The Magic of Springtime

The chill of Winter is leaving the landscape and the warmth of Spring is finally upon us. Thank goodness!!  Those -2°C mornings (down to -6°C one day…brrrrr!) are behind us for another year and we can look forward to longer days, more sunshine and a verdant, productive landscape.  Even the llamas are happy about the plentiful, fresh green growth…

llama landscape

Spring is my favourite time of the year, a reminder after the dry summer and cold winter that there are ideal growing conditions to be had in this part of the world, blue sky days, clement weather and a myriad of birds filling the farm with a joyful chorus as they do their birds and the bees stuff.  Nests are popping up all over the place, birds are courting each other, plumage colours are enhanced (even our male duck’s bill gets a bit more orange and he struts around proudly!) and it’s a great reminder of the joys of new life. Continue reading

What’s New at White Stone Farm

Wow – how quickly the year is disappearing!  No sooner did we enjoy the golden hues of autumn, then winter approached with bracing winds, rain and more rain, sub-zero temperatures and more rain.  Did I mention rain?  How sad the extra water tanks aren’t in yet!  But the ducks think it’s the best thing in the world – the whole property is one big swamp, just ripe for puddling around in!!

Ducks love rain!

So far, our record coldest morning was about -6°C.  The landscape was blanketed in white icicles, giving everything a lacy cover that crunched underfoot. Nearby towns had snow!  Even the weeds looked pretty in their icicle finery.

Aside from the cold, there have been some glorious days of winter sunshine, enabling Stace to get out and make some amazing changes to the White Stone Farm landscape. The rain and high clay content on the property does make anything to do with dirt or driving around the property a lot more challenging and it’s caused Stace huge frustration as he slips and slides around the block.  In future years we won’t be doing such grand manoeuvres in the slushy, slippery winter but this year we need to get lots done before spring.  Despite the trying conditions, Stace has done an amazing job at moving earth to create some innovative infrastructure and effective grow beds… Continue reading

In the Ground this month: Garlic!

Ah, Garlic planting season once again!  When we moved in during Jun-July last year, it was manic as we needed to hastily plant all of our organic garlic cloves in between doing renovations and trying to discover garden beds and planting space under grass and weeds.

With some wonderful help from our family, we rescued derelict garden beds and some designated planting areas and got lots of bulbs safely planted into various parts of the garden.  Garlic in the front garden bed amongst the roses, garlic along the side of the house, garlic in other random garden beds between ornamentals, garlic in rows along the fence.

The bulbs were planted carefully and tended, sending green shoots soon after planting and surviving the frosty winter.

Through spring they matured, growing taller and stronger until in summer they began to transfer all their energy to the bulb in the dark depths of the soil.  In December we decided them ready to harvest – later than usual but due to the slightly later planting season we wanted to give them enough time to nourish the bulb and produce great garlic!

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The Tale of the Tomatoes

When we first moved in, it was a demanding race of time and energy towards renovations to make the house more liveable and planting our first crops to be ready in time for summer.

With a heap of wonderful organic tomato seeds that we had collected and prepared, Stace busily went about planting them in pots in his greenhouse.  And before we knew it we had a plethora of seedlings demanding daily watering and attention.  With Stacy in Melbourne most days, I took this on alone.  A single parent to my many tomato babies.

My mornings were filled with the careful tending of over 40 tomato plants.  Hand watering them and all of our other thirsty plants was a time-consuming labour of love.

Suddenly our Solanaceae babies were getting cramped feet as they outgrew their pots. Stace prepared a spot for them all – an enclosed veggie patch that we discovered under long grass and weeds and our new kids got a secure, new home.

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