Fog and photos

I took this picture on Monday. We had the foggiest day I’ve seen since we moved to Ballan.Β The fog moved in late morning and stayed until after dark. It moved in again the next afternoon along with the rain. I expect we may see more fog this afternoon. My water tank already has enough water to come out of the taps. YAY! πŸ˜€ Continue reading

Another weekend

Yes, another weekend has passed and here I sit, warming myself by Ignisa’s glowing belly, sipping a hot cocoa just before bed and reflecting on the weekend that was.

In some ways we have done precious little this weekend. Martin has managed to procure some nicely seasoned (read bone dry) wood extremely locally (just across the creek on our own property so has it) and chopped up the necessary for the weeks supply but aside from that and the other daily tasks we have done little. We have however, achieved a lot.

One of the things small towns are know for is their sense of community. Sometimes it’s a negative when the whole town knows the whole towns business but on the whole, there is a sense of community that is hard to find in larger towns or cities. And that sense of community, of being local people for our local area is something we sought when we moved here to Ballan. And, we have found it. Not just in Ballan but also in the surrounding towns.

The ultimate smal-town busybody – Rachel Lynde

Saturday was a day for the people. Meeting up with and spending time with 2 different families. Like-minded people. People who are walking their eco journey. People who don’t look at you like you’ve got bats in t he belfry when you talk about things like organic vegetables, peak oil, melting polar ice caps, solar panels and homemade just about anything. It’s nice not to be a rabid little hippy sometimes but just someone who is doing her part and who’s levels of rabid are understood and maybe even applauded. πŸ™‚ That’s not big-noting myself or saying I do heaps/enough/great. That’s just saying that to some people I know I am extreme, go to far or am just plain crazy. The moniker Rabid Little Hippy was given to me after all. πŸ˜‰Β So, Saturday was a day to spend time sharing ideas, ideals and general conversation about eco and unrelated things.

We started the day off with a visit to Gavin Webber again. I have a few friends who are also keen to get into the homemade cheese scene and who better to ask than Gav of Little Green Cheese fame (and of course Greening of Gavin fame πŸ˜‰ ) and as Gav sells both mozzarella and feta kits I said I’d grab them some mozzarella kits so our visit began with me picking up the kits. When Martin expressed some mild jealousy at my intended visit I was cheeky enough to ask if it would be ok for the rest of my family to “tag along”. With permission granted we headed off armed with cake. What ensued was a visit filled with laughter, serious conversation, shared beliefs and ideals and in general a great time. The kids all seemed to have taken their angel pills again and so were all on the best of best behaviour. We had great food, colby cheese and morning tea that edged nearly into mid-afternoon! πŸ˜€ I hope we didn’t overstay our welcome guys but we had a wonderful time. Thank you.

We lost Jasper and Allegra to the sandman in the car on the way home and Orik was also due for a nap so we had a couple of quiet hours before heading out once again, this time to Phoenix Park for a roast lamb dinner. And my goodness was it good! Organic lamb and the full trappings cooked by someone else. I know I can cook a good roast but there is something about eating food that you haven’t had to prepare yourself. I swear it really does taste better! πŸ˜€ And again, several hours of like-minded people sharing ideas, dreams and goals as well as achievements. A great finish to a great day.

One of the best bits of a busy Saturday is that the kids sleep well and we scored a sleep in Sunday morning! I was also smart enough to head to bed early and so scored nearly 11 hours of sleep with only 1 interruption! I cannot remember when last that happened! πŸ˜€ And an 8am wake up to boot! Win!

Today was a much quieter day and although we didn’t achieve what we had planned, the house is tidier and the souls are peaceful, hopefully ready for the week ahead.

Oh, and for those that have seen my washing pile, I’ve folded and put most of it away! πŸ˜‰

Operation Homestead: I forgot the photos

Today was another crazy amazing day. Friends of ours were having a major blitz to get some of their house built and Martin was up helping them for Β the day so it was just the kids and I along with a head full of plans. And as per usual, the best laid plans and all that… lol

Started off baking up a storm Β 72 cheese and vegemite scrolls and 2 loaves of sourdough bread. Finally got moving and up to pick up some more compost. Arrived at the house and started to take down the dog shelter which will be repurposed into a temporary hen house and later a wood shed. In the mean time, the reinforced mesh had to come down so we can finish cleaning up and then mow in there. To my surprise, I found an egg! A quick float check in a bucket of water revealed that it was fresh so I returned it to its rightful owners, our neighbours whose Isa Brown houdinis had been finding their way onto our block. Looks like the fence was fixed just in time, well as far as it goes for their egg supplies at least.

I was interrupted in my work by the arrival of my kitchen. MAJOR SQUEEEEE! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Installation will happen next week but every beautiful piece of it is here.

The afternoon was made considerably easier by Orik having a nice long nap and the kids playing relatively nicely. I dug 2 holes for my veggie garden gate posts and laid in my last no-dig garden bed (just need to get some more mulch to top them off) – a long one to run alongside the veggie garden fence, using the fencing for trellis for this years beans. I am hoping to sink in another post and string up some fencing wire, possibly ringlock (I’ve been having lessons in fencing terminology) this week. I also finished ripping down the last 2 feet of wooden fencing so that is FINALLY done. Another job knocked off the list.

The best bit was the kids running around in the garden, helping to wet the paper for the garden beds, jumping on the trampoline like fiends and helping dig the post holes too. We had some funny as moments – I caught Jasper trying to cram 4 pieces of slice in his mouth all at once, Allegra’s major fixation with an indigo blue plastic bottle she found somewhere and her love of tipping out water (usually into car seat cup holders or internal car door handles 😦 ) and Orik who is loving playing in (and probably eating) the dirt. I just can’t wait until we are moved in and they can play in the garden every day.

Anyway, given everything that was going on (add a trip to Trentham and dropping some compost off to friends) I kinda sorta forgot to take any photos. So, despite getting nearly everything done that I planned, my plans for a photo montage post just didn’t happen. So in the interest of having SOME photo’s…

Ringlock fencing

An Isa Brown chicken

The post hole digger I used before I found that friends have a petrol powered one. Looking forward to not needing to use this again.

Operation Homestead: Day 22/Start of week 3

The beds are in! Garden beds that is. There are now 6 large garden beds across the back fence of our block. I am STOKED! I may have room for one more (hopefully) and I am now looking for some more lucerne mulch, preferably organic, with which to mulch them. One more load of compost to top up 2 of the beds and put in the 1 more and that may well be it. If I get a 2nd load there will be excess for friends and also some to kick start my own compost heap/keep for later when it’s time to bury my spuds again.

Speaking of spuds, I had a peek underneath the lucerne mulch in the spud beds and in all 3 beds I was rewarded to see that the spuds are growing! πŸ˜€

I had a nice chat to our neighbour over the back fence whilst he chook-proofed the back fence (those sly girls keep finding yet another way either over or under or through the fence) and he said we should be pretty safe to be frost free by Melbourne Cup weekend. For those who aren’t in Melbourne, The Cup is the first Tuesday in November. That means I can plant my beans and peas now (only the flowers are frost sensitive) and my spuds should be all fine and dandy too. If frost seems likely this week I can just bury them again which will keep them safe and toasty underground. IT’S TIME FOR PLANTING! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ And that means, those that have offered to help might just be getting that muster call soon. πŸ˜‰

Time for bed now as I have another busy day in Ballan tomorrow, but this time without my husband who is going to help some friends out. Just the kids and I. Eek! More gardening, a kitchen delivery, maybe planting some seeds and hopefully getting some trellis and sandpit sand too. I will do my best to post some photos tomorrow.