Sunday, 2 June 2019

Of Neighbors, Skunk Cats, and Junk Journals

It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly there was a loud "BANG!"
Ooo... good start to a story!
A little background now...

So last night, I sat down to binge watch the just-released, much anticipated, 6 part series "Good Omens" on Amazon Prime. The series is based on Terry Pratchett (of Discworld fame) and Neil Gamin's book. It is hilarious, and I can TOTALLY recommend it! The hallway walls of Hell have signs that say "Please don't lick the walls". Hmmm....

Halfway thru the bingeing around 8.30 pm, suddenly there was a loud banging on the back door. I NEVER get late visitors. Let's face it, I don't really get many visitors at any time of the day, but definitely not after dark!

Standing at the back door was a neighbour, proffering a head of broccoli. Apparently they were in the middle of making a fancy pasta dish from scratch, and suddenly realized that they didn't have any garlic in any form in the house, and could I please spare a clove of garlic, because all the shops were shut. Lol. Yeah... we've all been there! Just last week I was getting everything out to make cornbread, and discovered I didn't have any cornmeal. Oops! Fortunately I hadn't actually started it.

Well, it looks like winter has finally arrived (hence the dark and stormy night last night) - and right on time too. Yesterday was the first "official" day of winter here, and today it is cold, grey, wet, and VERY windy!

Definitely a good morning for a hot cup of coffee first thing. So I'm pattering out to the kitchen in my jammies, wrapped up in a long cardigan I use as a bathrobe, and POW! OMG, it smelled like a small skunk had gone off in the kitchen! Except we don't have skunks in New Zealand. 
OK, more backround...

About two months ago, the big tabby from down the back decided he didn't want to live there anymore, and he moved into my place. The owner was fine with that, as she was thinking of re-homing him anyway. His name is Frankie, and yeah, he's a bit of a mobster, but a really good mouser! Important, because I have been inundated with mice since the people in the flat next door - who did most of their cooking and had all their food storage in the garage - moved, leaving hordes of starving mice looking for a new food source. 

Frankie isn't too fond of Molly, the dog, and doesn't really like Sheba, my other cat. Sheba isn't too keen on the dog either, and really really dislikes Frankie. Molly doesn't like either of the cats, because they get attention she thinks should be going to her. So now I have three kiddies, all of them wanting to be only children. *Eyeroll*.

Anyway, it appears that Frankie, at some point in the middle of the night in his infinite cat wisdom, decided that the best way to prove once and for all that this was HIS house, was to spray the hutch and the big bag of potatoes in the kitchen. Pee-ewwww! And yes, he is neutered. Good thing I don't get a lot of visitors! Don't need a crystal ball to tell me that there is a big day of scrubbing ahead!


Sheba
Frankie


Molly
The Spirit Cloth is progressing nicely. Currently, I am doing the Boro stitching on a corner section. I love the way the Boro makes several disconnected layers of fabric look like a single piece of fabric, and I just adore the feel of it.


Boro stitching on Spirit Cloth Cover

With life getting back on track, I am looking at re-opening my Etsy shop, getting back into making my Fabric Books and Fabric Journals, and adding Art Journals, Junk Journals, and Junk Journal Planners to the inventory. Fingers crossed, I should have the first items in store in about 6 weeks. Next year, I hope to add online classes on making Fabric Books and Fabric Journals.

To whet my whistle in anticipation of getting into things, I made a toilet roll pocket book. Yup, it is exactly what it sounds like - a book of pockets made from toilet rolls (the cardboard rolls in middle of toilet paper), with tags in the pockets. 

There is an excellent video tutorial on how to make these by the wonderful LorriMarie Jenkins, a fabulous mixed-media artist. If you are interested in mixed media, her YouTube channel is really worth subscribing to.

Toilet Paper Roll Circus Pocket Book.

Mine is Teapot themed. I love teapots, and if I had the room I would collect them. It has all sorts of antique teapots - like the handmade silver camel from Morocco, and novelty teapots - like the octopus one from China. I have a bit of a Minion fetish, so the cover is a Minion tea set. My favorite teapot is the tiny toilet teapot (yes, a teapot in the shape of a toilet! Funky!)

Teapot Themed Toilet Roll Pocket Book

Camel Teapot and Octopus Teapot tags

Tiny Toilet Teapot tag

Hasta la vista - until we meet again. Cheers.





Friday, 10 May 2019

Spirit Cloth Progress

Well, here we are, heading in to the  middle of May. For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, that means autumn is almost finished, and winter will officially be here soon. While the nights are getting quite cold, the days are unseasonably warm. Spring bulbs are already up, and many of the trees - fruit trees especially, are very confused. On the up side, it is still warm enough to plant out autumn crops, and next week I will have enough extra to afford a small seed order, so I should be able to get a few more varieties in for the winter garden. Yay!

Woven block

The Spirit Cloth bedcover is progressing nicely. Mostly because I am doing it to the exclusion of everything else at the moment - including most housework, lol.

A number of people recommended starting with a small section, and expanding out from there to make a large cloth, and adding other sections as you go. This was a new way of working for me. I started with the circle piece pictured in the last post. From there, not having any ideas of what to do with it, I set it aside and moved on to making a few other blocks. One was a woven block, another was a woven block with hearts, then I did a small moon piece.


Moon block


Heart block



















Finally, with the Moon block, I got a little inspiration. If the moon is in the sky, then it could do with a bit of ground underneath. So I extended the cotton lawn base, and added an orange piece for the ground. It was wider than the moon piece, so I added a bit more cotton lawn base to the moon block, and extended the sky out to the left a bit. 
In the scraps basket were two narrow, long pieces left over from projects completed many years ago. I never envisioned being able to use them, but couldn't bring myself to throw them away. Now I had ideas for using them. The first one was a long straight piece which was perfect to use as a fence rail. This was embroidered over to attach it across the ground. On top of the rail, two cats came to sit. One of them decided to start singing. This is where the second piece of treasured scrap would be used. It was a long, tapering piece, with music notes on it. Perfect! However, I didn't wan't to cram it onto the existing block, I felt it would be much better to have it wandering onto another block. Once again this would entail adding another piece of cotton lawn base, then adding another foundation piece to it.

Moon block with cats



Singing cat

















By this time, I was finding the constant need to extend the piece, without any clear idea of what I wanted the finished section to look like, quite frustrating. I also realized that I was unconsciously squaring the piece off each time - something I actually wanted to avoid doing. I decided to put it - along with the other blocks I had done, onto the sheet base. So I had finally ended up where I usually start. My usual way of working is to start with a whole-cloth base the size I want the completed project (in this case an old queen-sized sheet), and work from there.

I can see how the piecemeal approach would work very well for many people. Doing applique and embroidery on a smaller piece is certainly a lot easier than doing it in the middle of a humongous cloth. And if you have a vision for each section, then there is a milestone to aim for that isn't off in the forever distance. But that approach just doesn't work for me. For me personally, I find it actually stifles my creativity. We all work in different ways.

For me, the most effective and creative way to do it is - as already stated - to start with a whole-cloth base the size of the item I want. Almost always, this will be an an old sheet. From there, I lay the foundation of patches. This gives me a good overview of the project, in terms of colour and foundation composition. Even if I don't have a clear vision of the finished item, I can still plug away at the foundation. For me, the ideas of what to do wrap themselves around the structures formed by the foundation. It makes it easier to - literally - run with an idea, such as a stream or a wandering line of falling leaves going down the entire length of the cloth. It also makes it easier to have the second and third layer elements crossing over from one patch to the next.

It is still very easy to have short term, medium term, and long term goals/milestones. I lay my foundation patches along in a line from one side to the other. Of course the bottom of the line is not a straight one because of the different sized patches, but it is still a line. Each line is a milestone. Laying the patches - large, medium, and small, then filling in the spaces and gaps with strips and bits. Once the entire line is laid and pinned, then I baste it down, leaving the bottom of the line unbasted, so that the next line can be overlapped or tucked under depending on how I want the patches to be.

left side of the first line


Middle of the first line

Right side of the first line

Eventually the last line is completed, and that means the entire foundation has been laid. This is what I term the First Layer, and this is the first major milestone. From there I start adding what I term the Second Layer elements - the applique. Once all the applique has been completed, I then add the Third Layer elements, the embroidery. This where the beasties get their faces, the leaves get their veins, etc. Unlike with the Crazy Quilting, which is very heavily embroidered, the embroidery on the Spirit Cloth will be kept to a minimum. It will be used to flesh out and embellish the appliqued item, but won't be used to fill in spaces and cover the surface. I think that level of stitchwork will clash with the Kantha/Boro stitching which is the final element, the Fourth Layer.
The Fourth Layer is where the entire thing is stitched together with close running stitches to pull all the layers together into a single cloth. In India it is called Kantha, and in Japan it is known as Boro.

As you can see, I am now doing the last line. I thought I would take a picture now, while I can lay it out on the driveway (the only place big enough to lay it out). We are expecting rain over the next few days.

From the bottom looking up

From the top looking down

Until next time... cheers.




Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Back In Action... Again

Greetings All! And a big hello and welcome to the new subscribers.

I have been away from blogging for quite some time. My bounce back from the issues caused by the chemo wasn't as bouncy or as back as I had hoped, and there was quite a slide back in my health, but I am definitely up and going now. Yay!

I spent much of the last year getting back into knitting, as the numbness and pain in my fingers slowly began to recede, and feeling came back. It was such a relief to be able to get back into handcrafts again, especially since it it is not just about hobbying. Being on an Invalid's Benefit (Disability Allowance) means that much of my handcrafting now is very practical and necessary, as I can't afford to buy a lot of things.

Things I managed to complete for myself were a jumper, two pairs of socks, four shawls, a small lace scarf, and a pair of slippers. I also did a pair of socks and pair of slippers for Mum, a shawl for friend, and I have another jumper almost finished.
Pictured are the four shawls and two pair of socks I did for myself.


The other major happening over this time was the garden. The garden, of course, got MAJORLY out of hand, with several years of not being able to do anything. And even now, my strength and stamina are not good enough to re-establish a large veggie garden in amongst the jungle that it became. I was afraid I might have to have it all put back into lawn. As a last hope, I contacted a local permaculture group, who kindly came and re-did my garden for me last April. 

Now it is not just four beds and some tyre gardens, but the whole yard has been put into garden. I have put in a wide variety of fruit trees and bushes, and am so pleased with how it has turned out. The first year in the hugelkulter beds was, of course, not great. They really need a year to settle down and start releasing the nitrogen back into the soil, and we had a very late frost towards the end of spring which hit the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants I had put out. But I did get a good harvest of potatoes, and a lot of self-sown pumpkins came up, which produced nicely. 
Winter has now returned, a full year since the revamp, and the winter garden is shaping up nicely. Once things are up and going in full swing - and we get a sunny day - I will do a short tour of the garden for you. And of course when summer comes and the garden is in its full glory, I will do full tour.























Meanwhile, I have started two new projects.
The first is a fabric art journal. 
Every so often, I want to do a technique study for sewing or embroidery, or sometimes a small sampler, or often just a small project. And then there are the lovely little fabric prints and pretty fabric pieces that I hang onto because I really like them, but don't really know what to do with them.
All these things end up shoved into boxes, the back of a cupboard, etc., ending up moldy, moth eaten, damaged, or lost. So I thought, the answer to that is to make a fabric journal to put all these things in. One that can be constantly added to, as things are done.
The first page I did was an exercise in Slow-Stitching. Several pieces of silk, edges left exposed, boro stitched down. I just adore the feel of this piece. Then I added a couple of antique lace pieces to it, then edged it in antique lace.

The second page was a fabric piece I had, that I really liked, paired with a set of four small fabric strips and three novelty threads that I was given in a swap a few years ago. I added a lovely piece of sheer gold ribbon that I had, some gold metallic embroidery, and a couple of Venetian lace pieces and a Venetian lace edging.
The cover I made all about the lace - 6 different antique laces layered on. In the centre, is my all time favorite fabric print - it is so "me".


The second new project is a Spirit Cloth bed cover. This project is a very ambitious one, which will take many years to complete.
Spirit cloth is a kind of patchwork-y thing, but it uses old clothes and fabric scraps to make - whatever is on hand, rather than buying new stuff. It is about recycling and re-purposing, patching and mending. It general uses natural fibre cloth, and is very utilitarian. But it is also very beautiful.
For several years I got very into Crazy Quilting, but ultimately I found it too "fancy" and impractical for my soul. I love the work I did, and cherish the work I have from others, not to mention all the wonderful people I met in the online communities and round robins, and I will likely still do the odd piece here and there in the fabric journal. But what I really wanted was something more practical, something where I could use the items I produced in everyday living.
Now I am more involved in the Slow-Stitching and Fibre Upcycling/Recycling movements, and I am finding a deep satisfaction, contentment, and peacefulness here.

From what I have been able to find, the originator of the movement, and the one who coined the term Spirit Cloth, is Jude Hill. She has a lovely website https://clothwhispering.com/, which includes a free class -Spirit Cloth 101, as well as other free classes and paid classes.
I have started my first piece, a wholecloth sampler of a study of circles. This will eventually become part of the big bedcover.


So... things to look forward to in future posts:

- a winter tour and a summer tour of my new garden. It is amazing how much food, and variety of food, one can grow in a 10 m x 11 m garden.

- new pages as they are completed and added to the fabric journal.

- updates on my Spirit Cloth bedcover.

Additionally, I am working on a toilet roll pocket book - to find out what that is see LorrieMarie Jenkins' YouTube video on making one. Mine is Teapot themed. And I also hope to start making Junk Journals once winter is over and it warms up a bit. Living in an area that gets cold winters, and not being able to afford heating, means winters tend to be spent huddled under blankets with a hotwater bottle, watching TV and doing hand stitching projects. Anything that requires moving around, or not sitting on the sofa huddled up, has to wait until it gets warmer.

So until the next post, cheers all.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Council Response

Well, Kevin Deacon of the Special Projects And Parking Management department of the Hastings District Council has replied to my email regarding the hospital staff parking invasion.

He says - and I quote: 

"... we are looking to mark the individual carparks on the street to ensure that vehicles are kept well clear of driveways.

Tradespeople are able to obtain cones to reserve a parking space, when undertaking planned maintenance or repair work, should they not be able to park on the property.

We hope that the road marking and advice for tradespeople will go some way towards helping residents cope with this change that has occurred on your street"

Wow! The Council seems to think that marking the parking spaces so people can see better where to park, and providing cones for tradespeople, is going to solve our problem. Really?! I mean... really?! Like marking parks so people can park in the lines, and providing cones for tradespeople goes in ANY way to deal with the issue? IT DOESN'T!

The cones for tradespeople are only of use IF the tradie knows at least a day in advance that they will be working on the property AND if they go there BEFORE 8am to place the cones - even though they may not be working on the property until the afternoon.
Our visitors STILL have nowhere to park. The disabled taxi, and the community services vehicle, who pick up the lovely guys in the wheelchairs, STILL have nowhere to park up. The careworkers who come every day to feed and shower the gentleman with dementia, STILL have nowhere to park. My neighbour in the middle flat, who has two small children, STILL has to park his car several streets over, because he has nowhere else to park.

With the streets becoming a parking lot, it makes it extremely difficult for those who collect the rubbish, recycling, and the bins, and now takes them much longer to do it.

As the duly elected council, it is their responsibility to see that residential areas ARE residential and NOT industrial sites or parking lots. We pay rates to live in a suburban area, NOT to live in a parking lot. The hospital staff HAVE a parking lot, and the fee charged is very reasonable - the price of a cup of coffee a week. They should be using their parking lot, not turning quiet suburbs into parking lots and disadvantaging others. It really is not acceptable.




Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Natural Pest Control In The Garden

One of the most common questions I get from people who visit my garden is "If you don't spray, why aren't your plants all eaten up by bugs? Are you sure you don't spray?" (yes, many do actually ask that).
When you spray, you tend to kill ALL the bugs -
 both good and bad. Yup, most people realize that. What they don't realize is how long it takes for the good bugs to come back.
The bugs that eat your plants are like the rabbits of the bug world - they live short lives, and reproduce fast and in large numbers. 
Take for example the aphid. According to entomologist Stephen A. Marshall: in optimal environmental conditions and lacking any predators, parasites, or disease, a single aphid could produce 600 billion descendants in one season. That's a lot of aphids!


The bugs that feed on them, on the other hand - the predatory bugs - are like the wolves and lions of the bug world. Longer lived, slower to reproduce, and they don't reproduce in the same kind of numbers. Each praying mantis will only reproduce once in its life time, the male being cannibalized during mating, and the female dying after laying eggs. The egg cases hold around 200 eggs each, and many of those won't hatch due to exposure and predation.  



So when you spray, the destructive bugs come back quite quickly, but the predatory ones don't, which leaves your garden very vulnerable. It can take a few years (and patience and frustration) of not spraying to establish a bug-based pest control system.


Meanwhile, it is important to ensure there are food supplies for the good bugs in early spring and late autumn. Wild fennel is a fantastic plant to have tucked away in a corner of your garden. It flowers early in spring, and late in autumn, and provides nectar, when little else is available, for the lady bug (eater of aphids), and the parasitic wasp (killer of white butterfly caterpillars). This will ensure they are in your garden before the aphids and white butterflies are.
It is also important to provide shelter for over-wintering - someplace that isn't going to be disturbed by your yard and garden activities - to keep them there, so they are in your garden before the pests arrive. Pinterest and the internet in general are full of ideas and instructions for building 'bug hotels', from the very simple to the very elaborate.




Of course, it doesn't mean the good bugs will do all the work - although they are more efficient than spraying (my neighbour sprays profusely, and still complain bitterly about the bug problem). You still need to do your morning rounds - picking the stink bugs out and dropping them in a bucket of soapy water, collecting the snail and slugs you find and putting them out on the pavement or drive for the thrushes to eat, wiping off any white butterfly eggs you find and killing any of the caterpillars you see, and pulling out anything too heavily infested with aphids.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Frimley Ave has been Invaded.

This post is a little bit different from my normal, But I really feel something needs to be said on this issue

Frimley Ave was a nice, quiet little suburban street - until we got invaded. We got invaded by the little black beetle from Aussie, which was a bit of nuisance, but we dealt with. Far more insidious was the invasion of hospital workers.
Since the hospital instigated a $1 a day parking fee for its staff, these people have emptied out of the carpark, and into the surrounding streets. Now our residential street parking is crammed full of hospital staff too cheap to pay $1 a day for parking. Really? Have these people not been to Auckland... or Wellington?
Suddenly the residentials have no residential parking. Our visitors have nowhere to park. Our tradies are parking in communal driveways -a big no-no, but where else is there? Everytime someone wants to come or go from one of the flats on that driveway, the tradie has to stop work, move his vehicle out to let the people in or out, then park back up in the driveway.
The disabled taxi, and the community services vehicle, who pick up the lovely guys in the wheelchairs, have nowhere to park up. The careworkers who come every day to feed and shower the gentleman with dementia, have nowhere to park. My neighbour in the middle flat, who has two small children, has to park his car several streets over, because he has nowhere else to park.
For the sake of $5 or $6 a week, for the price of one cup of coffee every week, hospital staff with good paying jobs are more than happy to disadvantage the elderly, the sick, the disabled, the people on benefits and pensions, and the struggling families with small children. Shame on them!

This photo was taken at 9.26 am this morning. Not ONE SINGLE CAR in this picture belongs to a resident, a resident's visitor, a tradesperson working on a resident's property, or a careworking visiting any of the elderly or disabled people on the street.
ALL of these cars belong to hospital staff that park here ALL DAY. The spaces you see between some of the cars are driveways, and a little hint here - there are actually more driveways than spaces, hmm...


I have contacted the local council, the district health board, and the local paper. So lets see if anything gets done.

This OUR street, and we want it back!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Magic Beans

Hi all. I bet you think this post is going to be about beans... nope. I recently joined a local FB community for swapping produce, preserves, seedlings and plants, etc - foodstuffs that have been foraged, grown, produced, or preserved by the individual, no purchased foods, and no money to change hands. It is called Magic Beans.
Although, as my regular readers will know, I have a good garden, it seldom produces excess - with the exception of rhubarb and herbs. So I offer my preserving skills instead - people can give me their excess produce, and I will return some of it as some kind of preserve - e.g plums can be returned as plum sauce, plum chutney, pickled plums, or plum jam; pumpkins I will process into a sweet puree which can be used for pie fillings, puddings, and pumpkin bread, or a savory puree for soup. The puree is packed into snaplock bags, you pop it in the freezer, then take out what you need as you need it.
The lovely lady who set it all up, Anneliese, dropped some jars off for me yesterday, and really liked my small-space garden, so asked if I would share pics and a little info. I thought rather than put a big post on the FB page, I would post a few pics and some basic info there, but do a full size blog post here for those interested in more info. So here we are.

I live in the front flat of a set of three connected flats, and have a small front yard that goes with it (middle flat has no yard, back flat has a back yard). When I first moved here, the yard was surrounded by large, untrimmed ornamental trees, which spread over most of the yard, and shaded the rest. The soil was so barren that not even grass grew, and there were no earthworms to the 3 feet down that I dug in various places. I cut down the trees on the sunward side, and trimmed back the trees on the other side, and slowly started establishing the gardens.

The first gardens I put in were the tire gardens. Six tires put side by side in two rows of three each for one tire garden. I put in three of these, which I brought with me from my last place of residence. 
There is a lot of controversy and conspiracy theory, based on anecdotal evidence only, surrounding the use of tires for growing food. But actual peer-reviewed scientific studies show that the rubber in tires is inert. It does not absorb toxins, and it does not leach toxins into the soil or plants.
Originally these were used to grow veggies in, but now I use them to grow my biennial and perennial herbs and veggies.
The first set of six tires has: wild Greek oregano (so much more fragrant and flavorful than the standard variety), Mexican marigold mint (something new I'm doing this year), Italian flat leaf parsley, mitsuba (Japanese parsley, another new one), Shiso green (another Japanese herb and another new one), and garlic chives.
The second set has: Asparagus (I grew these from seeds), anise hyssop (in theory - I'm not having a lot of luck with germination, this is also a new herb for my garden this year), French tarragon, pizza thyme and golden marjoram share a tire, winter savory (a must for anyone who cooks a lot of beans), and arugula (yes, this is a perennial, although it is usually treated as an annual).
The third set has: knotted marjoram (also known as sweet marjoram), French thyme, Texas tarragon, horseradish, sorrel, and lemongrass.
I also have a set of four tires that I put in two years ago, which I use to grow odds and ends veggies that I hadn't planned for, or ran out of space for in the main plots. This year I have sunflowers and komokomos in them.

They look a little bare at the moment, as some of them are newly planted.



Next I put in four main beds, for my annual crops. These beds are slightly raised, and are 4ft by 7ft (I had originally planned for 8ft, but when I went to get the wood for it, they had 7ft planks at a really good price - substantially cheaper than it would have cost to get 8ft ones, or two 4ft ones, so I went with those). These size beds are great - the middle can be reached from either side, and the dimensions allow for square foot gardening, short rows (in the 4ft direction), or long rows (the 7ft direction). Which ever way you prefer doing it. You can also put stakes in at the corners to drape bird netting or frost cloth over them.

You can grow a LOT of variety in these.
This year's autumn crops (I have already started planting out seed in the back two beds) will be: 
BED 1: peas, brussels sprouts - red, daikon radish,onions - red cipollini , radish - purple plum, miner's lettuce (not actually a lettuce), spinach - bloomsdale, beans - dwarf yellow, onion - borettana, radish - watermelon, salsify
BED 2: spinach -santana, shallots, rocket, chichory - sugarloaf, cauliflower - yellow, onions - red brunswick, brussels sprouts - green, komatsuna, endive, Dutch cornsalad, silderbeet - yellow stemmed
BED 3: broad beans, mustard streaks (salad green), rocket, mustard - purple wave (cooking veg), mibuna, radish - easter egg, radicchio, beans - dwarf green, tat soi, spring onions, chervil, cutting celery (different from standard celery)
BED 4: dill, onion - purplette, kale, carrot - pusta (a sweet, deep purple variety), spinach - santana, pak choi, radicchio, coriander, leeks, beetroot, radish - fire candle, carrots - nutri red, lettuce

There is a Mayer lemon tree in one corner of the yard, and Old English mint and apple mint growing under it, with self-sown borage doing its thing in a little area I leave kind of wild, by the overflow compost heap - I have a compost bin but at certain times of the year there is more than it can handle.



In the border gardens, along the edges of the yard, I grow a variety of flowers for the bees, and a few fruit bushes and trees - a blueberry bush, a blackboy peach - which should start producing in a year or two, a Seville orange and a blood orange - both of which are still a few years off from producing, a pomegranate tree, and a redcurrant bush and a blackcurrant bush - both of which are only starting to produce. Also lemonbalm, pinapple sage, chocolate mint, and comfrey (that's new this year).

In a small area by the flat I set up a little sitting area, and have put a trellis up with passionfruit planted on it, to eventually give a privacy screen from the neighbors. Underneath the passionfruits are some strawberry plants, and behind the seating are a couple of pepinos. In an old bathtub, I have Chinese water chestnuts growing.



There is also a small garden under the kitchen window which has lavender, rhubarb, Purple sage, green sage, rosemary, and a key lime that I just planted this year (so it is a few years off from producing).

I had wanted to include a beehive or two, but sadly I am highly allergic to bees, and while there would be no problem having them on the property (bees only sting if provoked or stepped on), I wouldn't be able to manage them or harvest the honey because of the sting risk.

As you can see, you can get a LOT of variety in a very small area. Not a lot of any one thing, or enough for preserving (for most things), but enough to keep you in fresh food.
So if you have only a small space, go ahead and give it a go. And remember, it doesn't all have to be done at once. I have done all this across an 8 year span, as money, health and energy has allowed.