Simple things.

On the 29th December Ryan23 became Ryan24. I made him pancakes for breakfast and he ate 5.

Christmas was lovely. I now have 2 more books to add to the pile of books beside my bed. 25 at last count! I’ve decided to graciously accept defeat with my Goodreads Reading Challenge this year. I was going for 80 books but I fell short by 7. I’m reading the Jordan Peterson book and the novel that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize (thanks Tom26!), but I’ll slow down on them until 2019. I might as well give myself a little head start on the 80 book challenge for next year. I’ll keep aiming for it until I hit it.

My veggie garden is trying its best to produce things to eat. The garden bed where I put all of the coffee grounds and crushed eggshells is producing Tromboncino zucchini like there’s no tomorrow, but the pumpkins and Black Jack zucchinis up in the wicking beds have withered.

After a slow start, the beans have decided to come on. You can see that the Lazy Housewife beans have burst through the netting. I’m pretty pleased about that. I thought the blackbirds had dug up all the seeds, but they have lived to fight another day.

The soil in the wicking beds is clearly impoverished. When the wicking beds were first put in, I planted these celery plants. They are still tiny and struggling, poor things.

Black Jack zucchini plant, up in the wicking beds. It was planted about 3 weeks before the tromboncino zucchini that has gone nuts in the other bed. Somehow, I don’t think we’ll be getting too many zucchini slices out of this one!

Some of the tomatoes have produced fruit, though not nearly as much as back in the old garden.

This is the ‘Rapunzel’ that David25 gave me for my birthday. I’ll save some seed from it, build up the soil over winter and give it another go next year.

The spring onions that he gave me are trying their best to grow.

Not everything is hopeless. We’ve had 3 meals’ worth of butter beans.

The Bellotti beans are growing and providing shade for the worm farms.

The seed for next year’s snow peas.

I’ve decided to let these plants do their thing over summer and then I’ll let them lie fallow over winter. I’ll keep adding coffee grounds, eggshells and compost, while the worms in the feeding stations will still be adding their stuff to the beds. I might even plant some green manure crops to add more nutrients to the soil. Blogless Adrian, at work, did that last winter at his place. He waited 6 weeks after dogging it all in and he said that it’s worked wonders for his soil.

Miss Scout is our absolute joy and delight. She’s a ‘big’ girl now – 2 and a half years old – and she has so much personality stuffed into that tiny body of hers. Every dachshund forum I’ve seen says how disobedient and stubborn they are, but she’s nothing like that. She certainly loves her pack and her people, even the boys who don’t live here. You should have seen her practically turn herself inside out when Tom26 turned up to stay for a few days at Christmas! We can’t imagine life without her.

Poppy is still my spirit animal. Wherever I go, she goes, unless someone else is in the kitchen. The minute my feet hit the ground, even if she’s dead asleep, she’s suddenly up and ready to go for the next ‘adventure’.

Jeffrey just likes to guard the perimeter of the property and to sleep. The dog next door has moved in and there’s been a couple of barking matches at the side fence, but our dogs are constantly indoors with us so it hasn’t been too much of a drama. I hope that next year when we’re all at uni or work, they don’t drive the neighbourhood nuts.

***

A couple of days ago I went to Doyles in Mordialloc for a high school reunion. My school doesn’t exist any more, so this was an unofficial one that people in my year level have been doing for a while. They weren’t really in my circle of friends back in the day – too popular and sporty – (that’s them, not me!!) – but it’s amazing what the passage of time will do.

“So, Frogdancer, what have you been doing for the last 40 years?” said one guy. Geeze… that’s a bit scary. It was a lovely afternoon. I ended up staying for 5 hours, just chatting away with people. It’s amazing how similar some of our stories are, and how different others are.

Over the next few days, I’ll be sorting through my spending for the year and seeing how everything went. It’s been an expensive year at The Best House in Melbourne, what with the landscaping work costing 50K – and it’s still not finished… but Old Lady Frogdancer will be very glad all of the work has been done. She’s going to love pottering around here.

 

 

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10 Responses to Simple things.

  1. Karen Kellett says:

    Fiona from Stay Home Instead blog used a product called Troforte in her impoverished soil and the results were amazing. It is in her post of 17th December 2018. It might be worth checking it out.
    Cheers Karen near Gympie.

    • What a great blog! I’ve just been in there for a good 20 minutes and rummaged around. That Troforte looks like good stuff. I think I’ll be zipping up to Bunnings soon to get some. 🙂

  2. Karen Kellett says:

    Glad to be of help. I plan on getting some as well. Yes Fiona’s blog is pretty handy, especially her recipes.

  3. foodnstuff says:

    Wow! Two blog posts in one day! It must be holidays!
    Well, things aren’t too bad in the garden…at least you’re getting some food. I’ve had some butter beans too. You never see them in the shops. What’s the name of that gorgeous black tomato? Did you grow it from seed or buy a plant? I would love to try it next year. If you collect seed, I’ll do a swap.

  4. Urspo says:

    May your 2019 be your best one yet!
    I am mad-jealous about the gardens; they look lovely esp the toms.

  5. Mr HM (Phil) says:

    I’ve been thinking about your soil issues – perhaps instead of using a compost pile, instead bury your compost directly into fallow beds. Just simply start at one end of the fallow bed a dig shallow trench, fill with compost then cover over buy creating a new trench next to that one using the dirt to cover the compost. I use this method with fabulous results for fallow beds.
    As for your wicking beds, pumpkins and similar have very shallow root systems so you may need to still water from above until the roots are established and can suck up the deeper water of the wicking bed.
    Your place is looks really good – I love the brick paving

    • Thanks! I love the brick paving too. It’s definitely not cheap, but it’s frugal. Those bricks will last a lifetime.
      I might experiment with burying the compost. The only thing that might put me off is the thought of bush rats digging it up. We don’t have cats any more and I really don’t want to encourage them to hang around!

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