24 January 2021

Gathering the Fragments 24/01/2021

A beautiful week. That's how I want to remember last week.

The world is still upside down in turmoil, but our home has been happy and busy; we are all just going about our days just doing what needs doing. We are blessed to be able to do that.

This month we have five family birthdays! Good thing the card and present boxes are kept full.

The nursing home has asked for more cards. I have some done, and will work on more during the week and send a small parcel off. We're hoping to be able to visit in March, so I'll be able to take more then.

I saw on the news on Friday night a farmer feeding his apricot crop to sheep because he couldn't get pickers. I was almost in tears - I would have gladly gone and picked enough for us and paid him for them; I wish local councils and state governments would allow this so at least the fruit isn't wasted (not that feeding the sheep is a waste, but I get really upset when it is dumped in landfill or ploughed back into the ground). I love apricots and they have such a short season and are so expensive, even tinned, that I rarely buy them.

Most of our fruit trees are dwarf varieties in pots,  and they need to be well watered in the heat. Wayne set up a drip watering line for them (and me) so I don't need to worry or remember to run out and make sure they're not too dry. He put it through the whole veggie garden, all the beds, as well as all the pots. It has made a huge difference in time for me, and I know they are getting the right amount of water to stay healthy. At this time of year I feed the garden and pots weekly with either worm tea, compost tea or Seasol and they thrive. It will be interesting to see what, if any, difference it makes to the water bill.

The zucchini are producing prolifically. I've picked a handful every day this week, grated them and put them into the dehydrator. Right now it's all in a jar, when it's full I'll vacuum seal it. Then the grated zucchini will be ready to use in winter.

The tomatoes are slow to ripen, but I'm ready to make pasta sauce and bottle as many as I can. There will be more than enough for us to eat and preserve a good supply for later in the year.

The next flush of apples is almost ready on our tree, I'm watching carefully and taking note of where the flocks of birds are so I can beat them to the apples.

A friend gave me a huge bag of rhubarb, so it was all stewed. I had an epiphany when my hand was sore from chopping - try the slicer on the food processor - the whole lot was done in under a minute! Wish I'd thought of it years ago.

Downtime this week I sorted my box of yarn. I won't need to by cotton or wool for a while. Some things may be striped or odd colours, but I'm determined to use it all up before buying anything new.

Over the last two weeks my hands have been busy in downtime trimming face washers, crocheting scrunchies in school colours, trimming a hanging  kitchen towel and a tea towel and knitting some dish cloths, all made using what I had.

My chore for today is to cover the garden with shade, I use old op shop sheets, make up big salads and boil lots of eggs.  make up a bottle of iced coffee syrup and a couple of cordial and fill the ice cube trays; the heat is forecast to hit tomorrow and last until Tuesday. 40C in the city is about 45C here so cold food only.

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