Monday, April 8, 2019

Our Garlic Achieved 1st and 2nd prize at the Royal Canberra Show

Prize winning Garlic

Hello everyone and thanks for reading my posts.

We are happy to have won first and second prize for our Australian garlic. We also sold out this year and this encouraged us to plant double the amount we planted last season. We are hoping to achieve even better result this year weather permitting and combined with our growing experience ( which get better every year due to learning from our mistakes).

Our Garlic has a strong flavour and is of the hard neck variety. I still have some bulbs left and they have kept well and still look and feel fresh. I think I have saved enough to last until the next crop is ready for harvesting.

Did you know garlic has many health benefits . Some of these benefits include improving our blood pressure, lowering our cholesterol and even preventing Dementia or lowering the risk. Here is a link to read more about the health benefits of garlic.

If you would like to order some of our garlic you can contact us on

It is the time to plant garlic if you want to have a try to grow it yourself. There are many useful sites to get information on how to grow it.

Prize winning Garlic- Our back breaking work pays off

The harvested and processed Garlic

Bunches of garlic ready for sale

Saturday, January 5, 2019

2018 Garlic harvested and Processed- Phew

Welcome to our Blog

About our Garden and little plots that we hope to inspire you with  and grow into a market garden.

This year we planted about 320 bulbs of Australian Garlic in April 2018. We watched it grow with anticipation and it gave us great joy to see it doing so well. In early November the scapes started appearing . It was a dry season and we had to keep the water up to the crop.

I cut some of the scapes as part of a little experiment to see the effect on the harvested bulb size and to also sell and educate people what they were . People were interested and one interested person even asked what effect it would have on the bulb. Well the scape is the flower of the garlic bulb and it contains granules that can become seeds and be planted. A garlic bulb can be grown from it , but it would take a long time for it to grow into the bulb size we are used to seeing at the supermarket. You can plant the scape and use the chives that grow in cooking. You can also use the scapes instead of the garlic as they taste the same. If you plant the largest cloves you will get large garlic bulbs.

We harvested the garlic early December at the correct time , before all the rain came . Luckily as it if had rained it would have been ruined. We also were in the middle of processing it when huge storms came over and all of it had to come inside , so the house had garlic smell and boxes everywhere. I am not sorry as it was harvested and it looks like the best crop we have had in the 4 years of growing it.

I had to pickle some of it as some of the bulbs were water damaged and were beginning to rot. I have carefully selected the best garlic for sale so my customers get the best quality.

I plan on entering our best bulbs this to see if we can get another first prize at this years Royal Canberra Show. It makes us so proud.  Anyway who wants to buy some locally grown Australian Garlic that's chemical free.

Harvesting the Garlic
 We ended up with Two wheel Burrow full!



Garlic has be processed , dried and bundled , it looks great and is firm and fresh
This is some of the Garlic after it has been processed.

Harvesting complete. Its quite labour intensive as we hand harvest it using pitch forks.

For Sale. Selling in bundles of $10.50, $7.00 and $4.50 ( not pictured).
send me an email if interested in joining our email list to get our fresh produce delivered to your home. Only Canberra North side customers sorry. Or if you lace an order you can come and collect it from Dickson.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Hello Everyone- Welcome to my Gardening Blog.
We have decided to give our market gardening dream some serious time and start making it happen. It has long been a dream of mine to be able to grow vegetables efficiently to  sell some of it, to pay  at least for the soils, nets and seeds etc. Its starts to get a little costly when you start buying tonnes of soil and metres and metres of netting.
Anyway we thought we are not getting younger and we seem to be getting busier and there never seems enough time or the right time  to begin our market garden dream. There is no time like the present so we have begun. Now that we have decided it will be a steep learning curve as there is more to it than just growing plants as I have learnt by reading a few articles on market gardening.
Would you believe there is lots of maths involved, with marking out garden bed sizes , rows , yields , number of plants for the space and the list goes on.
I am so excited and so is Steve. He will be doing all the heavy work and I will too off course , but there are limitations especially since I am much smaller than him. We are starting with what we already have except for the new soil and netting that we need.
We have marked out a new large area that we will get new soil and start planning where what we want to grow will go.
We are going to learn so much and add to what we already know , as well as gain skills on planning and marketing.
We are going to be Chemical Free and use our own Chicken manure and try to grow a mix of vegetables in winter and summer. I will be doing lots of record keeping , this is the part I hate. I usually start out enthusiastic, but then lose interest , or lose the record book. I will have to be more vigilant.
Our idea is to be able to offer our customers fresh vegetables ( and Fruit- we have some   fruit trees) in a vegetable box package as well as sell at markets and perhaps to a select few restaurants.
And so it begins , this wonderful dream of ours to build a market garden on our YarraLina  property and work together . I am sure we will find our strengths and weaknesses, but most importantly we will be putting our ideas into ACTION.
This winter we are on growing  Garlic, Broad Beans, Sugar Snaps, Snow peas, Kale, Broccoli and a few other plants ( once we work it out). We are also using this winter to record yields etc to gain a better understanding how we can make it all work.
In the Garden  
Planting the 2018 Garlic
Monaro Purple
Planted 320 cloves in 14 Rows 21/4/18 
 This is an older picture- I am going to try to still be creative with my vegetables

 Kent Pumpkins - 2018 - this pumpkin weighed 5.7 kilo. This vines were transplanted from seeds that fell and there were lots of them so I picked the strongest ones and nurtured them until the rain came on Feb 24th and then the plants exploded with female flowers, much to my delight.
Snow pea Bed
1m X 2 m bed
planted 86 seeds.
Also planted some Ice burg Lettuce seed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Garlic Harvesting December 2016

Hello Everyone
Greetings from YarraLina Farm ( our property), a humble few plots of garden beds that give me endless pleasure and where I escape to think things through. I also marvel at the wonderful things that nature has to offer and how its so amazing that form a small seed you can grow kilos and kilos of food.
I started this blog over 5 years ago and I just got so busy to keep updating it, but I am going to keep my inspiration going and keep updating interesting items, such as this post and hopefully turn our humble plot into something that I can eventually do full time and rely on a source of income. Well you have to start form somewhere and as they say from little things big things grow.
Here's to giving it a go!
The process of Garlic growing.
So here are some photos of our Australia Garlic harvesting. Thanks to all the people who bought our garlic, Thank you so much for supporting us as its this support at the beginning that gives us the confidence to try and make it work.
I initially started growing garlic about 3 years ago and bought some seed from a local farm ( keeping it local) and planted about 240 cloves. I did have a few issues at the beginning as I thought I would just grow it and see how it went. It wasn't until I was not getting much success that I decided to do some research.
There are so many varieties to grow, we decided to grow the hard Neck Australian Purple, and may grow another variety as times on. We have had some great feed back about this variety and I love cooking with it, it has a strong flavour and hot as well.
  • The ground is prepared with a rich manure and cloves planted in April.
  • Then it is watered and weeded ( or you can mulch to prevent the weeds) until late October , early November.
  • When the scapes form, they are cut off ( can be used in cooking) so all the energy goes into forming a large bulb.
  • then after a period of about 2 weeks of dry weather the bulbs can be harvested, cleaned and dried.
A wheelbarrow full of fresh harvested Garlic

In the Garage , cleaning the Garlic and removing excess dirt

The cleaned Garlic

Look how beautiful and firm and purple it looks.
Want to buy some. we have some left.
We are selling them in $12, $15 and $20 bunches
Send us an email  and we can post it to you. Postage of $9.50 applies
Cheers and happy Gardening

Friday, February 4, 2011

To Be happy is to be Grateful

Welcome Again.

Thanks fro visiting my blog , I do hope you enjoy your visit and become inspired to become a little more self sufficient.

It has been a while since I last update as I have been busy in the garden and with 5-6 garden beds to water and weed and tend it takes up a lot of my time. I do love it and I find I get lots of ideas on new things to plant , grow and ways to make the garden better. I also get ideas for my jewellery making while in the garden. And If I am sad or angry these feelings are also somewhat less when I have had some time weeding, harvesting and just pondering . In fact I am sure being in the garden is good for your mental health.

I always emerge from my garden with a grateful
heart and outlook particularly when I see what
nature has achieved in my absence and when I have just picked 4 kg of Cherry tomatoes and 6 giant Zuchinni's and a few other vegies. I just so love being able to be a little self suffiencent so we have some control of our lives and not be totally dependent on outside inputs.

We have a long way to go, but just helping ourselves a little does a lot for your confindence to keep going and with every little step you achieve more independencce each year. It is not easy, but nothing in life is so I say have a go and you will be pleased with the results.

So far we have been harvesting Cherry Tomatoes, Capsicums, Zuchinni, Cucumbers, Beans ,Corn ( nearly ready) , Potato, Garlic, Strawberry, Rocket, cabbage.

I am going to try and grow 1000kg again this year- last year I grew about 400kg of food.
Anyone interested in sponsoring me 1c per kg of food grown to be donated to a cancer research. Growing your own vegies and eating them fresh and free from pestiside has to be better for your health and may even prevent you getting cancer in the first place. By having this challenge and this fund raiser I hope to inspire others to grow their own therefore benefiting others health indirectly.
Send me an email if you are interested in sponsoring me and when harvesting is all done- arround june - July , I will donate the money to cancer organisation.
To end this post here is what I find to be happy ,is to be grateful for the things we have and where we are right now .
Now is what we have, so enjoy now and know that when all si said and done- everything does work out .


Monday, November 22, 2010

First Harvest

Welcome to my contented life Blog.

I am sure everyone has been busy in their
gardens planting seedlingsor seeds ready for summer.

we have been or trying to inbetween the wet weather and stormy days. Glad to get all the rain though. We have lots of self seeded cherry tomato plants, that are looking healthy as a result of all the rain. They look better than the ones we translplanted.

I plan on thinning them out and moving them to another section so we can make sure the chickens don't trash them when they have fruit on the vines.

As you can see from the picture we have been picking some green and purple snow peas and broad beans. The ones on the left are off the purple broad bean plant and are smaller than the heritage variety. We have also been picking lot of juicy strawberries.

I seem to have less time this year to plant in the garden and I fell I get stressed out just thinking about what needs to be planted so we don't miss out. I find that when I do spend some time in the garden the stress just melts away and I feel I have all the time in the world.

I am determined to have my garden so in the next week or 2 , I am planting out the tomatoes, sowing some pumpkin seeds and water emlon seeds . I also will be clearing out the broad bean plants and harvesting the cabbages.

Recently I came to the realisation that not only do you need time to plant and nuture the garden, but you also need time to harvest and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Sounds a bit like life really- need time to plan , nuture and enjoy your life.

I am looking forward to school holidays where I hope we will just not go anywhere to often - sounds boring, but I think I prefer that to the constant feeling of running here and there and never quite feeling like I have enough time to just sit and think and even have a cup of tea .

Cheers and happy gardening . I am going to try and grow 1000kg again this year. Wish me luck.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

A New Growing Season Begins- Spring 2010

Welcome to My Contented Life Blog
This blog is about the simple things in life and how pleasureable they can be when we take the time to stop and smell the roses.

Enjoying life can be as simple as noticing the smallest of things , like a flower or the smell of some jonquils growing in the garden, noticing all the self sown seeds that in time, grow to give you nourishment.

We have a few things on the go in our garden- we have self sown Lettuce and Spinach plants.

We have been eating these. I have just used up my last harvest of tomatoes from our green house and manged to stop buying canned tomatoes for 1 whole year. I am so glad. we also have some strawberry plants that are in flower.
We are waiting for our broad beans to grow as well, and I am so looking forward to making broadbean meat pies with them. Yummy.

The next challenge is to grow everything we need and use it in our everyday cooking so we limit the amount we are getting from the grocers, so we can really reduce our carbon foot print.

Our Silver perch and trout are almost big enough to eat- they have taken a long time to get to this stage so this will be our reward when they are finally ready.

Here are some photos of our green house vegies at the moment. There is going to be an explosion of growth over the next month or 2 as it will be getting warmer and more things will germinate. I planted some cucumber seeds, but none came up and found some empty seed pods, eaten out by the resident worms. Very diasppointing, but I will not give up - I am imagining enjoyinh a mouth watering and succulent cucumber mid summer- so will have another go.

Thats all for now- happy gardening- It is still a little early to be palnting out the vegies, but if you have a small green house , start getting your seedlings ready.
Cheers- and have a happy life.