Black and blue on Serendipity farm

Hi All,

As a newly indoctrinated “morning person” I decided to spread the love to my sleeping husband and start a morning wake up ritual to start the day with a smile. I put the kettle on to make a nice cup of brewed coffee and headed off to youtube to find something lively to wake him up and get the day started off on a positive note. I ended up playing a Stones album (thus the title of this post) and then Brown Sugar which always puts me in a positive mood. The same goes for Brown eyed girl but I was in the bedroom delivering coffee by this stage so stuck with Brown sugar. After approving of the situation with the music and the coffee and the happy joy-joy, Earl headed off under the bed to his favourite hidey hole and Bezial raced off and got himself a toy to have a bit of a game with me while I was in a good mood and before the euphoria wore off and I was back to my grumpy old self. I ran out into the lounge room after Bezial and as I was halfway across the floor I heard the terrifying sound of Earl on steroids emerging from under the bed…Earl doesn’t like to miss out on games, especially games that involve me running out into the lounge room and as I put my hands behind me in a vain effort to stop myself from being broadsided by Earl…broadsided I became! He hit me in the back of the legs and I actually flew up in the air and landed on my derrière. All I can say is thank goodness that my derrière has a degree of padding or I might have hurt myself considerably more than I did. It wounded my pride more than anything and the worst part was laying on the floor trying to see if I had injured anything seriously with 2 dogs prancing about slobbering all over me while I carefully probed…I was a bit tender for a day but now I am on the mend. I am incredibly lucky to be so damage free because I should probably not be performing daring callisthenic performances like that without some sort of safety harness in the future.

We have spent the last 2 days alternating between studying drains (Yawn*) and working on a series of garden beds for vegetables. Steve recklessly bought some punnets of veggies when he went shopping and after adding a few more, namely tomatoes, from Inspirations nursery in Exeter, we decided that we were going to have to bite the bullet and make some garden beds. We knew that it wasn’t going to be a quick easy job because nothing ever is on Serendipity Farm BUT that has never stopped us so far and so we started to assemble our “stuff” to effect vegetable change. I need to add that I am incredibly tired as I type this post. We spent a whole day today out in the garden lugging sleepers around, shovelling various garden products into garden beds and generally working harder than our poor winter softened bodies had a right to expect to be working. I am going to make the rest of this post short and sweet. Steve brought out a bottle of his home made skeeter pee that he had thoughtfully thrown into the freezer for a bit and that was more lemon slushy than home-made wine. He told me that it wasn’t strong and so we shared the bottle while we worked out in the sun. I have to tell you that it IS strong and it WAS fizzy and as we all know fizzy wine is wine that makes you drunk. I am pleasantly “mellow” and have decided that rather than embarrass myself by typing copious quantities of strange hieroglyphics that even I am not going to know what they mean upon reading this post again tomorrow, that I will just talk a bit after the photos that I am going to share with you to show you the process of our first of 3 large veggie gardens in progress. Eventually we will have a series of these sets of garden beds all rotated and using green crops in between plantings. For now…sit back and enjoy our hard slog from the comfort of your comfy computer chairs :o)

This melaleuca has been ravaged by just about every bird in the neighbourhood tugging at its lovely soft papery bark to make their nests. Leave off you guys he has had enough!

A few Cassia seed pods that I am going to attempt to grow some new Cassia’s from in the near future. Cassias are good fast growing nitrogen fixing trees and they are also quite pretty with bright yellow flowers. This particular Cassia’s common name is Senna. I will be sure to plant these pods and not eat them!

(FINALLY she got to the pictures of the veggie garden!…) this is stage one of the veggie garden development process. Here you can see a blue tarp covering a pile of decomposed horse bedding and manure as well as some old railway sleepers that we got in exchange for helping our American hippy friend up the road

Well look who turned up to give me a hand to make my vegetable garden beds…Chad Kroeger! What a nice man! He is certainly pulling his weight today isn’t he?

Ducky has discovered the pile of spent horse bedding material as has her good friend Pingu and both of them are doing their level best to rid this pile of its crittery inhabitants

Here’s the old garden beds that we cobbled together in a fit of shame after mum died. Nothing happened with these beds aside from me heaping them up with spent chook coop bedding and so as penniless hippies we decided to re-use them in our new veggie garden project.

What’s left of the old veggie garden beds looks like 3 graves! We figured that we may as well go whole hog with the reuse, recycle repurpose theme and I collected the contents of the beds that was full of red wriggler composting worms and well rotted chook manure and heaped it into the back of the trailer to also use in the new veggie gardens. The rest of this material was used to mulch around the citrus and mulberry trees in the area behind these graves old gardens

Some of the materials that we managed to repurpose into our new veggie gardens along with some of the forget-me-nots that I have to mangle some day VERY soon

Chad Kroeger got another 5 minutes away from Avril Lavigne to dig this piece of repurposed tin inside the railway sleeper frame to make a garden bed. I guess it’s my sheer animal magnetism that keeps him hanging around…sorry Avril…you will just have to accept that his loyalties are with me 🙂

First garden bed completed and starting to be filled with some of the spent chook hay mix from the old garden beds

Steve’s idea of how to harden the veggies off after we picked them up from Exeter yesterday along with a cubic metre of wonderful organic compost. I guess the possums won’t get them!

Our constant companions whenever we head out and start working on Serendipity Farm. Always on the scrounge and always looking for something to eat

Unloading the compost from the trailer and our bags of spent mushroom compost to use to mulch the tops of the veggie beds after we planted them out

I wasn’t actually drunk by this stage…I was shovelling materials into the garden beds…

Steve watering the garden beds after we had finished filling them with various layers of delicious garden materials and the remainder has been covered by that blue tarp to use in our next set of 3 garden beds

Planted! Lots of capsicums, heritage tomatoes, coriander (that Steve bought for some reason although he HATES coriander…), lettuces and jalapeno chillies.

The lucky last! This is after we spent the better part of 2 hours making sure that this sucker is possum and wallaby proofed! Thats me in the background…shamelessly drunk on cheap lemon fizzy wine and exposing my back like the shameless lush that I apparently am! I dare say I will be asleep by 7pm tonight 🙂

Well…as my dear mate Peter Cundall would say “That’s your bloomin lot folks!” and I am off to eat my tea. I hope you forgive my inebriated postings and the short nature of todays post…thems the breaks folks…sometimes we bloggers get drunk and knackered like everybody else! See you on Saturday when I may just have recovered from being prostrate on the floor and unable to move thanks to actually using my body to do something other than type and sit for the first time in over 5 months 🙂

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16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jmgoyder
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 18:14:14

    You guys are so enterprising! I love this post – inspiring.

    Reply

  2. brymnsons
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 19:00:31

    Well what a lush, exposing your back on national internet lol. The lemon wine sounds yum Fran. I think your veges will grow like wild fire with all that yummy manure and stuff. I can’t grow coriander, I have tried several times, in different ways, but alas it always croaks. I’m glad your bum is better, just as well you didn’t break something. Take care and sweet dreams xxx zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Reply

    • narf77
      Oct 25, 2012 @ 05:19:12

      In town we had coriander everywhere. It seeded all over the place and grew huge. We also had parsley and the girls still have it growing wild all over the place. Must pinch some when I go in to town next :). Today I am sore! Not my head…my body. We really worked hard yesterday lugging sleepers around etc. Lucky today we get to sit and study and its even raining to make us not feel guilty about not getting outside 🙂

      Reply

  3. christiok
    Oct 25, 2012 @ 10:12:48

    Isn’t it amazing how sore a body can get and not actually be hurt? Well, maybe a bit hurt. But not bloody dying hospital hurt. So sore, though, that you can’t sleep? The buzz of exhaustion, the muscle spasms. Oh, Fran, take at least a couple days off or you will get hurt! I say this as a limping 56-year-old who cares about you.:)

    What is a punnet of vegetables?

    And I’m with Steve on coriander. Ick. I usually call it cilantro, but it’s the same thing. It’s so funny that he planted it! Maybe it smells nice…

    Reply

    • narf77
      Oct 26, 2012 @ 04:59:07

      I have recovered Christi :). I am amazed that I didn’t do some serious damage in my circus performance but apparently losing weight makes you more acrobatic ;). I love Asian food. As Australia is smack bang in the middle of Asia and close to India our food has been very cosmopolitan for a long time now and I adore coriander in my Laksas etc. Lovely stuff :). It’s one of those things that you either love or hate like Brussells sprouts and Broad beans (that I also love 🙂 ). A punnet is a small plastic box that you buy vegetable seedlings in. The seedlings are grown in the punnet and then you buy them. There is probably another name for the container of seedlings in the US but it is pretty much the same thing I would imagine :). We only bought them started this year because there is a short growing season in Tasmania and we hadn’t started ours from seed yet and with the sudden garden event, we needed immediate gratification. Coriander seed is lovely too by the way Christi. Do you use it? It has a lovely sweet perfumed scent and you wouldn’t know that it came from the same plant as the pungent leaf. We use it a lot for cooking Indian curries etc. Were you tired and sore after your marathon chook culling event? I would have needed a day off to recover… in fact I DID need a day off to recover after our veggie bed making event. We have another event planned for Saturday and more planting and then in a couple of weeks (round about when corn, zucchini and eggplant should be being planted) we are making a 6 metre by 2.4 metre garden bed that will hold 4 beds to accomodate them and some more interesting veggies. I plan on planting out herbs all over the place and lots of edible perennials when we get the chook situation sorted out…its most certainly a busy time on Serendipity Farm and we are working on our final units for our Diploma at the same time.. EEk! 🙂

      Reply

  4. ediblethings
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 00:30:59

    Coriander is a great companion for spinach, and can repel spider mites and other stuff, so it’s still worth growing. Then, there is the seed for use in curries, and erm, making more coriander 🙂
    The effort will definitely be worth it in spades in a few short weeks. It already looks lovely, I think.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Oct 26, 2012 @ 05:14:08

      We grew heaps of coriander when we lived in town and you are right…it is a pretty plant. Here in Tasmania it doesn’t bolt to seed like it does in the rest of Australia and it just keeps growing till it is very tall. I adore the flavour of the leaf. I use it in all sorts of Asian and Indian foods that we make. As a vegan they are the go-to recipes that I fall back on because many of them were designed to minimise meat and to use other interesting protein sources. Thank you for your lovely comment by the way 🙂 I love your blog so much and a positive comment from you goes a long way 🙂

      Reply

      • ediblethings
        Oct 26, 2012 @ 22:07:31

        And serendipity strikes again. Today I found this http://networkedblogs.com/DXwSp, which is a lamb dish, for which I apologise, but it has an amazing sounding coriander chutney in it, which I think could turn even the most sceptical into fans.
        Thank you so much for the kind words about my blog. I love that the internet allows people to find each other, and share amazing things literally across the world. 🙂

      • narf77
        Oct 27, 2012 @ 05:24:59

        Cheers for that amazing coriander recipe. I am not “one of those rabid” vegan’s by the way ;). I am married to a wonderful meat eating man and I hold the roosters when we have to chop their heads off. I dare say I would have been drummed out of the vegan confraturnity LONG ago if I was even on their radar’s but I choose to be vegan for many different reasons, not one of those reasons is to make anyone else feel guilty for their choice of how they want to live. My ethos is live and let live and you won’t hear a frothy rabid vegan word from me unless it is in jest and most probably aimed in my direction ;). Again, cheers for that delicious looking recipe! Makes the humble mint sauce pale beside it doesn’t it? 🙂

  5. Stacy Lyn
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 00:34:40

    Looks like you are living a deliberate life and loving it – awesome! ❤

    Reply

    • narf77
      Oct 26, 2012 @ 05:18:30

      Thank you for your lovely comment :). “A deliberate life”…I love it! We have certainly been blessed to be allowed to choose our pathway in life. When my dad left us Serendipity Farm (we changed the name from “Highfield Gardens”…too starchy for us and for the poor derelict garden that we inherited) we went from renters to landowners and our 4 acres out here on the river are the beginning of big things for us. We are trying to grow as much of our own food as we can. We are penniless student middle aged hippies…a more poverty stricken group you won’t find! BUT in saying that…we have never been happier! It’s the strangest of conundrums…we have found a place in the sun where we “fit”. Being able to take the time to think about your choices and work them in to a sustainable way of living is the most rewarding life of all. Again, thank you for your lovely comment…it made me smile at 5am when I get up to read my rss feed reader and my blog comments… as a natural born night person its harsh in the dark at 5am and a nice comment goes a long way to making this all worthwhile 🙂

      Reply

  6. Katie Glenn
    Oct 27, 2012 @ 06:38:54

    They look lovely! I’m so jealous of your land! I’m in an apartment and I’m mastering the art of container planting but I long for an actual veggie bed some day. 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Oct 27, 2012 @ 06:57:42

      Don’t lust too hard…our aching middle aged bodies are not joyous about the coming day ahead where we have to fill the new (bigger) garden beds that we made yesterday. Container gardening has a whole lot going for it Katie! 😉

      Reply

  7. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Oct 27, 2012 @ 06:49:22

    A lovely post Fran. You had me in stitches. But my how hard you have worked, sober or not! Ha ha. If it gives you that much energy I’ll have a nip next time I’m at the allotment. I do envy you your chook bedding and all the other nutrient rich ‘stuff’ you have at the farm. How sensible to net your garden beds. Saves a lot of heartache. Good luck with your veggie growing. I will be following with interest.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Oct 27, 2012 @ 06:59:39

      Thank you Jean…your positive comments mean a lot to me because your allotment has been a constant joyful reading event for me and I figured…Jean does it…why can’t we? We found a way to fit it in between our studies (Sorry Nick…sometimes food comes over mental food 😉 ) and Steve is happy that I have stopped nagging him about imminent food crisis’s and home grown taste 😉

      Reply

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