Friday, October 23, 2009

Spring fertility

Sneezing, itching, eyes streaming – wandering the garden like a small walking storm system, watering hankies, thinking how marvellous it is my body can intercept and register so well all this fertility of the plants!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Spring is sprung!

Here's Ro and Cam preparing the terrace beds ready for their spring planting. Many little seedlings are sprouting in trays in the greenhouse, corn and tomatoes and capsicums and pumpkins, cucumbers and many other delicious things....

Ro aerating the soil with the very fine Gundaroo tiller:

Putting straw out over the slashed green manure crop (oats and broad beans) to keep the carbon in the soil:

Ready to go!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Herb harvest

Cam and Yarrow collecting calendula flowers to dry for tea.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Spawning frogs

One of our lovely students has given us some eggs from her established pond to hatch frogs into ours. I've slopped them in among the water plants and fingers crossed they make it through to frog-hood!

Go well, wee froglets!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Yarrow puts foot in mouth

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fox-proof fencing to keep chickens safe

Cam did a design at the start of the year for a couple in Eltham who are mad-keen bottlers and preservers, whenever they go on trips they scour all the little local op shops for forgotten boxes of Fowler's preserving jars...

They wanted a large orchard plum-full of all sorts of delicious fruit, as well as vegies and chickens and drought-proofing for the whole place, fire-proofing etc. Ro and I came along for the day as Cam took his students from the permaculture diploma course at Eltham College to do some prac about fencing and irrigation at the property.

Here's Cam laying out a "skirt" of chicken wire at the bottom of the fence, which will be buried, so foxes can't dig under the fence into the orchard, where the chooks will be roaming and feasting on fallen fruit and insects, and dropping poo as fertiliser:

The top of the fence is angled out, and deliberately loose, so foxes can't climb over it:

The skirt being buried:

The students tacking the fence to the poles (orchard swales in background):

Meanwhile, Yarrow just adjusting the mirror and getting ready to drive us home at the end of the day:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tree lingering

Out walking with Ro and we came across this tree, for all the world like it had its bark knickers caught in its bottom! 

But stunningly beautiful, even as it made me smile.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ro's first birthday

It was Ro's first birthday just a little bit ago, and I was on midwifery placement caring for women in labour, thinking, "This time last year I was in Samoa doing this..."


...woke up just before dawn in the glowing white box of our mozzie net in the moonlight, full moon out the window, with the first pains just starting quietly, and our little man was born in our bedroom with two local midwives, five incredible hours later.   

And now that small, naked and slippery little fella, so freshly new -  but surely somehow always here too! - is one! And I've been a Mum, and Cam a Dad, four seasons. 


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Walkabout at the coast

Mum came down to help us out while I'm on a midwifery placement at hospital. We went down south for a wander in the rainforest and played on a play-ship, washed up on the beach...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Harvesting winter spuds

Our neighbour above us on our hill here, who has been gardening his patch for 20 years and every inch is growing an edible something, told us we can grow potatoes right through winter. So we have, and here are Cam and Ro harvesting one patch (we still have several more around the garden to go).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The joy of rich old books

I was thrilled when Cam found 'Dinotopia' by James Gurney the other day at a secondhand bookshop. 

I used to love his beautiful paintings of a magical island, surrounded by treacherous reefs, where dolphins guided shipwrecked humans to the shore... And there, in desert and mountain top, swamp and forest, in a city carved out of rock in the middle of a huge crashing waterfall, dinosaurs and humans lived in harmony together, sharing the wisdom of the old, old reptiles with the skills of the humans and creating together a vibrant and joyful life. 

I think it is my idea of perfect community - creativity, sharing, purpose, colour, spice and FUN! (Minus the dinosaurs, nowadays, alas!)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Going, going, gone

Swallowed by vegetable jungle, a small boy...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Extravagant abundance

Saw this beautiful, paper thin and fragile seed pod spray in the garden, with all its very many hollows for all its many seeds, and was blown away at the generosity of our natural world. From one seed comes a brave plant, from one plant comes a hundred seeds. Such extravagance! 

Everything striving towards life.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The preparation

Should've put these up before, of Ro and Cam deliberating over the placement of rocks, and getting the depths right to invite in frogs (they like at least 50cm for their tadpoles to stay cool).