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Summer Abundance

Garden Haul

Zucchinis

Semi Dried Tomatoes

Tomatoes and Basil

Pumpkin

Over the last few weeks our tiny garden has been going crazy! We’ve been eating cherry tomatoes around the clock and have had enough larger tomatoes to semi dry and make a big batch of pasta sauce (both of which we devoured in record time!) I’ve made lots of pesto and have managed to put a few bottles aside in the freezer for the approaching cold months. We’ve eaten a bunch of zucchinis and there are plenty more to come, including a couple that have grown to gigantic proportions. The rainbow chard is still doing well and we’ve had a few lovely cucumbers. Tonight we made veggie enchiladas using our first homegrown capsicums, and we’ve just picked the first of our little pumpkins. Silly Clover pup actually helped with that. This morning I discovered a small half chewed pumpkin in her bed! It was too cute and funny to be cranky with her about it.

All in all, our first summer season has been quite successful! Especially considering we’ve only had two little beds and we’ve taken a rather lazy approach to the whole thing.

I’ve never been much of a summer girl (I don’t like the heat and I’m very partial to cardigans, fireplaces and bowls of soup) but this season, perhaps for the first time, I have been able to really appreciate the garden goodness the warmer months hold. The 40°C days are awful but the homegrown produce is so wonderful!

Over the last week we’ve felt a gentle shift in the weather. It’s still very warm but the early mornings are crisp and some nights there is a real chill in the air. Soon autumn will be here, and though I will embrace the cold weather with open arms, I really will miss the abundance of summer.

Wishing you all a lovely, lovely week ahead!

Katie x

Comments { 13 }

A Proud Moment

Homegrown and Homemade

I’m interrupting our new once a week posting schedule, just to share a little something that meant a great deal to Reuben and I. Last night we ate our most home produced meal to date. It consisted of homemade pesto made from homegrown basil, homemade feta and homegrown tomatoes on sourdough toast and homemade lemon cordial, made with lemons from my mum’s lemon tree, followed by homemade chocolate slice for dessert. It wasn’t fancy or elaborate but it made us very proud. And I do believe it was the one of the absolute best meals I have ever eaten! In moments like this I feel so grateful for the path we have chosen and so excited for all that lies ahead of us as we continue on this journey.

Today I am making semi dried tomatoes and feeling very content. Life is good.

Katie x

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Summer in the Garden

Garden 2

Garden 3

Garden 4

Garden 1

Garden 5

So far our first growing season in our own home has proven to be a quite a learning experience!

At times it has been very challenging. We’ve lost a blueberry plant to an unknown fate. A mystery bug (I suspect earwigs but haven’t enough proof) has eaten one and a half of our two raspberry plants (not the fruit, the leaves and stems!) All but one each of our watermelon and cucumber plants have mysteriously disappeared. One of our passionfruits’ new growth has been repeatedly gobbled up by something, preventing it from growing. We’ve had hot days then cold days and gale force winds. I can’t even remember the last time it rained…

But! Despite all of that, we’ve also had some wonderful successes in our our little garden. Our raspberry is bouncing back. The tomatoes are out of control. The beans have produced more than I could ever have imagined. The zucchinis are in good health. The elderflower is flourishing. We have at least 6 pumpkins on their way. And most happily for me, one of our two Camellia Sinensis (tea) bushes (that we thought had died) is starting to show some new growth, just as we were about to pull it out and replace it with a big blackberry bush! Over the last couple of weeks we’ve eaten homegrown rainbow chard, strawberries, sugar snap peas, basil, zucchini, perpetual spinach, one cucumber and mountains of beans, and now we’re starting to get tomatoes. Though we started small with just two raised beds, we have managed to grow quite a lot!

Even though it can be frustrating at times, we’re really enjoying having a productive garden. We love being able to eat fruit and veggies that we’ve grown ourselves. Nothing makes me happier than spying Katie at the veggie patch, picking something fresh for our dinner. It’s so nice knowing the things we eat don’t have any chemicals on them and that they are in our bellies within minutes of being picked. A lot of the veggies we grow (including all of our peas) don’t even make it into the kitchen. They are so good we can’t help but eat them straight off the plant!

With the successes and struggles of this season in mind, I’m now starting to make plans for the next growing season. It’s time to expand our veggie patch from the two raised beds and I’ve earmarked half our front lawn for some serious redevelopment. Soon it’ll be time to put things in for winter. I’ve already got some kale seeds that are calling me…

What’s been happening in your garden this season?

Reuben

PS All these pictures are from Katie’s Instagram account. We’ve gotten a bit out of the habit of taking photos over the last few months, but we are both determined to get back behind the camera this year!

Comments { 20 }

Exhale

Strawberries Tomatoes and Mint

The last week has been a tough one for our little family. I mean a really tough one. Perhaps one day I’ll be brave enough to share that story here but for now it’s still a bit too raw, so suffice it to say, we’ve been struggling. After a few days of being shut inside feeling sorry for ourselves, today we were much in need some outside time and our list of garden chores was calling…

Truth be told, I’ve never been terribly keen on gardening. Reubs is the garden guy in our house. Though I’ve always been very interested in the results of gardening (fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers? yes please!) the process itself has never really excited me. I’ve just never been particularly outdoorsy. So you can imagine how surprised I’ve been to notice a little shift in my feelings toward the garden chores this Spring. I’ve found myself amazed by how much I have actually enjoyed getting my hands in the soil while planting our fruit trees and putting in our raised veggie beds. I’ve discoverd how lovely it is to wake up in the morning and water the vegetables. I’ve grown rather fond of wandering through nurseries and plant stalls at the farmers market…

Today Reubs and I planted a bunch of lovely new things including two camellias, a gardenia, some Australian natives, two passionfruits and an artichoke. We fertilised the raspberries and blueberries. We mulched the roses. Reubs mowed the lawn while I potted some tomatoes that wouldn’t fit in our raised beds, and planted some new strawberries and mint in hanging baskets. And as we pottered around, the sunshine, the clean air and the dirt under my nails washed away some of the sadness of the past few days. For the first time in a little while, I could exhale.

So gardening, huh? I think I just might be a convert.

Katie x

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The Veggie Patch

New Seedlings
Adding Compost
Last Minute Decisions
Planting Out
Almost Finished
Pop in a Box
Finished

Today was a good one. After months of planning and dreaming, this afternoon I finally planted some veggies in our first raised garden beds! Katie and I put the beds together about a month ago but the last few weeks have slipped by so quickly, until today I just haven’t had a chance to do anything more with them. This morning we made a trip to the garden centre and came home with lots of seedlings. I couldn’t wait to get stuck in!

I started off by adding some organic compost to the soil. It had been sitting bare for a month so was in need of a nutrient top up. I would love to have used our own compost but unfortunately it wasn’t quite ready, so I settled for store bought stuff. Then the planting begun! I put in tomatoes, capsicums, beans, peas, basil, coriander, dill, zucchini, cucumber, rockmelon, watermelon and rainbow chard. Once the plants were all in the ground Katie and I mulched them with some lovely lucerne hay and gave them a nice long drink.

I’d love to grow more vegetables including kale, artichokes and some more unusual things, but we’ve got limited space right now and it’s probably best I don’t take on too much too soon anyway. Next year we plan to put in at least two more beds so we’ll have room for double what we’ve planted this year. But I think this is plenty for now. I just can’t wait to watch these little seedlings grow up into edible treasures!

Reuben

Comments { 23 }