orchard and veggie patch

I can hardly believe it but after many years in the dreaming, I can now say we have an orchard and a great big veggie patch! It’s so exciting! As I type this there’s a new water tank being installed specifically for the veggies. The shed tank is also receiving some plumbing love with new tap connections running off it into the orchard. Although water is plentiful right now, I know summer will change that and we’ll be using it like we’re sprinkling gold dust.

In the orchard we’ve planted a yummy selection of trees, some are old heritage varieties and some newer varieties. If I’ve semi-planned it half way right, we should have fruit over an extended period of time although I still think there will be a glut at times when lots of varieties peak their harvest periods together. There are apples, peaches, apricots, cherries, figs, pears, nectarines, quinces, plums, a crabapple, an almond tree and a mulberry tree, plus we’ve planted a few lemons, limes and a blood orange. We planted just over 50 trees! Along one boundary of the veggie patch we’ve planted raspberries and in the patch we already have potatoes, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, carrots, parsnips, beetroot, beans and peonies planted! ( Now I know peonies aren’t veggies but we brought a heap of them with us from our old house and if we left them in their ‘temporary’ planter boxes any longer we might have lost them.) I also have a heap of peas, snow peas and sugarsnap peas all starting to sprout in my little make shift seedling nursery on the back deck. And today I’m hoping to add tomato seeds to the mix.

We garden biodynamically and have applied preparations to the property, it was quite the surreal moment as it was often talked about when dreaming out loud. Everything has been planted in accordance with the moon calendar and I’ve done a few extra things that I’ve read about in Biodynamic books but are possibly just good gardening tips. For instance I’ve heard about soaking pea seeds prior to planting them, as it helps soften the outer skin which can result in better germination rates. The only difference I did was soak my pea seeds in Chamomile tea, as chamomile is a significant herb used in Biodynamic gardening. Actually it was Chamomile and honey tea as that’s all I could find at the time!

Our property was certified Biodynamic when we purchased it and we can see how much this has benefited the land, the soil is incredibly healthy. Even the earthmoving guy that dug our tree holes and cut in our garden beds, couldn’t believe how many worms there were… and he digs soil for a living! It’s quite a heavy clay type soil but it’s chocoblock with worms and there’s a lovely layer of rich top soil that’s been chemical free for 8 years, whilst being fertilized naturally by the sheep and cattle that are lucky enough eat all the spray free pasture. The proof’s in the pudding as they say, and so far whatever we’ve planted is looking great… fingers crossed this continues! Although I did hear a funny saying from a neighbour the other day, ‘They say you could plant a toothpick a grow a forest around here!‘ … maybe the odds are in our favour anyway hey?

To say it’s been a very active time getting our orchard and veggie patch in, is putting it rather mildly. I’ve been keeping an eye on my step counter in my phone, and when you see the graph for this year it’s very easy to spot exactly when I finished work in the office. I love it! It’s wonderful to be doing something physically active during the day after years and years of sitting at a desk. My body is thanking me for it, albeit in a whiny ouchy voice at times! Meanwhile the voice in head keeps telling me to pinch myself. ‘You’re here on the farm of your dreams. And now you have an orchard, something you’ve dreamed of for years. And a massive veggie patch, with more room than you could possibly need. Better pinch again to make sure you’re not dreaming girl’…. *pinch*

Wishing you all the fruit and veg and sprouting seeds of your dreams x

PS. Here’s the before and after photos in case you want to see exactly what we did and just how paddocky this patch of earth was before we turned into an orchard and veggie patch!

Before – Looking East towards Veggie Patch

After – Looking East towards Veggie Patch



Before – Looking West towards house

After – Looking West towards house



Before – Looking North over Veggie Patch

After – Looking North over Veggie Patch



Before – Looking West over Orchard

After – Looking West over Orchard



Before – Looking South over Orchard

After – Looking South over Orchard

Phew that’s a lot of photos…you’re pretty awesome if you scrolled all the way down here – thanks!

spring garden harvest

It’s spring and my roses are blooming all over the place. I love it. The delicious perfume from some of these roses is intoxicating. These posies contain lots of David Austin variety roses, lavender and my very own home grown Peonies!

The rhubarb plant is going nuts after some regular worm wee/tea and we shall indulge in it’s delicious sweet tart explosion tonight. Fresh, organic and full of flavour, I feel it needs little else but a light stew with sugar. I know some people can’t stand the stuff but for me.. it’s Mmm Mmmm.

Well this is not quite harvest ready, but it’s our future harvest. Is there anything cuter than wee tiny baby apples? Well – maybe… I guess lots of things really but these little beauties are gorgeous in my eyes.They are my baby Golden Delicious apples.

And these little cutiepies are baby Granny Smith apples. I didn’t realise until this very moment writing this post, that the posies above were for a dear friend, and that dear friend actually gifted me the Granny Smith apple tree as a housewarming present about 15 years ago. Oh how I do love a sweet little unintentional coincidence.

These are my very beautiful Peony buds. I’m lucky enough to have a couple of large garden beds of these divine flowers and a hubby that knows how to grow them well. Again – they like the worm wee/tea – but then I guess I haven’t met a plant that doesn’t. This bed is brimming with buds… and when they open… oh boy… oh boy… are they a sight to behold.

Back to the knitting and crochet… Would you believe that I only have one project on the go at the moment? I know – shame on me! I’m off to go rectify that right now. I think this time I’m going to knit something for me. And I think I’m going to follow a pattern… again! OMG what’s happening to me??? I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it but my yarn stash has got to the point that I’m almost paralyzed by choice. The project wish list is so long I’m finding it hard to commit to just one, so I might have to just go and start two new projects to feel better.

Hope your day is lovely like a sweetly scented Peony & Rose posie.

Organic love for Cotton and Apples

Spearmint Cotton Blankie
100% organic cotton, knitted with crocheted edge
Organic Dove Cottage Granny Smith Apples – the fruitful season is over for my two apple trees. They’ll both receive a loving prune back, mulch & worm castings in thanks for their delicious crops… and you know what they say about pruning? Pruning is happiness!

Spearmint Cotton Blankie – knitted patchwork detail
This was a delight to knit, soft chunky organic cotton with a lovely subtle variegation moving from creams through to soft minty blue/green tones. Delicious – just like those granny smiths!