Skip to main content

Garden Share - December 2014

November was long and hot, with strong winds and very little rain.  Some areas around us had a decent storm, with 50-100 mm, but we missed out, so had to keep the garden going with grey water and a little tank water.  The extra shade cloth has made a huge difference, as has my sunken herb garden.  I also downsized early and only water the two middle garden beds, everything else is struggling, but its better to keep two good beds than four average ones.  For a few plants around the outside I used upturned beer bottles filled with water every few days.  Its not classy, but it keeps the soil moist.

For that reason, the harvest has not changed much.  Mostly kale, silver beet and herbs.  I finally picked the three lemons on my potted lemon tree and they were delicious.  We had a few beans and cherry tomatoes, but not much yet.  I can see the first button squash forming and a promising watermelon, so we just have to keep up the water and we might have more to harvest next month.

I'm not planting anything else until it rains, so this month its just about watering, keeping up mulch, and using worm wee tee to boost the veges.

Watermelon is promising (also note beer bottle watering system)

those giant chilli bushes have regrown!

beans and silver beet, with tomatoes in the back

sunken herb garden is doing well

first squash forming

comfrey flowers (its in a pot in a dish of water,
the stuff in the garden has not resprouted yet)

strawberries producing the occasional sweet treat

pickling cucumber looking good for more pickles this year

tape for watering from our tanks

yarrow flowers

new herb - gotu kola
How's your garden growing?  Are you dealing with heat and no rain too?  What are your plans for December?

Join in the Garden Share Collective, link up here and link back to Lizzie at Strayed from the Table.


  1. I was so sorry to read you did not receive any rain from the recent storms. My garden is going ok, but would pick up and thrive with some regular rain. You have got a lot of plants on the go there in your garden. I hope you get some rain soon.

  2. I hope you get some rain this month. Your garden areas are looking great despite the lack of rain. What do you do with gotu kola? What sort of food do you use it with? Have a great month in the garden

  3. Your garden is looking fabulous. Love the yarrow, something which I haven't grown before. The beer bottle watering system sounds great .. Love all your mulch too, one of my favourite things to add to the garden. :)

  4. Really you didn't get any of that rain. Bummer. We were lucky to get a bit of rain so I am happy however it didn't penetrate the earth very well. Too sudden. Liz I am impressed by your garden and what you are still growing with the minimal water you do have. Last year I relied on rain alone for our garden, this year I am still using our new tank water sparingly on the veggies. Fingers crossed for you to get some real rain soon. Maybe three or four days of the good stuff.

  5. We did get a few little sprinkles, I am sure yours is on its way. Interesting that you have gotu kola, we have a very similar weed called pennywort, well that is what everyone says. Maybe in your herb series you can tell me the difference. I always thought I did have gotu kola and it looks exactly the same as yours....

  6. Sorry about the lack of rain, we've had a terrible drought here in California as well.

    How do you use gotu kola? I have not heard of that herb.


Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at

Popular posts from this blog

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing and eating chokos (chayotes)

** Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about my garden, soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....

Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.

The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko a…

How to make coconut yoghurt

Lately I have been cutting back on eating dairy.  I know, I know, we own two house cows!  But I am trying to heal inflammation (bad skin) and dairy is one of the possible triggers, so as a last resort and after much resistance, I decided I had better try to cut back.  Its been hard because I eat a LOT of cheese, and cook with butter, and love to eat yoghurt (and have written extensively about making yoghurt).  I had to just give up cheese completely, switch to macadamia oil and the only yoghurt alternative was coconut yoghurt.  I tried it and I like it, but only a spoonful on some fruit here and there because it is expensive!

The brand I can get here is $3 for 200 mL containers.  I was making yoghurt from powdered milk for about 50c/L.  So I was thinking there must be a way to make coconut yoghurt, but I didn't feel like mucking around and wasting heaps of coconut milk trying to get it right....  and then Biome Eco Store sent me a Mad Millie Coconut Yoghurt Kit to try.  The kit is…