Monday, April 07, 2008

gardening is fun!

this is a blog entry i've been working on for weeks, but then the inty was sooo slow it took hours to upload all the photos and then i got distracted by other things. so the news is not quite up to date, but the ideas are still exciting. enjoy!

(it also seems to be all underlined. bother.)


the mushroom bag was in disgrace for a while there, cos all my promising mushrooms shrivelled up and bits of the organic material went mouldy. thus:

so i just left it alone for a bit and look what sprung up, pretty much overnight:

isn't it exciting? this mushroom got bigger and bigger over the course of a week (maybe less), and another smaller one sprung up below it (you can see the sequence of its growth in these photos too). so cool!

i picked it when it started to completely dwarf the bag. it left the plastic covered in a white spore-y stuff.

i made the pair of them into linguine sauce, with some oyster mushrooms i got at the farmers' market. it was deee-licious!

the underside of my baby, taking up my whole hand:

and me pretending to be a yee olde farmer type (pre-hair cut):

that is the history of the shiitake mushrooms. i left the bag for a bit and it didn't do anything, so i put it through the re-activation process (soak in cold water for 4+ hours, drain overnight, thump hard on a table, place back in habitat) and after a few days there was a mass of little white buttons. now i have a dozen beautiful little mushies growing like beasts all over. i'll post a photo soon. i luuuurve them.


i am also growing stuff from *seed*. ooooo! look - this is my selection of basil pots, back in the day before they sprouted. waiting, waiting. . .

this? this is my lemon-scented gum seeds. they still look exactly like this, many weeks later. i have the spring of gum leaves above them to give them a role model. it's not going so well. i found another germination method on the internet. it's very complicated, but i'm committed to growing a gum tree cos i miss them so. at the moment i'm temperature and humidity testing various parts of the house to find the best place to start the seeds. also, the nuts on that spring spat seeds everywhere so i'm going to try germinating them as well. wish me luck!

now i have a strawberry plant as well (c/o miriam) which is growing like a weed. tiny strawberries! on my desk!

you can tell how much work i'm getting done from the state of my study space. . .

after two weeks of waiting, the basil seeds suddenly did this!

now they look like this, all twelve of them! aren't they adorable? i am going to have so much basil and miriam's going to teach me her pesto recipe.

stay tuned. there's tomato plants in the works. . .


itchy said...

wow! you've inspired me. my new housemate recently cleared some space in our backyard jungle and we are going to try growing things soon, like spuds and spinach and zucchinis.

i want mushies! are they very delicate and sensitive to heat changes?

groutofwest said...


another spooky thing - my big brother was my KrisKringle this year, and he bought my present at Xmas but I just got it a couple of weeks ago - and guess what????

part of it was a mushroom box just like we have been reminiscing about!!!!! wow!!!!


eucalypt seeds are tricky - years ago i collected some ironbark seeds and put them in a pot

nothing happened, so after a year or so i re-used the potting mix in other pots, and i am still weeding out baby ironbark trees from all over the place - they germinated years later and are still popping up

i got one tree out of it which hasn't flowered yet, so don't know what colour the flowers will be

so maybe your legacy to van will be a grove of citriodora in the backyard of the house

fabulous trees in wa - i want them all, but too hard here

Anonymous said...

I've just harvested the very last of my basil leaves and turned them into pesto. I turn the flowers back into the pots and they drop their seeds and come up again in the spring, which is a long way off!!!
My jonquils are sprouting and my daphnes are setting their flowers. So I will have smelly things in a few months.
I'm very impressed with your green thumbs.
I just go and buy mushies to make my risotto.
Hey! a message that doesn't contain one single comment about the cold (last sentence excluded)

Nimmersatt said...

I have an excellent mushroom risotto recipe if you want it.

itchy said...

dearest! thankyou for my lovely voucher and letter! now i have to remember to pack it!

Epponnee-Rae said...


yay for growing stuff! i'm going to put in another round of lettuces, since the first lot were so sucessful.

mushies are kind of delicate. you have to find exactly the right environment (temperature and humidity) or else they won't grow at all. but once you've found it you just leave them there and they grow. no watering, no weeding, no nuthin. so they're not that delicate. i love mushrooms, so i find the fiddling round very satisfying, rather than annoying.

glad you enjoyed the pressie! you must bring it!


Epponnee-Rae said...


OMG! that is, like, SO amazing!

send us piccies? i have fond memories of the little button mushrooms all popping up unexpectedly.

hmm. yr gumtree story isn't inspiring. i've waited on these seeds for nearly a month now, and that's long enough. plus i think it's too cold here for them to grow randomly in the back yard. though there are gumtrees outside in victoria . . . (the city on the island i mean, not the state.)

at least i know not too bate the breath, you know.


Epponnee-Rae said...


oo, really? i can do that! how exciting! i hope they get big enough to make flowers. atm they are very very small basil plants. so cute!

your bulbs sound lovely. you could grow mushies too - see above! it's cost effective. i have got lots of mushrooms and hours of excitement for $10.

hey, guess what guess what??? it's gonna be 21 on saturday! warm! exciting! the radio weather woman was all chipper about it.


Epponnee-Rae said...



swap you for the mushroom linguini recipe once i refine it?


Anonymous said...

love the mushroom story!
Can we please have stories of Cassandra and your adventures / potlucks?

Epponnee-Rae said...


okay, okay, blody demanding audience. . . *grumbles*

glad you enjoyed the mushrooms story!

Anonymous said...

also, I visited Tacos the other night and K said he reads this blog and enjoys your stories.

grotbot said...

i am so boring with this post

Epponnee-Rae said...


chef-K? really???

that's nice! hi, if you're reading this!

any news, vta?

Nimmersatt said...

Recipe will surely come your way, and am v keen for linguine recipe too. But right now won't type it as that would be procrastinating. You see, I have a flight to Canada to book. I have these lovely friends there who said I can come!

Epponnee-Rae said...