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

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Quick hello

I'm a member of a terrific garden/swap Facebook group Clifton and Surrounds - Produce Swap based near me on the Darling Downs.  Members all produce something useful, vegetables, fruit, other plants, manure, chooks etc.  Every couple of months we get together and have a swap meet/gabfest in one of the local cafes or at someone's home.   

The main reason I joined this group was to get a handle on what I would be dealing with climate-wise when gardening in this area.  Coming from Boonah where the climate was more sub-tropical, things are decidedly different here.  Here, we still get about the same amount of this stuff>

But in general there is less humidity, and it is cooler as a result. Certainly there is a higher risk of frosts which can impact our veggie production but that can be managed. I'm looking forward to being able to grow stone-fruit and apples more successfully.  I have some bare rooted trees on order for July delivery so we are in the planning stages of where they are to go.

 I have to say, the group has given much, both in physical goods, but probably more importantly in terms of friendship, knowledge and spirit.  As everyone knows, it is always a challenge moving to and getting established in a new area and this group has been the door-opener to so many people and resources that would have taken me years to find otherwise.  I have now found a supplier for chicken feed, lucerne for the sheep, a massage therapist, mulch hay for the garden, punnets of herbs and veggies for when I screw things up and new chooks when I need them.

So there is Facebook for good not evil too!  If anyone in the region is interested in joining the group let me know.

Thursday, 7 May 2015


Yeah, I wish these were ours.  We missed the boat so to speak on the lower cattle prices just before Christmas so now we host our neighbours’ cattle when their feed runs low.  We have come to an arrangement with them (the neighbours) and these guys came down yesterday afternoon.

The only downside is Jessie, one of our dogs, is not used to seeing them up close and is being quite noisy about it.  She’ll calm down once she realizes they are supposed to be there and haven’t just busted in from the road where they usually graze in the afternoons.

I’m enjoying seeing them meandering around our paddock today in the gorgeous sunshine. They usually stay down in the longer grass but this afternoon they have come up to the house yard fence to check out the mown grass and some young fodder trees we have planted.

As usual, yesterday's sunset.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015


After all the rain, at last some sun and warmth to dry things out.  I have done a few jobs in the veggie garden over the past week.

I planted up my garlic and brassica bed.  Cabbages, broccoli (only one germinated for me), tatsoi, and land cress which is there to hopefully protect the cabbages and broccoli from the dreaded white butterfly.  I put bricks around the bed to keep the soil in.


Garlic at front, brassicas behind
Some of the little plants getting going.  The land cress needs to hurry up as I saw a white cabbage butterfly lurking around this morning.



Land Cress

This is the other, more advanced bed.  I've harvested some kale and rainbow chard so far.  Need to get onto those lettuces though.  The white cut off milk bottles are covering metal stakes which hold the hoops for shade cloth/frost cloth.  I put them there so I don't stab myself.

Chard front, kale left, lettuces behind

Chard and kale harvested
The greens above went into one of these.

I also am starting a no-dig garden bed.  I have read so much about how great this method of gardening is, so I'm going to have a try.

This will be the site, cardboard lying ready to be put down.  The grass growing their previously was solarised by plastic and carpet.  Lovely hay bales at the back ready to put on.

And lastly, Peter and Dad made a start with the greenhouse; the steel posts will provide support for the sides and roof and the footings are getting along too.  I'm really looking forward to having this up and running.  I think the size is something like 3m x 6m so should have plenty of room.

Boxing up for more footings

We had to have repairs done to our windmill last month.  I don't think it had been serviced for a long time and several parts needed replacing.  Anyway its back running again and even though we had quite a bit of rain, its reassuring to know we have another water source should we need it.

I'll leave you with yesterday's sunset.  There have been some very pretty ones recently.