Friday, March 11, 2011

Our Summer Harvesting

Well it's Autumn and we have been harvesting all the produce we have grown from the veggie garden over the past few weeks and I have to say this has been the best little veggie crop we have ever had!

We had more rain this year that we have ever had, in fact in Victoria more rain than ever on record apart from 1 other time!

Still not quiet enough to grow my celery too well although I am using the leaves for the rabbits to eat. The carrots have grown well, the kids frequently pluck them from the bed, corn was delish! It was kind of chewy but really tasty and looked perfect. Potato's did well and we have been eating them for many weeks now, and zucchini, well it's not yet at the back door but it's pretty darn close! No not really but we have a good 5 zucchini's per week for a long time now! Ive made zucchini chocolate cake and soup, I found the key to the soup was not to use 2-3 medium ones but a good 5-6 couple of potato's a carrot 2 onions, stock and blend so it's really thick, that was the best soup I made with them this year.

Lettuce did ok, but went to seed before I could eat it all and with all that rain there were a lot of slugs and they all seemed to be over the lettuce!

Had good success with the cucumbers this year, planted them too late last year unfortunately. The squash did well but it's isn't a huge hit here and it is climbing over 3 other veggie beds suffocating the other plants! So will give that a miss for next year. Bok choy was nice but grew very fast pretty much within 3 weeks it needed to be quickly eaten I imagine because of all the rain.

Its been wonderful having the water tanks full and being able to keep the grass for the boys to play on, first time in a very long time that's happened.

I also planted a very large sunflower patch and it's huge!! This is helpful in attracting the bees to the garden to pollinate the other plants. I have included 2 pictures the initial planting and 2 weeks later then all up 3 month s later they are over 7 feet and flowering, how quickly thing will grow once they in fertile soil! We got an excellent crop of nectarines and also plums but not one apricot this year my son tells me this is because it fruited last year, I knew that but its nice to know he remembers me telling him this very fact.

We have a wire farming fence to the paddock next door and there are blackberries thickly covering it for about 10 metres. We picked a good 4 bowls for a month or so and I ate them on cereal, in yogurt and make muffins with them, they were delicious!

I can't wait to rip everything out to plant the Winter crop, I know I will be putting lots more Broccoli in as we really eat a lot of that in Winter, some more carrots and bok choy, and some Winter lettuce.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Weather Station

A few weeks ago we purchased a weather station for Kens business to trial for their Kestral weather meter online business.

Its a fancy piece and took a good couple of hours to set up and install and for the following 2 days while Ken was at work I disconnected it as it kept bipping every 30 minutes! Not very pleasant to be receiving a massage with a constant bip in the distance, I fixed this by putting the screen under the towels in the linen press, which worked well until a male client needed to use the facilities and wondered what on earth I was keeping in the cupboard!

Anyway here are some pictures of it, the trial also included a tablet PC and the idea was to mount that on the wall for easier reading. In fact the whole thing works well on a normal computer and the software was not able to be loaded onto the tablet so we now have a spare tablet PC and a lovely weather station.

The station tells us the internal temperature/external, time and date, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and the barometric pressure, there's a little picture part to say whether it's raining or not and a rain gauge.

You can also load software to your computer and attach the screen of the station and it will chart the weather patterns.

Anyway not sure they will go ahead and sell the product or not the entire concept they had, but for now we have a lovely addition to the roof and know exactly what's happening with the weather at any given moment!

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