1 September 2008

Spring has sprung!

The photos were taken yesterday afternoon. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

It's the first day of Spring today. Rain has been forecast for the next three days but I feel in my bones that we'll get showers today and then it will go back to fine weather. I wonder whose prediction will be right. ;- ) With the weather forecast in mind, Hanno and I worked in the garden yesterday afternoon, planting seedlings and adding mulch. We also got around to netting the nectarine tree. We had a disagreement about how to do it and have decided one tree will be done Hanno's way and one my way. Hanno's tree was done yesterday and we're waiting to see how it goes in the rain, we'll do my tree next week. I took photos and will post them tomorrow, with more information on the trees and what we're doing.

Above and below are plantings of spring onions, beetroot, lettuce, silverbeet, tomatoes, bok choi and leeks.

The garden isn't looking its best at the moment with patches of new seedlings here and there, but it's not a show garden, it's a functional productive garden and shows harvesting, bare patches and new plantings all through the year. The beans are all but finished now and I'm letting them dry on the vines.

The other major development is that Hanno has been digging potatoes for last week's dinners and soon that garden bed will make way for new plantings of zucchini, cucumbers, beetroot and lettuce. Three zucchini have been added in the photo above and more will follow as the potatoes are dug up.

The potato crop this winter has been really grand with a lot of very big potatoes, the biggest we've grown. One potato is enough for both of us at dinner and they have the most delicious creamy nutty flavour. The spuds we're harvesting now are Dutch Creams, we have a crop of Kipflers out in the front garden that will be ready in about a month.

I cooked some fresh snapper fillets on the weekend which we ate with coleslaw made with our homegrown cabbage and capsicums (peppers), the carrots and onions were from the market. We had that with the last of the fresh cucumbers and two heirloom tomato types - my favourites, pink Brandywines, and an orange beauty from the permaculture garden at work.

Further over behind the house, in the new trellis garden, the tomatoes and lettuce planted a few weeks ago we going really well. There are flowers on the tomatoes and I think we'll be eating the lettuce the week after next. It is always a joy to know that fresh food is growing just outside our door and that, if we put the work in, tend, weed and water, that our work will result in organic food on the table.

Above is Bernadette our Barnevelder. If you enlarge the photo you will better see her beautiful feathers. They have a violet tinge to the pencilled edges. Many of the chickens we bought at the beginning of Winter are now old enough to lay. In fact, we sold a dozen to the local worm man on Saturday and I have another dozen eggs to sell at the Centre today. A couple of the women there said they will buy fresh eggs, so today we will see.

I think we have the world's largest chook. Meet Big Bertha, the light Sussex, she's been renamed. She is, without a doubt, the tallest chicken I've ever seen. I thought she might be a rooster but no, she's just a very big girl. I tried to get a photo of her with the other chickens but she kept zigging and zagging and running away. This it the best I can do, but believe me when I tell you she is at least a third taller than our biggest and oldest chook, Cocobelle.

The rest of the weekend was taken up with writing, sewing and knitting. It's a lovely stage of life I'm at with time to do whatever it is I wish to do. There is a perception in the media, that is often reflected in day to day life, that there isn't a lot to look forward to as you grow older. I want to present a different viewpoint. From where I stand older age is comfortable, enriching and wonderful. The angst of the young years is long gone, the hard work of raising a family - as lovely as that is - is over, and we oldsters get to sit back and take it easy. Today and tomorrow I'm hosting a group of elders at our Centre. We're talking about Living Well on Less and then we'll have lunch together. It's just a simple lunch - sandwiches, fruit and cheese with coffee, tea and juice, but I know it will be appreciated as will the opportunity to connect with like minded folk our own age.

Every age has it's pros and cons but when someone tells you it's horrible to grow old, don't believe them. There is joy to be found in old age. You can look back and see the patterns of your life emerge and, if you're lucky, grandbabies come along. That hasn't happened to me yet, it's yet another thing I'm looking forward to but I have to tell you, life's good. :- )

I hope this week is a good one for you. Take care of yourself and enjoy what you're doing.

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