What’s in the Garden?
The vegetables in the greenhouse have not grown very much due to the dry weather. I’m watering enough to keep them alive but not enough for them to thrive- I have to be really careful with the water because I don’t know when it will rain. The broccoli and cauliflower plants have grown big leaves but they don’t form heads! None of my seeds are germinating either. The mornings temperatures are too cold for the summer crop seeds to germinate, squash, cucumber etc- early morning temperatures have been down to one degree. But it’s too late in the season to plant winter crops like broccoli and cauliflower – day time temperates are up to twenty-six degrees now.
We have lots of citrus: oranges, lemons, mandarines and grapefruit. We’ve had a few frosts so the oranges are nice and sweet. I’ve been making orange cakes and lemon cakes for the last couple of months.
The native bees have been swarming on and off for the last couple of weeks. I’m not sure if it’s to do with the dry weather. It’s sooooo dry here. A few weeks ago, I put Candy, (the goat) and the ewe (formerly known as Other Lambie – until she gave birth to a lamb of her own) together in the horse paddock. I closed off the goat paddock and gave them the two horse paddocks to roam around in. The ewe has bonded to Candy, but now that Candy is the dominant one in the herd, she is pretty nonchalant about the ewe; the ewe is always calling her but she rarely bothers to answer.
The goat paddock has now had a couple of weeks to regenerate. On Monday, I reopened it and the ewe and her little lamb raced down to search out grass and weeds but Candy stayed stretched out in the sun. Candy didn’t follow them so the ewe called out a few times and then came back to the gate and glared at Candy. She called out a few more times and Candy pricked up her ears but didn’t move. Eventually, the ewe and her little lamb headed off into the long grass to explore on their own. The last couple of days they’ve all spent most of their time down there under the trees.
We’ve got seven water tanks, and three of them hold twenty-two thousand litres (five thousand gallons). That’s a lot of tanks for a five acre block, but, it’s good to have them when it’s really dry. Our dams are very shallow so they dry up in the winter months which, ironically, is when we need the water. There is no access to town water out here in the bush so we all rely on tank water for our homes and/or farms. Unfortunately, it’s been so dry that some of our friends have had to buy water once, or even twice, in the last couple of months to fill their house tanks. We’ve still got enough water to keep going for now but without all these tanks we wouldn’t have been able to keep the garden going let alone the trees.
It’s so dry that wildlife are coming to the house looking for water. Tonight, Izzy found an echidna on her veranda. Then, when I went to clean my teeth, I found a night tiger with it’s head stuck in the tap. Must have tried to get a drink and got stuck. Either that, or it chased a thirsty cockroach into the tap and it was like Winnie the Poo with the honey pot. I had to gently pull it out- it’s so tiny that I just wrapped one finger around it and gently pulled it’s head free. Poor little thing was distressed and shaking but quickly recovered.
Spring is coming…
The stone-fruit trees are well established and don’t need watering. They’re flowering and looking quite healthy despite the dry weather.
What’s on the menu?
For breakfast we have porridge or toast with home-made orange marmalade. Some mornings, when I haven’t soaked the oats for porridge or made a bread, we have chopped orange or we make an orange smoothie with the blender. Oranges don’t really fill me up so if I have chopped oranges for breakfast, I also chop up some carrot and celery.
Vegetable minestrone: I fried onion and garlic (shop bought), then added home grown cherry tomatoes, carrot, broccoli, shallots, Chinese cabbage, pumpkin, celery and an old potato (that was hiding under the onion – also from the shop). I added home made stock and fresh oregano. The stock and celery gave the soup a really nice depth. I would have used white wine as well but have run out.
The garden is not producing as much at the moment so I searched through the cupboards and found some falafel mix and a small bag of lentils.
Rice is fantastic because we can make risottos and fried rice that are really filling and not require a lot of veggies to make a meal. A five kio bag of jasmine rice cost $11. I can make a meal with less than fifty cents worth of rice.
I did a big shop at Woolworth this week- rice (five kilos), oats, sugar, veggie stock powder, nutalex (for Izzy) toilet paper, nail-files (for me and Izzy) , chocolate, beer (for the slugs) and two bottles of red wine (that were on special when I bought the beer).
On the weekend, I went with my neighbour Bec (with her Thready-Set-Go market stall) to the O’Heart festival, a ‘conscious awakening indie folk festival’ held in the small town of Tyalgum. The event webpage explained –
Why “O’Heart”? Well, simply put, the inspiration behind the Festival is to provide a moment of immersion into a culture of “Opening the Heart”, that is, learning to live on the basis of compassion, love, inclusiveness, environmental awareness and consciously making a difference. It is opening our hearts to our remembrance of what we intuit is possible for humanity.
The atmosphere was chilled and the music was uplifting so the festival achieved a relaxed and heartening vibe where people could enjoy the indie music and participate in wellness workshops, sustainability talks, spirituality workshops and so forth; all free and open for anyone.
I Joined the ‘laughter yoga’ workshop, which was great because almost all of the attendees committed to having fun and let themselves be silly. There was only one young person who looked awkward and abandoned the workshop before it finished. Then, I did an interesting dream workshop. In the past, I’ve tried to analyse my crazy dreams and usually some parts of my dreams are recognisable – I see how they have come from things that might have happened during the day before but have been mixed up and turned into ‘Alice in Wonderland’ dreams where things grow or shrink or disappear or transform into something else. In the workshop, the facilitator explained to us how to look for symbols in our dreams. I described a dream that I’d had a few weeks earlier that had haunted me. It was an apocalyptic dream where I was walking in the countryside with my mother and her two sisters. The sky started to fill with a thick stream of aircraft and I was filled with dread and sensed that an unknown force was going to use the aircraft to attack towns and cities. In the dream, I felt like I knew why it was happening (although I didn’t actually acknowledge what it was). I started screaming for my family to run. A helicopter broke away from the others and flew down and exploded beside me. When I woke up, I was convinced that the dream revealed some sort of subconscious fear about capitalism destroying humanity. The facilitator of the workshop asked me “has there been an incident that has blown up in your family?” I instantly knew what the dream was really about, it was about an incident that had happened in my family. It was Jungian! The facilitator gave us other strategies to help us interpret our dreams. One strategy is to pretend that you are explaining your dream to an alien so you have to describe everything in the dream in detail. This can lead you to realise what the dream is about, why you had it and possible there might be some action that you want to take in relation to the message in the dream.
I joined a chanting circle which would have been fabulous except that it was too close to the live music so we had to abandon it after two chants. And finally, I watch a film about intuition which was really interesting. The inspiration for the film happened when the film maker was driving through the city one night approaching an intersection. He had a strong sensation that even though he could see the traffic light was green, he needed to slow down. He slowed down and a semi-trailer (which was hidden from his view by the buildings) didn’t see the red light and ploughed through the intersection. He knew that he probably would have died if he hadn’t followed his gut instinct. He decided to investigate everything currently known about intuition. The film documents his discussions with psychologists, Buddhist monks, Christian priests, neurosurgeons etc who all convey their perception of intuition, where it comes from and what it means. The religious and spiritual leaders all linked intuition to a connection with the divine.
There was live music playing at several locations over the two days. The music was awesome but the audience was content to sit and listen rather than have a dance. I enjoy most types of music and I’m afraid I’ve always found it hard to sit down when I’m listening to music with a nice beat. I tried to dance really low key, disguising it as a kind of swaying, but then my arms kept flying up in the air and swirling around. I just closed my eyes and enjoyed it.
There were lots of great market stalls selling natural, reusable products. I bought some bees wax deodorant to try out.
Eitenne arrived tonight and is in bed recovering from his return flight from Mongolia. Next week, I’ll post some pics from his trip.
All the best, to everyone.