Weeds, weeds, and more weeds

And yet still there is more. The weeds are out of control. I am tolerating them at the moment as they are the only greenery. If not for the weeds I would be surrounded by a dust bowl.

These are all new to me weeds so I am unsure which ones are fairly harmless and which ones are going to take over and rule the world.

This one seems so pretty and harmless. How could such a delicate flower do any wrong? I have been admiring these for weeks. Hopefully they don’t overnight grow thorns and attack the chickens, or me.

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I was fairly excited when I saw these. Self seeded melons. So welcome when I lost all my melon seedlings to frost. How exciting. I have been keeping an eye on them for weeks to see what fruit grows.

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Yesterday I saw the fruit, doesn’t actually look so inviting. A little googling later. Invasive weed. Damn. No free melons for me.

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Actually a poisonous invasive weed, not just any old invasive weed. I only grow the best 🙂

Over the Summer there have been at least 10 more new weed types seen and thriving. I should really be taking pictures of all of them for identification purposes but also so that if some turn out to be real nasty (corkscrew weed seeds or the horrible bindi- I have dedicated days and days of my life to pulling them out of the fields!!) I will know what their flowers look like and can pull them out before they set seed.

I love a wild look garden. When there is no garden I can appreciate a wild weed look. Lucky I can embrace this as it is the specialty of the farm right now. Wild and weedy. Also kinda dry and dead in parts. Can’t win them all…

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Ahh technology

Constantly out to baffle me.

I take my photos on a camera then use a thingy to get them on the computer. That thingy broke just before I posted my last post. One of the wires detached itself from its home. With the aid of a butter knife and a mini screw driver I was able to open the thing up and used masking tape to hold the wire in place. I uploaded the photos and published the post. Success.

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Pretty pleased with myself. I then put it in my bag with the intention of asking my brother to weld the loose wire back on. As only one of the 3 wires had detached it was easy to see where it should go. In my bag the other 2 detached 😦 RIP Thingy.

My sister in law very kindly gave me one yesterday that she no longer uses. I am back in the photograph game!!!

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A spiky spiky thistle that I allowed to stay and flower as I thought the bees would like it. As beautiful as it is, I have yet to see a single bee on any of them. Hopefully I can pull them all out before they drop seed.

Slowly plodding through tasks here. The day is framed around watering the garden, every day different plants get watered, based on a flawed roster in my mind. Then I move to other tasks like the deck.  My sister and I bought a pump designed for pumping dirty water and have been watering the garden with dam water. Better than wading into the dam and filling a watering can which is what I was doing. Gosh it is pretty in the morning.

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The deck is coming along. The actual bit you walk on is done the only thing missing is stairs. Currently I am working on the railing. This is all that is done so far…

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I stole some comfrey from my old garden and it is sprouting up a treat. As I was transplanting it this morning I had a good look at this self seeded un-watered tomato that is growing nearby. It is a small plant, tiny actually. The fruit looks like no tomato that I can remember growing. I am interested to see what it tastes like. Whilst gazing fondly at the tomato I noticed a self seeded basil. I love basil! I have never in all my gardening career had self seeded basil. I am beyond thrilled. It was just over 42 degrees C (108F) here a few days ago, how this little plant survived I do not know. I am now going to watch it keenly.

 

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Maybe it is a relative of the mini roma tomatoes I grew last year?

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My intentional tomatoes are growing well. I don’t think I have grown this one before and of course there is no label or name to jog my memory. I think maybe it is Sweetie. Anyway, it is growing lots of lines of tomatoes that are a feast for my eyes.

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Now I am off to find 4 containers to put underneath my worm farm. I need to put each leg in a container and fill it with water. The meat ants have discovered the food in the worm farm and think it makes great snacks. This should stop them. Fingers crossed!

Little Projects

I have been slowly working on an ever growing list of things to do around here.

Finally the building man has given me a start date, the front porch area will be fixed in January.

The fencing man can put some kangaroo fencing in (probably January too)

The dam man can fix the hole in the dam (once the water level drops a bit more so he can get a bobcat in)

My sister and I decided to tackle the back deck. It is going well so far. Steep learning curve but my best friend google has been invaluable.

The garden is coming along (slowly)

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This was taken over a week ago, the sunflowers have opened, the pumpkin is now on the shed roof and the tomatoes have spread out.

The painting continues, slowly, my motivation is low. The green kitchen is now a glorious shade of duck egg blue. The laundry, lounge and my room still need attention.

The bees have been very generous.

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Santa is bringing me an extractor. It will up my honey game significantly.

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Couldn’t decide which picture so you get both. I was so excited by this passionfruit vine, so many flowers (that the bees are loving) but I have the strongest suspicion that it is an ornamental variety 😦

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Summer is here. The uninsulated house is exactly that, uninsulated. Quite hot! when it is 39C (102F) outside it is not much different inside. Monday’s forecast is 40C. I have borrowed a small evaporative cooler from a friend, this should help keep the cats a bit more comfortable. I have frozen corn and water for the chickens. Placed green tree leaves/branches on the metal roof of the bee hives to help keep the hot sun off their roof. Hopefully all is well for the animals.

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When you don’t want to buy a Christmas tree, all your ornaments are at your old house (except a gift from a friend, see the pretty silver bow?) but you want a little Christmas cheer. Just cut down an invasive weed and drag it inside, 2 birds one stone (now one less that I need to pull out)

I really really want to plant all the plants that I can get my hands on and create an oasis of green. As I water each day though using 40L of drinking water just for the tender young plants then weekly 100+L to water the fruit/manuka/lucerne trees I realise that I cannot plant any more plants until I get more water tanks. As I need to reduce the volume in the dam I have been wading in and watering the plants using this water. This is time consuming and messy but it is building me great muscles. It feels like free water though as no one really drinks it (no sheep yet, non adventurous chickens). The bees do drink from the dam so as long as it doesn’t dry up completely all is good. An oasis will have to wait a little longer. I read somewhere (I think it is an old Chinese proverb) that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is today. I am going to add a third best and run with that one… Third best is when you have enough water to keep the plant alive, probably next year…

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I usually don’t have any luck growing beetroot and to be completely honest I don’t remember planting them, I thought I only planted radishes but I must have thrown a few beetroot seeds in (I am always optimistic when I have packets of seeds in front of me!). They have been magnificent. Isn’t nature amazing!!! ps that is the new deck in the background. I will take a proper photo when it is finished, so in approx 5 years…

 

 

 

Still Lazy, but less so.

I have been taking more photos. There have still been times where a less lazy person would go and get the camera but at least 50% of the time I go and get the camera.

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When fairy lights make the kitchen look cleaner and more magical

I am happy with this, now I just need to make time (and motivation) to sit in this space and write something down.

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Roses making their way into my room

I checked the hives today, booming. The split new hive is finally looking happy and healthy, they had me worried there for a while. They are now stocking up for the Winter. I feel like bees are the ultimate Game of Thrones fans, they are always ever aware that “Winter is coming” even though Summer hasn’t even arrived yet. They have good numbers and no visible disease. Success! I have also stolen enough honey from the original hive for Christmas presents. Thank you little bees! I would like to say that they are generous but it is called robbing for a reason, I really am stealing from them.

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One of the best sights (and smells) in the world, fully capped honey.
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During todays inspection

We had a massive down pour of rain here last week which has helped the garden grow. The weather is around 30ish degrees (C) each day so great plant growing weather. All just plodding along slowly getting things sorted. I am so so so close to getting the kangaroo fencing sorted which will allow the garden to grow so much (in geographical size). Probably by the time the fencing is installed it will be too hot to try and plant stuff but with the amount of seeds that I have, it can’t hurt to try.

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Perfection
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Or is this one perfection?
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All from the same rose bush, it is amazing, there are so many different looking roses, there are others that appear all yellow, some that look almost completely pinky/red, the pale ones, the coral ones. Loving this rose bush!

The sourdough culture is going great, I have recently started keeping it in the fridge. This does not seem to affect its health. Fairly impressed with it!

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Ignore the filthy filthy window (but note the yellow rose, same bush as the above photo). This is my bedroom window. Bit too close I think. He doesn’t look thrilled to see me either…

The jolly old gas heater hole continues to challenge me. I am going to pull it all down and start again. This pains me greatly. I guess I need to remember that every failure is actually just a learning experience. And boy have I learnt a lot. I will fix this hole differently the second time and will apply this new knowledge to all large hole fixing I tackle in the future. Doesn’t mean it isn’t really really irritating. I am currently hiding the problem….

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What crack? I don’t see a problem. Surely I can just keep hay in the lounge. Right?

 

Lazy

I do not have a fancy phone, I do not want a fancy phone. My phone does not have the internet, it barely has a camera, it makes and receives phone calls, it sends and receives texts, this is all I want. So even if I happen to have my phone on me when walking about the farm I cannot capture the things I see. I need to be less lazy and carry my camera around.

I am too lazy to go and get the camera and capture the things that I think are beautiful or interesting or worth having a snap shot of.

I should go and take a photo of the transplanted fruit trees so that I can document their growth (or death in a couple of their cases). The light on a cloudless morning here when the sun is rising is so yellow it makes everything look utterly magical. I should try to capture even a sliver of the magic. In the evening, as the sun sets, the farm over the road gets all misty and the long shadows cut through the mist and create a feast for the eyes. Last night I stood there and just soaked it in for 5 minutes. I should take a photo too.

An hour ago I was digging in a garden bed that I had added compost to a couple of months ago. I thought that as I had neglected it (empty, no plants, no water) all the worms would have either moved so far down that I would not be able to see them or they would have died. I found a nest of happy wriggly worms, this made me happy, probably don’t need a photo of it but if I had a camera with me I would certainly have taken one for the sheer joy it sparked in me.

3 chickens in a row, dirt bathing and loving it, turned in unison to see what I was doing. Cute as buttons.

The most perfect rose. Obviously I stop to smell them! Some are worthy of being immortalised.

A bee on the thyme flowers.

A bee in the capeweed absolutely covered in yellow pollen, having a great day.

A progress photo of the old dog area that is slowly looking more like a garden.

The light coming through the gum trees into the washout that runs the length of the farm, it looks like a peaceful old river bed at one point, not like my farm.

The cat sleeping in a cat like cute pretzel shape.

My new bee hive put on a lovely show yesterday afternoon with orientation flights for the new foraging bees. Joy.

Saying goodbye to the bright green kitchen, saying hello to the soothing pale blue kitchen.

The fluffiest white clouds in the bluest sky with hint of the moon still visible.

The weird looking passion fruit vine is flowering, the flowers are always fascinating to me.

The dam, to record the water levels.

 

I took none of these photos. They will slowly leave my mind and be gone forever. I will make more of an effort to take these photos. Maybe I will go and take a progress photo of the dog garden now.

 

This and That, Bits and Bobs.

The once scary looking roses are blooming and are looking beautiful. The smell is heavenly. I picked one today that was so big the weight of the flower head broke the stem. I felt it deserved its own bowl.

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As Megan correctly identified regarding my weeds I do indeed have Bindi. Now that I know what it looks like I can see that it is everywhere 😦 I have spent hours each day digging it out in a bid to limit the amount of seeds that are spread. There are so many more to go. It is so sharp and it gets caught on everything. I strongly dislike this weed.

 

Little Maggie Moo had a run in with an eagle or a hawk. I do not know what it was but gosh it was huge! I happened to see it and raced out screaming like a banshee. Thankfully the bird left Maggie behind when it flew away . The poor lass has lost all the feathers on her back and has some nasty wounds. Some are puncture wounds from the claws, they are small but deep, others are large and muscle is on show. I won’t put a pic here, I thought they looked fine but it turns out I am not a good judge. I think all wounds look fine, they are just wounds. As long as there is no maggots, that’s the only thing really that makes a wound not fine in my eyes. The fencing man that came the other day asked why there was a chicken in the bathroom. I showed him, he was grossed out. Weird. So no photo. Protein helps the body to heal wounds, so I wanted Maggie who is perpetually underweight to get lots of protein. I wanted to give Maggie cottage cheese but they were all out at the store so I got her some yoghurt. I think she likes it.

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I am still patching walls and painting every surface I can see. I am a little sick of sanding. I have a lot more in my future. That old gas heater hole really has been a steep learning curve. It is still up in the air as to whether I pull it all down and start again or persevere with what I have done. Right this minute looking at it, I want to pull it all down. I will probably settle with a year of sanding and another layer of joint compound or 7.

Next on the DIY list is to tackle the back deck. How hard can it be to replace a deck?

No Food Soup

I felt like I had no food yesterday, this is the first time in a long time that I don’t have a garden to dictate my menu, I hadn’t been to the market to buy vegetables, I felt I had nothing. I decided to make soup. Defrosted some kidney beans from the freezer. Cooked an old and lonely onion, some garlic and some barley for a bit. Added some somewhat tough parsley stems chopped finely (the plant is going to seed) and cooked for a while. Added stock.

When in Melbourne a few days ago I returned to my old back yard (with permission 😉 ) and harvested a heap of broad beans. I peeled those. Pulled the leaves off the dried stinging nettle that has been calling to me from the cupboard, unused, for months. Picked some thyme and parsley leaves. Added kidney beans, broad beans, nettle, thyme, parley leaves to the pot and cooked for a bit.

When it was ready (the barley cooked) I added a bit of lemon juice. It tasted fine for no food soup. I had it for dinner with some toasted homemade sourdough. Thought to myself well dinner is sorted for the next few nights. Chucked soup pot in fridge. Tonight ready to eat same soup, heated a portion up. Tasted it, damn something happened in the fridge, it tastes good!!

I love when food just works itself out. Delicious!

Not pretty, but delicious!

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