Category Archives: Uncategorized

Congratulations Shannon Smyth and Stuff About Bullying

I have not mentioned it on here before but my older sister Shannon was recently a contestant on the hit TV series, Masterchef Australia. She was eliminated on Friday. Since being eliminated, Shannon has secured a lucrative apprenticeship at the amazing Absynthe restaurant on the Gold Coast with the two Michelin star awarded head chef, Meyjitte Boughenout. Words cannot describe how extremely proud I am of her. She is not only a fantastic cook, she is also a beautiful person, inside and out, and my dearest friend.

On that note I would like to discuss the bad rap my wonderful sister has been receiving on the online forums of the Masterchef website and Masterchef Facebook page, and no doubt on twitter. I would like to say, to anyone who has ever found themselves saying harsh things about someone on the internet, out in public or in your head, think of being that person or one of the people who love that person. I want you to know that it hurts to see or hear people saying cruel things about someone you love. Regardless of the way someone looks, dresses, how heavy they are, the colour of their hair, the way they speak, that person is a fellow human being that deserves love and respect and kindness just as much as you do. No one deserves to feel like they aren’t good enough. I am saddened by my fellow Australians that treat others as if they do not deserve these simple respects, as if they are a lesser human being for being different. I do not know of a single person that is universally known as being perfect. I do know that there are people who I see as being perfect with all their faults, and there are people you see as perfect with all their faults, and that neither you or I ever wants to see them hurt.

I would also like to discuss bullying by adults. There have been so many stories on the news and current affairs programs in recent years about the growing trend of bullying. I have seen parents saying “I just don’t know what to do, I don’t know why they are doing this”. I think I may have an answer. Adults are bullies. Bullying is learnt behaviour. They see their parents, their parent’s friends,  and other adults saying cruel things under their breath as an overweight woman crosses the road, laughing when they see disabled people doing their best to maintain their activities of daily living but need assistance to use the bathroom, talking about that stupid co-worker that keeps screwing everything up and how they can’t stand that idiot, making fun of people on TV shows for whatever petty reason they can come up with, and even television personalities saying hurtful things about people they do not know. Then their child goes to school and they make fun of the fat kid, they throw things at the boy with downs syndrome, they laugh at the child that can’t read. Bullying is everywhere, in every generation, and the only thing that can be done is to stop and take responsibility for being a part of it. Children will emulate your actions.

The good thing that has come out of the horrible experience of seeing my wonderful sister taunted by people who don’t even know her is that I have realised I can be cruel and it has made me take a step back and stop.

Being a bully is not necessary and YOU will be worse off for it.

Take care all, sorry about the rant.

XX Brookie.

We’re getting chickens!

The Unenthusiastic Gardener (now to be referred to as Tug hehe) has finally agreed to get chickens. We’ll be rescuing two battery hens to begin with. I will be calling one Anne and the other Frank. We will be building a hen-house tomorrow. We’ve decided we’re going to build a chicken ark because they take up less space and you can move them around with garden. We’ll make it large enough for 5 chickens so that we may add to the family later. Tug and I will be going to the demolition recycling shop to purchase materials for it tomorrow. Oh gosh, I am so excited!

XX Brooke

Planting out potatoes

As you may have guessed, I planted out some potatoes today. It’s not the right time to plant potatoes but I wanted to plant them so that is what I did. Some may find me ridiculous for never paying attention to seasons but they are pretentious and should go away. It’s not the end of the world if nothing happens. I am not sure how long they need to be chitted but I gave them three weeks. I did some research and apparently it’s not necessary to do so, anyway.

I have planted these in an area where there is dappled sunlight all day. I am also going to plant purple congoes in hessian sacks in full sun because I have read that they can be invasive in the ground and I am not keen on a potato invasion.

In other news I potted up a large amount of basil seedlings (yes I know they are out of season but they grow brilliantly here so hush) and planted out my brussels sprouts seedlings in the garden. That’s all, folks.

XX Brooke

Strawberries

Every single plant in bloom. I wasn’t expecting it. I thought they were a summer fruit.. or a spring fruit. Or something. Not winter.

Planted out my beetroots today. I don’t know if they’ll work out.

XX Brooke

Sometimes sulking works

Yesterday I discovered my partner who I shall now refer to as the unenthusiastic gardener has been secretly (to my horror) buying factory chicken. Although I have a mostly vegetarian diet, my meats of choice are kangaroo and free range chicken. I do plan on eventually becoming completely vegetarian but I believe meat is an addiction that is difficult to kick.

Anyway, back to the factory chicken. This turned into quite an argument. The argument ended with him saying “Well it’s way cheaper and I’m going to buy it” (I wanted to make a cheep-er pun but that’s a little twisted) and me saying “Well that’s gross and see ya” and then bursting into tears. I slammed our bedroom door and spent four hours sulking. After the four hours he came in and said “Ok I wont buy it anymore” and I said “Good” and we hugged and all was forgiven. We will eventually rescue some battery hens so karma might cancel out his mistake. Anyone wanting to adopt a battery hen around South East Queensland should go here http://homesforhens.net/adopt.html.

I have no gardening news. I watered the plants and left them be today.

XX Brooke.

Garden update

The seeds that I planted on May 19 are coming along nicely. Silverbeet, lettuce, beetroots and tomatoes are a bit leggy. Not too bothered by the silverbeet and lettuce since I’ll just plant them deeper when I put them in the garden, and I kind of like the tomatoes having a long stalk because I can plant them deeper and the stalk will develop more roots, making a stronger plant. That’s my excuse, anyway. I am kind of concerned about the beetroots, though, as I’m not sure if they will develop properly. We’ll see what happens.

Every single plant that had powdery mildew has completely recovered. There is not a sign of mildew or any damage, so this is fabulous.  The tomatoes haven’t completely recovered from the blight but I didn’t really expect them to. They are still growing and producing fruit, and they aren’t getting any worse so I think I may aswell continue to remove badly damaged foliage and spray the plants once a week. There’s no point ripping them out.

The carrot seeds I planted about 3 weeks ago have finally germinated. Lucky for them, too, since I was close to emptying the container and starting from scratch.

I planted some more seeds today, aswell. More broad beans (my first ones have got their first flowers), purple king beans, blue lake beans and rattlesnake beans, strawberry temptation, beam’s yellow pear tomatoes, sweet corn, fennel and some other stuff I cant remember.

Cut worms ate about 80 percent of my capsicums and chillies. I still have about 5 of each so I guess it’s ok. Sort of disheartening that 2 months of love and care can be destroyed in one night by something smaller than my finger, but that’s gardening I suppose.

I shall perservere.

XX Brooke

Slugs and snails and puppy dog tales

For anyone suffering from slugs or snails eating your garden, I suggest trying to mulch it with straw. My bok choy was being absolutely slaughtered by the slimy little buggers and now that I have used straw to mulch them they are looking almost pristine. I don’t know why, but it’s working.

This is the worst plant. The rest is hole-free.

My dogs keep exploring my vegetable beds. I yell at them to get off and they stop, look at me and wag their tails. Then they go and explore the vegetable beds some more, crushing cabbages as they go. Perhaps they are munching on slugs and snails.

XX Brooke

The blight of the naughty gardener

Warning – I may use a couple of curse words in this post.

Rain, rain, go away.

All this rain has given me downy mildew and tomato blight. Not me personally, but my garden.

I yelled at the plants, I shook my fist at them, I pleaded with them, then I took to them all with a pair of scissors. I removed all the damaged leaves and told them if they don’t get their shit together I may kill them (violently) before the fungi does. I sprayed them with a home-made fungal remedy and walked away. They are looking better. I may post the recipe later if it saves them.

The good news is I planted new seeds today. Always fun. I planted nasturtiums, sparkler radishes, english spinach, chives, dill, pickling cucumbers, and kholrhabi. I also purchased a stevia plant, some rhubarb plants and some chamomile.

I planted out my spring onion starts and some garlic plants. Oh, and some more eggplants. You can never have enough eggplants. Mainly because my eggplants only tend to develop one or two fruit. I got some liquid potash that I hope may help with this.

There are a lot of little tomato plants springing up where I had another tomato plant. I am wondering if they will produce decent fruit since this particular plant’s fruits rotted from the inside out and smelled really foul. I will leave them and see what happens since all my other tomatoes are situated far away from them. Does anyone know what this is? It’s not blossom end rot. The fruit was kind of leathery and a weird colour all over. Whatever happens with them doesn’t really matter since I wont be planting tomatoes there again. I suppose there is no reason to let them go to waste. I am curious about what this is though.

So, that’s it!

XX Brooke

 

Babies emerge

I’ve been busy doing my first aid course in Brisbane for 2 days and then I slept all day today so I haven’t done much in the garden. Getting up at 5am just doesn’t sit well with me. I’ve also been really sick, which doesn’t help for gardening motivation.

Tomorrow after work I might plant out some chillies and capsicums in the bed in the front yard.

In other news I found some more of my seeds have emerged. Always exciting. I’ve never seen okra plants before but apparently they look like hibiscus? Excellent!

My silverbeet, beetroots, tomatoes, onions and sage have also germinated. Happy days.

That’s all, hope you are all having a lovely day.

XX Brooke

The only good thing about weekend rain

Sparkly raindrops!

*Sigh*

I don’t mind the rain, I suppose. It means I don’t have to water the garden. It also means I get to do things like make seed mats… I made carrot seed mats today. For carrots. Carrots to grow.

I also cleaned my house, which I don’t do very often.

But best of all I discovered my Green Mignonette lettuces have germinated! Hooray!

XX Brookie