Frost tender


This morning we woke to an extremely heavy frost. It was, literally, freezing! These are my beautiful lemons and I realised that I’d become so complacent with all our warm weather that I hadn’t built the frost protectors around them as I’d planned to do. Nature sneaks up on you. I guess that’s how they must have felt in New Orleans. For years everyone had known something had to be done about the levees but it just kept being put off until suddenly nature snuck in and did the dirty on everyone. I hope nature hasn’t done the dirty on my lemons now.

I’m not so sure about my brussel sprouts, broccoli and lettuces which I’ve never grown in winter before. Will have to check them out tomorrow. Fortunately we did have a feast of our first ever brussel sprouts last night. We were amazed that they tasted nothing like the ones you buy in the shop – they were much more delicate and sweet and left us craving for more.


Standing out the front of the school talking to Andy, who’s a gardener and parent too, I learnt that frost is actually a good thing for the garden and does what’s described as frost tilling. As water freezes, it expands, creating a powerful force capable of breaking up even heavy clods of earth. It can be a force to be put to work.

It’s also extremely beautiful.


I love the way I learn so much from my friends. It’s one of the reasons community gardens are such a great idea. Sure, in Blackheath, most of us have gardens of our own, but a community garden is also a place where you can work together. A social gathering place where you can share expertise, food, seeds, time and hopes for your community’s future. Susan, for example, who’s teaching us permaculture, bought us in these beautiful kiwi fruits she’d grown.


Nada is another of my friends who inspired me to do this blog and continues to inspire me. She recently did a blog about Victory Gardens in WW2 and about John Raeburn who encouraged everyone to Dig For Victory
during the war.


I’m hoping this poster means that my sprouts and broccoli will survive. I’ve now bought little kale, onion, leek and beet seedlings to see if I can get them to grow through winter too.

Nada has been extremely helpful in so many areas but last night she turned my life around. She put a comment on the blog telling me you could

buy large blocks of organic chocolate at the Co-op … so guess where I went today? Thank you Helen for recommending the Oxfam shop … coffee was going to be one of the next things I tackled so if I can get both there I’ll be in 7th Heaven.



I’ve also been rewarded today for a rare display of patience on my part. I normally want instant gratification but I’ve been trying to wean myself out of this. If you’re trying to avoid buying new things you really do have to be patient to be able to find things you want secondhand. I’ve been wearing my watch and not replacing its deteriorating band FOR WHAT SEEMS LIKE AGES but today I finally found a secondhand band that I can replace it with. Yeeha.


On the political front I gave a Climate Presentation to Blue Mountains Grammar School and I also clicked and sent off another letter through the Citizen’s Climate Change Campaign … realised I’d missed the one about Anvil Hill after the Government approved its go-ahead.


2 thoughts on “Frost tender

  1. susan

    Dear Lis
    Your Brassicas should be okay with the frost (but then I live in sunny Katoomba not Bleak-heath)
    If you are really worried about the frost on your lettuces apply some water in a watering-can, (of course) before the sun hit the plants full on. What a frost does is freeze the individual plant cells so if they get heated up suddenly, by the sun, the cells burst and you’ve got mush; as I have no doubt your Nasturtiums are doing.
    Today I did lesson plans on how to teach Lis and her fellow class mates all about nurturing our precious wildlife and wilderness.
    I find it good to do a re-appraisal of what is going on – for example, the last time I revised this class I noted that since 1788- 125 plant and animal species had become extinct in NSW, latest figures however suggest 296. Whoo…
    My political statement for today is somehow connected and maybe why I felt it was urgent. The Emiraites Consortium in Capertee, put in a DA for a Heliport for regular Heliflights over the adjoining World Heritage Area that we are part of..
    Originally rejected the matter goes before the Land and Environment Court tomorrow. I see concerns for the Wollemi National Park the World Heritage area as a whole and god help the wilderness

  2. Brigitte G.

    Hi Lis, beauuuutiful photos of the fruit !! i meant to ask you about the permaculture classes ? are they still on ? i’ll be interested.. can u email me please ?
    Thanks !

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