Having my husband home for the two-week autumn school holiday break has meant we could get in and dedicate a great deal of each day to preparing the garden beds for planting. Admittedly, most of the heavy work has been done by him, but weeding, planting seeds and preparing seedlings for a permanent planting in the garden has kept me busy while he's digging, fertilising, preparing water ways, mulching and building structures for climbing vines.
While Mr E was busy in the front yard last week I harvested the enormous lemongrass plant because it had grown so wide and high that the lemon tree, lime tree (only young trees) and the pineapple plants could not see daylight. I did need my man to dig it up first and then he was called upon again later to saw through the solid root system which looked at lot like the base of a palm tree.
This was a slow and methodical process but wow, the fragrance as I worked on each viable stalk was wonderful!
Once my large bowl was full of lemongrass stalks I was inspired to start a yummy broth in the slow cooker for a Thai-inspired coconut, lemongrass and noodle soup to serve at dinner that night.
Two bruised stalks were used and this soup was SO delicious that it's now been added to our regular menu plan!
The remainder of the lemon grass is in the freezer where I can grab a stalk or two whenever I make this soup or other suitable recipes.
In the garden we've used a mix of purchased seedlings as well as sprouting seeds to plant later.
We've also planted some seeds straight into pots (mostly herbs) and also into the raised garden bed my sweet husband set up for me beside the carport. This area gets the winter sun and is perfect for radishes, rocket, beetroot, bok choy and dill (all of which have been planted in there)...
The radishes sprouted in just 24 hours...
Out front the pumpkins are going crazy and we're praying for a good harvest from the two plants...
On the outskirts of the pumpkins we've planted cucumbers...
...and nearby you'll find French butter beans.
Out back there's more French butter beans planted near the olive tree (and we still haven't done anything with that toilet)...
...as well as peas...
...basil, Thai basil...
...rosemary, chilli, thyme, parsley...
...pots of cucumber and tomato seeds scattered around...
....self seeded tomatoes...
...even around the pool!
Cherry tomatoes are in the garden just in front of the bird feeder...
....but we've planted Roma tomatoes in pots beside the chicken coop. They'll be too high for the chooks to mess with and can be secured to the wire as they grow.
Plenty of flower seeds have been sown in pots, and these beetroot seedlings are now in the raised garden bed, along with beetroot seeds in some seedling pots as this will stagger our harvest in the months ahead.
If you remember, during the wet season we moved the chickens up to the pool enclosure where they had a large undercover area for the coop plus a decent sized area of garden to forage in each day. Well it seems they did a lot of fertilising from the kitchen scraps I gave them because there's a number of tomato plants which sprung up in the past few weeks and they are doing really well, plus there's cucumber plants as well. It's quite exciting to see so many vegetables scattered around the front and back yards, some we planted, some self seeded.
There's even rockmelons growing under the clothesline!
I have a line of herb pots doing well, some old, some new, some still in seed waiting to sprout, plus replanting the ends of spring onions has given me a constant supply of tasty green ends to use in salads.
I only noticed the other day that we've got corn growing under the clothesline as well. Fortunately the black ibis is not interested in it but it's long beak aerates the soil as it hunts for insects under the ground.
There's more I could show you but you might have had enough by now of this journey around the early plantings of our tropical winter garden. I just hope you can hear the excitement in my written words because both Mr E and I gain much joy working our quarter acre and progressing more each week with making it a productive food source in the weeks, months and years ahead.
Last week my task was to clean out the linen cupboard and that's what I finally got to do on Easter Monday.
The cupboard is a hard one to get in to as it's in the narrow hallway between the kitchen and our bedroom, and is has two double doors with a walled area between so in part of the cupboard you have to bend around the wall to put things in or take them out...this means I think carefully about using that not-so-accessible space for items not used on a daily basis (such as bathmats or tablecloths etc).
I wouldn't normally show you inside my linen cupboard but as I challenge you each week to join me in my tasks I believe there's some accountability on my part.
I'd like to show more but the hallway is so narrow and dim that I struggle to take photos that aren't very close and blurry...however, I think you can see that everything is very neatly stacked and in order along this side (taken from the doorway of the toilet opposite - yeh, more information that you needed, right?), and the other side of the linen cupboard is just as tidy. I'm a very happy homemaker with this task complete.
A new task for the week ahead is to clean out any shelving in your main bedroom.
As we have barely any storage area in our home I use the shelving in my side of the wardrobe for things like large quilts, gift supplies, frames (I have a lot for stitcheries), decorations and miscellaneous items. It's really become a dumping ground for things I don't know where else to put, so I'm looking forward to getting stuck in and dividing them into three categories - donating, giving (usually to Blossom if she wants any) or keeping.
Will you join me in this task?
THANK YOU to everyone who bought my Sewing Pantry Kits last night. All eighteen were gone within a few hours and I woke this morning to numerous emails and messages asking if I had more.
Sorry, but I don't...but soon I'll have some project kits for various tutorials which will be shared here on the blog. Not a lot of kits as I'm just a designer working from home, but I will do my best to prepare as many as I can.
Now it's late Tuesday night and my husband is reminding me that sleep is our friend after another big day so I'll sign off for now so I can spend a little while in God's Word before slumber takes over.
May your own day be productive and satisfying, and your sleep be sweet and restful.