Those Cheeky Chooks!

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I was clearing out one of the veggie beds and saw that the kale had been attacked by cabbage moth again. I pulled it out and went to feed it to the chooks. Normally I’d just throw it over the fence but I wanted to place it near the fruit trees so that they might get fertilised as the gerls eat.
As I was standing there watching them happily eat the kale, I noticed two small chat potatoes on the ground, where I normally throw the leftovers for them.

After a minute, I thought, “Hang on… I never throw spuds in here…”

No wonder I haven’t been getting many eggs lately! Lady Grey’s egg in the middle was the only one that was in its proper place in the nesting box. The other 11 were in a pile under a shrub in the corner. I’ve started putting shredded newspaper in there instead of rice hulls and I suppose some of them didn’t like it.

Quiche, anyone?

Independence Days Challenge:
Pretty woeful this past fortnight…
1. Plant Something:
2. Harvest Something:
1. Eggs 2. Warrigal Greens. 3. Rosemary. 4. Apple Cucumbers 5. Apples. 6. Tomatoes 7. Capsicum 8. Parsley 9. Kale for the Chooks 10. Sage 11. Thyme 12. Lime Verbena

3. Preserve Something:
4. Waste Not: 1. Ate the last of the pea soup that was in the fridge for lunch today instead of eating something else.

5. Want Not:
6.Cook Something New:
7. Manage Your Reserves: 1. Realised we have over 5KGs of brown rice to use up, which is a priority as brown rice doesn’t keep for very long. We’ve been having lots of brown rice salad lately. :)

Thermomix Recipe: Crustless Quiche

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Just a quickie…

One of my year 8 boys in the poetry writing class we had yesterday: “I can’t write, Miss! Teach me how to poem!!”

Thermomix Recipe: Garlic, Feta and Olive Pull-Apart Bread.

 

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Skinflint Sunday: See a garden for entertainment and Inspiration.

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(I have an iphone3, so the photos may be slightly fuzzy.)
When Karen came around with the garden design for my front yard, she mentioned that she was having an Open Garden weekend in Feb. Blogless Sandy and I popped along yesterday for a bit of a look. Stupidly, I didn’t take any shots of the garden as a whole, but I’ve got bits and pieces that I found interesting along the way.

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She’s utilised the nature strip out the front, with a few nut trees, perennial herbs and plants and lots of bee-attracting flowers. She also has a bee hive on her roof and was selling honey as well. Her front and back gardens are utilised to the max, so it makes sense to use the nature strip out the front as well, providing the council is supportive.

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It’s a very shady block of land, but she’s got lots of plants growing happily and all contributing to a really productive block.

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A vertical garden. Notice the irrigation at the top? She also has an aquaponics set up, but I didn’t take a photo of that. No fish were in there as yet.

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See the avocados in the tree?

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She is growing the most divine grapes I’ve ever tasted. They’re a heritage Italian variety that taste like strawberries. Can you believe it? We tasted one each, and that was it. I’ve come home with grape vines. As long as the boys can keep them alive while I’m in Europe, I’ll be happy.

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Lots of brick and stone paths here. That’s what I want to do… the less chance weeds have to sprout the happier I’ll be.

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If you peer at the bottom of the netting, you’ll see that in the main central growing bed there’s little brick paths wending through. The netting is covering thornless blackberries.

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Well… almost covering. I guess the birds and the chooks have to take a few!

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I was wondering why these cages were set up a garden like this in the suburbs. They reminded me of the cages foodnstuff has made to keep the rabbits away from her plants. I was thinking that the possums over this side of town must be pretty brazen, when someone mentioned that she lets her chooks free-range. Mystery solved!

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I’m SO loving this. A couple of days ago I had to chop the chook yard lemon tree back to just a stump growing out of the ground, because of these little horrors. I have no idea if it’ll even grow back, but it had to be done. Now I just have to find out how to get my hands on some of these.

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Here’s the tree growing above the table and chairs in the first photo. Can you imagine just sitting out there on a summer’s evening with a glass of bubbly, then reaching up to pull an apple from the tree?

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A very blurry photo of a native plant called Old Man Saltbush. (I think.) The leaves taste of salt. I also bought a couple of native pepper plants (one male, one female) so I can grow my own peppercorns. When the zombie apocalypse hits, the last thing you want to have to deal with is incorrectly seasoned meals.

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And this is what taro looks like.

I came back with a lemon myrtle plant too. Karen gave a tour of the garden and she was saying that she used lemon verbena in summer for tea, while in winter when the verbena has died down she uses a leaf of lemon myrtle in a cup of boiling water. Sounds good to me.
We had a lovely time and learned a lot. Can’t wait till Europe is done and dusted and we can start putting the garden in. It’s going to be amazing.

In other news Tom23 moved out yesterday. He gave me this as a farewell gift:
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Ryan20 has moved into his old room. A new stage has begun!

Thermomix recipe: Salmon, Pea and Feta Pasta

Posted in Children., Fruit trees, gardening, Quality of life, Skinflint, vegetables | 3 Comments

Apples and Rhubarb… mmm

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Look what my trees made!
I also picked the apples the lorikeets were muching on and saved some that were only a little bit nibbled. I picked the first EVER stalks of rhubarb and used the sad apples in a stewed apple and rhubarb dessert. I’d forgotten how nice rhubarb is.
Amd I still have all these apples to eat. Most are Granny Smiths, with a few Pink Ladies mixed in. Nice to think that I only bought the Granny Smith tree because it was a sad crooked looking thing at Bunnings and they knocked about $10 off to get rid of it. Who’s laughing now, hey?

Thermomix Recipe: Chicken Wonton and Noodle Soup Saw a photo of this on someone’s FB page tonight… looks lovely.

Posted in Fruit trees, gardening | 3 Comments

Skinflint Sunday: Sample pots are a good way to go.

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So I thought I might go with some colour on the walls of my entry hall. I’m getting a bit bored with my life and I wanted a change. I saw “Scarlett Ribbons”….

Now tell me, in what world is this colour possibly supposed to be Scarlet? Screaming Barbie-doll pink is more like it! I’m outraged, people. Outraged.

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My hallway to the bedrooms and bathroom leads off the entryway. It’s on the south side of the house so it’s quite dark. I’ve always gone for light colours here but I’m going to break with tradition and go with the darker of the two sample colours. Also thinking of putting a skylight in at the darkest point of the hallway. It shouldn’t cost too much… I just want to make sure that I can stop heat from flooding into the house on those really hot 40C days in summer. The dark walls won’t ‘gloom and doom’ it if there’s more light.

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And finally: naked thermomixes. Evan18 had friends around for a fire last night and when I got up all 4 bowls were in the dishwasher. They’d had dips and cocktails, I think. Noice.

Thermomix recipe: No recipe today but a blog post I enjoyed reading. Have a lovely Sunday everyone!

Posted in renovating, Skinflint | 2 Comments

This morning before I water the garden.

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Bunty and Martha.

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The other gerls.

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No eggs yet.

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Picture for Spo, after his comment last time. Time to pick the apples, methinks!

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The apple from a distance. The nasturtiums have come back again. Funny how the red and yellow ones aren’t as numerous as the orange.

Thermomix Recipe: Timtam Fudge.
I made this yesterday during my lunch hour for my year 12 Theatre Studies class. Dear God in heaven. If I never made anything else in the thermomix… it’d be worth the price for this recipe alone. SO good.

Posted in chickens, Flowers, Fruit trees | 1 Comment

Skinflint Sunday: Go on a road trip to meet an English friend…. in Australia.

 

Woo hoo! Blogmeet today!

I haven’t been to one of these for ages. Trashalou is over from England to visit family and there’s  a gathering happening at a certain quilting shop/café. I’d post a link but I have no idea where it is, which may be problematic as I’m the one driving… PatchAndi and I are car pooling and heading off.

I’m pretty excited. I’m probably going to stay with Trash when I’m over in the UK later this year so this is a terrific opportunity to clap eyes on each other before then. I have the strong impression that everyone else is pretty heavily into quilting, sewing and general craft, which used to be me until I started the thermomix business.

Maybe I’ll start some knitting today and bring it along. I’ve been meaning to drag out some of that gorgeous yarn I bought last year and get stuck into it.

But I’m going to meet up with some terrific women who I’ve met once or twice before, or in some cases I’ve only ‘met’ by lurking on their blogs. It’s going to be a good day. :)

Thermomix Recipe: English Muffins

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Independence Days Saturday: Week 4

I’ve fallen down on a couple of areas this week, but this challenge has made me get out there and preserve something, which I know I wouldn’t have done otherwise, so that’s a good thing.

1. Plant Something: 

2. Harvest and Eat Something: 1. Eggs 2. Warrigal Greens for both us and the chooks. 3. Rosemary. 4. Apple Cucumbers 5. Apples. 6. Tomatoes 7. Capsicum 8. Parsley

3. Preserve Something: Cut some lime verbena to dry.

4. Waste Not: 1. Found a couple of frozen leftovers in the freezer. Am currently sitting at my desk (on Monday) with one of them for lunch. Yum!

5. Want Not: 1. Had to take 4 packets of rice crackers in to a specialist cooking class I was working at. At the end of the night I saw that 1 pack remained unopened. I brought it back home with me. After all… I paid for it in the first place!

6. Cook Something New: 1. Rose Petal Jam – I was asked to make something fabulous at the Branch meeting. Not being a massive foodie; this sounded fabulous enough for me! Who knows? If I like the taste of it, I’ll save the rose bush from getting ripped out when the new garden goes in. :)

2. Salami Fettucini from the EDC. People have been telling me about this recipe for 3 years… and yes. It was nice.

7. Manage Your Reserves: 1. I need to use up brown rice as we have far too much. Made lentil bolognaise over brown rice instead of pasta. It was delicious.

8. Work On Local Food Systems: 

Thermomix Recipe: Rhubarb Shortbread Squares. I have some rhubarb growing and this looks like an interesting way to use some.

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Apples and roses.

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I noticed that some of the apples are beginning to be pecked by birds. Clearly it’s time to start picking them.
There’s still lots more little ones left on the trees. This is the first haul, with an egg shyly hiding in the background. It’s so satisfying to take a crisp bite from a fresh apple from your own garden. Those powdery supermarket ones don’t come anywhere close.

Thermomix Recipe: Rose Petal Jam. I made this last night in front of 50 people at a thermomix branch meeting. Very easy. At first I wasn’t sure if it worked, but after a night in the fridge it’s ‘jammed’ up beautifully. Intensely sweet… if I make it again I’d strain the petals from it. (Still, I guess it’s extra fibre…) It’s a good way to use something else from the garden as a productive food source.

Posted in Flowers, Fruit trees | 3 Comments

Skinflint Sunday: Don’t waste a single thing you grow!

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Here’s my Scarlet Runner bean crop… yes, all of it…. in with some split peas I was soaking for a soup a few days ago.
Waste not, want not!

Thermomix Recipe: Bacon and Red Lentil Soup It’s raining today – perfect soup weather.

Posted in Skinflint | 1 Comment