Sunday, 3 February 2013

And Baby makes three

We've had a great week and weekend.  I sent my fifth and youngest child off to school last week!  There are now three of them in the same school.  How lovely for them!  She was my most worried about the experience.  You might notice a little secret piece of comfort tucked into her top pocket.  The others just ran off with smiles but Pumpkin's a deep thinker and came up with every possible case scenario.    What if I get homesick?  Who do I go to if someone is mean?  What if I get hurt?  However, as I expected, she had a ball!!!  She's going to love school! My child who loves life and learning and thinking.......  going to a place dedicated to teaching and imparting knowledge.  Have fun my love, and don't change too much...........
 The boys worked hard on the compost yesterday.  We're not sure what's supposed to happen but it was very dry!
 They wet it down and moved it to the second bay.  It's heating up again so I think all will be ok!
 We also worked hard in the orchard after buying some more straw.  We've discovered a method that's worked well for us in our harsh climate.  After adding manure, blood and bone, mulch etc. we enclose the trees with straw bales.  We also put chook wire over the mulch for the citrus trees.  It stops the chooks scratching.  The chook poop makes them drop their immature fruit.  Plus their roots are close to the surface so we don't want the chooks scratching.

With the other trees we like the chooks to jump in and scratch.  They can fertilise the trees but can't kick the mulch off because the bales keep it in.  The bales also keep the roots cooler in summer, give protection in winter and keep the moisture in. 
I took my job so seriously that I removed some branches that need to be pruned, even though they had fruit!  I've never been able to bring myself to do that before but it needed to happen for the good of the tree.  I need to google to see if there are any uses for green lemons.
A while ago, Nelly Mary left a comment on my fizzy rhubarb post to tell me that if I leave it longer it will turn into rhubarb champagne!  Thanks Nelly Mary!  I have a batch on the go and have explained to the children that they must ask before drinking the fizzy rhubarb now!  Imagine if they found some that had been maturing for a while!  I'm not sure how long I leave it to mature.  I guess I use trial and error.  I have been saving champagne bottles to bottle it because I believe their shape makes it possible to hold more pressure.  I will bottle the champagne in two days but I'm not sure how to cap them yet.  Anyone have any experience with this?  Hopefully I will write a tiddly post in a few weeks about my success!!
And after all my work in the garden, it is starting to look a lot better.  It might be too late for good results but I'm just happy to see some life back!

 I hope you had a lovely weekend too!

11 comments:

Evi said...

Oh rhubarb fizzy again? I just checked back to your last post and discovered that I'd said I wanted to try it too..... well we have! Master 12 made a few batches just in time for xmas. The first lot we used glass bottles and just left the lid loose and it was ok to drink, a bit ho hum and not super fizzy. The second batch we decided to use plastic soda water bottles because I was a bit concerned they might pop. We are just using up the last bottle as I type and it's still fizzy and delicious! I don't think there is a great deal of alcohol in it, at least I hope not - it still tastes sweet and not fermented like.
I tried for health reasons, to use glass but just didn't feel comfortable in case they burst while someone was around, because the bubbles really do make it expand a lot. I'm ok with that now after a bit of an internal tussle!!!

Dani said...

Ah Bless her :) And you too. Never easy letting the little ones loose from the apron strings, but t'is in her very best interest.

Clever - those strawbales. I would just be scared that they would create a perfect sheltered spot here for a snake or two...

Linda said...

Evi how old is the batch you're drinking now then? I' very interested. My kids love it so much that the longest we've had any is three weeks. I was hoping it would become alcoholic because that is something we don't know how to make for ourselves. Hubby has made beer but I'm not keen on beer.

Dani, I was we'll and truly ready to part. I realised as I sent her off that it's 25 years since I sent my first to school. I'll still miss her though. She's an interesting little person. As for the snakes, we so close to the bush that I know they're here anyway. Nothing I can do but be observant!

Busy mum of 3 said...

How exciting Linda, we send our youngest off to school today! I'm sure I'll do a post about it soon!

Linda said...

Good luck Cheryl and have a lovely day!

city garden country garden said...

Can't wait to hear what the Rhubarb bubbly tastes like. What about putting it into resealable beer bottles like the ones that Grolsch beer comes in?

Caro said...

Linda- if you're using champagne bottles you can get crown seals to fit as Mark uses them for beer. But you do need to ensure you finish fermentation before bottling to avoid explosions. Maybe talk to Mark or Richard about it some time.
Looks like the compost is going well!

narf7 said...

What a brilliant idea to use straw bales around the base of trees! I am having one of those Homer Simpson "Doh" moments right now... We are just about to plant out our hazelnut, walnut and chestnut trees along with some carob, avocado and brachychiton trees (all grown from seeds) this autumn here in Northern Tassie but I was trying to work out how to give them the best advantage as we get a long dry summer here (3 months of no rain) and you have just solved my problem for me! I LOVE the possibilities that blogs and bloggers bring :). I am wading through "The Wilderness Garden" by Jackie French at the moment. I can't believe she isn't right up there with Bill Mollison to be honest as she is so in tune with our Aussie environment (maybe she was a bit TOO wacky for the rest of the world? ;) never mind, WE love her :) ). I am so glad I found this blog recently, you really just gave me a complete and utter bliss boost with that major solve. Serendipity Farm thanks you from the bottom of its possum and wallaby over-run heart :)

purplepear said...

Such mixed emotions with the last of the brood off to school as I remember.Glad to hear it was a much better experience than she was expecting. great idea with the haybales. Hven't made any fizzy drinks yet. Another on the to do list.

Bridget Coyne said...

Oh Linda...I can really relate to having a deep thinker. Jess was exactly the same! School trips were a nightmare...I had to spend the night before answering things like "Where will I put my bag on the bus???" and "Who do I tell if I have to go to the toilet?" etc etc. And funnily enough, at 17, not much has changed :) But I've always just spent some time answering the questions, then he would relax (somewhat). Here's to our beautiful, sensitive little ones xo

Linda said...

Hi City Garden, I love the Grolsch bottle idea but we don't buy them and don't know anyone silly enough to part with them!

Hi Caro, Thanks. I DO need to talk to Richard or Mark because I don't know what you mean about fermenting it first. I imagine you mean rebottling. Hopefully I can find out on Saturday! I hope you're going.

Narf7, I so agree with you on the connections and possibilities that blogging provides. I love it! And as for Jackie French, she's been my hero for twenty years! Long before I heard the term permaculture. I love her no nonsense, say it as it is, style. I own her books on soil, chooks and backyard self-sufficiency. I don't know the one you mentioned so I'd better find it and have a read.

Hi Kate, She's doing beautifully but yes, there is a touch of the bitter/sweet. She has settled better than the others did and isn't as tired.

Hi Bridget, How are you going? It's nice to hear you've been through similar. I think they have a good way of processing stuff though. She did most of her worrying here at home where she feels safe and I think that's why she's doing so well now. She can just relax and enjoy school instead of coming home tired from the emotional side of it.