A hot, dry season

I am not going to say much about my garden right now.  The weather is so hot and dry, and water restrictions have been imposed in our area.  I have mulched with wood shavings which really makes a big difference, but on the whole my garden is looking like an old person with sagging skin and wrinkles.  Everything seems slightly droopy and tired.  The temperatures are going up to 39ºC. We all go through different seasons in our lives and the hot dry seasons build resilience and perseverance in our lives.  Just like the plants we learn to overcome the drought, often with a little bit of help from our friends.  Just like mulching and carrying water in a watering can instead of using a hosepipe, a little TLC goes a long way. The apple trees are looking great and that’s wonderful because they are long term.  They have to be able to withstand all kinds of weather conditions.  We just have to remember, in our own lives, that no matter what happens to us it says in the bible in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

This little basil plant doesn’t seem to mind the heat.

This Copia tomato plant appreciated the mulch which keeps its roots cool – this is one if my heirloom tomatoes

Gluten Free Bisquick Mix
2 cups white rice flour (500 ml)

1 ¼ cup coconut flour (325 ml)

1 cup milk powder (250 ml) (Nespray)

¼ – ½ cup white sugar (75 – 125 ml) (I’m sure Xylitol or a sugar substitute will also work)

½ cup cornstarch (125 ml) (Maizena)

1 TBSP Baking Powder (15 ml)

1 tsp Baking Soda (5 ml) (Bicarbonate of Soda)

½ tsp salt (2,5 ml)

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
I made the pizza crust and even though it was sweet it was a really nice contrast to the savoury topping.  Here is my pizza recipe:
2 cups pre-mix (500 ml)

1 tsp Xanthan gum (5ml)

3 eggs

¼ cup of oil ( 75 ml)

1 cup water (250 ml)
Add the Xanthan gum to the flour and combine.  Beat the eggs and add together with the oil and water to the flour.  The consistency is like mashed potatoes.  I used two rectangular foil of which the inner measurements are 24cm x 14cm.  Spread the dough into the bottom of the containers. 

1 sachet Tomato paste





Spread the tomato paste on the dough and top with the rest of the ingredients.  Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC for 20 minutes.

The dough must be the consistency of mashed potatoes

These ingredients are only a guide.  Use what you like to eat and as much as you need.  The dough rises and make a soft crust.  I usually prefer a thin crisp pizza crust but this was so good.  
Enjoy trying this recipe and feel free to share your thoughts and your own recipes in the comment section.

The finished product – delicious!

Invest in your future

Audrey Hepburn is quoted as saying “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”.  To plant a garden is definitely a long term project.  Seeds don’t just germinate overnight and bear fruit in a week.  You need to be patient and consistent.  You need to keep the soil wet so that the seeds can germinate and then you have to nurture the little plants that have developed out of the seeds.  Keep the soil damp, protect them from frost and weeds.  Mulch around them so that the sun doesn’t scorch them.  Give them the necessary nutrients to ensure that they will become happy, mature plants that bear good fruit.  Oh  yes, and keep them free from pests!


Spinach plants with a mulch of fallen leaves





My onions are ready to be transplanted and I’m planning to do that on Monday.  They are going to go well with the cabbage plants I’m getting from my mom.  Apparently they are good companions.  The whole process from planting to harvesting is different for every variety.  Some plants like radishes mature very quickly and can be harvested in no time at all.  They are ideal starter plants if you’ve never had a garden but others like pineapples take two years before they bear fruit.  Its really easy to grow a pineapple.  You just take the top that you have cut off a pineapple, put it into the soil, and make sure it stays moist until you’re sure its growing.  Within a week or so you’ll see the new leaves appearing at the centre of the top you planted.  The sweetest pineapples are the small Queen variety with small tops.


Here is a pineapple growing amid the mulch of leaves. In two years I should be able to eat a fresh home-grown pineapple.

Now while you wait for your pineapples to grow make sure that you invest in your own future as well.  Make sure that you eat healthy food, get enough exercise and get enough rest.  Take some time out to do things that make you happy.  Two weeks ago my husband and I took advantage of having the weekend off and had a picnic on the beach on the Sunday.  The weather was lovely (in winter we actually have some days that the wind doesn’t blow) and the tide was very low.  We walked across the beach and had lunch in a little cove.  Things like that are the things that memories are made of.  That is the kind of investment that makes sense to me.  Memories are something that no-one can ever  take away from you.  You can get robbed and lose your possessions, your car can get stolen and you can make a bad investment and lose all your money but memories are forever.



My daughter and I recently painted some signs for my garden on some roof sheeting.

So, plant pineapples in your garden and in your soul.  Invest in your future and nurture the people you love.