Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Worm Farm

here we go, I got the basic designs from this website, it was nice and simple and cost effective as you can use old pieces of wood and make the size to fit accordingly. The only cost was TOP2.00 for the nails and TOP12 for the mosquito net.

Getting there!

I drilled more holes in it than suggested as our climate is hotter, it is placed out of direct sun under a mango tree.
Am wondering if I should paint it?

The worms will share my kitchen compost waste just not from acidic or citrus families! And of course nothing happens now without my little helper Nikki, who kindly carried coconuts in case I needed them.

 I could not take photos of all stages as the wind was blowing everything around, after the newspaper I added some soil and compost as well as shredded cardboard and food. The newspaper was moistened for the worms comfort!

My gorgeous helper.

Newspaper with mosquito net bottom

Just hoping with Cyclone Evan lurking it remains in place and does not get blown away.

I love trying this projects as experiments to what and how we can do things here, they are great small ways to encourage sustainability and better gardening practices without using fertilisers and chemicals.

Quite a nice little area for a worm garden!

Again, I send my thoughts to those affected by the Cyclone in Samoa and for the Niuas and Fiji in the upcoming days. At present Vava'u will not be directly affected, but we are keeping a close eye on the way it changes.

Thanks to my husband as always for his support in my trials! xx

The waiting game

Cyclone Evan is over Samoa

the weather we are all keeping an eye on, though the "cyclone" season starts at the end on November, this is the first time in 7 years that we have seen one crop up in December. February has always been the month here where we have had the majority of small cyclones appear.

Vava'u has been quite lucky since Waka hit in the 2002 Christmas period and we are definitely hoping that this does not become a repeat.

One thing to note is that in the South Pacific cyclones are categorised by wind speeds that are much lighter than those in the northern hemisphere. Here a cyclone is named at 35 knots and becomes a Tropical depression at 25 kts during this time. (During winter time here we are often out on the ocean in 25kts with the Humpback Whales)

So fingers crossed that Samoa, Niuas and Fiji do not get hit too hard, the Niuas just had their homes rebuilt after the 2009 Tsunami wiped a lot of houses out.

Right now for Vava'u we are predicted winds up to approx 35kts for the next 5-6 days and a massive swell of 5.6m to go alongside it. The outer and low lying areas will definitely be watching the tides as extreme high tides are predicted for the next few days.

We will be watching and waiting and hope that Christmas is still one of calm and happiness and not one of damage and disaster.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Quite the fad

here at the moment is to make your own fresh pineapple juice out of the leftover skins. I had not heard of this until a couple fo weeks ago, despite living on tropical islands for over 12 years!

Trish, owner of the Balcony, gave Kate (Turtle lady!) the recipe, but the information stopped there!! ha ha (sorry Kate), but a quick google search brings up lots of recipe ideas and wow its really healthy for you.

The one we liked was from the following website as we are also huge ginger fans. The first time we made it we added a little too much ginger (2 knuckles) and so in this one we halved the amount and it tastes great. We also boil it for about 20 minutes and leave it to steep for 4 hours, other sites say overnight but we dont want those pesky fruit flies to show up.
Pineapple skins and ginger on the boil

Pineapples at this time of year are in abundance though generally the season is only about 3-4 months, a pile of pineapples at the market is approx US$3.50 for 5 pineapples, and when you consider that you need this amount to make a litre of pineapple juice which would normally cost about US$4 in the shops here, you are getting a much better deal. Plus you are not wasting the great flavour of homemade juice.

The finished juice

Next years crop we hope!
The tops of the pineapples get put into our garden and we hope to have some of our own fresh pineapples next year. With the leftover skins, we crush them up and into our compost tumblers they go, adding again a great base for healthy compost.

The longer we live here, the more we learn about using every part of the vegetables and fruits we can get here.

My calender says.....

Closest Christmas colour flower I could find.
that we are past the first week of December, however here in the sunny South Pacific it never really feels like Christmas is just around the corner.

Christmas decorations are a rare sight here as are Christmas carols on the radio, though all my Northern Hemisphere friends are certainly feeling the cold and getting into the spirit. Facebook is a wonderful tool for sharing pictures over the equator.

It has been a sad and strange fortnight with the loss of 2 friends and it is always a hard time for their families, our thoughts are with them all.

The upcoming weeks will be spent scouring the shops for the arrival of Christmas treats, hopefully some turkeys are on their way.

I was planning on getting out for some photo taking this weekend and managed a little, however the 20 knot winds and hazy sky are not the best for shooting, so I only got a few.

Creepy crawlies with egg sac.

Not able to go anywhere without Nikki close by my side.

So many beautiful sunrises here.