Thursday, 31 July 2014

Planting strawberries

In New Zealand it is perfect timing now to plant out your strawberries, The new moon was on Sunday so now is the time to plant via the moon any crops that grow above the ground.

A good rule of thumb is to plant 5 strawberry plants per family member but umm I planted 60 strawberries as strawberries  are listed as one of the “dirty dozen” food that has the most pesticides. If your family is on a tight budget and buying only organic food is not realistic, try and buy organic fruit and vegetables that are listed in the “dirty dozen”.
The dirty dozen
Food in New Zealand more likely to contain pesticide residues ranked according to number of pesticides detected in total samples and percentage with pesticides.

Food                                   % with residues    no. of pesticides      sample size
1. Grapes                            98.2                        35                             6
2. Celery                             100                         19                            51
3. Bok/pak choi                   95.7                        21                            47
4. Nectarines                      100.0                      15                             36
5. Oranges                          98.2                        16                            56
6. Strawberries                    100                         14                             8
7. Spring onion                  97.9                        15                              48
8. Lemons                          92                           20                             50
9. Wheat: bread/all products     87.3                 23                             150
10. Cucumber                    82.1                        27                             56
11. Pears                            100                         9                               8
12. Broccoli                       92.9                        10                             57


Bed preparation is soo worth while by digging in compost or old sheep manure. Strawberries need full sun and good drainage.
For planting I prefer rows but some people like to mound or hill up their strawberries
 
 Give your strawberries a good drink before planting. Gently spread out the roots of the strawberries


 Ever so hard but one needs to pinch off any flower buds or little baby strawberries that are growing so that a healthy root system will develop.

 Plant the strawberry plants with a big enough hole so the roots won't bend and cover to the crown of the plant so it is slightly above ground level


I love wet newspaper in the garden - never glossy flyers just plain old newspaper that I tear into strips and wet then lay down on the ground. Worms come for miles to the garden for newspaper plus it helps keep down weeds and helps mulch keeping in the water which is a good thing as strawberries need a lot of water.


Strawberries thrive tucked up in a bed of pine needles as they raise the acidity level of your soil as they break down which strawberries LOVE
.

Water well and keep up the watering over summer months. I also give worm wee about once a fortnight.
Come the Strawberry Full Moon on 7th November hopefully we will have our first crop of tasty organic home grown strawberries for the season..


Companion planting
Plant the herb borage in or around your strawberry bed as a favourite companion but don't plant your strawberries near tomatoes. pepper, potatoes, eggplant (the night shade family)

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Only 4 days left to register for Winter Wellness Club




The package is themed on winter wellness and will include:
  • A tissue salt
  • An essential oil
  • Something for you
  • Something to plant
  • A warming tea to make
Plus a handout of suggestions on how to use your Winter Wellness pack from a naturopath in training.

There will only be 10 places available exclusive to New Zealand residents due to "something to plant".

                            Registration now closed

The price is $65.00 including postage

To secure your spot in the Winter Wellness Club email me with the following:
Your name
Your address

I will email you payment details once I  have received your sign up email.

Spots will be on a first in first served basis and limited to only 10 people.

Registration  closes Saturday, 2nd August 2014.
Payment due by Monday, 4th August.

The Winter Wellness Club parcel will be sent out on the full moon 11th August.


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Flower of the day


The first impulsive petals on the magnolia tree.

The plant lore or language of flower for a magnolia means perseverance, nobility, beauty, sweetness and dignity, A pink magnolia means youth and innocence added with joy


Monday, 28 July 2014

I've been busy gathering



 can you guess for what is going in this bed?


HINT borage is a companion plant 

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Birthday









I was quite surprized to see so many other people at the movies at 1.15pm on a sunny Saturday afternoon but obviously there are many Mrs Brown's fans. The movie was a good laugh but not quite the same as the Tv show. It was as if someone else had control making it. But still a good laugh and everyone leaving the movie theatre had a smile on their faces. 3/5


What mothers get to see on facebook updates of what their teenage sons friends are up to.
James was off to his mate T's birthday party  - they have been mates since preschool times.
My generations parents would have had no idea of what we got up to.
I wonder how all their heads are this morning?

Farm Stay Guests.



Ella enjoying her temptation treaty


Oh my that face is saying "For real is that all I get?"
Ella puts on quite a show for Brent - he put in a catnip plant for her and oh my the rubbing around legs, rolly polly's like please....... all for a male.
As no other cats are staying she got two hotties heated for her as it was about -1deg c over night so she would of been nice and cozy.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Friday a day to clean house, garden or quilt

I've declared Friday's are  a no study day  to do as I please... Clean house, garden, quilt.
I didn't get to do any of these this Friday as I had guests all day..


But I did carve out some time to sit with a cuppa in the sun (yes sun in winter it is GLORIOUS) and begin reading Emma Bridgewater's memoir "Toast & Marmalade and other Stories" .
I'm LOVING this book - from the first sentence I just knew it was gonna be my kind of book.

"GOD, I'M GREEDY. I think about some sort of food a lot. Bacon for example".

Hang on a tickie I'll grab some photos for you from the book



Swoon she loves postage stamp quilts.


Oh yes we need little altars everywhere.



 I didn't have time to work in the garden - but I did get some photos for you of what is flowering in my garden. And yes that is a tulip flowering in my garden in JULY along with winter roses (Hellebores) and snow drops.


 A little walk got squeezed into my day


 No lambs yet...

 Farm Stay Guests...

Ella arrived for a holiday and she put on such a show for the visitors who cooed over her.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Some new friends.


Good Morning. 


Thought I'd take you all who read the blog on our morning walk - gumboots are needed for this walk.


To do the morning check on the sheep


 looking for baby lambs.


no lambs yet. 



Stella has some new friends. The neighbours alpaca's


They were fascinated by Stella and she sure put on a show for them.


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Congratulations!

You may of noticed I don't share much about the kids lives any more now that they have finished homeschooling and growed up. To think my baby is turning 18 this week  WOW those years went FAST


He has turned into a great guy and has made his parents really proud. He has given permission for me to share that he has been signed up for a NZ Apprenticeship - the National Certificate Engineering - Fabrication.(level 4) which is one the  NZ government has classified as a priority trade with a shortage of skilled workers therefore he gets a grant of $2,000 towards even more tools for his tool box. Plus....He has an apprenticeship with no debt (YES) Many young people go to a polytechnic first and get a level 3 certificate in engineering - ticking up a high loan in the process and with no guarantee of finding an employer that will offer them an apprenticeship at the end of it. These days it is common for young ones to rack up a $25,000.00 debt with no prospect of a job at the end of it..


It's a hugely satisfying feeling to look back over the journey of raising our boy and knowing we did our very best and the risk of going against the norm by homeschooling was the right choice for us. I tell you through the journey sometimes there was doubt - ok a lot of doubt and not a lot of support of our choices at times.

I  loved a Ted Talk that was on Facebook this week.about how the education system undermines creativity. One of James' teachers via the Correspondence school was blown away by James' creativity of building and selling steel guitars and commented there was no scope at all in the school system to reward him for his creativity. The Ted Talk  it is well worth a watch if you have ever considered homeschooling your kids.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Winter Wellness Club




The package is themed on winter wellness and will include:
  • A tissue salt
  • An essential oil
  • Something for you
  • Something to plant
  • A warming tea to make
Plus a handout of suggestions on how to use your Winter Wellness pack.

There will only be 10 places available exclusive to New Zealand residents due to "something to plant".

                            Registration is now open!

The price is $65.00 including postage

To secure your spot in the Winter Wellness Club email me with the following:
Your name
Your address

I will email you payment details once I  have received your sign up email.

Spots will be on a first in first served basis and limited to only 10 people.

Registration  closes Saturday, 2nd August 2014.
Payment due by Monday, 4th August.

The Winter Wellness Club parcel will be sent out on the full moon 11th August.


Kiss Me at the Kissing Gate


A kissing gate is a gate that is hinged on one side and swings between two shutting posts which allows one person at a time to pass through and keeps livestock in. 



Can I borrow a kiss? I promise I'll give it back



The gates have a fun, romantic notion that the first person to pass through would have to close the gate on the next person to which they would turn around and demand a kiss. What fun!


The gates have been named from the way the gate "kisses" each side of the posts




The real lover is the man who 
can thrill you by kissing your forehead.
Marilyn Monroe.




You should be kissed and often,
and by someone who knows how.
- Gone with the Wind.



A stock grate ensures livestock don't get out


Monday was one of the coldest days this winter - It's just wonderful wrapping up warm and getting outside
with such beautiful bright sunny, crisp day. I could learn to love winter if all of our winters are like this.


We have a stunning place to walk



I love New Zealand!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Postage stamp quilt


Postage stamp quilts are one of my favourite  quilts.
Whenever I'm cutting any fabric and have scraps I cut them into 2.5 inch squares, 2 inch squares or 1.5 inch strips.


This postage stamp quilt is using the 2.5 inch squares. I fussy cut the squares where ever possible so little faces pop out in the quilt and it can become an I spy quilt too.
The postage stamp quilts are also a reminder of any fabric I've used.in other quilts.It's rather fun going through and saying oh that is from when I made that quilt etc...Even some ugly fabric gets sneaked into postage stamp quilts as you really do not notice any ugly fabric in them as long as you don't use too many


I try and join light squares with a dark square and sew then into a row of 8 whenever I sit down to the machine
Then join the rows together into blocks of 8 by 8 square The photo above shows how I iron the blocks


Someone I know is possibly going in for an operation soon so thought she might like a quilt.
 I pulled out my blocks of 8 by 8
Joined them 3 blocks across and 4 blocks down giving me a fast quilt to make.
The quilt was pinned and now its just quilting by machine and binding to do
Hopefully I can sneak an hour in a day this week to sew it..


I'm even frugal with batting - I save off cuts and patch them together using zigzag
Resulting in a real scrappy quilt.