silverbeet was ready and I didn’t want it to get flattened so I filled the boot of the car and this is my booty. I laid the blue pen on the table beside the parsley to give you a perspective. Fortunately silverbeet is my favourite vegetable which is a good job when you see the mound I had to get through.

Silverbeet ready for blanching

I beat the storm by half an hour so when I returned home while the storm was raging I washed and chopped and blanched as I worked my way through the pile. It’s now in the freezer in little portions which is just great.

We are experiencing more stormy weather today and I’ve already been stuck out in one downpour this morning so I’m not sure how everything is faring over at the allotment. My summer crops are still quite small so the only problem now might be with the stakes I’ve put in place for the cucumbers. The arrangement is a bit Heath Robinson anyway as I used stakes and bits and pieces from around the farm – so fingers crossed.

Happy gardening.

 

Water conservation at the allotment

I’m putting the allotment to bed for the summer.  This week I ripped out the lettuces that had bolted, and the climbing beans that had done their dash before covering the whole allotment (all 16 square metres!) with another layer of sugar cane mulch.

The water bill over at the farm has escalated to such a degree through the past dry months that we have been asked to be more diligent with our use of water and a good layer of mulch is the answer.  After watering it keeps the moisture in the soil, and it protects the soil from drying out in the hot sun. It reached 32c degrees today.

So although I mulched a few weeks ago I topped it up. That should be enough now to take me through the summer.

The summer crops are planted – zucchini, Lebanese cucumbers, eggplant, melons and pumpkins. I also have a small bed of dwarf beans which are flowering but have already been attacked by rust on the leaves. The hot humid weather seems to bring all the pests and diseases with it.  Despite that, it never ceases to amaze me just how much stuff I manage to harvest.

I am growing capsicum and tomatoes in pots on the balcony at home so that I can give them daily care. It’s rather thrilling to see the little capsicums emerging, and I’m rather proud of the single tomato now growing strong.  (I know. I don’t get out enough!)

I realise that a photograph is straw is not very exciting. But here it is anyway.

Lebanese cucumber – keeping it’s roots nice and cool

Happy gardening.

A school garden

I attend the garden group run by Tatiana at the New Farm Library every second Friday. And yesterday Tatiana arranged a visit to the New Farm State School garden. Complete with chooks (chickens!).

It’s great to see what parents and volunteers have achieved in setting up and maintaining this garden. Thank you Nicole and Leanne for showing us around.

It’s a wonderful environment for the children and they love it.

New Farm State School Little Farm

Centre bed in the round garden

A colourful corner

Plenty of dirt to scratch in

Happy gardening.

Previous Older Entries

Frugal Queen

Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

The Power of Thrift

and other ramblings

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

could do worse

adventures in London

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and daytrips

Pickle Me Too

Nourishing foods for the whole family (including pickles!)

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

organic, sustainable and self-sufficient hobby farm in the making

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

Foodnstuff

Energy decline & self-sufficiency from Melbourne, Australia

horticultural 'obbit

'obbitry of the horticultural kind

Leisa Rayven

Passionate stories for lovers of words

Frugal Queen

Writing about all things thrifty, home cooking, fun on a budget and living between Cornwall and Huelgoat in Brittany.

Jerry Coleby-Williams

Sustainable Gardening in our Continually Surprising Climate

The Power of Thrift

and other ramblings

Nourishing Traditions

The Blog that Challenges Policitally Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

could do worse

adventures in London

Allotmentals Plot 103

Allotment, garden and daytrips

Pickle Me Too

Nourishing foods for the whole family (including pickles!)

myproductivebackyard

Sustainable Backyard Food Production

My Front Burner

making what matters

30 acres of sunshine

organic, sustainable and self-sufficient hobby farm in the making

Lottie Land Girl

Living the 'Good Life' the Brown way!

Throwback at Trapper Creek

An ongoing chronicle of meeting the expectations of the land...

Foodnstuff

Energy decline & self-sufficiency from Melbourne, Australia

horticultural 'obbit

'obbitry of the horticultural kind

Leisa Rayven

Passionate stories for lovers of words

The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

One homemaker. One Acre. My quest for Self Sufficiency.

not just greenfingers

Mrs Thrift's Simple Living in the Modern Day......Kitchen Garden, Allotment, Baking And More...

quarteracrelifestyle

The "Good Life" on a quarter acre, frugal living

Gardener Jen

Trials, errors and joys of creating and maintaining my first garden.

Our Everyday Life in Pictures

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

Exercising Septuagenarian

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Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

frugalfeeding | Low Budget Family Recipes, UK Food Blog

n. frugality; the quality of being economical with money or food.

The Next Stage

Growing vegetables on one small allotment

The Greening of Gavin

Sustainable Living in the Suburbs

Down to Earth

Growing vegetables on one small allotment