Thursday, August 19, 2010

Visit To Dayelsford Organics

Back in May we took a day trip over to Daylesford to
catch up with my friend Bianca,
who was down from Darwin for the
big blogfest in Melbourne - Sew it Together.
Daylesford was central and we could also visit
a spot I had watched in blogland for a while.

Peter and the boys had a good mooch around,
and checked out the produce

(first borns photo)

Peter had a good look around with Bren,
and was very happy talking about veggies all afternoon

customers arrived at the farm gate shop
for thier produce and a chat

Our boys and the Daylesford girls had a great time playing
on their beautiful property
(it's ok, he was tapped in the groin and
put on a show for the camera)

(first borns photo)
The first born took lots and lots of pictures,
even of people taking pictures.

We ended up spending the entire afternoon at
Daylesford Organics, laughing and chatting
Abbe was there too,
she drove Bianca up from Melbourne,
The boys talked growing and we girlies talked
crafting and blogging.

It's always a bit scary meeting new people,
these were new people, but, because I had been reading
Kate's blogs, I felt I already knew her a little.
Which made the whole situation stranger again!
Do you know what I mean?
Anyway, Kate and Bren were not scary or strange :)
The afternoon was fantastic, they are a great family,
and have a wonderful set up, which
they are obviously very passionate about.

Thanks, your farm and story is inspiring. 

If you wish to see more kids running
around veggie patches, visit here...

Jacqueline, Peter and boys.
Our patch felt tiny when we got home!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My New Favourite

Biscuit Recipe is
Apricot and White Chocolate Biscuits
The recipe can be found over at
along with lots of other interesting things.

I made some a little while ago to give to our new neighbours
It's freezing here today, about 9 deg,
I'm playing Wii tennis with the third born,
trying to keep warm

Have a nice Wednesday

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Peas are Go!

The 3rd attempt at our Pea Tent for the
organised by
is finally on the go.
The first attempt was eaten by grubs
The second attempt was grown in pots on the veranda
and was demolished by the birds,
flicking them all around when they were about 5cm high

On Monday, there was no school, so we took the opportunity
to plant the 3rd lot of seedlings and hope for the best.

I can't believe how patient he has been with the set backs.
He just says - oh well, we will just plant some more seeds.

Good luck little ones!
Beware of the slugs,  the snails and

The Puppy Dogs Tails

Jacqueline :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kites at Bells

On Sunday afternoon we had
Stitch and Bitch
out at Simone's farm.
Also had a guest visitor attend,
from up north,
surprised she was still standing after catching
up with the wild ladies over in central Vic!
Sorry, no pictures of the stitching or bitching :)

A few of us took out the littles,
and Michelle even bought her hubby along.

He took the little's down the paddock and they flew kites.

They had 5 or 6 kites up at a time,
with no major tangles.
(except for our kite, the first born dragged his along the
ground back to the car - grrr)

Thanks Asher, for keeping the little's amused.

Hope the victorian readers are all keeping warm


Friday, August 6, 2010

Kinder Gardens - Peter's Talk

I have been participating in the
Most people participating, are in the USA,
warm weather and great growing conditions,
here in Southern Australia, it's the slow time in the patch,
so, I thought I would share this instead.

A while ago, March 2009 actually,
Peter was asked by the local
Art Is Festival to talk about his veggie patch
at the grey matters forum.
The theme of the festival was
Art is Tasty.

Also speaking at the forum was a DPI representative,
to speak about what food the
 farming community grows in our region,
and a local farmer talking about his tradional
biological farming techniqueson his cropping farm.
The quest speaker was Stephanie Alexander,
founder of the
and founder of the
 in Australian schools

I will share some of Peters talk, about our veggie patch.

Firstly, my inspiration came from my childhood experience.
As a child I grew up on a farm 15 klm out of Horsham, 
my Parents had a large garden.

Dad always had fresh veggies growing in the garden and
when there was too much to handle,
it went into the large freeze or preserved for another day.
So from a very early age I was exposed to the
joy of growing your own fresh, healthy fantastic tasting veggies.

My motivation to grow veggies in our own back yard comes from
My Own Family.
I want my children to grow up knowing what
healthy food is and where it comes from.

I want them to feel the joy of growing something from a seed,
watching it grow,
looking after it until you can pick it / pull it / or dig it up,
to bring it inside and eat it
 having taken it from a seed all the way through to a meal.

 Sharing, I love sharing produce from our garden
with friends and family, as is often the case you
tend to get a glut of something from time to time.
I use some, store some and give some away.
Taste, there is simply no substitute
for the flavour of fresh home grown veggies.
The classic example is Tomatoes, but I can’t think of anything
I grow that doesn’t taste better then it’s distant supermarket cousin.

It’s a Healthier choice – Because my garden is organic,
I know there’s no pesticides or harmful chemicals to worry about.
It’s reassuring to know any of us, particularly our children,
can eat food directly from our garden
with all the positives and none of the negatives.
At most we rinse off the dirt or dust.
Some crops, like sugar snap peas,
we grow knowing they’ll never make it inside.
The boys eat them from the bushes when playing outside.

It’s also my escape - as with most hobbies
its an escape away from the stress of the normal working day.
For some that may be rebuilding a car or playing a weekend sport.
But for me, its working in the patch.

So, how do I manage to keep veggies alive in a drought

I Mulch a lot,
I use pea straw and sugar cane in the warmer months
I’ve improved my soil to increase its water holding capacity.
 I add loads of Compost from our compost bins each season.
I plant Green Manure each winter.
3 of the 6 bed is sown down to lush green manure which
I dig in when it’s nee high at the end of winter.
It breaks down very quickly and  ready for new crops by Spring.
It’s a very good, easy way of improving the soil.

I’ve learnt from my mistakes,
adjusting timing of my crops to maximise production
before it gets too hot in the summer.
I’ve stopped plantings new plants at the height of summer.
I wait until Autumn to plant crops that will grow through the winter.
I sow early in spring and protect young plants from frost
so they’re established and producing before the height of summer.

Another key is Crop Rotation.
Not only does it minimise the pest’s and diseases,
I find it also simplifies when you need to plant what and where.
I use Market Umbrellas over the 6 beds to provide a
little relief from oppressive heat.
I use the taller plants to shade shorter ones.
Corn shades the Zucchinis, tomatoes share capsicum etc.
I’ve plated Grapevines along the northern end of our yard to
help protect the yard from the hot northerly winds,
They also provide us with months of lovely fruit.
Although I’ve installed a
Graywater system for other areas in the garden,
The Veggie patch is the main area we water by hand,
so we all get involved.
It’s only the size of the watering cans that differ.
(our area had been on severe water restrictions) 
Jacqueline and I both believe if you’re going to water something,
you may as well make it something you can eat.

The difference between Home Grown and Supermarket veggies
They’re better for you, they’re more nutritious.
The Flavour - I mentioned tomatoes earlier,
but I think the difference is
chalk and cheese on a whole range of foods.
I’m sure Stephanie will back me up on this,
you can’t really be into good food and good cooking
unless you’re into fresh food.
 And home grown is the freshest you can get.
It’s also worth noting, a statistic I’ve heard a number of times lately:

“it takes 5 times more water
to produce broad acre commercial vegetables
than it take to produce the same vegetable in a home garden”.

And that’s not taking into account the transportation and
distribution to get it to your local retail outlet.

Hopefully, Peter and all the speakers insired
others to start their own patch.

If you got through all that, well done!
I don't usually like my blog to wordy.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Recent Departures

The Star Bunting is headed off to
Ally at Hunterfield Heights, NSW

This Spot Bunting flew to Kate
at Ellenbrook, WA,
The bunting was for her boys
Pop over and see the great set up Kate put together.

Kate left these kind words in my reviews on my

I purchased a colourful spotty bunting for my boys
circus birthday party this year.
The ordering process was quick & easy and
I received my order in a couple of days.
The quality is outstanding and there has
been obvious pride put into the work.
 I was also very impressed with the way it was
wrapped and packaged as i find this
extremely important as again it shows that the seller really cares
about what they are doing.
Well done Jacqueline,
really impressed and will definately recommend you to others.
Thank you so much,
will upload pics of Ethan & Declans party in July,
so you can see how it looks all set up :) Kate

Thanks Kate, I love seeing my Buntings in their new homes

Kate's Bunting in action at the party.

Another Star Bunting has a new home
at Christine's, Hivesville, QLD.

This Jesse Name Garland was a local order for Rachel

And a Rocket Bunting for Rachel too.

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