Tuesday, January 3, 2012

living large in a small town...

Cobargo is a really quirky small town..

(for years townsfolk have tried - in vain - to get local council to build disabled-access public toilets.
Peeved that yet another opportunity slid by, one local made an excellent 'statement piece'
on a vacant lot on the highway... hee hee hee....

I love how you can go up town for an ordinary morning's swim training - 
and come home with five extra kids 
(which is just what we did today - this is what community is all about)

on a hot hot day with lots and lots of kids 
 what do you do?
make lemonade/lemon cordial of course!

lemon cordial sams creek style

1 litre water
750g (or a bit less) sugar (raw, white or caster sugar all works)
juice 6-8 lemons (juiced this is about 500ml)
add water and sugar to a saucepan - heat and mix until dissolved  - continue to heat (stir continuously) but don't bring to boil. remove from heat and allow to cool at little, add lemon juice. bottle in sterilised jars.
lemon cordial may be added to still or sparkly water (mmmm FIZZY and refreshing) 

then we played with clay....

(I am totally rubbish with clay - but kids don't care!
they just have a blast squishing and moulding and letting loose with the creative juice!
I only wish I managed to get a piccie of Ivy's submarine with buttons - too cool!)

After a couple of days of hot aussie summer sun beating down
the garden is looking a bit wilted and sad

after dinner we head off to the 'pumpkin patch'

on the back of the ute (natch)

The pumpkin patch is the field about 500m from the house (cucurbita - eg pumpkins/squash are promiscuous little buggers and need an exclusion zone of a good 400m from other cucurbits to ensure no cross-fertilisation.... we are saving pure 'Waltham' butternut squash seeds for Bega Seed Savers so it's important to ensure nothing is going to cross with the heritage variety)  In our pumpkin patch by the bank of Sams Creek we also have mounds of watermelon ('sugar baby' and 'big red') and rockmelons ... they are all just coming up - bless 'em

each little mound is hand watered - by carrying water from the creek

up and down and up and down the hill we go with bucket and watering can in hand

of course one must skip flat stones across the little pools of sams creek  
every time we get to the bottom of the hill...

hard work isn't hard when you're having fun together...

then it's home to bed 
ready to face another wonderful summer's day



  1. Love the toilet! My curcubita are sadly lacking in the sex department... clearly there is no promiscuity in Coffs Harbour. They have to be hand-pollinated, each and every one: cucumbers, gherkins, watermelons, pumpkins and squash. It's so dire, in fact, that in spite of one pumpkin plant that's now 10 metres across there have only been a handful of female flowers so far - and 1 successful pumpkin! Yours look much more productive. Have fun! Sara x

  2. I love the toilet too! What's going on with curcubits? I planted pumpkin, zucchini and little yellow squash. Well here in Qld they didn't have any desire to reproduce either - after no pumpkins and two zucchini I pulled the plants out and the yellow squash admittedly produced reasonably after hand pollination, but it was so frustrating as some days there were only male flowers and other days only female flowers.

  3. welllllllll apparently (according to my garden guru friends) lack of fruit set in cucurbits may be due to:
    1. lack of bees and other pollinators

    2. mistiming of male and female flowers (it helps if you've got LOTS of plants for potential cross fertilisation - if they are flowering at different times you should have some male and females happening simultaneously in the patch - if you've only got a couple of plants happening, well there's less chance your females are going to met with male pollen...

    3. temperatures (too hot/too cold/too wet for too long causing rot of little fruits)

  4. Same same here - we are hand-pollinating the pumpkins despite masses of bees and no real temp swings. Still it makes for a fun vegie garden visit! Summer days like these are just the best...we may be too wet again soon enough.


thanks for all your lovely comments - your words are greatly appreciated xx