Sunday, 30 November 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The poinciana is in full bloom and it's magnificent. Our neighbours have some too and there are a few more on the way up the driveway. Apparently they only flower like this every 10 years - magnificent.

The chilli bushes have their baubles ready and hanging (there is literally hundreds of them)

And my poor poinsettia is even giving it a go. Poor thing was rudely transplanted 5 years ago and hasn't received a skerrick of attention since. I must aim to change this.

Even Russell Crowe (who is looking a little worse for wear) has his little red festive flowers all lined up in bloom.

Inside our home, my contribution continues to be minimal. Even though I had committed to putting up the tree, it's still in it's box somewhere (not quite sure but am sure I will find it when the time comes). I have, however, started on presents and being still November - that might be a record. I'm usually a last minute shopping kinda' girl.

As you may or may not have been aware, Brisbane had a massive hail storm on Thursday. Unfortunately for my new ute, we got stuck in the middle of it and, well, insurance claim for damage is pending. I have to say that the noise of bigger-than-golfball-hail hitting the roof of the car was a little intimidating (I did duck a few times - no idea why).

We are continued to be blessed with a large number of bees at the moment, many of whom visit the garden and stop off at the water fountain for a drink. Am not sure what kind they are - any suggestions?

Ooh, and last night I was once again lucky enough to rescue one of these. Max bought him in as a 'gift'. Its a baby sugar glider and it wasn't hurt from what I could see. I just scooped it up and took it outside. Cuuuute. They only grow a wee bit more when they're full grown and have flaps of skin from their front to rear legs on each side and fly/glide from tree to tree. Lord knows how Max caught one (he's no speedster). Google it - they're interesting little characters.

Luckily Max or Moet are not really hunters and this is probably the 3rd mammal or bird I've had to rescue in as many years. (Previous felines have been a little more active in this space.)

Anyway, happy start of December everyone. I'm off to put up the tree - or at least think about it...

Sunday, 23 November 2014

How to make weed juice and other stuff

I really do plan on writing a blog every week but there are always some shiny things that distract me along the way.

So, this time I thought I'd share something worthwhile with you all - how to make weed juice. Weeds, when broken down can make an excellent source of nitrogen and when mixed with other waste stuff like animal poo and other green waste then broken down, makes an excellent liquid fertiliser that I call Weed Juice.

So here's how it's made...
Step 1 - Get your hands on a large container like this one with a loose lid (so there's no gas build ups). I know that most produce stores sell them. Buy a tap, an O ring and a clamp (to put on the inside and hold the tap in place) then drill a suitably sized hole to match the tap. Add a little silicone or plumbers tape to ensure a seal and put it together. I bought this stand from Bunnings years ago but you can also use an old bucket.

Step 2 - Fill it with water. I'm using the (Council made me do it) water tank off the new shed and have placed the Weed Juicer next to it for ease of access to water.

Step 3 - You need weeds and poo. Guinness and Irwin gladly helped out here and I've put one and a half barrow loads of donkey poo into the container. I also added weeds from the garden.

The poo and weeds will float until they start to break down and then become Weed Juice.

Step 4 - Pop the lid back on and let it do it's thing. The heat from the sun, combined with the water will start breaking it all down and in a few weeks you'll be able to extract weed juice from the tap to fertilise your garden.

NOTE: Mix weed juice 1 - 10 parts with water cause it's concentrated. Then just water it on your garden.

Step 5 - Keep adding weeds, animal poo and any other green waste as you get it and top up the container with water. Horse poo works well and it won't seed if you use this technique.

Meanwhile, it's also been hotting up there in South East Queensland. Last weekend was record high temperatures for this time of year and outside my car got as hot as 46.5 at one stage - crazy! The weekend before I'd given the animals all a good haircut - bet they were thanking me for that (even if they didn't appreciate it at the time).

Baillie was particularly keen on keeping cool last weekend.

Meanwhile Guinness thought it would be fun to play in the cold ashes in the fire pit. He does this to keep the insects off (although no one else does it) and he seems to have an unnatural attraction to fire when we're burning...

Roman had a brain fart one day a few weeks ago and decided he needed to eat Max. A night at the vet and Max it was decreed that Max had used up a few of his nine lives, having only two bitemarks (it must have been bloody close - you could see where the other teeth didn't penetrate his skin). So, no more inside dogs. Roman seemed particularly put out about this when we were all inside last Sunday in the airconditioning during the heat wave and he was outside on the deck.

This morning Max seems to have totally forgotten about the incident and was playing and smooching with Roman like they used to. Don't think he's long for this world, that one.

This weekend it's been hot again (nothing like last weekend, thank goodness) so I've had a chance to get into the garden. The bees were keen to help out when I cleaned out the fountain. There were literally hundreds of them and it's good to know they have a water source on hot days. I've planted lots of bee and insect friendly plants so they can help me with pollination when I need it (win/win). Am keen to learn more about bees and maybe get a few hives.

The eggplants are going nuts!

 The waterlillies are starting to flower as well.

I've been splitting a few herbs as well and have a heap of lemongrass ready to share. (Happy for anyone to come pick one or two up). My comfrey just keeps on giving and its ready to be split again (I've done it 3 times in the past year).

My tomatoes have been a bit disappointing so far this year and I've had to resort to spraying them today for bugs that are eating all of the romas. Interestingly the other breeds aren't being eaten. Fussy bugs?

Lost a couple of chooker moles to a goanna (it wasn't pretty) a few weeks ago. I've had a good chat to Red Rooster about toughening up and he seems to be taking it on board so far.

It also looks like we're going to have bananas up the ying yang again in coming months. MOTH peels them and then freezes them on a metal tray and then pops them into a container. That way they stay separate and we can grab a couple for smoothies, etc. and they don't go brown.

Can't believe it's Christmas season again - where did the year go?