Saturday, February 4, 2012

Summer Berries... Surviving School start...Survival Stuff

Scarlet Runner Beans - Yum!
Its the Weekend... already!
And we have Waitangi Day on Monday, so a three day weekend is in store. Awesome!
This week was pretty stressful, and with School starting again for the new year, it was One Of  Those Weeks.
However, we got through it and everything turned out to be ok. Mr almost-12 is keen to be back, so far, so good. Miss 5 is almost ready to go, she has immunisations this week, will have treatment for her hands and be on track for starting mid to late Feb.
How quickly the school holidays went, and here we are again, worrying about books and school fees, new shoes and haircuts. Its all a-buzz. And I miss Blaise when he isnt home, but thats ok, hes where he should be.
So to remove some of the stress, we took off  to go blueberry picking today. It was so nice to go from the East, where we ride the roads and bump and graunch everywhere down potholes and over sandhills, to the South, where its relatively normal and everything looks like it should.
Prebbleton looked great, Hornby fantastic...
Down Shands Road and past Watties - a taste of The Old Times, as I used to work there way back when... and we found the berry place with no worries.
Have a look at where we went!
Blueberry Bliss - Website
So at $12 a kg, I had decided 2kgs was a good amount for two adults, three children to pick perhaps. Well, Arlais lasted until one kg had been picked. She did very well, but Im thinking she ate more than she picked. Gord (15y) had the best idea, he could reach where most couldnt, being well over six foot. The sun ripened berries at the tops of the highcrop plants were his domain. The biggest fattest juiciest berries too! He and Blaise later found a massive clump of big plump ones to fill up the last of our containers. I wasnt sure Blaise would like them, but I think he ate his fill too :)
I just wandered along picking as I went, stuffing a few in here and there, Im intrigued by the different Blueberry varieties and how different they taste. We got Atlanta and Jersey high crop varieties. Here at home, we have a Centurion bush and a Tif Blue - both of which are very small, but both fruiting at the moment, although they ripen in Feb/March. They are quite different to the high crops we saw today which were very tall. Gulp - I hope mine might grow that size one day :-)

Came home from our day out, after picking up my latest trademe purchases - a Feijoa, a white pearl rose banksia rose, and a dwarf ballerina *samba* crabapple... oh, and a Satsuma mandarin of unknown variety, could be Miho, or maybe Kawano apparently. Im very keen to have my own orchard one way or another, and at this rate, it will be sooner. Now to get them organized in their own little... or big pots, with all their nutritional requirements supplied so they can GROW... Grow strong and big as Arlais says to them.

Bought Clementine Mandarins at the supermarket this week - couldnt help myself, seeing Ive just recently brought one myself. They were so super sweet, and so easy to peel. The kids were impressed, and I cant wait for the tiny fruit on our tree to grow.

Have been packing another Survival box. I dont know why, it just feels right. Have not completed it yet, am in the process of getting more things for it,  on my list I have rope, some more batteries, lighters, matches, candles. I also need to put in some more first aid things, like crystacide ointment, bandages, pads and toilet paper... Lots of conversations about the additions, adding to the list, more talk... Maps must be added on The List also. Another addition will be a wind up radio, we need to be in touch with whats going on if things go awry. After writing all this, we have just had one of the first aftershocks Ive felt in a week or two. Im sure its not over, but what can we do?
Its not so much scary as annoyingly frustrating now.

Radish and Solar Yellow Carrots
The Garden is looking a bit bedraggled at the moment. Its not been the classic Summer days at all, and there has been a lot of that cold wet stuff (rain)  Patchy weather is what I would call it I think!
The pumpkins have taken off nicely. Quite a number of fruits growing nicely. One in particular I can see from under my tree, which makes me grin. I love pumpkins. As a friend said today, they grow by the hour and this one doesnt know it yet, but its going to be PIE!

The corn under the tree was mostly a disaster... Not all however, I have quite a number flowering at the moment in the other bed, full sun. I know it wasnt ideal conditions, position or care, as Im a first-timer with corn, but it seems to be forgiving :)
I am so looking forward to corn on the cob, as is one little 5 yr old girl who licks her lips when she talks about corn cobs with butter!

Echinacea & Bees
The other new garden has been *horse-poohed* and weve dug it over twice or three times now, breaking up the clods, its very nice soil and Im looking forward to planting some medicinal herbs in it.
Everything seems to be taking its time and growing nicely, so we cant complain.
I even have four tiny little olives on one of the trees (J5) growing down the driveway. They certainly cheer me up, what a kick to have your own olives growing!!

Well, thats me for now.
Not a lot happening except the mundane and necessary. Plodding along, and getting there.
Hope life is good in your world.
Happy Gardening

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