Thursday, 26 January 2012

Operation: Seedling Surprise

Tango alpha big dog, the seedlings have been planted.
Yes indeed, it has been a mission, but we have take off of our freshly planted seedlings that will be going into my raised beds once this crop has finished it's cropping. Through the magic of time lapse photography, I am proud to present to you our fall seedling crop...
These are the different seeds I planted. Two varieties of corn, pickling cucumbers, lettuce, and radishes
Action shot! Filling with soil.
Seeds being sown

Fast forward about a week and a half... we have spouting!
Close up shot of how big their getting. I put a match stick up next to one of the cucumber seedlings so you could get an idea of scale.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Canning marathon!

Phew! 7:30 and I'm still boiling up my first batch of home made tomato sauce! Mind you I started about 2:30, so this has taken just a tad bit longer than I first imagined. I forgot that you need to boil down the thin watery tomatoes into a thicker sauce which takes ages. :P But now we are on the homeward stretch and we have 6 x 750ml jars of tomato sauce to show for it.
I still need a few canning supplies: a funnel, jar grabbers and lid grabbers, things that look small and unimportant until you try and do it without them, and then you see just how important they really are. It's not from a lack of looking mind you, two kitchen specialists and a kmart later no luck! Even tried to go online from a well known Aussie canning internet specialist and they were sold out! Gah.
But here is a visual diary of the canning process... let me know what you think!

Home grown tomatoes being chopped prior to boiling

One very full stock pot on the left.

Stirring tomatoes at a nice rolling boil

Chef hard at work

Putting the tomatoes through a food mill to remove skins and seeds

Milled tomatoes starting to slowly thicken

Canned jars of sauce, back in the boiling water bath
Voila! The finished product. We'll update once we've opened one!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Such a thing as too many tomatoes?

So now I have a dilemma. What to do with all these tomatoes? I sadly don't have a pressure canner as yet, or an actually decent kitchen in which to work, otherwise I might just can myself some tomato sauce. So now I have to think of something tomato-ie and nice and summery. Any suggestions?
But here are a few of the onions I planted. Not quite as big as I was expecting, more like a shallot. Ah well, their still cute. :)

Ferrel zucchini, soon to be culled.
My teeny little onions

Broccoli which doesn't seem to flower, we will be patient.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Homeward bound

This blog came about as something for my dad and I to keep in touch with, as we both share an interest in gardening, being more self sufficient, and transition to a more sustainable way of living. But sadly he lives in Halifax, Canada and I now live in Perth, West Australia... so you see the problem in being able to be part of one an others lives enough to really see what we're getting up to. So that's why this blog's been created... but now onto the juicy content!

So awhile ago I started a little veggie patch in my front yard consisting of two raised beds in which I added soil.. compost, veggies and mulch on top. It looked something like this.
In one I planted peas, lettuce, about 6 different types of tomatoes (most of which were heirloom varieties), and brown onions. In the other I planted zucchinis, broccoli, and watermelons. Then I went away to Canada for six weeks to go visit family and just got back a few days ago. This is what I got back to...

Tomatoes out of control!

Up close and personal with some roma tomatoes

Taller than I am!

Attempting to stake the runaways

The haul


Not easy to see, but these were a good two feet taller than I am, and I'm 5'8. Impessed!!