This morning I have been 'renovating' all the pots in my miniscule front yard. Potted plants need lots of love, as they don't have a huge reservoir of nutrients like plants in the soil do. I pulled out spent plants, pruned the others, added blood and bone, pelletised chicken manure and a little white gardeners' lime, then topped up the pots with a local compost made from green waste and left-over whey from a dairy. It is amazing stuff! Now I am prospecting around the garden for flower seedlings to brighten up what is a rather bare and barren space. So far I have transplanted calendula, viola and granny's bonnet seedlings, and a couple of strawberries. I also added some lettuce and basil seedlings. A friend gave me some thyme a few weeks ago, and I just remembered it is still sitting in its pot in the vegie garden (that's how I make sure it gets watered on a regular basis), so that can go in as well. I took some cuttings of dianthus plants from my mum's yard last year, and they are just about to flower. Love free plants! My last job out here will be watering all the seedlings in with seaweed concentrate, which encourages root growth and reduces transplant shock.
This week I harvested the garlic. Last year I planted the garlic in pots as I was moving house. Garlic doesn't ever seem to really thrive in pots for me, so the bulbs are rather small. But what is worse than a small garlic harvest? No garlic harvest. I am happy to have a couple of months' worth of garlic stashed in the kitchen..
The Girl made lemon butter - this is what's left!
I made yoghurt! It's taken me a year or so of talking about it, but finally I bit the bullet when I found 2l of milk marked down to half price at my local whole foods shop. Then I had to make the yoghurt that afternoon before the milk went off! I used this thermal cooker recipe, but instead of making a small jar of yoghurt, I filled up the whole thermal cooker pan with milk. I left it overnight and in the morning it was a bit sloppy still, so I drained it in a colander lined with cheesecloth. Now it is a beautifully firm, quite mild yoghurt. I am very proud of myself, and the dog is getting whey with all his meals, so he is happy too. Honestly, after all this procrastination, it was ridiculously easy. There is no need for a yoghurt maker, or a thermal cooker or anything special. You can find recipes for making yoghurt in a slow cooker, or even leave it to set in a thermos.
Two big pots of yoghurt
Even better with lemon butter..
Rosy made muffins with some black bananas. Which makes me think - muffins with yoghurt and lemon butter? Mmm..
This week I have made sure to accomplish multiple errands on each trip out in the car. That must be helping the reduce the total driving hours... mustn't it? At least it is in the forefront of my mind. Mindful driving. Is that better than mindless driving? Rosy got her L2 license. She is so proud! Now fifty hours of driving are in my future. I will save up all my errands for her to drive me. One day last week she drove me on a round trip accomplishing four errands, culminating in filling the back of the car with bags of compost from the garden centre. She was so thrilled.
However, the dreaded back-to-school ordeal is just a few weeks away, and Posy's first year of high school will begin. Recently I made Posy try on all of Rosy's old school uniform, and I am pleased to say that we will only need to buy new school shoes and new socks this year. And maybe a school bag. I have asked The Girl to ask around her school friends to see if there is an old school bag languishing in the back of a cupboard somewhere that we could buy (Posy needs a 'proper' school-branded school bag). The socks, of course, can only be bought from the school uniform shop, although some very enterprising girls from The Boy's year did buy white socks and draw a blue line around the top themselves..
This week we have eaten lemons, garlic, beetroot, strawberries, mint, rosemary, sage, thyme, peas, lettuce, rocket, spinach, warrigul greens, rhubarb and our very first potatoes from our garden:)
I planted lettuce, basil and zucchini seeds, and harvested last year's beetroot seeds.
First beetroot of the season. I also cooked up the leaves with garlic and butter.
Tell me about your green and thrifty week..