Bread and Butter Pickles


There hasn’t been any posts on self-sufficiency for ages, so I thought I would share my first attempt at pickling.  I’ve tried sauces, butters and jams before, but never pickling. We had an excess of cucumbers, and the most common recipe in my cook books for using up cucumbers was ‘Bread and Butter Pickles”.  Apparently the … Continue reading Bread and Butter Pickles

Digging up Spuds!


Months and months ago, I found an old bag of seed potatoes that looked past their best. They were all withered and sending out shoots into the air.   Although I didn’t hope for much, I decided to put them in the ground to see what happened.  Miracle of miracles, they grew! Yesterday, Richard dug … Continue reading Digging up Spuds!

Vegetable Tales


For those of you who have been following the vegetable garden and our attempts to grow our own food, I’m sorry for the long wait.  The truth is, we’ve had more failure than success over the past year.  Initially the vegetables planted in the greenhouse seemed to be doing very well. When Winter came, we … Continue reading Vegetable Tales

Greenhouse Cucumbers


Pollinating the cucumber flowers while the plants are locked in the greenhouse, away from insects, turned out to be a non-issue.  The plants we chose are self pollinating.  That’s pure luck – no forethought involved at all.  It’s now possible to see the baby cucumbers growing on the vine.  The yellow flowers are a beautiful … Continue reading Greenhouse Cucumbers

Our Greenhouse Vegetables


Our greenhouse vegetables are growing beautifully.  We’ve already harvested and eaten the radishes, which were delicious.  The lettuce, carrots and beetroot are developing well, and it won’t be long before we begin to harvest these too.  Lettuce and root vegetables are pretty straight forward – plant the seeds, water, and wait. However, the cucumber plant … Continue reading Our Greenhouse Vegetables

Setting-up the Greenhouse


Over the last couple of weeks, we have began to use the greenhouse.  First, to hospitalise plants that were burned in the severe heat, and then to raise seedlings in punnets.  Thanks to family help, we also have one of the raised garden beds filled with soil, and have directly planted it with seeds as … Continue reading Setting-up the Greenhouse

Today’s Harvest


I haven’t written about the vegetable garden for a while, but we are enjoying the home-grown produce so much.  After a long time of producing a handful of cherry tomatoes, the tomato vine is beginning to flourish.  These small tomatoes are packed with full flavour – so much tastier than the ones available in the … Continue reading Today’s Harvest

A Small Plot


It has surprised me that the path to growing all of our own food has been more difficult than we’d imagined when we arrived. The existing vegetable garden is only small, and when we arrived it was newly planted by the previous owners.  An entire half of the vegetable garden is still taken up with … Continue reading A Small Plot

Lime Curd


At long last one of our fruit trees produced enough fruit to make preserves! Our Tahitian Lime tree is inside the cat enclosure and protected from parrots, so our limes ripened without interference.  I used a Lime Curd recipe in a book I was given late last year:  Marisa McClellan’s ‘Food in jars:  Preserving in … Continue reading Lime Curd

Fruit and Vegetables


It has been a long time since I wrote about our vegetable garden and orchard.  Partly this is because I became entranced by our birds and began compiling a species list, and partly it is because there wasn’t a lot to write about. Everything had already been planted – mostly by the previous owners – … Continue reading Fruit and Vegetables

Preparing for the Greenhouse


On Friday we had word that the greenhouse is ready to collect from the warehouse.  This is exciting news!  It comes flatpacked, so next weekend we hope to construct it.   During the week, our raised garden beds and greenhouse shelving should also arrive.  We’ll need to order crushed rock to form the floor in … Continue reading Preparing for the Greenhouse