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.