kitchen garden

by | Nov 2, 2017 | In the Garden, In the kitchen, Our home building journey

Ralf and I, Artemisia and Ahlia. September this year we completed two years in our new home. We are trying to balance family life with building, landscaping, tree planting, and establishing a new garden. However, I think I could do a little more to spend time with my children. Time to ask Ahlia out on a date and then time to do the same with Artemisia.

This past month I have had a lovely German guest staying with us and she has been a real pleasure to live with. She is a mum, travelling with her now four year old child. She has all those lovely mum qualities which make sharing family life with her so easy. She has been a huge help and I now genuinely can’t imagine life without her.  Her help has meant I can work planting trees, weeding or mulching till 6pm then one of the children rings the cowbell and I saunter happily back to a ready-made dinner…this is a dream. She is going to leave us for perhaps up to three months due to her Visa requirements but is looking to return to us. I have explained to her that I am addicted to having her here and have urged her to come back as soon as possible. I have also jumped on the workaway website and am sending messages here and there in the hope of finding someone while she is away.

This past month I have planted 10 Feijoas to create an edible windbreak and will order another 20 to complete the job. If they are successful there will be a lot of feijoas to harvest but they will not go to waste as we will have pigs in the future and what we cannot consume will go to them. I have planted over twenty fruit trees, the beginning of our orchard and will plant another 20 next year.

I have learned to be more discerning with the quality of the trees I buy and now know what to look out for.

In the piazza garden, 150 poas have been planted with another 200 to go. The Panicum virgatum ‘Rubrum’ are starting to sprout. I can’t wait to see them grow. I can’t wait. I have had to heavily mulch the garden beds to manage weeds and this has been a big job. Driving out to buy bales of straw and tearing them apart and spreading around all plants. I have a great deal more to do. I have mulched the berry orchard as well but have yet to finish.

We have started paving the paths around the house to create a more comfortable walkway and to reduce dirt in our home.

I am weeding and mowing around young trees to help them beat the grassy competition.

So far I am feeling good. I just need to keep doing something each day, and it adds up to a lot. I just need to be outside each day to feed this feel-good feeling.

Our lovely, lovely new member of the family.


The beginnings of our vegetable garden, Asian greens planted at front, and green manure at back.


The first crop of garlic planted. I am cutting into the green manure, stockpiling it on the kitchen garden in rows. I will add it as a top dressing when the plants are bigger.


Kale planted.


Broadbeans planted.


Killing weeds by tarping exposed soil.


Last years figs have returned.


The chestnut I transplanted from a neighbours garden has made it through the winter months.


The silver foliage of Teucriums is growing. I want these to create a thick hedge. The fig tree behind it has come back too.


Hundreds of poas have been planted.


The snow gums have not drowned nor have they been attacked by frost. They are still with us.

Purple sage is four times its size last summer.


The lavender is flowering early.

Our wetland is wow! All of the plants have shed seeds over the past three months and have produced new plants. Triglochyn.




New paving has begun.


Our other lovely new member of the family testing the new paving.


First dish rack has been installed.






  1. Penny Reilly

    This all looks so lovely… I think you are a kindred spirit indeed. We’re self sufficient on 20 lovely acres and I “know” you from FB.
    Happy creativity!

  2. Fiona Porter

    you are so inspiring mara x

  3. Nicola Cerini

    Wow! See you soon XX

  4. Kirti

    Sigh….It all makes me so happy to see…..xxxxxxxxxxx

  5. Alexa McAllister

    So refreshing to see. Love your work , from a kindred garden lover but much older x

    • Mara

      Thank you very very much Alexa!


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