Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I am guilty of throwing food away. I go shopping and buy too many vegetables or fruits and they go off before we get to use them. Yesterday I cleaned out the fridge. I threw out (into the compost but still waste) 3 sweet potoatoes, grapes, 1/4 rockmelon, part of a pumpkin and some left over rice. Food that was perfectly alright when brought and it sat too long in the fridge until it was no good to eat. Ideally I want to grow the majority of my vegetables and not have to buy them. But when I do grow them I want to be able to eat or preserve or give away all excess. My aim is that all food that enters this house is eaten not disposed of.
So starting tomorrow I am going to plan a fortnightly meal plan. Fortnightly so hopefully I only need to grocery shop once each fortnight. I hate food shopping, so the less the better. At the moment I usually go to Aldi and then to a fruit and vegetable market. I try to avoid the bigger supermarkets unless there are specials that I can't ignore.
My local supermarket is Coles but I try not to do a main shop there. But every now and then they have great specials. Like last week they had Seventh Generation washing powder marked down to $4.00 from $8.50 and they had toilet paper under 50 cents a roll too ( I have a thing about spending more than 50 cents on a roll of loo paper).
So I will be making a menu and making a shopping list and sticking to it.
I will cook to use up foods that I already have in the fridge, freezer and pantry. At the moment I have 4 zuchinnis sitting in the fridge so tonights tea will be zucchini slice.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
This is my version of the recipe:
2 tsp butter /ghee
2 garlic cloves
3 cardamon pods
1/2 tsp turmeric
curry paste ( sometimes red, tonight green)
1 1/2 cups yellow split peas (soak in water at least one hour and drain)
500g tomatoes (I use my homemade tomatoe puree/pasta sauce)
2 cups water
Heat butter/ghee and fry onion, garlic until soft.
Stir in ground coriander, caramon pods and other spices and curry paste.
Add tomatoes and stir well.
Add split peas and and bring to boil.
Simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
In the last five minutes I often add green herbs or celery or other greenery from the garden.
I usually sllightly blend mine for a smoother consistency but this is entirely up to your preference.
Mmmmm - so delicious!
Today Superboy and I planted corn seeds and sunflower seeds, weeded part of the front garden and watered the veges and front garden.
I was all set for getting garden soil delivered for the new vege patch but Mr Gadget said he would borrow a trailer and get a few loads. Didn't happen. I think tomorrow I will just go ahead and get the soil delivered. I need somewhere to plant all my seeds! I have coriander, beetroot, chives, rhubarb, thyme spinach and lettuce all waiting to be planted out.
In the garden my Port Wine Magnolia is in flower. The fragrance from this tree is glorious, just heavenly. Funny because the tree itself isn't anything amazing and the flowers are little, hidden amongst the foliage and hard to see on the tree. I have planted it outside the bathroom window. It is my natural deodorises. I leave the window open and the bathroom always smells so fresh.
Close up the flowers are pretty little things, shame they aren't noticable. You can see the pollen that has dropped onto the bottom petal.
I am investigating gardening by the moon.
And I am going to make ginger beer this week too.
Off to Bunnings tomorrow to suss out water options for either another tank or some other sort of rainwater collection/diversion/storage option.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
But that’s only if the stuff lasts long enough for the council to pick it up. Reseller cruise around the areas in their utes, and there are many cars going for drive bys and people wandering around to check out what is on offer. A 70 year old grandma of a friend used to go out in her van each week to collect and then do things up and resell at the Trading Centre. It was a great way for her to supplement her pension.
Anything worth salvaging usually gets snavelled up before the council trucks come around. Householders purposely put good items they want recycled out in the hope that they go to a new home.
Many people I talk to about my love of bulk waste days say they are happier contributing to the ‘donating’ side rather than the scavenging side. I like the salvaging, I get rather excited about it! I love a good bargain!
I have found this wonderful old chair.
Pots, I especially like the large terracotta ones.
shelving for the garage.
step machine excercise machine thingy
old wheelbarrows like the one below which is my strawberry patch.
The council here advertises where and when the collection dates are and if they are close by Super boy and I go for a walk or drive, park the car and stroll the streets to check for useful items. Next one is coming up very soon in this area and I for one can't wait.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I really haven't got anywhere for the pumpkins to grow in my garden. So I decided to try growing the pumpkins outside our boundary. There is a walkway betwween our house and our neighbours running along around two sides of our house. The land is never used and is maintained by us. We mow the grass/weeds and have planted natives out there. The soil is clay so the only way I can see them growing is in a raised patch. There is plenty of space for pumpkins to ramble out there. I will just have to remember to water them -hose wont reach so will need to bucket water them.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I have only one lemon left on my meyer lemon tree now. But lots of new flowers on both lemon bushes. For the first itme this year I had wasp galls on the meyer lemons. I cut them off a few weeks ago and disposed of them so hopefully wont be a problem
With the last of the lemons I made lemon icing for this very delicious carrot cake. It is waiting on the bench for Guitar Dude and Zippy to get home from school.
175mls olive oil
200g castor sugar
100g pecans or wlamuts or almonds
200g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
ground cinnamon and ginger
1/2 tsp salt
Heat oven to 180 c, line tin. Beat eggs in a bowl and add oil and sugar. Add grated carrots and chopped nuts. Sift in flour and other ingredients and fold together. Spoon mixture into a tin and bake for 45 minutes.
Icing is made with 50g icing sugar, 200g cream cheese, lemon juice and vanilla essence.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Very shabby chic - very me.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Our front yard is facing north and the best place for growing veges. It is a lovely size too and off the road. The front hedge (to the right of the photo is plumbago).
Below is the larger part of the garden. Over that brick wall is our pool. In front of the wall I have planted photinia to form a hedge. I want the pool area to be nice and private so want the photinia to be a foot higher than the brick wall. The weeping tree at the front is a black mulberry. There are 5 standard roses, 3 blue mooon roses, apaganthus and clivia bulbs.
On the other side of the hedge is a public walkway. I have replaced the grass with agapanthus and further along grevilleas for privacy. I am going to plant pumpkins and other veges out there this year - between our fence and the grevilleas. It is council land but not used by anyone and gets lots of sun.Looking up the driveway I have a teardrop garden bed with a small magnolia tree, three lavendar plants and a border of parsley planted. The dirt is where the turf will be layed (hopefully next week).This is the path leading to the front garden. The garden has been extended. The greenery is the original garden - mondo grass, hydrangeas, some sort of ginger, and manfern. In the front I have planted tomatoes, eggplants and edged with more parsley. I had intended on planting mondo grass and more hydrangeas in front.Towards the side is a smaller garden bed. There is a coffee tree (coffea Arabica), star jasmine and thyme in this garden.
The agapanthus were all given to me and are great fillers. But now I am realizing that I am going to be space poor to fit in all the veges and fruit trees on my wish list so thinking that they may have to go to make room for more productive plants. But that job will be for another day!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Very happy as now I will have a dedicated place to put my veges and herbs. Up until now I have just planted them where ever there is a space in the garden. And the place with the most space doesn't get nearly enough sunlight. This new corner where the raised patch is going gets heaps of sun.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Will be making more of this for sure.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I am after more. I want to turn my little yard (front and back) into a more productive, useful enviroment. So this blog is to document my journey in gardening, vege and fruit growing, reducing wastes, becoming more frugal and more self sufficient.
It will be somewhat of an uphill struggle convincing Mr Gadget to support me - he is much more at home on the computer or tinkering with his latest techno gadgets.
I will have more success with our three boys - Guitar Dude, Zippy and Super Boy.
What fun it will be though! May the gardening force be with me.