Let’s see what Spring has sprung so far.

Rain, rain and more rain here in Gippsland!

Shiitakes can be sneaky!

I read somewhere that shiitake mushrooms will go dormant and to re-trigger their activity you should bang them or drop them to simulate a log falling from a tree. Apparently this is the agro-forestry version of shock therapy! Well I felt a bit silly when I did this and hey presto!

Mmmm, no sign of life.

But wait, what is that at the back of the stack?

Shiitake sneaky!

Blueberries LOADED, this may have something to with the cold stint we have had this winter.

Yellow is in!

Tomatoes doing nicely!

Wisteria seems to have coped with the move so far .

A cutting from a fig tree I acquired at Maldon when we went camping at Easter this  year seems to be proving a success. The plan is to espalier this, just where is the next question!

 All in all, Spring seems to be doing nicely for me at this stage. We had a lovely weekend, sharing a celebratory dinner with special friends (Happy Birthday Richard!), did a bit of a clean up so the electricians had better access around the ‘stuff’ we have moved from one place to another and finished up with a lovely Osso-bucco for dinner.

We just need to get through my son having surgery on his damaged hand resulting from ‘over partying’ tomorrow and it will have been a sensational way to spend a couple of days!

The PS post!

I’m not a magnolia fan, but I really appreciate the design of their flowers. We were in two minds as to whether or not to remove this old magnolia. Here is why we didn’t!

Weekend of both taking and making stock.

We have been well and truly under the hammer for time recently with trying to sell two houses, (so we can make improvements to the new one) moving my mother-in-law who is down-sizing and trying to move forward with getting our new property fit for human habitation. That along with the ‘doldrumish’ style weather we are having I just felt I needed to try to take stock. I dutifully made a list of jobs that needed to be done and started ploughing through them, first up was to make the stock for the Vietnamese Pho I planned to ho into once the tasks had been completed. I knew at the end of the day I wouldn’t feel much like cooking so this would be a welcome sight to come home to.

I am trying a method I found on the The Steaming Kitchen Blog where a slow cooker is used to slowly simmer the stock. Makes sense to me!

       

Added some fish sauce and sugar. I also added a stick of celery because there was some in the fridge that needed to be used. Left simmering all day, happy in the knowledge I wouldn’t have to stress when dinner time came. Now to knock off those jobs on my list!

Note:Wasn’t as thrilled with this version as previous ones I’ve made. I don’t think the stock reduces enough in the slow cooker to concentrate the flavours. Was still a pleasant result though.

Tomato Seedlings-time to pot up.

The seeds I planted a few weeks ago have done really well and need to go into a more substantial growing medium. I have been requesting donations from people at work for used milk cartons, wine cask boxes and any other suitable container for planting the seedlings into. So far have I have achieved about a 95% success seed germination rate which is great.

Interestingly, germination has been 100% from my saved seed and the 95% comes from the newly purchased stock. Maybe the different variety has something to do with this.

Next on the list……………..

I’ve been driving around for a week with my car chock-a-block full of ‘stuff’ that we culled from my M.I.L’s house that needed to go to the Op-Shop. Boxes gripped tight, head down, eyes not veering away from the loading stage, I deposited all the treasures. Kept my eyes straight ahead and did not dare look around on my way out as I didn’t want it to just be an exchange trip where I left with my car full of different ‘stuff! Tick that one off the list!

Next…..

Time to check on how the things I have planted at the ‘new’ house are settling in. Spring is starting to show its cheeky grin and I am bursting with the hope that things will do well.

The Update on plantings there.

Raspberries:

Yep, they are doing nicely.

Asparagus:

     Tick to that too!

Spuds (Potatoes):

The potatoes are looking a little bit ‘leggy’ but I am not surprised with the lack of sun we have had.

Garlic and Broad Beans:

            

Going well, broad beans flowering and garlic on track. Fed the bed with some blood and bone and a couple of handfulls of ‘Rooster booster’ pelletised organic  fertiliser. Can’t wait to have a few of those beans with some butter, olive oil, garlic  and a grinding of black pepper !

Back to the list…………….

I have removed a wisteria from the house we are selling and replanted it near where the future greenhouse will go. I am hoping to train it over the old woodshed frame to give a lovely backdrop at the rear of the vegie patch. Just hope it goes OK. Make note to quickly replace asparagus bed border edge with permanent one, not likely to happen once growth is established.

Rhubarb:

Plant me, plant me! I dug up some of the rhubarb for relocation and forgot about it. Seems pretty good so that has just been ‘plonked’ into the general garden space and can be divided later if need be.

See the little shoot starting at the bottom of the basket?

The rewards!

I actually achieved everything I set out to do, plus some. Quite happy with that really, taken stock and made stock at the same time.

Let The Sun Shine In!

For the first time in quite a long time, here in Gippsland  we had a Saturday where the sun managed to shine for most of the day. This was delightful, it always makes you feel a little bit better in winter to have some warmth on your back when you are working outside. I actually ended up in short sleeves for a short time!

The area that is currently an old wood and briquette shed is where a greenhouse is eventually going and  I have been waiting patiently for our plumber son to remove the old tin from the framework. We hope to keep the frame and use it as a growing support for a Japanese wisteria (I much prefer the softer look about these than the chinese variety) which will run across the top front of the greenhouse and give a nice visual appearance from the drive. There has been a jasmine and a wisteria growing here for decades and they are so out of control I will replace them. With some work I could get them to hang beautifully but there has been some major torture committed to their trunks over the years and I really want them to be esthetically pleasing even at ground level. Luckily climbers are quick to establish! Grapevines have been planted on the north facing side and if the greenhouse gets too hot in summer we can run some shade cloth over the top of the frame to protect plants from sweltering inside.

If anyone has any ideas about how to disguise the brick wall behind I would love to hear them!

See the Mulberry tree on the left?