Regular readers may be familiar with these zucchini that recently turned into eggs


Trombone zucchini tastes like zucchini, looks like…
well, lets just say it looks different.


Our neighbour’s eggs- look like eggs, taste like…eggs

Well another zucchini we grew, just miraculously turned into a delicious curry and some other scrumdiddlyumptious side dishes, thanks to our lovely Sri Lankan neighbours!


The swap happened under the cover of darkness. Which was a relief because I felt like I was getting a ridiculously good deal!

We do most of our vegetable gardening in our front yard (mainly because it gets good sun, and also because the backyard is shady fruit tree forest. Also it is because we used to have a dog that roamed the backyard, pooing everywhere and chasing anything ball-like). We don’t have a ginormous block so the front yard was always destined for greatness. I envisaged a manicured, practice putting green so our kids could turn into pro-golfers and I could retire… but instead I made it into a vegetable patch/jungle.

The major up-side of front yard gardening is that you meet a lot of your neighbours (who are often gardening too, or trying to avoid having to look at your scarecrow as they pass by… ). I love the privacy of the backyard when it’s ‘us time’ but I also love the community-feeling of being in the front yard too. We have neighbours with diverse backgrounds some with heritage in Sri Lanka, Italy, Lebanon, The UK, Greece… And I, (being white-trash) find it so interesting to hear about how their families all got to this country and then to our suburb and street. I feel privileged to be able to listen to their stories but it also makes me think of the people who are currently trying to find refuge in our country, but who find themselves detained for doing so…

These lovely people with their global accents almost all garden too, which I would venture, is often a feature of first-generation Australians. It’s a feature I am very endeared to!

I love hearing how different cultures garden and I love tasting how they turn their harvest into deliciousness. I have been very lucky to have inherited grape cuttings,  heirloom tomato seeds, figs, preserved olives, seedlings, and other assorted fruit and vegetables from these generous people. I have definitely received more than I have given away and for that, I want to say thankyou!

So the moral of this story is:

If you want a curry, grow a zucchini!


Ok. This one won’t make it into a cook book but the skill was in not drooling all over the food while taking the photo. Can’t wait for lunch tomorrow!


The story of the lost chicken and the zuchinis that changed into eggs.

So the other day we received a letter in the mail saying someone had lost their chicken from their backyard. We had a look around and sure enough, there were a few eggs scattered around the dark corners of our backyard. Later that day we heard some clucking and out popped a chicken from under our apricot tree.

We called the number on the letter and met with our new neighbour who explained that she had saved some chickens from a battery farm.

A few weeks later we received 6 warm eggs from  our new chooky friends!

Now we trade excess fruit and zuchinis for eggs.


here’s a picture of 6 eggs in a zuchini suit

It makes me so happy to be a part of this type of barter system, here in the concrete jungle. It’s a system that our ancestors have enjoyed for millennia and that is slowly creeping back into the lives of city dwellers, despite the efforts of the big supermarket chains to make us think that the only way to get ‘fresh’ produce is by buying it,wrapped in plastic from a refridgerated shelf in a shopping aisle.


and this is a zucchini, cunningly disguised as 6 fresh, warm eggs

We have only just started bartering with the people who sleep within 30m of us, but I am going to try to do it a bit more.

What’s 5 foot 10, bald, wears gumboots, hangs from trees, has facial tattoos and scares our neighbours?

If you said this small thing it the red t-shirt, you’re close…


nah, this one’s about 3 foot 2


not very sunsmart, Dawn

Dawn, our scarecrow, that’s who.

We made this cool scarecrow using an old wetsuit, a bail of straw, some old gumbys and some gloves. We also had an old head lying around (who doesn’t) which the kids painted a while back.


See? not a bird in sight!
(and none of our friends seem to visit anymore…)

How to make her:

1. get a wetsuit, from the 2nd hand shop

2. get some gloves from your shed and some old boots/shoes

IMG_6890 IMG_6889

3. Before you stuff it with hay, put the boots and gloves on the wetsuit and stick some wire through them to hold them on.

4. Stuff it with hay

5. Get that old plastic head that’s sitting in your loungeroom (or you might find one at a 2nd hand shop, or there’s new polystyrene ones at Spotlight type shops, but they’re not particularly great for the environment when theyre worn out. You could probably make a cool (and less bleedin-scary) head from a balloon, or a balloon paper-mache crafty effort, or just a plastic bag filled with hay.). Stick it in the neck hole. We shoved a stick down the body for the head to sit on so it didn’t loll around.


she’s so beautiful… in a completely horrific kinda way

6. Hang her from the zip cord and wave goodbye to those pesky birds (and door-to-door salespeople to hopefully!)