Saturday, June 27, 2009


Hello there folks. Sbinawhile.

I wish the camera was working so I could show off my newly cleaned out tidied up glasshouse. Technically, I think the problem is that the rechargeable batteries have decided they don't do that anymore.

I have lots of onion seedling coming up.

I have set up a heated propagation shelf in the bike room / cat room / my office which is a bit exciting. I am in the market for a couple of old fashioned second hand long fluorescent light fittings to suspend over the seed trays with adjustable chains. I have taken LOTS of inspiration from Gardendesk with the extra added benefit of a heat mat with a thermostat. Initially designed for heating lizard and snake enclosures, it was less than HALF the price of the purpose built heated seed propagation trays. So this is making me very happy.

The baby avocado tree SURVIVED the minus 6 frost the other week albeit with a fair bit of damage to about half of his leaves. Nice work Mr Bacon.
I am enjoying this seed saving book heaps atm. It even has ideal germination temperatures for each veggie. This is most helpful when one has a thermostatically controlled seed germination setup.

Eileen lent me her food dehydrator, which is humming along dehydrating kiwi fruit, oranges and lemons. Imagine this..........dried sliced oranges..........ground up into power...........and put into cake mixes, muffins and deserts.

Thats what I thought.

In other news, the big garden is going well. We are harvesting leeks, beetroot, lettuces, English Spinach, silver beet and kale. The garlic is going gangbusters. The cabbages are getting there.

I have planted lots of dun peas for green mulch and peas. Have also included lupins and woolly pod vetch. BTW, if you plan to put in field or dun peas, make sure you buy them from a produce store for $1.60 per kg rather than certain online or mail order seed shops which sell them for $10 a KG. I kid you not! I had a giggle after I noticed the mail order price.

Sorry there is no photographic evidence.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Breakfast in Bed

Mostly the weather has been mild, and the bees are still foraging with some earnestness and enthusiasm. To help get their stores up for when it gets really cold, I have started feeding my little girls. They now have a choice - breakfast out or breakfast in bed.

I make them up a sugar syrup with a tiny pinch of sea salt and some dried chamomile flowers. The chamomile is to help stop them from getting a tummy ache from all that nasty sugar. I learnt about this little trick at a Natural Beekeeping Course I did last year. Apparently it is also good to put in a little dried thyme. They don't make real honey from the syrup, but more of a low grade emergency honey.

Anyway they seem to like it quite a bit, and have gone through about 750gms of sugar over the past three days. Apparently 2.5kg of sugar equals a full frame of honey. The last time we checked, they had perhaps one or two frames of real honey, and they will probably need three or four to make it through the winter, so the syrup should help their chances.

It has been drizzling the last few days, which has slowed the girls down a little, but they are still tucking into the syrup. The feeder allows them to access the syrup without getting wet.

In other news, the onions are starting to come up, and the beetroot is just wonderful this season. We are making lots of bright purple soups.

Esmond and Amelia are now BFF. He has settled in really well.

that is all. Enjoy the rain.