Sunny Saturday.

What a bottler of a day! Not too hot, not too cold, not too windy, just right. The kind of day where you’d be nuts if you stayed inside. It was also our state election in Victoria today, which I must admit I feel very ‘ho hum’ about. I used to take my politics very seriously and stress over how I was going to vote, but these days I think they are all pretty much ‘tossers’ and put their ego well before commitment to leadership and democracy. I do feel though, that you need to cast your vote seriously or you don’t earn the right to complain. But that’s enough of that!

As in the iconic Aussie Bob Hudson Newcastle song where he sings “don’t you ever let a chance go by” this week I did just that. We had been advised that Vicroads were going to remove the tree on our nature strip (verge to those outside Australia), so I taped a bloody big sign around it asking the tree people to leave us any mulch and if possible the wood from it’s removal. Didn’t think anything would come of it but lo and behold- 2 great big piles of beautiful wood and a great big pile of mulch that we can put to really good use under this pin oak. IMG_6546 Bit of a work out for Mr ATMT as a fair amount of it had to be chain sawed into smaller lengths and we will need to split it into good oven sized bits at some stage. IMG_6561While he was working on the wood I began fitting the posts to our large wicking bed. As well as giving me somewhere to tie my tomatoes to (cordon), these posts also make it easy to bird proof with netting or add shade cloth when it gets too hot. I suspect that may be the case this summer! I didn’t take a photo but this is what they are like on the other beds.IMG_2297I had a lovely time ‘pottering’ around in the garden today. I picked some Elder flowers and I’m going to have a go at making some Elder Flower Cordial. I have never tasted, seen or been told what this should be like so it will be interesting. They are however the prettiest flowers so worth having just for that.IMG_6550 Elder flowersI got into the greenhouse and had a tidy up and hung racks so the tomatoes in there can be trained and supported. The sweet potatoes on the right here are going berserk.IMG_6572 IMG_6570It was nice to sit back and like what I saw in the ‘patch’. It’s really starting to look like it’s been there a while, not only the 1 year it’s been.  The garlic is about ready to harvest,I’ll do a separate post about that.IMG_6568The grapes are getting bigger,IMG_6573and the magpies tried to beat me to the hammock.IMG_6564A lovely tea of snow pea, broccoli, chicken and ginger pasta to top off a lovely day.

Off to the zoo tomorrow, I’m excited.

Thanks to Lizzie at strayed table for hosting the hookup for the monthly Garden ShareCollective.

TheGardenShareCollective300pix1

In, out, in, out………

Deciding on what to tackle is loosely based around on the weather conditions, fine-work outside, wet-work inside. With the weather being very unpredictable at the moment changing from fine to wet and back again in the space of an hour or so we were doing a bit of toing and froing in and out all weekend. During the yucky, wet periods, it was clean and tidy up the verandah, (which looked absolutely frightful with reno stuff piled everywhere), and continue working on finishing painting the bedroom. We were going to fit the skirting boards but decided it would be best to wait until the floors are sanded. Can’t wait to post a photo of the finished bedroom!

Out for a bit.

Lots happening in the patch at the moment. One of the not so good things is that some crows discovered my corn seedlings and thought they were ideal fodder. With some quick thinking I requested some frames be attached to the beds. These will not only be used for supporting bird netting, but will mean I have something to attach shade cloth to in the very hot weather and they can also be used as anchoring points for trellis, wire and other supports. I think they will work really well and it was good to use up a bit of the old timber that came from a bungalow we demolished. There will be rails going across from  front to back  as well making them genuine ‘Four Poster Beds.  It started raining and we will have to come out again and get back to that.

Bird Proofing

Back in for a bit.

After a delightful brunch of cereal, greek yoghurt, skim milk and my beautiful strawberries, I headed into the greenhouse and did some planting, feeding, tying up and thinking.

Cereal with strawberries
Picking about this many every two days at the moment. They are soooo much nicer than the shop ones.

I am so sick of losing basil to snails and slugs I thought I’d try starting seed off in a hydroponic box. I cut down the lid of a broccoli box so it fits inside the box, made holes that fit small cups in,  filled the cups with potting mix, filled the box with nutrient solution, fitted some bamboo stakes through the box walls to keep the lid at a height that the cups have just their bottoms in the solution. Put some basil seed in cups on top and watered, then plonked the tray into the box. I grew basil in a similar way a few years ago and it was a great success.

Basil in a wet box
See how we go with this!

Thanks to my wonderful Sproutwell Greenhouse, I have some tomatoes just about ripe, Ripening Tomato

and some black cherry tomatoes going gangbusters in the old bath along with some rockmelons.

Some great harvests this week, potatoes, asparagus, our first raspberries at this house, (YAY!)

First raspberries

lettuce, herbs, silverbeet, and lots of radishes. I’ve cut the scapes from the garlic and will use them like garlic chives. It is reported that better bulbs result from doing this too.

What’s coming in?

The zucchini are starting to form. Might be able to do some stuffed flowers soon!

Italian zucchini

Back Outside

Lettuce coming along, garlic nearing harvest time, succession planting of radish and beans in. Replaced corn seed the flamin’ crows mowed down.

And most exciting of all………..dam, thought I had a photo, that will have to wait.

Back Inside

Thai Chicken Patties (recipe Below) with greek yoghurt sauce asparagus, roasted tomatoes and some gorgeous freshly picked spuds.

IMG_1963

Wonder if we will be in or out this week!

THAI CHICKEN PATTIES

MT’s THAI CHICKEN PATTIES

  • 300g lean skinless chicken, roughly chopped
  • small handful coriander leaves
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • finely grated zest of 1 lime or lemon, no pith
  • 2 tbsp sweet Thai chilli sauce
  • 2 tbspn fish sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices bread that has been turned into crumbs
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup coconut cream or couple drops coconut essence (for sauce)

Mix all the ingredients apart from the coconut essence in a bowl. Form into pattie shape balls, let chill about 15 minutes. In a hot (but not too hot) pan, put in a little grapeseed oil. When oil is hot, carefully put the patties in (they are quite moist and soft so be careful). Gently cook and when golden turn to cook on other side.

While patties are cooking mix app ½ cup of greek yoghurt with 2 tblspns chilli sauce, some chopped coriander and  2 tspns of fish sauce. Add a couple of drops of coconut essence or a blob of coconut milk and mix all together. Use as a serving sauce.

I served them with asparagus, tomatoes and fresh potatoes cause that’s what we had, but they would be nice with salad served in a bun or in pitta bread too.