Friday, January 30, 2009


What a dry summer this one is compared to last summer and what block buster temperatures are hitting parts of Australia! Luckily here it is hot but bearable.

So what's been happening here in suburbia?

We are lucky to have a swimming pool and it gets hours of use. I know they use too much money, too much water, too much power but we love ours and it is here to stay. This year we have put into place some methods to make our pool a little less of a water and power guzzling pit. The first thing we did was get a cover for it. The cover reduces water evaporation by over 85%. It also keeps the pool cleaner as leaves, dust and dirt aren't blowing into it. This means we can get away with cleaning the pool less and running the filter less too. We have also connected a water diverter to the gutter near the pool. When it rains we attach a hose to it and this goes straight into the pool. Hopefully we will be able to put a tank in this area soon whijch will keep the pool topped up and water the gardens in the pool area.

Summer veges are growing well. I have been harvesting okra, capsicum, tomatoes, beans and cucumbers. Also plenty of herbs too which I use prolically in cooking - sage, mints, rosemary, basil, oregano.
The vege patch is looking good.
I have buckets of cucumbers. I pick them when they are really small and deliciously tasty.
I have also been saving seeds. The first few okra I left on the plant too long. Okra are nicest if harvested and eaten when 4 inches or smaller and these ones were probably double that. So I picked them and harvested the seeds. I have been drying them on a plate on the trampoline (along with a plumcot pip.) In the paper bag I am drying parsley. I have found the simplest way to dry things with small seeds like parsley and lettuce is to cut off the stems with the seeds and put the seed heads in a paper bag with a rubber band around them. Then leave them in the sun until dry, give a shake and the seeds fall off and are in the bag.

Popped into the local nursery today for a browse (walked out empty handed). They have some dwarf fruit trees in stock - avocado, mangos and banana. As well as blueberry plants, olives, rasperrys and nuts. I have a birthday coming up so will send the hint to Mr Gadget.

M xx

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