Monday, November 29, 2010

Gardening in gumboots

The heavy rains my surfcoast garden has enjoyed over the last couple of weeks has been wonderful for deep soaking the soil, filling the 9000 Lt water tank and flushing out the gutters, but bring on the sun! I’m more than ready now to ditch the gumboots and raincoat needed while weeding and harvesting for a week or two of warming, steady sunshine and toes on the grass. The chooks too are tired of mud rather than the dirt baths they prefer. On the positive side, everything has shot up like a triffid. Those yummy broadbean plants are now taller than I am (OK not difficult) as is the celery which is being used as living stake for the snowpeas. The sugarsnap peas and climbing beans are also towering. The other bugbear is the wind which has blown down loads of passionfruit vines, beans, celeery and climbing roses. But it's summer in a couple days so fingers crossed balmy weather is on the way...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Open the POD bay doors Hal…

Even better than cult SF film 2001: A Space Odyssey is joining a Sustainable Gardening Australia POD. There are PODs all over the country  chock-full of people looking to share ideas and their passion for growing great food! If there’s not one in your neck of the woods, then take a deep breath, contact SGA and start one. I did, so it must be easy! There are so many advantages to meeting new people and having fun swapping seeds, plants and ideas. I’ve just cycled back with a basket of bok choy and broccoli seeds from one of the Jan Juc gals whose garden is a Monet-like swirl of irises, vegetables, fruit trees and lush vegetables. Live dangerously. Contact Liz and get involved in SGA today.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Home Companion

Many good things come from across the ditch – Spilt Enz, Sam Neil, The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and now A Home Companion: My year of living like my grandmother. Written in a friendly and accessible style by Wendyl Nissen, it’s a rollicking look at a year spent living like her nana. Five years ago Wendyl forsook a high-powered career in journalism. She swapped shoulder pads for chooks, made her own soap, beauty products and relished cleaning everything with baking soda and vinegar. Some things worked and some didn’t, but she obviously had a ball. A Home Companion goes beyond the 'greenwash'green veneer. It charts her successes, failures and daily challenges and it’s s a genuine reflection on how we can all achieve  more sustainable, healthy and happier life. I’ve been so enthused, I’m going to give the soap recipe a go as soon as I can track down some solid coconut oil. You can also purchase Wendyl Green Goddess products that emerged from this amazing time. A Home Companion makes a great gift for anyone looking to live the good life in an urban environment - don't loan it out as you probably won't get it returned without a tussle.