Monthly Archives: September 2014

seedling updates


I love the promise of new seeds as they begin to sprout.

I’m in my first serious year of growing food in NZ after experimenting on my allotment in the UK for 3+ years. this year will definitely be a trial and error year. Plus I dont have alot of growing space and things have to be slotted in here and there in my mothers garden.

so far I have growing 2 sowings of broad beans, lettuce, silverbeet, strawberries, blueberries, pinenuts, mandarins, french beans in yellow and green, red kidney beans, black eyed peas, sweetcorn, tomatoes – cherry and cooking, in red and white, leeks, spring onions.

I also have some red onions that will be ready to harvest soon.

below- all the seedlings enjoying some warm Canterbury sunshine. they still mainly live indoors, but on the warmer days I am putting them out now. I’m particularly proud of the tomato seeds that you can just spot in the middle of the photo. these are from the local heritage seed exchange. the seeds were harvested in 2009!. I’ve been asked to give some back and its taken a while for the first sowing to germinate, but one has overnight, and the ones in the middle were a second sowing – I have about 5 of the variety now so hopefully I can generate a few seeds to give back later. a couple of the bean varieties are also for the seed exchange.


I love watching beans as they emerge.


tulips growing in a wooden wheelbarrow – these should be my favourite = Queen of the Night.


I’m not a big fan of daffs, but I do love the pink ones.


and thanks to wordpress having a small issue with photos today, another shot of the seedlings that should have been up with the other at the top!.

if you are in the southern hemisphere, have you started your seeds yet? I’m not sure if I’m too early, but time will tell.



book review – author recommendation


over the past 4-5 days I have read 2 books in a 4 part series by a New Zealand born, Australian based author, Deborah Challinor.


about 3 years ago I picked up one of her books, Band of Gold, and thoroughly enjoyed it – historical setting with a lovely side of humour as it weaved its tale. when I came home for Xmas the year before i returned her (i.e 2 yrs ago!), i spied the book on the left and brought it, and left it in NZ knowing I was coming back, so no point carrying it back to then pay to ship it home a few months later!.

when I was leaving Brisbane earlier this year I saw the book on the right and brought that, not realising at the time it was part 2 in the series. 

once back home, I realised this and was pleased I’d spotted and brought it. then the books sat on the shelf!. til last week when I needed to take a book with me, to an appointment with my mother.

the books tell the story of 4 girls who meet in Newgate Gaol in London in 1828. they are full on interesting characters and at times I felt like I was watching it all unfold, rather than reading it, they are so well described!. the books follow the trials and tribulations of the girls as they are transported to New South Wales, and Sydney in its early days. full of interesting details, laugh out load passages and suspense. 

I was hooked and as soon as book one was finished I started straight into book 2!. it helped there was the F1 qualifying to wait up for last night, which gave me plenty of reading time and I had bk2 finished in 24hrs!.

now I have to wait til about November for book 3 in the series. 

in reading the notes at the end of book 2 I read a sentence that sums up beautifully the authors ability to instil humour into her work –

” Francis Rossi (1830s Sydney police magistrate and superintendent) should not be confused with the Francis Rossi in Status Quo” Deborah Challinor

I highly recommend these 2 books, as well as Band of Gold, to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, and early settler type stories.

Home made deodorant


I smell like a giant Bounty Bar!!

In an effort to continue to remove products with toxic ingredients from my life, I have made some deodorant. with a base of coconut oil, every time I smell it I think of Bounty Bars!.

Super easy to make, it took about 2 mins and it lasts for about 3 months. I followed the recipe from passionatehomemaker. I had researched alot of different sites and forums, and liked this, although there are many versions of this around – her updated post and Q&A was helpful in going with her recipe.

P1120109 P1120111

its very simple, 3-4 ingredients depending if you want to add some essential oil as well.

I did, although, probably not enough drops as you cant detect it at all!.

I’ve used it since making it a week ago and am very happy with the results. it hasnt been tested to marathon conditions or anything strenuous like that!!, but in my daily happenings, I dont appear to give off any odor – always a plus!.

I did have some itchy-ness for 48hrs in one pit, but thats settled down now. 

now, all I have to do is find a replacement for my facial moisturiser – I’ve used the same brand for about 30yrs, but i noticed it has parabens in it, so it has to go as well, as they are nasty.

I’ll be back soon with a seedling update – there is action in the make do and mend greenhouse!!.