Making Friends Over the Back Fence – The Iso-Posts #2

Firstly, thanks for the public and private messages of support – it’s nice to be back writing again and rewarding to know that I’m not publishing into a vacuum! Secondly, I think I’m going to try and make this a daily writing practice for the next wee while to keep my skills up and to share bits and pieces such as movie reviews, gardening bits and pieces and any sage feline advice Neko might purr in my ear.

As I said yesterday, the weather here’s been really very mild for autumn and we had quite a lovely rain to top up water tanks and deep water gardens. I had to save some of the baby peas from drowning yesterday evening but still, the rain was welcome. The photo below is from my balcony, where I’ve had Egyptian Walking Onions and various salad greens over summer. Now I’m starting to strip the boxes for quick brassica crops plus spinach and corn salad for winter eating. The seed cubes are powering thankfully, full of endives, spinach, beets, red orach and more silverbeet. These will be the last greens I’ll raise outside until late winter/early spring.

In the greenhouse (apart from talking nicely to the still unripe chilies) I’ve been forcing on brassica seedlings that I hope to plant out in the next few days. The photo below shows the last dozen cabbages, a late season English Savoy. It’s a little late to be planting these but I’ve been waiting for them to show roots at the bottom of the tubes before putting them out. I plan to cover them with soda bottles (cut in half and with air vents) to make a mini greenhouse and force some more growth for at least a couple of weeks.

vegetable seed raising

English Savoy cabbage seedlings (note the basil still powering on!)

This morning, while I was inspecting the bed I want to plant these cabbages in, I heard a window open across the back fence. Despite having such a big and diverse urban farm (it’s about the size of a standard house block), I live surrounded by units, mostly occupied by students from the University of Tasmania, which is five minutes walk from my front door. I waved and shouted hello to one of the ground floor tenants, a fellow I’d seen a couple of times before. We chatted about the pandemic and how it was (and wasn’t) affecting us and we realised we were both on daily medication and had good supplies of our prescription meds. Immediately, we each offered to help one another out if necessary. I didn’t even think to ask his name but he knows I come down to feed our animals twice a day rain, hail or shine and he promised to ask if he needed anything and offered the same to my household. He told me he’s got the internet and his study but he has no view except across our yard and he enjoys hearing the chickens (who are being very lazy and not laying much at the moment). I’ll be picking extra fresh salad tomorrow and putting it over the fence for him 🙂

Stay safe, stay home and be kind everyone – we’re all in this together. I’ll see you tomorrow ❤

And Then There’s This – Day 9 NaBloPoMo 2015

Further to yesterday’s post about the advertisement that labelled people who grow their own food as freaks, thank you so much for all your private (and universally positive) responses on social media. It means a tremendous amount to know that people are actually reading what I’m writing – as anyone who’s got a blog will know! I think where and how we source our food is an increasingly important issue – and obviously you folks do too.

I went to Oak Tasmania to play music today and as always, got there early to have lunch with my friends. And this is what I took…….


Freak Feast

In my lunchbox were two chopped hard boiled eggs, some torn English spinach and wild rocket, shredded baby kale, home grown alfalfa sprouts and a few fresh strawberries, all picked this morning. The only thing I didn’t grow was a half an avocado I cubed and tossed through it. A few drops of sesame oil and a sprinkle of rice wine vinegar made a lunch fit for any gardening freak 😉

And I have to share this with you all. I have the best neighbours ever! Yesterday Karen asked if I had a large square cake tin she could borrow for her daughter Georgia, who at 11 is getting very interested in baking. I found my old big tin at the back of the cupboard and apologised for it being so dusty – I don’t bake much now my son’s living independently.

Last night Karen knocked on the door to return the pan (cleaner than when I gave it to her!) and a plate with two huge slabs of fruit cake on it. Apparently, Georgia’s was given a recipe for fruit cake made with ginger ale and it’s a total winner, full of fruit, moist and not too sweet. I’ll have to see if she’s willing to share the recipe……. 😀

Georgia's Fruit Cake

Georgia’s Fruit Cake