I love my early mornings… And more (of course).

I really do! I can’t believe I’m even saying this but I simply adore my early mornings. πŸ˜€ As long as they’re not interrupted by small people wanting food/water/Daddy (so go and annoy HIM then πŸ˜‰ ) and everything else under the sun. Those mornings are a little less lovable. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids but those early mornings are my sacred time of waking up my brain and then cramming it chock-a-block full of information for the day. It’s much harder to do that with the constant interruptions of little people. πŸ˜‰

This morning for example, I have read up on growing hops. Turns out we’re int he perfect location (outside of Tassie that is) to grow hops and that it’s another wonderful perennial and could grow perfectly in our food forest garden. πŸ™‚ I’ve got other plans for it though, growing it from some (yet to be built) garden beds growing just below our back patio and up some (yet to be sourced) reo meshΒ trellisesΒ to provide shade in summer where the back blinds do not cover. Between them and the kiwi vines I also plan to grow there we shall shade it perfectly. πŸ˜€

My cool dude before his home haircut and after finding my old sunnies. They look cuter on him than they ever did on me.

My cool dude before his home haircut and after finding my old sunnies. They look cuter on him than they ever did on me.

I’ve also found a recipe for green tomato chutney, which is something I will be needing as the frosts are being predicted very soon. I am grateful for the longer period of warm weather we’ve had as I’ve been able to ripen more of the fair amount of fruit on my plants. The season however advances and there have been a few (cancelled) frost warnings over the past few weeks so I know that it’s only a matter of time and that there is no way I will see the ripening of all the fruit on the plants. So, I’d thought a few weeks back about what to do with the unripened fruit. I know I can pull out the entire plant and hang it somewhere dark and dry to let the fruit ripen which can take months but I’ve heard that they are tasteless tomatoes once they do actually ripen and I’m too impatient for that anyway, so chutney it is. Yum! Β This is the recipe I’ve chosen although I know already there will be tweaks – rapadura instead of sugar for starters. πŸ™‚

I’ve also read up about the flipping of magnetic poles and basically I don’t understand a single bit of what I read but it was interesting. πŸ˜‰ Looks like the dinosaurs got to experience many of these flips over their millions of years reign on earth. There is so much we just don’t know about this wonderful planet. πŸ™‚

Fresh from the chicken. Thanks Blackie. And we got 3 eggs yesterday! One of the pekins must be back on the lay as I'm still not sure the Dorking hen is laying but she must be close by now.

Fresh from the chicken. Thanks Blackie. And we got 3 eggs yesterday! One of the pekins must be back on the lay as I’m still not sure the Dorking hen is laying but she must be close by now.

Further reading has had me looking into green manure crops. These are plants that are grown for their leafy greens then, before they go to seed or produce a crop, are slashed and chopped into the soil to provide nitrogen and nutrients to feed the worms and aerate and feed the soil. I’ve been deciding which ones to grow in our front garden once I sleet mulch then compost and manure the area in preparation for planting out our food forest garden. First port of call is to dig the swales though and start collecting newspaper and cardboard for sheet mulching. I really need to get some soil for the garden beds though before that step so I can plant out the garlic.

This last week has seen a lot of action in the veggie beds Earlier in the week I got some leeks and onion seedlings planted out that I had been growing in the greenhouse. I pushed the handle of the garden fork into the soil creating holes in which I dropped the leeks and just watered them in. The rain and watering will do the backfilling for me there. The onions I planted in rows crosswise building up ridges and leaning the onions against the ridge with their roots in the valley which were gently buried. I also found one onion that had survived through great adversity of being buried and having a garden bed built around it which I transplanted across so we shall see how it goes. The second bed has been planted with alternating diagonal rows of red flowering and black flowering broad beans with the rest f the bed filled up with Aquadulce broad beans. Should look pretty I think. No-one ever said veggie gardens couldn’t be prettied up. πŸ˜‰ And yesterday saw me constructing 3 more beds so only 2 more to go although martin will be less than impressed to learn I want him to saw up another sheet of iron. He will be more appreciative I think when he starts to eat the produce. I have about 12 different garlic varieties to plant out, mostly nice and fiery heat ones too with a couple selected for longer storage properties. I can’t wait to get them planted in. I shall order a delivery of compost this week I think and since Martin chainsawed down a few more of the trees out front last night I have plenty of smaller branches for hugelkultur bases in the beds. πŸ™‚

Can you see him?

Can you see him?

An itty bitty little frog that had hidden itself underneath the corrugated iron I moved. I also found assorted creepy crawlies and a few large grasshoppers.

An itty bitty little frog that had hidden itself underneath the corrugated iron I moved. I also found assorted creepy crawlies and a few large grasshoppers.

I also managed to clear the front garden yesterday of its accumulation of valued possessionsΒ stuff,Β something our neighbours will be most happy about I’m sure. And with the muscle power of my awesome husband we cleared half the front deck too. πŸ˜€ Having a shed for storing our treasured things crap is a wonderful thing. πŸ™‚ Now just to empty the house of boxes, the rest of the front deck of building materials and the back deck of its array of need to keep it garbage and we shall look like we have actually moved in finally. πŸ˜€

Jas has shown signs of being frustrated and bored (he is of kinder age but not ready to go yet) recently so I had been looking to introduce a little homeschooling to stretch him. I’m not 100% sold that total homeschooling is the way to go yet or not but stretching him and teaching him some things before kinder and school can only help him and he is bright enough to enjoy the challenge. He isn’t a bookish sort of kid though so it’s had me puzzled. I was and still am an avid learner from books or the web, reading in order to learn what I want to know. Jas is far more practical and hands on so it put me in a tough situation, trying to figure out how to teach him best (for us both) and what to teach him. Then, I was struck by a flash of brilliance! πŸ˜€ COOKING! I hate cooking although I do enjoy baking but Jas has shown interest in helping in the kitchen and I thought we’d give it a go. Well! He is a natural! We had spuds in jackets with all the usual toppings, cheese, bacon, sour cream, etc. I set him to work with the bacon which I sliced into strips first then showed him how to cut it into small enough pieces and gave him a run through on using a knife safely. The kids have small safely knives called kiddy cutters but they aren’t great for things like bacon. They’re good on harder things that you can hack or saw – spuds, cheese, carrots, etc and you can slip and not cut yourself but this time I thought I would carefully supervise and see how he went using a proper knife. Eek! With my heart in my mouth I handed over the knife and then watched my son slice and dice that bacon like a professional! Junior Master Chef winner 2018 maybe? πŸ˜€ He really was a natural. I showed him how to cut it using your fingers to hold the bacon then the knife to cut and then move the cut pieces out of the way. WOW! I then got him up helping me cook on the wood stove although with some considerable safety clothing. He was wearing 2 oven mitts, long sleeves and long trousers and I hovered like a helicopter (I am a little ashamed to admit) but he never once even came close to burning himself. I can’t say the same for me on a normal day so I am really rather proud of him. πŸ™‚Β He also helped me put the spuds in the oven, grate the cheese and then put everything on the table. And given that I didn’t have to cook half of it, it tasted an awful lot better! If you don’t have to cook something it it always tastes better πŸ˜€

I am so very proud of you Jasper! πŸ˜€

Cooking toast on Ignisa. Best toast ever!

Cooking toast on Ignisa. Best toast ever!

Allegra is my little domestic queen already. Part of me loves it but part of me also rebels against it on her behalf. There’s a little bit of the feminist in us all these days I think and as much as I choose to manage our home I have also got many more opportunities and freedom than my foremothers (well, it’s not forefathers is it? πŸ˜‰ ) ever had. I want my daughter to have those same freedoms but I also want to raise her to appreciate housekeeping and homemaking for what it is, not just as it is sometimes thought of in modern times. It’s a fine line I guess and one I need to tread around carefully . πŸ™‚ I want my sons to learn these things too.

Orik has been learning to sleep through too. He’s not one we can leave to cry it out and not one we would either so it’s been about waiting for him to sleep through when he’s ready to. Over Easter he was in bed around 7:30 and slept through until after 6 for 3 whole days. I cannot tell you how blissful it was to wake up and realise you hadn’t been woken by someone small and wanting a feed. I haven’t slept that well in about 5 years now. πŸ™‚ Sadly I counteracted the healing properties of sufficient and unbroken sleep by going to bed late and insisting upon my early morning wake up times. Still, 4-5 hours of unbroken sleep is better than 6-7 of heavily broken sleep. He has started to sleep through again though with a 9:30 -7 this morning which is awesome! No wonder my brain is functioning at high and ram-raiding speeds once again. πŸ˜€ Poor Martin.

A boy and a cat. Orik and his favourite buddy,

A boy and a cat. Orik and his favourite buddy,

Well, with my parents scheduled to visit in 4 hours I had better get off my learned backsideΒ and go and clean up. My early morning peace is shattered, my husband is out being the firewood hunter gatherer and the troops will soon begin their early morning chant of “I’m huuungryyyyyy” so time to start the porridge I think. πŸ™‚

A wonderful Sunday to you all (or Saturday evening to those still in yesterday).

Painting her piggy bank a few weeks back at the Ballan Autumn Festival. he now hits her Daddy up for money to put in her piggy bank every chance she gets. ;)

Painting her piggy bank a few weeks back at the Ballan Autumn Festival. he now hits her Daddy up for money to put in her piggy bank every chance she gets. πŸ˜‰


17 thoughts on “I love my early mornings… And more (of course).

  1. christiok says:

    Such beautiful children! And congrats to Jasper, and you, on the success in cooking together….reminds me of some of my best times with my son, now 22.

  2. ingridlee@bigpond.com says:

    Sounds awesome Jess! Really looking forward to a visit soon:)

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. LyndaD says:

    Lovely post and i am the same – id rather a few hrs grabbed here and there that are quality sleep than one long tussle with the blankets, too hot, lying there thinking (usually about crap). Tom was such a good cook when he was little and still enjoys a stint in the kitchen. The kids look like they are having fun. PS. It wasnt just a cooking lesson it was one on one time with mummy! Win Win.

  4. narf77 says:

    DAMN you make me feel like a fat sloth girl! ;). Try buckwheat. It’s apparently an amazing cooler climate cover crop, is fantastic for bees, for producing wonderful results (grain and deep digging roots) and Milkwood swears by it so if it’s good for Milkwood, this little black duck would give it a sterling try :). My daughters had less than a stellar career in the kitchen…I remember my eldest making some blue mashed potato that had strange rock like lumps in it not so long ago and suddenly they are both making Korean masterpieces and the son and heir is baking up a storm (but to be fair, he did do 2 years at a culinary school…). Enjoy those toasting events to the max Jess…Jas rocks the ass off those glasses by the way…you had best do what I did with my $250 pair of Serenghetti’s and just hand them over…you to Jas and me to my daughter who looked the biz…I just looked like a harried housewife and I can wear $10 Petrol station sunglasses to get that effect ;). Have you noticed that Rabid Little Hippy has become the pivot for some amazing friendships and ideas? Cheers for injecting our blogosphere experiences with your delicious mania girl :). Have a fantastic monday and slide on into your week with joy. I am sitting here listening to Roachford and some mellow last century memories waiting for Steve to get back from town :). Life rocks doesn’t it? πŸ™‚

    • Buckwheat researched and sounds a goer but I still need something for the winter. Buckwheat and frost aren’t such good friends.
      The glasses are all Jasper’s as I wouldn’t be caught dead in them these days. πŸ˜‰
      And yes, life most definitely rocks. It’s challenging, busy, overloaded and above all simply wonderful! πŸ˜€

      • narf77 says:

        Some kind of peas or broad beans would be my bet. Broad beans (fava’s) would be the hardiest

        • And to think I’ve just planted them in the veggie garden. πŸ˜‰ if I can get the forest garden location swaled and ponded and then sheet mulched, mulched then manures and composted… Yeah naaaaa. Not this week at least. πŸ˜‰

          • narf77 says:

            Too cold here…I am hibernating…”ZZZZzzzzzz” πŸ˜‰

            • We’ve been to gymnastics and back home to a warm house and toasty ‘Nisa. Carbonara for dinner and hopefully an early night. πŸ™‚

              • narf77 says:

                Can you think of anything more satisfying? I didn’t think so :). Give me all of the top designer homes, the large income that 2 working parents can generate, day-care meals already provided for the kids and weekend holidays away with ready income to spend and NONE of it stands up against what you just said. Pure, unmitigated bliss and the forging of a REAL home πŸ™‚

                • There is nothing like a wood fire for the smell of home and hearth. And a satisfying and simple dinner. I am itching to try pease pudding now. πŸ˜€ It just seems the sort of meal to eat with a fire on. πŸ™‚

  5. […] the front garden on Saturday and Sunday. We’ve come across this frog beforeΒ (here, here, here and here)Β but I’ve not had much luck finding a name and indeed I’ve not really even […]

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