"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Better late than...

Sorry about the silence on my blog - it was an up-and-down week last week, and then yesterday I had to have a (back) tooth extracted, which left me feeling sorry for myself for most of the day...

I have come to the conclusion that I have been over confident.  I thought our house would sell quite quickly.  Guess I didn't work the effect of the recession enough into the equation.  Only two viewings in three months - looks like we could be in it for the long haul...  Even the property over the road, which is also for sale, has only had two viewings in three months.

And, because of the potential sale of our home, I have not given much thought to my town veggie garden this year.  I wasn't terribly inclined to put my heart and soul into it - in fact, honestly, I barely gave it a thought - all my energies have been channeled into planning on getting the farm one up and running.  The truck loads of compost (and some topsoil) which will have to be delivered and mixed in with the clay, the purchase of the poles for the "shelter", the purchase of the shadecloth, and to run, and connect, the irrigation from the timer - well, someone has to water it when we're not there. LOL
A much smaller version of the shade cloth
shelter that I anticipate having on the farm..
However, given that we could be here in town for far longer than thought, I now need to do some serious work on getting my seeds prepared and planted for the coming summer.

So in the past week I have sown four different types of tomatoes, a whole bunch of capsicum, mixed lettuce seeds, radish, beans and I have ordered some seeds from my heirloom seed suppliers up country.

I already have some parsnips, carrots, swiss chard, beetroot, garlic and onions,  growing - although they need more sun than they are currently getting.

That also is a major problem with my town garden.  Definitely not enough sun in the winter months.

What am I complaining about, I hear you thinking, for you in the colder northern hemisphere, who are restricted to growing your vegetables in the spring / summer only.

But my winter vegetables need sun!  Just like my solar oven... 

LOL  In fact, talking about capsicum - I found this one hidden in a corner and still growing from last season - it is still bearing a pepper - in perfect condition.  I'm going to leave it, and see if it bears any more, for the top of the plant has new shoots...
Last season's capsicum - the plant looks bedraggled
but there is new growth at the top
Ah well, I guess having my seeds planted into trays, pots, loo rolls and empty egg shells and lined up like a marching column of soldiers in the thin sliver of sun that I have in my "nursery" area, will have to do - for now.
My nursery area - with
some of my seed sowing -
in the thin sliver of sun I have available.
Note that the loo rolls
are only filled 3/4 full - to allow some
loo roll to protect the tender seedling
above ground against cutworm
when it is planted into the bed.
At least this season I am also equipped with new pest control ideas to hopefully combat the snails and cutworm.

I'm sure, between the loo rolls...

...the copper scouring pads...
...the egg shell halves...

...and the diatomaceous earth...

...I should be able to thwart most of their nasty advances.

This is a work in progress - and I WILL let you know which methods are successful and which aren't - after all, sharing is caring LOL

By the way, I also found this somewhere on the Net.  If you have a surplus of CD covers, (or your children / grandchildren do) this looks like a nifty way of putting them to good recycled use...

Whatever works - and doesn't involve chemicals in any form, and is fulfilling a recycled purpose - is definitely a plus in my book.


  1. Gee I hope your mouth is feeling better now, and also that you have success soon with the selling of your house. Real Estate here has slowed too. The prices for houses are dropping...

    I have had capsicum plants for five years. I cut them back and they re-shoot when the time is right. Sadly I had to pull them up just this past weekend because we are putting new garden beds in, but will plant some more really soon.

    That is a great recycling idea for the CD covers, would never have thought of that!

  2. So sorry about your tooth :( Well if you plant the garden you know you will probably sell the house right before harvest time. But if it helps you sell the house, I say go for it.

  3. Tania - Thanks - it's getting there.

    Very interesting to hear that your capsicum plants have lasted for 5 years - what was their production / yield like in the latter years?

    Jane - Exactly - and I would be sad if I had to leave my harvest. It would be a sacrifice worth making though...

  4. I think housing is in the slumps worldwide still. Hopefully once spring is here sales will pick up. It's hard to have a home of the market for such a long time .. especially having to have EVERYTHING picked up and tidy all the time ;(

    I like the re-use of the cd case as a mini green house :)

  5. Oh Mrs Mac - I remember that. The estate agent phones - and we had it down to a fine art - roar around getting everything as Just So as we could!

  6. Mrs Mac - LOL yes, it is like living in a 5 star hotel as far as tidiness / cleanliness is concerned. My menfolk aren't that mindful either...

    Diana - Been there, done that, got the badge...

  7. Doesn't sound like the snails and worms will stand a chance against your defensive measures...fingers crossed right.:) I wish you the best of luck selling your house, my sister in law is going through the same thing except they are trying to sell the country place so they can stay in town. Hope your tooth is feeling better...ouch.

  8. Mr H - Thanks - for all your positive wishes. Yup, thanks - tooth is a thing of the past - I'm tough LOL

  9. The CD case cold frame is so clever! You find some of the neatest things to share. It's so interesting to read about your spring while we're winding down up here. Always keeps gardening fresh in our minds.

  10. Leigh - Thanks. Yes, all of your gardens have inspired me this past winter too. And given me many ideas :)

  11. I think Jane is one to something. It is Murphy's Law - plant the garden, tend it and your house will sell! We still need rain and I have tried everything from washing the truck, hanging out laundry when storm clouds are about. What worked once was starting to stain the deck, yup - got a bit of rain...not enough, but some. That was a few months ago and I still need to finish the railings. Maybe I need to get out there and it will bring more rain. SO - plant that garden! Emily

  12. Emily - I agree. Not only on the off chance that we will sell, but also because I NEED my garden this summer :)

    Have you tried cleaning your windows LOL


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