Wednesday, December 19, 2012

:: Brag Basket #3 ::

Tonight's dash about the garden beds was a mad hurry at the end of another busy and hot day. And in about 6 or 7 minutes I had this lush basket full of everything to complete our evening meal - and a few bursts of pretty colour for the table - for is a vegetable garden complete!!
Silverbeet - or chard: Argentata and Rainbow Brights, Basil: Sweet Genovese, Broccoli: de Cicco, Zucchini: Lebanese, Black Beauty and Florence Long-ribbed, Kale: Toscana di Nero, Parsley: Triple-curled, Thyme: French, Nasturtiums and Dahlia.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

:: brag-basket #2 :: 12:12:12 ::

here we are at one of those special times - 12th of the 12th of the 12th year....we're having a Zucchini Feast for our midday meal today...someone we know is tying the knot at 12minutes past you have any plans for this auspicious-seeming day?
my second basket was gathered last night and is filled with our juicy, sweet, sun-kissed peaches from two trees - one in the Mandala garden and one in the orchard - and our first plums - no idea of the variety - a yellow-fleshed sweet small round plum. YUM!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

:: brag-basket #1 ::

basket #1
time flies when you're having fun, 'they' say...well - we must be having oodles of fun - as time appears to just zip by...we're now into the beginnings of a warm Summer.
The busy-ness of Spring has not let up - the garden has been keeping us all incredibly full and busy - so demanding!!  We've experienced a wonderful warmth here, with just enough rain at the right moments - got a touch dry here and there. We've begun hosting Wwoofers again, which has been soooo helpful for us - and great to meet people from other parts of the globe.  I've wrapped up my studies for the year - with a final burst of study and graduate on Saturday - exciting!  Home-educating has been full and engaging with Phoebe.  Aaron continues to work creatively with hypnosis clients on Skype, crafting incredible rustic furniture for some local organic gardens, cutting lawns, house-painting and even bakes the pies for the local tearooms! As well as all that Aaron is now studying, which is truly inspiring - as he is embarking on a 32-week Certificate of Applied Organics and Biodynamics - also with Taruna College in Hawke's Bay.

Thankfully, though (and finally!) the fruits of our labours are now filling our evening baskets easily - time to see what produce we cooked with tonight:
Strawberries - picking them on the early side, quietly, when birdies and little girls are not noticing... 3 kinds of zucchini (Lebanese, Florence long-ribbed and Black Beauty)...Broccoli de cicco (sprouts on for a reasonable time after the first head = like!)...long and fat broadbeans (superaguadaluce?!)...rocket, cos lettuce, basil, mint and oregano are also tucked in there.
I would like to remember to take a photograph of the evening basket every so often as a lush basketful such as this is just so beautiful to admire - I hope you liked it, too!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

:: rainbow weaving ::

Slowly, slowly, we are weaving a wonderful rhythm into our days together, home-educating in an anthrophosophically-inspired manner.

a foot measure? hmmm....
Phoebe has been working away at a beautifully-coloured and textured piece of weaving - making her very own cloth by weaving.  Here she is measuring the fringing, to make sure both ends are even - I like how 'bodilly-involved' she is able to get - feet, too!

trimming very carefully - using Mamas 'special sewing shears'
Jo - Phoebe said you'd want her to come and show you what she made using her pack of 'hand painted wool fleece' - so here it is, minus the face-to-face contact!  Jo at indigo inspirations magics up the most beautiful, luscious combinations of hand-painted wool and yarn and fleece - to name just a tiny handful of all the goodness that emanates from her 'hive'.

dark, fluffy blob is the sublime 'Rosie'
After previously struggling our way together through another (much more complicated and unnecessary) method of weaving, we struck upon this beautifully simple, handcrafted weaving kit made by Paula Cordeiro of eco textile studio. It's called a backstrap weaving kit. We chose to use the wool fleece, which we split more thinly, instead of using yarn, which we tried before.  I have learnt through this experience how much Phoebe likes to have a result showing quickly for her motivation and enthusiasm to remain ignited. 

my hands made this
I have been learning about temperaments and I believe she is a combination of two I had not really previously thought were 'her', until I've done so much reading now and observing her whilst thinking about this - very interesting stuff. (Oh - and not to mention the enlightening moments I've been having in regards to my own unique and peculiar behaviours!!!)

What have your hands been busy making lately?

Monday, September 24, 2012

:: small offerings ::

often a small one arrives at the door, panting breathlessly from running about, grinning widely and thrusting a small and grubby hand filled with colour toward me

sometimes the small, colourful treasure arrives minus any stems and I feel sad that it's not so easy to put them into even a tiny vase

mutabilis rose and quince blossom

this day I looked down in front of me at the kitchen bench and instantly saw a solution in the form of two recently-evacuated pale blue-green eggshells...and I beamed...!

I love the fragile nature of both items...I nearly posted this over here...

Do you receive treasures minus their stems, too?

:: blossom just because ::

picking out just four photos of the many I captured on my wander around the orchard and garden was a little tricky - they all deserve to be worshipped in some way - I feel so lucky to be able to spend a little bit of time during my days to just stop and soak in the pleasure of these miracles of nature.  If the heavens were on Earth, then these would be the stars!

quince blossom

plum blossom

crabapple buds about to burst forth

peacherine blossoms

:: Spring arrivals ::

poached-egg daffodils
 When, after months and months of literally endless (seeming!) rainy days, the SUN finally graces us with it's presence, well, what will we be doing?  Well, not spending very much time inside and definitely not much time in front of a screen.  With so much raw beauty to feast our eyes on such as these 'poached egg daffodils' (my name for them!) I have been filling up on the wonder of our surroundings. As well, we have many, many tasks to do in the garden, the soil of which is now finally workable and all those garden beds we've just had to leave - we are beginning to plant out.  What a relief!
Sweet Pekin duckling
We have welcomed two new creatures to our farmlet -this young duckling was needing a home - so Phoebe who has been longing for her white ducks was nodding her head very vigorously when there was the suggestion that we might like him.  It came to us in a box labelled "Stew Steak" - so I thought we could call it 'Stu' - but, not knowing whether it is in fact a he or a she, we will have to wait - not holding out on the name, though as Phoebe says 'NO'.

'Shirley' being bottle-fed - 3 x a day!
This young female kid was sadly orphaned and gratefully received by Phoebe who has mostly been enjoying bottle-feeding her the rich, raw cow's milk we have been getting from the lovely Dexter cow we've been milking, 'Lady'. Coming to us at just 10 days old, Shirley needed 3 bottles of milk a day and lots of loves and cuddles - she seems very attached to Phoebe.

What has Spring been bringing you?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

:: sheltered ::

As part of a Farming theme in Phoebe's Class 3 year, she has been experiencing 'shelter'.  This has stemmed from her own very strong desire to form shelters around the property and in the home, when the weather has not been very co-operative for such ventures.
pallet play platform under the old apple tree
So far, she has managed to get Aaron to rig up a very simple platform 'house' from pallets, directly under the beautiful old Apple tree.

She has another one in the gardens under a large, old, wild Rosemary 'bush', which she has shaped into an arching 'shelter' with the help of secateurs and imagination -this is her 'Spring cubby'.

her stick 'bender' - a temporary temple?
 And over the past few weeks, Phoebe has been creating - with my help - a stick shelter, using the available materials - in our case at the moment, this is fruit tree prunings, flax and bamboo.

We have been looking through and discussing the various simple and ancient shelters in this little and informative book - Simple Shelters, by Jonathan Horning -  borrowed from the library.

She is curious as to whether some of the prunings might sprout and grow. 
Phoebe has been learning about lashing sticks together to secure the house.  She has been weaving busily with a variety of materials and methods, endless experimentation and embellishment.
Yesterday we planted 20 sweetpea seeds in the hope that they will grow up and fragrantly and beautifully cover her little stick shelter. 
the second smaller stick house being constructed
After the first little house was made together, Phoebe began a second smaller version, right next door, all by herself - the 'store', she says.
Once Spring has arrived and settled in, and the earth is a bit less wet, also in our plans is an adobe playhouse with a cement foundation, which she and Aaron will build together - she can't wait!