Saturday, March 31, 2012

Earth Hour and Costa

Two exciting events are on tonight- Earth Hour, and Gardening Australia's return for the year, with new host, Costa Georgiadis. You can watch Gardening Australia at 6:30pm, on ABC1, and then switch off your lights, TV's, computers etc for an hour (or more!) from 8:30pm

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Our first crop of olives are changing colour. They are an oil variety (Frantoio), and I suspect we might need a whole lot more than this to press some olive oil (and an olive oil press). We have 5 trees that are 3 years old, and they have grown so quickly!
Maybe one day we can go from this...
to this?

How satisfying would it be to make soap from your own olive oil? I made this batch last week, and it is made with rose geranium and patchouli essential oils, and pink clay for marbled colour. Musky and feminine.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lucky me!

I've been a bit lucky lately, I've won two blog giveaways. Firstly, I won a copy of The Little Veggie Patch Co.'s book on the Design Files. I love their style, and laid back approach to gardening. They sound like fun!
Then I won an organic cotton fat quarter pack on SouleMama's blog, from Mona Luna Fabrics. The brain is percolating a bit on what to make with it all.
Then Andrew brought this beauty home from his work trip to England. It details how the ministry of food encouraged citizens to dig up their backyard and grow their own food during the second world war, when food imports were restricted. It kept them fed, and healthier than they were pre war.
And last, but no least, this awesome little 'Zine from the Apron Stringz blog came as a birthday gift from my friend Ali. Thank-you so much, you're so thoughtful!

Hot Cross Buns

Mmm, they smell nice! Liv and I made these this morning for her and Evie to have at church camp. She sampled one for lunch. I'll just have to enjoy the smell, as I'm on the gluten free bandwagon, and I'm feeling much better for it. These are made with spelt flour, and of course have no crosses. I'm not too lazy to bake bread, but I am too lazy to make crosses.

Friday, March 16, 2012

How would you spend 100 Billion dollars?

This is how much could be raised from the mining boom over then next 10 years if the original (not watered down) mining tax were to go ahead. You can vote here for what you would spend it on, after watching the short video. I went with the large scale solar power investment.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Garden of St Erth

It was Evie's last Wednesday off from prep today- she will be a full time student from next week. Andrew has had a few days off from work to recover from his overseas trip, so today we went to the Garden of St Erth, one of the gardens run by the Digger's Club. It is in Blackwood, near Trentham in central Victoria.
It was nice and peaceful up there, and a bit cooler than here in Geelong, which was nice. There's a lovely garden in the middle of a forest to wander around, and of course a great nursery full of heritage varieties of fruit trees, veggie and herb seeds, and plants you may not normally find.
We bought 3 dwarf apple trees, a cherry tree, some lavender cotton, and a few packets of herb and veggies seeds. This will help with our front yard and driveway garden renovations.

The girls under an arch- Evie would like one of these. Ah, being surrounded by lush green gardens and forest is good for the soul!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jonty the mouse catcher

Jonty is a good hunter. I can't remember the last time she caught a native bird. But she's good at catching sparrows, and other small brown birds that shouldn't be living in these parts. And mice and rats. Very handy at the moment while we've got a bit of a plague going on. She sits in front of the compost bin a lot. We watched her jump over the fence from next door yesterday with a baby mouse in her mouth. She had another one later on, two in one afternoon. She has a good play with them before she eats them.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Face paint

The girls and I popped down to the "waterfront", as we people from Geelong call it (an area of the city that fronts the ocean) today. Barwon Water has it's annual sustainable home and garden expo on this weekend, and Daddy is away at the moment, so we thought we'd head out for a bit. We got to hear from Vasili of Vasili's Garden, saw Catriona Rowntree, and Josh & Jenna from The Block. But the highlight, of course, was the face painting. Evie is a fairy, and Liv is a rainbow butterfly.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Front garden transformation progress

Well, early in the new year when you tend to make goals, resolutions, whatever you like to call them, we decided to get rid of grass in the front yard, and make it more productive. We nutted out a bit of a design, and this is where we've started. We have a front yard divided into 4 by a brick cross shaped path. We've covered one quarter section with old cardboard and carpet, put a corrugated raised bed in the middle (growing carrots in it already, couldn't help myself!), and a timber raised L shaped bed along the path. This is now full of manures and compost, topped with pea straw. We'll let that settle in for a bit before we plant it out with winter crops.
We'll put some gravel over the bits outside of the beds. We had to cut out two ficus trees, which had given a nice structure to the garden, but required frequent trimming to keep their shape, and to keep them off the central path. One of them was also pushing up the brick paving, which would have only gotten worse, so they had to go. I was hoping to put in some dwarf fruit trees to replace them, (in the corner of the L shape) but now there's carpet under the garden bed to suppress the nasty kikuyu grass, I don't think there will be enough room for the roots to go down far enough. Any advice?

Ooh, come to think of it, the carpet doesn't cover that corner, there's a square that doesn't have carpet. Might be alright.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Upcycled tablecloth skirt

Well, the tablecloth dress made from this fabric didn't last very long in the shop, so I decided to put the extra fabric to good use to make a skirt. Sorry about the dreary photos, but it's a dreary day here, after the stinkin' hot weather on the weekend, now it's nice and soggy. Autumn has arrived. In the shop.