Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sculpture in the park

I don't know the name of the artist who created this this fine looking piece. It is on display at a new park up in Whangarei. The Heritage Trail and Art Walk is at Hihiaua peninsula down in the town basin, alongside the Hatea river. I guess next time there might be a bit more information available, hope so anyway. I'll take some more photos of the other works too, a bit hard to capture them well with my camera (or is it just my photography skills - or lack of?!).

This sculpture was one of two standing close together, and standing tall too, around 5m high at a guess.

The Maori name Hihiaua apparently means 'fishbait'.

There was a lot of Maori history to read and take in, I definitely need to go back to spend longer there.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We've been busy shelling peas and broad beans here on CTF. A job that D enjoys helping me with luckily. While the pea harvest has not been huge (note to self - grow more next Autumn/Winter!), what we have had we've really enjoyed.

Broad beans (fava beans), on the other hand, there are no shortage of, since I put in lots of plants with a view to not only eating the beans but to improving the soil - the roots have wee nodules that supply nitrogen to the soil. I have a few broad bean recipes I'm keen to try out, such as falafels (made combined with the usual chick peas), linguine with broad beans, bacon and mint, and ham hock with chorizo and broad beans. Not everyone in the household is quite so keen on them as me though, so I might have to make 'dinner for one'!

These frilly lavender blue sweet peas are just starting to bloom, their scent is delicious!

Other flowers in the garden at present are these geraniums:

Gardenias -
And this lovely pink petunia (thanks to my mother in law), which is called 'Raspberry Blast' -

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Out and about

Yesterday we visited Omeru Pa Scenic Reserve which we stopped in at (it's on State Highway 16) on our way home from Helensville. Helensville (originally known as Te Awaroa - The Valley of the Long River) is further south in Kaipara (see this map). There is some interesting information here about the Omeru Pa Scenic Reserve. I particularly like the Maori proverb at the beginning.

We all enjoyed exploring the old Maori settlement (hilltop fort), D climbed to the top at the earliest opportunity, we all walked through the bush, over bridges and up close to the waterfall. Magical.

Waitangi Falls
Waitangi Falls

D at the top of the Pa site

Panoramic view from the top of the Pa.
Interestingly there were some old fig trees growing on the side of the hill. Wonder how come they got to be there.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Garden notes for early Nov

Big bag of fresh broad beans (plus chive flower!)

Today D and I have been harvesting some of the broad beans which are starting to get to a reasonable size now (maybe a little on the small side but that's OK!). I will be giving away quite a lot of beans as there are many more to come, and I will probably freeze a few for us to have later too. We enjoyed some tonight with our beef stew (done in the slow cooker) and some mashed potatoes.

I've been doing some much-needed weeding up in the veg garden and am busy putting in some veg. D wanted his own garden this year so we are working on that at the moment. I will post some photos once we have worked on it a little more. He is quite enthusiastic about it, lugging up his watering can and watering the little seedlings. He even planted his cucumber plant all by himself (unbeknown to me until later!). So far in his garden we have peas, lettuce, corn, capsicum, cucumber, tomatoes and basil, dwarf beans and some sweet peas. D will be sowing some flower seeds too. He has also planted some 'King Kong' sunflowers along the fence. Can't wait to see it established.