Bean there!

This morning we decided to head out early-ish to the markets and have breakfast while we were there. We decided to eat at Bean and Grain, (where we have previously only stopped in for coffee and pastry). Good choice. While we were waiting I did a sketch of one of the staff members. I was going to include another person, but they were just moving too fast for me to draw.

Behind the counter at Bean and Grain
Behind the counter at Bean and Grain

Breakfast was really good. I had French toast brioche, with berries, bacon and passionfruit butter. The passionfruit butter was particularly lovely, creamy and full of flavour. TB had sourdough toast with scrambled eggs and Persian fetta. Suffice to say it was such a good breakfast that we didn’t need to eat any lunch.

Breakfast - yum!
Breakfast – yum!

 

Seed saving?

It’s in our shed, perhaps our darkestĀ  gardening secret, a massive collection of pre-loved, left over, surplus to requirement seeds. Blame frugality or whatever but I have real trouble throwing out old seeds even if they are past their use-by date. That is until a few weeks ago. The revelation came when I was listening to one of Gayla Trail’s Whatcha Growing podcasts. Gayla was confessing she had also shared the same tendency, but with one clear explanation, she was able to change her dark habit and I am also a changed gardener.

Just short of a quarter of a bucket of out of date seed!!!
Just short of a quarter of a bucket of out of date seed!!!

What changed? A plant scientist pointed out to her that just because a seed could germinate didn’t mean it would make a healthy plant. Indeed old seed will most likely produce dodgy or low viability plants, a state which seems to be obvious to any pest or passing disease.

So we began a major clean out (see results above). Maybe I haven’t changed completely because we didn’t chuck the seeds in the bin. Instead we decided to use them as a green manure in the area where our chooks have been undertaking soil renovation.

After the chickens, this part of the garden needs re-seeding.
After the chickens, this part of the garden needs re-seeding.

Believe me this part of the yard was completely covered in grass before we let the chooks in. This should also be a warning to anyone who thinks chickens look good roaming around the garden unsupervised – have you seen what strong digging claws they have? The chooks are now off rota-tilling another section of garden, where the polyhouse normally lives.

Having spread the seed on the ground and raked it in, we just waited for the local Crested pigeons to come along and have a feed. Oh, what a surprise! the Crested Pigeons have arrived.

Half an hour after seeding and the pigeons have arrived.
Half an hour after seeding and the pigeons have arrived.

Despite regular visits the pigeons haven’t eaten all the seed yet. Indeed with several bouts of rain in the past weeks what’s left of the seed is actually sprouting.

And what was the oldest seed we had kept? Several packets of herb seeds from 1997 – now that’s bad.

Truffle chooks and box birds

Those chickens! You give them an inch and then ….. We’ve let the chickens out into another part of the garden while we renovate the area they’ve been in over winter. It took them a few days to settle in and then they really start exploring.

Letty and Arty checking out the long grass in the polyhouse.
Letty and Arty checking out the long grass in the polyhouse.

Unfortunately for us they have found several types of mischief to get into. The first I knew was the sound of pecking – it really shouldn’t sound that loud – weren’t they just eating the remains of the warrigal greens? No. They were eating the polystyrene box that the plants were growing in.

Yum, tasty box!
Yum, tasty box!

A quick leap into the yard to remove that box and another they had also been eating. So much for organic chickens!

We had a bit of a hunt around and couldn’t see any other obvious problems. That was fine, until this morning when I went out to look for eggs only to see Dotty and Arty buried in the pot containing TB’s truffle oak! Boy had they been digging. Perhaps they found a truffle, we will never know, so now it’s a Fort Knox oak tree.

Dotty returns to the scene of the crime.
Dotty returns to the scene of the crime.

Only time will tell what they will get up to next.

Tea time fun

Friend M has hit upon a great idea for holiday souvenirs, check out the local supermarket! After a recent visit to Fiji she returned with these two gems, just perfect for our afternoon tea.

Tea time fun.
Tea time fun.

Yes, we enjoyed our Royal Tea and Mobile Phone biscuits – the biscuits are plain, with the phone keypad on one side and yummy chocolate on the back. As the biscuits are the size of a reasonably large phone, it’s a case of only one call at a time.