Friday, 28 November 2008

S.O.S. Pledge

Path To Freedom Save Our Seeds Pledge

This was started back in July this year...this is a pledge I'll happily make!
From the Path To Freedom site here.

I pledge to take back control over the most sacred form of plant life - seeds

I will strive to save my own seeds, encourage self pollination and self seeding “volunteers”

Refrain from purchasing seed varieties controlled by Monsanto

Support local seed banks

Purchase organic, heirloom or open pollinated from independent seed companies who’s mission are to save seed diversity

Share your pledge with the world with this nifty icon - feel free to “save as” and use!

Also join other homegrown revolutionaries at our sister site

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Morning Feed

This morning the chooks had a different Morning Mash!

As we are down to 8 'new' girls and 3 oldies now I only use 1 scoop of bran/pollard and half a scoop of meatmeal.
As I had some 'not so fresh milk and yoghurt' in the fridge I warmed that up and used it to mix the mash. I then popped out to the garden for some extras...

the Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is thriving
over in the habitat garden
so I picked a couple of handfuls and chopped them into the mash this article for info on Purslane...

a few garlic leaves from the Strawberry Tankbed...

and some tips off the Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
just a few leaves because too much is a poison,
but it's a useful wormer.

In with this I added half a crust off the bread from yesterday...chopped up was plenty for them.

This was topped off with 2 lettuce plants that were starting to bolt to seed...and quite a few earwigs in this morning's collection (the cooler weather is keeping them hanging around this year!)

Monday, 24 November 2008

Strange Weather for November.

Garden Log Nov 23 08:

Temperatures this week:
Lowest Min 1.5C

Lowest Max 17.5C
Highest Max 25C
Rain 16 mm

We are one week from our start to summer here and we were on a Frost Warning on Saturday night! The temp dropped to 1.5C and nothing seems to have been damaged as there is plenty of leaf cover and mulch around...But what a crazy week/month!
Rain to date has measured 40mm which will make November our wettest month for the year!

The cooler weather hasn't stopped the growth though
...if anything it's increased it!

The first of the 'big' Russian Sunflowers is out!

So too the first Evening Sun Sunflower

The first Costata Romanesco Zucchini is just about ready to pick
and others are forming fast!

I've started work on converting the old Bed 10 wicking beds into new refreshed beds.The frame will be covered with shadecloth. The front bed has been re-edged with shadecloth covered plastic mesh for support.

On the other one I've re-used the frame that began life as a piece of school gym equipment years ago. This will make a smaller bed for greens and next to this I'll put the potted Oca.


I planted out the Baby Corn into the wicking bed in the Almond area with the Sampson Pumpkins.
This Baby Corn is picked as immature cobs for use in stir fries...yummy!

I recently found a Caper bush (Capparis spinosa rupestris) for sale at the local store so I've popped this into the ground. ( the lower left plant in the photo)
When I read info like...favours a very dry, hot summer and intense sunlight...I see it as a plant for my garden. I may need to take some cuttings in autumn to until I know how it will cope with our winters though.

Over at Subtropical Happiness they are weighing in their harvests this month...that got Doc thinking we should weigh our Summer Harvest this year too!
No more stealing Strawberries straight out of the garden though!

The spreadsheet is drawn up and I'll pop the weeks records in the Garden Logs.
So starting from:

Saturday 23rd Nov 08^^^^Strawberries 37g; Loganberries 4g

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Around the Garden in November


First Giant Russian Sunflower

First Costata Romanesco Zucchini

Zucchini flowers

Phacelia flowers

Nashi fruits

Tiny Evening Sun Sunflower

Evening Sun Sunflower

Egyptian Onion flower

Bee on Shallot flower.

Arrowhead (Duck Potatoes) Sagittaria sagittifolia

Arrowhead (Duck Potatoes) Sagittaria sagittifolia


Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Trees For Life - Preparation

The first seeds will be planted on Monday Nov 23
1 box x Acacia papyrocarpa
3 boxes x Melaleuca lanceolata

As the first ones are acacias the seeds need pre-treatment. They need to be covered with water that has just boiled and they will be left in the water for 12-24 hours. This will allow the tough shell of the seed to soften and allow water to penetrate to allow for germination.
The seeds need to be covered with their own depth of soil and then a layer of gravel.
The seedlings will need shade in their early stages.

The other three packets are Melaleuca and these do not require pre-treatment. The seeds will need to be planted on a damp soil which is clear of large particles of bark etc. and are covered only with a thin layer of gravel. I'll need to keep these seeds well watered to stop them drying out as they are very tiny.
These also need shade in their early stages and may need some extra liquid feeding after they germinate.

Five boxes have been prepared...
  • the supplies gathered
  • the soil mix dampened
  • slow release fertilizer added and mixed in
  • each tube filled with mix...we used a juice bottle that was just the right size
  • firmly packed and popped in the box
  • 60 tubes in each box...40 mins
  • 5 boxes filled
As the next planting day on Dec 8 is only for one box we have prepared this box as well. The cricket test was on the radio and the time seemed to pass quickly. wink

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Bush Foods - Solanum centrale

I've recently potted up the Bush Tomato Solanum centrale seedlings as they have germinated well after using the smoke disc I bought when I ordered the seeds.

The seedlings look just like other Tomatoes
until the second leaves grow
then you can see that they become quite hairy.

Bush Tomato (Solanum centrale)
Bush Tomato (Solanum centrale) also called Desert raisin or Desert tomato. This species are native to central Australia in areas of low rainfall (150 to 300 mm).
Other species such as S. chippendalei and S. ellipticum also produce edible fruit and are of interest to the native foods industry.

Aboriginal Names: Akatjera (Arrente), Kampurarrpa (Pitjantjatjara), Kati Kati (Anangu Uluru, NT).

Solanum centrale is a small shrub to 30 -50 cm that suckers and has spines on its branches. Their star-shaped purple flowers are followed by sticky 1cm frit that change colour as they ripen, form green/white to yellow. Fruit are brown with a raisin-like appearance when ripe and ready for picking.

Green or unripe fruits are toxic and should not be eaten. Therefore this plant is not recommended for use in school gardens or where there are young children around.This bushfood is widely used for sauces, and chutneys & relishes; soups marinades, stews and casseroles.
It has a flavour that is an intense, earthy-tomato and caramel flavour of great piquancy and pungency.

Sold for seed as dried fruit that contain between 30-100 seeds, the packs also include instructions for germination and harvesting.

Bush tomato seeds respond well to smoke treatment.

More info on Bush Tomatoes:
PIRSA Factsheet PDF

Seeds purchased from:
Outback Chef

Smoking Seeds

Smoke Treatments
Some Australian native plants require bush fires to regenerate.
This can be recreated in the glass house through exposing the seed to smoke.

Often this is done through burning green leafy material and trapping the smoke in a container with the seed.

A much easier way is to use a smoke impregnated disc.
Place 1 smoke disc in 50ml of water (or half a disc in 25ml etc) and soak the seeds in the solution for 24hours and then sow. One disc can germinate 100 seeds.


Place seeds in an upturned pot, with fresh leaves/twigs and burn

Aboriginal people scatter the seed on areas that have just been burnt.

Don't over-water as the chemicals in the smoke that activate germination can readily be washed away.

I used the smoke discs available from Outback Chef

Thank you Rhonda

The wonderful Rhonda over at Subtropical Happiness has given me the following award:

This award acknowledges the values
that every blogger shows

in his/her effort to transmit cultural,
ethical, literary, and personal values every day.

I don't usually pass on tags so if you are reading this consider yourself a recipient of this award!

Thank you so much Rhonda! smile

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Lucky Daze

G'day Matron and Buddy biggrin ...and anyone else interested...

I see you want to know what I've been up to lately...
Well I haven't been out in the garden with Scarecrow much lately coz I've been helping Doc build that Cob Oven.

It was in MY Dog Pen so I had to make sure he didn't accidentally bury one of my special bones inside that pile of rocks that holds it up.
Boy I had to be on duty every time he was out in my Dog Pen.

Then he started collecting small sticks and things to burn in it...well I had to check there weren't any of MY special sticks in there.

Oh well it looks like they were all safe ones after all. But I'll tell you something, I don't mind the smell of those pizzas and calzone he cooks in there!

You know how it's Spring over here, well I'll tell you it's starting to get hot and I know that it won't be long before I'm having my regular 'Bath-time'. Yuk.
I'm happy just rubbing up against my stone wall to get all that pesky winter coat off...but you know humans...dogs gotta have baths. rolleyes

Hey Scarecrow you've left a container of chook food up on the table (just out of my reach) is that spare...for me by chance...
I know, don't tell's for those old girl chooks over in the other run... rolleyes
well can I lick the pot out after...please?

And Scarecrow these wicking bed thingy's in MY Dog Pen area don't really need those mesh covers on you know...I'll keep the birds off...and just steal the occasional nugget of horsey poop. Yummy!

Stop following me around with that camera...and no I'm not going to go into that old Dog Kennel (that's been a chook house and all) and dig around like a silly know I'm too old for that now.

And don't bother showing everyone the big holes inside there coz I'll just say it wasn't me that dug them!

Hey Scarecrow I've got an idea...

How about we go out the gate and into the garden and take some photos...

Good grief! You really have to hurry up and get those chooks over here to get rid of all these weeds you know...I'm getting all sorts of prickly seeds in my fur. eek

And don't forget to pop in that latest photo of that little cutie Bindi...she's PKT's pup and lives way up in North Queensland so I only get to see photos of her...I think PKT loves her Bindi nearly as much as she loves me... wink

Catch'ya next time!

Big doggy hugs to Buddy! Woof...

Lucky D Dog


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