it didn't seem right for me to eat my beautiful garden bounty myself, so i invited karah over to worship at the table of the garden gods.
i made a vegetarian risotto with peas, teeny leeks and beetroot leaves (and shop bought mushrooms). the stock was the vegetable stock i made a couple of weeks ago. how martha!
i also roasted the beetroot with marjoram, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. yes, it was a "rustic" jamie oliver preparation. in a foil bag.
it did taste might good though.
i've just planted seedlings of zucchini, cucumber, heirloom tomatoes and basil. considering that i already have 7 tomato plants in the patch as well as assorted basil varieties sown, it's going to be salad caprese all though this summer.
i bravely emptied out my compost bin. if there's such a thing as solid slime, i've developed it! i covered the stinky anaerobic-decomposition pile with leaves and humus. if i get into gear i'll drive up to the hills for some bags of manure to add to the pile. then, in a month or so it should be suitable to turn.
i also harvested, that is, picked the current products of my garden. a very small amount of peas and beans (there were only four plants of each), most of the beetroot and the leeks.
the leeks were pretty small and the responsibility is all mine. the ground should have been looser and i should have mounded up earth around the leeks as they got older.
there will be enough baby leeks to put in the "baby" risotto i'm making tonight. i'll be adding the peas as well.
I picked up another 2 packs of mystery photos today. It turned out to be a roll of actionsampler shots and a roll of SLR photos including pictures from my party!
I've updated my lomohome with the actionsampler shots. There were pics from a band rehearsal and some photos of Aliese, Helene and Sarah from the Hello Minnesota photo shoot.
The shots from my party are also uploaded. I have such hot friends!
purple podded peas
I processed two mystery rolls of film and as I thought, they were mainly photos of plants. One roll from September and one from about June.
In a retrospective plantfest here are some photos of the purple podded pea and broad bean plants.
The other photos i've scanned are available here.
because it was such an absolutely gross story, i chose to not write this anecdote up as soon as the event happened. but a recent newspaper report has got me fearful...
a couple of weeks ago i'd picked some lettuce from my garden, washed it off and stored it in the refrigerator. after having a typical student dinner of pasta (some ravioli variety i think) i decided to balance out the carbs with some lettuce.
i proudly tossed some of my very own, organic lettuce leaves together with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.
tasty. good texture. chewy?
had i chomped down on a bit of pasta remaining in the bowl? way too chewy...
so i spat out the offending object and watched as a little slug wriggled its way around the bottom of the bowl. it was still alive even though i had already chewed it...
now, for the past week or so, the only issue that i had with the slug was that it was super chewy. chowing down on a slug was just the peril of gardening without pesticides, but come to think of it, don't the french eat snails? wasn't i just being accidentally continental?
until i found that i may now be susceptible to a rare form of meningitis...
brain swelling meningitis... which could kill me!
i think i have a headache coming on!
with stunning synchronicity the car descended to the overcast plains and her mood descended, became grey.
i can not believe what a sudden mood swing i just experienced. i looked up at the sky and realised that the sun wasn't shining through. bammm! sadness, melancholy or maybe just a lack of happiness hit. demontors and dark riders may possible be in the vicinity.
possibly my desire to live in berlin, copenhagen, london, new york or chicago is not a good idea. extended life in melbourne, the city of grey skies, is probably not recommended either.
pete k knows about cool stuff. after being shown my purple podded peas he decided that maybe the purple juice in the pod was actually a ph indicator.
josh, pete and i played at being Science Scouts. pea pod juice was put into a white dish, and tiny amounts of lemon juice and baking soda were added. success! bright blue signified a basic substance and a pink colour represented acid.
a far less exciting colour change was experienced with beetroot leaf juice, clear for acid and a slight variation of purple for the baking soda.
a delightful end to another beautiful day. pete, josh and i drank tea from my lovely new teapot (thanks josh!) and prepared another batch of princess meg's birthday celebration cookies. tonight we get to eat the majority of the cookies at josh's birthday / farewell party. yay!
it would be nice to think that the purple podded peas produced purple peas as well as pods.
but they don't.
i've just eaten some of the cute little green peas. sweet and tasty.
given that i've reduced my purple podded pea crop by about 3% by eating one pod's worth of peas, i have to consider how i will use the peas when all the pods are ready for harvest.
i think that some variety of risotto will be in order.
the photo has been slightly enhanced with the lomo photoshop filter, but the peas are actually purple!
i've only got about 4 plants, so the crop isn't going to be huge, but i have plenty of seeds saved up for next year!
earlier today i remembered the pea and bean seeds i planted a couple of weeks ago and left in one of the sheds. i'd checked on the progress about a fortnight ago but nothing had really happened.
when i checked i'd figured that the soil would have dried up and any growth would have died, but it's been so cold that there's been barely any evaporation and there were substantial seedlings. so i dug them into the ground where i was planning on building raised beds and put in some little stakes.
let's just hope that they keep on growing!
it's pretty sad when the most exciting, free, solo, saturday afternoon activity is going to the unley library and getting a card and borrowing a huge pile of books.
enjoyable, but maybe not extremely exciting.
then i went to ellie's gelati party and ate a lot of gelati, played with tim's camera and was on izone duty.
on sunday i turned up for half an hour late to have yum cha with james and karah. that was a particularly sad and pathetic effort as i'd suggested we have yumcha. and then i went up to jimmy's cafe in crafers with pete to watch melaleuca play and later on we had dinner and went to two different gatherings which weren't particularly exciting.
though one gathering was in a warehouse apartment and there was a trapeze hanging from the ceiling and a very cool high up clothes horse on a pulley arrangement.
i've always wanted to have a swing or trapeze hanging from the ceiling of my house. i have a theory that i'd suddenly be able to do amazing gymnastic feats straight away instead of hanging on and pathetically swinging back and forth.
i have a similar theory about musical instruments. at the moment i have a keyboard and guitar standing up in the corner of my living room, and i'm so completely sure that i have amazing musical talent that i never bother to practice.
I haven't had a closeup look at my hyacinths for the last couple of days, but they're all beginning to get very close to flowering, and there's the tiniest bit of hot pink petal showing on one of the plants!
My digital camera is crap so I just took a couple of hyacinth photos with my slr, but i figured, colour is good, and there's heaps of text on my page at the moment, why don't i take a digital picture of my toe socks?
I love buying socks and up until about a month ago I had nine different pairs of knee high stripey socks. That's more than there are days in the week!
my dad hasn't yet brought down the sleepers for my garden bed, and i haven't invested in manure and compost so i haven't sown any seeds yet. (i don't want to have to buy seedlings, i want to experience the buzz of watching plants come out of the soil!)
but being an impatient kinda gal, i gave in and bought leek and beetroot seedlings from kmart and planted them in the old fish pond behind the house. it's about 2m diameter and isn't too high, so it's quite a good raised bed. ideally i'd turn it into a giant herb garden. but not this year.
i also want a continuous supply of greens so i'll probably buy some rainbow chard seedlings or seed before i make my huge ($100 +) digger's order.
whilst driving through the hills i saw a couple of places selling bags of horse manure for $2. i'm going to buy a cheap tarp to put inside my car and i might drive up next week and invest in about $10 of fertile stinkiness.
somehow i think that it might be a solo trip!
whenever i've been outside and had a walk or done some gardening related chores i feel way happier and much more motivated and i end up getting my other work done.
yet most of the time when i need this motivation kick i lay low in my bed and sleep or just read books.
[sometimes i think that i don't have a motivation problem, i just have a plain old case of sloth.]
anyway, at about 5 this afternoon i headed outside and pulled out the horrid asparagus fern that's been challenging me since i discovered it a fortnight ago. i also ripped out a whole bunch of soursobs at the same time.
i also got around to making a cage type thing to put lawn cuttings and raked leaves in.
my grandma's gardener is obsessed with raking (he doesn't just do paths and the lawn, he rakes between plants which are using the leaves as mulch) and then he takes the leaves to the dump! he also continually chops things without rhyme or reason!
sometimes i come home from uni and i discover he's chopped something like some lavendar in flower and i almost cry. it's like he's destroying my planet and i'm gaia or something.
anyway i asked him to not take the clippings and leaves to the dump the other day and he left me behind a beautiful pile of nitrogen and carbon just waiting to turn into humus. but i needed to contain the pile, so today i fashioned a small fence type thing out of star droppers and some old chicken wire i found in the ceiling of the garage.
then, i had to move all of the stuff over. luckily it was getting pretty dark so i couldn't see the potentially slimy stuff that i was handling, but i've got the pile condensed into a much smaller volume.
after a week of heavy rain, the pile was already starting to decompose, so i had the smell of nutritious (for plants!) forest floors around me as i shovelled and forked and raked.
give the pile a couple of weeks and it will be ready to put over the vegetable patch.
i went to the market today and bought some urgently needed food items (onions, bread and garlic) and restocked on olives, artichoke hearts, soy and sweet chilli sauce.
i don't know why i went today, as the market isn't even open on wednesdays! luckily, there were enough stalls open for me to get everything i needed including 9c worth of broad beans for planting, and a packet of purple podded pea seeds.
growing stuff is so much fun.
a couple of my brussel sprout plants have survived despite almost being completely dessicated when i forgot to water them and they also have been eaten by cabbage grubs.
my rocket plants are growing very well and i think that i'll be eating from my own plants in about a fortnight. my spring onions are taking a long time to get big enough, but i think that i'll plant some more seeds in a day or so.
and i put the hyacinths that i bought a couple of weeks ago into jars and overnight amazing growth has happened! the tiny stems which had sprouted while i chilled them in the fridge turned green after about 6 hours of sunlight and tiny little roots burst out into the water.
my drawing class starts next tuesday, so i went to premier art supplies to buy the stuff i needed. it seems to be a much better stocked store than eckersley's. and i found that they stocked flexible medium which modifies standard acrylic paints for use as fabric paints and which can be used to make prints from photocopies.
i don't think that i could move to the northern hemisphere for any major amount of time, as i think that i'd be severely affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
the weather turned dreary on friday and i descended into a pretty dark funk. a funk which i knew i'd get out of eventually, but which i had to remain in for a while.
thank god that's over.
at least i attempted to buy my way out of minor depression. i now have a new grey jumper and two black summer tops (gloomy colours, but they look nice), a book called a year of slow food which has confirmed my desire to have a productive kitchen garden, pretty paper with which to make stuff and the new album by the jayhawks [mmm. alt country].
now that i'm feeling better i'm so excited about the stuff i wouldn't have let myself buy whilst feeling happy. and i get to sing along with the jayhawks.
the seeds which i planted the other week have started to sprout. at this stage it's a little too early to tell whether the rocket, mignonette lettuce or pak choi have won the growing race so far, but my bets are on the rocket.
so i was sitting writing an email to a fellow vegie gardener and i heard the rubbish truck go past my window. i forgot to take out the rubbish!
since i've made the compost bin, i've reduced my household waste considerably, which didn't really matter as the standard trash hadn't been picked up yet. but i'd forgotten to take out the green waste bin!
it's full and won't be picked up for a fortnight now. and there is a huge pile of non compostable waste (eeek! asparagus fern!) already piled high against the fence.
it's not like i was writing my essay last night. or reading. or tidying up. or any time of productive procrastination.
i was playing freecell.
do you know it only takes 10 minutes (or thereabouts) to make a compost bin?
turn the bin upside down and use the secateurs to cut out the base section of the bin.
once the base is out, turn the bin upright.
dig a few inches into the ground where you intend to put the compost bin.
put the bin onto the ground and put the lid on top. you may want to secure the bin with some stakes.
add kitchen scraps, dirt, leaves as required
follow good composting rules.
apparently one can not only make mozarella at home, but one can also painstakingly prepare green, black and oolong tea!
as much as i love my tea and would love to live some type of self sufficient lifestyle, i have a feeling that i'd prefer just heading off to the tbar to buy some more rather than spending a week fermenting my leaves before they dry.
also the choice of tea would be limited. at the moment i have monks pear, blue flower earl grey, homemade chai, store bought chai and standard lipton yellow label teabags. so i'm not going to make my own tea. and i probably will never make my own mozarella.
and even though i love the idea, i'm never going to own a wormfarm. this article at yougrowgirl is a great guide to setting up a worm farm. however, worms only eat certain products... i have enough problems balancing my own diet, let alone that of a thousand worms!
the desire to be some type of self sufficient hippie earth mother is often very strong. but not to the extent of tea manufacturing. maybe just growing my own vegetables and possibly having some chickens.
but i can do those things and have a "proper" job, whether that be working for the man, running my own business or consulting for the man. but i still don't know what to do!
i planted the snail creeper next to my bedroom window, and was motivated enough to turn the earth where i intend to have my vegetable garden. i found a little brown bottle with its label still visible (...headaches...) and a half penny.
i thought i might discover some more clues or treasure, but after the bottle and the coin there were just bits of brick and glass. the earth doesn't seem to be particularly nutritious or treasure filled.
so tomorrow i'm going to brave easter saturday hardware store madness and i'll buy some manure and a compost bin.
the other day i threw a bit of a tantrum when i discovered that the jasmine on the fence opposite the kitchen window had been removed. i thought that the gardener had got out of control as one did in claire's garden, but i later discovered that the neighbours hadn't enjoyed having such a lovely plant crawling across their tennis court.
so today i visited the local hardwarey / garden store and bought a new jasmine, a beautiful smelling snail creeper and a punnet of brussel sprouts. i'm going to plant the snail creeper right near by bedroom window so that i'll have super lovely smelling sleeps next summer, and the brussel sprouts are my foray into winter vegetable gardening.
i don't really like brussel sprouts that much, so i figure that i might eat them more willingly if i've grown them. hopefully my family and friends will appreciate little green sprouty balls of fun, as i'm sure i'm going to get sick of eating them.
but i got motivated in the gardening store... maybe i could plant beans and peas and baby beets! broccoli, carrots and cabbage! i think i'll hold off purchasing store bought seeds as i'm still intending to join the digger's seed club which gives you access to many different heirloom vegetable varieties.
gardening stores are a little like craft, art supply, hardware, $2 variety, music and wine shops. i walk in intending to purchase one item and i come out with about 7 extra things! managing to leave with only three individual plant purchases instead of just one is what i call a successful shopping trip.
but i didn't do to well on the music front today. i've managed to resist buying any new cds and hardly anything second hand since i come back to adelaide, and i definitely didn't intend to buy anything when i followed nick on his hunt for the blue monday 12". uh oh. two secondhand records for $18, maybe a little too much for an impulse buy, but i couldn't resist laurie anderson's big science and paul kelly's post in good condition.
my new scarf is finished. it's a little too wide and a little too short to be the ultimate scarf. but it is very red and fluffy!
Snail Creeper - Phaseolus caracalla
a vigorous climber with slender, wiry stems.
leaves resemble those of a bean while the unusual flowers resemble those of distorted sweet pea.
some of the petals are spirally twisted and resemble a snail shell.
[photos i took]
[pictures i drew]
[plants may 2003]
[processed october '03]
[road trip 2004]
[things i grew]
[things i like]
[things i made]
[things i wrote]