A Breath of Fresh Air

Just imagine this. Kim with there with her still healing foot, and me with my sore back, out in the garden today doing a few simple tasks.

We fertilised all the fruit trees in the front orchard with a handful of blood and bone and watered it in well. Then we raked back some mulch in the two front garden beds that we grew vegetables in last summer and planted some lucerne seeds (couple of hundred in each bed), so that we can cut it back every so often for chook food, green mulch, greens for the compost. The great thing about lucerne is that it is a perennial, that goes dormant in winter, and has very deep roots that bring those well hidden nutrient to the surface for other plants, in this case fruit trees.

Then Kim thought it would be good to remove a limb from that was overhanging our roof at the front. So, I had to go and fetch the pruning saw, clippers and wheelbarrow. She managed to carry the ladder to the tree and started sawing. I thought that I could see a disaster looming, so climbed the ladder to ensure the the cut she made diverted the falling limb to a part of the garden that would cause the lease amount of damage. Well, as luck would have it, no problems and it came down gracefully. With Kim doing all the heavy lifting, we cut it into wheelbarrow sized chunks and added the big limb to the chickens playground. I am sure they will be pleased. It was quite a sight to watch her manoeuvre the wheelbarrow through the gates, with me holding back the branches so we could fit through the gates. What a pair of intrepid gardeners we were. We tidied that lot up and put the tools away.

Kim watered the veggie patch for me, and I got on my hands and knees and collected some parsley and basil seed to plant in a few weeks time. Whilst I was down there, I also did a spot of weeding, and pulling out spent lettuce plants and gave them to the chooks. The chooks loved all the fresh greens and had a good old cackle and scratch around.

Kim pruned the standard yellow rose bush that didn’t loose its leaves this year, and trimmed up a few other plants like the ivy around the garden lamppost. I planted some more lettuce seedlings that I had growing into the pots I pulled the old spent lettuce out of and tried my hand at propagating some mint buy cutting off a few healthy sprigs and plonked them in a pot to see it they would take root. If it works I will do the same for the sage. Speaking of sage, we trimmed back all the old growth and I tied it into a big bunch with some jute and hung it on the front door. The whole house just smelt of the wonderful herb.

After all that work, it was our regular Sunday afternoon cheese and wine time after a big afternoon in the garden. So I got out the very first Stilton that I made 9 weeks ago, cleaned it up a little to get rid of some red mould that decided to grow on it (which I am told by my cheese books is harmless), and a Caerphilly that was ready. So an eight of each on a cheese board. Then I went looking for the cheese crackers. I prefer a water cracker with each of my cheeses, very plain that don’t take anything away from the flavour of the cheese. I searched high and low, and guess what? No crackers Gromit!!!!!!!! So a poor substitute of salted crackers had to suffice. I must say, and Kim will back me up 100% that the Stilton was to die for. Lots of blue mould on the outside and just a little in the middle. I will have to poke more holes in it next time all over to get that air in. The Caerphilly was great as usual and this one had ripened for 21 days and had a crumbly texture and about a 5mm rind that was delicious.
The Stilton is on the right and the Caerphilly on the left. The Cheddar that you can see in the right middle corner is for Ben who has very simple cheese tastes. His palate is yet to develop, but what do you expect for a 9 year old.
To sum it all up, Kim and I were both tired out, and as we started to sip our first glass of red and sample our cheeses, it began to shower. Just enough so that you could smell the freshness of the rain. It made our great day complete.
We all felt wonderful and didn’t exert ourselves at all. Just simple little maintenance tasks and nothing strenuous. The last thing either of us want to do is to flare up our injuries, especially my back. After 3 weeks in bed and on painkillers for most of the time, it was good to feel mostly pain free and in the fresh air doing a bit of honest work to keep us fed. I really think that Kim’s little quote for the day written on the blackboard sums it all up.
Gardening makes you happy! (but so does home made cheese and wine).


  1. says

    I’ve just had a weekend with a heavy cold, through which I felt like I was being ripped in half every time I coughed or sneezed.

    But I still managed to spend a little time in the garden and got quite a lot done.

    I fertilized my roses and citrus, sowed a few veggie seeds into punnets and planted out a few seedlings.

    It was encouraging to get out there and see some of the first signs of the end of winter.
    And maybe that time gardening has helped my recovery – the worst of the cold lasted only a couple of days.


  2. Margo says

    Good advice re the cheese Gav thanks – will give that a go. And yes the bomb is like the schnitz…it’s a good thing :)

  3. says

    Thanks Mum, love to both you and Geoff

    @ Aussiemade. The smell of the stilton when I unwrapped it from the foil was unbelieveable. The blue/green mould marbling was all over, but I just didn’t get enough holes into it. It had about 3 to 4 nice veins throughout, but we only had a little piece. Did I mention the flavour (drool)

    @ Margo. Did the wax kind of puff up a little then leak? I had the same issue with a Pyrenees after 2.5 months and simply took the wax off. It is strong smelling but still has 1.5 months to go before ripe according to the book. Doesn’t smell off, so I am going to leave it to form a rind and see how we go. Maybe you could have done the same, because cheddar forms a natural rind, and just wet with a brine solution every couple of days until it hardened a little, or just let it air dry and rewax. I have also done that before with a PepperJack and it tasted great when ripe. Also does the word ‘bomb’ in this case mean good. Haven’t heard the expression except for as in a disaster? And thanks for the cheesy complement. We love wine time on Sundays now. It wouldn’t seem complete without it!

    @ Deb, Yes mine is in about a 150 litre glazed pot in premium potting mix, planted 2 years ago. It is a grafted Tahitian lime that I bought at the local nursery, nothing special, not a dwarf. Like I said, just a handful of blood and bone every 3 months and keep it well watered and I have it mulched with a course coconut coir (not the type in the small block) to about 5cm thick. I figured Tahiti/Coconuts, you know, that sort of association thing. It has massively flowered now and still growing fruit. Kim and I will feed them over next weekend because we forgot the 4 citrus and 3 other stone fruit on the other side of the house! Hope it helps. Oh, BTW the pots are black, and receive the morning sun directly from about 9am onwards and then warmth from a brick wall in the afternoon from about 1pm till sunset in Winter, and about 3 hours more direct light in Summer. If the leaves go a little yellow, I simply do what my nana taught me and pee in the watering can, top with water and water each tree with about a 3 litres each. The yellow leaves soon go away. A bit gross, but, hey, nature works in wonderful ways!


  4. says

    Glad to hear that you’re getting out and about but don’t overdo it.

    Thanks for your comment today – I have lime envy. Mine is in a pot, do you have yours in the ground or not, it is several years old now and I’ve never had more than 3 or 4 limes a year from it. Maybe it needs repotting. Any advice gratefully received x Deb

  5. Margo says

    DH would love me to make stilton, but I can’t stand the stuff!! I have however ordered some goats milk for next week and I’m going to try making some goats milk parmesan. I bought some once and it was to die for.

    Tried some farmhouse cheddar this week after 6 weeks in “the cave” and I have to say it was a bit disappointing. It did ‘leak’ a bit through the wax so maybe I didn’t get it quite right. It was still edible though so I can live with it as a first attempt.

    Caerphilly is still the bomb as far as I’m concerned though. Who needs cheese books when they have your blog LOL

  6. says

    Oh Gavin and Kim, how I wish to have a taste of your cheeses…lol showed my DH and he is drooling reckons he can smell the stilton from here. He loves it. Fortunately we get it right at our local shops, all the way down here in Tassie.

    Congrats on your wonderful cheeses. Me I just make yogurt for the moment, and will make a soft cheese from some of that.

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