I am shocked to find it is nearly 3 yrs since I posted on here. Many times I have intended to do a post, but there always seemed to be something more important. You know how it is, don’t we all have ‘gunna do’ lists or ‘roun’tu’its’ that we never get to?? Now that I am here, I realise how much has happened and I am not sure where to start.
Two years ago we moved house. Not just to a new house, but to a different town too. We lived in Timaru previously, a small city on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. The house was cold and damp and had a lethally sloping section and the landlord was talking about putting our rent up substantially, or selling the house. We could not afford the new rent and because the house was so cold, the section unusable in winter, and they had imposed restrictions on gardens, we decided to look elsewhere. We were very lucky to find a brand new town house unit to rent in a town half an hour south for considerably less rent than we had been paying.
So I now live in Waimate, a small rural town of about 2700 people, half an hour South of Timaru. Our new home came with a bare section with no grass or topsoil. The landlord said he would bring in topsoil and supply grass seed, but anything else we wanted done, was up to us. As the unit was built for retirees (ok am not quite there yet but getting close), it is long term lease so it has been fun setting up a garden from scratch. I have my beloved vegetable gardens and a wonderful green house and my roses and medicinal herbs. We have done well for the two years we have been here, but of course, its a bit barren at the moment. I’ll do a post on the progression from bare ground to productive garden.
We lost our beloved dog Maddy in Dec and her passing left us bereft and with a hug hole in our lives. Thru a series of universal directions, we found (or she found us) a beautiful Cairn terrier/Australian Terrier puppy, called Luna (born under a fill moon). She is now 9 months old, pretty well behaved after going to dog training and full of energy and love. She has an uneasy alliance with my 15 1/2 yr old cat Basil, who will tolerate her and play with her occasionally, but only on HIS terms.
Anyhow, its time to kick start this blog. I have lots of ideas about posts and have been following several blogs for a long while. I have been disappointed how they have changed from sensible practical information and homemade recipes that have been tired and proven successful, to recipes using ingredients the average low income person can not afford, to things they have not tried, but it was on a blog that takes you thru about 3 others to fine the original recipe. I am also concerned about the completely stupid and dangerous suggestion that are found on the net and people take as gospel. It concerns me greatly after being in the doctors waiting room recently and seeing a young girl who read that putting orange and lime juice on you face was good for your complexion. She had been burnt but the acid and was in a dreadful mess. She found the so called recipe on one of the Facebook ads. Oh, and the advertising…. lets not forget that. OK I guess its a sign of a successful blog, but I resent the number of ads per page per article. It’s a shame when someones blog seems to become so automated and infiltrated. As in the past I will only be putting up recipes (particularly for my potions) that I have been using for years and have easy to get ingredients and are not too expensive or detrimental to mother nature.
It’s mid winter here in the land of the long white cloud so not much is happening in the garden. We are getting a lot of super hard frosts which make it a little difficult to dig plus have had a lot of rain this week, so the lawn is a like a skating rink. Even the dog is having braking issues and leaving long skid lines and the cat is visiting the neighbours gardens more frequently – but we won’t elaborate on that! I still have parsnips, leeks, white (yes white) carrots, NZ yams or oca, (more about them later) and silverbeet (chard) growing in the garden and have lots of stored pumpkins yet to eat. Unlike the northern hemisphere, we store them whole for use over winter and spring. I DID plant more winter veges, Brussels Sprouts, cauliflowers and cabbages, etc, but alas my little gardening assistant Luna, decided to dig and dig and dig in the raised vege gardens. Best thing I can say about that is,…. the soil is very well tilled over and the trip to the UK thru the centre of the earth is shorter!. The vege gardens are going to have to have dog proof covers for spring plantings.
Pruning time is upon is. I have raspberry, black, red and white currants and a grape to prune in the next week or so, then the roses in about 3 weeks time. I am also waiting with bated breath for the new seasons seed catalogues to arrive so I can drool over all the possibilities. I will be planting tomato seeds very soon too. Last year I had great success planting them in seed trays, putting them inside a mini greenhouse inside my big greenhouse. They grew amazingly and quickly, so I was able to sell good sized plant very early at the farmers market. I plan on dong that again this year. I only grow heirloom vegetable varieties with the exception of sweetcorn.
So what can you expect….. well –
- a revamp of this site, more photos and (hopefully) things of interest to you
- questions answered or direction to answers if beyond my expertise
- more of my own natural skin care recipes
- my new laundry powder recipe
- gardening tips
- the progression of my garden from bare land to my pride and joy
- My favourite gluten free recipes
- The wonderful FODMAP diet and how it has improved my life
- Gardening articles I have written
- what ever else interests or irks me.
So I hope you will stick with me, or better still join me and see where this all goes.