24 September 2008


I have a catch-up day today. Although Hanno has told me to concentrate on my writing and he will do the laundry and most of the indoor work, there are some things I need to do and they will be looked after today. We also have two special visitors today - Shane and Sarndra will arrive late this morning. They aren't staying long but just seeing them is a joy that I'm looking forward to. I'll make a batch of walnut and cranberry biscuits soon so we have something for our morning tea. We also have two other visitors expected - Koda and Tessa - Jens and Cathy's Airedales. Jens and Cathy are in Europe at the moment and although Cathy's father has been staying at their place to look after the dogs, he has to leave for a week to go to a family wedding, so we will keep the dogs here for that time. There's is never a dull moment here.

There are always things happening outside. At the moment, Hanno's project is to fix the fence on the chook run and to add a taller gate. The chooks have been flying out to free range whenever they feel like it. Normally that wouldn't be a problem but as we have tomatoes and lettuce growing in that area now, if we don't keep an eye on them, they pick the lettuce back to their cores before we even know they're out of their run.

In the photo above you can see the newly installed gate, and my small additions of two wooden chooks. They will stand guard at the fence posts. ;- ) The fence itself, only made of chicken wire, will be higher as well. When Hanno and Jens took down that dead tree about six weeks ago, it landed on the fence and it's been wobbly and unstable ever since. Adding an extra height layer will make the enclosure much more secure. While he's at it, Hanno will also patch up any small holes that would allow little chicks to wander out. Now we have Seth, we have thoughts of his offspring wandering around, and they will need to be safe within the fence and not outside it. There are a lot of chick and egg eating snakes around, and right now is the time of year they're active. I saw my first snake of the season yesterday - a ribbon thin long green tree snake. It was crossing from the bush across the road into the house next door. It's always a thrill to see snakes moving around, and those tree snakes are elegant and beautiful. No one could be scared of a longstrip of green ribbon. ;- )

And speaking of Seth, he's started his teenage attempts at crowing. It's not loud yet but he keeps at it. We'll have to make a rooster box for him soon. That is a box that he will sleep in. Roosters need to stand and extend their heads to crow and if you put your rooster into a box that gives him space to move but not to entend his head, you get a silent rooster. When you let him about in the morning again, he will crow, but everyone is awake then so it's not a problem. Well, that's the theory. We all know things don't always go according the a theory, so we'll wait and watch.

More seedlings have been planted - you can see corn and one squash above. The beans have been pulled out, snow peas will be next and Hanno is preparing the old kale bed for another potato planting. Continuous planting - it just keeps rolling on. Let me see if I can remember what vegetables we have growing at the moment: three types of tomatoes (tropic, beefsteak and tommy toe), lettuce, silverbeet, Welsh onions, beetroot, leeks, bok choi, corn, squash, zuchinni, capsicums (peppers) chilli, kipfler potatoes, cucumbers, celery, pigeon peas and we are planting carrots, more potatoes, luffas and golden nugget pumpkin. Herbs - parsley, chives, thyme, yarrow, comfrey, rosemary, oregano, marjorum, bay and flowers - nastursiums and daisies. We also have a bit of fruit: lemons, oranges, pink grapefruit, mandarins, bananas, red pawpaw (papaya), rhubarb, blueberries, strawberries, passionfruit, pineapple, peaches, nectarines, avocado, grapes and loquats. So much is such a small space. It's wonderful be be able to supply such variety from our own backyard.

I was overwhelmed at the response to yesterday's post. How generous of you all to share your lives with the rest of us. It made me smile to read so many of them and to know that we are all striving to live authenticity, having rejected the madness of this consumerist age. Reading how others have changed can be quite a powerful message to those who are still wondering about their own lives. Thank you for taking the time to add your story, it might be the one that helps convince someone else that a simple change is possible.

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