Monday, September 28, 2009


Our little blue eggs we discovered a while ago
have hatched!
They are not the prettiest little things.
There is a tiny bit of fluff along their backs and
on the top of their heads.
As far as I could see, there were only 2 bubs,
there were 4 eggs in the nest to begin with.
I did disturb a nasty magpie
flapping around the nest a few days ago :(

Good Luck little ones

Jacqueline :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Veggie Patch Layout

September plantings are going well. All six bed are about to be fully occupied. The ground is warming up and everything is taking off. Looking at the picture above, we run the six beds in an anti-clockwise rotation.

Bottom Left (closest) - grew a crop of green manure over winter, now has corn and a few quick growing lettuce's, will fill the rest of the space with zucchini, cucumbers and pumpkins shortly.

Bottom Right - grew a crop of green manure over winter, now filled with three varieties of potatoes. They've been in for about three weeks and are about to break through any day. If all goes well, we'll be digging new spuds for Christmas Lunch.

Centre Right - root bed. Growing four varieties of carrots, spring onions, beetroot and pak-choi. Finishing off a crop of lettuce's to make room for more carrots or pak-choi.

Top Right - Filled with broccoli, flat leaf parsley and a row of sugar snap peas climbing up a wire frame. The peas are taller than I am and producing a great crop. We’re lucky the birds haven’t discovered them yet.

Top Left - Filled with four varieties of onions. They all went in back in June and are coming along well. They should be ready to pull in January.

Centre Left - grew a crop of green manure over winter, that’s rotted down and I’ve just dug in a load of compost ready to plant tomatoes any day. I’ll also plant egg plant, capsicum and loads of basil in-between the tomatoes.


Along the northern side of our patch we've put a series of grape vines.  They protect our patch from the hot summer winds and gives the entire back yard a wonderful green backdrop all though the hot summer months.  There are two varieties of grapes, one red, one white and although they've only been in for about 4 years, they produce more than we can eat.  A few warm days over the last couple of weeks has seen all the buds burst open and the entire frame is covered with small green leaves.

At one end of the grape vine, in the back corner of our yard, we've partitioned off our compost bins.  They're hidden away behind a bamboo fence just in case they get a bit untidy.  They were very easy to make, I just used some old hardwood shipping pallets.  Just stood them up and used a few steal posted to hold them in place.  They allow plenty of air flow into the compost and are easy to get hold of.  I found 4 bins are ideal.  One (back corner) I use as a bulk holding bin for sheep poo, I can buy it locally by the trailer load.  The next bin (far left) I use as a holding bin for the finished compost.  The other two (right) I use for the fresh new compost that's still rotting down.  Rather than trying to flip or turn the material in a single bin, I find it's far easier to toss it from one bin to the other.  It does a better job of mixing it up and gets the air back into the entire load.

This load broke down over winter and is ready to start going out.  I've just put a few loads into the tomato bed.  The rest will go on over the next couple months as I finish off the planting.
This winter has been wet again after so many dry years.  So the compost rotted down really well without drying out too much.  The heats gone out of it now so the worms have moved in.  It's loaded with them and the soil is holding plenty of moisture.

The veggie patch is partitioned from the rest of our back yard by a large East/West garden bed.  It has a pathway thought it and a hedge along the back.  Although the patch is not hidden, it is excluded sufficiently, that you're drawn along the pathway to see what is beyond the hedge.  Once you move past it, the veggie patch opens up as a whole new area within the yard.  The Western end opens out onto the children's cubby area.  This is the only area of lawn we keep green over the summer months with gray water.  But that's a subject for another day.  
Peter W

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Nest

(1st borns painting)

During the week,
I did some trimming out in the garden to tidy things up a little.
As I snipped away at the ivy, a bird suddenly flew out,
so I got the ladder and had a bit of a look around.
To my surprise I found a nest with
 4 little blue eggs neatly tucked away amongst the ivy.
The boys were very exited to all climb up and
have a peek at the treasure we had discoverd.

A little later, I checked the nest again,
and mother bird was sitting on the nest.
We all managed to have a peek without her flying away.
It's going to great to watch the progress.
I don't know the technical name for the type of bird,
I'll just call it one of those pesky black birds with the yellowish beak
that flicks our pea straw around!

Will keep you updated.

Jacqueline :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

100 sleeps to Santa

Yes. 100 sleeps until Santa visits!
There will be some exited boys later in the year.
With the 1st born almost 7, and exposed to "school yard gossip",
this may be our last Christmas with 3 little believers.
Here they are selling reindeer seed to passers by, last Christmas Eve.
They sold it for 20c and and
managed to have $20 in their container by the end of the day.
At sleep time, we put up a sign to say
they were sleeping and put out an honesty box.
The boys were very exited to see their little stall
even made money while they slept!
The local newspaper also came to take some pics.
It was a great days entertainment.
All you creatives have 100 sleeps to get into gear and create!
Jacqueline :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekend Gone

This weekend we have played, napped, gardened and measured the house.
I love my Saturday arvo nap - everyone should have one.
The boys all sleep (3,5 and almost 7, or maybe I should just say 6
after seeing the funny Little Bitain boys tonight) after lunch,
Peter works quitely outside
so I nap too, to rejuvinate for another week.
I have also been working on a project for a little boy's
Space Cadet/Rocket Ship 3rd Birthday Party.
Should be finished in a couple of days.
A new bunting has also been added to the shop
Hope you had a nice weekend too
Jacqueline :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Father Day Raffle

1st born was very lucky and won second prize in his school fathers day raffle!
They could not wait until Sunday to open the box of goodies,
so it was opened after school.
Everyone is claiming there bit's and pieces.
Perfect Fathers day gift for Peter the handyman.
Hope all the dad's out there had a lovely day last Sunday!
Jacqueline :)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Spring Planting in the Patch

Here's helper #2 checking out the new corn seedlings after we planted them out in the patch. The boys saved seed from last years crop and we planted some a few weeks back in our new heated seed propagating tray. With 100% germination, it's been a great success. Since we've only just turned the corner into Spring, we covered the new seedlings with a sheet of clear laser-light. It increases the ground temperature so the plants get a great kick-start and frosts don't worry them.

Here's helper #2 (#3 in the background) checking the sugar snap peas, they're flowering now and the first few pods are visible. There's no chance they'll make it inside though, the boys will clean them up before then. The peas share the bed with broccoli in various stages and they're surrounded by flat leaf parsley.

We sowed another row of carrots and thinned a couple of the other rows. The first rows are getting big enough to start using. Although they don't seen to make it inside either. The boys have polished the first of the carrots off as they play in the back yard.

Planted out some more Beetroot as well to give us fresh beetroot over a longer time. The first are getting quite big now and are not too far off ready. Planted more Lettuce seedlings in another bed, so by the time these ones next to the beetroot are finished we'll have more ready to go. That will make room for some pak choi in this bed.

Onion bed is full and they're all doing well. They'll be ready in January some time. They're mostly brown onions but we also have White and Red Onions, Garlic and Chives in this bed.

Peter W

Spud Planting in the patch

Peter's Turn to add a few pic's and a note or two;
Spring planting has begun, 3rd born was very excited to help plant spuds this week.
We'd had three varieties of potatoes sitting out in a dry, sunny spot for the past few weeks. Most had shot and were ready to go in the ground. They were, Desiree, Nicola and Charlotte. The first potatoes will be ready to dig in time for Christmas Dinner.
Since he'd been involved in last seasons potatoes dig back in December, my little helper understood what was going on. Only problem is he asks every day if it's Christmas yet.

If anyone needs to know how deep you should plant them, they're an arms length down, a three year olds arm length.
Peter :-)

Friday, September 4, 2009

The complete picture

Peter is on a weeks holiday at the moment,

just getting a few jobs done around the house and pottering in the patch with the boys.

On sunday I drove up to warracknabeal and had a peek at the quilt show.

On Wednesday, a girlfriend and I went for a drive to Ballarat to have a mooch around the shops.
We had a lovely day, bought a couple of tops and some fabric from Ballarat Patchwork.

I had never been to Ballarat Patchwork before, it's a lovely shop and I think I will call in again!

Here is the complete picture of the goodies I sent off for my Madeit button swap partner Narelle.
You can view Narelle's beautiful creations in her Madeit Store.
This notebook cover is really simple and I will definately be making more.
The tutorial can be found here if you wish to make one yourself.
I have also been making a quilt for 3rd born's bed, he was sick a couple of Friday's ago,
so I sat on the couch with him and completed the binding.
I am really happy with it and he loves it too.
Now to make one for 2nd born, then 3rd born.....
Jacqueline :)
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