Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Winter is still in full swing but my fruit and nut trees arrived from Woodbridge fruit Trees. 10 hazel suckers, a Cox's Orange Pippin, a Pomme De Neige and a Beauty of Bath Apple tree have now found there homes in our backyard. The Hazels have been planted as a hedge along a boundary fence, probably a bit close together but I want to ensure a hedgey result ASAP as I am ever so impatient and I justify this to myself by saying it is for pollination. Two of the apples are going to be espalliered and the third is planted in a corner and I will weight the branches to form a weeping shape for easy harvesting. This is the plan now, I have absolutely no experience with trees but I do have high hopes. The Hazels look ready to burst into life. I have mulched them with aged grass clippings (to help with the acidity) and sugar cane mulch. The apple trees I have just mulched with the sugar cane. I have been buying mulch, gardening gloves etc with gift vouchers I earn from surveys which is a nice way to pay for my hobby!
The peas are ready to plant out really but the bed I am planning in is in with the sheep so I either need to modify my plan or build a wee fence as the sheep have been starting to ruminate which means they are nibbling on everything.
Baby Hazels
Oatlands windmill
We had a fact finding mission to Hobart as we are looking to expanding the business down there and the Southern Midlands are so dry with terrible tree die back. there are many gorgeous little towns and villages along the way and I amused myself taking random photos on the way.
I have been having alot of fun with reading and I have a long list of books on hold at the library but two I am reading at present are just wonderful.
 The Thrift Book by India Knight is an accessible book making being thrifty, ethical and treading lightly seem appealing to those of us who don't wish to wear all natural hemp, secret hippies waiting to break out whilst remaining well groomed, foodies who don't wish to waste their money and those who like India and myself just weren't very financially literate and living on credit cards regardless of income. It isn't a book for students living on the bones of their bum but I was charmed and intrigued by many of her suggestions and I will be buying my own copy. I have since read some reviews on Amazon and I think people are unreasonably harsh and missing the point of the book. It is a light book glamorising saving money and the planet for those who are not naturally inclined and might prefer to spend their credit cards on cupcakes and corsages but are finding their lives rather empty and difficult as a result. Her writing style is frank and conversational and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I am buried in Thrifty Gardening by Alys Fowler which is a gorgeous book similar in aesthetic to the Self Sufficientish Bible by Andy and Dave Hamilton, lovely pictures and great ideas for growing a garden for very little money using reclaimed and re purposed bits and bobs and how to make it a pleasing place to be....I will be buying this one too. I do love books about being canny and saving money..I have a bit of an addiction which is draining my pocket BUT I would swear and declare that I have saved the purchase price of each and every one by following the tips contained within. I also try to borrow from the library first and that way I know if I really can't live without the book rather than just being sucked in by the pretty pictures. If I am reticent to return it at the end of the fortnight (or month if I have renewed) I know I will be getting a good value and much loved book I will turn to time and time again.

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