Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Vermin & Basil Harvesting

No luck with the rat traps last night...why would a rat eat dog food off a perfectly loaded rat trap...when it can eat my fresh juicy almost ripe butter beans?
They wouldn't !!! If I had to choose I would pick the beans too....but Please......get out of my garden...I beg of you !!!!

 I haven't even eaten one yet....now that gets me peeved....

 A midnight snack for one rat
I have two of these beds of butter beans coming up, all flowering and new beans almost ready to pick...Here is a photo of one of the butter bean beds.

After trying rat traps...I have thought long and hard about introducing a poison into my garden...I don't like the idea, but I can't continue sharing my garden with the rats, they are so destructive. If it looks like rain, I will bring in the baited cans....I do not want this poison leaking into my soil...I just want the vermin to eat it. 

I salvaged a few empty cans, and have placed a bait in each....These baited cans are now in my garden...and all I can do is wait and hope they eat the bait, and not my beans.....

Have you ever had vermin in your garden?
What did you do to get rid of them?
Did it work?
I would love to hear all about it.


I have an abundance of Basil in the garden at the moment....and not wanting to let it go to waste...I harvested the largest plant today, leaving the smaller one to grow more....and pick from.

BELOW: I will let this plant keep growing to harvest from later. 

BELOW: The beauty of this Basil is that I didn't even plant it, it self seeded in the gravel. 
Wooo Hooo...free Basil. I love free plants.

Free Basil self-seeded in the gravel path.

Harvest your Basil

Gather together all the ingredients needed to make Basil

Carefully toast the Pine Nuts. 
Once they start to turn a lovely golden colour, remove from the heat and sprinkle nuts onto a cool plate to stop them toasting more.

I have done my research and this is the cheapest way I can buy Pine Nuts,
sorry but at this time I don't have the price, but I will fix that next time I go to Cole's.

The best way to peel garlic is to cut the hard core off the end, then place your knife blade flat on the garlic and press down on the blade with the palm of your hand. The skin will come away easily.

My Parmesan Cheese had seen better days. I grated all of it. 
The recipe called for 1/3 cup. So after measuring that out, I placed the rest in the freezer.
This way none of the cheese will go to waste. I can use the larger pieces of 
'rind' in a soup that needs a bit of thickening, and the grated Parmesan will be used as normal.

Now you have all the measured ingredients placed in the whizzer...
set it on pulse for a few times until roughly chopped. 
Then put the whizzer on the lowest setting, and while the motor is running, drizzle the olive oil into the whizzer.

Label the jar clearly, and pour the mix of pesto into the jar. Pour some more on top of the pesto to stop the basil from oxidising.
I have stored this in the fridge to be used on pasta and other dishes.


With the left over Basil, I have prepared this for the freezer. When Basil is not in the garden, I have Basil cubes in the freezer to use. Each cube holds 1 teaspoon of Basil,
once thawed it is like the day you chopped it.

Chop up an amount of Basil and mix with lemon juice to help hold the colour of the basil. I placed one teaspoon of chopped basil in each ice-cube. 
Pour water into each cube with a small jug. Using a label in one of the ice-cubes, pour water over that one too. This way if you are doing different herbs, its easy to keep track. 

Once frozen I will decant these cubes into a labelled press-seal bag.

I may not get back here for a few days, as I am attending a cheese course over the entire weekend..My mum paid for this course for me as a birthday present.....My birthday is on Wednesday.

 I look forward to getting back to my blog to tell you all about my cheese weekend. Over the entire course I will have made and bought home 10 cheeses. 

I hope you all have a great weekend. 
If you have an abundance of Basil, harvest it for later use before it spoils on the bush.



  1. I have done the same with my excess basil Nelly. I got my recipe from "The Silver Spoon" which is the Italian cooking bible and the pine nuts are not roasted and there is no garlic in it. Because this is all so much quicker, I have stuck to this recipe but Im sure yours taste's better. Yum Yum!!!:)

  2. I also have a mouse in the kitchen that seems to eat the peanut butter and not get trapped!! The lizards eat my strawberries. Havent had one to myself in months!!! :(

  3. thanks Narelle, I'll be on top of my basil tomorrow


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