sarah's own natural garden

updates from our lifestyle block – gardening, chickens, green cleaning and more

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Making butter

home made butter

I recently saw a post about making butter by shaking up cream in a jar. It made me wonder – if I used my tupperware cream whipper and just kept shaking it – would it turn to butter after the heavy cream stage (as I often fear)?   Continue reading


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Getting myself organised – monthly goal setting

my kitchen efforts

We’ve been living on our block for a couple of years and I constantly have aspirations of being farm wifey and using my homegrown produce to make pickles, chutneys, jellies etc. I’ve made a few things recently however my red onion chutney was too sweet, the trial jar of mint jelly set (miracle!) but isn’t minty enough and my pickled beetroot isn’t ready to taste yet so I haven’t got any fool proof recipes to write about.  Instead this post is about how to be organised month by month and try and achieve all (well, some) of the things I’d like to.  Setting monthly goals is something I tried several years ago which turned out to be really helpful.  It wasn’t my idea and I can’t remember what the source was but the upshot was: make a list of all the things you’ve been wanting to try and allocate each one to a month.   Continue reading

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Combatting flies without spray

This summer seems to have been the worst one for flies – everything from big blowies to those annoying ones that hang out in the middle of the room.  I don’t like to spray too much (although we have been resorting to it) – toxins for us to breathe in and settle on the surfaces which need wiping down and now we have a puppy who likes to eat them.  Flies killed with poison can’t be good for him. I’ve tried various methods over the years and am currently trying a couple of products (no I’m not being paid for advertising!) Continue reading

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Hukelkulter garden beds

bean poles

climbing bean poles

I’ve been in full swing making new garden beds.  I’ve used bricks for alot of them and even made a wall with bricks that doubled as a bed.  I read about hukelkulter where logs are used as the foundation for a bed with soil on top.   (Roughly translated it means mound culture in German).  As the logs break down over the years they generate heat and nutrients and also water they’ve absorbed (apparently the bed won’t need watering after it’s first year of getting established).  We have heavy clay soil so I was planning on digging down and building up the bed anyway so decided to give it a try.  If you’re wanting a quick way to make a new bed this isn’t necessarily your best option but once done shouldn’t require much maintenance.   Continue reading

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Quick and simple garden structures – archway and garden protectors made from tubing

To make this archway and/or garden bed protector for free you need old building material or be prepared to scavenge at a build site.  I’ve been waiting to plant my climbing rose for ages but hadn’t worked out what to climb it over.  None of our trees are big enough to have something climb up them and hubby’s aversion to a garden arch means building one is far down the list.   I saw one on the internet which made me glad there are people who can think outside the square when it comes to making things.  Stick two bits of reinforcing rod in the ground and stick the tubing onto each end to make an arch.  How simple is that!  Use the same method to protect garden beds.strawberries Continue reading