Friday, October 13, 2017

all the spring things

Well hello there, it's so nice to see you. How's your week been? Can you believe it's Friday again already?

This week I officially ran out of space in my green house. Every shelf and every spare bit of table and even parts of the floor are covered with pots and tubs of growing things. Bren keeps telling me that I'm early this year, that I can slow down and take a break, but the reality is that I love it in there; I love the floral smell that greets you as you walk in, the pots of colour on the window sills, the plants in their various stages of growth and the view outside of the kitchen garden nestled in the forest. Apart from a few more shelves which will hopefully be added next week, I think we've built the perfect green-house for me. And so every spare second finds me up to my elbows in soil, playing with seeds, examining roots, getting excited about leaves and chatting excitedly with my plant babies about how gorgeous they're going to grow up to be.

This week I noticed that the self seeded tomatoes in the garden are starting to come up, so my green-house seeded tomatoes are right on schedule.

The first of my cucumbers are up which got me very excited about pickle season but also a tiny bit nervous about growing without a poly tunnel this year. Fingers crossed for a frost free summer.

And the beans started raising their alien-like heads out of the soil. I know most people plant big seeds like beans straight into the garden, and I probably will too later in the season, but I do love watching them closely as they germinate in their trays, potting them into bigger pots and then out into the garden.

This week the green-house extension began. Or rather the green-rooms. Building on to the sunny side of the house, we're planning a beautiful, bright area with lots of greenery and a big old kitchen table and chairs, a mud room, and a wood shed/room. I've already bought some rope to start macrame-ing up some hanging baskets to dangle down from the roof.

When our friend Annabel the architect came over the other day to pick me up for gym she said she feels like our house is transitioning from the house you see and think - oh wow do Kate and Bren really live here? To the house that looks like our dream home. That makes me happy.

The farm we bought 16 years ago had a house on it that we never loved. We always planned to build another but the children and the business sort of got in the way. Now that we finally do have the time and the head space to do something about it, we're freshening her up to our taste, fixing her up instead of starting again, I think she's going to love it as much as we are.

This week I finally started planting out into the garden. For weeks I was hassling my farmer boy to spade the green manure in and to prepare the beds and then when the weather cooperated and he finally could, I got stage fright. I couldn't work out what to plant where, and how. 

Eventually I just took the biggest of the the plants in the green-house, strung up a string line and popped them in. So far, under the black crates for protection from the kangaroos until we put a fence up, are cabbage and silver beet, and in the next row we've got onions and peas. Hopefully by the end of the weekend there'll be a whole lot more.

In other farming news, this week farmer Bren spread fertiliser in the orchards and then sprayed them with seaweed, fish emulsion and potassium bicarbonate for prevention of powdery mildew and black spot. Just as he was finishing up Mother Nature completely cooperated and dumped 30mm of rain over the top. If everything goes to plan and we have some beautiful, still, sunny days for the bees to fly and fertilise the blossom as it comes out over the next couple of weeks, we'll be right on track for a bountiful crop. Fingers crossed.

Earlier in the week we started watering the garden again. It's funny how seasons change almost inperceptively and all of a sudden you find yourself doing things that felt impossible and unnecessary only weeks before. Later in the week it rained heavily for hours so we won't need to water again for a while.

After deciding last weekend that it was time to cut my losses and pull apart the cardigan I was knitting because it looked like it was never going to fit Miss Pepper properly, I changed my mind and thought I'd do the i-cord bind off up the button band and around the neck and see what it looked like then. After I knitted the i-cord bind off I still couldn't decide (and my model was at school camp and couldn't try it on for size) so I started to knit the sleeves, both at the same time, until she comes home. I'm assuming she'll be too tired tonight to try it, so tomorrow is the day. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it worked!

Ravelry details here.

This week we've been picking Peonies, Camellias, Proteas and Waratahs from the garden and planting so many flower seeds in the garden and in pots.

I particularly love how the Waratahs start out looking so faded until it rains on them and they turn up the colour to bright.

I've loved listening to this podcast about the sports bra,  and this podcast about periods and menstrual taboos.

And I'm half way through and loving Brigid Delaney's book Wellmania.

See that asparagus and spring garlic, just picked by those hands? Well as we speak it's being cooked in some butter with some herbs and tossed over a piece of toast and is the reason I have to love you and leave you now.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Do you have something fun planned?
What are you planting in your garden at the moment?
What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?
Can you imagine life without a sports bra!! Ouch!

Bye bye!

Love Kate xx


  1. Hi, so lovely, thank you for sharing your world with us ... Inspiring :)

    1. Thank you so much Leanne, I hope you have a gorgeous weekend. xx

  2. You always crack me up with the podcasts you listen to sometimes. I thought I'd try something different and put my comment here. Your friend Annabel the architect hit the nail on the head. I love your place. Well what I see of it in your pics .we just had a good rain dump and should get followup rain for a few days. So beautiful. Have a great weekend. Naomi Bishop

    1. Hey Naomi, so lovely to see your message here. It actually took me a while to put two and two together and work out that Country Farmhouse was Naomi on Facebook. xx

    2. Haha. I thought you'd get it eventually. It's a pity we don't get notifications when there's a comment or reply on here . Xxoo

  3. How beautiful your Waratahs are. They always flower around my birthday, I feel like they are there to make me smile.

    1. Ahhhh I love that association. The rhododendrons are my birthday flower. The house I grew up in had a massive bush out the front. x

  4. Dear Kate, I'm so looking forward to following the growing journey of all the things you are planting. Last weekend I planted bulbs and wished them a safe sleep until the Spring. I do hope they grow for me. It is the first year I have grown them in my city garden, although my lovely Mum planted some for me a few years ago. I'm learning as I go along! Your green house is looking just wonderful! My favourite thing to eat for lunch is probably smoked salmon and avocado on toast! And no I definitely cannot imagine life without a sports bra. Have a wonderful weekend lovely! Lucy xxxx

    1. That's so exciting Lucy! As far as I know bulbs are pretty hassle free to grow. We planted heaps when we first moved here about 16 years ago and each year I ignore them and yet they still pop up every spring. I bet yours are going to be magnificent. xx

  5. Hi Kate,

    I love reading your farming news as much as your crafting news.

    I share your excitement about the new season, especially the sudden realisation that now we need to water again! Don't you love it when it rains just at the right time?

    I can relate to your not knowing what to plant where. That's me too! My plans for companion planting were conflicting with my ideas about crop rotation even though my plot is tiny. I had some good advice last week - just plant it! Anywhere! You soon learn whether it needs to move or not.

    Usually I have plenty of seedlings to plant out by now but the season is slightly late this year around Adelaide and the soil was slow to warm up. Meanwhile, I've been clearing beds and preparing soil and this week I will plant out some tomato seedlings. My self-sown tomato plant already has flowers!

    I've heard that beans don't like being transplanted which is why I've always planted them in their final position but if you have any special secrets or successful techniques for transplanting bean seedlings, please share!

    My garden staples are spinach, silverbeet and rainbow chard (love those colours!), beetroot, lettuce, rocket, etc. lots of greens and herbs. Seasonal produce is usually capsicum, chilli, snow peas. I've had mixed results with brassicas and cucurbits - not sure if that is due to weather or soil conditions. There's always plenty to learn.

    This weekend is busy with family events and Monday is an expected heat spike so I will wait until the weather settles before planting out.

    I don't know about favourite thing for lunch but I am eating my favourite breakfast while reading your blog - toast with morrocan chilli jam, avocado, tomato, poached egg and black pepper.

    Good luck with all of your projects: farm, craft and home. Bon appetit! :-)

  6. That peony is just divine, and I would love a handful of fresh asparagus for dinner. Very envious. Would you ever give us a little tour of your house, or some interesting nooks and spaces.

  7. I enjoy reading your posts about your garden, and get such pleasure from looking at your greenhouse! I love having a vegetable garden and take the opportunity to share the excitement and fun of planning and preparing with my kids. The oldest is now 12 and less interested, but my youngest is 4 and loves it! This year I have extended our regular planting and for the first time am growing a lot from seed (heirloom). The ritual of tending to seeds and beds is deeply rewarding.

  8. I envy you the spring weather but to tell the truth, we are having some pretty amazing autumn here in the UK. I am off work today because I did not feel well in the morning, but I am working at home a bit. I have recently started growing some lambs lettuce and wild chicory for my tortoise and it is so nice to see the little seedlings grow! And sports bras are the best bras! :)

  9. As we begin our gentle slide into ourselves with the beginning of Fall, I love reading about your hope-filled Spring plans and watching the world unfurl around you through your camera lens. Absolutely lovely.

  10. Your green house looks splendid! I'm ever so excited to hear all about your renovations. I'm sure they'll be very you.

    It was very wet here this weekend. Last week I would have told you that it was very dry and my veggie patch was dying. Now it's so very wet and the veggie patch is still dying! The past few days have been great weather for ducks and reading so I read Turtles All The Way Down (sad, beautiful but still with a hint of the manic pixie dream girl that I can't overlook) and started Jane Harper's Force of Nature which I am really enjoying.

  11. Just beautiful...and that asparagus looks incredible. lucky you.


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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