Mr E is on school holidays for two weeks and quite thrilled he can leave teaching, assessing, reports and parent interviews behind for a while and concentrate on the garden.
A lot has been done the past few weekends to lay the groundwork for our next step forward - making the area around our home self productive.
Out the front we've added some hedge plants opposite the pots of rosemary and lavender to create a border/walkway to the front door. But in front of that hedge will be a vegetable garden...
Climbers and shrubs have been planted across the front of the brown privacy screen now that area has been cleared, composted and mulched. This week my beloved will plant beans in this garden which will later be broken up and hoed in (after I grab the beans). We're not rushing the front garden bed because it did not start off in good condition and we're working to get it in excellent shape before planting food crops and fruit trees.
This little tomato plant was discovered down the side during the clearing. We're feeding it and hoping it will flourish like the ones we've got growing out back.
There's a lot going on in the backyard right now after some thoughtful planning and a morning spent with a very helpful farmer who makes his own microbial compost and teaches classes in permaculture.
The old compost area simply didn't function well as it has no air flow, sitting on concrete and surrounded by concrete blocks. We have an idea the concrete slab under it was once part of a chicken coop, which is great because after hubby finishes removing the concrete...
...we'll be setting this corner of the garden up to house some chickens. We're already investigating coops.
Mr E has made a new compost area on the opposite side of the back garden. You can see it behind the clothesline...
He's also making a second compost area later this week because if we want to do away with lawn and make every area productive we'll need plenty of compost.
Becoming as self sufficient as possible has been a long held dream for the two of us and now, with our own home at last, we can work forward to make that possible.
Our backyard tomatoes are incredible! Seven feet tall and literally dripping with produce I get such a kick out of seeing my man walk past and pop a few ripe cherry tomatoes in his mouth for a snack.
Pots of parsley loves hiding under the tomatoes...
Bob-the-dog and Sophie watch in avid amusement as the yard is dissembled and reassembled on a regular basis. Sophie especially does not like being moved from one of her many hiding places when I water the gardens at late afternoon.
Of course I must have colour around so our winter flowers are scattered pots of pansies here and there...
...plus the grevilleas are all in bloom which brings little honeyeaters to feast each day.
When I was hanging the washing up the other morning I was surprised that our regular band of finches did not fly away as I approached. They often sit on the clothesline or feast on the grass seeds below, but always I am mindful to not come close or they take to flight in an instant.
But this was a very lovely moment I managed to capture on my camera. They stayed where they were as I hung the clothes and remained while I went inside to fetch the camera...
Aren't they beautiful?
These are 'double barred finches'.
Morning and afternoon teas are taken out back with cool drinks or a cuppa as we chat over what comes next or simply sit in silence and enjoy the view.
I've baked quite a bit recently, choosing to make delights with much less sugar and butter than previously.
Tomorrow Blossom, Cully May and Rafaella are coming by and the little ones will be able to picnic on the new tablecloth quilt I made them last weekend.
It was very quick to make!
Seven 5 1/2" squares cut from seven different fabrics and sewn together, sandwiched with wadding and backing, quilted 1/4" outside the seams and bound in red spots.
I laid them out so that I had diagonal rows of the same fabrics and really love the end result.
Not everything has to take a long time, quite often just jumping in and making a simple project in a couple of days fills your happy tank to overflowing.
Now, if you need some inspiration on becoming self sufficient in your garden area Mr E and I highly recommend this documentary we watched recently. It's free to watch and honest, it blessed us immensely and answered many prayers and questions.
Click below to watch or go HERE.
THIS MONTH'S FREE PATTERN - turns into a stitchalong…
I've had to think about this one a bit because we're just starting the second half of 2019 and I wondered if it might be nice to make something that takes a few months?
A small quilt perhaps?
Maybe one block every two weeks for a while?
Yes, I like the sound of that.
Drop by on Wednesday and I'll have it all ready for you to begin.
In the meantime enjoy your home, cherish your loved ones, give thanks to God for all your gifts, and be kind to yourself because often we're the last people we consider in life.
Need something to stitch? I'm always adding patterns to my Etsy Shop so drop by and have a peek.