I got sunburned

In August! And no, I am not in the northern hemisphere. It is winter here. Maybe the last few days thereof, but it is still winter. It’s been absolutely lovely outside in the sunshine, soaking up fresh air and vitamin D but after 2 days of doing so, my vitamin D requirements have been overshadowed by sunburn. I hadn’t even thought about it. Sadly, the kids are a bit pink too. Nothing more than a shade of colour but not feeling like such a great Mummy this morning. Pink kids will do that to you. 😦

The last few days have been amazing time spent with the kids and I though. We have an excavator arriving sometime between this morning and Saturday morning to do its level best πŸ˜‰ to, he he, level out our garden. Well, even it out at least. Our driveway is best navigated by 4×4 and is accessible only to 4×4’s in winter. Even our 4×4 we are leery of driving out the back in winter as we only have standard tyres on the car. We are also hoping to set some slight terraces into an area of the garden where we plan to move some of our corrugated iron garden beds to have a zone 1 veggie patch for fast growing veggies like leafy greens, spring onions and probably some herbs too. The slight slope towards the creek will be evened out so that it’s more a plain slide than a rollercoaster. πŸ˜‰ Then to the area towards the creek. Well that’s stump pulling. All the poplar trees inside the fence line have been chopped down (although we still have plenty of them across the creek 😦 ) but to prevent them sprouting again in spring and to clear the way for a fruit tree orchard, those stumps must come out. And in the front garden too. Once they’re pulled and the ground evened I will be able to get out there and dig some holes for the fruit trees I’m yet to purchase. Shopping that I actually do enjoy. πŸ˜‰

One of my helpers

One of my helpers next to the quagmire

Anyway, in preparation for all of the above there was just a little bit of mess to clean up. πŸ˜‰ We’ve a had a couple of young blokes from around town here helping for quite some time. The stacked up roof tiles have been all excavated, the unbroken ones stacked in a corner out of the way of the excavator and the broken ones left to be used to fill a large hole as well as break up to gravel to mark a drive way. The piles of timber have been sorted into usable for construction, firewood and treated pine. Empty insulation bags and a few empty potting mix bags all made the pile. Rolls of different fencing wire have been temporarily relocated to an area of the veggie patch and the swing set is currently marking out a veggie patch path. The cubby house, toys and other sundry bits of need-to-keep are piled up in out of the way places too. The pergola pieces still need to be relocated but our garden is looking remarkably clean and clear and LARGE! πŸ˜€ I can’t wait to be able to unpack the kids toys, set up the trampoline and get everything ready for summer out there. πŸ™‚

Nothing like playing with the blow dryer and some homemade hair spray. Bring on the fluffy 80's and early 90's. ;)

Nothing like playing with the blow dryer and some homemade hair spray. Bring on the fluffy 80’s and early 90’s hair do’s.

Queen Ailsa? My daughter only has practice ice powers though so no need to fear a new ice age in Ballan.

Queen Ailsa? My daughter only has practice ice powers though so no need to fear a new ice age in Ballan.

Wednesday saw me helping one of the guys with moving woodpiles to theΒ woodshed and hauling timber scraps, twigs and all sorts around but yesterday was spent far more pleasurably. Our mate S came down, bringing with him a trailer-load of manure from the sale yards and lake weed from the dumped pile of Lake Wendouree dredgings. Both make awesome soil ameliorates. Once again, S’s car managed to get bogged in our garden which seems determined to swallow it whole. 😦 Once unbogged we got stuck into the unloading and doling out of the poopy mix. 3 garden beds received amelioration which is awesome. With a few worms already in the manure it was already rotted down somewhat which meant I could carefully plat out into it with some soil to cushion the roots from direct contact. I planted one of my seed grown almonds and one of my seed grown apples at the end of 2 veggie patch rows. I dug over a garden bed that was filled with very well-rotted manure and lake weed and it was almost more worms than compost! I dug up half of it and moved it across to a newly built bed so the worms don’t need to travel to get to work. πŸ˜‰ The cream of the crop of worms were relocated into the worm farm which is absolutely filled with little piles of what looks like miniature plates of spaghetti – baby worms! Thousands and thousands of them! πŸ˜€ A few more very large worms into the mix and I have a writhing mess of fertiliser makers. πŸ™‚ The worm wee comes out in litres! πŸ˜€

Worms! Thousands of them.

Worms! Thousands of them. That’s a hand fork for size comparison.

I’m working through what I hope is the final reorganisation of the veggie patch too and got another bed or 2 to start taking shape. One of the last tyre beds in the patch was removed and replaced with a larger corro raised bed which is ready for some bulbs or radishes and carrots and such. S helped me to get some of the reo mesh grape trellises in place and I’ve found another piece of reo mesh that is on its way to becoming a grape arch now. πŸ™‚ I’m ready to buy the 7 grape vines needs to plant out now. πŸ™‚ Most of those will be underplanted with strawberries and asparagus too. I figure they all utilise different growing space and from what I’ve read they make good companion plants. πŸ™‚

Lots of lovely manure and lake weed on top of old poplar leaves, some twigs and fire place ash. The bed to the left up against the fence is for my sweet potatoes and to the right for spuds.

Lots of lovely manure and lake weed on top of old poplar leaves, some twigs and fire ash. The bed to the left up against the fence is for my sweet potatoes and to the right for spuds.

The 3rd bed receiving its manure load and also for spuds.

The 3rd bed receiving its manure load and also for spuds.

The apple tree planted out. I grew this little one from seed from an apple I ate. I'll espalier it when it get big enough and if needs be, graft onto it. I'll wait to taste the fruit first.

The apple tree planted out. I grew this little one from seed from an apple I ate. I’ll espalier it when it get big enough and if needs be, graft onto it. I’ll wait to taste the fruit first.

Planting out my seed grown almond. Stand back when you plant these seeds. I think Jack would have done better using an almond tree rather than a bean sprout!

Planting out my seed grown almond. Stand back when you plant thoseΒ seeds. I think Jack would have done better using an almond tree rather than a bean sprout!

Just have to share this! As I type this the kids are playing with the suitcase… Nothing like starting the days to a heap of giggles. πŸ™‚

Packed and ready to go.

Packed and ready to go.

Anyway, all this garden activity was done stripped down as much as possible for action and vitamin D. It was forecast to be around 18Β°C but my thermometre said much hotter. I’m doubting that the 27Β°C it showed was accurate but I reckon it was at least 20Β°C. The older 2 kids were back in the mud bath although thankfully not as thickly coated as yesterday (although they didn’t get sunburned through the mud yesterday so maybe in hindsight) and we all had a lovely day getting stuck into the garden.

Getting stuck in.

Getting stuck in

Literally.

Literally

Face mask?

Face mask?

She wasnt smiling after stripping, painting herself head to toe and then being hosed off before being allowed inside.

She wasn’t smiling after stripping, painting herself head to toe and then being hosed off before being allowed inside.

I’m itching to get back into the garden again today. I’ve 2 pear trees purchased on the weekend that need to be planted out along the front fence to be espaliered at a later date. They’re budding up in the unseasonably warm late August weather so I need to get them in the ground ASAP. The Satsuma (blood) plum made it in on Tuesday and the grape vines went in on Sunday evening. Sadly the serious hard yakka yesterday has left my neck in an uncomfortable condition. I tried some digging this morning but gave up fairly quickly.Β Maybe I might go plant some tomato seeds instead. Maybe.

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17 thoughts on “I got sunburned

  1. Sue says:

    A super productive couple of days by all accounts!
    Ive planted 3 fruit trees ( plums ) still got four more to go in ( mixture of apples, and other things I cant remember off the top of my head!!!)
    We have had some glorious rain which has made the whole garden perk up from its dry doldrums – fantastic!
    Sadly a busy weekend ahead so not sure how much time I will get to actually spend in the garden but hopefully Ill be able to massage a couple of hours somewhere…I think there is a Cleopatra costume for a school project in my immediate ‘creative’ future alas πŸ˜‰

    • Gardening with the promise of spring is a balance of frustration (too cool to plant out XXX) and excitement plus adding in the fact that the world seems to get busier in spring too… Why is it that when I want to garden the rest of the world demands attention. πŸ˜‰ Good luck with Cleopatra. I’d love to see a picture. πŸ™‚

  2. […] the rocket stove and mud it all up. It’s not going to be a small job but it is one, given what my kids got up to yesterday, that we will all enjoy. […]

  3. foodnstuff says:

    Isn’t it soooo good to see some warmth and sun at last. Like you I’ve been out in it doing things and glad to see the winter blues starting to evaporate. I was getting a bit worried that the blues might have been something deeper going on in my psyche. 😦

    Looks like your foray into sustainability if forging ahead….good on you! One giant leap for hippykind πŸ˜‰

    • It can be hard to tell when one has crossed the line between winter blues (SAD’s) and into something heavier and harder to deal with. I didn’t notice I’d crossed over but the return of spring (weather at least) has helped clear most of the depression and I can fight the rest of it now.
      As for sustainability, time will tell I guess. πŸ™‚

  4. Sunburnt??!! We have had some lovely days but not hot, how gorgeous, you might get a long summer. Sounds like you are well and truly into it πŸ™‚ Nice to see photos of kids who are allowed to play in mud lol. Good to see you back in the swing Jess.

  5. Michael says:

    I’m exhausted just reading this, although I have just finished working at our permablitz, which I will write up very soon, so that could be part of it.

    It’s amazing how a bit of sun and the promise of spring drives us out into the backyard wilderness :D.

    • I’ve been dyiing to hear how your blitz went. πŸ™‚

      Yes, the first hint of sun and the uninitiated dive for the tomatoes in the nurseries whereas the rest of us do our best to hold back from the more frost tender plants.

  6. narf77 says:

    I am with Michael but throw in anxious as well (that spring bomb is ticking inside me again…) amazing amount of work here Ms Hippy, you can certainly rustle up the troops when you want to. Obviously Micheal has a “wilderness” like we do…for “wilderness” read TERROR OF THE JUNGLE complete with goodness only knows what thumping and running through the undergrowth (can’t see them…they are too fast and there are too many blackberries for me to see) but the flip side is that I can at least see pathways at the moment. If I didn’t have to get sanctuary sorted and the dog compound at least on the cards I would be down in the jungle making waves…can you see why I hide under the bed?! πŸ˜‰ Well done Ms Hippy, you dun good πŸ™‚

  7. Linne says:

    This is so great! More vicarious living as all you lot move into spring . . . I love picturing your garden, work and kids just from your words and photos. Speaking of kids, how is Anna doing? I haven’t seen mention of any livestock for a bit . . .

    I can’t tell you how impressed I am with how much you accomplish on your patch. I first ‘met’ you back when you were just moving to Ballan and were still bringing loads of stuff from your previous home. Amazing what you’ve done in such a short time! Good thing you re-charged over the winter and good thing you ate enough to get you through spring πŸ™‚ I can’t see how you will find time to eat for the next few months . . .

    • Anna and Pandora are fine. I’m just frustrated about Anna not being pregnant and trying to work out our caprine options. I can’t work out where to go from here as there are several options open to us but none result in the “milk last month” that we wanted. 😦
      Every now and then I look back over what we purchase and what we now have and I can’t believe all we’ve achieved. Some days all I can see is what we haven’t done, not what we have. Other days I even blow my own mind with all we’ve managed to do. πŸ˜‰

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