Tuesday, February 12, 2019

BELATED WEEKLY UPDATE

Hello everyone,

Apologies for my absence in this space, but I have been very busy with many projects and plans, when I get busy this space is the first thing to suffer.  I think  I will be posting in fits and starts this year!

Just a really quick health update for you all.  I've been to both my GP and a specialist, and while neither of them has been able to pin down the reason for my symptoms, the specialist has eliminated anything Autoimmune (Chronic Fatigue, Lupus etc) so that is a huge relief.  All they can narrow it down to is a post viral syndrome, which should get better with time.  On a funny note, I was blaming bursitis for all my R) hip pain (because I've had it before) only I found out from my GP that it was in the other hip last time I had it!! So all this time I was wrong.  I've since had a scan on my R) hip, no bursitis to be found...turns out my hip pain is coming from some bulging discs in my lower back! 🙄 I will never understand the human body! On the suggestion of the specialist, I'm about to join pilates to try to help the back/hip pain.  Anyway since I last checked in, I am feeling better energy wise, still having the odd day where I'm not well, but for the most part I'm felling better...I hope and pray it lasts...I have been looking after myself all these weeks, getting enough rest, eating well, taking vitamins and drinking Kombucha! Thanks for all your kind thoughts and comments, I love our blogging community ❤️


Recently a friend gifted me a SCOBY which is the 'mother' required to brew the drink Kombucha, and gave me a lesson on how to brew it.  It is seriously gross to look at, and even more gross to touch, but I'm led to believe Kombucha is good for our health, and I'm all for that...besides, I strain my brew though a clean chux before bottling it, so I can pretend the mother never came in contact with it 😉


It's an acquired taste, and you either like it or you don't.  Personally I think it tastes fine, especially if you don't brew it too long, it begins to taste like Apple Cider Vinegar if left too long.  It is very simple to make and only takes 20mins once a week to bottle last week's batch and brew another.  I've made three batches so far, the first one was lovely, but the second tasted funny, and had no fizz, so I didn't drink it, but the third batch was lovely again! I don't know what happened to that second brew?? 

I'm not posting my method or recipe yet, as I am a complete novice, if it's something you are interested in, I am sure you could get great instructions off the internet.

My garden is struggling terribly in this dry, hot summer.  But my chilli's are doing well.  I've been busy making chilli jam, and I've tried a couple of different recipes to see which one's I like.  The first was a tomato based chilli jam, which turned out less like a jam, and more like a lovely spicy tomato sauce, I felt it was almost a tonic, as it had tomato, garlic and ginger in it! (We will just ignore the sugar component 😉)  The other was Nigella Lawson's chilli jam, and it is just lovely too! I can't decide which one I like the best, as they both have different properties, anyway it's putting my abundance of chilli's to good use, and building my pantry too.

I'm still picking plenty of sweet juicy passionfruit, and so far I've harvested one zucchini from the veggie patch.  I think poor pollination is affecting yield, I will have to get out there early one morning with a paint brush and hand pollinate.



Another project I have been experimenting with is wicking beds.

If you haven't heard of them, they are basically a container with a water reservoir in the bottom, soil and plants on top.  Capillary action wicks water up through the soil to provide water for the roots of the plants.  The advantage of this system is less watering, and less water usage.



I acquired a couple of polystyrene boxes, and filled the bottom third with washed blue metal.



Hubby had some PVC pipe in the shed which he cut just long enough to sit above the top of box.  He also drilled a few holes (about 5cm from the bottom) of the pipe to allow the water to seep out.



I had some shade cloth laying around, and I used this to line the box, this stops all the soil washing down into the rocks



Next I cut a weep hole in the side of the box where the gravel and soil meet.



Then I filled the box with good quality potting mix, firming the soil around the pipe as I filled it.  Afterwards I trimmed off the excess shade cloth. (PS I had to cut a small hole in the shade cloth to fit over the pipe, when I lined the box)



Then to the fun bit, planting up some mixed lettuce.  I went for a punnet over seeds, partly because for some reason I can't raise seeds, but mostly because I'm an impatient gardener! LOL



The seedlings were planted on the 23rd of January.  The idea is to fill the reservoir up via the PVC pipe, but for the first week or so I had to water them from the top as well, just until the wicking action got underway.  I'm finding I need to fill the reservoir maybe twice a week to keep it topped up.  


Four weeks later, this is what the box looks like...pretty impressive hey...especially considering I've never had much success growing these in my regular veggie garden, mainly because they need daily water, and I'm not always able to do that.  I'm picking tonights salad from this lot 😁



A couple of weeks later I also planted up a box of salad rocket, and it is powering along nicely.



I created a little tiered area in the courtyard for some of my potted veggies and herbs.  I picked up these terracotta coloured plastic pots at a garage sale for $5 for 5 of them...what's a girl to do, but plant parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme 😂...although my rosemary is not too happy, I transplanted it from the back yard.  I repurposed bricks and old fence palings we had lying around to create my tier, I think it looks great.

There is so much more going on, but this post is already getting way too long, so I will leave you with a photo of the overlocker my BEAUTIFUL husband bought for me.  I couldn't believe it!  I have wanted an overlocker for YEARS, but being the tightwad that I am, I just couldn't bring myself to buy myself one!

How did I get so lucky???


No doubt when I figure out how to use this thing, there will be plenty of brag posts to come LOL

Have a lovely week everyone.

Cheers Cheryl
XXX

12 comments:

  1. WHat a great idea for a little garden. May have to try something like that too. Lucky girl with the overlocker, will have a right to brag a little. Hope your health continues to improve - nothing like feeling down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Maria, it’s early days for me yet with this method of gardening, but it’s looking very promising.

      Delete
  2. Your little tiered area does look great! And an overlocker...I am JEALOUS! Glad to read you are feeling better, it's just "blah" when you don't feel well for extended periods of time. Pilates sounds like it might really help your hip, I have been considering it too but haven't found a small class yet. I had the cortisone injection put into my shoulder and got relief for all of two weeks! I've been having regular bowen therapy to help and it is improving now. Pity my private health insurance, which I pay a small fortune for, will no longer give rebates for many alternate therapies come April (renewal time). Don't get me started on the government over that one! Meg:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only two weeks relief from the injection, doesn’t make it seem worth it, does it! I’m glad to hear the Bowen therapy is helping, I considered that as an option too, but haven’t tried it yet.

      Delete
  3. Hi Cheryl,
    So glad you’re feeling better and wow you’ve been busy girl. What a difference those wicking beds make, the plants are obviously getting enough moisture. I love the tiered herb garden, it looks great. Fi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Fiona, I’m very pleased with the experiment so far, I’m going to try a couple more wicking beds with some root crops too. If they go well I then need to research how to do it on a big scale!

      Delete
  4. The veggies are coming along nicely and how exciting to get an over-locker what a great gift. I'm sure you'll enjoy getting to know it. Sometimes you can get free lessons from the manufacturer so enquire about that at the store you bought it at or directly at brother.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can’t wait to have a good play with it, I managed to thread it myself...after a few failed attempts LOL... but haven’t had time to get back to it since!

      Delete
  5. love your tiered little garden there, not a fan of wicking beds but yours looks to be doing great, have been collecting terracotta pots when i can to plant more of my herbs in (many herbs i have are dry herbs & the terracotta suits them best) i also like the look of ornamentals in the terracotta. it's also quite a refreshing colour.
    great post
    thanx for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Selina, terracotta is a lovely look in the garden, even if mine are only plastic.

      Delete
  6. Your wicked plants are great. I'll keep this in mind - especially good if you go away for a few days. Don't be scared of that overlocker - once you get in there you'll feel proud of how much you've learned. I learned heaps from a great book from the library (which I now can't find the title of!), plus have used the internet when troubleshooting with success. What a great husband!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That’s another reason I wanted to try the wicking beds, so that we can go away for a few days, and the plants should be fine.

      I hemmed a dress today, using my overlocker, it turned out ok...not perfect...the fabric was a bit stretchy so it was wobbly, but it’s just a house dress, so I can live with that.

      I’m one very lucky girl for sure!

      Delete