Saturday, 16 November 2013

Spring Time Pleasures - Gardens, Food, Concerts...

We have had some heavy rain early this week.  It didn't stop for days and the forecasters have declared that Spring is officially one month late and this is the coldest November in 30 Years.  Well someone had better tell my garden because it all go go go out there.  I can't afford to not go out every couple of days because things are just growing gang busters. Ive discovered a truth about myself i cant deny.  I like the growing and the caring part of being a veggie gardener but i like it so much i don't harvest enough.  So many things go to seed simply because i cant bring myself to mess up my beautiful garden.  Its sad but true.  No one warned me about this affliction.

Lettuce, Corn and just at the base of it you can see a bean seedling that will use the corn as a trellis.  I did notice that some of the lettuce are starting to be munched on by snails and slugs so I'm using an homemade organic spray made from (wait for it) 1 part espresso coffee with 3 parts water.  You have to repeat it after rain or over exuberant watering but i like the idea of coffee infused veggies - i have a bad bad coffee addiction.    Seventh heaven is picking up a bucket of coffee grounds for my garden from my dealer   supplier and letting it sit in an enclosed car all day, getting in at the end of the work day and smelling it all the way home.  

There is about 20 tomato plants growing in this bed - most of them are freebies I've transplanted near trellises.  
There has been no much rain that i have noticed some powdery mildew creeping in on my zucchinis.  Today i made up a mix of 1 part cows milk and 10 parts water and gave them a light spray.   I love zucchini flowers (on the plant, not on my plate) 
Just in case you are impressed with my knowledge of homemade organic sprays ill let you in on a secret.  Its called the latest edition of Organic Gardener (Nov/Dec) and it has a A-Z List of Summer Problem Solvers using conventional organic methods (bought stuff) and homemade alternatives.  This is a very enjoyable magazine to read.  So full of helpful tips and interesting stories.

Cordyline - I love this colour when the sun shines through the leaves.  Notice something missing - the chook house which use to be behind this plant.  :( 

Cottage Pie with hidden Spinach (under the Potato).  The small one is for Tom, no extras added.  He doesn't like the texture of sloppy/wet food so i drain as much sauce as possible and make him a separate one.  He didn't eat it as he said it taste like wine (how would he know what wine taste like) but i think he was tasting the turnip in the sauce.  I just keep trying.   He did eat his veggies though.  

This arrived Thursday from my work.  I bought it last Saturday from Harvey Norman discounted by $150 as floor stock.  It was bright lolly pink.  I mean really bright fluro pink. I took it straight to the factory from the shop and chose this blue from the powdercoating stock.  Pink would have clashed with the Tuscan theme Ive got going on.  

Wide Arse Seat - now you know why i bought it.  Its very sturdy and unlike the flimsy sets mostly sold out of the box and assembled.   Not bad for $199. It will last for many years.  
Lucky me had a a guest sleeping over last night.  My sister stayed after a long night of watching concerts in our media room.  Its so lovely to wake up to family and chat over breakfast.  We went to Bunnings to buy a metal watering can (so sick of broken plastic ones) and then i introduced her to Aldi.  Big Sis is new to the city (the big smoke for country bumpkins like her) and so I then took her to the local fresh food market and meat wholesaler conveniently side by side.  The fresh fruit & veg comes straight off the farms at Werribee South and is far cheaper.  Its not perfect in appearance but that's because its real food.  The stuff that is uniform in colour, shape with no marks gets shipped off to several cold stores, held in suspension by gas or frozen and then sold at the big supermarkets, somewhere.

How come they can grow paddocks of this stuff (broccoli) just outside town and i have so much trouble in my back yard.  It keeps going to seed before the heads form?

Oh, back to the concerts.  Remember that clever husband of mine, well he goes through periods of interest and for a few years many moons ago it was all about audio.  The result of which is a media room with digital projector and a very large screen with AAA Hi Def surround sound.  Many of the speakers (centre channel & sub-woofer) he made from the components put into homemade wooden boxes.  Some of them are over 20 years old and sound perfect today as they did then. Gosh you can save some money in this area when you know what you are doing.  Did you know that the difference between a cheap brand and an over the top audiophile level piece of stereo equipment worth thousands could be just a few electronic components upgraded on the circuit boards or to replace the cone on a tweeter or sub or to add some filling to absorb the vibration in the box - all of which are worth only few dollars.  The result is sound so pure you can hear fingers coming off the guitar strings yet with an action film the sub frequencies so deep and loud that the glasses rattle in the cupboards in the kitchen.  Thank goodness this room has insulation in the walls.

So what was last nights choice?

Isn't he just gorgeous.  His voice makes me swoon (it was all in Italian) and cry with the tears of a music lover whose soul is being caressed by a lover.   This is our screen, and with the lights off  and surrounded by speakers its probably better than being there.  Mind you, this concert was filmed outside his village in Tuscany and in truth id much rather wake up the next day  in my villa and walk to the local village piazza and visit a local trattoria for a morning cappuccino with the locals.  Later that day i would gather with the neighbours for a 3 hour lunch under the vines and  Oh, are you still there..... you lost me for a minute.  
Who are these people?   I dont know but they keep reappearing (or someone like them) in my dreams....... I must say though that there are no plastic chairs in dream land.  Its wrought iron and checked tablecloths and somewhere is a heirloom demijohn of fresh pressed olive oil a mama that cooks for 30 each Sunday and  and and   - at least the vines are there. 
Of course, once you are in the zone its hard to bring yourself back so despite it being passed Cinderella's going home time (we already looked like two pumpkins recessed into the couches) we went for a second concert.  David Foster & Friends.  David also produced Andrea's concert so it was kind of a theme.  We were definitely showing our age singing along to old favourites from Earth, Wind & Fire, Barbara Streisand etc.  David Foster has/does manage and produce so many artists that this concert has Michael Buble, Babyface Edmonds, Josh Grogon, Andrei Bocelli, Kenny G,  Boz Scaggs, Blake Shelton......  like i said, amazing concert.   We dont buy many movies but we do buy blurays with well produced and recorded concerts.   I havent been to a real one for many many years and would rather lay back on my couch, with legs up and a coffee watching Andrea a few feet away than be crammed into a concert hall, wedged into a tiny seat and then have to contend with parking to watch someone the size of an ant over the sound of the crowd.  For less than quarter of one ticket i can have a private viewing in my front room and invite anyone i want to.   Mind you, we saw World War Z a few weeks ago, and those Zombies were just too too realistic for my liking.  It felt like they were all over the room.  I felt sure one was going to jump up behind me.

I grew up on Earth Wind and Fire - I'm showing my age.  
Big thank you to my hubby not only for making it possible to have my own private concert hall but for not complaining about the volume level we had it at in the middle of the night while he tried to sleep in the next room.  (CPAP machines help with sound absorption).    He was happy that i was happy and that, my friends, is love.

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz


  1. Lynda, I love your commentary on gardening - it is so true, the hardest bit is cooking all that food,planning menus around it, then being willing to sacrifice that adorable lettuce when it is still looking so gorgeous in the garden. Our precious, our precious..

    Broccoli - you cannot overfeed it or overwater it. Dig a big hole, fill it with compost, manure, loam, chicken poop, blood and bone, then pop the seeds in. Water it with seasol and fish emulsion weekly. Grow form seed, because the seedlings will likely bolt - they get transplant shock, think they are going to die, and throw out flowers. When tomatoes do that, it is good, but not so good for broccoli. The market gardeners likely get good results from lots of nitrogenous fertiliser, but we can do better than that, anyways, theirs will get diseases from all that nitrogen growth and need to be sprayed..
    Good save with the furniture. Love that blue.. I love to buy things that I know will last for fifty years. I always like to buy something that I know will make a desirable antique one day!

    1. Jo, thanks so much for the comment, i was wondering what i had written that had scared everyone away. Thanks for advice re broccoli - now i know what ive done wrong. I was using seedlings. I like to buy chairs that i know will fit my arse and wont collapse under me. LOL. Wait till you see what we did with the bookshelves instead of giving them away. Clever Husband.


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