Thursday, October 29, 2009

Little Miss Three

On Monday, our little Lysbeth turned 3.

Of course we had a cake.

We tried to get a photo of 5 little cousins together- bit harder than we thought it would be!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Lyssie has been busy shelling broad beans today. I think she might be busy tomorrow as well- there are till bucket loads out in the garden to pick.

Now we just have to work out what to do with them! Lots of dips and pasta's coming up, I am guessing lots of blanching and freezing too!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The New Garage

The beginnings of the new garage behind the house. Ian, his father and brother laid the cement pad last week.

Lyssie supervised over the fence- she really wanted to be out there with them.

This is where it was up to yesterday afternoon.

Emme in the garden, busting out of her sisters clothes from last summer- she won't be two for another 6 months.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tomato Planting Day

The kids managed to get up well before six this morning so I had plenty of time to head out to the garden and plant the tomatoes before Ian went to work. Slowly over the last month or so I have been preparing where the tomatoes will grow this year. As it is a new spot just outside the fenced vegetable area Ian voiced how he wasn't going to help as they had escaped, but as usual he helped and put up a nice sturdy fence to weave them through (he likes complaining about the size I want things, but really does enjoy being involved and the great produce we get to eat all year long).

Finally I am starting to take into account what has and hasn't worked well in the past when it comes to choosing varieties and not just putting everything in. This is what I have come up with:
-1 cherry yellow
-1 cherry orange
-2 cherry reds
- 2 Tigerella
-2 Black Russian
-1 Green Zebra
-4 Amish Paste
-5 Grosse Lisse

The Grosse Lisse, Tigerella, Black Russian and Green Zebra I have grown before successfully and all have different uses in the summer kitchen, the Amish paste is a new one I have wanted to try as I have read great things about it.

I also have some Roma tomatoes to plant but these will be done on a separate fence inside the vegetable patch. Last year the other tomatoes covered the poor Roma over, so I thought I would give it another chance without the competition.

This year I managed to grow the Grosse Lisse, Tigerella, Amish Paste and Black Russian from seed using Jiffy pots. I planted the seeds on the 20th of August- next year I think I should start them about the first of August as I think they would benefit from potting on and getting a bit bigger, hopefully they will be big enough for this year. In the photo above they are catching some sun to harden up before planting out.

This is my new tomato fence that runs along behind the vegetable garden. It now has a thick layer of pea straw along both sides of it and 18 tomatoes planted along it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Potatoes and Artichokes

My new potato bed that Ian made early in July is thriving!

Here is the potato variety in each row and when it was planted (from left to right)
-Kipfler 27/7
-Red Norland 27/7
-Delaware 27/7
-King Edward 5/8
-Sapphire 5/8
-Up-To-Date 19/8
-Royal Blue19/8
-Delaware 19/8

They have all been hilled up and mulched with pea straw with dripper hose reticulation.

Back in March I split my one big artichoke into 7 and was a bit worried about what I had done. To my surprise they have all taken and look fantastic- now all I need to do is work out when to pick them and how to prepare them! Luckily I have a friend who said she would help me out.
I think next year some of them might have to be moved as they are really cramped in, I have plans for a new vegie area in the garden so they might go in there.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mulberry Muffins

1 cup natural yoghurt
100ml canola oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Put the above in a bowl and whisk to combine.

2 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder, sifted
3/4 cup soft brown sugar
1 1/2 cups frozen mulberries

Mix together so the berries are lightly coated.
Add the wet mix and carefully fold together. Spoon into muffin tins and top each with a good sprinkling of raw sugar. Bake in a moderate oven for about 25 minutes.

This recipe makes about 12 and is perfect for the mulberries I picked last year. Might need to try it with some white chocolate next time!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Local Show

It has been a busy few days getting organised for our local show. Lyssie and I had our entries to prepare and I also had activities to organise for kids to do on the day (some simple craft really).

It was Lyssie's first year entering in the show and I think she really enjoyed it. She entered two sections, chocolate crackles and a vase of mixed flowers. She was very excited to win first prize in the chocolate crackles section. Here they are below.

I entered 12 sections on the day but it wasn't that hard as it was mainly things that I already have and require limited preparation like jams and silverbeet.

This is what I entered

Apricot Jam- First Prize
Jam, any other variety- Equal First Prize (I entered strawberry)
Chutney- First Prize (Tomato and Chilli)
Potatoes, 6 any variety- Second Prize (they were Royal Blue)
Pumpkin, 1 only, any variety- First Prize (the variety was triamble and it was 10.1kg)
Silverbeet, 1 bunch
Collection of Vegetables, at least 3 varieties in a basket- Equal Second Prize (there was only three and they all looked pretty similar and fabulous)
Collection of herbs, at least 3 varieties in a basket- First Prize
Loaf, any variety unsliced, suitable to butter- first Prize (I made a banana and date loaf again as it won last year, will have to blog recipe as it is really quick and easy)
Biscuits 2 varieties, 3 of each kind- Second Prize (passionfruit melting moments and chocolate fleck cookies)
Rose, 1 specimen
Perennial, 1 cut

Some of our entries ready to go

My basket of mixed vegetables with silverbeet, kale, curly pink kale, asparagus, beetroot, potato, purple romamesco broccoli, leek and broad beans

My basket of herbs with rosemary, garlic chives, thyme, lavender, mint, coriander, sage, Vietnamese mint, oregano and parsley

Passionfruit melting moments and chocolate fleck cookies

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lost Kids

The canola on the new block is looking pretty mint at the moment which is really satisfying after lots of hard work to prepare the paddocks- shame about the grain prices!! We tried to take some good pics with the kids yesterday which became a little difficult as the little one kept trying to make a run for it. Wouldn't take much to lose them in there.

Can you find two kids in this photo?
Can conclude from this exercise that neither of the kids have hay fever issues at this stage!