Monday, 17 December 2007

Thoughts of a Consumed Mind

Hmmm at the moment my mind is as busy as Piccadilly Circus and as vast as the desert. The thoughts are weighty and focused and then .......... a breath of fresh air comes wafting in brought on the empty calories of CHOCOLATE as I stand there ironing yet another thing - DO NOT EAT CHOCOLATE WHILST IRONING. Don't ask how I worked this one out.

The tall blonde mice are terrorising the 'fridge and anything else that stands still. They are making cameo appearances at the sink to wash dishes. As with any cameo role, they look good, however they are as much use as 'tits on a bull'.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Scott or Oates of the Antartic

That great line I will paraphrase - 'I am going outside, I might be gone for some time'. To whom I should credit the previous quote (Scott or Oates) I have no idea. Undoubtedly there will be someone in Blogland who will know.
The lead up to Christmas is fraught with danger and excitement. I'm still here - just busy. Eeerrr, no the decorated house is not mine.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Faye Arcaro - Gardening Australia's Gardener of the Year 2007

The day started pretty quiet here on Saturday, I lay in bed and read until 9AM and then my Dad 'phoned and, really just as an aside, mentioned that there was an Open Garden, featuring Faye Arcaro's garden 'Botanic Obsession'with an aquaponic setup as part of it, and it was only open one day. Faye Arcaro is the winner of Gardening Australia's Gardener of the the Year for 2007. So after much thrashing around on the Internet and 'phoning Dad again to confirm that he wasn't mistaken, I found the information, assembled all the troops and got them in the car at 1pm so we would be in Jandakot for 2.30pm ish. Great garden and the aquaponics were inspiring. I liked all the corners that there were for sitting and hidden walkways through mini jungles. I have never been to an open garden before and it was odd to walk through another's garden that I didn't know. I felt very odd and very honoured that Faye was generous enough to open her garden to public. This is her website where there is information re domestic aquaponic setups -
These photos don't do Faye's garden justice. The soil is predominantly the black gutless sand that seems so prevelant in WA. One of its features is its water repellant nature and if it is anything like my soil, acidic as well.
What all the best dressed girls are wearing in the garden.

I ALWAYS forget just how big pumpkin vines grow. This one is a baby.

The very lovely, very showy West Australian Christmas Tree.

One of the nesting boxes.

Just more of the interesting spaces at Faye's.

Can you see the yabbi?

I am very interested in aquaponics - this is the reason why I am doing hydroponics as I have to start somewhere - the idea of integrating various systems ie vegetables/plants with fish/poultry/crustaceans/worms for a better outcome, appeals greatly. These systems are made up of many elements and the more elements that can contribute to a system the more chance of a better outcome and success. In fact it is an attempt to mirror nature.

Here are some more links to Australian Aquaponic sites

Backyard Aquaponics

Practical Aquaponics For Everyone
Integrated Backyard Food Production

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Bat Night

We had a big day on Saturday - up to Perth to visit a garden, and hopefully more on that in another entry, and that night we did a spot of bat watching. This Chocolate Wattle Bat was one of 13 that were captured, using friendly 'harp nets', measured, sexed and released. This adult female was extremely reticent to leave one of the Sweetie's coats. He was actually quite pleased to have the bat lodged there. These bats are known as micro bats because........they are so small. They are name so as they are chocolate in colour and have wattles. They also have the largest fleas I have EVER seen. Larger than those that occur on dogs, HUGE beasties.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Slight Hiccup

Well you know when I said that I had 26 quilt tops to quilt, well I miss counted and there were 28. Aaaagh. I have put it down to having the 'flu and able to only do one thing. That is breathe. So after that slight oversight, I think that there are 14 now. This week has been somewhat slower and I have done some cleaning and baked some cakes.

The first photo is of a quilt that was what I call 'overfriendly', it waved everywhere. It is so important to measure the quilt before sewing any sashings or borders and then cut them to fit. Measure, measure measure.

I cut and pressed three bindings for a friend's quilts. They were 8, 10 and 12m respectively. I really do love making bindings.

I using Deb Geissler patterns on all my friend's quilts. Very lovely patterns, however the rows take over an hour to quilt. Subsequently the donga has been tidied and I have moved my bicycle and wind trainer down there so at least I get a bit of exercise. This pattern is of motorbikes.

Last Thursday we went on an excursion to a place that grows and supplies plants for nurseries and large hardware conglomerates here in West Australia. A real eye opener. Masses of poinsettias ready for the Christmas markets and the chrysanthemums on their way for the Mother's Day Market in May. All these are grown hydroponically in their pots and then sold to the retail markets. Later that day we were at the large hardware shop, that in this family we call the 'hammer shop', and there were some of the grower's plants. Amazing. I know that I used to think of plants as kind of all soft and feel good, however it is a huge, HUGE industry that aims for certain markets, just like the supplying of spring lambs, and goes for massive production just like a crop of canola, wheat, etc. Hhhmmmmm. Very interesting.