Monday, 6 July 2009

Vegetables and socks

This morning was the first really cold frosty morning that we've had this year.  The temperature went below freezing according to the Roseworthy observations.  
I have a solar water heater on the roof, and have had for a couple of years.  It has a special function to prevent the pipes up there breaking.  If it gets pretty cold,  then the water gets pumped around to keep it warm.  It uses my shower water to warm up the solar panel!  
Then,  if it gets even colder,  it has a little plug that comes out and drains the water out of it until the air warms up again.  Well,  today is the first time that it's done that since we've been off the water grid.  So of course, when the water pressure in the system is reduced by the little plug dropping out. (I haven't been up there, and I imagine that it's actually a thermostat that opens and shuts a valve, but that is how the company explained it to me.)   So when the pressure is reduced, the pump thinks that there is a tap turned on somewhere or other, and so it starts pumping water... it did a lot of that this morning.   I presume that the water runs out onto the roof,  down the pipes and back into the tank!  I was lying in bed this morning imagining that happening out there in the cold.

It's still cold outside, though there is intermittent sunshine that looks good after so many drizzly and rainy days. (Not that I'm complaining about the rain!)

I have been outside picking the vegetables for dinner.  Today's haul....
More cauliflower, of course.  Two kinds of kale (Siberian and Russian) four eggs and some side shoots from the broccoli.  I have the potatoes and carrots from the market,  so we'll probably have some kind of frittata... some kind of fried vegetables with spices and eggs.  It's called improvising, depending on what is out there...  

After such a cold morning, made all the more obvious by the pump,  I was a bit worried about the potatoes but they look ok....
There are big trees in the yard and I do think that they protect the garden from many of the frosts that are evident in the rest of the town.

The big cactus plants (I know that they aren't really cactuses, but I don't know what they are called)  are about to flower too.  They aren't quite there yet,  but they will be spectacular.  These are beside the broad beans and near the house.  They have amazing roots that I find when digging in the garden.  I should probably get rid of the competition,  but they are beautiful and host a number of birds' nests and those birds eat a lot of insects, especially aphids,  when they are feeding their babies.
Below is the garlic.  I know it isn't very big yet,  but at least most of them are up.  
I will even plant some more this week... a little late,  but I found some more local garlic on the weekend. There's no point in planting northern hemisphere stuff.  It takes a year to acclimatise... garlic jetlag?  These are growing beside the artichokes...
... and the artichoke plants are doing well.  There are nine plants here and some will be ready to divide again after this summer.
And here is the horrible prickly artichoke plant near the clothes line.  It is the most prickly one I have ever had,  but it produces so many huge artichokes that I never seem to get around to pulling it out!

This is the other project...  socks.   Here are two pairs made for Louise.  These two are 75% wool and need to be hand washed (same as mine) so be warned!  
The new ones (just started) are made of 75% bamboo! (It is supposed to be ok for vegans.) I am experimenting with this for "summer" socks.  It is very slippery to knit and the yarn splits more easily, but I'm going to give it a go.   The colours don't seem to be as random either.
I need to finish off the ends of the yarn to send the first two woollen pairs away....  next pay day.


Fiona (posts by her mum and dad) said...

I love them, will wear them proudly.
Can't wait.
Thank you.

Jane said...

No worries... I have just washed them, not because they were dirty, but to settle the knitting down. (Photo tomorrow)
If they are a bit prickly (they are 75% wool) just give them a couple of washes and rinse them with fabric softener (or hair conditioner... same stuff) and they'll settle down.
Mine were a tiny bit rough to begin with, but after about two washes they were ok. Now they are the best socks that I have!!!
These'll be on their way shortly (with birthday pressies all around!! but that's secret, so don't tell anyone!)