Friday, April 11, 2014

So Where Do Ping Pong Balls Go?

Well, we ended up with about 20 mls of rain over a few days last week, putting a treasured 5000 litres back into our tanks.  So we bit the bullet this week and have been busy with autumn planting of vegies. Firstly we contacted the local dairy farm and bought a huuuuge truckload of cow poo, all lovely and rotted.
Steve dragged out The Hun and tilled in mega amounts of cow poo and straw, then he planted seedlings of broccolini, brussels sprouts, sugarloaf cabbage, sewed his stockpile of broad bean seeds  plus planted a bed of potatoes.  There is a bit of a story about The Hun, being our Stihl Tiller, not cheap and not very old.  It would not go, no matter what Steve tried, it would not go.  So muttering and cursing we took it in to be fixed.  It didn't take them long, a bloody mudwasp nest had been cosily built in the exhaust pipe!  $48 later and The Hun is purring along happily again.  :-)

Then I got busy sorting through our seeds.  As well as our own seeds, we still have heaps of bought packets of older seeds too, so I thought, what the hell, let's chuck em all in and see what comes up.  Lets see, what went in.... cos lettuce, red lettuce, silverbeet, pak choy, rocket, sugar snap peas, carrots, turnips, onions, spinach, kale, leeks, beetroot, snow peas, celeriac and some ancient swede and parsnip seeds.  Still to go in is celery, garlic and shallots.  There is a heavy lean on greens with the chooks in mind, it never ceases to amaze me how much green stuff chooks will eat, and they love love love kale and broccolini/brussels/cabbage leaves in particular.
Now if I was a little broccolini seedling, I would be very happy and well fed in that wonderful beefed up soil.  Crossing our fingers now that little horrors like slugs and slater don't massacre them!  Thankfully cabbage white butterfly time has finished so there wont be the plagues of little green caterpillars that are around in the summer.
The citrus trees had some attention.  Steve made a few more of his terrific tree protectors, as a couple of the trees had outgrown theirs.  I dragged the old straw away from under the trees, worked the soil a little, replaced the straw then added heaps of manure, blood and bone, trace elements, compost and lime, then added some fresh straw on top.  We've been pleased with these trees, they have come along well considering we nearly killed them all last year.
Speaking of fruit trees, Steve has made a start on the orchard fence.  He is hobbling around a bit as it's hard work digging the poles in by hand, so he's doing a bit each day.  Since this photo he has started putting the horizontal top posts along, like my garden on the left, it looks really good.  The orchard will be big enough to put in up to 20 fruit trees, plus a berry area and an eventual small greenhouse abutting the chook house.
We are back in beautiful autumn sunset time again.  How stunning is this hey.  You have to be quick with the camera though!
We choofed ourselves off to Boston Brewery for lunch as we actually remembered it was our wedding anniversary.  32 years, holy crap! 

It was a beautiful day and we sat out in the lovely grounds of Willoughby Winery (which is were Boston Brewery is).  I had the BEST chicken wings I have ever eaten, they were Tandoori Chicken Wings.  OMG, sensational!
Steve's shed mission last week was to get started cleaning up a very old, battered, ornate, small Godin wood stove that his buddy Mel gave him.  That's it there with a bit of wood sitting on it.
First job was to take it to pieces then strip all the old paint off the body.  Then he used his Dremel with a sort of felt disc to clean up the ornate sections.  Then he filled holes and finally gave the body a spray paint with black stove paint.
 Doesn't it look nice! 
It doesn't have a top, but that doesn't really matter as Steve's plan is to make it into his fish smoker, so he will make his own top for that use.  He is also thinking of making an ordinary top for it too, with a short chimney with an ember catcher at the top, with the thought of maybe using it as an outside heater on the patio in the cooler weather.  Pretty specky fish smoker! :-)
I forgot to take any Neo photos!  He is fine, has recovered from his sterilisation which only slowed him down for 24 hours, and is his usual gorgeous, naughty self.  Now, I have a question.... can someone tell me where 5 ping pong balls have disappeared to in the house???  I have looked under all the furniture, washing machine and oven and can't find them anywhere!  Where has my cat hidden his toys???