Friday, March 30, 2012

Lacuna Sabbath

 Hooray. Today was a slothful devotional to the Lacuna Sabbath. I did manage to get out of my jammies by noon, but only barely. I did manage to finish a new crocheted beanie in delicious Noro Silk Garden yarn, a scrumptious indulgence.

Anyhoo, I know I have been tardy dear interwebs.........

So now for a quick update. Behold the first Austrian Oil Seed Pumpkin. Now, I am a FAN of the pepita......it is true and I was especially looking forward to seeing inside of this magical beast..........




On the PLUS side, these pepitas are HUGE and DELICIOUS. On the down side, many of them have already germinated........which is a bit weird. Any ideas? I did have the pumpkin showy-offily displayed on the warmth of the kitchen bench for a week or so....perhaps too much warmth?



 Another downer is that this is one TASTELESS pumpkin......but with really tough and bitter skin......the flesh is OK in an insipid overgrown squash hide it in a casserole or curry kind of way, but even me who is a signed up lover of pumpkin skin was pretty keen to steer clear of that yucki bitter stuff..........

Would I grow them again? That depends on whether the other pumpkins from this vine have better pepitas......fingers crossed.



I have discovered the delights and wonderfulness of GREEN SMOOTHIES.  Behold my breakfast, just before it gets whizzed........organic apple, pear and an assortment of greens from the garden. I love this stuff.


I am on the hunt for purslane......I am sure I have seen it growing in the garden and around the traps..... I am on a mission to identify and EAT as much as I can before the first frost........and have purchased some seeds from greenharvest so that if I grow it from scratch, I might better identify the stuff in the wild!


And I am thinking about chemicals. Dieldren to be exact, because I have a sneaky suspicion it is everywhere........Dieldren used to be sprayed around all over the place with gay abandon and strong government endorsement......just like DDT........anyhoo, Dieldren is something I regularly test compost for (mine and others) and let me tell you, even it you didn't put it in, it is there in the finished product, even if it is just a tiny whisper........it turns up in the most unlikely places..........

And if it was sprayed on your farm, or your garden, or your house, it is probably still there. In the soil. 


sheesh. Sometimes its better not to know these things!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Hungry for Change

First I watched this. It is Jamie Oliver's TED award speech from 2010. Pretty powerful stuff.





This is also pretty powerful stuff. But in a really really good uplifting empowering exciting way. I watched the full film this afternoon on the 'puter. You can watch it for free for the next few days.........



Sunday, March 18, 2012

God Help my Swap Partner

OK, so the duck has not sewn for over, um, lets see, 41 minus 18, that's 23 years. Now, my beloved sister moved to the dark dank cold isle (Tasmania) about a year ago and left me her beloved dutiful Elna sewing machine.

Anyhoo I signed up for Down to Earth's Apron swap seems 1) I got so much joy out of the dishcloth swap and 2) I would really like to learn how to sew seems I have enough lovely pink chair fabric left over to make a spiffy skirt and 3) I now have in my possession a much loved functional basic but dependable sewing machine with a proven track record.

I mane REALLY, how hard could it be?

  Harder than we might think.

My poor swap buddy. I apologize in advance.
Lucky I decided to do some practice.

I mean, I got HALF the bias binding on OK. That is DUCK binding don't you know. The other half I put on the wrong side....then I was having problems with the tension.....and lets face it, I am a gumby.

I then found this gorgeous tutorial. This is about the cutest.



Thank you angry chicken.

So, dear Swap Buddy, let me ASSURE you this is a PRACTICE, and I will KEEP PRACTICING until I create something worthy of sending you!













Friday, March 16, 2012

Ducks, Humans & Comfrey


From my desk where I am busily procrastinating, I can hear the ducks munching away on the comfrey. They love it. I love it too. I know some folks are a bit thing about eating it but I must admit I do whack whole leaves of the stuff into my green smoothies. The hysteria about comfrey being poisonous seems a little (lot) over blown to me. From what I have read, the leaves are PROFOUNDLY good for you, quite safe and no bad things have happened to anyone from eating them......

Anyway, I trust the ducks.


In other news, even though they are moulting, these girls are STILL laying their beautiful big fat orange yolked eggs.Thats 9 months straight - for 2 and 3 year old duckies. HAZZAH for ducks.

Must be the comfrey.




Thursday, March 15, 2012

kiwi cuttings - plants for FREE

OK, so I did a little research. Yes, I know, I am meant to be writing a report for someone....so naturally my attention turns to anything but........

Looks like Diggers WILL be selling Issai again later this year. Hooray!
But I am gunna make some for free.

These nice people here at The Walden Effect say it is FINE to take soft wood cuttings in Summer. Well, it is almost still summer.....so here we go. They say SURE you can stuff around with rooting powders, propagation trays, heat mats and misters, OR you can just whack them into jars of water and see how you go.




So this is what I have done. I did add some VRM XLR8 Bio (link downloads brochure) for good measure, to help out compete bad fungi and help with root establishment. I also added a little rooting gel...........



Will keep you posted.

Odds and Sods


This is cool. We have our first ever Actinidia Arguta "Issai" hardy (or "grape") kiwi fruit. Don't get too excited. It is really only half an inch long. This little vine had lots of flowers this year, but only one set. It is meant to be self fertile......but who knows. These little vines were available for just a very short time from Diggers a few years ago but I have not seen them since. If the little farm project comes off, I will need to take some cuttings from this little fella over winter, and a few of his friends......




There is a little back log of winter seedlings in the glass house waiting for space to become available down at the community garden. Now that sounds like we have a very productive thing going on down there, but that is not quite true. All that wonderful rain finished up the tomatoes who did not like having wet feet one bit at all. There is lots of cleaning up to do. I have discovered the autopots are super at getting seeds up. 



Here is something I haven't seen before on our Lisbon lemon tree - old and new season lemons all at once. Lisbons I think are good for our cold climate.....they do not really fruit all year, mostly in winter, but this year our lovely tree is proving us wrong. They make a biggish tree, and have big thorns, but it is a real old fashioned lemon on a cold hardy bush. This tree is looking a little yellow. I think I need to give her a big feed and add some Epsom salts for a good shot of magnesium.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Triumphant Again

 
You may rest assured that your loyal duck herder continues to be associated with the ONCs BEST PERFORMING COMMUNITY GARDEN EVER IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE AND BEYOND. 


Yesiree. Once again we CLEANED UP at the Canberra Royal Horticultural Society thingy show.



Completely kicked arse. CLEANED THE TABLE with our arch nemesis Cook Community Garden's buts. 


First Prize - Best Vegetable Exibit
First Prize - Best Fruit Exhibit
First Prize - Best Flower Exhibit.
Second Prize - Overall Display. (Congratulations Kaleen Garden on this one! Your veggies were spectacular)

And yes, that is my pumpkin on the floor!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Meeting an old friend for the first time

Yesterday afternoon was a special treat. Rhonda from Down to Earth fame was in Canberra for a book signing, and my golly gosh I high tailed it through the rain over to Paperchain in Manuka to give her a big fat hug.

And I bought my first copy of Down to Earth. First, because I am sure I will be buying many more over the coming months as gifts.

And Rhonda signed it for me and drew me a duck.




This book is just beautiful.
And it felt pretty wonderful to give Rhonda and Hanno a big real hug.


Do ya self a favor.......get a copy.