This year I have been a very sparodic blogger, it has been hugely busy with my eldest child starting high school and my activities and work becoming much busier. I am hoping that 2013 can be a year for doing much less - better! I think I wanted that for this year but sadly it did not eventuate.
This year we have had some pretty big highs and lows and find we go out of the year fairly tired actually but grateful for so much. We nearly changed the boys schools but in the end decided to stay with the one we are at, had some house issues but our health is good so much to be grateful for.
I have been busy all year helping my youngest 2 boys Primary School with their Environmental group as my middle child was an Environmental monitor for the year, we have maintained an awesome veggie garden at the school and added 10 fruit trees that are doing really well. I go into the school once a fortnight and we planout what things we will do for the session such as make our own environmental take home harvest bags, planting seeds to grow and weeding and maintaining the garden beds. I also put a proposal into the school for a Sensory garden and that has taken off with one of the parents managing to get a grant fo the school and in the funding conditions the school will be working with the local special school and their team to propagate some plants for us. All very exciting and we hope to have some huge working bees at the school over the next year to get it all in place.
In my own garden we have had to radically change a lot to get the moisture away from the house such as installing a pump near the verandah for the "one in a hundred year" storms that are happening - every year. We have slowly been removing all plants aurrounding the sides of the house and mulching and spreading the mulch onto the edging of the Veggie garden to suppress the weeds. Its a big job but we are slowly getting there.
The Orchard looks to be going very well as there are tons of Plums on the tree and also Apricots this year which we have not had for a few years, the Nectarines are prolific and many Apples too. Although still only a few Pears on the tree.
I started 4 new veggie beds in the paddock and got a nice potatoe crop, some Kale, Lettuce and a ton of Red Onions although not as many as last year.
This season I have planted Lettuce, Basil, Tomato's, Corn, Coriander, Pumpkins, Zuchini and Chives, all going well so far nearly time to stake the Tomato's we added pulverised sheep poo to all the beds and the Tomatoe's are loving it.
We had a little chicken born last month, looking to be a pullet thank goodness so will be able to stay here, we cannot have 2 Roosters, I had a hen sneak off to the veggie garden area and lay 8 eggs, unfortunetly she only had access to the Rooster for one of the eggs! Not to worry she is now living amongst the bunnies area in my paddock and will be intergrated with the other chooks when the little chick is larger. For now though mummy hen is showing her all the ropes and they are foraging and free ranging all day.
We have had to sell a few adult rabbits in the rabbitry and will most likely no longer be breeding, I will no longer be showing as the entire ethics regarding showing and judging based soley on appearances never really did sit well with me, particularly as I do not have "perfect children" so why demand it in my animals?
I loved breeding for pets, I really enjoyed matching the kits to new owners but unfortunetly for the 10 people you get keen for a rabbit many, many are not suitable and mess you around or are not the sort of people you want to be the owners of your pets. Out of all the people I sold to over the 4 years 98% were awesome and exactly what I was looking for, but a couple were not and so it all needed to end for me in this field as I was no longer comfortable with breeding, who knows maybe in the future once a year maybe! So not so much manure for the gardens anymore and particularly as all the rabbits get free ranging time per day in the large paddock so not so much to collect.
On a personal note I have been studying Philosophy and loving it, made some fantastic new like minded friends and travelled to Melbourne occasionally with the group for cultural days which I have really enjoyed and on the way back we have managed to visit CERES where we brought a mushroom farm and some organic vegies and also a couple of Jackie French Garden books.
We didn't get that many mushrooms I think perhaps we failed to water enough sadly but got a few really large ones.
My sons business Ballarat Bird Houses & Feeders did so well this year he makes all manner of birdhouses we do have a Facebook page so feel free to take a peak, we have really cut back on the work there as we pre made many for Xmas so have a large stock, the business is reliant on me having the time to sell online and meet people when they arrive to pick up the houses and I no longer have such a large amount of time to dedacate this this so for now occasionally we put houses on Buy Swap and Sell sites but not quiet as much as previously and have the odd driveway sale, many cars slow down a few stop but again probably not worth the effort we put into it.
Hope all readers have a wonderful 2013 and your gardens give you as much joy as mine gives me.