Wow, I really wasn’t prepared for how quickly spring would set in this year. I mean, usually it’s a more gradual transition – with every day getting slightly warmer, and in turn providing a bit more encouragement to spend time outside getting things ready in plenty of time, and normally I’m perfectly able to keep on top of things – but not this year!
It would seem that no sooner had I turned over the page of August on our wall Calendar, we skipped a month went straight from Winter (which has been extremely mild by Canberra standards) to mid-Spring!
Needless to say, I’ve been playing catchup these past few days. Funnily enough, the garden seems to realise that I’m running behind and has gone about picking up the slack itself – self seeding lettuces, sage plants, zucchinis, tomatoes – and so on.
So here’s a quick look at some of the exciting changes in the past few days, with new things happening everyday. Despite feeling a little stiff from all the crouching, I can’t wait to get out there again once the sun is up!
Green manure crop
If someone told me they had a day in Canberra and asked me what I’d suggest for an activity, I’d highly recommend strapping on some walking shoes and heading out on the 4.7km (3 mile) bridge-to-bridge circuit of Lake Burley Griffin.
Mel and I would walk the circuit regularly, typically once a week on a Sunday, sometimes stopping for a coffee/tea along the way, but since the bub has arrived, putting some time aside to indulge in a few enjoyable pastimes has been just a bit difficult to achieve.
Since it was such a great day outside, and one of my sisters had popped over to visit, it was just the excuse we needed to all jump in the car and go for a walk.
Aside from the national institutions dotted around the foreshore, including the National Library, High Court, National Gallery and various memorials, the lake also offers the chance to spot a range of wildlife that also think it’s a nice place to call home, like this Australian Black Swan that put on a good show for the camera.
Being such a focal point in Canberra for both tourists and locals alike, you never know what you’ll come across down by the lake. This time we were witness to a flyover by a few RAAF F/A-18 Hornets, marking the 60th anniversary to the end of fighting in the Korean War.
We had such a good time chatting and enjoying the sunshine. It was just a fantastic day and I really am looking forward to the next time. We may not have a surf beach in this inland city, but there’s plenty here for those who want to get out and experience it.
Please feel free to share one of your favorite activities offered by the town or city where you live, I’d love to hear about it!
I know it’s completely the wrong weather for it, but I think we’re so desperate for a little taste of summer that I couldn’t hold myself back from making up some lemon gelato from the abundant supply of lemons and eggs from the backyard. I’ve never made up a custard based ice-cream before, but it actually turned out to be very simple.
Check out one of our six beautiful chooks – they’ve all recently gone through a moulting session and have now grown back a stunning plumage. We suffered an egg drought for a little while as a result, and I was almost forced to buy eggs for the first time in years, but thankfully they’re all back to business now.
A custard was made by gently heating egg yolks, sugar, low fat milk, and a bit of lemon rind. Once thick enough, it was strained through a fine mesh sieve, the juice of 5 lemon added, and finally into the ice-cream maker for churning.Despite it being on the brink of snow outside, we enjoyed it immensely, It really has a lovely taste about it – a bit like a frozen lemon tart. It also helped us to recall fond memories of our daily gelato ritual during our European honeymoon.
Are you getting desperate for some warmer weather too?
It was a cold day today, but nothing a little garden work didn’t fix. For something a bit different I switched the DSLR to video mode and created a short film about planting onions. Hope you enjoy, it was a pleasure to make it.
Yep seriously, that’s what its called! It’s the name given to a crop which you grow, and then deliberately turn into the soil before you harvest anything, to add nutrients back into the earth. Some crops, especially types like alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, and lentils are particularly clever at pulling nitrogen out of the air and depositing it into the soil, and its one of the best ways to take advantage of the cooler dormant growing season to get things prepared for spring.
I picked up this green manure seed mix from a Canberra Organic Growers Society session I attended a while back. It’s got all sorts of goodies in it. I also sprinkled a good couple of handfuls of wood ash from the fireplace to boost the potassium levels – a tip I caught on the last episode of Gardening Australia.
After turning in gently and covering with a rake, it just needed a good watering in and that’s all for now. Will keep you updated with how they grow… Here’s to a productive season ahead!