Today’s post has been brought to you by the letters A.W.O.L

Hi All

Yeah, that’s right…at the moment I am beavering away studying and am not typing this email at ALL. I thought that I would give you all an easy read today and so I have decided to just shoot a few photos around the property and share where Serendipity Farm is at right here…right now

First up…could you please all load and play the Youtube link below and just click “repeat” ok? We need some music for this post…\

(Elevator music “tick”…proceed…)

Firstly my A.W.O.L. self would like to share a link with you that might give you a bit of a laugh. As we were searching the internet for how to search the Internet (got to be some kind of irony there…) we were required to follow a set of instructions that was so hopelessly out of date most of what we were required to do wasn’t possible any more. There was one interesting exercise that involved going to the site below and adding website links to tell you how the website ranked. It also has a most interesting feature (amongst lots of other interesting features I need to add…) whereby you can see what a site is “worth”. Now I am guessing this is its bankability rather than its intrinsic worth (spoken like someone who checked and whose sight is worth about tree fiddy…) but if you are like me, and you could care less about honing your site to the bone in order to make it an amazing you beaut money spinner to send your kids through college (SO lucky my kids are all adults! 😉 ) then check it out…

Velociraptor chooks

Someone once told me that chickens were descended from velociraptors… I would have been inclined to agree up until yesterday when I kept hearing a very loud commotion out in the outdoor enclosure and headed out (visions of quolls dancing in my head!) to find this…


“I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with…BOLLOCKS!” That white goshawk is back!


Not only was he back, but by the look of that stomach he had been pick-and-mixing himself a few of our poor long suffering orphaned chicks! I am starting to get the feeling that our chooks are living in a kind of Final Destination movie…


By the way, this is our chooks view of the Tamar River. Some high end real estate for our girls, no expenses spared 😉


I found out why spear thistles are able to grow like topsy just about anywhere in the world…I almost sat on this!

Living with Earl and Bezial has its challenges. I shared a video with you yesterday that showed a dog that was remarkably like Earl. He is a complete loveable larrikin and if I was to think of someone that reminded me of Earl it would have to be…


He even has the same hangdog expression as Earl! If Earl could have tats he would 😉

Then we have Bezial who unlike Earl is NOT sociable in the least. He would rather be alone and asleep or be fed copious quantities of treats and shuns “the media” (that would be me…) in order to maintain anonymity and for the sake of a quiet life. If I was to choose someone that epitomised Bezial it would have to be…


Yeah I “Pity the fool” who tries to get Bezial to do something that he doesn’t want to!


I know what these marks are for! I KNOW! I actually learned something already from my printing course! 🙂 (If you want to know what these marks are for you can head off and do a bit of research…it’s good for you! 😉 )


Earl cam…2 of the younger chooks who make a break for the outside world every morning


Earl partaking of an egg that I tossed onto the ground to check if it was past its use by date…according to Earl it wasn’t


This is a pile of rocks. This is what most of Serendipity Farm looks like except some kind previous owner hasn’t piled them up. By the way Stewart and Kelsey “you are on your own!” 😉


Lots of piles of rocks. Not entirely sure what we are going to do with them but for now, they can stay where they are


Those posts are the gateway to the back (bush) block and that’s my veggie garden 🙂


This is a native hibiscus. For all of you horticultural genii out there, it’s a “Idontcare whatidis”


This is closely related to that flower above in that it’s botanical name is something that I really am not interested in at the moment but it is a bit of a weedy species but it is one of the only trees that has done really well on the property. Might be time to reclassify “weed” 😉


Another example following on from last weeks post of things that survive long hot dry conditions and things that don’t. That lonicera (yes…I care about that one 😉 ) is growing well where that brown thing used to be a hebe.


The view from the front gates of Serendipity Farm. Directly over that road is the river


I wonder where little red riding hood is? It would appear a big bad wolf is roaming in the forest!


Ok…so this is little red eh? I don’t think she has anything to worry about ;). Note the squint, “its too bright outside!” he is angling for some designer shades…


More of the tea tree garden


Stopping at their favourite tap for a drink…this wandering around Serendipity Farm to take photos is thirsty work!


Almost time to battle the possums and the rats for a few of these


This fallen tree knows that its days are numbered so it is growing again from the root. Isn’t nature amazing?


Nerines are just starting to flower…that means autumn is really here!


Our crude attempt to prevent the wallabies from inhaling Steve’s weeping maple collection. That worked but we still haven’t worked out how to stop them losing their leaves due to heat stress 😦


We walked the boys around Bonnie Beach early on Sunday and Steve took a few photos with his phone camera


A tiny woman being dragged by a small dog


She is still being dragged but at least she is smiling 😉


Another drought survivor…pelargoniums and their close relatives geraniums are idea for anywhere that is going to be subject to very little water and no frost


Foraged acorns (from Glads enormous trees next door) and damsons (just up the road) that I am going to attempt to grow and that pink flower is a Belladonna lily aka “Easter Lily”


This was a “SQUEE” moment on what was otherwise a sad day…the day that we voted the Liberals in to govern Tasmania :(. I didn’t vote Labour this time like I have ever since I signed up to vote when I was 18. I voted for Clive Palmer because ANYONE had to be better than the rest! He didn’t get in BUT while I was voting I noticed a little plants stall out the front of the local hall and they were selling potato onions for $2 a bag…look what lucky narf7 got! 🙂


This is rich yeasted dough


This is a raw beesting cake


This is a cooked beesting cake


This is a cooked beesting cake filled with crème patisserie and whipped cream. It was just about to wend it’s way down the road to Jan and her brother Peter’s house in order to be appreciated by happy Germans who adore good cake. I am glad to say it went down well 🙂


Poor Serendipity Farm is looking a bit the worse for wear at the moment but hopefully a bit more rain might give her a bit more character


At least the deck steps look good 😉


Leftover spaghetti bolognaise mixed with pasta which then got covered in a rich three cheese sauce and cooked…sort of Pastasagne. Whatever it was Steve loved it 🙂


Steve found and foraged these walnuts when he was in town the other day. I have taught him well!


And last but by NO means least, this was what Steve had for his tea last night (only they were cooked when he ate them…) 2 large Cornish pasties made with homemade cheesy shortcrust pastry.

That’s all for today folks. Not a lot of words but plenty of photos. Have a great week and like my old mate Simon Townsend (television presenter) used to say “The world really is wonderful” 🙂



58 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jmgoyder
    Mar 19, 2014 @ 18:46:33

    What a lovely photo journey/


    • narf77
      Mar 20, 2014 @ 03:14:38

      Thankyou Julie…its a bit dry around here and crunchy but I don’t need to tell you that ;). I hope everything is going well for you in your neck of the woods 🙂


  2. brymnsons
    Mar 19, 2014 @ 19:51:04

    Why are they called potato onions? I thought they were pickling onions, or is that another variety? A nice trip around the farm. It is still hot here and I’m kinda over it now. Some cool would be nice now please. I couldn’t believe how dry it was, along the way, when we drove to Albany. It did oblige and rain as we were leaving though. All the new shops that have popped up are amazing. The Dome now occupies what was the Albany infants school and there is a huge shopping district out at Chester Pass Rd. I managed to have a bit of a squiz at the shops there. Had to buy a pillow at the Harvey Norman store as my darling husband had left mine behind in Esperance… oh well new pillow, bonus.


    • narf77
      Mar 20, 2014 @ 03:18:37

      No these little guys reproduce! You shove one in and end up with 10. Great little reproducers. They don’t get very big but you are right, they would be excellent as pickled onions and Jess (aka rabidlittlehippy) has turned some of hers into fermented onions and says that they are amazing. I have lots of them and it is almost time to start planting them out. I am excited to get onions going on Serendipity Farm as it will be my first crop of them ever. I might also have a go at some red salad onions and a few shallots as I haven’t ever tried using shallots. Ditto on the over it for the dry here. Not hot any more but dry as a tinderbox. I used to like going to Dome but it was pretty pricy so I didn’t do it very often and Stewart lived in Albany for quite a few years after we left and moved to Spencer Park (right on Spencer Park road) and used to do all of his shopping at that big centre. The petrol station there is run by a friend and I almost worked there for a while but I lost my bottle when I had to do everything electronically…just wasn’t my forte! 😉 Funny how husbands never forget their own pillows isn’t it? 😉


      • brymnsons
        Mar 20, 2014 @ 22:17:59

        He didn’t take his pillow. I take mine because of my dicky neck… He was quite apologetic, and I did get a new pillow 🙂

      • narf77
        Mar 21, 2014 @ 03:28:19

        lol… methinks that you might be able to fit in a nice new teapot with the guilt? 😉 Talking about teapots…I will measure mine today. I was GOING to measure it yesterday but after deciding to have a “lovely healthy kefir smoothie” I was struck down dead drunk by the bloody thing! I know that kefir has a bit of alcohol in it but this batch floored me! I was pissed for about 3 hours and actually fell asleep at the PC while I was trying to myopically study! I sent off the results of my drunken smoothie stupor to my lecturer and can only hope beyond hope that she could make sense of it and it wasn’t full of “hic…I love you you know…you are my BEST ever lecturer…hic…” 😉 I even got a hangover at 6pm! I will be much more careful with my kefir from now on and will only use little quantities of it rather than an entire large bottle swigged down in 10 minutes!

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Mar 25, 2014 @ 10:00:13

        Not quite. You plant one and get 20! I counted 19 in 1 bunch harvested around Christmas. 🙂 They grow like potatoes in that 1 planted produces a new crop. And although they aren’t nice and big like brown onions they’re heaps easier to grow in my opinion. I can kill tiny little onion seedlings (I get a success rate of 1 in 10 perhaps) but these ones I had over 90% grow and multiply at least to 10 but most to more like 20. 🙂 The little white ones are perfect for pickling and the fermented recipe is a heap faster and heaps healthier too (lots of good bugs in there) and the brown ones reduce me to tears every time. 🙂 I’m quadrupling planting plans this year for sure. They are a total winner!

      • narf77
        Mar 25, 2014 @ 16:02:14

        Excellent! Now I just have to try to get them to grow for me…

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Mar 25, 2014 @ 16:18:10

        I manage 1 in 10-20 from onion seedlings. I managed 95% from my potato onions and with a harvest of likely close to 2000%… 😀 I think my mathes is right there. 😉

      • narf77
        Mar 26, 2014 @ 04:33:42

        2000% is good odds indeed! 😉

  3. Chica Andaluza
    Mar 19, 2014 @ 20:54:47

    The world really IS wonderful! Had to chuckle at the photos of “Earl” and “Bezial” – very funny. And I love that song – the first time I heard the song “Happy” which you mentioned a few posts back it reminded me of it – that sort of samba beach vibe thing 🙂 How clever of you to be talking to us remotely – perhaps you’ll be able to crack time travel in a week or so?! Enjoy the studies.


    • narf77
      Mar 20, 2014 @ 03:20:14

      Bugger…you pre-empted my time travel post and now I am going to have to postpone it…oh well…I can probably fit a bit of space/time continuum travel in and reckon I could discover if there really IS life on Mars…(wonder if Mr Bowie would like to tag along for the ride? He is still a bit of a hottie even though he is almost as old a Methuselah… ;))


  4. Sue Dreamwalker
    Mar 20, 2014 @ 00:05:47

    Loved the commentary with the photos. and yes Nature is AMAZING!.. I love those fallen trees which take root again!.. And those Chooks.. wow.. what a view… I had a few chuckles along the way .. and who wouldn’t have enjoyed that delicious Cake .. I hope you get more rainfall soon.. Any time you need some, just hollow on over to the UK, we had more than enough to send you… But wait on this.. No one saved it… already the powers that be are hinting a hose-pipe ban in summer.. Crazy!… Take care and I really enjoyed and good luck in your studying… Sue xox


    • narf77
      Mar 20, 2014 @ 03:24:38

      I guess its not normal to have “dry” in the U.K. We are all used to thinking that it rains eternally (or is that Ireland?!) and that you guys can grow pretty much anything (that isn’t tropical) because you are spoiled rotten when it comes to precipitation. People think that it always rains in Tasmania as well but they don’t realise that it is actually on the Mediterranean meridian and as such we get a long dry summer. I am learning to adapt with the plants that we choose. I can’t do much with what was already here (most of it planted out 30 plus years ago!) but I can choose wisely with what we propagate and plant and I see lots of day lilies, canna lilies, knifofia (red hot pokers), dahlias being planted out and a garden full of lavender, rosemary and geranium/pelargoniums in our immediate future :). You may as well go with what grows…at least initially, and then you can fill in the little spaces with “other” and hope that the wallabies get bored of eating it all ;). Those chooks are spoiled but they tend to jump ship in the morning and head off to the neighbours house to scratch around in his pristine wilderness. Lucky they don’t mind! 😉


      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Mar 20, 2014 @ 20:58:27

        Yes lucky that your neighbours don’t mind :-).. We are trying new things this year Butternut Squash! for one.. We have been lucky in our part of the UK.. we had the rain every day since Oct.. like torrential some days.. But many southern parts of England and Wales were under several feet of water.. Thousands of homes flooded out.. And they are still not back home.. I feel sorry for these folk and for the farmers too, whose whole land is laying under water. you can see just how bad from a post I did here
        Its good to see you living as you do, It gives me great hope that we can achieve a lot with some forethought and yes hard work… But it shows how we can propagate and nurture nature helping each other along the way….
        Loved reading, and take care 🙂
        Sue xx

      • narf77
        Mar 21, 2014 @ 03:25:10

        I love sharing ideas and ideals with all of you in the wider world community. Your conditions might not be the same as ours and our “nature” might be completely foreign to you but at the base of it all it’s just a group of humans trying to grow something in the dirt (my horticulture lecturer would have KITTENS to see me type the word “dirt” in one of my blog posts 😉 ). It’s what we do with that “dirt” (I think that quotation marks might get me out of trouble there 😉 ) and how we go about growing those plants that makes this adventure truly addictive. We had torrential rain at the end of our winter period and it lasted right up till November! We had a lot of our topsoil washed away as we live on a very steep hillside. Luckily our property boundary is the road just across from the river so most of what got washed down ended up in the front block. We have such plans for this place but as penniless student hippies we have to prioritise what to do and when. Life is good and we are happy and I count us as some of the most lucky people on earth 🙂 hugs from a lovely crispy morning in Sunny Sidmouth (with a promise of rain 🙂 )

      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Mar 22, 2014 @ 00:34:48

        I think many would trade places with a couple of penniless student hippies if they could shed their shadows which hang over them and dig in the ‘dirt’ and be Happy..
        So many these days work long hours in cities and are far from Happy.. And when the world turns itself inside out with so called progress and food production and distribution go haywire.. We who dig in our own dirt will still know how to feed ourselves as those supermarket shelves run dry.

        Hope your rain is refreshing.. and we got 2 row of early potatoes in today.. 🙂
        Keep being Happy, its all that counts! xxxx Sue

      • narf77
        Mar 22, 2014 @ 04:30:57

        My spuds are just about to the point where I can quest a bit under the soil and see if I got anything this year :). I grew yacon this year as well. Not entirely sure what I am doing but I did it anyway! 🙂 That’s the best thing about gardening. Taking it and working with it to make your life better. Here’s hoping our gardening keeps us both happy and sane in the coming months 🙂 xxxx right back atcha 🙂

  5. quarteracrelifestyle
    Mar 20, 2014 @ 03:57:28

    Aw 🙂 No long winded personality profiles need to be done for your dogs, that works perfectly lol. Gorgeous.

    Lots of nice food and always good to see photos of your very large garden. Wish we had our own woods and long term firewood stores!!!!

    The other day on Facebook I came across a Tasmanian Farmers Market and Growers page…do you have one near you? I wondered how they all dealt with the creatures and greeblies. How’s your boundary/pee thing working ? Your plans for lilies and herbs etc sound just lovely, geraniums are amongst my favourites to grow – easy, always beautiful and I love their scent. All that colour will make it look such a haven. We removed our flower gardens and gosh I miss them!


    • narf77
      Mar 20, 2014 @ 04:06:23

      Tassie is a bit like chalk and cheese. There are people that live just down the road from us with apple trees that the possums don’t even touch but they hammered a small one here till it died…ate every leaf off it till it couldn’t photosynthesise any more…I think the pee worked! No more Ms Quoll and her babies :). I think she was predating easy pickings as it would be like us walking out to the car with our bellies grumbling and there, in front of us, is a gorgeous big fat hamburger with a whole lot of junior whoppers surrounding it just waiting for us to pick up and eat! We effectively (peed) acted as the health inspectors and closed her local fast food joint down 😉

      With 4 acres I figure we have enough room to grow a few flowers and perennials and hardy shrubs are the go here. It is SO DRY! I am refusing to get depressed about the natives scoffing things (they seem to be very selective this year) and am going to tart up some tyres with colour and will dot them around the place…a nice forest green methinks so that even when the plants inside them are dormant (sleeping under the ground in the case of the perennials…) there will be a bit of colour in the garden. Now I just have to work out how to make them attractive! 😉

      It is a fight for control if you choose to take part in the war here with the native animals but if you are clever, you can work out a deal…a sort of peace pact whereby you protect what is precious to you and you accept that there will be collateral damage. I noticed that the wallabies had “pruned” my clematis at the base but they didn’t kill the stem and so the higher up parts are flourishing…it is all about perspective and seeing them as part of the solution, rather than a bloody big problem! Still trying to work out where the possums fit in “part of the solution” but maybe they taste good? Their fur might make good narf7booties me thinks!!! 😉


  6. thecontentedcrafter
    Mar 20, 2014 @ 04:02:30

    I’m starting my morning with a complaint. I couldn’t listen to the lovely bosa nova lady and read your post at the same time because you didn’t check the ‘open in new window’ option for your link. [Shakes head sadly at Narfie7]

    Apart from that slight hiccup in the proceedings this was just another joy to read. I am dead green with envy over those chooks view – what a waste! They don’t even stick around to appreciate it – evidence in photo of chook hightailing off to the neighbours property – where the easy pickings are obviously better.

    I have spent this past week taking some time in my over extendedness to enjoy summer finally. It appears to have arrived here some three months later than anticipated and I actually have to water my pots and tubs of verdant greenery 🙂

    I am most impressed with the amount of baked goodies you produce – they all look most palatable – and the fact that they get around the neighbourhood too is quite inspiring. You do all this and study!

    I feel that Beziel and I are kindred spirits – except for that scary looking man who I know nothing of [sorry 80’s pop culture ignoramus] the written description fits me like a glove 🙂

    Pleased to report that when I head off to Wellington in a week part of my sojourn will include a morning workshop learning all about water kefir and kombucha. Apparently we come away with starters for both 🙂 Don’t know a thing about water kefir yet – hoping it can somehow segue into milk kefir – but need to do some research when time allows.

    Have a good week, hugs from sunny Dunedin 🙂


    • narf77
      Mar 20, 2014 @ 04:15:51

      I WAS going to click “open in new window” like I usually do but I thought to myself…it is GOOD for you all to work a few things out for yourselves…not always spoon fed you know ;). The chooks spend most of their time sitting on the edge of that netting looking out at the view before they hightail it off into the bush…Frank’s pristine (wasteland) property next door gets visited on a regular basis by 3 reprobate chooks (2 roosters and a determined hen) where they scratch the crap out of it and then return home 😉

      Yes…I bake and study AND water that behemoth of a garden… I am officially a saint 🙂

      If I am being honest, I had to put that picture of Mr T from the A Team in there as Steve refused to allow me to put a picture of Woody Allen (which was my first choice for Bezial) in. He has delusions that Bezial is some kind of Black Panther member in repose but really he is just a neurotic panic filled boy who loves his mum…Woody Allen!

      Water kefir is easy-peasy. It is very much like my converted milk kefir…you just give it a drink of water with some form of sugar in it (you could probably use date paste or agave etc.) and it eats the sugar and converts it to purest flavour. SO glad you can get milk kefir grains. At least you have all of those instructions to help you if they start to climb out of the jar! 😉 HUGE hugs from Sunny Sidmouth. We are on the cusp of autumn and the mornings here are vibrantly cold with a clean crisp edge…your hands are cold but your mind is bright and clear and ready to process things…my kind of morning! I am off over the bridge with Earl today to hurl some chook food at the wild population of hens over there then back to water the garden (where is that bloody rain?!) and then straight into studies again but it’s somewhat fun now as we are studying how to research on the net…by researching on the net…I think I am entering a temporal loop!

      Have a wonderful week in Wellington (all the “W’s” 😉 ) and here’s to you coming back buzzing with kefir possibilities 🙂 You can even moisten those oats for your oat cakes overnight in kefir to soften them and to make them easier to digest 🙂

      I haven’t got to “T” yet so am beavering away at this exponentially breeding RSS Feed Reader…I am almost to the point of hitting “PURGE” but that would be admitting defeat and I am most stubborn… 😉


      • thecontentedcrafter
        Mar 20, 2014 @ 04:30:15

        I’ve been off oats for two weeks now and my digestion system is appreciating it! So your kefir soaking suggestion is most appreciated because I know when the cold weather returns I will want to imbibe something comforting and cosy like a cheese and oat cake:-)

        I haven’t made a post for maybe a couple of weeks due to over extension in other areas of life not in my arty room. So longing to get back in there but it is still a while off! After Wellington.

        There’s a huge difference between those two characters isn’t there, for Beziel… poor boy must be chronically confused about whether to intimidate or cry…….

        Oh, me and Beziel – not at all alike!

      • narf77
        Mar 20, 2014 @ 04:32:23

        😉 Maybe you are like our little intrepid girl Qi who lives in town with my daughters. She is loving, she is tenacious, she can solve the heck out of a problem and she is now officially queen of the household 😉

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Mar 20, 2014 @ 04:50:40

        Oh, definitely 🙂

  7. Finn Holding
    Mar 20, 2014 @ 08:20:43

    Finally got to see your goshawk! Are they always all white in Tassie or is this one a leucistic version?


    • narf77
      Mar 20, 2014 @ 10:16:54

      All white 🙂 The leucistic version has grey bordering on the wings. Mine is all white so I figure it’s the true white version 🙂 Cram packed to the back gills with tender baby chicks 😦 The poor little things had watched their mums be torn apart (4 mums in a week!) by quolls as well! What a start to life! 😦


  8. Linne
    Mar 20, 2014 @ 15:01:04

    ok, lellywaiter music is on . . .
    hahahahahahaha . . . . . . . I’m worth $1,973, apparently! In US$ I assume. Can I have that to go, please? and yes, do supersize it . . . 😉

    Love those dog pictures! and the goshawk. I think the road to your place is known to the animal kingdom as “The Road to the Serendipitous Buffet” . . .

    I love your garden from all angles . . . looks a bit like a circus tent or maybe a tent from King Arthur’s day, when the tournaments are on . . .

    My ‘idon’tcare whatidis” is native only to the pot it grows in (and it just produced its third bloom in less than four months . . . some years it has had none at all!

    Interesting to see tea trees; I have tea tree oil in my first aid kit.

    Pears . . . yummy! Good thing I’m not down there, isn’t it?

    That tiny woman is quite interesting; related to leprechauns, perhaps?

    That cake, too . . . looks delicious!

    Let’s hope any character brought by the rain doesn’t involve road wrinkles like last year . . .

    Walnuts go so well with pears, don’t they . . . all you need now is bleu cheese or Gorgonzola or . . .

    The world IS wonderful and partly because of you and like-minded folks being in it!

    Great post, Narfie7! Thanks for the views of the river, too.

    Note on the comments between you and Pauline; I never noticed the missing linkie command; I routinely right-click on a link and choose ‘open in new window’. That’s ’cause lots of linkies don’t have the ‘open in new window’ box checked . . . 😉

    Another good feed . . . thanks loads! ~ Linne


    • narf77
      Mar 20, 2014 @ 15:21:40

      I agree with you about our home being seen to be “animal friendly” do you think it’s because I don’t eat the little buggers? If so…I am open to suggestion! I love the idea of a circus tent especially if it has anything to do with King Arthur. I know that when I go up there I lose track of time so I am obviously channelling the “olden days” (or being abducted by aliens…either way I am losing track of time 😉 ). Your hibiscus is a real one. Mine is an Aussie native pretender and loses all of it’s leaves in winter (serves it right for pretending!). That’s what tea trees look like when they are grown too close together. The tea trees in our lower garden are spindly but they remind me of something out of Dr Seuss and as an official Lorax representative, I feel I need to stand for the trees so stay they do! 🙂

      Not “pears” per se…more like “Pear” and I am watching it closely for any signs at all that it is going to ripen and it will be whisked away prior to being infested with little oily Mr Possums…narf7 should have at least 1 of them…

      I think you are right on the leprechauns…she appears to have saddled herself with some kind of tiny menace to society though…

      I hear that cake was delicious. First time baking a beesting and it was hoovered down with great gusto 🙂

      I always right click and open in a new tab. Steve doesn’t and it drives me nuts! 🙂 Hugs from sunny (well…sort of overcast) Sidmouth 🙂


  9. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Mar 21, 2014 @ 01:34:25

    Okay, now I’m right back to being jealous of you and your bounty. I’ve returned to the east coast again and it’s still very much winter over here- Talk about a shock to the system! What I would give to see such incredible edibles growing in my own backyard. Walnut foraging sounds like so much fun, although I’m a bit scarred from the one time I attempted to do so around here and happened to pick up black walnuts… Yeah, the name is not just a cute descriptor, they really do stain your hands an inky black color for days, if not weeks! Always learning the hard way…


    • narf77
      Mar 21, 2014 @ 03:33:22

      Mine aren’t black walnuts but they do stain your hands when you hull them. Last year I couldn’t be bothered with gloves (stupid me…) and ended up looking like I smoked 14 packets of cigarettes a day at the end of my hulling event and had to hide my hands for weeks! Fool me once walnuts! I thought you had moved to Hawaii?! Maybe you should move in with Christi from “Farmlet” fame. She is just about to move there from Olalla Washington state and start a brand new sunny and warm adventure :). I am OVER sunny and warm and am ready to embrace the delicious cold and precipitation of winter to the max. Can’t wait to get cooking on Brunhilda and that cake that you featured in your last post made me twitch with delight and possibilities SO ready for baking season when I get free oven space 24/7 and a willing accomplice in the kitchen for my early mornings 🙂


      • Hannah (BitterSweet)
        Mar 21, 2014 @ 05:30:02

        Ah, I wish! It was really a trial, temporary move to see if I still loved the place as much once I had spent some significant time there… Of course I did, but I wasn’t able to figure out a more permanent living situation before my rental period was up. Plus, I couldn’t secure regular work and would have trouble paying the bills before too long… You know, those unpleasant but realistic little issues. 😉

      • narf77
        Mar 21, 2014 @ 06:39:10

        Yeah…but keep your eye on the radar and next time round it might be “right” 🙂 You are obviously meant to be where you are for the moment. You just never know what is going to be around the corner and this might be the right place at the right time for you 🙂

      • Hannah (BitterSweet)
        Mar 21, 2014 @ 23:29:29

        Your words of wisdom never fail to soothe my soul… I wish I could keep you in my pocket for advice when the going gets tough. Granted, if I just leave you comments via my iPhone, it’s pretty much the same thing… So grateful for your perspective!

      • narf77
        Mar 22, 2014 @ 04:29:17

        Seriously, you are meant to be where you “are” for a reason. You might think it SUCKS but later down the track…this present sucking is tomorrows window of opportunity. Steve ended up having to leave his life in the South of England and move back up to the North. He thought that it was the end but if he hadn’t moved back to the North we would never have met…seems like that great big “SUCK” was his new beginning…you just have to suck it up sometimes because you really never know what is waiting for you around the corner 🙂

  10. christiglover
    Mar 21, 2014 @ 02:27:21

    Hibiscus here we come! Loved the trek around S.Farm, Fran, and Mr. T. as Bezial’s muse is PERFECT. Your view is to die for. And the rain will come, yes it will. We are moving in the next day or so, so soon I’ll be coming to you through a LAPTOP. Wish me luck. Kisses to you and Steve. 🙂


    • narf77
      Mar 21, 2014 @ 03:35:46

      “Take Luck” 🙂 Hugs, kissed and amazing thoughts for you and your wonderful journey. I haven’t even made it to “F” in my RSS Feed Reader but have read your glorious post on Facebook and love that you were dextrous enough to wiggle in and save the day. A fitting end (even if it was YOUR “end” 😉 ) to your time at The Farmlet. Now it is going to share all kinds of adventures with its new owner and the sky (the big blue sky) is the limit for you and The B.O. can’t wait to see how everything goes for you guys and Hawaii, here you come! 🙂


  11. Margaret Griffin
    Mar 21, 2014 @ 15:36:01

    Lucky you! a white goshawk in your back yard – sorry to hear about the chicks – but goshawks aren’t vegetarian.

    Weeds are in the eye of the beholder.

    Yummy beesting cake!!

    You certainly covered a lot of territory in this post.


  12. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Mar 23, 2014 @ 05:06:34

    Your deck steps do look good as does all your pastries. Men love pasta and cheese, anything cheese. It’s what Chris had for lunch. Spring is coming slowly here. I think we have entered an ice age. Today was one of the warmer days…more snow predicted.


    • narf77
      Mar 23, 2014 @ 11:39:55

      You watch, you will just think that you are doomed to eternal winter (like we did in November last year) and suddenly you will be hit by a long hot dry summer like we had. We had our last rain at the beginning of December and then we didn’t get another drop till last weekend (mid march) so you can only begin to imagine what the poor garden looks like now. The last few rainfalls have been blissfully heavy and the garden is sighing with relief. Everything smells gorgeous. I don’t know if you have ever smelled a eucalyptus forest (or even tree) when it rains but it is a most delightful smell indeed :). Can’t wait for it to wend it’s way to winter where I can start lighting Brunhilda again and spending my winter perfecting sourdough and reading and just enjoying life while the garden enjoys a nice long soak 🙂


  13. teddyandtottie
    Mar 23, 2014 @ 10:49:23

    An inspirational pictorial post, Narf! Your cooking skills are amazing – that cake – and those pasties! Lucky Steve! So great to see your doggies in their natural environment loving having their pictures taken – and the funny celebrity comparisons!! You’ve inspired me to get off my backside and go for a big walk this morning! Really great starting the day with a tour of beautiful Serendipity Farm – hope you get some rain soon! Sorry to cut it short, but have two kids and a dog desperate to head to the park!! Good luck with the studies! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


    • narf77
      Mar 23, 2014 @ 12:28:39

      Remember Steve spends most of his days lamenting “I am only one man!” to me as I bake my way happily through cakes and pasties etc. The cake was for friends that I walk with Earl with 3 mornings a week. They completely appreciated it and there wasn’t a mention of “just one” anyone ;). I don’t get much of a choice with the whole walk thing. If we didn’t walk Earl we would suffer…SUFFER I tells you! I was hunting around the kitchen yesterday and picking things up from tables etc. and moving them to higher ground when Steve and I were about to head up to the veggie garden together. We don’t usually both exit the building at the same time and I KNOW my dog…Steve was looking at me and said “is that really necessary?” I said, “maybe not but better to be safe than sorry…” After moving Steve’s 3 PS3 games (brand new, just bought) from where they were languishing on a low table and getting the eye roll from Steve we headed out the door. On our return, not 15 minutes after we shut the back door we noticed something interesting on the kitchen table. A large chunk of attractive driftwood that I left in the fruit bowl (no fruit aside from 4 fossilised lemons…) was selectively dissected on the kitchen table. No sign of who did it but I have a good idea who it was! 😉


  14. Namita
    Mar 24, 2014 @ 17:35:15

    Hello Fran,
    A virtual visit to your farm brightens up my day, fills me up with positive energy and leave me thinking what wonders this nature connect must be doing to you.
    Do you know that these days I am getting inclined to try out egg less bakes. The moment I finalise on a recipe, I think of you. I am serioulsy trying to get out of diary products. It is ok if I have to use them for my kids but I have switched to soy milk that i make at home and have ocassionally. I have to learn to make sesame milk from you. Will you please teach to how to go about with it?
    thanks for your wonderful comments in my site that leave me smiling. Wish i had wings and could fly to you place…….
    Love and regards!


    • narf77
      Mar 25, 2014 @ 03:23:39

      Thank you for this lovely comment Namita. People like you make blogging worthwhile :). Sesame milk is very easy to make. You take a cup of hulled sesame seeds (I use white but you can use black as well if you prefer them) and soak it in 4 cups of water. I leave it for a few hours to soften the sesame seeds up nicely. I also leave it in my blender goblet so that when I am ready to blend them together I don’t have another bowl to wash. After they have soaked (but you can make it straight away if you run out, you just get less creamy milk) turn on your blender and let it run until the seeds are pulverised and mixed in with the water and turn white. I then pour the lot through a fine sieve (a bit one) and using a spatula I press the pulp to extract as much milk as I can out of it. I use the pulp in cakes, in making cereal and on my breakfast buckwheat porridge where it adds fibre and taste. I bottle my milk up and keep it in the fridge. It keeps for about 5 days. I make it up a litre at a time so that it stays fresh. It is creamy and very white but has a little hint of bitterness to it so I mix in a bit of date paste as I use it. I use this milk in my tea and it works really well. You can make non-dairy milk out of all kinds of nuts, seeds and grains and here is a really excellent web page that shares a whole lot of interesting dairy alternatives…

      When sesame milk is mixed with date paste it is really delicious. If you blend sesame milk with soft dates (or date paste) and serve it up as a milkshake it certainly goes down well and sesame seeds are amazingly good for you as are dates 🙂 Hugs from Sidmouth where it is definitely starting to cool down and I am actually wearing slippers today 🙂


  15. Yelena
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 10:58:49

    O dear, I don’t know about anything else, but your cake looks absolutely amazing!!! I love it, it is so appetizing-)) Well done!

    And chickens also my favorite-))


    • narf77
      Mar 26, 2014 @ 15:34:45

      I have about 40 little baby chicks who were left orphaned when the quoll ate their mothers (it ate 5 mums in a week!) so if we lived closer I would be on your doorstep in an instant with a box of squeaking furry critters 😉


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