Green and Thrifty

Oh, my goodness, baby seedlings are the most cutest things ever, apart from baby animals and baby humans, okay, so baby things are cute all round. I can tell you that the tiny greenhouses worked, as these seeds are up and practically running around, while the control seeds only just popped out of the potting soil yesterday. Still, these mini greenhouses have limited usefulness, as the tiny seedlings are already pushing against the ceilings of their first homes. This week I planted tomato, capsicum and snowpea seeds. The snow peas I'll plant when they come up (I find if I direct plant them the ants and birds try to dig them up and eat them), and the tomatoes and capsicums I'll pot on until they are big, healthy plants and the ground has warmed up.

I have been building up my vegie garden beds this week. My vegie garden is on a slope, and every time I add fertiliser or compost or mulch to these beds it all ends up in a pile at the bottom. The plants on the bottom end are very happy, and the plants at the top are starved of nutrients and water. I have been collecting bags of rocks from Paul's place and hauling them home in the back of the car then barrowing them down to the bottom of the garden to build a drystone wall around the vegie patch to level it up.

There are a lot of weeds visible in my new garden bed - I put them there on purpose. I dug great big mats of chickweed out of the paths and threw them on the surface of the new bed where it will become a delicious green manure for the new garden. Here's to equality for all the the tomato plants this year as they start life on a level playing field..

This is Sticky the Stick Insect. For the last two winters he has turned up on Paul's verandah and lived on the plants there. Paul sometimes collects a buffet of different leaves for Sticky to sample. Every morning Paul gives Sticky a tiny high-five with his finger, and Sticky pats him back with his little arms. Here Sticky is waving to us all.

Why is Sticky featured in this Green and Thrifty post? Because, if like Paul, you can find joy in the insects visiting your verandah, you will not need to spend money and resources on other kinds of entertainment. And who can resist an animal who looks like a stick? Such talent. Who needs Netflix when you have stick insect?

Now, for Mending Club..

I had to reinstitute Mending Club in order to get my pyjamas patched, because apparently I need extrinsic motivation to get to the mending basket. So thank you all for letting me use you as a crutch to complete domestic tasks.

Unfortunately, when I got close enough to sew the patch on, I realised there is another area that needs patching. My bum seems to be wearing a hole in my PJs. It's all the sitting around and reading I do in my pyjamas while drinking tea, I expect. So, there will need to be another Mending Club next week for the next patch. 

Meanwhile, Madeleine sent me a photo of the extremely cute coat she made for her extremely cute dog. I love seeing what you are all up to, and I am so impressed, because I can mostly just hand sew in a straight line. 

Madeleine writes: Thought you would enjoy seeing Rosie’s new coat.  In the end I didn’t use the leftover fabric from the blinds.  I decided the foxy flannelette would be more cosy than linen and she now matches…ahem….the wee wipes!

The wool strap is the tie from a vest top and the button it attaches to is also from said vest top.  Lining is an old scrap of organic cotton blanketing.

That is such a cute and thrifty coat! Madeleine's blog is also very cute and thrifty.

I would love to hear about any mending projects you have been up to, or what has been green and thrifty at your place this week, including any critters in your house or garden that give you joy (my mum used to have a large huntsman spider she called Fred that she allowed to wander around the house..). Tell us all!


Treaders said…
Oh my, I don't think I've ever seen a stick insect. How great is that! Mind you, as long as he stays outside I'm fine with it, but if they come into the house, not so much. I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night the other night and got smacked in the face by a grasshopper about 5 inches long! Thank God I had my mouth shut (although not for long, I have to admit)!
Mary said…
I always enjoying finding stick insects around our yard (here we call them walking sticks). I didn't know they were so long-lived! To me they are like seahorses - so amazing-looking that it's hard to believe they're living creatures.
GretchenJoanna said…
Your own stick friend - how amazing is that???

And besides, the homiest things here: seedlings by the window, and mending. So encouraging. Thank you for your perseverance in these hugely human endeavors.
Jo said…
Anna, that is a startling way to wake up in the middle of the night, and that is a large grasshopper. Your last sentence made me laugh!

Mary, I have just looked them up and I think this genus only lives for around 18 months. Is it the same one that visited Paul last year? Or do stick insects just randomly turn up on Paul's verandah because he is a stick insect whisperer? This is a mystery indeed..

Gretchen Joanna, I sometimes get discouraged that the main things I do in life are cooking and gardening and tidying up and mending. Where is the glory in that? But you are so right. These are the quintessential human endeavours.
Deborah said…
We had a huntsman spider which lived behind a large painting. When we moved I put him in a shoebox and took him with us to our temporary house as the builder wanted to use the house he'd built for us a display house. So for a few weeks I had to catch mosquitoes and release them alive, into his shoebox. He went back behind his preferred painting when we moved and lived there, happily for a long time, making occasional appearances.
My snow pea has flowers so I'm looking forward to a good crop. My peas grow in a cage because I'm tired of feeding rats.

Anonymous said…
Jo, the difference in the growth of your seedlings is impressive. Mine should have been making a similarly impressive start in the new green house, but we haven't put it up yet. We got side-tracked building a new house and run for the chooks - there were about 75 pages of instructions mostly in pictures, not words, which was tricky! It's still not quite finished because it keeps raining!

Late Autumn is unfortunately the time when everything has to be done, usually urgently, to prepare for spring. Every year I say I will do better and be more organised, and every year I fail!

Speaking of failing, I've also failed to finish mending all of my wool socks. I had to mend a pair to wear to a student's recital today and arrived panting after running up the stairs because I was delayed by fixing my socks. My mending was side-tracked because another lovely student gave me a Sashiko pattern to try, and of course that looked like more fun than mending!

Anonymous said…
Most of my week has been spent pruning bushes, and trees. I hope to start some seeds soon to plant in the fall, with hopes of having a good harvest.
I mended my work pants for the "nth" time, and proceeded to fall and further ripped the knee patch. My ego was bruised more than the pants, but I think it might be time to give the pants a viking funeral.
If I decide it's time to let them go, then I will take any usable parts (zipper, pockets) for future mending projects. I would like to note, that I have never changed a zipper, however, that does not stop me from saving zippers from clothes that can no longer be used.
Have a wonderful week!
Jo said…
Deborah, that is such dedication to a furry friend! I am so impressed at your mosquito hunting skills as well! To those readers who have never seen a huntsman spider - look them up. They are hairy spiders as big as your hand which look like they are going to eat you, and scare you out of your wits when you wake up and they are on the wall next to you, staring at you with all their eight eyes, but unusually for an Australian animal, they are not venomous.. and often seem quite friendly with humans. Also, I discovered recently when cutting firewood, they have turquoise blue blood:(

Madeleine, it is always so hard to decide what to do first on the urban homestead! I am so happy that your chooks have a nice new house. And I love your mending priorities. It is important to present yourself nicely at recitals, with no holey socks:)

Patricia, zip insertion always looks terrifying, but come the zombie apocalypse you'll be glad you have a stash of them:) :)

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