Thursday, 30 August 2007

Hydroponics Week 4 (I think) and Potting Experiment

Just to get you started. What lovely sight - broadbeans YUM. Every now and then I would lose my oldest son and I could always find him eating the beans in the broad bean patch when he was a toddler.

Tagetes species potted up in June with various potting mixes

These are the potting mix experiments that we did in JUNE

The numbering of the pots go

1 2 3
4 5 6

1. Control - standard mix
2. Standard mix + 5g Brunnings slow release fertilizer NPK
3. Standard mix + Waterways safe slow release fertiliser
4. 1:1:2 / Sand:pinebark:jarrah sawdust + slow release
5. 1:3 / Sand:jarrah sawdust + slow release
6. Standard mix + sheep manure

Pots now, and with the same configuration as above.

Hydro lettuces grown in a NFT(Nutrient Film Technique) system.

The roots are remarkable and the height you can see is >20cm

and the width is....wide.

This is my experimental plot that I planted out in June. Problems with water logging, rabbits, red legged earth mite and absent mindedness have retarded growth somewhat. The inorganic and control plot are struggling mainly due to the waterlogging that they experienced. The inorganic plots escaped this 'feature' due to the maure and old hay that I dug in.

I pruned the grape vines this afternoon so it no longer looks as messy out the back. They started to sprout and I so wanted to get to them before that, however they are done now and look good. Just need to fertilize them and spread some pea hay around the bottom and we'll be laughing.

Yes I have been quilting. Photos in a couple of days and I've had a play with the Clover YoYos so those pictures will come as well.

Meggie was talking about feeling overwhelmed with things to do and I agree with her wholeheartedly. It is times life these that I remember roughly what Gaffer Gamgee said in the Lord of the Rings ' 'tis the job that never gets started that takes the longest to do' .....or something like that.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Hydroponics Week 3

AMAZINGLY, the lettuce seedlings survived although a bit toxic looking and BIG. Replaced the water and did all the proper tests before we added the nutrient to the vat. We read the instructions and it said add 10ml of nutrient to 5l. So we did all the calculations and ...oh boy. This time we knew that the nutrient recommended would result in a salt level that was way too high, so we calculated accordingly and ended up adding 18ml of nutrients A & B and the result was pleasing. In our initial vat filling we added 90ml each of nutrient solution A & B. Apparently the lettuce are now at the stage that they are ready to eat. I'll take more photos and have a progressive series of photos tomorrow.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATHY - I thought that I would take a picture of a whole load of flowers, albeit a canola crop (rapeseed for those of you in the UK) and put it on this page for you.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Where Have We Been?

Everywhere man. Went to the Egyptian Exhibition from the Louvre. Hydroponics Express. Fruit tree nurseries. University of West Australia. Mandurah for soccer. Bunbury for a workshop for a workshop with the freehand guru Susan Campbell. Dwellingup for fun. Donnelly River for the weekend. via Quindanning, Collie, Mumballup, Kirup, Balingup, Greenbushes and Bridgetown. While we were there we went to Nannup. On the way home we stopped in Bridgetown for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. It started to rain and Tim was on his motor bike. Found that the grove of oak trees in Bridgetown that we always have a look at had dropped it's acorns and they were sprouting. 100 acorns = 100 oak trees? Bought some lovely local vegetables in Kirup and had a pie or three. Kirup is known for it's pies (lasagna, thai, vegetable, chilli and its various derivations, etc) and Kirup Syrup. Haven't had Kirup Syrup yet. Maybe next time and when I'm not driving. Stopped along the way and bought some pumpkins, yes I know that it is out of season for pumpkins, however pumpkins store very well.

Oh and I'm soooo behind with my insanity challenge. That's all changed now and I'm right up there on schedule.

In the last four months we have saved $19 off our electricity bill. If I paid the wretched thing on time we would have saved $22.

The main street of Nannup at 3.30pm

These two trucks were at Donnelly River and I thought the differences were amazing

Hydroponics Visit & Weeks 1&2

Over a week ago the Hort group went to visit a hydroponic business called Hydroponics Express in Canning Vale here in West Australia. The smell of the strawberries was amazing - and our eyes popped out of our heads. So that is what we are going to grow here. The owner, a lovely woman called Deliah, said that they were 'sick of strawberries'. Oh what a problem. The bobtails (a lizard) eat ours - they lick them to find the ripest ones and they eat them. They also eat loquats and grapes if they are at ground level. Anyway we now have 40 strawberry plants waiting to be planted. I also have 15 raspberry plants looking for a home so I'll try them hydroponically as well.
Bananas too.

These are the lettuces we have started at Tech. There was a slight hiccup with our nutrient solution last week. The salt levels went through the roof and although they did come down somewhat with the addition of more water, they were still extremely high. This week's lesson will be very interesting just to see if they survived.

This was when they were first planted. They haven't grown much vegetatively, however as the photo below shows their roots are searching for food.

This is the root growth after two weeks just in water w/o nutrient. So even w/o nutrient they were growing albeit very hungry.

Look Who Came to Visit

Wasn't I just sooo lucky with who came to visit. My very good friend Kathy came and visited, along with some of her family. I also gave her her Birthday present. Well I asked Kathy if she wanted it then (12th August) and of course she agreed. I was thinking that her birthday was the 19th when it really is the 29th, so the little tacker had her present 17 days early. No wonder there was a degree of hilarity in her attitude.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007


Today I went to Wagin, a town that I passed through frequently when I lived in Katanning, half a life ago. It has changed and I think that the ram has been moved. What ram? The ram that was there and now I think is there. A big mother of some 4 tonnes, not a mere slip of a ram and with testicles in proportion so it would have taken some moving.
I also had to pass through Williams and I have liked their entrance statements so I took photos of the North and South entrances along the Albany Highway. There is a nice coffee shop, gallery, lunch place called the Woolshed so I stopped and had a delicious ice coffee and mango cheesecake. I typed that very quietly. A bit exhausted so I'm of to bed early tonight. Tech tomorrow so I'll have to be on the ball to take everything in.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007


I went to Spotlight and I shouldn't have. This is the result. It is for a project, just not an existing one or one that I am finishing. These are for a completely NEW one. It felt so good and the level of excitement was high.;-))))

I made Ali Honey's Apricot and Walnut(pecan) Loaf and it was delicious. The sweeties ate it in a day. Thankyou Ali.

It has come to my attention that some of my readers have very questionable minds - fancy suggesting that about an 80l storage bins. It's all about bladder control........... and being able to sprint to the house. Does wonders for my level of fitness. Next time I'll just use the an umbrella.

The other morning was as cold as a witch's whatsit. The computer is in the room of the house where I used to have the quilting machine. If you heard a clattering it was my fingers dropping off onto the keyboard. I was wearing a coat, hat and scarf to write and the cold was seeping through my jeans and almost burning. I wore so many clothes when I worked in here in winter that it was hard to bend in the middle. Thankfully the donga has a reverse cycle thingy, which I don't use that often but just can make a difference when it is very hot and very cold.