Remorse…maybe!

I know it has been a long time since I put my fingers on the keyboard to share my thoughts and activities wit the world out there. It has been busy dare I say, or just lazy on my part. But the inspiration did not come at all. The incessant rain, the cold freezing nights did not help or should it have been? I can’t decide at this very moment. My little voice inside says : ‘c’mon you have been lethargic, uninspired and just plain leisurely.’ I will opt for the latter and also for the second one uninspired. Well, what is inspiring now? I truly still can’t say. But here I am. Even if I said above that I was lethargic, that was only regarding the writing. I have not be idle on different levels. The garden as usual has taken its share of pleasure and little work at that time of the year tending to the winter vegetables growing profusely at the moment.

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One of the many cabbages
Fennel
Fennel

I have also knitted a pullover to take with me on our trip to France. I have knitted also countless hats for friends and at the same time listened to many audio books. Organising accommodation and itineraries for our trip. And it has been also a few weeks of constant socialising. Sometimes I wonder if I am really retired. Like I said to Peter, it is worse than our job in Hong Kong. But in a nicer way really. No demands on my time and deadlines. Yes, I am glad to be off  the vicissitudes of a working life. I guess retiring has it advantages as you choose what you want to achieve, and put your attention where you like. Our new puppy dog  Zaina, now just over a year has also been a handful. Very demanding and we sometimes wonder why on earth we got such a large dog. German Shepherd can be formidably exhausting. Wanting to play and spend her boundless energy teasing us and always on the look out for some sort of mischief. Luckily the cat, Fripouille takes care of that by taunting and goading her to play. The two of them running around the garden like lunatic, he climbs up the highest tree and stares at the dog while she whines and whimpers in frustration. Then, it is another gallop at full speed hiding under the car or on top of it while she is not looking. Maybe tired of having her neck stretched up in the air.  He waits till she gives up, climbs down and starts to all over again. Peter and I are stitches. But that is not all. When the day is over the same scenario repeats up and down the stairs, under the bed, behind the curtains waiting for the dog to appear and then springs in front of her nose pawing her or just crawls under an opening of her belly and grabs her fur. The poor dog has not got a chance in the world with those claws. Exhausted they crashed at the foot of our bed. Not really, because Fripouille chooses the comfort of the plush blanket of our bed and he is higher that Zaina.

Fripouille in all its length
Fripouille in all its length
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She stole my chair while I was not looking
Cat on a hot tin roof
Cat on a hot tin roof

Then one day, one of the newly born calves decides to scamper next door and starts bellowing as it can’t get back to its mum. The two of them wails till they are reunited. But in the meantime we are chasing and searching for the calf. Nowhere to be seen. Neighbours on horses and on foot in pursuit of the little one. After a whole afternoon we give up in despair and distressed and leave it to mother nature to take its course. Nevertheless, we know if calves are separated for too long from their mum they can perish. The little blighter was only a few days old.  As one might expects, the next day mother and calf are peacefully side by side. The kind lady Jo, who shares the property with us tells us that she had seen the two together that morning. It was incredible after all the efforts of the day before. The mother cow stands patiently while the young one suckles its heart content no doubt. All our efforts were in vain. That night, we just crashed completely exhausted. So, life goes on with visits from friends, our days volunteering at the gallery, attending the property and the vegetable garden, walking the dogs, feeding the cows and so on. All sounds so trivial, but I can assure you it is far from it as it demands constant devotion and attention. Of course I have not mentioned the marathon cooking, jamming, pickling and cheese making. One thing that we have been experimenting with is our new wood oven.It took a lot of know-how, patience and perseverance to sort out the real temperature and the length of cooking bread in it. The results were worth it but it is so time consuming and frustrating. But the taste of bread cooked in a wood oven is unbeatable in spite of the instability of that mode of operation. We have not given up yet. It will take lots of practice and assiduity to savour a home cooked and home made bread and cooked to perfection.

Home made olives with homemade flat bread
Home made olives with homemade flat bread
Sour dough bread from wood fired oven
Sour dough bread from wood fired ovenYes, that is already a lot.

We are now preparing for our next trip and already the excitation is palpable. France and Thailand here we come. Tho, the readiness is here, there is always the feeling that we are better off in the splendid surroundings of our beautiful farm. I also know that a nice break from it all will be welcomed. So, do I feel guilty for not writing, I must confess …not at all.

Till next time

Winter chill and activities

It has been hard to find a suitable time to put pen to paper or just sitting in front of the computer to wait for an inspiration. But here we are at last. Charged and ready to share a few moments.

Yes, we are on the verge of experiencing the first winter chills. I can see that when I first wake in the morning and see the valley shrouded in the heavy mist, the beams on the veranda are dripping with heavy dew and of course the sun rises much later. The atmosphere is more damp and a chill in the air is definitely present…Woollens are a must in these early hours. The days reach a very agreeable temperature of around 22 to 25. But not for too long as the cold approaches toward 15h..

The wood heater is already burning. The animals: dogs and cat refuse to stay out when the night falls and the chickens go to their perch early. The cows have started to demand their winter ration, the grass is still long and plenty but they are spoiled beasts and bellow as loud as they can as soon as they see one of us. The calves have also started to imitate their mums and the concert gets louder every late afternoon.

it has been a very busy few months. The Gallery is in the middle of its extravaganza and everyone worked very hard to make it happen. Many artists joined us from interstate as well as quite a few local ones. Many works have sold and we are all very proud and happy that it is going so well. After 15 years it has become an icon of the Northern Rivers. We get an average of 300 visits per day. Not bad for our little village! See our Facebook page@Nimbin Artists Gallery.

In the meantime, our son and his partner Tum who live in Thailand have joined us for a week….too short but happy to have stolen a few days together where we enjoyed some superb food as usual. A glorious green curry prepared by them was truly appreciated by 2 of our friends who joined us for lunch one day. And of course very lively conversations ensued as it is usually the case in the family. The beef was from our property, all the ingredients freshly harvested from the garden for the green curry paste, the green papaya freshly picked that morning and the bitter gourd grows wild on the chicken fence. Such a pleasure!

Sulma and Peter had a go at playing their flute and improvise on some jazz tunes. Peter played also some pieces during opening hours at the Gallery. Music has always been part of Peter’s life and the boys.

Sulma and Tum went for a lovely drive with our friend Magali in the rain forest near home where they enjoyed a picnic and a walk around.

Sulma and Tum
Sulma and Tum
Sulma and Peter have a jam!
Sulma and Peter have a jam!
Sulma with Zaina and Elsie in the sun
Sulma with Zaina and Elsie in the sun
Left over Spicy green Papaya Salad
Left over Spicy green Papaya Salad
What was left of the Beef  green Curry
What was left of the Beef green Curry
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Spicy pork and bitter gourd

The garden has not been neglected. Our friend Scott Harrower, has taken to transform the front garden with flair, vision, aesthetic, colours and shapes. It is visually superb now. A feast to the eyes ….and he has cleared up the branches obstructing the large pond which gives to the whole place a sense of depth as the expanse of a water feature always add such a calming touch. Especially when all the purple and cream water lilies are blooming.

We also had the incredible good luck to have hosted for 1 month 2 lovely guys from Vanuatu who have cleared the property, constructed a retaining wall, built a wood shelter and split some wood for winter. Trimmed some mighty bamboos, cleared the chicken run and coop, gravelled the drive with Peter, brush cut around the dam and so many other tasks that I am sure have forgotten to mention. Thanks to Murray and Joel for facilitating the whole process, feeding them, driving them and took them back to Port Vila . They all flew  back to a devastating sight. The mighty cyclone had created havoc in this small town and the surrounding islands. Murray and Joel raised some money to alleviate the plight of the villagers. Joel had not heard from his sister for 2 weeks as she was in the top island of Efate with no means of communications. All is fine now. Food and hospital needs as well as reconstruction materials were a priority. A mighty effort to say the least on their part to have attended to the need of the people of Vanuatu.

Lorrence and Watas on their last day
Lorrence and Watas on their last day
Lorrence enjoying his tea
Lorrence enjoying his tea

In between all the effervescence of these last few weeks I have knitted a baby blanket. No, no babies in perspective. But I might just sell it at the Gallery. While knitting, listening to my audio books from the library made the hours pleasant and a little calmer.

Merino wool 2 ply with crochet borders
Merino wool 2 ply with crochet borders

The winter veggies are under way : Cauliflowers, cabbages, peas, broad beans, fennels, radishes, a few beans and lettuces. I have to wait and make sure that the cabbage moths or white butterflies stay away from them.

I wonder if we will be there to harvest them! A trip is in the pipe line.

Time for drink and dinner!

Till next time

Busy in spring

Well, it has been a while since I put pen to paper or should I said keyboard to WordPress.

It is a glorious day. Spring is definitely here. Judging by the smell of orange, grapefruit, lemons and lime blossoms. The bees are buzzing around selecting the nectar. The wisteria is in bloom. We do have a white one at the moment and the scent is just so subtle and sweet. The daitura are also propagating their scent at night and the evenings are just divine with their sweet and overpowering smell. Just a delight! And the native iris are also showing their best. As dusk slowly arrives the frogs in the background are already calling their mates. The owls are fluttering as soon as I walk out and I can hear their heavy flights above the bottle brush when I take the dogs for a late night wee before retiring for the night. The green frogs are croaking in the background. The cows are still begging and bellowing for extra hay every night. They must be the best fed cows around.
Native Iris

We have not heard nor seen the butcher birds over the last couple of weeks. I guess they are busy mating. The magpies tho, have come for a nightly feed, still awkward at catching the little meat that I can throw at them. Frip, the cat does not help there I am sure as he stalks them ready to pounce and catch…if he can.

It has been a very busy few months since we got back from Europe. Very busy indeed. I have redone the whole veggie garden. A complete overhaul. I have weeded 8 beds and recovered them with wood chips. A new technique inspired by the video called:” Return to Eden”. Not that I am very keen on religious propaganda. But that does not distract from the fact that the principles explained have got some merits. I was a little suspicious at the start to hear all this bible recitation at every step of the video. It got quite tedious. In the end I decided to give it a go in spite of the spiel.

So quite painstakingly, I weeded all the beds . Yes, the 8 of them meticulously.
As for wood chips it was not too hard. When we were away, the local charming and efficient Bill came and lopped a few trees that were quite dangerous to have around. He made a huge pile of wood chips which I wheeled into the garden day after day. The results were quite amazing. After just a couple of weeks I could see how the soil was still very moist and the newly thinned and planted vegetables were growing very well. I was impressed.

They did mention in the video that there was no need to add any fertiliser of any sorts or even watering should be kept at a minimum if at all. But I decided to complete the experiment keeping only 2 beds mulched with the chicken manure and hay that I collected from their coop.

I also planted the same vegetables on the chips bed and the manured/hay bed just to confirm it for myself and to see if there was a grain of truth in all that.

It has been a 3 months now and I really can see the difference between them. We had a few days of over 31 dry and windy.
The one with the chips are springing and shooting ahead at quite a speed. The weeds are down and if they spring up a gentle tug will do the job. The soil underneath is really moist. As for the other beds with the straw, they are quite dry and weeds crawl onto the surface at a faster pace, making harder to pull the whole root. The soil has also hardened quite a bit and I have been watering them more often.

Veggi garden with wood chipsWood chip beds

We also has some fabulous crops of broad beans and peaches. The peach trees have been thinned last summer and this year we had huge peaches, but they were not as sweet a little floury. Nevertheless quite good and are still producing. Maybe the later on they might get a little sweeter. Mulberries have also been abundant and every morning we go to the trees and harvest a little basket. I am freezing some for later on also.

Broad beans
2014-09-25 11.29.39 Peaches

Well, that was the garden bit. In the meantime with the few days of rain that we had, I managed to finish Peter’s pullover. I had knitted one last year with hemp and wool and it became an Indian dress. So I redid the whole lot. It fits him to perfection now. He is very happy with it and so am I. As I was knitting, I also listened to some audio books. Nothing fancy. Just a thriller by Harlan Coben. That really got me in and help me finishing the knitting quite nicely.

New pull over.

Another event that took place was the arrival of a new dog. Yes, after we lost our last German Shepherd 2 years ago, we were playing with the idea to get another one for quite a while and having difficulties in making up our mind. So one day I looked up to see if there was a local breeder. We don’t like driving too much. I was not hoping to get one around here. Finally, we did and the little Zaina is among us. Peter and I were quite impressed by the way the kennel was ran. We saw the mum, aunties and uncles. After 3 hours of talks and info (which drove me crazy)  we drove away with her…not the owner but the dog. Deb was a real German Shepherd lover and has been doing it as a hobby for 30 years apart from her teaching biochemistry at the local school We did have something in common as both of us are also ex teachers. So the yakking went on for quite a while and I was glad to drive back home finally!

The old Labrador, Elsi, is not sure of the new arrival and Frip, the cat, did not take it too nicely either. (to be expected) But after a week of cohabitation the two of them have become the best of mates. Running around the house and the garden playing chasy. Of course you may have guessed, The dog is really at a disadvantaged here as she is the newly arrived on the block. But that does not stop her from trying to get the upper hand with her size and being boisterous. Frip so far is winner. And Zaina is nicely fitting in in our routines.

After all this, we also managed to catch up with friends and have a lovely lunch and working at the gallery over the week ends and doing a new hanging there. As I said a very busy few months.

Till next time.

 

ZainaFripZaina

 

 

Hail or Hell

Well, here we are again in summer almost tho. The nights are still chilly and the temperature has not yet gone through the roof. It may come….it is not too far away.

After the storm of hail that we had a couple of weeks ago, I thought we might be at the beginning  of the ice age. Violent winds swept through the bamboos and the trees, rain came pelting down with thunder and lightening. But the worst of all was the hail. Big ones. They were almost as big as tennis ball… The whole garden was covered in a blanket of white thick ice. We thought we could have been in the Alps somewhere. Down it came with an almighty force. It pelted down. The noise was deafening. We could not see a few metres in front of us. Having a tin roof….and no cat on it I can assure you, the force was deafening, not even a bird could be seen or heard. The dog screamed to be let in and the chickens took refuge inside their coop. Not a sound could be heard except the roar of the hail. The temperature also fell dramatically and some jumpers  resurfaced for the next few hours.

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In a very short time, the whole garden and property were under ice. We dared walk out after the 20 mns ordeal. It was slippery and the ice from the hail was at least 4 to 5cm thick. We were scared walking around. We had never see anything like this before. The ice under our feet was slippery and treacherous. As we made our way towards the vegetable garden, we were just staggered at the devastation around us. The corn which was ready to pick had been shredded to a pulp. The other veggies were gone and looked as if they had been descended upon by a swarm of locust. Nothing left. The little gherkins which staring to poke through with little yellow flowers broken, hammered, hacked and looked pitiful. And as we made our way around the same spectacle presented itself…devastation everywhere. Then, we noticed a carpet of green on the ground about 2 cm thick, we lifted our head and most trees were also totally defoliated. The force of nature and its brutality suddenly hit us. We were awestruck in front of such calamity. How we could feel for the victims of tornadoes, hurricanes and flooding!  The victims of bush fires and tsunami! We still had our life intact, the damage was only the plants. We were lucky really that nothing worse had happened.

The ice persisted on the ground for 48 hours in big piles around the house. I could go on enumerating the extend of the damage, but there is no point in all that.

Over the next few day, I noticed that some of the zucchini were starting to grow a few leaves, a few vegetables managed to struggle and put new shoots. But the damage had been too great for them to produce anything. So, patiently, I started to prepare a few trays of seedlings and bought a few others. Hopefully, we might gather a few vegetables a little late.

The drought is almost gone. The rain should be replenishing the water tanks for another year so that we would not have to recycle the water too much. The grass has managed to push through a few centimetres and the cows seem to appreciate the fresh shoots poking through. They still bellow at 4 o’clock for extra feed. They are never satisfied…

Today, while in the gallery doing some voluntary work I managed to sit on the bench soaking the warmth of the sun for a few minutes, we can start to feel the first days of summer approaching with lots of rain coming up our way hopefully.

Big spring cleaning is also under at the house. Carpets, jumpers, curtains are all getting a good shake and a wash. Winter clothes are being packed away till next year and summer clothing is already filling the cupboards. Mind you, I’ll have to throw a fair bit away also. Every year, I go through a good clean up of what has not been worn for a while and give it to charity. There are always the ones that I have been reluctant to dispose of. Sentimental value I suppose. But it seems that I go through the same thing every year. This time it is for real… so I say anyway.But the whole lot goes. I spoke to one of the artists at the gallery and she will be taking the odd pieces of silks and cotton that are no longer in use. I am sure Pauline will find a good idea to utilise them.

Well, back to my cleaning and till next time.                 

Off we go

In anticipation for our long trip again, we are preparing like crazy. We found a good house sitter for the time we will be away,  to look after all our animals. This is the hardest part. So many things to think about and to put in place. It is so exciting and at the same time a flory of preparations.

The cows and their calves have found a new home with our next door neighbour who will take them with his herd. That is so nice of him to do so.  He will also put our cows in calf so that when we get back they will be ready to deliver the next set of babies.

Our dog has familiarised herself with her new keeper last week as she came to have lunch with us and get acquainted with everyone. The chickens are going to miss out on all the goodies that they are being served everyday. Bits of meat and left overs. Our house sitter is vegetarian, so not being bits left for them. But I am sure they will be well. I stocked up on grains for them and bought packs of dog food for our scavenging insatiable labrador. She will also be missing out on treats from time to time.

The vegie garden will have also to be looked after. But being winter here, not a great deal needs to be done. I have already planted some peas and lettuces, beans, broccoli. But Magalie will enjoy all these treats as well as all the citrus that are producing abundantly this year.

The car papers have been put in place and all insurances paid. All would have been out of registration by then. Money has been transfered to Europe and suitcases are almost done.

Then, there are all the instructions of what to do in the house. A big list is being compiled with further do’s and don’t.

Gosh! I hope I have not forgotten anything. Presents for the family are packed. Everyone had a special request. Sulma wanted some house items and tea tree oil and not to forget Vita Weats, his special crackers. In Bangkok, tho everything can be obtained some are obviously not there. Always a pleasure to do so. Jaime, will get some local coffee and maybe home made marmalade. Oh! and all the grog duty free for the others. Gee! what else?

Then, a very good friend will be taking us to the airport and some other friends will be picking us up. The airport is so far away and there is no public transport to Brisbane. It is so lucky  that we live in such fabulous community.

Our trip will take us to Bangkok, London, France and back the same way we came from. It is also very convenient that our boys are well placed. One in Thailand and the other in London, while the rest of our friends and relatives will be in South of France.

The excitement is palpable. Everyday we wonder what is that we have forgotten to pack, to write down or to mention. But even if we did, it will be too late. In the anticipation of going we have forgotten twice to roll the rubbish bins onto the road and we had to take it to the tip…a real chore. This morning early, around 5am, I hear the recycling truck roaring down the road…warm in bed I did not feel like getting up. But just a little later  around 7AM, another one passed and Peter jumped out of bed, got dressed in a hurry and ran down the drive at full speed dragging the bin. OOPS! too late, we missed it says he as he got back up puffing. I know I said. You did not run fast enough, outraged…what? I did, but too late. The neighbour told him that second truck was the rubbish truck, the recycling went by at 5AM. Haha! that was the one I did not feel like getting up for and tried to chase it down the drive….gosh 100m in the freezing cold, no way. So I chuckled. Not for me. As I had to take the car for a check up, I took a plastic bag and filled it with some recycling stuff and dumped it in the village….not on the road you may have thought…but in the bins for recycling. So at least some of it got disposed of.

That is what happens when your brain does not work in the usual way. Distraction from the routines and too much feverishness about the trip make you forget the most mundane chores. Anyway, not a big deal after all.

I just hope that everything is in place and even then if they are not, we’ll have to take as it is. Just hope that the dog won’t get too fat, the fish won’t be forgotten and the chickens will go on laying even without all the goodies that Peter provides them every day. The cows will be happy on Ron’s paddock with his herd.

Fish pond

Maybe if I feel so inclined I might write a little when we are away.

Till next time.

Joan’s recipes and Peter’s

Another recipe from Joan’s …Peter’s mum and her scrumptious cakes.

But before I start on this recipe, I would like to mention that today Peter has made the most delicious roast ever. He grabbed a recipe from a site called Cuisine- Facile (a french site which has many languages tho). Mind you he decide that I should have a break from the cooking…Truly appreciate it. And since I am going on a short trip with some friends he thought he’d better start early!

He defrosted one of our own beef roast, (yes we do raise our cows) and marinated it with all sorts of herbs overnight. Then, the next day or should I say the next  night , he put it in the slow cooker for 7 hours. During the night aromas drifted up to the bedroom. I am not sure wether I liked that,  but I fell asleep and after a while of course did not noticed anything. The next day just an hour before eating he lit the BBQ and roasted it for just 20mns. With it, he arranged next to it some potatoes, onions and Jerusalem Artichokes from the garden. I could not wait to try it. The smells invaded the house and my stomach could not wait. I was asking him: “c’mon, is it ready yet”  “just a few more minutes” says he.  Finally,  the roast arrived on the table garnished with all the vegies. I could not restrain myself and plunged the knife into it. But the knife was useless.The fork did a splendid job…It was like butter. A real success and with a nice drop of Cabernet Sauvignon from the hills of Adelaide in South Australia, Richard Hamilton, the whole meal went down like a dream.

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Now for the cake recipe from Joan:

CITRUS HALVAH

Ingredients:

125g of Butter

150g of Honey

Together: rind and juice of  One lime, one Orange and one Lemon

3 eggs, beaten

300g of Semoulina

200g of ground Almonds

3 teaspoons of Baking powder

To make the syrup you will need:

150g of Honey

5 Tablespoons of water

2 teaspoons of Cinnamon

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

3 Tablespoons of orange juice

Blend all the the ingredients for the syrup

How to proceed:

cream butter, honey+ citrus rind till pale and fluffy

Beat in the  citrus juices + eggs ( a little at a time) continue to beat then, fold in the semoulina with the ground almonds and baking powder.

Put in a tin with baking paper before so that it does not stick. A normal baking tin.

Bake at 210 degrees for 10mns then at 180 for 30 mns.

When you get out out of the oven pour the syrup slowly onto it .

Enjoy! It is just marvellous with a nice cup of coffee!

Till next time!

The world is small

It is truly comforting to see that the people that I frequent and talk to or even correspond with, are interested in a different view of the world.

I was dabbling with a sight that rambled about the doom and gloom of the world. I spoke to a few people about it and found out in the end it was all about conspiracy theories. Well, at time what they said seemed to make sense, it was well written ( not all the time) and espoused SOME opinions that I was familiar with. But it was non-stop. My mind was being filled with a lot of data that did not “advance” me at all except that I was seeing the world in a big mess (which it is), but that is not all that is around one. Sure, corporations can be corrupt, unethical, greedy, unscrupulous, domineering, sure we live in a world that has gone eschewed, lack integrity, surely that is not all the world. Sure, our politicians have also been caught on this bandwagon of folly. Equally corrupt and dishonest, equally lacking in integrity and common sense, caught up with the spin of their lackeys, they are governing with some special interests in mind and once elected they forgo their initial impetus at reforms. They back pedal and become another breed of people. A breed that alienate the very people that have elected them.But, there are also people around that are trying to make it a better place and above all have distanced themselves from this madness.  Realising the farce and the lies one has to move away from this circus. In it but not of it as my father would say.

What matters in the end is where you are inside. How you deal with people and friends, how to be conscious of what moves us and understand that there are other dimensions to living . Is it running away ? No, it is about keeping one’s sanity and instead of filling our mind with petty tid- bits of infotainement, pseudo news that are forever churning out the same propaganda, the same views of the world, the same lies and deception from one interest group or another, the same sensationalism, it is much better to be away from this rubbish and focus on the beauty of our world. Not I want to escape it, I can’t but just to liberate my mind of all this rubbish that is truly polluting our spaces at all levels. No joy in all that.

What could compare to the beauty of a newly formed rose or plant around the garden.( Yes, I am in a privileged position to do just that)  and I thank whatever force, energy, or god if you like,  to show me that my greatest joy lies in waking up in the morning and seeing the beautiful spectacle that is in front of me.

Of course, the people in other parts of the world may not be as fortunate, I fully realise that also, I witness their suffering, their agony, their misery, their lack of water and food, their horrible living conditions. No, no sense of guilt there, but that teaches me to be more aware of what I have and not squander the resources that are on loan to me for my time on this earth.

Just to see how the chicken are producing the food that we consume :eggs. Everyday faithfully they produce an amazing little oval shaped ball that is nutritive. Just here in the garden among the trees and the straw, among the birds and the grass. I think that is truly a little miracle in itself. The same could be said about  the abundance of vegies growing and producing our food. Freshly picked, freshly cooked, freshly consumed…another miracle and a testimony of what we are being given. OOPS, here I am again in the garden.

This year the harvesting of small gherkins has been phenomenal. Everyday my husband comes back with a handful of them. I have made jars upon jars of picked gherkins and we have been eating so many of them raw. Huge pumpkins, okra, lettuces, basil, bitter gourds, beans and I am sure I have forgotten many. I think we’ll be right for gherkins for a very long time.

Well, another shower of rain has just arrived and will be over soon. Time to potter in the garden again away from the maddening crowd, or I might listen to my book and get on with my knitting!

 

Our biggest pumpkinGerkhins harvestThe fridge is full.