Our newest additions 

People say I’m crazy to plant in this heat. Maybe I am but I can’t help it. The new arrivals are all hot weather plants that are being grown by folks in the general area. Common sense prevails in the choice of plants even if not in the timing. In the pics below, you’ll see a couple of Giant Tree Tomatoes, an Hibiscus, a Long Melon Gourd and some Tamarillos.  They’re all planted in the garden in the positions that suit them best. With a little water and worm wee, they just might make it!  Wish them luck! 

How to make a vinegar for stronger bones

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is a herb with some ancient history. I’ll be writing a post about it soon but for now, here’s another use for it – ‘strong bones vinegar’. Mugwort contains a lot of calcium and magnesium, making it useful for strengthening bones and improving muscle function. As the two often go hand in hand, this is a good combination. A bit of caution: some folks are allergic to Mugwort, usually the same ones that have a Ragweed allergy. Mugwort can also affect pregnant women, so be careful here too please.  If this is your first time dealing with Mugwort, take precautions. Handle the fresh herb for a little, wait for a while and if you’re not sneezing up a storm  and your eyes aren’t red and watery in about an hour, you should be good to go. How to do it: Making herbal vinegars is just too easy! Here’s how to make this one… You need 2 things

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Capturing the washing water 

It might not look like much, but this drum, bit of pipe and reclaimed hose can save us heaps.  It’s simply a way to catch the washing machine water, let it settle, then send it to the garden. We don’t use hot water in our machine which has a 4.5 star water rating and uses 65 litres for a full wash. We only use the ‘wool’ setting as that doesn’t heat the water. That means that it can go on the garden quicker.  Nor do we (usually) need to capture water in the depths of Winter, though we did have to water several times during the last one. Also, often we hammer out 4 or five loads in a day but we’ll probably only catch, say, 2 of them in this system.  The savings – 6 washes a week for 26 weeks = 156 washes 65 litres per wash = 10, 140 litres captured for reuse!  That’s about 10 IBC

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It’s that time again! 

Two days ago, our Snake beans were right as rain. I went out this morning and they were full of holes! The culprit? These little green looper caterpillars. I don’t know their real name, I’ve heard many, usually associated with swearing. I’m lucky that the crop is young, so I can get on top of it with the time honoured ‘squishy-squishy’ method of thumb and forefinger.  As the beans are in the aquaponics, I can’t use any other method. Poisons and pesticides are right out. I may try a sprinkle of diatomecious earth. Maybe that will irritate the buggers! When does a bug become a pest? Right now!