Saturday, 6 December 2014
Monday, 1 December 2014
|Mr Bumbles on our Phacelia|
How strange. As soon as you stop mowing your lawn you begin to look at your world a little differently. It's unexpected and most delightful.
It's been about 6 or 8 weeks now since we turned the mower off (although I have mown some little pathways around the property so our legs don't get wet. And the kids, and us, LOVE them). There's been many changes over that time it's hard to tell it all. It's a rapidly changing place and by watching it rather than messing with it we're learning a great deal.
When I look at tidy mown verges I don't see any life now. Ours is full of it.
Our green spaces are lush, alive and moving. Growing and changing on their own accord. Where I thought pesky grasses would take over, their not. They're lending space to wild herbs and wild weeds, which is just what we want.
I've spotted yarrow which I love, pink clover which surprised me, camomile which is most welcome and ladies thumb. Amoung many others.
And these are just the plants. The insects and animals, oh that's for another day!
All these living things we're watching as they make their new home. You see they all have something to bring, whether it's essential elements to the soil where it's lacking, bugs for dining on pests or essential oils as companions for our edibles. We'll be making the most of them all.
|A grass going to seed.|
|White Clover. Bringing much needed nitrogen to our soil.|
Saturday, 15 November 2014
This isn't our garden. It's the Guytons, in Riverton. A haven of wild beauty, gently caressed with human hands (not powertools) bringing an enormous wealth to their lives, the lives of millions of creatures living in their garden and, delightfully, to the lives of people who go there.
We haven't been blogging so much lately. We've been spending more time 'doing' and less time not. And with that we're learning more about the natural world and how becoming a part of it (instead of trying to control it) is wonderfully fulfilling.
Our forest garden is starting to take shape. The berries are forming, the bees more prevalent. And we've stopped mowing the lawn. A bold move most people say. 'Why? won't it become a mess?'.
For a while our property will look messy, unkempt, maybe even unloved to some. But we'll be watching it very closely, giving it a helping hand and will continue with our plantings. And sure it'll look messy in the sense that it's becoming more wild. But with that wildness comes inspiration we've never experienced.
We're already learning more about how plants interact naturally, how they keep pests at bay if left to their own devices, how they naturally set seed and grow where the soil needs their attention or where they find what they need. And with the help and guidance of passionate and knowledgable, people such as the Guyton's, our garden is slowly becoming a forest, full of edibles, companions, and natural wonder.
Thank you Robert & Robyn Guyton for doing what you do so well and sharing it with others.
Let's see what happens...
Monday, 10 November 2014
Friday, 24 October 2014
I'm very excited about this! Super easy granola bars. 5 ingredients. Lovely and sweet, but sugar and guilt free. Pure organic indulgence. And great for kids lunch boxes too...
Ingredients (use organic)1 cup packed full of pitted dates
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup cashews (or other nuts)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
Scattering of other bits and pieces if you have it. I used organic cranberries and organic sultanas. You could also try coconut & seeds.
InstructionsIf dates are a bit dry soak in water for 10 mins, then drain.
Blend dates in food processor till reasonably munched up.
Warm honey and peanut butter in sauce pan on low heat.
In a big bowl mix nuts and oats then add processed dates and mix well so dates are dispersed throughout.
Pour warm honey/peanut butter mixture over the oat mix and mix well again.
Press mixture into a baking tray (lined with baking paper) to desired thickness. Press firmly.
Place in freezer for 15mins. Remove and cut into pieces. I cut mine into small cubes, or you could cut into bars.
I keep half the batch in the freezer for another day, and half in the fridge. They will keep in the fridge for a good few days. Enjoy!
The original recipe I got from the Minimalist Baker.
Thursday, 9 October 2014
Ice Garden Sculptures
Fill a container of your choice with water, say a few centimetres high.
Drop in pretty flowers and leaves your children have collected.
Put a small cup in the centre and freeze.
The next day pop it out of the container and it up hang outside using natural materials.
This photo doesn't do it justice, they really are quite beautiful and the kids love to watch them glisten in the sun while they melt.
We got this idea from Kindy.
Thursday, 25 September 2014
|Flowers of thyme, rosemary, miners lettuce, kale, lavender, calendula and wild brassica|
Without a doubt, the more time you spend with nature, the better the rewards.
Forest gardening is opening my eyes to a world of edible wonder I never knew could exist in my own backyard, and with not much help from me.
Plants in the past I've tossed aside as woeful weeds or weird looking things, now, they excite me.
Most people will have been cursing over their weeds as they go into flower, or slowly creep up to the stalks of their beloved conventional vegetables. For me, I'm letting go. I'm learning slowly to wait before pulling them at the roots to see what happens. Firstly, I check my stash of books to find out what those devilish plants may be, and what improvements they could be making to my soil, insects, wildlife or plants around them. Then, most importantly, I see if they're edible. And often it seems they are.
Gone are the days of relying on tomato and lettuce. My old gardening ways seem so barren now. Last night we dined on cleavers and stinging nettle. And tonight to my delight I picked a 100% edible flower salad, made up of all sorts of wonderfully nutritious, simply beautiful, things.
Monday, 22 September 2014
|Mint going in all those damp shady places |
where I want to keep weeds at bay
'Don't plant mint in your garden, it'll spread!'...
Often something I used to hear in the back of my own mind. But plant mint we are, and lots of it! It's a great companion plant, full of essential oils and also great for using in my kitchen.
As for the pile of logs pictured here that's my new bug house. One of them anyway. It'll soon become home to many types of creepy crawlies, spiders in particular. You see now we're forest gardening these types of things are our friends. In fact we'll rely on them to do their job and keep other unwanted infestations at bay.
I went out to see my bug house the other day and the first thing I spotted was a spider leaping from one log to the other, only to then crawl sheepishly into some bamboo (thanks for the bamboo Jill) and hide.
Forest gardening bliss, it's only just beginning folks.
|My new red currant.|
Lifeless looking stick soon to become
a haven of life giving antioxidants.