Things have, as usual, been very busy around here. Aren’t they always?
The day and the night that is. Happy Equinox hippies. 🙂 We are on the lighter side of it now and heading fast into Summer. 😀
True to form we spent the weekend in the garden, trying to get done all we need to do. Our fences are finished and had a test run with 5 kids under 7 on Saturday afternoon when my nephews came to visit us. Jasper, clever little fellow, showed us where the greatest weaknesses in our perimeters are within 5 minutes. The gates. They are easy to climb and we then had the chance to recite the poem “swinging on a gate, swinging on a gate. 7 little sisters and a brother makes eight” although ours was more like 4 boy cousins and Allegra makes 5 but oh well. 😉 We can easily put some chicken wire over the gates to stop the climbing but with them opening it we need to think about what steps we take.
The fences have also opened a lot more of the garden up to us which the kids have been exploring and loving. 🙂 We have some cleaning up to do there with a huge expanse of roofing tiles that need to be cleared (some will be broken up and used to create a base for the 3000L water tank we’re putting up to catch shed run off) but they’re pretty brittle sadly and not much use other than to add to cement to stabilise it or as a rock base underneath something else as the edges are too sharp to leave exposed. Another shameful waste. 😦 If anyone can think of any other uses…
Saturday also saw me out in the front garden digging up the area where I plan to plant my asparagus. There is old lino underneath small white stones and copious weeds that need to come up. I’ve discovered though that despite some widely variable weed-mats (plastic, lino, carpet underlay etc) and other interesting gardening choices we have one thing really going for us. The garden has worms. Yeah, I was going to write that we had worms but figured a little bit of class wouldn’t go astray this once. 😉 The pebbles above the thick clay and lino layers are absolutely seething with worms. I feel like a murderer every time I dig as I can’t but help hurt some of them. So, I tried paying Jasper to collect them and move them to the hugelkultur and blueberry beds but even at 10c a worm he piked out after 40 worms.
So when I found out that my 6-year-old nephew is learning the value of money and saving up and was keen to earn his money I offered him the same deal. He collected just over 100 worms in a space probably 1×2 metres! :O We capped his earnings at $10 (as I was fast running out of money) which he was stoked with and he had a blast diving on worms like a hungry chicken whilst his dad (my brother) sat and watched (he’d hurt his back again sadly) and I dug. It was a really lovely time to be honest.
We talked gardening and worms although he prefers his worms hanging on a hook suspended in the water. I sent them home with various seeds and instructions on how to best plant them too as they are burgeoning gardeners, more for the curiosity than the intent of truly growing things I think, but I am stoked. 😀 I hope the green thumb bug sticks and Jayke continues to grow and then eat all the wonderful foods he grows. I hope for his sake the Summer is kind with warmth and rain in perfect balance (but this is Australia in a time of climate change so I’m not holding my breath) to give his garden the best possible start. I’ve also offered to buy some worm wee and castings from him when his brand new worm farm gets up and running. I spoke to my sister-in-law this morning too and after a few more jobs and a bit more pocket money Jayke had enough to buy what he had been saving for. 😀
Sunday morning saw me finishing off the last few metres of chicken wiring under the edge of the shed to prevent escaping chooks and then for the first time in months the funny buggers were let out to free-range. They’ve been kept in to prevent garden damage as they have been marching straight under the house and out the front and have even headed towards the neighbours which, considering he trains greyhounds for racing is not in the best interest of the birds. They are now, with the fences in place and barrier wiring finished, safe and welcome in the garden. 🙂 We need to build another small free-range access door for them so they don’t need to traipse into Anna’s run and then out to the garden, and so they can wander in and out as they please (to lay and such) too but on the whole it was lovely to see them out in the garden eating bugs and grass. 😀 And destroying my gardens of course. 😦
We also spent some time moving wood from out the front around to the wood lean-to, finishing off setting the trampoline up and moving it back to open up the garden a bit more and just general clean up. I have 1/2 of the asparagus bed area cleared and am now thinking I will build 2 beds instead of 1 but we shall see. I hope to finish digging up the rest of the stones and weeds today but if there is no lino or other weed-mat I shall just pull weeds and build on top. MUCH easier. 🙂 I also simply MUST plant out my seeds today or I will have no tomato plants to plant out come November. So much to do and still so little time. At least I have a garden safe for the kids to run and play in. 🙂
We also spent some great time with the kids. They were stripped down for Vitamin D again for most of the day and in the later afternoon on Sunday we had 3 nudies running around the garden having a blast. We also built a pirate ship with them using a few fence palings, a bike tyre, 2 chairs and 2 kids camp chairs. They weighed anchor, had a flag pole and even caught a whale. What fun and what imaginations. 🙂
Last night saw me fall into serious unconsciousness around 10pm. Exhaustion and bed are a great combination and I love the feeling of being so tired that I’m melting into the sheets. Sheer bliss! 😀
What did you get up to on your weekend? Did you get stuck into Spring planting or Fall/Autumn clean up perhaps or just enjoy the sunshine perhaps?
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.
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. 🙂 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. 😉 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 😉 ) 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! 😀 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! 😀 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! 😀 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! 😉