The day my teacher turned into a fraggle

on

Hi All,

Well the year has been zooming past and we have been filling it with all kinds of interesting things including learning how to film, how to record sound and how not to panic like Arthur Dent from ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’. We have had a much damper and cooler summer season than usual here in Tasmania and so we haven’t had to water much and the plants have done their thing and kept growing and alive which is more than we could have expected to be honest.

Growing figs and grass
Growing figs and grass
One of our adventitious spuds
One of our adventitious spuds. Not too bad considering we pulled most of them out at the beginning of the season to pinch the soil that they were growing in for the wicking beds.
Carob tree
The carob trees that we grew from seed and planted out at the beginning of the season have taken off and are really enjoying being out in the ground. Hopefully we have a representative of both sexes so that we can eventually harvest some carob pods.

The wicking beds have surpassed all of my expectations. Aside from a few small hiccups like not knowing that celery has very shallow roots and if they can’t reach down to the water in the wicking bed they develop hollow stems, most of the vegetables that we grew were most happy to have the ability to syphon water up through their roots whenever they so desired. We did learn late in the season that in my rapture about not having to water too much, I was still watering too much as I was top watering as well as filling the fridge reservoirs and thus the soil was pretty much sodden and I killed off my eggplants and made my chillies twitch a bit but after I stopped top watering everything settled down to grow happily

Lovely purple spring onions
Lovely purple spring onions that we harvested and cooked in a stir fry. I have left some to go to seed as they are so pretty (and tasty!)
Garlic chives going to seed.
Garlic chives going to seed with a strawberry mate growing happily at their feet.
Lemongrass
My tiny lemongrass plant has really loved its wicking bed freezer end and has done remarkably well considering it is a sub tropical plant and Tasmania is decidedly not sub tropical
Cardamom plants
Cardamom is also a tropical plant but again, seems to be happy enough to grow here in Tasmania. I divided a clump of tiny plants at the beginning of the season and although they were quite slow to grow they picked up when the season got warm enough for them to stretch out their arms and soak up the sun.

Our season might have been slow to start and cooler and damper than usual but we are having a cracking autumn with lovely sunny days and the plants are powering on regardless with a late burst of growing activity. Β I seem to have been picking up a blog follower every week or so and I would like to appologise for the lack of regular posts but I have been enjoying pootling around the garden and studying at TAFE so much and haven’t been missing blogging for a while. I would like to say “Hi” to any new followers reading this post. Cheers for following my humble little blog and I hope you get something out of the hard slog it takes to actually read one of my mammoth blog posts.

Vines
Who needs the hassle of planting things into hanging baskets when you KNOW that they are only going to die because you forgot to water them. Just grow a hardy vine underneath them and pretty soon it will look like you have a thriving plant with no daily watering required.
Broad bean plants
I planted these broad beans a week and a half ago and look how big they have grown! Admittedly, I did soak them and sprout them prior to planting but they obviously love growing in wicking fridges.
Celery in a wicking fridge bed
This is the only bed of celery that has a few stems that weren’t hollow. I now know that celery needs more water and will make sure it has less soil between the plants and the water reservoir from now on. You live and learn.

Earl has had a bit of a rough trot lately that has seen him had to visit the vets quite a few times. Initially he developed a rash all over him that was starting to alarm us and it turned out that he had dog hives. We were much relieved that it wasn’t a slew of serious dog problems that spill out of Google when you search for “My dog has a rash…” ranging from mange through to some heinous cancers. We were SO relieved that we stopped off at the excellent butchers in Exeter and bought a big bag of bones for the dogs as Earl had finally learned how to not hog them all for himself and share them with Bezial.

Enormous Bunya nut pine cones
These are bunya nut pine cones. The bunya pine is native to the hotter regions of Australia but seems quite content to live and grow here in Tasmania as I found out when I saw these massive cones underneath a magnificent specimen out near where we get our pet meat for the dogs from. Not one to waste a valuable opportunity I hightailed it out of the car and lugged them back most cautiously as they have big spikes on them!
Bunya seeds
It’s been warm enough to have Brunhilda back on and with her blissful balmy warm waftings, my enormous bunya pine cones decided to open and spill out these enormous seeds. I am going to propagate as many as I can as they are an excellent food source and the trees are very interesting (spiky) and would make a good possum proof tree in anyone’s yard. I might be able to swap them for other interesting edibles in the future.
2 more enormous Bunya pine cones
‘Lo and behold what have we here?’ What we have folks is another visit to the pet meat butchers and 2 more cones! I might even get to sample a few of the seeds now that I am rolling in them (gingerly, those spikes are SHARP!) They are supposed to taste like chestnuts so I will report back if I try them.

Within a week Earl had eaten his way to being seriously constipated and 11 days later he was still that way after a bit of to-ing and froing with the vet but after a short stint at the vets where he had an xray and a subsequent enema he was back to his old self again and we have sworn never to buy our dogs bones again. Apparently they set like concrete in your dogs intestines. Who knew eh? Well we do now so no more bones for you Earl!

Deflated Earl
Earl after being told that he wasn’t going to be allowed to have bones any more.
Perennial chillies
Here you have 2 kinds of perennial chillies. I gave seeds of the red one to a friend and she gave me some of the yellow ones in return so now I can grow some for myself. I love the swapping economy πŸ™‚
Actual harvested tomato
This is magic. An actual large red tomato harvested from one of our own tomato plants! This is unheard of on Serendipity Farm as the rats usually move in and scarf the lot. This tomato was truly delicious and tasted of warm sunshine πŸ™‚

If you are at all interested in the title of this blog post I will reveal all now. I just wanted to string my lecturer/s along as when WordPress posts this to my Facebook feed, they are both going to be very curious about the title and may even be prompted to read my post. I guess you could say the title is a bit of a play on words as neither of my esteemed lecturers actually regressed (or perhaps the word should be ‘evolved’) into a fraggle. One of my lecturers recently had a birthday. As a Pink Floyd fan, I knew that I was going to have to have a go at crocheting him the ‘Teacher’ pattern that the very clever crocheting genius Mia Atelier created and made freely available for us all to make should we ever stumble across someone who would appreciate it. Β Here’s the pattern if you would like to have a look at it or perhaps even make it yourself.

http://www.miahandcrafter.com/atelier/teacher-pink-floyd-the-wall/

I started out with plenty of time to make the teacher doll but doing my usual procrastination for the queen, I kept putting it off until I only had a few days left till my lecturers birthday and thinking that it wouldn’t take me long to race the pattern up I started hooking in earnest 2 days before. I soon realised that the pattern isn’t all that easy to follow and there were a few moments of blind panic where the pattern authors intentions were not actually all that visible at all. I fumbled my way through the problems and was going along great guns and had the finish line firmly in my sight when I suddenly came up against a brick ‘Wall’ (Pun fully intended folks πŸ˜‰ ). I couldn’t, for the life of me, create the facial features. I tried. I tried for hours. I tried for almost half a day. I hooked, I sewed, I unpicked, I raged, I twitched and inevitably, looking at the time (7pm on the day before I had to hand over the merchandise) I bowed to the fact that my teacher wasn’t going to have a teacher of his own as my ‘teacher’ doll looked more like Wembley Fraggle than the teacher.

Cherimoya plants
This shot is for Hannah who needs to see how big her babies have gotten this season since I planted them out into the ground!
Dioscorea elephantipes
This is the foliage of several Dioscorea elephantipes that Steve and I grew from seed when we were studying horticulture. The foliage is quite pretty and climbs up Steve’s Chinese bonsai plants.
Dioscorea elephantipes caudex
The most interesting part of the Dioscorea elephantipes is their corky/woody caudex which is why we wanted to grow them in the first place.

Luckily, we had bought our lecturer a wonderful R2D2 cake that more than made up for the lack of a teacher doll and I had been clever enough NOT to mention that I was making the doll so he never knew how close he had come to clutching a besuited fraggle in his hot grasp. I always try to be open and honest here in my little space on the internet and will share my end result with you so long as you promise not to show my lecturer this post. (If you are reading this George, ‘I tried!’)

My teacher the fraggle
My teacher the fraggle. Admittedly I hadn’t done his hair, moustache or mouth at this point but when I couldn’t achieve the right facial features it seemed hardly worth soldiering on by this point…sigh…
Wembley Fraggle
You have to admit, the face bears a striking resemblance to Wembley Fraggle!

And this is how it was supposed to look…

Steve bought himself a wickedly sharp and most expensive new axe that he christened ‘Psycho’. The first thing that he did was get it stuck in one of the logs that he had chainsawed up earlier and when attempting to pull it out he cut his wrist quite badly. He has only just healed and today he decided to tackle psycho again and guess who cut himself again! I told him that it was his own fault as calling an axe ‘Psycho’ was only going to give it a complex so now he is thinking of another, less dangerous name, for his axe like ‘Florence’ or ‘Dougal’. Lets just hope that by renaming it he stops maiming himself!

Psycho the axe
At this stage Steve’s axe was called Psycho. I think it might be called ‘Buttercup’ now.
A fridge full of sweet potatoes
A fridge full of sweet potatoes. Hopefully they carry on regardless over winter as they are in a sheltered place next to the house but even if they don’t, at least I learned a lot about growing sweet potatoes this year.
Wax capsicum
We have a lot of Hungarian wax capsicums in our fridge wicking beds but we thought we were planting Hungarian wax chillies. It would seem that the label got mixed up and we ended up with the chillies milder and larger relatives.

I am off to film my documentary next week. We were allowed to borrow some sound recording equipment and a decent tripod from our course and as it’s now our Easter and term holidays are here and we have almost 3 weeks to muck around getting a feel for filming. My documentary is going to be interesting but I can’t reveal what it is about as there is a bit of a twist to it that I don’t want to share yet. I will share the Vimeo link with you all here so that you can see it, as well as Steve’s documentary also when we have finished editing them and they are ready to roll.

More avocado babies
You can never have enough hats, shoes and avocado plants in my opinion!
Avocado tree
Every avocado we buy from the shops I plant the stone and most of them grow. They seem quite happy to grow year round on Serendipity Farm and this is one of my seed grown babies happily growing in Sanctuary. One day we will be self sufficient in avocados of all kinds.
Babaco tree
This is a babaco tree. It’s also called a star fruit tree and this one is living in the glasshouse at the moment. I might put it out in the garden soon and let it harden off as I want to see if it will grow in the main garden. It was out in the garden all of last winter so I can’t see why it wouldn’t be happy there.

Well I might finish up there for today folks. It’s been lovely to catch up with you all again and I don’t want to tax you too much by throwing a massive blog post at you as penance for slacking off and not posting for so long. If anyone wants to have a go at making the ‘Teacher’ doll, let me know if you get stuck as I figured out some really good fixes for the confusing bits of the pattern. I might have another go at trying to fix the facial features as the rest of the doll isn’t too bad and you know me, I am all for recycling at any cost. Well that’s it for me for today. Narf7 ‘over and out!’

Finger limes
My native finger lime tree seems happy enough to have set quite a few fruit this year. Lets hope they grow and we can try them.
Last years fig cuttings
These are the cuttings that I took from a friends fig tree in the wrong season when she was moving. If I didn’t take the cuttings I wouldn’t have another chance so I gave it a go and ended up with 2 of the fig tree cuttings striking. I planted them out early in the year in Sanctuary and they will be espaliered
Tiny maple seedling
This tiny newest member of our potted plant brigade was discovered growing in the roof guttering yesterday and was rescued by Steve who was on the roof at the time.
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33 Comments Add yours

  1. Gosh – your fridge wickers are still growing wickedly well! πŸ™‚ I have an avocado tree growing in a pot. I know it is an avocado tree because as I was weeding I went to remove it and discovered a large avocado stone attached to its bottom. I hastily restored it to its original position and crossed my fingers. It seems to have forgiven me. Do they ever fruit? I should like to have y own avocado tree growing in the tiny courtyard!!

    I quite liked your fraggle teacher – I’m sure you will get the facial features right the minute you stop trying. I hope Steve’s various attempts at self mutilation heal up well and the rename works. But I don’t think you should call the axe ‘Buttercup’ that might cause an equally violent reaction – just to prove it’s not. Stick with Dougal or Jack or something equally manly but innocuous.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your films πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      It can take from 5 – 13 years for a seed grown avocado to fruit (depends on the variety) but that hasn’t stopped me from planting out lots of them in Sanctuary. One day I am going to be completely self sufficient in avocado’s of all kinds (at least 3 at the moment) and joy shall be my middle name! Good call on the axe. I think ‘Jack’ would be a good name Ms Pauline. I looked at the fraggle yesterday when I was fishing it out from the depths of the hooky box where I had stuffed it in frustration and thought “It’s not that bad…” which tends to be the beginning of “Maybe I will see if I can fix it” but I haven’t hooked in a while now. Winter brings back my hooky urges and they are starting to get stroked by some particularly delicious and most scrumptious blankets that I have found free patterns for in Ravelry lately that are calling my name. They consist of lines of different textural stitches like popcorn and flowers and complex lines of patterns that all fit together to make the most beautiful gardenesque blankets. I have an inkling that I would like to make one, two, ‘some’ of them. We think you will love the documentary that we are about to film. We are calling our enterprise “STANmade” productions (The ‘ST’ from Steve and the ‘AN’ from Fran) and the subject is a truly interesting person with lots of ecclectic ‘stuff’ that they surround themselves by. Steve has recovered enough to want to tackle ‘Jack’ and the woodpile again today so hopefully he won’t inflict more damage on himself!

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      1. I thought the fraggle looked very good – but not knowing anything about fraggles assumed you knew what you were talking about…… Sometimes when things don’t go to plan we tend to see the mess and not the creative beauty our hands have wrought. Time aand space is great like that. I do hope ‘Jack’ will behave – every Jack I have ever known has been a noble fellow. Tell Steve he must say to Jack before they start ‘thank you for splitting the wood so perfectly Jack and doing no harm along the way!’ Vision is everything!! Love your productions name!! Now I’m really excited!! ❀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        Steve has renamed his axe “Fluffy”. Not sure how this is going to pan out…

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  2. Spy Garden says:

    The fridge wicking method would probably work really well here and is on my list of things to one day try (probably not for a few years though). Even though we get a lot of rain the soil is so clay and it dries out very easily. I planted some tomato plants very early (with rain in the forecast) but then it didn’t rain and they all burned up when it got really hot:(. But I still have many more tomato plants waiting in the wings under the grow lights. I am going to harden them off slowly, let the get used to the heat before planting next time. I should know better but oh well. And I think I am going to dig a hole, fill with a little soil and then plant into that instead of right into the clay. We do have a ton of volunteer plants everywhere (herbs and flowers mostly but also the gooseberry plants pop up everywhere) and the garlic doesn’t seem to mind the searing heat/dry clay then pounding rain/chilly nights combos! You can eat all of the celery leaves and stalks and get the same exact taste as celery just in a different form. We planted some celery plants a few years ago and they survived the winter. They’ve never fully grown but I snip off the leaves when I want a little celery taste in something I’m cooking. Enjoyed your post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Cheers Ms Spy. That’s interesting about the celery. I think I might dehydrate it and turn it into a powder and then I could make our own celery salt (I guess?!). That’s the thing about tomatoes. Our soil is heavy clay as well and full to the gills with rocks. If we wanted to garden in the ‘soil’ we would have to put in some seriously death defying effort to remove all of the rocks and there would be more ‘hole’ left than soil by the time we had finished (and we could probably build a house with all of the (sodding) rocks that we dug out!) I love volunteer plants. We had a pumpkin, some tomatoes, a few amaranth and lots of potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes just turn up out of thin air this year. I swore I dug up all of my yacon tubers but there are 3 yacon plants growing slowly so obviously I didn’t. I think that anyone who thinks that they are in control of their gardens is a numpty. The garden rules us and we are it’s willing slaves and so long as we get a few tasty treats we are happy slaves indeed πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. foodnstuff says:

    Hi Fran, good to see you still have time for a blogpost. I’m glad your wickers are doing well after the frustrations you were having with Sanctuary.
    I’m so jealous of your sweet potatoes. If you can grow them down there I should be able to grow them here in a warmer Melbourne. How do I get from a sweet potato to a plant? I’ve had them in the cupboard under the sink until they turn grey with mould but they never sprout like ordinary potatoes. is there a trick to it or is it only some varieties that work?
    My finger lime didn’t set any fruit although it did flower. Yours looks to have much larger leaves than mine…..I must do some homework….are there different varieties?
    I was going to email you…a friend asked if I knew any vegans? She wants to know…do vegans eat chocolate? I said I thought probably not, because of the milk, but what about dark chocolate? is there anything in it that would cause you to not eat it?
    Sorry about your fraggle that wasn’t a teacher. I remember watching my aunt going round and round with her needle making lacy doilies…the mind boggles at being able to actually crochet something in 3 dimensions.
    Looking forward to seeing your documentaries and wondering about the subject. All will no doubt be revealed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      The sweet potatoes that are going mental are actually Japanese (red skinned white flesh) ones that Coles accidentally bagged up and sold as regular orange ones. I bought several bags but Steve wasn’t that fussed about them as they are more like potatoes but sweet. I read up on them and planted them out as they grow like regular potatoes (just bung them in and they will sprout and grow). Normal (orange) sweet potatoes just need a nice dark warmish spot and they will start to sprout. If they aren’t, Just try cutting of a few pointy ends and putting them in a lid of water to sit. Keep the water topped up and pretty soon they will sprout. They say that you should pull the sprouts off the base (they have a small ball shape at the base where the shoot meets the parent sweet potato that separates quite easily when you twist it and that turns into the root part of the plant) and plant them when they get a few leaves on them. I just bunged mine into the soil but I don’t actually know if they grew or not as they are swamped by the Japanese ones. I would try to get a fridge and make one wicking bed for the sweet potatoes if you wanted to try them. My friend grows them in raised beds in a poly tunnel and barely waters them. She says if you give them too much water they don’t produce tubers and she got some realy decent sized sweet potatoes this year. I most probably won’t get any but its all a great experiment and the sweet potato leaves are excellent spinach/greens substitutes.

      My finger lime didn’t set fruit last year either but this year it did. I am just hoping that the rat that ate my first pepino has been scarfed by the feral cats (most likely as suddenly I am getting cape gooseberries again where they were all mysteriously disappearing πŸ˜‰ ).

      Vegans do eat chocolate. You can buy vegan chocolate and many dark chocolates don’t have milk in them. Check the health food section of the supermarkets or online. There are lots of vegan chocolates in the U.S. just not so many here. If your friend can get hold of cocoa butter she could make her own using cocoa. Tell her to Google it :).

      Our subject is a very interesting person and you will be the first to see the final result πŸ™‚

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  4. It’s wonderful to see the fridge wicking beds in full productivity after you worked so hard to set them up. I wonder how many hundreds of hours of watering you’ve saved yourself (and how many litres of water). I love seeing all the things you’ve grown.

    Poor Earl in that photo, though! He really is contemplating what a terribly hard and deprived life he has…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Earl’s life was much harder and more deprived in the 11 days that he wasn’t able to relieve himself. He is a much happier dog now with a tonne more energy however he appears to be eating to make up for his lack of appetite now and has SO much energy I often need Steve to grab the lead when we are walking down our driveway as it takes 2 of us to contain his exuberance. Both Bezial and I are secretly wishing for him to lose a bit of this exuberance ;). We have used heaps less water this year with the wicking beds and the drip irrigation that we installed in Sanctuary at the beginning of the year. We will be irrigating the little orchard area at the beginning of our long dry summer period at the end of the year and that will mean that everything we want to survive will be covered and we won’t have to head out hosing things at all which gives me back a significant portion of my summer days which makes me incredibly happy. I love your circle of bricks by the way. We had to learn how to pave when we were studying horticulture and our class paved a section of the horticulture patio. It’s quite a precise art and our lecturer was truly anal about perfection so we had to keep trying till we got it ‘just right’. We haven’t attempted any paving since πŸ˜‰

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  5. Hi Fran, Now that bones have been deleted from Earl’s diet, (Boo Hoo!) is he allowed Paddy Wacks as an occasional treat?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Earl is a glutton for life Margaret. He eats everything and is currently working his way through his soft toy collection πŸ˜‰

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  6. Wow to that Spud.. πŸ™‚ I showed hubby and he said tatters already.. I said you live down under lol.. And reminded him you are the lady with the freezers lol…

    He is impressed as I showed him all your photos..
    We have never been successful with celery, it always ended up far to stringy..
    There is knack people wrap it in corrugated paper.. Though I have not seen corrugated paper in years lol its all bubble wrap now πŸ™‚

    I saw the big cones bunya pine cones.. Amazing.. What are the seed nuts like.. Amazing size like brazil nut size.. Are they tasty?? Questions Questions.. πŸ™‚

    Glad to hear Earl is back to his normal self.. Not nice when they are not well.. Lesson learned.. Poor lad..

    Wow to your tomatoes too.. Beautiful..

    Also Loved Pink Floyd.. Link.. Shusssh.. I actually like yours better.. πŸ˜‰

    Looking at Buttercup the Axe, Oh so pleased my hubby is not in possession of one. He is lethal with cutting himself..
    He went alone to the allotment today to put the tomato plants into the prepared places.. I told him to be careful.. He said why… I said you are going into a GLASS HOUSE. LOL… The problem is he bleeds very bad its like a slaughter house in the bathroom after he cuts himself shaving.. πŸ™‚

    As you can tell.. I really enjoyed reading.. Looking at your amazing growing and how things have thrived..

    Sending Mega Hugs .. Sorry again to be late.. As per..

    But you know I get here in the end..

    Love and Special HUGS.. Sue xx ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I just dug a few potatoes out of the wicking beds. We pinched the spud soil from the back of Sanctuary to fill in the beds. It was comprised of horse manure and oak leaf mould and thats it (so that’s what our wicking bed ‘soil’ is made up of) and we threw out every spud tuber that we saw as we were digging it up, putting it into barrows and then digging it into the wicking beds but some still managed to grow! I let them as I was interested in seeing if you would actually get a crop of potatoes in this kind of bed and the potatoes I harvested (I couldn’t be too invasive as there are still other veggie plants in the beds I was rootling in) were large, very clean and blemish free so I figure it might be a way to grow some spuds and easily as well by the looks of it. I might have to dedicate a couple of beds to potatoes only next season to really see how they go.

      The Bunya nuts don’t actually taste like nuts, they taste more like chestnuts as they are starchy apparently. The Australian Aboriginals apparently used to eat a lot of them when they were in season to bulk up for the winter as they are a good source of valuable fats and carbohydrates. The trees (and cones) are huge and that is down here where they aren’t in their best habitat. I would image that they grow pretty huge in Queensland and the cones would have more seeds in them. As it is, if you had a large tree down here you could harvest a LOT of seed off it in the right season and they could be stored for food potential. The tree also has amazing spiky leaves and looks absolutely awesome in the garden but you would need a BIG garden to do it justice. Here’s a link so that you can see what they look like…

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araucaria_bidwillii

      Steve and I were mad conifer fools when we were studying horticulture and the Araucaria family in general was a favourite of ours. It contains the Monkey Puzzle tree and the Norfolk Island Pine (one of which we have growing in our lower garden). We grew three Bunyas from seed that we found laying on the ground in Melbourne when we went on a trip with a lecturer to the Melbourne International Flower Show and all three grew but they took 10 months to germinate! We still have two of them (we gave one away) and will plant them out on our property. We will never see them get to any kind of magestic height but someone will one day πŸ™‚

      Steve bled a lot after he cut himself and refused to go and get stitches so he has a nice scar to remind him to be VERY careful of ‘buttercup’ which he has now renamed ‘fluffy’ ;). I am glad you enjoyed my post Sue. I love reading yours πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Steve sounds the same as my hubby Fran… Stubborn and Mules.. πŸ™‚ And that tree looks awesome.. 10 mths a long time to germinate.. but then all good things come from those who wait.. or something or other LOL..
        Nature is wonderful and I hope some one some day benefits from our efforts of growing on that seed..

        Love your posts… I am just loading a few updates of photos to my garden blog as we speak.. You may have a laugh out loud at a few. πŸ™‚ We did.. πŸ™‚
        Have a good rest of the week and weekend xxx πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Jo says:

    Good to know you are learning how not to panic! When you have that down, please share! I am loving all your garden experiments. You are the most adventurous gardener I know! I am glad your wicking bed experiment worked out so well, it seems quite brilliant. Enjoy the rain today..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      You too. The rain is my new bestie :). I am thinking of taking some lessons from the Buddhists on how to reduce panic. That or taking up pilates…

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  8. Amazing! Oh my goodness, it makes my heart soar to see the cherimoya babies grow up… I still can’t believe it! Knowing just how fast time flies (and you’re not kidding- how is it almost May already?!) they’ll be bearing fruit in no time… Let me know the moment you see the first bud and I’ll book my plane ticket. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Half a world away 2 little seeds managed to grow completely against the odds…it sounds like the beginning of a halfway decent novel! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Robbie says:

    I love the doll!!! I did not know celery was shallow rooted. very interesting, I have to remember to keep it moist. I believe I am going to start using the perennial lovage for my celery in my garden after this year. It does not taste exactly like celery, but it is perennial, and it works just as well as a leafy green in your stir fry. I make veggie wraps and celery just takes too much attention in my garden. I am moving more towards perennial vegetables that can ease up on some of my work. I have my favorite annuals but some of the others may be replaced with perennial cousins-LOL

    We are water logged here in the Midwest of USA. I have no doubt your new readers will love your posts. You are such a good story teller! I love hearing about your life down under:-) Since my parents moved near us last summer the combination of my grandson ( 3 yr old) and my parents which are in their 80’s take up most of my free time. Both of our fathers have dementia which is a challenge lately.I don’t get to my blog as much. I sure do miss reading yours and glad I had some time today.

    I love your dolls, they are adorable!!! Sorry to hear about the bones and dogs. I gave a bone to Chance last week ( we have never given him one, but use to our other dogs) and he spit it up. It seemed to upset his stomach. I decided maybe it was not a good idea. I know chicken bones can be a serious problem for dogs. I am so glad it was dog hives and not something serious. I hate those sudden things that come up, and you have to say good by in 24 hours!!! Give those dogs a big hug for me!!!!

    Happy GAdening from Midwest USA!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Hi Robbie, lovely to hear from you :). I, too, am steering towards the perennial as you get more bang for your buck with less work. Just hold off on the Jerusalem artichokes if you get a hankering to plant them as they spread like wildfire and pretty soon your glorious yard will be full to the back gills with them. I am sorry to hear about your fathers having dementia. It would truly be a challenge. Both of my parents passed away in their 70’s and we didn’t have to see any decline in mental health. Bones are NOT good. Earl sulks because he loved having them but they are hard work on dog’s intestines and I was a bit cross as I was lead to believe by the RAW dog food diet that bones and raw meat should be what we feed to dogs. It turns out Bezial was fine with them (probably because Earl hogged most of them and wouldn’t share!) but Earl wasn’t. I will hug both of the boys for you but these days, whenever we make a lunge for them, they think that they are off to the vets! πŸ˜‰ Have a lovely day Robbie and we are starting to get a bit water logged here as well which makes me beam as that means ‘no watering’ for old narf7 πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Robbie says:

        I love those no watering days:-) I will steer clear of jerusalem artichokes. I have heard that and I don’t feel I have enough room for them on our small lot. I was just outside weeding in the rain. I look forward to a sunny day. I have been grumpy with all this cool, rainy , cloudy rain and days that no sunshine sees my back!!!! grrrr..LOL
        70’s is young,( sorry to hear) ours are in their mid 80’s. I am starting to believe that quality of life is not so great in your 80’s if your body/mind does not work. It seems it is either mind/body…or …body or mind..no one seems to get both. However, there are a rare few that keep them both and live to 100. I don’t know if I could handle living to 100!:-)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        It’s like when you are very young and 30 seems like elderly really, it’s all relative. Our neighbour Glad is 95 this year and she still lives on her own on her 5 acre property. She is slowing down now (as you would expect) but her mind and in general, body are all together. Her son has cancer and isn’t likely to see out the year. I think ‘that’ would be the worst thing about hitting 100. You would most likely outlive your kids. I believe that every day you get ‘alive’ here is precious. I guess I am in reasonably good health and am not in constant pain so I can’t speak for people who have had to live like that but if I manage to get to 100 and am not in too much pain I will count myself to be one lucky narf7 πŸ™‚

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  10. Linne says:

    Hi, Narfie! IΓ¨m back, after trying to keep up with just reading blogs most of the winter. Great post. IΓ¨d never heard that bones were bad for dogs; ours always had them and never had a problem. Thing is, they were great big beef knuckle bones, so were more gnawed on than eaten. good to know for the future, though., so I’m glad you shared. And I’m glad all is well with Earl.

    I’ve enjoyed watching the development of the fridge wicking beds; more info for the future.

    I’ll keep this short, as I have lots of catching up to do and I’m bushed from all we did here today. Hugs to all. ~ Linne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Hi Linne! Good to see you back and I am glad that you enjoyed reading blogs all winter. I fully intend on doing the same πŸ™‚ The wicking beds are almost finished for the summer harvest and now I am thinking about planting kale and spinach etc. for winter veg. It’s the first time I have done this so I am looking forwards to seeing how they go. You sound like you had a hard day. I bet you sleep well πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Linne says:

    Lovely to think of you planting kale, my friend, as I just purchased some pots of Red Russian, Black Magic and Prizm. No-one here likes kale, so I see many large salads and bowls of steamed kale in my future πŸ™‚ I think I have over fourteen plants . . .at least . . . in my mind, moderation is for the young. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I think an excess of greens is a glorious excess indeed! I have peas, snow peas and perpetual spinach going in and kale on Saturday (I forgot to get Steve to get me some punnets of it). Kale is delicious, nutritious and very useful. I am glad we both share a love of it πŸ™‚

      Like

  12. Linne says:

    I have 16 plants, Narfie, and now I’ve planted a variety of flowers and I think some green onions in between and around the edges. I do like a full garden bed, in spite of what so many say . . . reminds me of a wild meadow when I get it right. I hope your kale does as well as mine is doing (so far). I pick a couple of leaves or more nearly every day for my noon sandwich, although I’m trying to restrain myself and leave it to develop more fully. . . . sigh . . .

    Hope you are keeping warm and snug, my friend. I’m looking forward to when you have time to post about the video project, although I do understand that you likely won’t have much time to share with us for a while. Take care and lots of love to you and Steve. And warm, warm hugs. LOL ~ Linne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I am just about ready to post my, and Steve’s videos on the blog (if I still have any followers that want to see them that is πŸ˜‰ ). Your garden sounds lovely Linne and mucking around in a garden is a glorious thing in the summer time. Glad to hear you have some onion greens and kale growing and that you get to use them. My kale has almost disappeared thanks to the slugs but you never know, even a few plants will give me what I need πŸ™‚

      Like

  13. Linne says:

    When I said 16 plants, I meant 16 kale plants. I can recommend them alol, but the Red Russian grew large first of them all. But maybe it was getting a bit more sun; who knows? Hugs. ~ L

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I have a couple of red Russians that the slugs didn’t scoff but most of the remainder are Tuscan Kale that grow quite large so hopefully I get at least a couple of plants as Steve doesn’t like kale so it’s all mine.

      Like

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