Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Bye-bye Barnie .... Hellooooooo Chickies

gotta love the northern rivers community ... sharing the sustainable, earthy dream is easy to do here.  so it was no wonder that i was contacted by a breeder wanting to expand their flock into barnevelders, asking me if i had a rooster to sell.  gee ..... just so happened that i had Barnie-boy .... a lovely, year old rooster, that trust me .... was working the girls well.

and while i love Barnevelders (the colours on the roosters are fabulous) .... i just have them as good layers, not a real addition to the breeding flock.  so off he went, with a pullet that i had to a new home .... to breed up a storm.

bye-bye Barnie -- you've been fun to watch grow and you have a beautiful temperament ... time to go and be a man!

beautiful boy!  even in the wet and rain his colours are stunning.

but me?  well, i need more layers .... it's the thing .... each year chickens need to be cycled out and new birds brought in if you are going to keep up with the demands of your clients.  so with the profit i made from selling Barnie +1, i have opened up a whole new world of chickdom.

got me a bakers dozen of australorp chicks i did .... with a couple of errant plymouth rocks thrown in.  so with those, plus the four that had just hatched .... i'm sitting at 17 chicks to grow out and increase our flock.

the cuteness of chicks is never overrated

why australorps and not the plymouth rocks i'm committed to?  well ... i wanted to add some good layers to my regular flock .... and still being committed to heritage breeds it was a joy to get these kids.  and, true to form, they are good layers and the boys?  well ... you know what happens to boys that aren't breeders .... they serve us well on the dinner plate.

so i'm still working on my plymouth rocks as well .... have introduced some new hens from a great line out at tenterfield.  but it is slow going.  however, i am happy to say that i have a broodie barnevelder hen that is happily sitting on 7 plymouth rock eggs for me ....

good mum, about 12 days left to hatch.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

2 for 1 Deals

it's great news!  new life on the farm!  woohoo!  our dairy cow dropped her calf... you should've seen the excitement yesterday morning when we saw them wandering on the other side of the lagoon yesterday morning!  kids went running down, trudging through the boggy area to get to it .... how fun!
Yeah!  woohoo!  more new life on the farm, right?  well .... you'd like to think to think so!  well ... appearances can be deceiving!

our calf!  woohoo!

that calf likes the long grass!

we had major thunderstorms predicted for the afternoon, and we wanted to try and get them up into the milking paddock to keep them safe.  whew!  that took a lot of hard work, but we finally managed to get it done!  then the rains came and came .... so grateful for the wet, btw.

very excited to go down this morning and see how our little bub was doing .... couldn't find the little bugger.  assumed it wasn't far away ....and we went looking high and low for it ... it was nowhere to be found.  i was so devastated!  those first 48 hours are really important for the calf to get the colostrum it needs from it's mum.   had the kids hunting everywhere .... and even sent them off to look on the far side of the lagoon in case somehow it had managed to wander all the way back over. 

and there i was beating the grass between the milking paddock and the house and i hear the kids yell out .... "mum, we found it!"  deep sigh of relief!  and as i'm walking down to see how we'll get it back over i basically trip over. ... guess what?  the calf that had dissapeared!  my first thot was that the kids didn't really look closely .... but then i look across the lagoon and there stands #1 daughter (she found it) with a second calf!  hubby trugged through the bog and got #2 and brought it back over .... much to the delight of mum .... who, along with calf #1 happily bonded.  

Rosie along with first born (grey on the right) and #2 (brown
one on the left) ... having breakfast!

i am happy to report that mum and kiddo's are happily ensconced in a very secure area now ... with no chance of escape!

enjoy all your bonding time bubs .... that wonderful colostrum and special mummy time!  

names are being bantered about still.  had originally thot of meatball when we had just the one.  but now with two .... things like spaghetti and meatballs or massaman and curry .... are possibilities.  how fun!  i'm sure it will be the fodder for a great discussion around the dinner table tonight!

tomorrow?  raw milk coffee is on the agenda for my breakfast!  woohoo!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Why Toilet Paper Rolls

it's the end of july here in Northern NSW ... so still in the dead of winter with cold nights.  but the days can be lovely and warm (like today!) and if you put your greenhouse so that it is against a great heat sink (e.g., the east side of a brick house in our case) ... the warmth that it generates can do great things for getting your seedlings growing.

start with good seeds
we use toilet paper rolls to raise our seedlings.  so many reasons to use this sustainable and biodegradable resource.  but still, it may seem a bit unusual to some, so i thot i would take the time to explain it here, as well as a bit of our process.  and too ... make sure that you source good, traditional, heritage, non-modified seeds products ... makes all the difference in the world.

 btw ... i should also state that not all seeds should be germinated this way.  some things like root veg need to go straight in the ground.  i have a mass of leeks that i'm germinating in a big pot and then these will go directly into the ground once they've got "hair" that is about 2 cm longer than shown here.

my next batch of leek growing up a storm!
but, as for doing seeds in toilet rolls .... here is our methodology.  our seeds all start out this way .... in a nice container (again, sustainable and re-used), with a mixture of compost and coi peat.  this makes it easy to give them the warmth they need for germination, without wasting space for those that don't (because, let's face it ... not all seeds will germinate .... grrrr!).  there are also seeds, such as the cucumber pictured here, where the seeds is large enough to go directly into the toilet rolls.

this batch of tomato's, cucumber and capsicum are
ready to be put to bed

and not long after, we see little sprouts to remind us that indeed we did plant something lovely under that blanket of rich goodness. depending on the type of seed and weather, this will of course determine how quickly they germinate.  beans for example germinate very quickly in spite of the cold ... while tomato's need a lot more warmth to get that growing ticker started.    these beans and tomato's were planted at the same time and look at the difference.

come on!  my blue lake beans are winning the growth race at this point.
but the sun is coming out and the tomato's are coming up!  woohoo!
some will absolutely surprise you.  this parsley basically sprouted overnight after a lovely warm day in the sun.  how wonderful!
go the parsley!  can't wait to get you out in the garden
and then on a dinner plate!
so once they get to a size where they have a small but sturdy root system and need to start stretching their toes into more nutrient rich soil, they get moved into our sustainable toilet rolls which can go directly in the ground, providing the developing root system with a little more protection as it adapts to the reality of life in your patch.

they may not be in the plastic garbage that comes from stores ... so not quite so pretty, right?  but honestly ... tell me ... what would you rather have ... something that has to be teased out of a container that isn't biodegradable and if you hold it wrong you might accidentally break and destroy, or this lovely container and blanket of goodness that can go directly in the ground?

gorgeous Scarlett Runner Bean just looking for a home!
our seedlings are offered at .50 per pot ... allowing you the ability to buy a few at a time, extending your season.  to see what we currently have available, look at our "on offer now" section of the web site.  

Happy growing!!!  


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Aspiring to Asparagus

loving asparagus is one of those "grown up" things i reckon.  first of all because for many of us it is a taste and flavour that we did not aquire until we grew up.  the other reason is because it takes patience to grow .... truly.  but as with all things, the reward of the wait is well worth it!

if you choose to grow asparagus from seed, then you can guarantee it will be 3-4 years before you start getting a good yield.  the other option is to grow crowns .... these are two year old plants that will start producing within 1-2 years.  i'm not a coward to say it ... i choose the crowns ... i would prefer to by them from reputable sellers (such as green harvest).  i want my asparagus patch to be big and bold ... so away we go!

when choosing where to plant your asparagus, location is essential.  this is not a crop that gets rotated ... once they are planted, they should stay in the same place as you'll find that asparagus, once settled in, will provide you with copious spears for decades to come.  so choose your location wisely!

the key to a good asparagus patch (well, as with anything i suppose), is really nutrient dense earth ... rich and yummy .... just enuf drainage to keep it yummy and fertile.  so last year we cut down a huge area of banana's (why?  another story for another day .... just trust me on this one).  banana's make great and rich mulch.  so i lined our bed with a plethora of fallen trunks .... and covered this with lots of old straw mulch.   ... and waited for a season to let it enrich.

the result, tho not that obvious, is a bed dense in nutrient bounty, just waiting for a spring plant.

the bed waiting to be built up
adding a little more yummy straw mulch before planting for good measure!

then you add your compost/ manure/ soil that you want to plant your asparagus in.  when planting out asparagus crowns it is important to remember that the roots need room to spread out and grow.  the best way to achieve this is to make a long furough with a ridge going down the centre ... this allows you to spread out the roots of the crown.

once you've done that it's time to gently arrange your crowns on the top of the ridge ... spreading out the roots so that they cascade down the sides of the ridge ... leaving the crown on the top.  once this is done, cover the roots and leave the crown just under the soil.

crowns spread out across the ridge down the middle of the
planting area ... be gentle!

now ... as any good gardener knows, when you plant something it always needs a friend .... a companion to spur it on to grow even more.  these beneficial relationships are usually two way streets, with each plant providing something for the other.  these benefits tend to be in the form of nutrients added to the soil or bugs that are repelled  or attracted.  whatever the relationship they create biodiversity ... which is more productive and makes yummier food! (FYI ... there are also bad companions, which will harm your plants and reduce productivity .... so best get educated!)

strawberries are great mates with aparagus (beans too, for that matter!).  and our family loves strawberries so it was a match made in heaven.  the asparagus have been surrounded by strawberries.  They will spread and create a natural ground cover that will protect the asparagus from weeds and also provide tasty fruit.

great mate!

but for now ... we wait.  the plants have been bedded in to ride out the rest of our winter ... with the promise that come spring ... we will have a  bounty of lovely young green spears and beautiful red fruit for our table.

all bedded in for a winters nap!

i encourage you to to plant some asparagus ... as with all fresh veg, once you've given it a go, you won't turn back!

for more on companion planting, check out these resources.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

War News

this is not a long post .... but a reality check time post.

when we moved to the Northern Rivers Region we new very quickly that to be financially viable on the farm, we needed to be producing something.

but in order to write off our costs for investing in this we had to be primary producers.

and in order to be primary producers we had to show financial viability.

in other words ... to make it work we had to have the money upfront to make it all work.

which we didn't and don't.

so we put in our application for becoming primary producers ... made a good case, btw.  showing that with the right fiscal management we could be showing the required $20k profit in 5 years.

our principles?   diversification and sustainable methods.  ensuring that we didn't put all our eggs in one basket.

but this apparently isn't what the government wants to see.

let me first say .... that the guy we dealt with was WONDERFUL.  not often you say that about government employees .... but he was great.

the jist of the situation is this (and this is what our government rep even said) ... that while it is becoming more and more obvious that farming in a diversified manner is, long term, more financially secure -- this is not what the current government regulations support.

the government, you see, would rather us put all our eggs in one basket, roll the dice and hope it comes up trumps .... that to them would mean we are worth backing. (stupid, aye?)

as he said, unfortunately, his hands are tied by regulation and he cannot recommend that we receive primary producer status.

what does that mean for us?  well .... i guess it means that we will be doing things in the TRULY sustainable way ... small, on the cheap and as we can afford it.

a bit disappointed .... but just have to be creative about how we move forward.  there is always more than one way to skin a cat!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Winter Diary

i was out doing my monday morning walk around the farm and just couldn't help taking photo's and bringing you up-to-date on our continued growth towards not only sustainability, but profitability as well.  because this is the year of building ... of collecting our resources so that come spring, we are offering quality and specialised produce to you and yours!

but first up ... the patch.  this is our little seed bed of gold.  a humble area that even in winter is producing fabulous produce for our family, and seed crop for our future offerings.

gotta love the pea trellis.  using branches from bushes
that were getting to big and a simple weave i've got a great
backbone to grow my peas on ... come early spring this will be covered
with lovely globes of pea goodness.  the teepee's have snow pea's on them.
very excited to see my first cauliflower emerging today.  yeah!!!!!  will make for some
yummy wintery goodness on the table.
the patch was buzzing with bee's today .... which makes my heart sing.  i've deliberately
let one of my broccoli go to flower for this very reason ... feeding our bees as they
hunker down for winter.... they take care of me .... i take care of them! 
broad beans ... 'nuf said.  lovely beanie goodness and soil improvement
to boot!  who could ask for more!  yummo! i'd say we are weeks away from
our first crop for the season.
Leeks .... one of my all time favourites.  makes everything
taste fabulous.  these beauties are simply waiting to be used.  time to put in
a heap more seedlings that i have growing i reckon!
potato's.  there are some who would question growing them in tires like this ...
but i have had limited success and wanted to try something different.
it recycles the tires too!this will eventually be 4 tires tall, stuffed full of
straw and potato goodness!
lettuce.  staple right?  i'm terrified of slugs.  so i'm breathing deep and
doing the right thing..... we'll see how this experiment goes!
there is one more thing on our patch.  our garlic.  we've planted an entire bed out to be used primarily as seed garlic for our next years crop -- and they are just coming up.  we have planted three kinds ... red creole (spicy hot), glen large (solid producer that grows well in the Northern Rivers) and elephant garlic, or russian.  big bulbs of mild garlic goodness.  this will all be harvested come late spring and be set aside to be used in our quarter acre planting to sell for profit.  stop buying overseas, bleached garbage ... buy local!

see those gorgeous garlic just starting to sprout through?  how exciting!
now .... on to the orchard.  this has always meant to be the permanent home of our Plymouth Rocks.  these are our financial investment into selling chicks and keeping us going with chooks to eat.  the idea of keeping them on the orchard means that our orchard gets constantly fertilized ... weeded and our heritage birds are contained.  it is working well.  our rooster, Rocky, has 7 girls at his beck and call ... and they've already started laying ... even in the dead of winter.  i anticipate a number of hatchings this year, whether by incubator or broody hen.

Rocky and two of his girls behind the electric fence.  looking forward to
seeing what their offspring bring to us!

this is our trampoline isolation area inside the orchard fence.  when we get new birds on the
farm we put them here just to help them get settled.  it's a great way
of introducing them as well .... because everyone gets used to each other with
minimal "hen pecking" ... it's worked a treat so far.
outside the current electric fence on the orchard we have a few trees from the previous owner that are starting to give us fruit ... and we love our winter citrus!

our open compost.  the chooks love it ... right next to the orchard.  they dig
through and mix it up as well as giving some added fertility goodness
from time to time!  go girls!
so that's it today on the farm.  oh .... one more picture as a teaser for an soon and upcoming blog post!  another part of making money on the farm!  can you guess what it is????

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sad Day on the Farm

said goodbye today to two very special ladies.  our breeders pigs.

specifically .... lucy our sow and suzie our gilt.  it was a hard decision.  but it boiled down to two things:  hard financial farming facts and putting family first.

we did the breakdown on numbers for making money vs how much they cost, vs what it would take to make it profitable .... and well, we just aren't up for that.  we'd need a boar, a few more sows and heaps more infrastructure to begin to make the profit margin worthwhile.

family time.  with our cows and chooks we can let them run.  the cows won't go anywhere as long as they have grass and water.  the chooks free range .... 'nuf said.  the piggies?  well, they need twice a day feeds and heaps of tlc to boot.  we couldn't really go anywhere.  late afternoon outings were a no go zone .... let along overnight's away.  our family time has suffered significantly and with kids that are 8, 10 and 12 .... the time and experiences we have with our children is obviously more important (and i am not getting into the you don't have to go away to have family time thing ... we haven't had a holiday since before the pigs and that just ain't right).

so piggies had to go.  the girls have gone together to a great new home about an hour away where they will have acres of grass and fields to relax in and be in pig heaven.  i couldn't have asked for more.  the piglets will go shortly .... they were always meant for the freezer and four have been sold and we'll keep two for our own freezer.

we'll always raise a few for the table.  that's what self sufficiency is all about .... so having them in some form is part of our lives ... but just not so full on to reduce our overheads and give us our family time back.

thanks for the memories girls.  i've been a bit teary this afternoon .... but i'm happy knowing you are going to a great new home.

Suzy .... love you girl.
Lucy .... gonna miss you babe ... you have such a gentle nature!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Growing Garlic

so when you reclaim a veg patch that has been overrun with zucchini it can take a bit of time.  which is ok ... if not a bit of hard work.  never hurt anyone!  it was slow going doing it bit by bit in some bloody hot weather (and muggy too boot!), but with a great family effort, we got more than half way through on the weekend, and after a few tweeks this morning, i am happy to say we are more than half way there.

looking good!

we a deluge of rain yesterday which means that the garlic bed is ready!  i thot it would be interesting to take you step by step through how i have a raised bed covered in newspaper and how in the world could that be for planting garlic.

so the first step is to ensure you have really good soil fertility.  we started this last year when we planted out green manures and let that enrich the soil for a year.

garlic is the second long bed down, early growth of green manure.

garlic doesn't like to compete with, well anything.  in lots of beds you could plant things intermixed for companion planting.  not so with garlic (okay, except Roses ... they do great with roses).  it needs its own space and area without anything else.  grass and weeds are the worst for choking them out and not letting them grow well.  so what do you do to give them the best possible option of not getting over run by competition?  commercial growers will use weed mat, but given that 1) we don't have heaps of money to buy that and 2) we prefer recycling .... well, the choice to use newspaper was easy.

what this mean was a chop and drop from the green manure (you don't need to pull up the roots as they have released nutrients into the soil and done their job and will now rot down nicely.  after that you cover the entire bed with a THIN (2-3 sheets) of newspaper.  this is just the added layer of weed inhibitor that they love.

here you can see where we have started laying the newspaper in thin layers down the bed.
the green stuff on top is the end of the green manure which is covered by the newspaper and
rots down beautiful.

and then you either water in, or like us are blessed with a hard deluge of rain that ensure the newspaper doesn't fly away in the breeze and begins the beautiful garlic blanket of goodness.

and now, the bed is ready.  irrigation pipes in place -- the bricks are temporary just to help straighten out the pipe.

there are of course two more steps.  the first of course is to plant the garlic.  i will be doing 4 cloves across approximately 8 cm apart.  these will go in pressed through the newspaper ... giving them the ability to grow up through the hole that you have made.    the second step is your mulch.  once the bulbs are planted a thin layer of mulch should be added.  i do thin at first to encourage the bulbs to grow up .... once they have sprouted then i put a thick layer of mulch on to ensure that winter blanket is lovely and warm.

you maybe wondering about all the other newspaper.  we love recycling and reusing and are blessed to be friends with a local newsagent who appreciates us taking all their old newspaper rather than them having to get rid of it!  after a gentle toss of the soil in the paths, we lay down heavy (like 1 cm thick) layers of newspaper to make the paths.  this will eventually get covered with saw dust .... but it is one more step towards the diminishing returns on our weeds and errant grass.  the more we suppress them, the less they will grow.  it will be a few years before we are confident that they are eradicated (ah, lets face it .... it will always be a battle).  but to know that all we have to do when we see a patch coming up is to pull it out and cover it with newspaper is well, wonderful!

so my order with greenharvest has been received and includes both glen large and red creole garlic .... at far ends of the spectrum from each other with regards to flavour and heat.  but tomorrow, we head about an hour down the road to a guy who grows russian garlic and will be getting a few kilo's from him.  which is fabulous .... because it's been grown locally and is already adapted to our climate ... so that is a step ahead of the game.

but ... i bet you are wondering just how you plant the stuff.  it's a bulb ... so you break the bulb apart into all the cloves.  don't remove too much of the skin ... just enuf to ensure that each bulb is separate.  and then, toe goes first.  have a look at this clove.  the toe (bottom) is on the left and the head on the right.  you would be very familiar with this from your own cooking i would imagine.  just easy to remember ... toe goes in first!

this is a red creole garlic clove

in my patch, i am simply making holes with a small stick through the nicely wet newspaper that is inhibiting weed growth.  put the toe in and push it down until it is almost all the way want to just see the tip of it.  and then mulch .... mulch light and loose but big and high.  mine is about 25 cm deep .... very loose so the garlic is encouraged to grow up .... but big enuf to keep weeds out and to make a lovely winter blanket to encourage it to grow.

put about 120 cloves in today i reckon.  that was all my Glen Large .... it is a good all rounder here in Australia and grows well in most climates.  i am also going to put in a small quantity of Red Creole ... a spicy variety to test out is viability in this climate.  and then there is the 2 kilo's of Russian or Elephant garlic that will go in later in April.  a big juicy clove garlic that is mild in taste.

happy planting!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Germination for the Patch

got your seeds for winter yet?  have your beds planned?  with the changing of the seasons comes the renewal of our patch .... summer crops are dying off and it's time to plan for winter.  its easy to forget about winter if you aren't careful.   there is this mythical air of not being able to grow fabulous veg like you can in summer.  winter is a time to clear out the beds .... manure, dolomite, and mulch .... letting them rest to spring.

i'm here to tell you that it's not the way things have to be.  root crops a plenty, hardy winter veg that just love a crisp morning and bright sun.  you can get so much out of your winter patch .... with just a little bit of effort!

so here is the plan for our autumn/winter planting.

yeah!!!  but now it's time to plant seeds.  and there is only one way i know how to do it ... it's worked for years now and i wouldn't change it for the world.

empty toilet rolls

yup .... they work a treat.  and here is what you do.  first of all .... just collect them.  whether its a bag in your toilet or asking your friends .... just start collecting.  you can never have too many! it's great .... because when the plants are big enuf to plant out .... you just pop the whole toilet roll in the ground .... the roots are not disturbed and you get biodegradable goodness!

time to assemble the elements!

save all those old trays with produce that you get.
they'll serve you well .... a good soapy hot wash
and dry and they are ready to be used!

cut your toilet rolls in half.
try to keep them straight, but not a huge deal if you don't.
you'll always have a straight edge on one end.

the next part is to fill them with some good compost or seed raising mix.  for some this can be quite hard.  but my trick is to make a very thick mud and pack it in.  i hold the flat edge of the toilet roll in the palm of my hand and pack the mud in nice and tight.  this ensure it won't come out.

assemble your sticks and paddle pops.  i tend to plant one type of thing to a tray, or a row .... so one paddle pop per tray is enuf.  but get your stuff all together and you are ready to plant.

the other trick is to get all the seedling holders full before planting with seeds.  once the mud is in, wash and dry your hands.  nothing more frustrating that having these tiny little seeds stick to your hands!  i also tend to use a pencil or some sort of pointy implement to push the seed in and cover up.

the beauty of these trays, beside the fact that you are reusing something! is that you can water from the base.  it means that you don't run the risk of washing away your seeds when you water them.  if you always water from the base it will drink it up as it needs it.

and before you know it .... your germination nursery is started!

ready to go!
i understand that some folk don't feel like they can do it, or that they don't want to wait.  but honestly .... with a little bit of patience and tlc you can save heaps of money and have a prolific amount of produce!

and the reward?  well within three days of a bit of tlc ... you'll have cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower starting to peek through!  woohoo! happy planting!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Winter Patch Restrospective

okay ... so let me tell you that being determined to start a deep, fertile veg patch from scratch on sandy loam is not necessarily the easiest thing to do.  fighting against the patterns of nature that are, quiet honestly, really strong!  is a battle.  reforming and directing those energies that are an innate part of the patterns that our Creator God put is a challenge.  but God made us stewards of this planet, and we need to shape and use the resources to what suits our families needs.  that was our goal.

it all started fabulously.  the piggies started the process for us .... and oh boys!  did they do a great job!  gotta love a pig snout for doing the hard work for you.  they root up the grass, eat it and do a general fab-u-lous job of getting your garden ready!

top:  piggies just going on to work.
bottom:  doing a verra fine job!
and then add the magic of woofers and you have 4 1 x 15 mtr long beds mounded up nice and high, ready to be mulched, and green manured.  excellent!  adding some fabulous nutrient goodness for our spring plant.  turned up a treat too!

the green manures are coming well!
so that was late last winter and early spring.  and the bounty we have had has been fabulous!  tomato's, beans, kang kong coming out our ears .... not to mention the basil and zucchini!

but we could do so much better ....but life on the farm is never as you expect and i made a few major errors.

1) i should've had the area around the beds cleared better to ensure that we didn't have weeds n grass overtaking us.
2) i should've thot about the zucchini i planted ... i love the rondo di nicci .... but it is a vine ... and wanders!  my patch has been taken over.  ironically it has probably helped keep the weeds at bay a bit .... but not that well!
btw:  love the zucchini .... just need to find a different place to plant it!

3) need triple the amount of mulch that we currently have.  a trailer load of 20 bales is no where near enuf .... more .... gotta have more mulch.  weed inhibitor and seedling protector!
Need more mulch!
so here is what we have today ....being transparent about my failures!

can you see the leeks peeking out through the grass?

tomato, basil and chooks ... a great combo!
so...where to from here?  we had a great start ... we could do better.  take stock and do it again.  i can't wait!

it's time for the winter patch plant (bring on the broad beans)... including a good clean out and seed ordering (my favourite part!).  but it was important to be honest about where we are at.  truly won't be too hard to get back in order.  once we start pulling up stuff and weeding .... will cover it with a massive amount of mulch and newspaper to help keep those weeds at bay!  bit by bit and little by little .... it'll come together ...

and as soon as i have my seeds in hand .... i'll be back!!!!  toilet rolls in hand!