Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Our goats and their cavorting

Oh they are such fun to watch.
Snow and Oscar


That was in January, now it is September and I am sad to say that we lost Snow. We only had the goats for a month or 2 when we decided they were too much for us and our small block. So we found a neighbour to take them, she was going to breed from Snow and milk her to make cheese. All those self sugfficient things we do with goats.
But sadly last month Snow became sick with an unknown illness which killed her.
We are all very sad as she was a lovely tempered creatured and very gentle. Her mate, Oscar was devastated and cried for hours for her. He is consoled now and is sharing a paddock with another neutered male goat called Wilbur. Wilbur is a lot taller than Oscar and a bit of a bully but they have worked it out and I often drive past and see then together hoovering up the grass in a wonderful seren agricultural way.
RIP Snow.


Coolgardie safes

When you have collected your second of something that makes you a collector right?
Well I now have 2 of these and I think they are great.
this one I got from a rubbish pile in the front of a friends house. She said I could have it and that it was her hubby's grandfathers camping coolgardie safe.

It was a few years before I got it out and set it up. Wonderful thing. I had lemons in it for a while, kept the possums from eating them.

This was the second one. I bought it for $15 from a trash and treasure market. Doors a bit stiff.
One of my fetishes.

bread and butter cucumber pickles

Well when you have this many cucumbers what do you do?
You make bread and butter cucumber pickles.
first scrub the prickles off the cucumber and make sure they are not too big. Seeds inside need to be small. If the fruit is yellow it is too old.
I went to the veg garden and picked this lot, only made 4 jars and I had heaps of pickling vinegar left over so I went and picked another 8. And there is more. Plus 2 delicious golden zucchinis.

Scrub the prickles off then slice thinly and put into a bowl of salty water overnight or 2 nights. I did one night.
Voila! So next day give them a wash off of the salt and allow to drain pretty well.
You should have already made up your pickling vinegar. I made sweet spiced cause I like that plus the dill is not ready for dill pickles.
So pack the slices into very clean and sterilised jars to the neck of the jar.
Push down a bit to cut out any air pockets that might form.
Pour over cooled sweet spiced vinegar and seal.
Probably best after a month or so for the flavours to mix and meld.
I made 10 jars. T and I hope to sell them at our next stall at the gateway markets in Coldstream on the 25th March.

Harvest time at Badger Farm

We have been busy harvesting crops from our 5 month old veg garden.
Yes just 5 months old and have a look at these beauties.

2 bunches of brown onions on the right. We have already eaten a few and they were great and so big!

red shallots. Not bad from 8 original bulbs that were looking very sad as they were very late going into the ground. Best crop I have ever had of these.
I just couldn't help taking so many photos of them, they look so nice and what a wonderful feeling of satisfaction to know we won't have to buy onions for months. Oh but when we do we'll be sad because shop onions just don't taste as good.

Years ago I thought, "why grow onions and potatoes and carrots when you can buy them for cheap from the shops." But just try home grown, no comparison really.
And a few white onions from a packet of seed I threw in direct to the bed just incase the other onions failed so we wouldn't be without. I thought we would use these like spring onions but they plumped up, not much cause they were late but enough to make 2 jars pickled onions for M.
this is part of our garlic harvest. I gave about this much to our son for Xmas, he is a chef and will love these. Plus buying the imported stuff is not really safe in my opinion.

Next bread and butter pickles.


Blue Wrens and falcons

We have had some wonderful birds visit up recently. They arrived at around the same time. Which is interesting. Do they use eachother for some purpose.

Its not a good picture but they don't keep still for long. I am still trying to get better shots.
 When these birds of prey zoom around between the trees they look like sharks. Grey backs showing as they bank around a tree. Wing pointing up and then tail behind it. Looks like shark fins. And they do terrify all other birds.
But maybe the wrens are like pilot fish and fly under the falcons view and then are safe from magpies and miners! Just a theory!

more lovely garden photos for me to share with you.

I have more lovely garden photos for me to share with you. This place just keep sproducing the most beatiful things.

This butterfly is called an Imperial Jezebel. The tops of the wings are white with black edging. The are a large butterfly and so beautiful
red hot pokers are dotted all over the garden. A huge clump was dumped in the long bed by the fence near the front gate. So I hacked at it with the axe and broke it up into about 20 plants and put them along the driveway. A few are flowering but next year they should look amazing.

Bergamot, I love bergamot, they are such kinky looking flowers and they are purple! What more could you want.

Morning sun on Mt Riddell. So beautiful!

gorgeous fabrics I bought

Wow! I am excited about these gorgeous fabrics I bought from Anne-Maree on Craftumi. Craftumi is a sister comapny to www.madeit.com.au where T and I have our shop, Champagne Creations.
So I thought these fabrics would make some great baby items to put in our shop.

17 metres of fabric in all for $59 including postage. I think that is a bargain!

wicking beds

Hi there,
I am into wicking beds, I think they are great. They use much less water than other beds and pots. They do not have tree and other plant roots invading and stealing water and nutrients.
Here are some pictures of boxes and planters I have converted to wicking containers/beds.

drainage hole

see overflow comes out through the existing drain hole but the black plastic gives the pot a good sized reservoir.
I reckon big plastic pots could easily be converted to wicking beds simply by putting a plastic liner in the bottom which comes up the sides about a 1/3 of the hieght of the pot. Drill a hole about 2cm across with a hole saw at that height. Line it with some net or shade cloth over the hole to stop your soil coming out but allows excess water to come out. You can put a pipe into it for filling the reservoir in the bottom directly or not. Have a go!
I am happy to answer any questions about wicking beds.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2 new friends

introducing our 2 new friends.

The spotty one is a neutered male of around 18 months old. The white one is a female of about 3 years old.
She has well developed udders so I think she may have been a mother already.
I know nothing of their pasts. But they are good friends.
He is very friendly, she will be we have been assured by their previous owners but is taking a bit longer. It has only been 2 days.
If they work out and eat the grass and not get off and make life hard for us we will keep them.
Perhaps get her with kid again and milk her.
A new adventure is unfolding!