A journal of my favourite pastimes gardening, farming and sewing.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

More bricks...

Some more bricks fell into our laps yesterday so this morning we knocked off the last few rows of paving.  The crusher dust is being swept into the holes now and the edging will be 'haunched up' with concrete to prevent movement.  The wooden things in the lower RHS of the pic are plant stands made from old bed heads.

On another note, we have thus far picked over 13 kg of apricots from our two old trees this week.  This fruit has the most luscious taste when jammed so that will be its fate.  

This is the 9kg we picked this morning.  The fragrance in the kitchen is beautiful.  

We have a family get together here next weekend so lots more to do.

Cheers, Barb

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

New paved outdoor area

Over the recent weekend we were busy creating an outdoor entertaining area which we anticipate will be in high demand  over the coming months.  We needed something temporary and cheap to create; temporary because eventually this area will be largely covered by a deck attached to our extended home and cheap because we are still minding our pennies.

We had a couple of pallets of bricks which Hubby had picked up on a job a few years ago.  Our outlays were the hire of equipment (Kanga and whacker packer) and 7 cubic metres of crusher dust to bed and sweep into the laid bricks.

This is what Saturday and Sunday looked like

Leveling out the site

Laying the crusher dust base
End of Saturday
After packing down

Ready for happy hour on Sunday

If you look closely you will see some bare crusher dust at the end of the paved area.  Bah! ran out of bricks didn't we!  Hubby is trying to source some similar bricks locally and the job will be finished. My job is to sweep that excess crusher dust into the holes on the other side of the table, there will be some more shoveling involved.

Looking back to the BBQ and smoker/pizza oven

The BBQ and smoker/pizza oven will be positioned to the RHS of the above pic with lattice panels behind them.  As this area receives full sun most of the day, we will put up a shade sale (which is packed away somewhere in the shed)  That little shed behind is my gardening shed.  It will go once the extension starts.  The shed structure in the background is an old cattle stable that we are using for, yes more storage.  

The two days which were very hot and dry really gave us all a workout, luckily I had a massage booked for Monday which was something to look forward to.  Certainly my clothes are feeling looser, so I must have lost a couple of kilos in fluid or something.  

I'll post some final pics once we have completed the project.  So far, we're very happy with it.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Weekend Wrap

This long weekend was a great opportunity to get several jobs done around the garden and house, despite the heat.

Hubby completed the wood locker where we will store the wood for our wood stove.  I have a strong aversion to snakes who seem to like wood piles so I asked that the wood be stored up off the ground.  This locker was built entirely out of recycled items so it was a cheap build.  It should store two trailer loads of cut wood with room for a bin at one end for kindling and smaller pieces.  We will probably buy a couple of loads of cut wood now that summer is here, hopefully for a cheaper price than in winter.  This past winter we didn't need to buy any wood at all as we had brought a lot of timber/wood with us from Boonah including old house stumps which were absolutely brilliant burners.

I spent a few hours in the paddock picking up cow manure from the cattle we are agisting on our place for our neighbours.  We have made an arrangement with them to run their 11 beasts on our place in exchange for them buying and growing up a beast for us for slaughter later in the year.  We will pay for the butchering but the meat will otherwise be free.  

Anyway, I see the manure as a bonus, being a free fertiliser or soil conditioner.  Earlier in the year we bought a ute load pf composted manure from a local dairy for $25 which was great, but it does become water repellent after a while so making my own for a low cost was a good alternative.  You need to select the older drier pads and put them through a mulcher for a nice even mix.

So this:

plus this:

equals this:

This will be incorporated into existing and new garden beds as a soil conditioner, along with home made compost.  One compost bin is full and cooking and a second one is now being filled so hopefully in a month or two we will have plenty of compost again.  My last 'brew' turned out well and was used up in the no dig beds.  

We have made the decision to extend our existing vegetable beds and ramp up our food production, firstly for ourselves but I'm also investigating options for earning an income from our property in the form of meat, eggs, vegetables and fruit.  

Hubby also built a bird house in the hope that some of the gorgeous colourful parrots take up residence.  At the moment they nest in a hollow corner fence post which is right next to the fruit tree area and I'm always concerned about disturbing them when I'm working there.  Sadly we don't have a great number of trees on our property, and we really want to attract a wide variety of birds (other than crows and galahs) so I'm growing wattles, fodder trees and flowering shrubs for that purpose.

In the meantime,  they have another option:

Hope everyone has had a good long weekend too.  Stay cool and drink lots of water.

Cheers, Barb.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Sewing Projects

Pinch and punch for the first day of the month of my birth.

This last month has been busy at the sewing machine.  I've made curtains for our bedroom and the sewing room.

Terrible picture I know but you get the idea, and no they aren't lined.  I'm not a huge fan of curtains at the best of times, preferring blinds but I had bought this fabric from Ikea for the Boonah house then changed my mind and didn't make the curtains up.  I'm going to put up blinds to block out the hot summer sun so I skipped the lining.  Don't look Mum!  I've got one more bedroom to sew curtains for so I'm not out of the woods yet.

The other little project I completed yesterday was a welcome gift for a friend's new granddaughter.  Fortunately I had pink towelling and flannel on hand so I could put these together for her.

The towelling thing is called a Sunshine Tag Toy.  The flannel blanket is double sided - more for warmer than cooler nights.  Hopefully they will be well received.

When I was in Brisbane recently I went to one of my favourite fabric stores East Coast Fabrics in Lawnton and picked out a few pieces.  The fat quarter family of pinks will become some gifts for a group swap meet I'm attending in the next couple of weeks.  The Christmas print will be napkins for that time of year.  The 'dish' print will become desperately needed pot holders and possibly a hanging hand towel if there's enough.

Today though, I'm have a half inside and half outside day.  I've got watering to do and start up another compost bin.  I planted some seeds yesterday so I have those to worry over - germination rates have been very poor lately.  I'll take some baby lamb snaps as well to share next time.

Cheers, Barb.