Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Biodegradable Laundry Powder

Our property is not connected to town water or town sewerage so we have a Biocycle, which is and aerobic wastewater treatment system.  The waste water is treated by the Biocycle and then clean odourless disinfected water is recycled through garden sprinklers onto our trees and lawn.

We are careful about the cleaning products we use in the house as ammonia and bleaches should not be put through the Biocycle.  There are plenty of environmentally friendly cleaning products on the market but they are expensive so I had a go at making my own laundry powder.  We've used it about 4 times now and I have no complaints with how clean the clothes are.  I also love that our clothes don't come out with that overpowering perfume smell that some commercial laundry powders have.

I researched many recipes and in the end combined a few together to come up with this. 

Laundry Powder Recipe

  • 6 Cups Washing Soda
  • 3 Cakes Biome True Castile Soap (any castile or pure unscented soap is fine)
  • 1 Cup Epsom Salts
  • 1/2 Cup Bi Carb Soda
  • A few drops of tea tree oil or any essential oil

I chopped the soap into small pieces and then put it all in my thermomix (food processor) and blended until it was the consistency of washing powder.  Due to the little bit or oil and the waxy consistency of the soap it does form little balls within the powder.  It looks very much like bought laundry powder.

The washing soda, bi carb and epsom salts are all very cheap ingredients. The Castile soap was $7.95 a cake so that made the powder more expensive than it needed to be but still not as expensive as bought laundry power. 

I will source my castile soap from a different place next time. . 

It left a bit of a waxy film in my thermomix but I just blended a lemon with a little water after I'd washed it and it came up shiny and clean just like a new one. 

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Penelope Chloe

We have a new little grandchild  Penelope Chloe born on the 10th October 2019.  She is just gorgeous.

Here are a few things I have made for her.

Planting Trees on Clarkson Sept 2019

Officially this is on the Clarkson block but as we have moved the fence line to give us more space.   Either way what we are planting will benefit both houses.

Jody came to visit for the weekend so I put her to work 

We planted :

1. 2 x Backhousia Citridora (Lemon ironwood or lemon scentered myrtle.   We called on Meryl and one Merve
2. 2 x Cupaniopsis anacardioides (Tuckeroo) We called on Lara and one Brooke on account of Jody's friends the Tuckers  These grow up to 12 metres high and 3-4 metres wide
3. A couple of days before Jody and I did our planting Garry planted a Hymenosporum (Australian Frangipani) High to 10 Metres and width to 6 m

Lemon Myrtle

Flame Tree
26 October 2019 We called into Wallu Nursery again today and got 2 Flame Trees
Brachychiton acerifolius or Illawarra Flame Tree

We planted one on the Road / Tree line at the dam and one on the Clarkson block (that we use)


Creating a Front Garden

I've started a shrub garden across the front yard so that we can look out onto it from the deck and also the house and just to break up the large expanse of lawn and give the birds another place to forage. 
Day 1 of planting 4 October 2019

We got the bob cat to dig about 6 holes for the bigger plants and then filled those with our mix of top soil, mushroom compost and river sand.  Then we had a truck bring some Forrest mulch and we got the bob cat to spread it into the shape we wanted.  We didn't bother removing the grass I just hope we've put enough mulch on to choke out the grass.

I got the majority of the plants from the Wallu nursery but also have a few things I brought up from the city. 

On the first day (4 Oct 2019) I planted these:

  1. Tulbaghia Violacea (silver lace) Height 30cm and sread 30cm
  2. Leptospermuum Tickled Pink 1.5 - 2 metres tall  x 2 
  3. Metrosideros Collina Little Ewan 1m x 1m
  4. Euphorbia Ascot Rainbox (got this one from Bunnings) 50cm x 50 cm
  5. Alternanthera dentatq Little Maroon
  6. Metrosideros Collina Firecracker Height up to 3m
  7. Lomandra Little Con
  8. Euphorbia Pulchermia Poinsettia Winter Rose (bought from Bunnings)

First Few Plants
Added more plants on 26th Oct 2019

More planting on the 26th October

We went to Rainbow Beach for the morning so called back into Wallu nursery on the way home so I got a few more plants for the front garden.  I still can't plant out the whole garden as we have a fire set ready to burn and it's too big to move and we've been on a total fire ban for months.  I don't want to burn any new plants so I'm leaving that end free until we can have a fire. 

So today added:

  1. Baeckea Mount Tozer Height to 1m
  2. Coprosma Inferno 1.5 x 1.5m
  3. PolyGala Spread 1m Height 1m

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Black Bean Patties (Vegan)

I'm on a Vegan bent at the moment and made these for dinner.  I made the mixture in the Thermie being careful not to over blend.  They could be done by hand but I made them after a busy day at work so was looking for the shortcuts. Very delicious. 


1.5 cups of black beans (I  made these from dry beans that had been soaked and cooked then frozen but canned could be used)
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
1/2 red capsicum
1 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons of tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (of BBQ sauce)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon steak seasoning

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

Cut the onion in half and roughly chop the capsicum.  Put in the thermie with the garlic cloves and pulse for a couple of seconds. (You want it chopped but not too mushy)

Add all the other ingredients and pulse till combined.  (Don't overmix)

Line a baking tray with baking paper and place patties onto the tray.   I didn't want to get my hands mucky so I used a 1/2 cup measure to plonk the patties onto the tray and the mixture made 7 patties.

Cook for around 30 minutes or until crispy on the edges.  

I had one on a heated pita bread with lettuce and tomato.  

Friday, 4 October 2019

Lake Glen

The original dam
We moved back into our house in the bush 6 weeks ago after our last lot of tenants moved out.  We decided it's time to keep the house for ourselves and start turning our dreams into reality.   It's only been 6 weeks but there is so much to write about.  I'll start with the transformation of the dam into a lake.   
The Lake taken from the deck

There were a few reasons for doing this, not the least being we need more water.  We have big plans for the gardens and therefore need a way to keep the water up to them.  The second reason was one of aesthetics looking out onto the dam has always been one of my favourite things about being here and now looking over "the lake" has made that even more enjoyable. 

Ducks up early
The last reason for the enlargement was to make better use of the rain when it finally comes.  Every few years we get a flood and most of the water spills over the dam and onto the road, and at times has blocked the road.  Garry has planned the design of the dam so that we can "catch" a lot more of the flood water and hold it in our dam to use on our gardens.  

The "lake" was only completed last week so it's still very bare around the banks. We need to spread some grass seed just before the rain comes and get the grass growing.   I have a picture in my mind of how beautiful it will be and I expect it will surpass that.  Already the duck families are loving the extra space.  

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

African Violets

Successfully growing African Violets has always been a goal for me.  My mum grows them beautifully and up until now I haven't had any success but things may be changing.

I've had these ones for 3 weeks now and it looks like I may have found the right spot for them. 

The plant name for the African Violet is Saintpaulia which sounds really pretty to me.  They are native to Tanzania and Kenya. 💜💜💜