Sunday, March 29, 2009

Still getting my hands dirty

I love growing potatoes in tyres it was the first vegetable gardening I ever did about 20 years ago and I have put some in every year since.
Most years I just used the ones I bought commercially that sprouted at the bottom of the vege drawer now I buy them certified organic from diggers, green harvest or The Tasmanian Potato Assoc.
The ones in here are from a friend of mine - they are colibans (he thinks) I will heap some more soil on them this afternoon, and some more mulch so that just the tops of those shoots are visible and then in a week or so I will add another tyre on top and top up the soil and mulch again. Last year some of my stacks got to four tyres high but mostly they top out at three. Once they flower and die down I leave them for a few weeks - although I read today in frost free climates you should cover the tops with a thick layer of mulch first to stop them re shooting - then knock over the tyres and pull out the potatoes.
This year I am also trialling a bed made up of hay bale sides and a deep deep soil - we will see what proves the best and easiest. I have used the rest of my tyres to plant out garlic, we will see if they like warm feet.

Here is the other vege bed (old vege garden site) you can see the corn, with more seeds coming up in front. Some tomatoes around the stakes at the back, broccoli and cabbage, this is where the kale and first rows of beetroot are as well.

These photos were taken early in the morning just as the first rays of the sun were hitting the garden. I love to wander out there with a cup of tea and pull out a few weeds or just look and dream and plan what I will do next or better, or differently.

For example next time this garden gets planted out I am going to only plant one thing in the whole space not loads like i do now - it works but I don't think I get the yeilds I should get.

We need loads of food for our lot so the garden bed above for summer will just be planted out the lettuce continuously one row a week across the bed until the autumn. And I want another bed for just tomaotes, one for cucumber, one for squash, my potatoes tyres will fit anywhere where the sun is so they are always easy and becasue they are moveable the soil is changed every planting season which I only found out today is another potato thing. you shouldn't grow potatoes in soil where potatoes have grown for three years !

Okay off to get some clothes folded and pressed for the week ahead we spent last night in Toowoomba for my BIL brithday party, coffee with friends this morning and then home to do some gardening - so try as I might can't put off the washing basket and ironing basket any longer!!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Strawberries, Squash and Thank yous............

Just to prove I actually have been doing something over the last few weeks here is the vegie patch.
All planted out with snow peas, yellow squash, and in the corner my pineapple top!
This Wheelbarrow became home to a punnet of Strawberries I got in exchange for doing some hems on one of my clients pants.
Now that I have closed the business, I don't feel I can take money for doing sewing jobs - (too lazy to keep track and put in the tax return) so am working on a bartering system. So far three hems equals one punnet of strawberry runners, and two punnets of capsisum seedlings - this customer has an organic no synthetic chemical garden and I have been the lucky recipient in the past of his preserved chillies - fantastic for adding to all sorts of dishes.
Finally my bean trellis yeah a bit of wire strung between the pine trees!! Maybe beans like the acidity of the pine needles either way I picked about a kilo of beans off the Purple King plants yesterday and the other beans I planted a few weeks later are fast catching up.
I am not as technical as I should be with the vegie patch I don't check the ph and all that I just add manure and dig and dig and then plant and pray!!
I am learning though and right here I want to acknowledge one of my greatest inspirations is Stewart from My Veggie Garden a great bloke who has a sense of humour and endless patience and expertise that he is willing to share in the form of email answers to questions about the vegetable garden.
There are times when a whole packets of seeds just never come up for who knows what reason and every time I think oh it is easier to buy seedlings I read one of Stewart posts and I think - one more time - and now I am having more successes than failures.
So to Stewart thank you thank you thank you.
Okay enough soppy stuff off to work have a Fantastic Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Yesterday when I got home from work I got into the paddock and put some lucerne bales (wet ones that are no good for feed ) around the vege garden then filled them with some more soil and manure that I had mixed together.

In went the carrots, parsnips and beetroot. I put in some cucumbers, and one of my sons bought home a half corrugated iron rain water tank (small) so I planted that out with some more corn (you can never have enough corn).

This afternoon I need to put up some frames and plant some peas and some eggplant. Then water everything and do some mulching.

So photos tomorrow of the new dasiy mountain vege patch.

Waiting now for the seed potatoes and some garlic to come from "green harvest online".

Gardening seems to be a lot about waiting............................


Friday, March 20, 2009

Mess and Mindset

Sometimes I wonder whether the messy rooms in our lives are indicative of the messy parts of out lives.
A few months ago our office was a disaster area ( and had been ever since we moved into this house 6 years ago). Then I spent a day cleaning it up re organising things, and at the same time we were sorting things out, I had some regualr money coming in the bills were getting paid on time for a change. And since then the office has remained tidy and clean.
As some of you read I sold my industrial machines and closed down my alterations and mending business ( I still hope to design more patterns to sell and continue to sell the ones I have out there). And quite apart from the fact that I have had little time to sew the sewing room is tidy and seems to stay that way.
Is it that we get rid of certain hindrances to the smooth running of our lives and it manifests itself in an organised area of the home? Perhaps it only happens around Daisy Mountain. So from now on I will be watching the physical signs that something needs "tweaking".
Oh and by the way here she is second hand and an absolute bargain the 6500!! She sews beautifully and hopefully in the next day or two she will be quilting a quilt to send to the Victorian bushfire victims.

Have a Fantastic Friday!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

They're here!!

Yay finally my seeds arrived from Diggers.

It is an overcast day and they are expecting it to stay that way so this afternoon I am planting out stage two of the new vegetable garden. By the time it is all done these will be big enough to transplant.

Don't forget to plant a seed a day in 2009 so you always have something growing and producing food.
Off to work

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Pet

We weren't in the market for a new pet but a few months ago when we popped in to see my sister in law she was saying that their poor bird "greedy" was a bit miserable. He is a hand reared Cockatiel and he used to talk and sit on their hands etc etc but with all the kids growing up and moving out and having lives of their own he had been somewhat lonely. Somehow we ended up offering to take him.

Here he is.............................

Now I don't actually agree with the concept of caged birds although over the years I have managed to have a few thrust upon me. I think they should just fly free and be who they are - birds. However this little guy was reared for the purposes of being part of the family so letting him go would be tantamount to wringing his little neck.

Having said that I also don't like the idea of a bird, hand reared or not, flapping about in the house - I am not an animal in the house person at all and never have been. So after convincing the kids they couldn't have him in their rooms I compromised and let him stay, for the time being, on the front verandah. Eventually we will build him an aviary that is big enough for him to have a fly around in the front garden just near where we sit to have breakfast or a drink in the late afternoon. That way he can kind of be in nature without geting eaten by something or attacked by something and we will still be close by to chat to him every day.

When we bought him home we noticed he would run his beak over and over the bars of his cage so much so he has worn a groove in his beak, so we talked to him all day Sunday, we put new toys in his cage and put the cage near the front door so everyone says hello as they go past and by yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) he had finally stopped running his beak over the bars! He is also now whistling to us if we walk past without saying hello which is great.

Today will be his first day here without anyone home so we will see if the boredom behaviour returns. And i think we will be changing his name not sure what to yet but he just doesn't look like a greedy - bird - is the popular choice today although Colin was suggested by some bright spark ( Colin Thiele!!?) This family of mine is very strange.

Okay the other new member of the household will be up tomorrow for you to see.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Tommy Teddy comes to visit

This is a photo of a very tired Daisyboy4 and his friend from prep Tommy Teddy.

Tommy goes home with a child for a few days and has to be taken everywhere and the visit recorded in photos, drawings or in words. Then when they get back to school they have to tell everyone what Tommy got up to at their place.

So Tommy got dragged to a family birthday party on Saturday night, helped clean the house, played and generally enjoyed his visit here at daisymountain. He is off back to Prep today to be taken home by another child.

I am sending the blog address to school so the kids can see him on the net.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

A whole new song...........

I posted a comment on Rhondas blog the other day saying I think I had found my rythym. Well part of the new rythym around here is cleaning the house top to bottom on a Sunday - not ideal but for this weekend at least the only time I could do it. Strange thing is we started at about 10am and it was done in less than an hour and half.

And I do mean clean cobwebs, marks on walls and doors, two bathrooms, two kitchens(one we use as a bar area), floors vacuumed and washed, dusting, polishing the furniture and cleaning out the fridge. Next week hopefully I won't have to spend Saturday driving hither and yon like I did yesterday so the clean will happen then.

Two new things have come to live at daisy mountain - one new sewing machine I will introduce you later this week and one new pet also on the agenda for this weeks post list. We have also had a very special visitor to daisy mountain.

have a wonderful Sunday


Friday, March 13, 2009

And just to prove it wasn't a fluke.........

These slightly blurry shots are my Golden Beetroot - sewn direct!!!, and my miniature kale also sewn I on a roll or what?
We have a busy weekend but I am still hoping to get some more gardening done, after I run all over the place on Saturday doing some jobs I need to do and attending another family party on Satrurday night, then Sunday daisyson12 has a trial game for rugby so we are off for a picnic and fishing after that (it is near the water). I wish I could have some time to sew this weekend but it doesn't look like that will happen....maybe next week.
Work is going well the new hours are WONDERFUL and knowing I am there everyday has helped me to be a bit calmer and more organised. I said on a comment this morning that I think I have found my rythym and it feels great. The little kids are happier now that I am home every afternoon when they get home, the house is happier, and the garden is doing well, just have to plan in some sewing time for me and life will be perfect!!!
have a fantastic weekend - try to plant seven seeds for the coming week - a seed a day.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Little things...................

My tomato seeds have almost all come up! I see I am going to have to wear my glasses when I plant them I have way more than the three per segment I should have but I can always thin them out!! This has been the biggest success for me with seeds (aside from my nastrutiums and marigolds) for some reason food plants and I have had a rocky start but it looks like I have it right finally where the heck is my diggers order????????????
I need seeds to plant!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Seed a Day

David Borthwick over at Productive Gardens has this challenge going to plant a seed a day every day for the whole of 2009.

I only stumbled across this challenge last week but I thought it was still a great idea, planting one seed a day as he explains keeps you in seedlings all the time something to plant out in the vegetable garden, on a regular basis so you don't have the "feast and famine" scenario that the daisy mountain vegetable plot has been over the last few years.

Anyway last week I got to planting and given that today march 10th we are 69 days into the year already I only have to catch up about 30 seeds. I placed an order with Diggers last week and the Green Harvest so things will arrive this week and get planted in the punnets I have saved from the seedlings I bought.

So far in punnets I have two varieties of tomatoes (one has started to come up the other is just bare..... In the garden I have planted seeds of golden beetroot and some miniature Kale, and seedlings of broccoli, cabbage, roma tomatoes, corn, eggplant, yellow zucchinis, snow peas and the purple king beans I planted are now up and racing up the trellis and the other beans (can't remember what they are but they are green) are starting to poke thier heads up as well. And I planted out a kilo of coliban potatoes and am anxiously waiting for the others I ordered to arrive.

All the new seeds will probably get planted out into the new garden we are building in the orchard paddock it gets a lot more sun than the other one and I think will work better for winter thus allowing me to "spell" the back garden once this lot is done and build the soil up while I concentrate on the other one. Then the orchard garden can have a "spell" over summer.

That is the theory anyway but with nine people to feed I might need both gardens in summer - so big learning curve happening here.

Raining today but will get some photos this afternoon to post and show you how it is all looking.

Have a fantastic day


Friday, March 6, 2009

Green Sewing

I follow the Quiltville blog - Bonnie is an amazing quilter who uses almost every piece of fabric to make into quilts she has written a book about recylced quilting called Scraps and Shirttails. Today on her blog there was a video of a woman who pieces all her quilts on a treadle machine - no electricy "people power" only and from there a link to her sisters site where you can see the "amazing Annie" free motion quilting on a treadle. After all you only need a straight stitch really for quilting. Imagine the dedication needed to lug a treadle machine to a weekend workshop.

For those of you not into quilting forget the terminology the point is these people only use people power for their sewing, so if you have a treadle machine dust it off and get sewing with it. I only wish I had one, my mother taught me to sew on a treadle but hers got turned into a table that lives at my sisters place not sure whatever happened to the actual machine.

I think it makes so much sense for me, sewing is a relaxing thing to do if I can indulge my passion and use the worlds resources more frugally then it will me even more of a pleasure for me. I already reuse and recycle fabrics, as many of you do, I use my smallest pieces and when they are too small for me to use I give them to the local preschool to be turned into works of art, or they tie up plants in the vege garden or I use them as weed mat with the newspaper - as they are all cotton they break down eventually.

Green Sewing think about it ......


PS: here is the life motto my friend wrote:

"Patchwork & Quilting is my creative outlet, it completes me – the fact that others may benefit is a bonus and not the reason for all the projects. This may appear self centred, but as a wife, mother and nurse my life is totally full of caring for others, patchwork is were I care for me. This was my belief prior to Mum getting sick with Ovarian Cancer, but the way she used her patchwork to assist her to get the best quality out of her life was the best confirmation of my life Motto."

It is still Friday somewhere in the world what is your life motto!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I help organise a new group for our Patchwork Group that meets at night. I am in the process of writing our first newsletter and I wanted some profiles for it so I did a quick one for me and asked a few others to contribute as well as a way for the day group to get to know the new night time members.

One of the things I asked was for everyone to write down their personal motto.

This morning I got the profile back from my fellow organiser someone I have known for about 12 months, someone whom I have come to admire and respect enormously - and someone I have told you about before - remember my buddy from the craft fair??? Her personal motto (which I would love to share with you but I must ask her permission first) just stopped me in my tracks, it was so simple, so profound and so completely "right".

There are times when we read words that just fit with our soul and these words fit.

I came away feeling what I had written was a tad flippant, perhaps shallow but it is how I live my life it is how I feel about lots of things

Mine is : Life is too short for instant coffee

which of course has everything and nothing to do with coffee.

you know where this is leading don't you? It s Friday challenge time.........................



Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Progress Report

I put in a second row of climbing beans, a row of Dwarf Kale and a row of Golden Beetroot.

Thursday the plan is for a few more rows of some other stuff and as the beds are huge squares to place some stepping stones in between so i can "row hop" when they get bigger.

Some weeding done, a few pumpkin uncovered, more sleepers arrived for the new beds, and an order put in for more seed.

I even planted some seeds in tubes, some tomatoes two varieties.(wish them luck I am not good with seeds)


Tuesday is Gardening day!

With so much rain around ( sorry to all those not getting any) the garden is really getting away from me. But it looks like today I will get to spend most of the day in there weeding and planting and cutting back. I cut all the plants in my garden back by a half to two thirds twice a year
once in late October (so I get a full flush of flowers for Christmas) and then again in April to help them get through our dry winters. This year I am cutting back earlier than I usually would because the growth has been staggering, so I will have bundles of cuttings of pentas, lavendar, daisies, hibiscus, plumbago, duranta and some roses to give away and to replant in the few bare spots that have been claimed by the weeds.
For those who follow the Catholic way of thinking you will know it is Lent our children have given up all kinds of things for lent - playstation (no big deal there as it is packed away during the school term anyway) chocolate (this is a biggie daisyboy7 LOVES chocolate he wouldn't even take a lamington to school for morning tea today) - what will power and strength of conviction he has for a 7 year old he can't even have a chocolate cake for his birthday.
I keep thinking it must be luck that I have these great kids but more and more I see that we live very differently from other families. We have always expected our children to pitch in and help, we have always expected to be respected by our children, we have always done everything we can to encourage them to chase and catch their dreams ( as opposed to doing it for them).
Now that I am working my greatest fear is losing some of that of letting them down because it is easier to give in than stand your ground and watch them fail (which is after all how we all learn - from our mistakes) I see more and more guilt ridden parents doing everything for their children to make up for the fact that they are working and have less time to spend with them. One mum told me the other day that it was easier for her to do her year 10 sons homework assignments and have him pass so they can spend more time together on the weekends - what she fails to see is that he leaves home at 7am Saturday morning and goes motorbike riding all day getting home at 5pm and then Sundays he spends locked in his room chatting on msn and grunting as he passes anyone on the way to the kitchen - how is this spending time? how is he learning anything?
She then went on to tell me that she pays a lot of money in school fees and couldn't afford for him to fail and have to repeat....... apparently he gets enough marks from his assignments to assure a pass ...I wonder if she will do his uni assignments as well, and fill in his dole application??? I was so angry when I left that conversation and I wondered if time will turn me into one of those parents?
But the thought of turning lose on society an adult who can't read, write, cook, clean, dress themsleves and get themselves organised is repugnent. Surely a parents job is to nuture a whole human being not stunt them into a childlike dependance for the rest of their lives.
end of rant have a great day