Monday, August 31, 2015

Last of winter

Well officially it is the last of winter. Spring starts tomorrow but in reality it has been spring-like for a little while now. The odd frosty morning in the mix but that is what spring is like too. A lot of the fruit trees are in bloom but there are still many to come which is a good thing because it spreads the blossom-y joy in the apiary over some weeks rather than a few days.

And joy it is for the bees. For the beekeepers too because we do like to just sit sometimes and enjoy the buzz overhead. That's what we did on Saturday. Picked some mandarins from the tree and plonked down under the apricot tree and enjoyed the sound of industry above. Just what the bees need coming out of winter. Pollen for the babies and nectar to make honey.

Next week we will open the hives for a quick check. Just to make sure everything is ok and there is still enough honey to tide the hives over until the warmer weather. The comings and goings from the hives makes me think all is well. They are very busy on these cool sunny days.

I'm busy too. mowing grass, making compost, sowing seeds, weeding and just generally doing what needs to be done along with some things just for fun. That's a good mix.


On a challenge

I do have a tendency towards silliness at times. Nothing that will hurt anyone, just a little bit of fun. I like to set little (or big) challenges for myself and for those who live with me if they care to join in. There has been the no chocolate challenge (very difficult), the no coffee challenge (even harder), meat-free May (now we are vegetarians) and now I'm embarking on another challenge.
I really would like to test the boundaries of eating from the garden. I'd love to be saying I'll be eating only from the garden and the other bounty we produce (eggs and honey) but I like to eat and I don't want my challenge to be about deprivation or indeed for it to be a umm... challenging.
First asparagus 2016
The best time to start something like this would be in the height of summer garden production but I'm going to take a similar approach as Barbara Kingsolver in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and start with the spring. Today I found the first asparagus spear of the year and the ducks are laying eggs so I suppose that could constitute spring. The calendar though says spring is still five days away so that will give me some time to work out the rules guidelines. There always have to be guidelines and special exceptions. It's just how these silly notions work.

Most pathetic bird scarer ever

What is working against me are the birds. I thought possums were making merry in the garden and destroying things here and there but it is actually parrots and cockatoos. They are wasteful and destructive. I would gladly share some of the garden and orchard produce with them. Instead I am resorting to futile efforts with plastic owls, pretend cats and scarecrows to keep them away. I think they are laughing at me. The only thing scared of this 'owl' is me every time I go out the back door and it catches my eye. Netting is probably the way to go. we'll see.


New beginnings


I am not by nature a person who seeks attention or who needs an audience but I have discovered that I do truly like to write things down for my own personal record and to share as well. This has been really brought home to me in the few months since I privatised (and basically stopped posting on) my original blog. I have missed it. The writing, the interaction, the sharing. I have not missed the prying eyes of that one person who was reading my posts in hopes of finding me falling down.

Limes posing as lemons

 This space will be dedicated to my garden, perhaps some sewing, other crafts, cooking and some posts on some of my other hobbies- letter-writing, reading, caring for animals. What won't be here is anything too personal or revealing. No politics or religion. Nothing nasty ever. Although life is not always a picture of happiness, I always aim to have a sunny disposition and attitude and I hope it will come across as I continue to post.

I read a quote on my friend Rift's page today which rings true for me.

You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.
~ Annie Proulx
Bye for now


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Where is my motivation?

I would really like to find some motivation. Mine has got up and walked away. I'm sure it's somewhere. Maybe it is all the fault of the list I made. It's too long so instead of just picking a chore and doing it I umm and ahh and then don't do anything. I keep putting it off until tomorrow which is a big mistake. My excuse today is an injury to my thumb (a nasty cut whilst prepping dinner last night).

I did have a lovely walk around the ram paddocks (while they were enclosed in yards, Roger butts) this afternoon. That wasn't a chore and was just completely and utterly delightful to do. A few minutes down by the creek which is peaceful but not quiet at all. Some clambering over rocks for Grace (home on a study day) and a little time watching a wallaby watching me. Really that's the kind of things that matter. not an endless list of jobs to do which in reality will never end. Chores never do, they are always there and can wait.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Only good things today

 No point dwelling on the damage done by the possum (and yes, I've seen it now). So only nice things from the garden today. Broccoli on its way to becoming dinner, crimson broad beans (above) starting to flower and filled with delicious promise.

And our very own national floral emblem, the wattle, blooming at the front gate.

Now it's time to think about dinner or at least the bread component. Focaccia tonight with rosemary on top- yum. Soup is a hearty vegetable and pearl barley soup which can pretty much use up any scrap of vegetable lurking in the fridge and still taste good.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


Possums in the garden. And I am LIVID. They have made merry and destroyed rows of garlic plants, broad beans, cauliflowers, parsley and to top it off had dessert from the mandarin tree in the orchard. Of course they don't even eat the plants, just snap them off and move on to the next thing in their path.

I am cranky to say the least and saddened too. Lots of work goes into growing food and to have it all destroyed in one fell swoop by a full-moon crazed possum. Ooh best not even say. I feel like Mr McGregor on his farm.

But I still keep working. Hoping I can do something about the marauding beasts. I have a helper today. And it's nice to have someone to talk to.

Fingers crossed for success with plan possum.