Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

mary, mary, quite contrary
how does your garden grow?
with silverbells and cockshells
and pretty maids all in a row

an old classic nursery rhyme that i found myself singing yesterday as i was wandering the beginnings of our garden and imagining what could be .... and while we may not have these beautiful cottage flowers yet, we do have the staples and backbone of a good plant infrastructure growing ....

the first potato in our straw pile peaking it's head through .....

 top down view of the pea's coming up at the base of the pea tree structure ....

Comfrey .... it's growing in several places and will be used, along with lavender
and other bushy herbs to create borders around future mandala's ....  where do you start with
expounding the value of comfrey?  with it's deep rooting systems that bring up
all those wonderful nutrients from far down in the soil ... it's truly a great
crop for any number of important sustainable systems!

<sigh>  broad beans in all their glory.  i can't sign the praises enuf of these glorious 
creatures.  i tried something that i saw on a River Cottage episode
the other night and snipped the tops out just as they were starting to bloom ....
he promised that it would dramatically increase the flowers (and as such, the beans!)
.... cam back a few days later and i was amazed at the number of flowers!
woohoo! i have at least three large patches planted!  and have been using them as
green manure as well.

my personal sense of satisfaction is huge, to say the least.  i feel like we are making small, yet significant steps towards a wonderful future .... and these early spring flourishes are fabulous at reminding us to be committed to the adventure ahead!

Monday, July 23, 2012

the way it's meant to be ....

life is a bit chaotic at home.

  • paperwork in to council ... check
  • quote requested from Pooh Solutions for composting toilet that meets council requirements .... check
  • waiting for call back from vendor regarding grey water reed bed system .... ugh
  • power paperwork in for approval .... check
  • shed's for shower/laundry/storage designed (pallets, btw!) .... check
  • maggie still seeking motivation to sort and pack ..... STILL SEEKING!!!!!
  • waiting for resolution to mobile phone dispute .... no data usage if i am not at home using our local wireless network ..... ugh
  • kids starting to feel unsettled ..... BIG CHECK!
we put our paperwork in to council over a week ago.  we were told best case scenario is that we will receive approval in two weeks .... but expect four.  this council isn't all that up to speed with composting toilets .... so we are expecting some issues .... but we did it all by the books .... which means they have no space to reject it.  but ready to fight if we need to.  interesting how we are finding folks who are interested in doing deals with us because if we get this through council, well .... it opens up a whole new set of clients for them!

and in the midst of this we are spending our evenings tooling around the industrial estates looking for pallets ... going to friends farms who have piles of corrugated iron paneling behind their  barns that we can just "take" .... scrounging whatever freebies or cheap alternatives that we can.

but, back to the present .... we are spending our weekends the way expect too for the next few months.  up bright and early with the trailer and x-trail packed to the brim with all the goodies we've sourced to take out to the property.  unpack ..... let the kids play for a while and enjoy being on the land.  we have a new rule for the kids .... they work for 15 minutes and then get to play for 30.  right now the big chore is making piles of mulch from all the grass clippings from the mowing .... we'll have mulch for a long time i reckon!

and there is always a way to play .... even in the midst of chores.  the boys helping daddy lay out the ag pipe we've collected (drip lines in our future) to see how much we have ... and of course you have to test the sound carrying capacity!

so we work hard and then we play hard and then we relax .... cause let's face it ..... and the end of every day, this is the way it's meant to be ....

Monday, July 16, 2012

farm days

i forgot my camera when we were out at the property with friends last week (add four kids to the mix!).  coulda shot myself for that.  if i had had it with me, you would've seen pictures of ....

  • a new colour of green tree frog.  this one was light green with grey and black lines around the eyes.  
  • kids in bare feet running around and having fun
  • kids raking up the grass from the mower into piles for using as mulch
  • ...and then ripping it down and forming it into forts to shoot each other from!
  • playing "red light / green light" and "what's the time mr wolf" across this vast expanse
  • exploring the dam and seeing all the cool life that surrounds a water source.
it was really a treat for me to see these kids running around and having fun.  it made my heart happy is really the only way i can say it.  it's always been about doing the best for our family ... about being a family.  so, because i forgot the camera .... here are a few other shots of times out at the farm where the kids have inspired me and us .... to keep on keeping on!

our friend Trevor with the kids ... he just delivered two large hay bales!
thank you!

the first large green tree frog .... we've seen a fair few smaller ones, but this is
the only one that has sat still long enuf for us to take a picture.

JJ and friend playing in the hay .... 'nuf said!

daddy showing Raymie how to scythe!

too cute .... farmer JJ!

every farm must have it's princess ... and we have one to fit the bill!
perched high atop her throne!

hey mum!  look at me!

planting the pea tree! (a la River Cottage!)

... yes mum .... i put in all the green manure like you asked me too!

Ninja JJ  coming up from behind the compost pile!