My garden grows

I haven’t had this much time at home to focus on my garden in a long time. And it has paid off. I’m sure the bees helped too.

Our apple tree is even producing misshapen apples.

I have two more days left of basement living to complete 14 days of social distancing. Quite a few grasshoppers were trying to join me there.

I sent them packing.

All tied up



I can spin cotton yarn on my charkha loom.

It’s a magical process as the thread draws out of the handful of cotton. That little oil can holds lanolin, sold in large cans as a lubricant. Now I am trying to gather enough for a weaving project. I ply (twist to yarns together) on my drop spindle.

Tablet weaving is progressing swimmingly. That’s where I use cards with 4 holes in them as my loom. I have been wearing my new belt for several weeks.

I found a zinc washer to work as a buckle and my pants haven’t fallen down yet. I tie my backstrap loom to the crank on the hoist clothes line. The spinning clothes line was invented in Australia and it’s a marvel. On windy days, it twirls with the wind and clothes dry in an hour!

I am working on a second strap – belt, camera strap – with the cards, in wool. Pretty.



I have also figured out how to inkle weave on a backstrap loom thanks to a fabulous website, published by an Australian woman who lives and weaves in Bolivia.

This ties me to the coffee table leg. I also turn the table on its side and use it as a warping board to measure and organize the warp threads.

Ravelry then put me in touch with another Australian woman who has lived and traveled in Asia to study weaving techniques. And, she’s teaching a course in October in the States, and I’m attending!

So much to do, so little time.

Tim corralled me for the road gang yesterday, gang of me and him, to clear the ditches and culverts on the lighthouse road. It brought back physical memories of the last time we did it. He’s been on his own there for a while so it’s time for me to chip in. I think I cleared 100 yards an hour. Hoo boy.

And my garden grows. Maybe, just maybe, we’re at the end of the tomatoes. I cooked up another batch of sauce a couple of days ago and had soup yesterday.

We are eating arugula, silverbeet, green beans, radishes, beets and carrots. Broccoli and cabbage is coming along but not quite ready to harvest. I seem to be winning my battle with the aphids and rats.


These are some of my hopefuls. I have planted cauliflower , broccoli, cabbage, spinach, carrots, green beans, peas, broad beans, beets, and lettuce. Oh yes, and…TOMATOES! I just hope the little seedlings take hold. Beans are doing well, just like Jack and the Beanstalk. The others are slower.



And here’s where I get to prepare our delicious meals. Nice view!


Oh the horror


There are no photos to depict the scare I had yesterday. I had spent a good part of the day indoors because rain squalls kept blowing through. Two boats are anchored in the coves.

On my way out to run, I brought compost to the garden and eyed the silverbeet for dinner. I turned and saw a fat rat sitting in the garden path. We had set rat bait and I thought, “Oh, they just die in their tracks”. I stamped my foot a few times, nothing. Walked gingerly by, nothing. But it looked bizarre. Eyes open, just sitting there.

So I decided to wait until morning to shovel him off to the rat cemetery and went running. I stopped back in the garden to pick my veggies and….he was gone!!! He played possum with me and was not demonstrating how effective my traps were! Aaah! As Tim likes to say, “There’s no such thing as paradise”. Or as the beloved Gilda Radner, of SNL of yore, used to say, “It’s always something”.

So I cut silverbeet and returned to the caretakers’ cottage.

I’ve included other views of the compound where we live.


This shows the back of the oil and paint sheds and a glimpse of the former superintendent’s quarters, which now houses the museum. The green structure to the left is the garden. It’s fenced, covered in chicken wired, including the top, and surrounded by a wind screen. You can be sure I’ll patch any obvious faults in it this week. Way off in the distance to the left is the lighthouse.

The superintendent lived in the lower compound and the assistants lived in houses at “the top of the world”, next to the lighthouse.