Thursday, December 18, 2014

Early season

We've started picking cherries and blueberries. Not a lot and not for long as there is so much fruit still to ripen. The morello cherries are laden, but they can stay on for a little longer as the fruit sits well on the trees - great natural storage.  The young sweet cherries have produced the most delicious fruit.
These are the last of a very small crop of sweet peas. The eat-pea crop was v sad - half the seeds failed to germinate and the plants are small and sparse.  Talking of failure - the alliums were a disaster; garlic small and soggy, leeks "woody".  Most people around here have had similar experiences.

The igloo is filled with tomato plants, basil, eggplants, capsicums, watermelon and rockmelon. And the neighbours pots which they are saving for transplantation next year. The watermelons have taken over - it will be difficult to extract the pots when the time comes!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Kara Weaves

A parcel arrived from Kara Weaves of Kerala - a bathrobe and towel

and tiny towels.

And they are tiny!  Unfortunately by the time I ordered the "pretty" colours had sold out.

The parcel was wrapped in calico and hand-sewn. The fabric smells - of India. Nice India. I like it.

"Kara is a social enterprise creating handwoven textiles at the intersection of Craft Revival, Fair-Trade and Good Design." I've bought bath towels from them before - they are light, pretty and dry very quickly.  A worthwhile investment for them and for me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bugs, blossom and new leaves



It was a little like being in Japan at sakura - wind whipped petals all over the ground.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

Kitchen chores improved watching this

A beautiful looking and very active eastern spinebill has been collecting nectar from the daphne outside the kitchen window. Getting a photo has proven to be difficult so this is a stolen image from here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Spring?

At last I'm getting back into real farm work on a regular basis (does mean hefty doses of pain killers at the end of the day, though, to be able to keep moving).  This week I started pruning the pear tree - still loads to be done as I've got to either fall off a very tall ladder or climb the tree.  Cleaned the house and garage gutters - not bad going for someone who is terrified of heights. Pruned some of the olive trees behind the garage - not down (which should be done) but getting rid of dead branches  Chain sawed the last of the gleaned logs for storing for next winter.  For the first time in 10 years we are getting low on firewood.

The boys are managing the feeder really well and as a consequence the mice have moved elsewhere and the feed is lasting forever. 
Angelo doing the feed dance

This beautiful little heron landed on the roof next door (in the city). The photo doesn't do it justice - not very tall at all, fluffy shimmery tail feathers, very alert and I'd say very out of place.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Yet another night of severe frost

And the hot water pipes are frozen!  Not good.
8am - sun has been up for ages

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Frost and sunshine

Two nights of below zero temps and frost followed by two days of glorious sunshine. 



Pretty weeds unaffected by frost



Rhubarb devastated

but looking pretty nevertheless


A little later, in the sun, the scent from these violets was amazingly strong.



The brassicas drooped amazingly then recovered their upright status as the frost defrosted and the sun shone. Harvesting the potatoes was very warm work despite the temp being only 8C - undoubtedly the sunshine added lots of imaginary heat.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The gorgeousness of sunset




And I nearly missed it - going inside to get the camera!

This was after we discovered the tank - the 22500 litre tank - was EMPTY!  Despite recent rains.  The downpipe connection from roof top to tank had failed, leaving thousands of litres of water to head for the aquifer. Disaster all round and an amazing and unbelievable thing to have happened.  The other unbelievable thing is no rain is forecast for the next few days.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Gardens on the other side of the world

Haven't got around to sorting the 800+ photos recently taken in France and the UK, so for now here's a list of the gloriousness we visited over three weeks.

Giverny and Monet's Garden
Le Jardin de Plume
Pays d'Auge (lots of apple trees)
Le Vasterival garden
Les Bois de Moutiers
Les Andelys
Auvers-sur-Oise (with a sad visit to Van Gogh's "home")

Crathes Castle and Garden
Pitmedden Garden
Inverewe Garden
Iona Abbey (and great organic gardens at the back of two of Iona's hotels)
Duart Castle
Achamore House Gardens on the Isle of Gigha
Jura (with a wee tasting at the Jura Distillery)
Mount Stewart House and Gardens
Portmeirion
Bodnant
Powerscourt
Mount Usher
Mount Congreve
Lismore
Waterford Crystal (amazing production and crystal way way too elaborate to ever want)
Tresco Abbey Gardens

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Colour in winter

Click on pic for more and better image
Parrots enjoying abandoned grain. Noisy and colourful and very skittish - so it was great to be able to use the new gorilla pod and muku shuttr to take lots of remote pics from metres away.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Farewell Paris, hello London

A miniature Statue of Liberty placed in the middle of the Seine river, in front of a sparkling Eiffel Tower, photographed at 11pm.  Apparently an earlier mayor of Paris, probably De La Noe, thought it would be fun to have the ET light up at odd random hours, but this annoyed residents and tourists alike, so now it sparkles at 11pm and everyone is happy.


Weather wise London has been nicely erratic. This morning it has been sunny wet warm. The Westminster Mile is being run in front of Buck House. Sensibly the owner is away - there's an awful racket going on: 7 races had been held by 10.30am, with another 27 to go.

We're off to sea today - Portsmouth here we come. We'll be sailing between England, Ireland and Wales and we've been promised lots of annoying immigration issues. Interesting - one can travel all through Europe virtually unmolested by customs and immigration, and now ....

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Luke - look what you've done

We lunched at Le Soufflé the other day.  And of the 20 diners in the restaurant 10 were Australian and all had seen Luke Nguyen playing there in his recently screened LN in France telly program. The soufflés were scrumptious and it's amazing how so much egg and air can fill you up.

Paris is awash with Australians - they are everywhere but at least they are discrete and not noisy.

The weather has been very conducive to walking then sitting in outdoor cafés drinking the most evil and delicious chocolate chaud.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

Beauty and confusion

Huonville crab flowering beautifully - slightly out of season
Jack Humm crab apples
Blueberry plants coloring before the winter drop

Saturday, April 19, 2014

How lush is my vegie garden?

Cooler weather is seeing a slight slowing down of produce output, although you wouldn't believe that when you see this.

The best part of the coolth is that zucchini aren't growing so fast and it's easier to catch them before they turn into canoes.

Seems there was a slight problem with eggplant production in the grand nurseries.  Despite the nice label showing traditional purple coloured eggplants, three out of four plants produced the golden eggplants you can see above. A neighbour was so disconcerted by the golden-ness that she pulled all her plants out!  Weird.

A massive (and wonderful) downpour over a week ago caused the black russian tomatoes to split in concentric rings.

Vaguely visible at the top of the pic are purple tomatilloes.  They are becoming huge, finally turning purple and when you peel the "paper" off the inherent stickiness of the fruit leaves fingers stuck together for ages.  Now to find a tomatillo salsa recipe.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The one the parrots/rabbits didn't get

I've had a nibble - unfortunately it's not fantastic.  The #$%^ parrots got the best one.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Today in the vegie patch

Collecting seeds

The farm manager

Rabbit damage

First pumpkin - finger for comparison. V v late.