As some of you know, this year I've been trying one bed using the "Back to Eden", no-dig, wood chip method, and one using a blend of organic gathered material from around the property, mixed with conventional compost. I added the standard amounts of organic fertilizer and Epsom Salts to both beds to give the seeds a kickstart.
To be honest, although I had read about "Back to Eden" and seen many photos, a part of me believed that the leaf mould and gathered material would win…Continue
Added by Yvonne on June 6, 2013 at 3:14pm — No Comments
I received a message by way of my father, via the local grocery store, from the resident bee-keeper and honey man. The message was that news had reached him, via a neighbour, that there was a nest of wild honey bees in an old tree on my property - which of course I already knew. The bees have never bothered me and I have never bothered the bees, though I often wondered what the honey might taste like after they have fed abundantly on the flowering basil, rosemary and thyme that grow in my…Continue
Added by Yvonne on May 26, 2012 at 2:45pm — No Comments
Finally, a break in the huge system that has hung over our tiny island home these last two weeks (though I believe it is only a temporary respite).
A combination of dry weather, and the appearance of Handy Andy - something akin to the alignment of the planets, we finally managed to make some progress on what had become a fenced off quagmire, and new home for the local frog population, safe from dog-kind.
With the wood for the two raised beds duly installed,…Continue
Added by Yvonne on May 16, 2012 at 2:19pm — No Comments
I apologise in advance to all those experienced homesteaders and country folk out there for whom ticks are just an annoying inconvenience that happens every summer and who will think me an ex-city-dwelling, drama queen. For me, first-time dog owner and new tropical gardener, they were something of an unseen, and unknown, Nemesis lurking in the long grass.
Having finally gotten around to clearing a new patch of grass that had stood as tall as me (possibly taller), for many months, I…Continue
Contrary to expectation, and something of an anomoly, as we head into the rainy season, water shortages and water storage have been on my mind.
My experience thus far has been that when the island has high or sudden rainfall, the reservoir gets filled with silt and debris as water thunders down the…Continue
What a neat little gadget from a fellow Facebooker. He husband built this mobile soil sifting cart for her with a hinged top so she could tip the remaining stones straight into a wheelbarrow - I have some old timber about the place and some spare barrow wheels....I see another project coming Handy Andy's way!Continue
Stage I is completed. All the retaining walls are up with drainage included to allow water to continue on its natural pathway down the sloping landscape. The lattice fencing to keep dogs "out" and cucumbers, beans and more "up", is all in place and looking exactly as I had planned.
Stage II - the addition of the potting-shed-cum-gazebo was due to begin after the Easter break, but rumour has it that our reservoir is reaching critical levels and with the recent hot weather and…Continue
At the risk of repeating myself, it looks as through it will be a bumper mango crop this year. Was it the chillier than normal winter that had folk shivering and complaining, and pensioners island-wide wondering if this is what hypothermeria was like, with night-time temps reaching as low as 23c?? (they have no concept of what it's like to live in a cold climate where you wake in the morning with thick ice on the INSIDE of the bedroom window, or to have your toilet cistern frozen solid for…Continue
The project is coming along nicely and right on track (a rare achievement here!). Let's hope I haven't spoken too soon.
That said, there is one problem.....ME! The spot is looking so good that my imagination is running away with me and I'm considering adding a covered seating area, a work/potting bench and a rain water gathering system (something relatively small scale but enough to water the plants occasionally)....and so the thoughts grow and my head is filled with possibilities.…Continue
Added by Yvonne on March 28, 2012 at 9:38am — No Comments
Added by Yvonne on March 27, 2012 at 9:30pm — No Comments
Finally, the task has begun in earnest! What a busy day. The simplest of tasks can be complex here in my island home. No convenient middle man to call on the phone or place an on-line order to deliver sand, cement, aggregate and cinder blocks - that would be too easy.
So, a visit to the hot dusty quarry, where I stood a lone woman amongst the big burly truck drivers trying to place my meagre (compared to the truckers) order of aggregate, in the blazing sun with not a bit of shade to…Continue
A few people have very kindly offered other, cheaper solutions to my rather extravagant raised bed project. I truly welcome and am grateful for all suggestions.
Unfortuantely, living in an area prone to hurricanes and resultant flash floods, combined with the fact that I am on a very steep slope with a good deal of land above me, this feels like a "needs must" project.
Although costly, the thought of all the hard work of growing organic vegetables, only to have them washed…Continue
Today I read a quote that said "You don't have to go FAST, you just have to GO" which proved to be a very timely reminder (though for me, would be even better if the word "GO" was subbed with "START").
Everyone has their own motivation and ways of tackling issues; for me some things need to happen quickly otherwise I lose interest and momentum, while other projects can be maintained on a slow burn, providing I do at least one small thing a day towards the goal in…
A tip from Sharon over at Two Women and a Hoe http://ning.it/wQ0lyc:
Black spot, powdery mildew & rust are a terrible trio of fungi, which can attack and destroy your plants. Scientists have found that two uncoated aspirin tablets (325 milligrams each) dissolved in 1 quart of water & used as a foliar spray can thwart these diseases. ~Sharon Lovejoy
WHO KNEW! Will be trying this later on the sooty mould on my Key Lime
Wonders of wonders, they have both burst into life after a couple of cooler weeks and some good showers of rain, so the decision to leave them alone was the right one.
Another interesting post, this time from http://wakeup-world.com/2011/12/06/extensive-list-of-organic-pest-control-remedies/.
Below is just an extract - there are more suggested remedies and solutions to fight fungal infections on their page. …Continue
Today was the day, the mood was right and I finally got round to trying my hand at gluten-free fresh pasta. Finding a suitable recipe seemed to be the hardest part; an internet search threw up endless possibilities, all with a dazzling array of ingredients (given that I always thought that pasta was so very simple and made of just three ingredients - flour, eggs and water). However, no two recipes seem to be the same, which made it rather difficult to determine which sounded best. So, I…Continue
Added by Yvonne on February 12, 2012 at 3:44pm — No Comments
Fridges are a recent invention; for thousands of years, people lived without them, but had many low-tech ways of making food last. Today most fridges are filled with stuff that would last just as long and probably would taste a lot better if it was never lost in the back of the fridge. They are expensive air conditioned parking lots for what…Continue
Returning home after a brief holiday in the UK, I was struck by how dry my island home had become in the short time that I'd been away. Due to a lack of rain, many trees are already turning brown and dropping their leaves and the grass has turned a pale straw colour. My poor cocoa sapling has no leaves at all and one of the avocado trees finally seem to have given up. It's sad to see a three year old tree give up when it has done so well thus far. Perhaps it will send some new shoots - I'll…Continue
Added by Yvonne on February 7, 2012 at 6:00pm — No Comments
It is the ancient Pagan celebration of Imbolc (also known as the Christian festival of Candlemas).
If Imbolc be Fair & Bright, Winter will have another flight...
If Imbolc be Shower & Rain, Winter is gone and will not come again...…
Added by Yvonne on February 2, 2012 at 9:30am — No Comments