The last fortnight

Things have, as usual, been very busy around here. Aren’t they always?

Strawberry picking instead of helping Mummy.

Strawberry picking instead of helping Mummy.

Saturday the weekend before saw us take a trip into Ballarat for shopping. Yeah, I cringe too. We had several shops to visit and several things to buy. Several severals really. First stop was for a little machine to boost our internet signal. FINALLY we have good access to the net inside the house. Cupboards are great for storage but not so good for clear signal. 😦 From there we went on to do a shop for “delicates”. πŸ˜‰ Then into the shopping mall (a nice paved outside one thankfully and not a big centre) to look for shoes. I haven’t had a pair of work boots for 6 or more months and my nice wear boots (and staple pair of shoes) were well-worn out too. 3 years of wearing them several times a week including rough yard work meant they had a rather large hole in the toe, nothing left in the way of tread and I was getting a little sick of wet feet as they were never overly waterproof. With the muddy season coming on it was way past time to get some good boots. I’d been hoping for a pair of Oliver’s Boots which were a Ballarat based company but sadly they have shipped manufacture offshore now so that was far less appealing than a locally made locally owned much lower carbon footprint pair of boots. I went with Redbacks instead. For anyone who has worn Redbacks I know I need say no more. For those that don’t I must say they are the most comfy pair of boots I have ever owned. I wore them all day yesterday and although glad to shed them at the end of the day it wasn’t due to any discomfort or pain at all. NEVER have I loved boots as I do my Redbacks! πŸ˜€ They are still Australian made too. πŸ™‚

First glass of home brew. Seemed pretty good to me and Martin and S both dropped a bottle each like nobody's business. Must be alright then.

First glass of home-brew. Seemed pretty good to me and Martin enjoyed it.

From boots we went to Spotlight for a zip for a dress I’ve made for Allegra. I should never be let loose in that shop with any form of money more than I need to purchase what I am after. I went in for a zip and came out with $90 of home education art and craft supplies. Too much fun! πŸ˜‰ From there it was on to Bunnings for a whetstone. I bought a whetstone and a diamond steel so I have set up my knives and other sharp tools to actually be sharp for the next 20 years I hope. πŸ™‚ Officeworks next for Martin and finally we were done. A long day and a LOT of money later (we do this sort of shop every 12 months or so, so it’s not as bad as it seems) then home via friends to share some community information. πŸ™‚

Wearing some of the goodies purchased in Spotlight.

Wearing some of the goodies purchased in Spotlight.

Sunday was of course, Mother’s Day. Martin had somewhere along the line pulled his back so plans to make seed tape with the kids (here is the instructions I sent him) were put on the back burner and I settled for 3 kisses and lots of cuddles. I got the washing done, using the down time to plan out some renovations to our house and then was gifted some uninterrupted time in the garden. I emptied the soil from the trailer and topped up a garden bed, planting out the edges with garlic and left a hole with a pot of dirt therein ready for a fruit tree to go in. The front garden will be our perennial food forest area so slowly I will begin to add the perennials in and the annuals will be moved out the back. πŸ™‚ In the meantime I won’t be letting the space sit fallow. I don’t like weeding that much!

There is a crew of about 7 or 8 magpies around  the area and they have been pulling my potato onions out to access the holes underneath as a source of worms. Singing that song of sixpence can easily be a pocket full of buckwheat, 7 cheeky magpies baked in a pie!

There is a crew of about 7 or 8 magpies around the area and they have been pulling my potato onions out to access the holes underneath as a source of worms. Singing that song of sixpence can easily be a pocket full of buckwheat, 7 cheeky magpies baked in a pie!

On the large bed up near the side fence I had enough soil to top some of it up and plant a little more garlic and some potato onions. I put in some roofing tiles as stepping-stones and that rather large and badly planned (inaccessible without walking on the soil) garden is now working much better.

The front garden as I am "weeding" it with seccateurs and poison.

The front garden as I am “weeding” it with secateurs and poison.

This weekend just gone I spent in the garden again. The fence bed is finished and filled with soil and small paths, ready for planting out. The hugels are looking much tidier and I got out and chopped and poisoned out the poplar sapling that shoot up from their roots. Here’s hoping we will be poplar free in the near future. Sunday saw me dropping some newspaper sheeting and building the front fence hugel. Finally we have a well-defined garden along there rather than just large areas of grass with some logs marking out a nominal border. I’ve not finished yet but I hope to get it done today. πŸ™‚

The front fence garden taking shape. The straw and compost topping courtesy of kids playing in straw and the chooks composting it down and mixing in the sawdust too.

The front fence garden taking shape. The straw and compost topping courtesy of kids playing in straw and the chooks composting it down and mixing in the sawdust too.

It's a rather long garden and now stretches a further 8 metres.

It’s a rather long garden and now stretches a further 8 metres.

The kids occupied themselves on an impromptu obstacle course this weekend. Daredevils to give me the horrors and remind me of how much worse I was at their age. Shhh, don’t tell them I said that please. They are masters of imitation. πŸ˜‰

Sorry oil magnates, THIS black gold!

Sorry oil magnates, THIS black gold!

Given this was crappy grass 12 months ago... No more grass, lots of luscious compost and no visible clay.

Given this was crappy grass 12 months ago… No more grass, lots of luscious compost and no visible clay.

As Narf puts it, did you notice me missing? πŸ˜‰ The kids and I were out in the garden and have laid the wood down for another 9 metres of hugelkultur garden bed. We finished the last of the front garden (bar its manure topping) to the eastern end of the front garden and put another metre or so on the western end. My little nashi pear which was whipper snippered to its rootstock had shot up like billy-oh from its rootstock but upon parting the vigorously growing rootstock leaves I discovered… Nashi leaves! Yep, 3 points of buds and shoots with 1 larger and several smaller leaves. Rootstock shoots ripped off and carefully sheet mulched around. Live baby live! I will FIGHT with you! Can you tell I like nashi pears? πŸ˜‰

Well, time to feed the hungry hoard of hurricanes methinks. Then time for another coffee for me before my load of manure and pond weedΒ arrives. πŸ˜€

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “The last fortnight

  1. ingridlee@bigpond.com says:

    Nice post Jess. Enjoyable reading.x

    Regards, Ingrid http://www.garmentingenuity.com.au

    >

  2. You have been busy!! I love Spotlight stores, I tend to get stuck in them. I will be interested to see how your Hugel gardens go, I can’t see my other half putting them in but I have read a bit about them.

  3. narf77 says:

    I hope you recycled the boots appropriately… We don’t get magpies here for some reason (maybe the squeakers chase them off?) and I actually miss their mad antics. We have had magpies communing with us for years now, they are little Aussie larikins and I love them. Sorry that they are pulling out your potato onions, welcome to my world but in my case it would be chooks, wallabies (who ADORE alliums) and possums doing the pulling, the magpies wouldn’t even get a look in!

    Those hugels will pay for themselves over and over again in the future. That’s the thing about permaculture, it’s all in the planning and setup. That’s the back breaking and time consuming bit…after you have managed to get your garden into the right cycles it can start working for itself and you can start to take a bit of a back seat to those cycles and processes, intervening when you are needed (usually for pruning, fertilising and harvesting πŸ˜‰ )

    I love nashi’s as well. They are the perfect cross between pears and…err… something else that is crunchy ;). Before we can have a nashi tree we need to finish off the dogs enclosure expansion…soon…SOON! πŸ˜‰ (if I keep telling myself that I won’t twitch so much…). Hope that coffee fortified you and isn’t it funny how a load of manure and pond weed can make us happy now where in the past if someone was to say “would you like a trailer of horse poo?” we would have looked at them like they were insane πŸ˜‰

    • I received a large ute tray full of manure and pondweed mix and I was as happy as a pig in the proverbial! S also came down and cleared the last of the trees inside the fenceline so now only the huge creek side ones that are sucking up as much of that water as they can get their not so little roots into. I also spoke with the neighbours and cleared us to bring down the trees that might well affect them so I am stoked. A most productive day and the coffee was wonderful.
      The day has seen 9m of hugel base spread with poo and weed (it could easily be called weed and feed πŸ˜‰ ) and with many of the logs used in the hugels there isn’t too much wood to chop and stack which is great. Time for Digger Dan! πŸ˜€

  4. Linne says:

    I love seeing your garden grow . . . literally! good to hear the wee permies are active daredevils; I know it makes your heart stop at times, but they are developing skills, agility, flexibility and also (probably) the ability to deal with minor injuries. All useful down the line . . . I better not tell them what I got up to as a child; even worse, what my two boys did! You’d have fits, honestly!

    We don’t have Spotlight, unfortunately (although it makes my wallet happier πŸ™‚ ) I hate shopping for clothes and shoes, but crafty stuff, books, tools and the like . . . now, that’s fun!

    Love your magpies; they are close cousins to me . . . they seem to have shorter tails than the ones here on the prairies.

    Home-brew! I never tried making wine or beer, but one day I’d like to try it out. Yours looks good; nice to hear it tasted good, too. And if the apocalypse comes tomorrow, at least you can drown your sorrows πŸ˜‰

    • You can love my magpies but after finding another 10 or so potato onions pulled out yesterday I’m busy looking up different recipes to fricasee the rotten things. 😦
      We will never be friends again if you start giving my kids ideas. Thankfully they can’t yet read so sharing with me is a good way of helping me be armed for the war. πŸ˜‰
      Brewing is as fun as bottling but takes longer (brew time etc. Beer takes up a little room but I have a dedicated cupboard space for it now. πŸ™‚

I'd love to know what you think so please leave me a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s