Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What we've done so far...

We had 22 adults, one child, one baby and two very spoiled dogs for Christmas lunch 2010. A prospect I  found daunting to say the least since I don't enjoy cooking AT ALL (something I hope will change with the arrival of my Christmas present combined with growing my own food). And the most catering I had ever done was a BBQ for 6.
The man said he would finish work on the 23rd so he would be around to help me get ready.  Great I thought.
 I need all the help I can get for tomorrow.  As it turns out this is what happened.

Turns out his idea of helping was spending the day in the garden starting the project I had been nagging him for for the last 12 months! I could hardly complain, I was FINALLY getting my vegie garden and didn't see  my 3 year old all day.
I must say I was slightly alarmed when I went to check on the progress and found my 3 year old sanding, with an orbital sander. An orbital sander that was plugged in!! Thats right folks my 3 year old was using a power tool unaided. Am I the only one who is horrified?
But I have to say the look on his face was priceless. I have NEVER seen him happier and that's saying something for a child who is happy 90% of the time. Needless to say I went straight back inside before I tried to take over the situation, something I am prone to doing where my boy is concerned and I don't particularly like what I am seeing. Oh well, at least he wasn't using the drop saw.

n.b. The above photos are from early January as I was too busy getting ready for Christmas day to take photos on the 24th. 

So since the 24th we have dug out the grass laid out cardboard and some grass clipping and leaves. Hopefully with the help of a neighbour who has a small digger we will collect some mulch that has been lying in the park oppisite our house for months now  (I saw a chipper truck dump it there one day so I know it doesn't belong to any of our neighbours). Then some Lucerne straw, not sure if 2 bales will be enough, but at $25 a bale I hope so. We also ordered a big pile (thats the official amount) of mushroom compost. So hopefully we have enough to fill both plots.
Just after Christmas I also brought a worm cafe and a Tumbleweed compost bin but it will be awhile before we can use those goodies. 

$800 worth of timber (The man wanted to use treated pine but I refused so we got hardwood of some sort).
$400 worth of composting stuff.
$50 worth of straw

$150 worth of mushroom compost
$50 for a membership to The Diggers Club, going there this week
$???? for seeds and/or seedlings

So its not shaping up to be the budget version of a vegetable patch. I just hope it can pay for itself over time.
I do spend a lot of cash on fruit and vegies. I try to buy organic when possible and my 3 year old seems to eat more than me or my husband. But after all these expenses I'm feeling the pressure to grow some food. Money matters aside I think it will be a great activity for myself and my boy who both love to be outside.

The reason we went for raised beds is that our soil here in beautiful Shoreham, less than 1km from the beach is the hardest clay soil I have ever seen. When it rains our backyard becomes a large puddle for quite a long time. We also have a very healthy wild rabbit population. At the moment they seem to sustain themselves on plants from our front garden.

 Anyway, I now have 2 plots, one is 1.3m x 5m, the other 1.3m x 3m.
Hmmmmm, what to plant.............

I don't even know what you CAN plant in Summer! Any suggestions? 

p.s. If you know any keen gardeners who read blogs send them my link, I need all the help I can get!!

Thanks for stopping by.

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