Saturday, August 9, 2008

नेवर वर्क विथ अनिमल्स और चिल्ड्रेन

I have no idea why the title of this blog is in Hindi-

Today I am being driven mad by animals and children. Brandy has been bellowing in her paddock since sun rise, and it really begins to get on your nerves after four to five house. The problem seems to be she is on heat again.

Somehow the children picked up on the cow-vibe and have all been doing their own versions of the cow-bellow, that is: the tantrum. The chooks won't stay out of the house or the veggie patch, the cats keep lying on top of my seedling trays and squashing the seedlings. I just found a chook laying an egg our bed. The only animals that are doing what they are supposed to are the worms.

Trying to be semi-self-sufficient is mostly satisfying, but some days it is a real pain in the arse.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sharing produce

A few weeks ago I met with some of our friends down at Peace Park in Nimbin to swap our surplus produce.

The idea was that we would all share what we have too much of, but that in coming together to barter we will create the inspiration to start becoming more self sufficient - and it seems to have worked.

The first swap went well, apart from the fact that half the people went to one park and the other half went to another- we eventually found one another. I took pumpkins, eggs and oranges- I came home with mandarins, bok choy, a loaf of Swedish rye bread and avocados. The next swap is happening next weekend at Hanging Rock Hall.

Everyone who went said it has inspired them to get into their garden.

The weather has warmed up a lot, and I have started summer plantings - we will still get a bit more frost, but within the next few weeks I should be able to get in a lot more stuff. I am still having great trouble getting seeds up - so this year I really want to work on getting that happening.

I've got an avocado tree to go in as soon as the frost is finished. I have also planted a custard apple, a lime tree, a bay tree. Already here was Guava, mulberry, oranges, lemons, mandarins, pears,plums, peaches, figs, mulberry, macadamia, pecan and an olive tree which is not baring any olives- apparently it has been too wet this year.

It is probably time to think about planting new citrus as the old stuff is very old and infected with rust mite- and I have tried white oil to control it with no luck.

The worms are doing really well living on cow poo. I am composting like mad for spring.

We harvested our potatoes, many of them were small. But we a lot of big ones too. I think I left it just a little too late to plant them. I will be replanting in the next few days, using the little ones as seeds.

The cows have been in the veggie patch a number of times later, it is amazing how much damage then can do in a few seconds. Brandy bit the heads off all my lettuces and the stems off the garlic- and her big hoofs trampled over the top of everything. The chooks are also proving to be opportunists, waiting for one of the children to leave the gate to the vegie patch open.