Holidays are here!!!

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This makes me happy. Sunflowers grown from sunflower seeds I took from the chooks’ food. I planted them in a big pot that has lots of chook bedding (shredded newspapers and chook poo) mixed with a bit of potting mix and compost. The pot looks like a big vase of flowers, which pleases me inordinately. I’m hoping to be able to harvest the seeds and feed them back to the gerls.

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I’ve been somewhat distracted, due to the end-of-year things at work and also this sexy beast. Yes, my Thermomix arrived last weekend. So far we’ve made pumpkin soup, icecream, butter, sorbets, numerous dips, boiled eggs and now I’m gearing up to making salads, icrecream and custard for Christmas Day. The Thermomix (probably going to be named Uma) is the most magnificent thing I’ve ever owned. Including the kids. I’m in love and even thinking about becoming a consultant, though I’m still wrestling with the “time-poor” aspect of my life and how I’d fit it all in.

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This also makes me happy. Remember the mystery plants that came up in the wicking beds in the driveway? I knew I planted them but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what they were. Turns out they’re more sunflowers. The ladybird seems to like them.

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After a very rocky start the wicking beds are slowly coming good. These are the ones in the driveway. The beans are climbing the trellis and the tomatoes are bushing up. The ladybird sunflower is hogging the view at the front, just in case you were wondering, with my lone Lazy Housewife bean deciding to make a go of it and putting out some flowers.

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After a long period of sulking, the purple beans foodnstuff gave me have finally decided to co-operate and grow along the string I set up to enable them to shield the lettuce and tomatoes from the summer sun. Utter genius, that idea!

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Not only that; they’re starting to produce some beans as well.

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The strawberries have always liked the wicking bed, ph10 or not. They’re throwing out lots of flowers and fruit.

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When Mick gave me some worms from his worm farm a while ago, I had no idea that he was also giving me tomato plants. They’ve been popping up all over the big wicking beds. I’ve thinned them out and I’m going to accept whatever I get from them.

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However, not all is fine and dandy. The Great Pumpkin Experiment is failing, and just have a look at those pathetic excuses for scarlet runner beans at the back of the wicking bed. I was really excited about these beans, as they’re supposed to come up year after year once you plant them. (That excites me in so many ways.. from my tightarsery to my permaculture-tree-hugging side.) But they’re just not happy about all of the ph drama and the planting and replanting they underwent. Still, there’s always next year!

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The pomegranate tree outside the chook pen is going to have bright red blossoms. I was told this would happen so I planted it where I would be able to see it from the kitchen window. It’s very satisfying to see little plans come to fruition like this. (Did you see what I did there? Talking about a fruit tree…. bring in “fruition”????) Utter genius again…. 😛

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Finally, remember the shrub I bought from Ceres that had the tube pot stuck in it and was constricting the root ball? It looks like it’s decided that it likes it under the fig tree, nestling near the dead tree fern to be protected from marauding chickens. Can’t wait for next winter when it should be covered in blossoms.

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An update on the freezer worm farm. Here it is when the lid is lifted…

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… and here’s the blurry action shot when their covering is whipped back. Who knew worms could be so energetic?

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David18’s best friend’s Mum makes gingerbread houses at Christmas. She gave us the biggest one because we had the biggest family to house! This’ll go somewhere on the table at Christmas because *gulp* I’m hosting Christmas dinner this year.

I’ve decided to go traditional, with the turkey and roast vegetables, but we’re having salads rather than cooked vegetables because it’s going to be very humid and warm, apparently. I’ve never cooked a turkey before so I’m a little stressed about the whole thing. My sister normally hosts Christmas and everything is always perfect so I have big shoes to fill. In a couple of hours I’m going to wake the boys up and we’ll be cleaning the house from top to bottom and getting the garden to show standard. We might even get to put up the Christmas tree! (Sad but true. I’ve been busy…)

People have been blogging about ‘Handmade Christmas”, where they took a pledge to only buy or make present that are… well… handmade. I would’ve been in this with gusto, except for my sneaking suspicion that the door staff at Foo Fighters, Avenged Sevenfold, Tim Minchin and Joe Satriani concerts don’t tend to accept homemade tickets. For anyone reading this with younger children… make the most of the cheap years!! They get more expensive the older they get. (Though to be fair, Ryan16 got his first job last week.)

Funny story about that. I went with him to the pretzel place at Chadstone and stood way back while he asked to see the manager and proffered his resume and she interviewed him. When he had to fill in some forms, including a parental consent form, I came up to the tables at the front of the shop and filled in what I had to. I then saw that the manager was nodding and smiling at me. I went over, thinking I’d better do the Proud Parent thing, when she said, “Surely you’re Frogdancer?”

I had no idea who she was. A parent of one of the kids I taught??? I looked at her, smiled and said, “Yes… I’m sorry but I’ve got no idea who you are….?”

“I used to go to primary school with you. I’m Rosemary!”

The minute she said that I remembered who she was. How amazing is that? Some people have the most incredible recall with faces. She said that she couldn’t forget “little Frogdancer, always behind a book” and then asked what I was doing now.

I laughed. “Actually, I’m an English teacher!!”

Personally, I think Ryan16 owes me a huge debt of gratitude. Imagine if I was a bitch on wheels at primary school? She would’ve thrown him out on his ear!

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11 Responses to Holidays are here!!!

  1. Scott says:

    I’ve been studying about turkey roasting – particularly from the great Delia Smith. Let me know your bird weight and I’ll send instructions.

  2. Scott says:

    Also what sort of stuffing – pine nut and bacon; chestnut; or the traditional sausage meat, sage and onion (that’s what I’m doing).

  3. Fairlie says:

    Handmade concert tickets! I love that idea. Although I think it may be called ‘counterfeiting’ in a different universe!

    And I laughed at ‘fruition’. I have that kind of sense of humour!

  4. Jan says:

    Love all the photos of homegrown food.

    I don’t know what the climate is like in your neck of the woods, but maybe it’s too hot for Scarlet Runners? Up here they are the chosen variety on the Blue Mountains and west where it’s much cooler than Sydney. Dad grew up in Lithgow and always spoke of the huge yield. After retiring he went back to the mountains and grew them himself with great success.

  5. Catherine says:

    Have a wonderful and very Merry Christmas. Try not to stress over the Christmas meal – it’s your house so your rules…vbg. Love the wicking bed photos. Your beds are much more productive than mine but with close to 40 degrees forecast for Christmas Day I refuse to plant more.

  6. Andrea says:

    Sunflowers are such are cheery sight and useful!Wow your garden is going great guns, those wicking beds certainly are productive(have been reading up on construction after seeing them on your earlier posts) and hope to build a couple ready for autumn plantings. Best wishes to you and your boys for a happy Xmas.

  7. Jo says:

    Both Uma and the sunflowers look magnificent indeed!! I’m off to scour the chook feed for sunflower seeds.

  8. Bev says:

    I can’t believe you actually have a ripe tomato (in the driveway wicking bed). I’ve never had a ripe tomato before Christmas (sob).

    My pomegranate flowered too. Didn’t set any fruit though. Maybe next year.

    Have a Happy Thermomixing Christmas!

  9. river says:

    Love that sunny sunflower! Don’t forget to keep one lot of seeds to replant. I was scrolling down feeling so proud of all your wicking beds, then I saw the strawberries. Now I’m just jealous! I’m so green with envy, you could mistake me for a lush lawn.

    Merry Christmas

  10. hazel says:

    Love, love, love the Pretzel Lady story. LOL. Good to see your wicking beds recovering/ed. Have a great Christmas!

  11. avital says:

    Love seeing your sunflowers. They almost made me feel warm. It’s 2 pm and the frost, which is so thick it almost looks like snow, still hasn’t melted yet and I am wearing wool socks, two sweaters and slippers, and I STILL feel cold.

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