Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Plastic Free July Day 29

54. pork roast wrapper
55. tetrapak plastic neck/pouring spout
56. plastic lid

Plastic Free July

I knew that buying meat would be my downfall, and winter hasn’t helped.

Short of cracking open a coconut myself, I really don’t know how to get coconut water without plastic. I have seen it come in a glass bottle with a metal lid (and plastic liner/seal). I use coconut water to make coconut water kefir, a fermented drink.


Harvest Monday, June 2017

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related.

I gave in, and finally pulled out my hairy winter melon cross vines. The leaves had started to die back as winter and frosts had hit. Final lot of hairy winter melons:

Hairy winter melon

3 from one vine (the main producer); the fourth from a vine on its own. 346g, 700g, 664g, 900g. That’s a total 10.64kg from some random seeds that just popped up in the garden bed.



Its started to rain – quite a lot. My second hand of bananas started to form in about April 2017. One of the bananas had started to split – probably because of the rain. The upturned ends had also started to rot. So I harvested it, with the hopes that being indoors and warm, my bananas would start ripening to yellow without deteriorating further. 1675g the hand. Perhaps I need a ripe banana to put with them, give off some ethylene gas and help with ripening them to yellow.


The second lot of onion seeds took, so some of these I have planted. What is interesting is a little stalk grows up, and the onion seed (slip) is on the top.

I have planted out those seedlings I showed in the last garden update post – kohlrabi, snow peas, dwarf peas. I have also planted out some garlic – elephant, and some other purple type that I picked up from the organic food store.

I also ripped out the brussels sprout “tree” – which was infected with many aphids, and possibly white cabbage moth – lots of little white moths the size of the aphids, very hard to squash. There were a few sprouts which had rootlets on them, so I replanted them. I’m trying an alternate method of control – land cress seeds. Apparently if the white cabbage moth is around, it lays its eggs in the land cress, and the larvae eat it (in preference to the brassicas). This kills them.


Guavas 2017

Guava season has started. I haven’t really eaten that many this year, and I haven’t had much time to process them. I’ve been swapping them mainly, more on that next post.



Looking good for a patch entirely in the shade! I’ve harvested from this once. Not quite micro greens, perhaps mini greens. I’ve actually been harvesting dandelion leaves, sweet potato leaves, malabar spinach leaves, parsley and mustard greens for my local greens boost.

Horta, June 2017

Lentil As Anything, Newtown

I was in Newtown around breakfast time one morning, and as the queue for Sadhana Kitchen was far too daunting, I retreated to Lentil As Anything. Have you heard of this concept? It’s been running in Melbourne for several years, staffed entirely by volunteers. You are asked to pay what you think the meal is worth, with the proviso that $5 barely covers the costs. Any extra money is returned for education and community programs.

I didn’t take a photo of the Soy Chai Tea, because it looked so uninspiring. It’s presented in a water glass, about half full. I think this chai is made in a big vat and then kept warm throughout the day.

Scrambled tofu:
Scrambled Tofu

Homemade baked beans, baked potato, cashew mozzarella.

I liked the baked beans. The scrambled tofu is not too tumeric heavy, just enough to give a bit of colour. Good old nutritional yeast gives the cashew ‘mozzarella’ its cheesy flavour.

Other choices of the day include pancakes with a chocolate orange sauce, Bircher museli, and a BLAT – vegan ‘bacon’, lettuce and tomato wrap.

I will probably return. I like the concept of paying what you feel like – one day when you’re feeling generous, you pay a bit more; the next day when you’re a bit skint, you pay less.

Lentil As Anything
Street: 391 King Street, Newtown, NSW 2042
Phone: +61-2-8283-5580

7 days: 1200-2100.
Weekend brunch: 1000-12noon.


Cherries, 2015

I have made the mistake of counting my cherries before they hatched.

Cherries 2015

I didn’t bother with the ice this year; we had some frosts right at the start of May. It seems to have worked – I counted 28 cherries before they split from all this rain, and the ants got in and started nibbling.

I got one cherry from the low chill double graft minnie royal/royal lee that I got in late winter.

And on the 67th day….

… they swarmed. I must’ve done something right. My bees swarmed 67 days after I collected them as a swarm. Look who’s counting?

The weather in Sydney has turned tropical: every day is hot and humid. Then an afternoon storm rolls through. This then contributes to the humidity of the next day. I feel like I’m living in the tropics.

Bearding bees

The bees have been ‘bearding’ madly every day for the past three weeks*. They filled two warre boxes full of comb and brood (baby bees) in two weeks, so I nadired (added an extra bee box) with one box , to make a three box hive, but their mind was made up. Apparently, they decide about a month before they swarm that they’re gonna do it.

A few days later I had this sms conversation whilst away from home:

“The bzz r looking 4a place 2swarm like uder the house”
“Wtf??? Do I need to get another box?
“we’l c whr they go”

I put a call out for an emergency hive box, and managed to collect it on my way home. I set it up as a bait hive to try and lure the hive, but the girls had already made their mind up.

They swarmed the next day whilst I was at work.

I’m not supposed to feel it personally, but I feel abandoned.

I have helped the bees achieve their purpose, which is reproduce the bee colony.

But the statistic that 80% of swarms don’t make it doesn’t make me feel better. The fact that the monsoonal type weather is still ongoing has me a bit concerned, because Queenie needs to take a mating flight, and she might not make it back before the storm hits.

Fingers Crossed.

* established beekeepers will know that this is a swarm warning sign. I just thought it was bloody hot!

Buy Nothing New Month Day 29 – what the young folks are wearing today

More detail on the belt:

BNNM2012 Day29

Isn’t it pretty?

Shirt – thai tailor.
Skirt – Lush, Melbourne.

Since that was pretty much the same as what I wore yesterday, let’s show you the earrings I picked up at the local second hand store. All were $2.50 each. You can see why I was pissed that similar styles were at the $50 mark at the fifties fair!


I showed them to my mum so she could choose from them, but she said they were too *modern* for her.

Miss Chu’s, Darlinghurst

The delivery vehicles for Mother Chu’s state in a mock Asian accent: “You Ling, we bling”.

misschu courier

I find this a bit offensive considering that the guy behind the counter is Caucasian. I do like the delivery bicycles though.

There is a range of rice paper rolls to choose from, but having limited stomach room I decide to go for the duck and banana flower, which is $9 for two, a $1.50 surcharge on the other rolls such as pork and green mango. The guy reaches into the fridge and pulls out a ready-to-go pack.

misschu duck

Banana flower is usually a deep purple colour. I cannot see any purple in the roll. It has an interesting shredded ‘fluff’ in one portion, I think it may be pork floss. The duck meat itself is rich and satisfying, however I find the roll itself quite plain in taste and texture.

Usually I gobble these things down without any sauce, but today I find that I need to use the entire bottle of sweet/sour dipping sauce.

I’ll be back to try the duck pancakes and the rolls with green mango. If I can find a uniform of the nearby school SCEGG’s to wear, I’ll even get 5% discount off my bill!


Miss Chu’s
150 Bourke Street
Sydney NSW 2010
(Near William Street)
1100-2130, 7 days