We have been getting back to our usual routines, after our lovely weekend on Wadjemup last weekend.
Most days I work in the garden for several hours. As the Joondalup City Council was conducting a special 'green waste' collection, DH got stuck into pruning the olive, lime and a rambling rose. We don't have a shredder so our preferred way of dealing with large garden waste is to have the council take it to the place where they make compost and mulch. We get a couple of free trailer loads per year as part of the council services, and can always buy more if we need it. Given the size of our garden this seems to be a good solution we don't need to buy expensive machines and we don't need huge compost bins.
Our autumn has been very mild -cool mornings but warm days, and only the occasional shower of rain, so the weather has been great for getting on with garden tasks.
Today I tackled a very large garden pot which we had been gifted. We got it from a neighbour who was moving. I know why they didn't want to take it with them -it was super heavy. I found out why when I removed the celery which had been growing in it- that it was mostly garden sand. I took half of the sand stuff out, gave it lots of fertiliser and compost and potting mix in the top half, and have scattered some onion seed we saved from last year. We will see how it goes. This is one of the fun things about gardening -as soon as I have sowed the seeds, I want to be outside to check if they have come up yet!
Our broccoli is growing well. Last Friday I used the leaves in a recipe for lemon chicken -the whole plant is edible and the leaves cook down well as a stir fry vegetable. It is a very good addition to our nutrition. When you have a fairly small garden like ours, it is a great idea to eat as much of the plant as is safe and tasty. Lemons, for example, don't just have to be juiced -the lemon chicken recipe I use definitely makes the Meyer lemon slices (including the skin) tender and delicious.
DH is our jam maker around here. A few months ago I showed him how to speed up the preparation of the fruit by using the 2mm slicing disc on the food processor. He used it this week to make grapefruit marmalade. This particular batch has no other flavours -sometimes he likes to add all sorts of spices like star anise, but this time it was just grapefruit. It is very nice indeed -and because our grapefruits are pink inside it is a lovely orange/ruby colour.
I have been soaking some more of our olives -this time in the more traditional manner, which requires lots of daily rinsing and soaking -weeks of it- before brining the olives. This is the recipe I used last year, and it was great. We have also been using a strong brining solution for earlier batches this year -we will see which we prefer. The set up you see above is outside on our patio. It is the old Ikea butcher's block, no longer needed in our new kitchen, with a cheap galvanised tub under a tap. This is such a good place for washing vegetables from the garden, before they come inside. The tub is easily lifted so that we can put the washing water on various needy plants around the place. In a dry place like Perth, a little water conservation goes a long way!
I often drop into our local Op Shops when out and about. I have several items that I hope to find, in particular glass storage jars for my pantry and preserves. That doesn't stop me from picking up other items that appeal, such as this very pretty and heavy glass vase. Now, I have a LOT of vases, but this one came home with me anyway! This arrangement of Iceberg roses looks so nice on the mantle at the moment!
I have been enjoying reading through back copies of the PIP magazine at the library and also listening to the podcasts. While I have never actually done a proper 'permaculture course" I am generally guided by the 12 principles and working towards a more permie life.
The two quilts (definitely not my work) above were part of the WAQA Quilt Exhibition last weekend, and for some reason they took my eye even more than others. I like both of them for their use of colour, and find them quite inspirational. I was a volunteer "white glove' duty person, wandering around talking to people and helping them by lifting the quilt up at one corner so they can see the back. I also wandered around the stalls between duty hours, and watched one or two demonstrations. The committee who put the exhibition together work very very hard -I hope they are now relaxing and feeling appreciated. Now that I have so many techniques, colours and quilts in my head, I have come back more determined to just get the borders on the Queen Size scrappy mountain majesty quilt - I need to move on to other projects!
With sewing in mind, then, I will finish this post here. Thank you if you have read all the way down to here! Leave me a comment if you like - I love reading them and feeling connected to you.