In the loop

Hi All,

This post is dedicated to our good friend and sometime mentor Nat. She has requested that we shorten our posts so that she can read them over her coffee at work. Sorry Nat, the posts don’t shrink for no-one! Seriously though, Nat had a great idea that I think that more gardening friends should emulate. Does anyone watch my guru Hugh Fearnley Wittingstall? A man who puts his money and effort where his heart is. He helps people form baking groups where stay at home mums get together and bake bread. He helps communities get together and pay for their own off the power grid systems like wind turbines etc. Getting people together with like minds is a fantastic thing. Nat’s idea is to get gardeners together and head off to each others gardens once a month to visit, to share and to learn. What a star! This world is full of depression and fear. Who knows what sort of hassles are coming up with global politics and recession looming on the horizon. We don’t need to be hearing this. What can we do about this? Sweet bugger all to be honest, but we most certainly can take hold of our own lives, share with our friends, learn something new, take what we know and share it with those who don’t know and you know what? We can make the world a better place. On a side note…Anyone wanting one of the best bangers this side of the Tamar, head out to Nigel’s gourmet Butchers in Exeter. Forget the bakery, this butchers is top value. Steve had merlot, worcestershire and sweet chilli beef sausages tonight for his dinner and he is a self admitted “fussy sausage bugger” and is still raving over them. No wonder Rebecca Gibney thanked him at her award ceremony. My last few posts seem to be promoting local businesses. I am all for promoting local businesses, but thats not why I am mentioning these businesses. I just want to give you all a good tip where to go to get the best value. I love to share and sharing info about good businesses is just as important as giving you Steve’s recipe for chilli, which I am not at liberty to give you as he has sworn me to secrecy…

In about 9 days, we will hopefully hear the “cheep cheep” of new baby chickens. Our 4 broodies are sitting on 20 fertile eggs. We have a mix of Brahma’s (feathery feet), Plymouth Rock (lovely spotty black and white) and wyandotte (our last 5 are wyandottes). We are trying to build up our chicken population so that we have a good mix of chook culture. We want a great big melting pot of chickens in all sorts of colours. We are equal opportunity chicken lovers at Serendipity farm and will always welcome new chickens of any shape or form. We would love to get a house cow, a goat and a pig or two but we figure that its a madhouse here at the moment and Emo dog and El Chupacabra are not ready for competition. I got my third edition of S.B.S’s food magazine “Feast”. Its a fantastic mix of ethnic food, interesting stories and a bit of wank tossed in. I haven’t looked at it yet, but there’s something about Launceston in it. I love this magazine. My daughter subscribed me to it for my birthday. I am getting Donna Hay as well but am not enjoying it as much as I thought that I would. I will ask to have it stopped and will ask for Grassroots magazine or Organic Gardening magazine as they are more pertinent to what we are doing and are interested in on Serendipity farm.

I have to tell you how we are going with our diploma studies. Well I have to lie a bit. If I was to actually tell you the truth I wouldn’t be able to type a sentance without some sort of obscene swearing in it and my mother reads this blog so I have to be careful (sorry mum, I will be a good girl I promise…). Today we tackled costing. Sounds easy right? You just pick up the phone, ring around, a few phone calls later and you have your information. To a degree thats right, but you also have to factor in a bit of algebra….

Algebra + Fran =

Determined to not allow my blind spot ‘algebra’ to broadside me, I set about trying to work out the volume of a cubed rectange. Why would I do that? Because I needed to work out how much concrete I needed in my post holes, thats why…(now stop asking stupid questions, I am already stressed out enough you know!), back to the cubic rectangle. After hunting online to find calculators to work out area, volume etc. and then hunting again because cubic feet are NOT going to help me! I eventually found a calculator that could take the information that I was able to acertain from AutoCAD and turn it into a useful figure. I ran the numbers. The calculator ‘crunched’. I sat there looking at the figure for how much it was going to cost my client to have “X” amount of topsoil backfilled into their garden and started thinking that I should probably start thinking about getting out of this business as the amount exceeded $24 000!!! Back to the drawing board…we ended up phoning up a local contractor who gave us the right path to head down (we were sort of already there, we just didnt know we were at the time) and we actually learned something today. The first thing that we learned was that NO-ONE IS GOING TO PAY $24000 FOR THEIR TOPSOIL….the second thing was “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. So we might not get it right 100% the first time, we still have 8 weeks left, thats plenty of time right? (just keep nodding and aggree with me, you really REALLY don’t want to see what I look like stressed out of my brain!)…

Heres a few more photos of where our garden is at at the moment…

This is a photo of some of the Earl fodder for next week most likely. He has learned to climb and so nothing is really safe for much longer. Its a bit like a plant lottery as to who is going to survive the longest. My bet is on the plants growing down from the wall mounted pots, but you never know, El Chupacabra might learn to fly….You can see the hostas that grew from seed and that hunk of bark in front is full of bits of rumbled glass, pottery etc. that I find on the beach whenever we walk with the dogs.

This is the snakes territory. He has probably slithered up and down this set of steps for most of his slithery life. These steps used to be covered in honeysuckle to the right hand side of this picture. We removed it all so that Mr. Snakey would not recognise his summer home, would think that riffraff had moved in and would be wanting to gravitate towards our neighbours up the back (they are the neighbours that we don’t talk to… come to think of it, Mr. Snake is too good for them!). Hopefully Mr. Snake decided to head north last year when the snake man came and probed all of his hidey holes and when Emo dog kept ‘appearing’ wherever he was trying to sunbathe. Either way, the first pot is a lovely dark purple lilac that I bought from Evandale Markets and the plant behind is Steve’s first attempt at grafting. We hadn’t learned how to graft at Polytechnic yet, but being like all upstart students who think that their proverbial faeces doesn’t stink, we decided to go ahead and “graft dahhhhhling”! Lucky for us, this lovely weeping betula is the result. The maples that we grafted didn’t work, but we later learned that we were grafting at the wrong time so our pride remains somewhat intact. Last summer we were working in the garden when we spotted this amazing fly. We called it the “Rasputin Fly” can you see why? Isn’t nature amazing?!…

You know what Nat? I might just listen to you tonight and cut this post a little bit short. We are very VERY slowly getting used to getting up very early and walking the dogs for 2 walks a day. It doesn’t mean that we are going to bed any earlier though and so most of my waking hours are spent either yawning or half asleep. Hopefully we get used to Daylight savings jag soon, but till then I am just going to have to stumble through my days half awake and doing the best that I can. Trying to train El Chupacabra not to drag me through the streets like a rag doll after him when he gets onto some rabbits scent is all the more hard when I am too tired to resist. If you see a mad dog racing through the streets with a somewhat overweight woman bouncing behind him, please turn the other way and pretend that you didn’t notice…leave me a shred of my dignity! :o) Goodnight all. Sleep tight and hopefully we will all meet again tomorrow to share some little sippets of our lives…

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Apr 05, 2013 @ 01:22:29

    Luckily if we need really rich soil we can find some out in the woods and use the tractor scooper. If I had to walk the dogs twice a day I would be in good shape. They always go out on hikes with me, but mostly they just have free range of the farm and don’t have to be walked.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 05, 2013 @ 04:13:08

      Over here, you can’t walk dogs in public unless they are on a lead and if we let Earl off lead on our property he would simply hop over the fence and head off to wherever that questing beak of his wanted to go on any given day and I doubt that we would ever see him again. He is part feral and that’s what makes him unique. His part of the bargain (where we feed him, pat him, and let him sleep between us on the bed) is that he has to stay on lead. He doesn’t like it that Bezial is allowed off the lead and to wander free but Bezial always stays in sight of us and if we get out of view/range he just walks back to the house and waits on the steps. Earl would cost us BIGTIME and we couldn’t afford the fines 😉

      Reply

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