switch off & reconnect – productive

Today we had a switch off & reconnect day. Bean made some pancakes while I had a blissful sleep in, then after breakfast Sprout dressed herself and announced that she was ready to go out, so we went to the beach.

We drove a little way out to a beach that we could have to ourselves. We’re so lucky to be near so many lovely beaches in this part of the world.

Bean took some photos for a project he’s currently working on, and we spent a good amount of time picking up tiny shells, marvelling at their beauty and perfection.

On the way home we decided to buy a couple of noodle boxes to share for lunch because Sprout was getting very hungry and we wanted to feed her sooner than later.

Then we got stuck in to gardening for the afternoon.

The council green waste bin was already full so I asked Bean to ask his folks if they’d be able to borrow one of their neighbours bins to fill with weeds. I really dig the greenwaste collection thing this council has going on. Normally we’d compost the weeds but we’ve only got two small compost bins in this yard and there were so many weeds (we filled one and a half wheely bins!) we didn’t have anywhere to put them all. It’s all good though, because the council composts the contents of everyone’s green bins and then sells it back to all the people who were too lazy to compost it themselves. It’s brilliant, I tell you! I love weeding. Really, I do. It’s so wonderful to see where you’ve been working. Especially after this perfect weed growing weather – rain showers, warm sun, rain showers, warm sun, rain showers… repeat.

Sprout and I planted some ornamental flowers in the spaces where the weeds had been. There’s NO flowers in this yard at all, so I’m hoping to attract some bees with the flowers. It’s a bonus that they look sweet too. Sprout loved helping, and I thought again how much I’d love her to grow up on an organic herb farm. Growing stuff is awesome, don’t you think?!

While I planted and weeded with Sprout, Bean did some rust work on Brigit the kombi. He attacked the surface rust that’s shown up since we’ve moved here to rainyville with an angle grinder and some primer. Brigit’s second in line for the full restoration because Van Halen is closer to finished. Once Van Halen is done Brigit will be taken off the road, stripped to an empty shell then fully restored inside and out. Van Halen’s nearly rust free now, and so nearly ready for a respray. When he’s resprayed, which Bean will be doing himself (maybe I’ll be able to drag myself away from my limpets sproggets long enough to do a bit of it as well?!), we’ll build a rock & roll bed and make up new door cards. He’s so close to being finished I can almost see myself driving around in Bean’s flash looking restored kombi! Anyhow, I digress… don’t ask me about the kombis, I always go on too much once I start! Now, back to today…

While we were in the yard the sprogs (and Dave) met some children over the fence. They don’t live next door, that yard is often empty of people and full of weeds, so it was a lovely surprise for the sprogs to find friends at the fence.

After a chat it was decided that they’d play together on the same side of the fence. Bean opened the gate at the bottom of the yard and watched them play together at the front of the block (near his parents house) while I made some mayonaise (which was AMAZING, by the way).

Once the sprogs were in bed Bean and I folded two baskets full of clean laundry then went outside to weed a bit more by the light of a headlamp. It’s verrry additcive, that weeding.

It was a wonderfully productive and connecting day for us all. Once again, I’m left thinking that we should switch off & reconnect more often!

 

All photos by www.liamwilde.com

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What do you do to switch off & reconnect with yourself & people you love?

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posted by wildecrafted in journal and have Comments (4)

sunshine & green thumbs

We had some sunshine this weekend, and our list of things to do inside the shed isn’t so huge anymore, so we decided to begin our productive garden.

In the shade near the entrance I’ve planted some shade loving, wet loving, herbs – soapwort, self heal, peppermint and spearmint – plus a few little pansies for a bit of colour.

In the sunny area next to the little garden shed we removed a whole heap of rubbish that had been turfed there when the house shed was emptied out for us to begin the conversion, then we got stuck in to building a raised bed out of some scrap wood & corrugated iron. We have cut the bottom out of a couple of 60L bins & buried them half in the ground, they’re our food scraps to compost converters… We planted some yarrow next to the bins & four strawberry plants in the garden bed next to the bins.

The soil here is fantastic! Full of earth worms and organic matter. Bean’s parents aren’t gardeners so they’ve neglected it for years, which is fabulous because it means there’s been no chemicals used there for years!

It was lovely to make a little start on our vegie patch out in the sunshine, even if we had to stop work before we were willing because we ran out of materials. We have some more scrap corrugated iron coming soon from a workmate of Bean’s, so we’ll be able to build plenty more beds in that space. Stay tuned… Until then, tonight it is raining so our newly transplanted plants will be thoroughly watered in come tomorrow.

Photos by www.liamwilde.com

posted by wildecrafted in garden and have Comments (4)

Twig Fence

So that garden bed that I filled with biomass and sowed seeds in last weekend… Babyman (the all terrain vehicle) thinks it’s a very nice shortcut through to the cubby! He also thinks I’ve put the little plant labels in simply for his amusement and takes great delight in pulling them out.

Solution: The garden bed needs a fence around it, obviously.

Problem: We don’t have the cash this month to buy materials to make a fence.

Solution: Build a fence with what I can find around the house & yard.

Problem: There’s nothing to make a fence with around our house & yard.

Solution: There’s a park across the road with big Eucalyptus trees (mainly citriodora) and there are PLENTY of twigs & small branches on the ground underneath them. The council workers regularly clear them out so I can take them knowing I’m not destroying habitat.

Result: A twig fence…

I’ve tied it with a green hemp string and a cream hemp/wool yarn. Eventually it will break down and can be either burnt in our firepit one evening with friends or composted further. Until then, it should last long enough to keep Babyman out of the garden until it is established enough to withstand his ATV nature! I’ve not finished fencing the whole garden bed yet, but I’ve made a good start.

Last night Bean rigged up some work lights so I could keep working once the children were asleep. There was a fairly strong wind which seemed to keep the usual plague of mosquitos away so I was able to happily plug away at it for about an hour before Babyman woke for a feed. I’ll keep on at it until I’ve fenced that whole garden bed. It’s about 25-30 metres of border and the rate I’ve been going has been about 2m per hour so it’ll take me a while… Oh well, I’ve got a reason not to mung out staring at fakebook now!

As for aesthetics… well I think it looks rustic and quaint. I like it, and I think I’ll like it even more when there’s some healthy herbs growing behind it.

*** In the background of the last photo you can see the dead grape vines (cry!). They’ve been cut off at the base so the children don’t harvest and eat the poisoned fruit. Now we need to dispose of them. They were infested with termites so Mum had them treated by a pest control company when she had the house treated with a termite poison. The poison contaminates the fruit so the contractor treated them on the condition they’d be destroyed.

I feel sad because they were so old and they looked fantastic. Buuuut they were wine grapes and I don’t care for wine, particularly not making it at home, so it’s not as upsetting as if they were good eating grapes.

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posted by wildecrafted in garden and have Comment (1)

Up the garden path

We spent a bit of time in the garden last weekend.

We’re replacing the woodchip paths with paved paths. We’re using old red bricks currently, and when we’ve run out of them we’ll use some old pavers that friends have pulled up at their place. The bricks are laid in a very higgledy piggledy fashion. We’ve not used a compressor on the sand before laying them so the path is uneven, which I like quite a lot.

Last time we lived here we covered the grass with old carpet* then covered the carpet with woodchips. Initially it was great, there were heaps of good sized woodchips and it was comfortable to walk on.

Over the last 3 years the woodchips have broken down a lot and the woodchips that remained were big and sharp, making the paths uncomfortable to walk on – especially for children with tender feet. So, we’ve decided the woodchips have to go so we can make the yard a more comfortable and fun place for the children (and us) to be.

There’s already a concrete path heading into the yard from the driveway that we’ve uncovered, and we’ve continued it on from where it ends to where the children’s play area begins. The children’s play area has been covered with a limestone road base already.

After making the red brick path we bordered the concrete path on one side and transplanted a big lavender bush to frame the path. I also planted a comfrey plant and sowed some herb seeds in one of the garden beds that is empty excepting a rose bush and some lavender.

The seeds were all quite old, so I just scattered them about, hoping that some are still viable.

In the coming weeks we may or may not find borage, calendula, chives, shallots, tansy, Indian (clove) basil and sage in the garden… Fingers crossed huh?

Finally, we cut a large branch from the poorly kept lemon tree out the back. The branch had been eaten extensively by termites, so I thought a vigorous prune was in order.

* We’ve since learned is not good to use carpet to smother weeds or lawn since there are so many chemicals used in the manufacturing of carpet that can then leach into the soil. It’s unfortunate really because it was VERY effective, there is no sign of any cooch grass where the carpet was. We only used it where the paths were, no carpet under the raised garden beds.

 

posted by wildecrafted in garden and have Comment (1)