Hester's Blog (34)

Saving Tomatoes

I haven't done much propagating in the last 3 years so my collection of saved seeds is getting old.

I have collected quite a lot of varieties of tomato seed and I want to grow them again andsave some fresh seed.

A storage container with many of my seeds in it was accidently moved to our shed. The shed gets warm in Summer, so is not an ideal place for storing seed.

When I finally tracked the container down and rescued it I found that mice had got in and eaten some of my…


Added by Hester on September 23, 2015 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment


Today was a glorious sunny Spring Day, after a few cool grey ones.

We had an extra special occurrence in our garden.

In the early afternoon I looked out of our upstairs window and was amazed to see a cloud of flying insects above the trees.

I called out to Mr Box to come and see. Then I realised I was seeing bees.

A swarm.…


Added by Hester on October 30, 2011 at 11:00pm — 6 Comments

Blended Families

Day two of Beryl and Ruby’s residence.

I got up before 6.00am this morning, but Beryl and Ruby were already out and about.

They were very settled and roamed about the yard as comfortably as if they’d lived here for weeks.

It was very quiet this morning. I think everyone in the neighbourhood has sold their roosters. Normally they start crowing before the sun is…


Added by Hester on October 16, 2011 at 7:06am — 2 Comments

Beryl & Ruby

Beryl & Ruby, the Red Shaver hens, arrived on Thursday evening.

I bought them on Trademe earlier in the week but couldn’t pick them up immediately as Mr Box was sick with flu.

The two hens had to sleep in the cardboard box they were transported in as I didn’t have time to arrange anything else that night.

The next morning I got up at daylight to let…


Added by Hester on October 16, 2011 at 6:58am — No Comments

Chooky Changes

We have 2 new hens and one less rooster.

We used to have 5 hens and a rooster but 3 of our hens died earlier in the year.

With the advent of Spring it became obvious that 2 wives was nowhere near enough for Vincent the Splash Orpington Rooster.

Violet got badly scratched as a result of excessive mating and was hiding in the hen house.

And Vince was…


Added by Hester on October 16, 2011 at 6:40am — 1 Comment

April 26 is International Seed Day

On April 26 people around the world will be drawing attention to the need for using patent-free seed, organic food and farmers rights. 

International Seed Day

Added by Hester on April 10, 2011 at 8:45am — 1 Comment

Gardening helps keep you young

Thought I'd share this article.

I've always been impressed by the example of gardeners like Prof Walker, digging in their gardens well into their later years.


Added by Hester on March 22, 2011 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Early Summer Tomatoes

7/12/10 This week I am waiting, with great anticipation, for the first tomato to ripen.

This is an 'Early Girl' variety tomato plant that I bought to plant at the end of September, so that I would have some tomatoes ripe, long…


Added by Hester on December 7, 2010 at 9:03pm — 4 Comments

Beans Galore

On October 22nd I sowed a selection of bean seeds, including Koanga Rainbow Mix, Purple King, Wonder of Venice, Borlotti, Canneloni, Edame, Shiny Fardenlosa and Golden Wax.
Some of my seed stash came from Ooooby swaps-thanks to everyone who shares.

I'm a part time gardener at the moment, due to having to spend the day elsewhere at work, so, I sowed the beans on my dining table, on newspaper, at night. I put 2 bean seeds per cell in a punnet (so there's a spare if one doesn't…

Added by Hester on November 16, 2010 at 10:30pm — 1 Comment

Pepper Accident

I can't believe I just did the same clumsy thing for the second time in a week!
I was watering the seeds germinating in the glasshouse and I picked up a punnet of pepper seeds out of a propagator, so it would be easier to water.
Somehow I didn't manage to grasp it properly and it spilt, tipping out at least half of the germinating pepper seeds, into a nearby pot, the base of the propagator, and, worst of all, down under the glasshouse…

Added by Hester on October 24, 2010 at 2:12pm — No Comments

Chicken Saga-Week One

Wednesday-Day 5

A sunny…


Added by Hester on September 19, 2010 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

Chicken Saga-The First Outing

Day 3

This morning I raced down to the chicken run as soon as I was dressed, hoping to see more chickens.

The nest was very quiet-not a peep. I talked to Flo for a while, then two Blue Orpington chicks appeared from underneath her- one more than yesterday.

There was no sign of the two Plymouth Barred Rock… Continue

Added by Hester on September 13, 2010 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment

The First Chicks

Great excitement today as we got to see 3 of the new chicks. The first chicks to hatch ventured out from under their mama and toddled about in the straw.

The little yellow and grey chick is a Blue Orpington.…


Added by Hester on September 12, 2010 at 8:10pm — 2 Comments

The Chicken Nursery

Gary modified our chookhouse and run to make suitable accommodation for Flo and the expected chicks.

Although our hens mostly free-range now, the modular units Gary built have proved to be versatile and useful.…


Added by Hester on September 11, 2010 at 8:02pm — 4 Comments

Silly as a Chook

This afternoon I went down to the chook run to check on Flo, the broody Mama Hen. I thought…

Added by Hester on September 11, 2010 at 3:30pm — 1 Comment


I'm musing about the behaviour of chooks.
It's better than any soap opera I've watched.

We've had a cold wet week and Flo has been sitting stoically on her 12 eggs. She must have come…

Added by Hester on September 3, 2010 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

Chicken Brooding

On Saturday Sonya came over with 12 fertile eggs she had just picked up from Taurimu Poultry in Waipukurau.-Nine Plymouth Barred Rock and three Blue or Black Orpington eggs.

They were safely…

Added by Hester on August 24, 2010 at 7:03pm — 2 Comments

Harvesting the Garlic & How to Make a Garlic Braid

The garlic, planted on June 6, 2009 was ready for harvesting at the beginning of January,2010. This photo shows the garlic bed on Jan 6, seven months after planting.

About two weeks before the harvest I stop watering, and leave the bed to become dry. I scrape a bit of soil away at the top of a few plants to expose… Continue

Added by Hester on January 9, 2010 at 11:00pm — 5 Comments

Thinking about Organic Pest Control.

I've been out in the glasshouse this evening, watering the plants with their weekly serving of comfrey, seaweed and blood and bone.

I have each of these brewing in its own barrel and I top them up with water as I use the liquid.

Tonight I really enjoyed concocting the 'brew'-there's a certain 'white witchiness' to it.… Continue

Added by Hester on December 14, 2009 at 11:00pm — 10 Comments

More Ooooby Food

Tonight's pizza:

home-made crispy base with artichoke hearts, courgettes asparagus, fresh basil, oregano and pizza thyme from our garden.

We eat so well and the best part is always the gourmet food picked fresh from our garden.

Here's the 'recipe' for my pizza. I make pizza often and my toppings vary… Continue

Added by Hester on November 15, 2009 at 11:30pm — 5 Comments

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