Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hot air

I shall be glad to see the back of this north wind! As shall some wilting but nevertheless enduring vegetables.


The sunflowers are turning up their toes but luckily have already set their seeds to feed to the chookies. Meanwhile they have been a bright beautifulness out the window!

But the afternoon sun and the hot north wind set Cam wandering the beds with his laser level and pencil….

This evening he has a new plan:

to re-jig the vegie-growing area into three main terraced beds, two sleepers high at the front edge and with key hole paths leading in from the back edge.

We can grow a lot more food in the same area this way – less path and more actual growing space. And to shade the paths and grow even more food – vertically! – he will build a trellis over the two main paths and let the kiwis at it. They’ll give the garden a little shade in summer, but lose their leaves in winter and let the sun in.

It would be good to plant a big, loose-limbed tree in that bottom corner too, to disperse the wind a bit. Not a tight windbreak tree – that would lift the wind up and over and dump in straight onto the vegies – but just a nice big blowy tree the wind can move through and slow down in, and tickle the vegies thereafter.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wildflower nappy garden

This tickled my fancy: the nappies blowing in the breeze above the blooms. 

I go out in my bare feet and have to be careful not to step on any of the lovely bees buzzing from flower to flower intent on their honey making.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Me arties!

With the moral support of the fair Claire – queen of beekeepers and sewer of sweet things – I plucked up the courage to tackle the artichokes. You see here the result, from this:

to this, one lovely wee jar of pickled hearts:

via Maggie Beer's beautiful book Maggie's Harvest

Apparently the little ones that sprout sideways from the main stem are the best for pickling; I confess that by evening the effort of cooking the big ones with my little man at my skirts was beyond me and they dried with the heat of the dying day and retired to the compost, thence to the worms…

But I shall enjoy me little pickled arts!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Salad days

Salad days... 

or zucchini days anyway! We are in a seasonal harvest of zucchini abundance:

So far I’ve made zucchini soup, zucchini pizza, zucchini quiche and stuffed zucchini… How fortunate to have inherited a house with good cookbooks! 

Next up are the artichokes and beetroots, and the corn comes on apace…

Monday, January 19, 2009

The time has come the walrus said: today is The Big Move!

Well… this week is the big move, toodling over a uteful at a time, cleaning up the Outlaw’s house in our wake (they are still up at the Murray rebuilding the floating-construction-site/houseboat which was burned down last year).

Kim & Clive have left us a garden full of luscious food: 

And we are making our acquaintance with the chooks, 
two of which inspire thoughts of 1920s art deco wallpaper: 


They are all such lovely plumpy things. 

Friday, January 16, 2009


It is definitely so lovely to be back among family and friends with the little man while he is still little.  

We had Christmas at Jervis Bay in NSW with the Price clan:

Ro enjoying splashing in the ocean,
unlike his first attempts in Samoa,
where despite the tropical water he found it too cold!

And then New Year’s on the Murray in Robinvale with the Wilson clan:

Ro (and me and Byerly-dog) in the boat
watching his Dad on the wakeboard:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Introducing Yarrow

This is yarrow:

a.k.a. Achillea millefolium

Good for:
Staunching wounds
Casting the I Ching
Sending its roots down deep and drawing up nutrients for all the plants around it

This is my very own Yarrow:

a.k.a. Little Yarrow Boy, Jumping Jack Sparrow, Barrow Boy

Good for:
Tickling, chuckling and snuggling
Smiles of bright light
Delighting fellow passengers on trains, planes and automobiles
Splashing the bath out of the bath
Sitting up all by himself! 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Backyard nomad

I have been a mama five months, and thus far a nomad mama:

Our home in Samoa,
where Yarrow was born in the middle of the wide blue Pacific,
with two local midwives.

Home of me madre, brother, belle seour and deux nephews in Canberra.

Home of the outlaws in Melbourne.

Our roving home.

Christmas home, hired with Price clan on NSW south coast.

Floating home.
New Year's on the Murray, building the houseboat.

But now this nomad mama will be putting down roots, potting up seedlings & tilling the soil:

Kim and Clive’s home. 

They are off to Uganda to do good permaculture things and grow an abundance of food at the Sabine Home orphanage.

So I shall hunt and gather at the back steps! A nomad mama learning to be a farmer mama…