Paddock+Garden = Today’s Late Lunch

Our plan, for a long time, has been to be as close to a self-sustainable lifestyle as possible while still having a practical mindset….you can’t do everything! We still have a long way to go, however, today marks a milestone at RaFG headquarters.

Today, when I looked at our roast lunch, there were only two things on the plate that had not come out of the garden or the paddock (condiments excluded), the potatoes and the broccoli. It’s too early for potatoes (here anyway) and I never have any luck growing anything in the Brassica family.

I started to write this post while lunch was cooking. I could smell the leg of lamb (from one of our lambs) roasting away in it’s marinade of garlic and rosemary¬†(both out of the garden) infused in olive oil.

In the saucepan, ready to cook, were the beans and squash picked fresh out of the garden.

And soon to go into the roasting pan, with the lamb, was the golden nugget pumpkin that I picked yesterday.

All we need now is a crop of hops and some grape vines…

What’s growing in your garden?

Mrs D x

 

 

2016: Done And Dusted

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I know…I’m 10 days late. I started writing this post last year. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to actually finish some blog posts. I have about 14 drafts on the go at the moment. See how we go.

Anyway, I’m never blinking again! Where did 2016 go?

This is what 2016 looked like for Mr D and me. A lot of people have said to me that 2016 was a bad year. It certainly had some challenges for us and we lost our dear Nanna, however, for the most part, I decided to highlight what was good about this year.

Enjoy! You’ll need a cuppa for this post.

January

It was either a really quiet month or a really busy one judging by the lack of photos. I can guarantee that we were weed spraying, whipper snipping and drenching sheep at some point.

We did celebrate our young friend Anitra’s 18th birthday.

February

We celebrated our friend Jane’s 50th birthday in fine ‘Once Upon A Time’ style.

Spent a couple of days in Merimbula.

The garden was in full swing.

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Our piggies were growing like wild fire.

Mr D built the Turkeys their new accommodation.

Towards the end of Feb, we headed off on an 11 day cruise to the Pacific Islands.

March

Mr D constructed new accommodation for our growing piggies and the three boys were castrated.

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Lambs were born.

I turned another year younger.

We moved our son to his new house.

Lots of veg was harvested from the garden.

April

Mr D went back to work part-time after being made redundant in June 2015.

Our nephew, Matthew, married Gabby.

Mr D built the first piggy feeder….it’s come a long way since then.

The vegetable garden kept giving and giving.

The fire was started for the first time in 2016….we almost made it to Anzac Day.

May

Our daughter turned 22.

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We drove to Tatong, which is past Benalla in Victoria, to pick up Stumpy the Boar. He is quite a bit bigger in this photo than when we first got him.

Mr D and I took a day off (Mother’s Day) and drove to Mt Selwyn. We walked the Heritage Trail at Kiandra (no photos due to corrupt SD card) and then on the way home, stopped at the Snowy Scheme Museum in Adaminaby.

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Nanna passed away. A sad day indeed.

Lambs and three of our pigs were prepared for the freezer. Another hard day.

The fencing for paddock three was completed and repairs to the fencing at the back of the property were carried out.

June

Winter had definitely arrived. Mr D and I headed off to Bermagui to have lunch with friends. It was -5 degrees celsius in Bunyan however in Bermagui (a couple of hours East of us) it was a balmy 20 degrees.

I made my first ever batch of Cumquat Marmalade with Cumquats off a friend’s tree.

I enrolled to study Bachelor of Arts at Charles Sturt…..because I don’t really have enough to do already (cough).

We prepared for Christmas in July.

July

Christmas in July arrived. It was a lot of work however totally worth all of the effort.

Our son turned 20.

I accidentally left the house paddock gate open and the cows found their way in causing quite a bit of damage and leaving sizeable momentos in their wake.

In the same week, strong winds sent my green house flying along with all of the seedlings in it, we received quite a lot of rain and a tree fell on the paddock one fencing.

More lambs. Three lambs were lost to a neighbour’s dog and one to the Eagle.

The two Sows adjusted to life without the boys.

August

Lemons.

Shanks attempted to boss the cows. What was he thinking?

September

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Seedlings.

Moving day for Stumpy to his new accommodation.

We borrowed the bull from our neighbour. Hopefully we will have calves in Spring 2017.

The neighbours started their annual burning of paddocks.

Our nephew, Joshua, turned 21 and we travelled to Sydney to help him celebrate.

October

We took a day off and headed to Floriade in Canberra.

Mr D and I celebrated 25 years of marriage and spent a night at Jamala Wildlife Lodge within the National Zoo and Aquarium, Canberra.

It was my first attempt at making and decorating ginger bread cookies in preparation for Christmas hampers.

The veggie garden started giving again.

Uni came to an end for the year.

Addy came to live with us.

We prepared five lambs for the freezer.

November

 

We had a bumper crop of Strawberries.

The Lavender flowered and looked glorious.

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We put the first lot of eggs into the incubator only to get one chick due to temperature issues. I shipped it off to our neighbours over the back, Ian and Narelle, as chicks don’t so well on their own and they had chicks of a similar age.

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Lemon Butter was made using our lemons and eggs.

I spent the best part of a week on the Central Coast catching up with family and friends.

Our Little Girl (Sow) became limp while I was away and didn’t recover. Mr D quickly organised the Butcher as there was nothing that could be done.

Mr D sprayed weeds. It’s never ending.

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The Christmas hampers were started…the non-perishable items, that is.

As a result of Little Girl’s sudden demise, we were left with a lot of pork. Some of this was minced and we spent the best part of two days making pork sausages with our friends, Georg and Al.

December

The Christmas tree went up.

 

Our borrowed Bull decided that he wanted to spend time with the neighbour’s cow who was in season. As a result, fence repairs became necessary.

Mr D and I spent a day in Canberra to celebrate his Birthday. We started off with Yum Cha at Ginseng in the Hellenic Club. We then tripped off to Old Parliament House followed by a boat ride around Lake Burley Griffin.

We had our annual Christmas get together with the locals.

Christmas hampers were finished.

Mr D and I celebrated Christmas with family in Sydney.

My brother, Adrian, got married to the lovely Anela in the gardens of Burnham Grove Estate, Camden.

We drove to Tumut to celebrate Christmas Day with B1 and B2.

A bit of rain and warmth and the veggie garden took off.

To finish off 2016, we saw the New Year in with our friends Georg and Al.

Well that’s all of the interesting stuff for 2016. It was a big year and 2017 is shaping up to be the same. Wears me out just thinking about it.

2017. Have a good one!

Mrs D x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today In The Garden: 20th February Edition

It’s very satisfying to walk in and around the veggie garden and be able to pick things we can eat. And despite our weird growing season, I have managed to harvest quite a lot. We won’t need to buy tomatoes, potatoes or zucchinis for a while at least.

So, today in the garden…

A harvest of tomatoes, potatoes, bok choy, baby corn, zucchinis and squash.

The citrus: lemons, limes and cumquats are flowering and fruiting.

We are going to have a bumper crop of tomatoes and the Comfrey is certainly doing it’s job as a weed barrier.

The Musquee De Provence pumpkin is quite possibly going to take over the garden.

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The little Golden Nugget pumpkins are coming along. This is a much more compact plant if you are considering growing pumpkins in your veggie garden. It can also be grown in a large pot.

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The first lot of radishes I planted did nothing (maybe the seeds were out of date?), so I planted a new lot and these ones are showing more promise.

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What can I say about the Raspberries? They need a lot of water however, after that, they require little to no attention. Look at what we are rewarded with day after day.

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Not a lot happened on the Snow Pea front. I planted quite a lot however something was enjoying them as soon as they sprouted. This one made it through.

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The Strawberries have flowered again. Hands up if you grow strawberries. I learnt something new today. After the strawberries have fruited they tend to run. It’s their way of taking over the garden bed. I thought this was a good thing however I have often wondered why the harvest is so ordinary when I have such a large patch. Did you know that you should pinch off these runners and start a new patch with them? This will, apparently, improve the strawberry harvest of your first patch next season. I will do that this year and let you know how it goes.

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The Fig tree has been slow to get going. We have probably had it for about 3 years. This year it has more fruit than ever. I am just waiting for them to ripen and then I will try my hand at Fig and Walnut jam. Mmmm…..

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Again, this year, we have a lone pear. Sshhh, don’t tell the Rosellas.

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This is Clucker Tucker. We planted it in the first pig pen along with a couple of Zucchini plants as an experiment and it has gone crazy. Some of these plants, the buckwheat in particular, are about 60 cm tall. That’s pretty exciting growth over about 4 to 5 weeks. We will be setting up pig tractors for the next growing season. More about this when we get to them.

I have been asked what is Clucker Tucker. It is a combination of plants that can be grown and they provide a healthy green forage for your chooks. The mix includes barrel medic, bok choy, buckwheat, forage chicory, clover, cocksfoot, linseed, lucerne, millet, forage plantain, silverbeet, subclover and sunflower. You can get it from Green Harvest.

Speaking of Green Harvest. I ordered Monaro Garlic (a garlic that is supposed to be suited for growing in our Alpine conditions), Tree Onions and Sweet Potato last week. They are plants that are only available at certain times of the year and they go quickly. My order arrived on Friday and today I have been preparing the beds for planting.

These are the pretties around the place. The Red Hot Pokers pop up every year and put on a stunning display until about April. The yellow flowers are bulbs, at a guess, as they pop up in the lawn around this time of year. Flowers are not my area (unless of course they are edible or useful) so maybe someone can tell me what they are.

Well, I think that’s it. What’s growing in your veggie garden? Someone please tell me what the yellow flowers are.

Mrs D x

PS Counting down the days to our cruise…..