Short and pictorial mid winter on Serendipity Farm

Hi All,

 

Is anyone else a teensy tiny little bit “SICK TO BLOODY DEATH” of the soccer yet? Yes “SOCCER!” that’s what it’s called here in Australia. NOT football…just soccer. I will accept “U.K. Football” but every time I head to my old mate Google these days I have to wade through a plethora of letters all doing a Mexican salute or waving some countries flag and if you have 10 pages open like I do at any given time, that’s a whole LOT of Mexican waves to wade through every time you want to make a simple search. Angst abated and shared now. An angst shared is an angst halved. No bright comments Ms Jessy Twinn by the way. You have been infested with the soccer bug and are NOT to be listened to OR encouraged in your crazy soccer watching ventures (and neither is Steve…just sayin’ 😉 )

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I love my shiny-shiny aluminium crochet hook. I am probably going to get Alzheimers from it but at least I will go out hooking. Happy days! 😉

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Here’s a close up of the wool and my AMAZING hooky ability to do a stitch that I don’t even know the name for. I completely and utterly love how fast this is working up as I am using 2 strands of wool to crochet it and it is incredibly thick and heavy which means that it will probably end up on the floor as a rug more than on my knees as an afghan

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It’s probably 3/4 done now…afghan…rug…tablecloth, whatever this ends up as, crochet is therapy for narfs and soothes my inner savage beasts of which I have many…all of them masquerading as muses

I have reached the three quarter mark of my very thick, doubled wool crocheted afghan for draping casually over my knees when I am sitting in frigid early morning conditions before Brunhilda gets around to warming up the kitchen with her first hot toasty logs of the day. After I move all of the potted babies that we have left in our stash to either side of the driveway (I may or may NOT get back to why at some point in this post…) I plan on spending the rest of the day finishing off my afghan. Yesterday was 1C until 2pm and today it is a heatwave…4C and so that afghan would be most appreciated around about now and there is nothing more likely to get narf7 to do something than an immediate pressing need

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These are some of the 40 orphaned babies that the quoll left motherless working methodically through my pile of horse poo and oak leaves prior to Stevie-boys mass haul of dung on Saturday that resulted in a whole lot more dung on top of this pile and a tired narf from having to shovel it all up and back in between his deliveries in order to keep it in a pile and not a long swathe that took over the driveway. We can’t deposit it around the back of the house near Sanctuary (my veggie garden) as there is a large log pile in the way so for now, this is where the dung pile lives and coincidentally, where my chickens can be found at most times of the day

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The pile is significantly higher here as Stevie-boy has finished depositing masses of dung and you can see most of the blueberries that we scored up to their little rootlets in spent dung. There IS a rooster in this image but it’s not Mr “X”, its Mr Big Yin the head honcho of the gang with some of his posse out to scrape the pile flat. If you look closely you can see Ms ducky, Mr Big Yin’s bestie, up on top of the pile tunnel mining for worms

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I took this photo today. All of the blueberries are here now, I have a stack of horse poo and oak leaves to rake up from the driveway and we still have a large pile of wood blocking our pathway up to the back of the house but at least we have this luscious pile of garden happiness and as we all know, possession is 9/10th’s of the law! By the way. Mr “X” must have decided that it has knobs on hanging out under the deck on a 1C morning and wisely moved his feathery derriere back into the coop with the rest of the flock last night. I could hear him crowing from the distance but thats AOK by me…right under the deck was wearing a bit thin especially when Steve told me that he had been crowing since 12am!

Mr “X” the rooster is crowing under the deck. I cleaned out the hen coop on the weekend and won’t tell you how long it has been since I last did it aside to say that some of the straw had trilobites in it. A short aside…if you are putting off something that you really don’t want to do, you might be surprised to find that inside your head it is a whole lot worse of a task than what it actually is outside your head in the clear present danger of the day…just sayin’ 😉 After mucking out the hen house I pulled a large ex oil container thingo out that we had been stashing in the coop. We had visions of storing grain in it as it is huge, metal and has a lid but who could afford that much grain?! A hen has died down behind it and another one almost did the same thing. We pulled it out from the wall at that stage but when I decided to give myself a hernia and pull it out of the coop entirely when cleaning the coop out (Steve was off getting his own particular version of a hernia digging out a HUGE blueberry bush) I discovered that a rooster was lodged down the back of it. This thing has a BIG hunger for chickens! The rooster was fine aside from being hungry and somewhat square shaped after his ordeal and the chook coop is nice and clean now. What has this got to do with Mr “X”? Well he used to sleep on top of this drum and now he is homeless…well, that isn’t strictly true, he is under the deck crowing! I called him Mr “X” not because of his stealth in avoiding us when we locked his relatives into the coop last night but more because it is a most accurate description of him for he is soon to be an ex-rooster…nuff said!

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The potted babies deposited to the side of the driveway at the side of the house and the (offending) tank in the background that we have to roll to the house (behind where I am taking the photo)…this could be VERY interesting folks 😉

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I just read a post about my sister Pinky saving a pod of Dutch iris bulbs from oblivion and realised that among my Jerusalem artichokes I had inadvertently uprooted a couple of little bulbs as well. I am going to plant them out so that they get a new lease on life on Serendipity Farm. Isn’t nature the bomb? 🙂

Ok so I was hauling those potted plants to one side of the driveway back in paragraph 2…it took me a while that’s why I didn’t mention it till now. We are going to roll our large water tank into place this weekend which involves first moving the potted plants (tick, just spent the afternoon doing…) and then deconstructing the perimeter fence that acts as an Earl protective shield against Earl and the rest of the world. As you can imagine, we need to make sure that Mr E can’t just sidle off while we are rolling 10 000 litre water tanks with impunity so we have to ensure that we shut the 2 gates that we situated halfway up each of the side decks…we might not be pretty but we ARE clever and we envisaged a day when we might want to confine the dogs to either the back or the front of the house and these gates have been invaluable. Earl and Bezial will have to stay on the deck while we remove this segment of fence but prior to all of this is narf7 entering the cavernous gaping mouth of the water tank. Yup. I have to crawl inside and remove the pump housing so that we can roll the tank rather than just drag it. Stevie-boy’s shoulders are too big for him to fit inside even though he has slim hips so poor fat hipped narf7 has to fit her thin shoulders into the water tank hole at the top of the tank and attempt to squeeze that rotund derrière after them

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This is my niece Sabrina, she of the rake riding persuasion in my last blog post saying goodbye to her Tasmanian fan club

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Sad number 2 fan

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Even sadder number 1 fan

This could range from “interesting” to “hilarious” depending on several factors the chief one being my derrière actually fitting into said hole and NOT getting stuck which would indeed be hilarious for you guys but not so much for narf7 who would have to be greased up and shoved like a champagne cork. Once inside (shudder…) I will remove the pump housing and then exit with ease (I am ever the optimist…) and Stevie-boy and I will roll said 10 000 litre water tank up the driveway, through the hole in the fence and tip it upright into place with quintessential ease. No, I don’t believe it will be that easy either but lets just see what happens. At the very least it will make for some interesting blog images…

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My last (1kg) jar of pumpkin and date butter that has been gracing my breakfast buckwheat porridge since I made it

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This mornings large (vat) stockpot of buckwheat porridge being materialised to a hungry narf after a long haul behind a short dog in the mist. This makes 6 breakfasts for a hungry narf that can be grabbed as soon as I get in from my morning walk and heated to my little hearts content with pumpkin and date butter and served with homemade sesame milk. The perfect way to start my day 🙂

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Lucky I am a bowl freak and have so many of them isn’t it Stevie-boy and you said I should get rid of some of them! “Pfft!”

I am just about to make some more pumpkin, date and apple butter to use up the apples that turned from crispy to soft and that need to be used. Making fruit butter is a good way to use up soft or slightly old fruit as it tends to be quite sweet which means you don’t need sugar, especially if you use dates like I do. I still haven’t made the tahini and the coconut butter but I did find a recipe for how to make smooth lump free coconut butter on Pinterest today so perhaps that was a bonus. Once I make the tahini and coconut butter I can make pumpkin, date and apple fudge with a bit of cinnamon and a lot of anticipation.

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These are jeans…this is Beartato in the jeans…it was our photoshopped rendition of the son-and-heirs rear jeans pockets stuffed with baby potatoes freshly dug from sanctuary (my veggie garden) on Sunday when they dropped by on an impromptu visit. The only thing better than a rear pocket or two full of fresh baby potatoes is Beartato in your pocket…

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No Beartato here but a whole lot of apples that I didn’t get around to eating before they turned a bit mealy and a lot fragrant. They are going to be made into pumpkin, date and apple butter

Sorry about the reblogs this week but sometimes you just have to make a stand for what you believe in and seeing that book for free was too good to not reblog and share the love around. I love the concept of being generous for generosities sake, not expecting anything in return, just giving out to the universe and expecting that when you are in need, the universe will give back. I think that takes the expectation and the frustration and resentment out of expecting the recipient of your generosity to return the favour/gift which at the end of the day isn’t really generosity, it’s more a negotiation. It’s a brave step to let go of things and just let the universe dish it out to whoever needs it the most. The more we learn to be generous the better off we will be.

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I am trying to do what Mr Bean did with his Steak Tartar (don’t ask, just go look it up on Youtube if you don’t know what I am talking about 😉 ) and thousands of kids try to do with their broccoli every day…spreading the pumpkins around so that they don’t look like so many…

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Only 3 small ones! See? (and the 2 large ones in the laundry sink but we won’t think about them right now…)

I have been spending my early mornings wandering in the mist with Earl and contemplating my navel whilst building myself a pair of built-up platform shoes that Mr Herman Munster would be extremely proud of. The council, in all of their wisdom, has decided that now is the perfect time to grade all of the road verges back to soil and when you grade road verges in winter you are actually grading them back to purest mud. As a narf who is prone to walking on road verges this ranges from mildly annoying to dangerous, especially when wandering in the mist. Add cars that forgot to put on their headlights this morning and the deafening quality of fog and simply stepping out onto our driveway is a risk factor. Luckily Earl has a habit of dragging me into ditches so I tend not to be in harm’s way but until the fog clears it’s a strange and eerie world that the early morning narf inhabits

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I am outing myself here…I admit it…I am a wool hoarder…a wool AND a bowl hoarder. We can’t all be perfect (or entirely sane)…

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While I am at it (and nicely segueing and deflecting the attention away from my own vice in the process…) I am outing Stevie-boy as well. People might wonder why he is such a happy-go-lucky scamp well HERE is part of the reason why. This box of  “goodies” is stashed in his music room because it won’t all fit in his treat box. Stevie-boy is on a permanent sugar and preservative high that knows NO boundaries and when coupled with his fetish for wine we make quite a hoarding, guzzling couple. Just be thankful that we live out in the sticks and away from society or you might have to read about us in the papers 😉

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Another one of Stevie-boys fetishes…he LOVES those solar groovers that have a teeny little solar panel on the front of them that gives them the energy to wave happily at anyone that wanders past. This is Stevie-boys music room window and yes…that garden gnome IS giving you 2 fingers…we breed them bolshie around here 😉

I spend about an hour and a half thinking about the state of the world, the meaning of life (those built up platform shoes and how the HECK I am going to get all of that mud off prior to entering the house) and by the time Earl hauls me back up our steep driveway my brain is satiated and saturated with thought and I am ready for breakfast and a rest. I have decided that I am going to spend this afternoon crocheting my afghan and seeing if I can get close to completing it as I really want to start on my Bavarian crochet lessons before everyone else who has been dabbling in the Bavarian arts forgets how to do the stitch and isn’t available to help a stranded narf in her hour of need so as I have been taxing your reading ability and your stamina of late I might just throw you a curve ball today and finish this post right here…right now. I hope that you all have a wonderful week ahead of you full of purpose, potential and actualities and that by the time we next break metaphorical bread together you will be satiated by all of that wonderful experience that has passed under your bridges in the last week. Me…I will just be happy if I get this afghan finished and my derrière doesn’t get stuck in that rainwater tank but if you have greater aspirations, knock yourselves out 🙂

I found YOU on the road to Serendipity…

 

Hi All,

 

(Me?) “YEAH YOU!” You thought you were just skulking around in the background, hovering in the ether where no-one could see you but I know where you are and I am one of you. I spend most of my days hovering around the ether in various states of mental and physical undress. I can be found wearing ugg boots, knickers and a t-shirt at 3am and by 5am I am in the human equivalent of a cocoon of clothing. I wander the highways and byways of the internet searching out things that make me go “SQUEE”! That make me pause and think, that touch me so deeply I dissolve in tears, that anger me (a LOT of anger me’s…) and that infuse me with the delicious possibilities of hope. I love being an ether surfer and in my travels I found YOU. Yes I did…you thought that “you” found “me” right? Well I cast out my lure and reeled you in and you are now my wonderful trophies, free to come and go at your own free will (like Sting said “set them free and if they come back they are yours :)”…) but each and every one of you has their own peg on the Serendipity Farm wall where you can hang your hat and coat and shuck off your boots (sorry about that chicken manure…) and can sit down at the kitchen table with a hot mug of the beverage of your choice (except yerba mate… I don’t have any of that yet…or Bovril…if you drink Bovril you most probably won’t like Serendipity Farm much…”move along…nothing to see here!”…) and a biscuit/cookie (see, I cater for everyone!) or a calzone…matters not to me, we all float down here…

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I found YOU on the road to Serendipity

See I found this lovely card or whatever it is. Someone has a lovely Etsy type store (Behappy.me) and is selling this lovely sentiment along with a t-shirt that I may or may not be tempted to dig out the moth eaten sock under the bed in order to wear at 3am in my knickers and ugg boots. This lovely stranger has voiced my sentiments exactly. They have NO idea what this says about me, my life, and who and what I am but it sums this all up perfectly…our serendipitous relationship, you and I. I have NO idea who most of you are but I know you like sisters and brothers. I would probably walk straight past most of you on the street (and you would yell out “Hi Narf!” as you have seen me…) without knowing you but we share a connection and a small part of the universe through our serendipitous meeting and communal sharing and tasting platter. Isn’t life a wonderful thing where strangers, from the other side of the world, can meet up in real time, sharing their lives, their deepest innermost emotions and their support and knowledge whilst wearing undies, a t-shirt and their ugg boots and NO-ONE WENT BLIND! That is a miracle in and of itself 🙂

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Note to self…”when stoking the fire there is a right and a wrong way to grab the poker…you selected the WRONG way…try again…”

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Someone appears to not have a care in the world…when they say “it’s a dogs life” they aren’t fibbing!

One of the things about having “lovely” wooden floors is that you have to sweep all of the time. Maybe if you don’t have dogs and a husband who was born in a barn you might get away with every second day or so but not narf of Upper Serendipity on the Mer. I just swept the equivalent of a tiny narf in long hairs from the floor. I sweep at least 3 times a day and every single time I am amazed at how much hair we shed. Earl and I are by far the most prolific producers of hirsuitedness on the floor but that’s only because Bezials hairs are black and tend to want to stay stuck to his thick hide. For some reason Earl sheds hair constantly. I think he is part seal and that part of him is constantly trying to return to its hair-free genetic potential. I have very long hair now, due more to the fact that I am a tightwad and absolutely POSITIVELY refuse to pay some ditzy hairdresser $50 every 6 weeks in order to remain able to wander freely amongst the “normal” people without them pointing and whispering (more than they already do…). Stevie-boy trims the back of it whenever the split ends rise up and attempt to take over the masses but aside from that, narf7 and hairdressers are like vampires and garlic NADA!

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I snuck off a couple of shots at my daughters house in the city when I was staying there on Friday night…as you can see it is obviously not our house as this stack of stationary (and that most tasty looking Earth Worm Jim encased light) would have been ingested LONG ago by Earl

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Lots of books…good to see that my kids all love to read…my job here is almost done…

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My daughters have a fascination for all things early 20th Century when it comes to movies. Apparently the best actors tend to hae hovered around the 40’s and 50’s and most of them were horror actors

I had a lovely stay at my daughter’s house in the city on Friday night and we shopped together on Saturday. Next time we have decided communally that we will organise a stop-over on a non-shopping week (we shop once a fortnight) and will make it a 2 night sleep-over so that we can get the most out of my visit. We had amazing nacho’s on Friday night and I arrived back home exhausted after our full day shopping. I got to go to Tsing Wah, my daughter’s Asian grocery store and bought some excellent brown rice pasta, black sesame seeds and other interesting Asian ingredients for me to muck around with and keep myself amused with my bouche. I also picked up a lovely purple sweet potato. It is white on the skin but the flesh is purple. I am going to use this little sweetie to attempt to grow more purple goodness sweet potatoes from. I might not be able to grow taro here in Tassie but I can sure adapt and purple sweet potato comes a close second in both taste and novelty value

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This would be 50 bananas…well…my interpretation of them. You can click on this image to make it bigger so that you can see that dirty mark on the lower left hand side where Earl decided to jump on the kitchen table and onto my work whereby I did the narf7 equivalent of meltdown…after sweeping Earl physically from the table and with my hand on my brow lamenting the loss of my creative genius I sat back down…steadied myself and kept going…the sign of true artistic genius (well that’s MY story and I am sticking to it! 😉 )

Stevie-boy and I decided to get all of our studies completed and up to date the other day and we sat down and drew 50 bananas each. That’s 100 bananas on Chez Serendipity and that might be 99 more than is needed to be honest. We had practice last year drawing pumpkins but this year it was harder. I will see if I can manage to share the scan that Steve took (for our lecturer…EVERYONE wants proof these days! Pffft! 😉 ) of my bananaesque results and aside from giving you a good laugh you can start to get an idea of how desperate a poor non-talented-in-the-drawing-capacity student can get when faced with having to get creative in reproducing their idea of 50 bananas. The first 10 – 15 is easy, anyone can think of that many but after that you have to really start to think…to process “what the heck do banana’s actually MEAN to me?!” and that’s when you start getting all existential on bananas…you pull out your Fraud (easy to do when you are talking bananas 😉 ) and your Kafka and you start questioning the existence of bananas…your own existence…the meaning of the universe and all things yellow. By the end of it you are heading to the internet and stealing other people’s work with impunity…Steve pinched Mr J Lennons self portrait and reproduced it in bananas, I pinched Mr Bingo of the Banana Splits fame and if I had more space I would have stolen Mr Warhol’s banana with gusto. All in all it certainly filled our brains with the yellow tasty sweet fruit for a good couple of hours

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Steve took this photo of one of our resident Black cockatoos. This one appears to be female as it hasn’t got red eyes. They live and breed on the property and we feel especially privileged to be able to watch them go about their daily routines around us

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Sorry about the terrible photo but those are MY hands holding that roasted rooster skin so we all know who is to blame! 😉 Seriously though, can you see the boys drooling?

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Steve might not like rooster skin but he certainly likes rooster pies…

We are learning about typeface now and we watched a really interesting program on studio the other day about the typeface called “Helvetica” and how it has shaped our culture. You wouldn’t believe that a single typeface would be able to conquer the world but it has! Helvetica has been used by so many global companies that you wouldn’t even know you were looking at it anymore, it is so widespread and prevalent in our culture. It has been the single most utilised font of the later part of the 20th Century and it goes to show that the written word AND how it looks are most definitely a way to a consumers heart, and more importantly their wallets

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I headed up to the veggie garden to get a few photos for you as I haven’t shared anything about the (neglected) veggie garden of late

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And saw THIS! Some bollocking bollocks has been scoffing my precious pumpkins!

Brunhilda is crackling away and enjoying her fresh baked logs. We had a bit of a problem with some of the bark being damp on some of the wood that we were burning so we had the bright idea to put logs into the warming ovens (as they don’t get used much) and dry them out prior to stoking Brunhilda with their delicious dry tastiness. She appreciates dehydrated wood immensely and is crackling away at her latest instalment with glee. I made scrumptious rooster pies last night. I made scrumptious rich rooster stock the day before. I have 2kg of rich lean rooster mince in my freezer and I am NOT going to tell you what Stevie-boy and I did on Sunday aside from to say it was them or us according to Frank…

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This looks like bush rat nibblings to me and that tells me that we are feeding the feral cats too much!

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Despite the nibbles I am harvesting these pumpkins and will cut out the nibbled bit and use them. At least I got something from the garden this year!

I am getting my mushroom groove back…my mushie mojo. They are everywhere at the moment. Glorious amanita’s, amazing coloured toadstools, gravity defying tall slender slimy topped beauties, small white alluring mushrooms that I am NOT ALLOWED TO EAT! And all loveliness in between. I am going to take my camera on my morning (drag) walk with Earl to see if I can’t get you some (blurry out of focus pictures of a large wet dogs nose snuffling and squashing on the objects of my desire…) lovely photos of some of the gorgeous specimens that we have been seeing lately thanks to this unseasonal early rain that we have been having. NO complaints about the rain from this little black duck but a bit of a grumble under my breath because we STILL HAVEN’T GOTTEN THAT RAINWATER TANK INSTALLED! Err…when I say “under my breath” I meant that metaphorically not literally 😉

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I managed to collect these pumpkins and those potatoes from my visit to the veggie garden today. No more pumpkin for YOU bush rats!

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This is what yacon looks like. I rootled around under the plants and found this little baby and when I dug a bit deeper I felt bigger tubers. Looks like my yacon DID produce some tubers this year and now I just need to work out when to pull them up and shove them into some soil ready for replanting next year. Yacon produce energy storage tubers and rhizomes. The tubers are what we use and the rhizomes are to be planted out again (from what I can gather). Looks like it is time for me to go hunting on my old mate Google to see what I am supposed to be doing with this plant that did well on Serendipity Farm

I must say I don’t know what all of you Northerners were complaining about when you were going on… and on…and on…and ON about the cold. I am LOVING IT! It might be just because the cold is still a delicious novelty to me but I don’t think so. I think that I just love it. I love how I can come in out of it and get warm, how I can wear lovely homemade things (Jess, I am sporting those blue camo knit trousers and LOVING THEM!) with impunity and I can use the rain as an excuse to get out of walking the dog every single day! Earl and winter…not so much…but me and winter…BLISS! 😉

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As I was wandering around looking for “photo opportunities” for you all I noticed this little silverbeet seedling growing in a flat seedling tray and thought that it was the perfect example of how nature never wants to give in or up. I decided to come back to take a photo for you all to get that rush of happiness that seeing an underdog fight its way to survival brings…

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However a giant decided to squash him in his tracks…sigh…

I have to get some photos for this blog post. I seem to have forgotten to photograph much this week and what I did take photo’s of was blurry and out of focus but not artistically so. My daughters took a trip to Melbourne last week and the first I knew about it was an email saying “you might want to check this out through the day…” and a link to their Instagram page where I found images of them eating pancakes for breakfast, snacking on delicious frozen green tea yoghurt with lychees and tapioca pearls and wandering the streets of Melbourne with impunity. I must admit to being a little green (YOU DIDN’T INVITE ME?!!!) but they were so clever to keep it a secret that I must admit to having more admiration for their stealth than angst at being left out of the equation. Steve said that he would send me to Korea to incite envy in them both but that would be missing the point, I just love spending time with my daughters, they are great fun to be around and to be with and I think that is the ultimate in your kids attaining adulthood, being able to measure out their good company and swapping all of that “being a parent” for just “being mum”. They get to make their own mistakes, pay their own bills, do their own shopping and I just get to enjoy their excellent company and their amazing senses of humour (and their wonderful cooking skills…don’t forget that!).

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This is Earl’s equivalent of “are we there yet?”

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I love how some mushrooms almost appear to have a liquid coating on top of them. I realise that most of you don’t share my rapture at fungi but it takes all sorts to make a world 😉

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A pristine little toadstool that the chooks haven’t managed to find or scratch up yet…give it time!

I then headed out with the dogs to try to find “all of those toadstools!” that Stevie-boy had alluded to while he was driving up the driveway the other day and looking out of his side window…I hurried down (well, Earl MADE me hurry down) all the while looking for this mass stash of mushies and by the time I got to the bottom of the driveway I started to realise that either something had eaten all of the fungal fecundity OR Stevie-boy had best lay off the peyote when he is driving…either way it wasn’t going to be easy to find mushroom photos to share with you and so I headed further afield…

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The Jerusalem artichokes that I found (pinched) growing on the side of the road on one of our walks and shoved into this compost bed have all died back which means it is time to harvest them

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I really love the taste of Jerusalem artichokes and don’t care about their reputation as being able to induce flatulance at 100 paces. That’s what having dogs is for…blame the dog! These tubers are large, very clean and are going to be inducing flatulance in … err…”Earl”…tonight 😉

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All of these different shapes and sizes of leaf came from the old Japanese maple next to the deck. This photo was taken as we were walking back up to the deck from our walk

I have just extracted a most determined leech from a very distressed dog. SO distressed that he won’t eat his dinner now. Poor Bezial is now sitting out on the deck and Earl keeps poking me with his nose as if to say “if fatty doesn’t want his dinner, can I have it?” The life of a country mouse! I think that might be all for today folks. I have spaghetti bolognaise to make for Stevie-boy and I found some delicious sweet potato starch noodles when I shopped at the Asian Supermarket and am going to make a veggie and shiitake stir-fry to go with some of them for my tea. I saved Bezial’s dinner for later on when he calms down a bit and stops hyperventilating about the alien tiny most insistent vampire that was attempting to extract his blood…Woody Allen and all of his neurotic ways have NOTHING on this dog! See you next week folks when hopefully Bezial will be eating again and we can all settle down for another communal international fringe festival of Serendipitous joy whatever our circumstances, the weather and our neurotic pets are up to…See you then 🙂

 

This is what narf7 looks like when she has been dragged through shrubs, trees, spiderwebs and pumpkin vines. Note the wild hair

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Green Tea, Chainsaws, Moonshine and Redneck Rock down on the farm…

Hi All,

A terrifying thing has just happened…I headed to my “Blog” folder on my PC to look for the beginnings of a blog post. I usually have one or two ideas stuffed up my collective sleeve (I collect things in my sleeves so I am allowed to abuse the vernacular, mostly dirt and dog hair but whatchagonnado when you live on 4 acres out in the bush?) but today I found nada. Nada isn’t a good start folks…nada…zip…zilch…whatever you want to call it means that narf7 has to pull her finger out and get cracking with something for her dear constant readers to pore over with a microscope (you don’t? I am assured many do! 😉 ) for a Wednesday. Hump day arrives and narf7 has responded by being in recovery from her complete and utter addiction to Pinterest last week and by actually doing some work for once. Yesterday I spent the day removing rope and sundry “things” from a massive length of ex-fish-farm netting. The sundry things consisted of a huge amount of sludgy green algae (I removed it with that collective sleeve I mentioned earlier…), assorted chook manure that I kept finding thanks to the chooks being out now and most curious about what I was doing, several white plastic rings that I have NO idea what they were meant for but that made Steve excited to be the new owner of (for “own” read “throw in shed to make more mess…) along with so much thick nylon rope people are going to start talking about us unless I decide to find a tutorial for how to make a hammock that has a half-life.

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Here’s the view from the deck looking over the water at 7.30am on Monday morning and Steve just caught the sun coming up…

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And this is exactly the same spot the last image was taken but at 7am on Tuesday morning…it doesn’t look like the same place does it?! Anyone else think that we are in for a bit of rain in the near future? ;). Note, neither of these images have been Photo shopped.

We have been busy collecting wood and waiting for rain. We have various piles of debris on Serendipity Farm that we would like to imagine that we left there for the specific purpose of allowing the leaves to fall from the branches and mulch the denuded soil, harvesting smaller branches for a hugelkultur base for our soon to be realised ENORMOUS fully enclosed veggie garden (typing that just made me tired…) and for harvesting the larger portions for making Brunhilda the equivalent of a tasting platter. In reality we just piled them up whilst doing the metaphorical equivalent of putting our fingers in our ears and yelling “I CAN’T HEAR YOU” loudly…over and over again. Now we have to deal with our metaphoricals in a more physical way and after poring over ideas to make me look like I am a clever and savvy horticulturalist, environmentalist and permaculturist (all the “ists”) I came up with the idea to use the big bits for firewood. It’s amazing how much wood you actually get out of piles of ex shrubs. Steve and I know…we have been harvesting it all week.

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Ferals enjoying the autumn leaves

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The maple tree has finally started dropping it’s lovely red leaves

The weather for our winter so far (all 5 days of it) has been that glorious mix of crispy squeaky cold mornings and lovely sunny days. I love weather like this. It makes you feel clear headed and full of purpose (even when you aren’t and are just dragging along behind an overexcited dog hell bent on urinating on every shrub he sees). Today we cut more ex-fish farm netting and we collect more firewood. It might not sound interesting but when it all comes together it is both productive and delicious. I have been cooking a lot lately. Lots of wholesome soups and delicious Stromboli’s and my mind is starting to turn to food adventures. I am considering making a sweet Stromboli. How does adding some more sweetener to the dough and some kind of dried fruit and sweet spice sound? How about when I flatten it out (easiest dough to work with folks…) I spread over some grated apple and cinnamon sugar or grated chocolate and orange zest or jam and more sultanas, but this time they have been soaked in rum? Then I roll it all up, tuck in the ends and bake it for the sake of a happy man. I could call it “Stromboli Poly” and could serve it with custard and thick pouring cream. I reckon it’s a date!

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As you can see, we aren’t short of a few leaves here on Serendipity Farm. Do you like where we chose to put the craypot we got for $5 from the progressive garage sale?

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A close up of a vegans nightmare 😉

I got up at 2am this morning. I don’t know if it was the pressing need to write a blog post or just that my mind is a bit twitchy today. I am off to my daughters this weekend and my brain has gone into planning overload. I want to bake up a storm. On the phone yesterday my youngest daughter Bethany told me that they had bought me a tray of friand pans and had also bought me some Matcha green tea powder. They couldn’t find me any locally so they imported it from China! The food miles are prohibitive but apparently I have a certificate with my bag of fluffy green powder to assure me that it is “Genuine Green Tea”. I can only begin to imagine why they would feel the need to issue a certificate with their green tea…I don’t want to imagine it any more…all roads lead to adultered milk powder with stirred in spirulina ;). We are going to have a great time this weekend and I am taking the ingredients for making waffles over with me. I am also going to take the ingredients for friand. Apparently “Friand” is a peculiarly Aussie word for the French “Financier”. They are one and the same thing but we Aussies love to take something and make it our own (just ask the New Zealanders, they have been saying that we pilfered lamingtons, pavlovas and goodness only knows what else from them for years! 😉 ). I have been lusting after friand pans for a while now and whilst I can’t justify buying a set of pans for a single use, I CAN accept them as a gift 😉

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Steve has had Stromboli’s on a regular basis ever since we trialled them for The Virtual Vegan Potluck last month. As an Omni, he has smoked csabai and bacon and feta on his Stromboli’s along with grated cheddar cheese which I hadn’t grated on yet in this picture. This is the Stromboli pre-roll…

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And here it is post roll. You get a good look at our kitchen in the background. That board resting on the floor was designed to fit snuggly over the gas cooktop on that section of cupboards to the left at the rear of this image so that we can use it for extra preparation space. We don’t use this cooktop much in winter as Brunhilda is on pretty much 24/7 so it’s a good idea to utilise the wasted space when we need it the most, when we are up to our armpits in bread dough etc. over the cold winter months.

I have to report to you that Steve will be my guest poster on Saturday. I was twitching about having to get this post AND Saturdays post done yesterday and Steve gallantly came to the rescue. Steve is an attention hog folks…don’t let his mild mannered beatific smile lure you into any false pretences that this man is a benign sideliner…no sooner is my back turned then he has plans for this space. Apparently he is going to give you a history lesson for Tasmania “Steve style”. I just wanted to mention here that I can’t be held responsible for any content that my wonderful quirky Aquarius husband inserts here on Saturday…just hold onto your rollercoaster seat and get ready for a decidedly “side left” experience! I have given him free range so long as he doesn’t go on about religion and politics. He seemed a bit crestfallen there as just about everything going on in Tasmania at the moment has something to do with both and that is where he got the idea about history…you can’t go wrong with historical events…they have already been and Wikipedia has more than enough of them for the average bear. He didn’t really like what Wikipedia said. It bored him. He is easily bored so he is going to rectify that by adding in his own interpretation on events. Good luck…make SURE to affix your safety belts and don’t tell me you weren’t warned when I get back here on Wednesday 😉

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Glad allowed us to take a few shots of her driveway when we were talking to her the other day. See all of those leaves? That’s about 1/8th of the leaves to be raked and claimed by yours truly :). I love it when helping your neighbour is also helping yourself :). The road you can see at the end of Glad’s driveway drops off straight into the river on the other side.

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Aren’t these oaks lovely? The minister for the Auld Kirk church next door to us was buried in Glad’s garden somewhere as her home used to be the church manse. I wonder if Glad knows where he is?

I’m back. Did you miss me? I have been outside collecting wood and cutting net while the sun shone which wasn’t all that long to be honest but at least we were able to get some of what we wanted done. Steve has been wrestling with his chainsaws which have both apparently gone on strike. I decided to retreat to the safety of the house to protect my delicate ears from the ensuing stream of profanity and decided to finish off this post. I have fed Audrey and she is ruminating nicely on the kitchen bench. I like to give her a little bit of time out in the warmth of the kitchen to make up for the fact that she pretty much lives in the fridge. I have also transferred my milk kefir grains from their twice weekly dunking in “real” milk to a container of homemade soy milk made from organic beans and date paste. The grains LOVE date paste. I have been watching them closely to see if there was going to be any negative connotations with putting them into non-dairy milk on a long term basis but haven’t seen anything yet. If anything, they appear to grow faster when they live like this. I guess they know that they are going to have a nice holiday in regular milk every couple of days and have decided to make the best of it. I get the feeling that certain sections of the yeast/bacteria symbiosis that forms the complex relationship we know as kefir grains love nothing more than fruit sugar. I had read that you can double ferment kefir by adding fruit to the finished result for the kefir grains to continue to feed on. I use date paste because they seem to like it a lot. They actively feed on it whenever they are added to the date sweetened soymilk and I have started to get adventurous with my combinations

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I was talking to Roxy, our friend who lives down the road on the way past her home yesterday and as she volunteers in the local Beaconsfield thrift shop I asked her to keep her eyes open for any hand knitted jumpers that I could buy and unpick for the wool. She said “hang on a minute” and came out with a bag of wool. This bag contains 5 balls of a lovely khaki green wool. Not sure what I am going to make with it but I think I might make Steve some fingerless gauntlets

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She also gave me a large bag of hand spun wool that she had spun herself. I will be making myself some gauntlets out of this gorgeousness. I love sharing. We gave Roxy and Guy a whole lot of potted plants to plant out on their property and Roxy, in turn has been very generous back with veggies and this lovely wool. Developing community allows one mans trash to become another mans treasure. Roxy said that she had knitted herself enough beanies, gloves and scarves to last her a lifetime and I was welcome to the rest of the wool. I will try my hardest to do it justice. Any suggestions for patterns (pointing me in the right direction online) would be most gratefully listened to 🙂

I am not all that sure that my adventurousness is being rewarded. I have combined the finished kefir with some homemade coconut milk that I made a while ago (from fresh coconut meat not dried) and promptly put into the cold part of the fridge and promptly forgot all about. I found it the other day when I was hunting for cheese for a sandwich for Steve. I opened the top and it didn’t smell “bad” so I decided to throw it into the kefir mix. Not so sure it was a good move…it tastes nice but it seems to have added something explosive to my kefir mix. The kefir has started to bulge alarmingly in its 3 litre plastic milk container. I opened it this morning and the lid blew off! It is über fizzy, tastes lovely and as I have been adding more date paste to keep the mixture fermenting it is certainly using what I give it. I figure that I have made a sort of date, coconut and soy hooch. I tossed in a bit of leftover almond and oat milk this morning and the kefir assimilated it like the Borg. I don’t know what I have created but I feel like Dr Frankenstein once he lost control of his creation…it may yet go over to the dark side and need euthanising but for now, it’s great fun and so long as I remember to release the gasses from the finished kefir every time I go to the fridge, I shouldn’t have to clean up an almighty mess any day soon. (Note to self…remember to use it all BEFORE you go away for the weekend… 😉 )

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This is what “real eggs” look like folks. Those feathered Somalian pirates do have some benefits. The problem is, it is getting increasingly harder to find where the crafty minxes are laying!

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Remember that tree that rotted and dropped and is being propped up by another tree right next to the house? Well it’s still there…sigh…

The chainsaw just started and kept going so I figure that means “SUCCESS!” and it might be safe to step outside and check if the bit of drizzle that we have had so far is adding anything to our rainwater quotient. Steve now sounds like he is trying to play “The Chainsaw Song” by Jackyl (a band from the 80’s folks…I hadn’t heard of them either…) on one of his long suffering chainsaws. To illustrate what I am talking about here is a link to the song…watch it, and then you will understand what I mean…incidentally…I would like to apologise for the 30 seconds of “Kardashians” that you will be forced to watch before the actual video commences…please feel free to get a bucket in readiness for the inevitable vomit response that will highly likely occur…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A52p9jc-gOo

Now let’s get something straight from the get-go…Steve and I both LOVE this song. We are apparently both Sidmouth Rednecks in the making but manage to stifle it most of the time. You can be sure that we are both jumping around the kitchen for the duration of the song (and I dare you to remain seated…its catchy folks 😉 )…aside from that you might be forgiven for thinking that Bon Scott from ACDC has somehow taken possession of the lead singer of Jackyl…he hasn’t. The man’s name is “Jessie James Dupree” (somehow incredibly fitting) and aside from being a pretty good and most athletic singer in a redneck band, you may have seen him in the heinous approximation of a television show called “Full Throttle Saloon”. Much like Mr David Lee Roth who is also an athletic and very good singer, Mr Dupree seems to be squandering his talents. At least Mr Lee Roth is driving an ambulance…Mr Dupree seems hell bent on getting Mr Lee Roth as much work as he can handle.

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This is an Osteospermum daisy. It is my nemesis. I decided to share this photo with you because they do look pretty but they aren’t welcome here along with their Vinca major mates!

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Since we cleared out all of the competing undergrowth from around this lovely Protea it hasn’t stopped flowering. It’s probably the happiest plant on Serendipity Farm

Steve appears to have a desire to become an aging redneck. His hero is a now deceased man called Popcorn Sutton. Popcorn Sutton made the best moonshine in the U.S. Steve is in awe of the mention of his name. He has an uncanny ability to dance just like Popcorn Sutton and wants me to video him doing his hillbilly shuffle so that we can rotoscope him for posterity. Should this strange (and somewhat disturbing) video ever eventuate, I promise to share it with you all here on The Road to Serendipity, cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye folks! By the way…what is it about half naked men with long hair that appeals to me girls? Give me an 80’s Pearl Jam clip and I am gone! ;).

Here is a “Doodied up” version of Popcorn Sutton dancing…marvel at those moves folks and know that Steve has been studying them intently and can replicate them in minutiae…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E575kEtKRBs

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Finally we see fungus! Anyone who has been hanging around Serendipity Farm and this blog for long enough will know of my undying love and respect for my fungal companions here on planet Earth. I have NO idea what this fungus is, all I know is that they tend to grow on tree stumps and rotting wood in large clumps like this.

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Isn’t this pretty? My love for fungi knows no bounds 🙂

I might make this a slightly shorter post than usual and leave it here folks. It is starting to get late and it’s already almost dark at 2.45 in the afternoon! I have my evening routines to start at 3 when we feed the dogs and everything flows from there till about 7pm when we get to both sit down (after racing around after animals all over the place) and have a well-earned rest. We think Frank and his wife have headed off to Canada as they have been strangely quiet on the Western Front. We did see a good friend who used to work at the Alanvale Polytechnic when we attended horticulture lectures there for 2 years (Hi Nat :o) ) who used to be the head groundskeeper. He wasn’t ANYTHING like Groundskeeper Willie from the Simpsons and was more like Mr MacGyver (Mr Smarty-pants fix it with string…) from the hit television series of the same name that back in 1985. Corey could fix ANYTHING and was/is the most laid back person I have ever met. Today we saw him driving a truck load of gravel for a new house being built right next door to Frank’s house.  So we have impunity to see just how many roosters we can populate Serendipity Farm with in the 6 months that Frank will be absent without leave. Let’s take some bets on how many shall we? The winner takes them all! 😉

Where there’s muck, there’s brass

Hi All,

Have you ever listened to roosters till the novelty wears off? I do it on a daily basis. I have come to the conclusion that roosters are just like bagpipes. The similarities are actually quite startling. They are both bags that when inflated and squeezed (the pipes are man squeezed, the roosters are self-motivated…) they make a noise. The “noise” that emits from them could, initially, by some romantic person living 3 blocks away, be seen as entertaining for approximately 5 minutes before the novelty wears off and the repeated inhales and exhales punctuated by a raucous droning sound become unbearable. I have the dubious luxury of being situated directly above where our 2 feral roosters roost at night. We know that they roost there because aside from the loud inhales and exhales that can start anywhere from 1am onwards, we have discovered a large pile of nitrogenous fertiliser on a tall pile of firewood under the deck that coincides with the rough approximation about 2 metres above said pile of fertiliser that narf7 sits above as she taps away here to her dear constant readers…that would be you!

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Here we have the two feral roosters that I talk about in this post. I have officially named them “Ralph” and “Hewie”. Their female counterpart who tends to hide a lot has been named “Elvira”. That interesting metal thing to the left of Ralph (the dark rooster with the rose comb) is my prospective still/rocket stove. I have yet to work out how to make it but for now, prospective is good enough for me!

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This is not a rooster. It is a duck. You would think that a duck wouldn’t have the bagpipe lungs of a rooster but you would be wrong. A duck can use her lungs to great advantage when she wants to and this one wants to every 10 minutes.

Roosters are windbags. They are solely there to make a lot of noise and to repopulate the earth with mindless hens. The hens are mindless BUT they have enough primal cunning built in to allow them to hunker down and stay shtum once they spot more than 3 eggs in a nest…they remain hunkered for 3 weeks when they emerge triumphant leading a bewildered and bedraggled selection of fluff balls out of hiding and straight into the jaws of the starving feral cats…roosters are SUPPOSED to be protectors of the flock. In our experience, they are the first to run and hide up a tree and crow from a nice safe distance once they have covered their own furry derrières. If a mindless hen spots ANYTHING out of the ordinary…say a human standing in an area that they weren’t standing in 10 minutes ago…they will send out an alarm cluck…this cluck will be passed on with exponentially increasing degrees of alarm and clucking, much like the ubiquitous Chinese Whispers game, until all roosters are crowing maniacally, all hens are clucking in unison and the alarmee is supposed to flee in mortal terror at the sheer amount of noise going on.

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If you look carefully you will see the quack-bag herself hiding behind this snapdragon that self seeds every year from goodness only knows where.

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Myrtus communis…a Mediterranean fruit that tastes somewhat foul on it’s own but that enterprising Greeks have managed to turn into some form of potent (lethal) alcohol that they imbibe on a regular basis…you have to love the Greeks…they certainly know how to take a difficult situation and make it rock!

I read a lot of blogs folks…a LOT of blogs. Some of them deal with life on farms and smallholdings and no matter how many times you read about the keeping of hens, and what a pain in the derrière they can actually be, there is a propensity for “regular folk” (that’s you lot, living in cities and big towns) to wear rose coloured glasses whenever you think about fluffy bottomed chooks clucking quietly and pecking delicately around your back yards in a romantic countrified way. The reality is that chooks are the equivalent of Somalian pirates. They rob from the rich (supposedly “us”) and they give to themselves. They navigate Serendipity Farm with stealth and cunning that leaves us alarmed, bewildered and afraid for our lives. We managed to coral them into an enclosure for 5 months and the resulting garden happiness was directly correlated to a decided lack of the ovarian orbs that make keeping chooks worth it. We might not have had chicks popping out from all over the place but we also didn’t have any eggs. What’s a smart person to do? Give in to the pirates that’s what!

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One of the “things” that have been keeping us busy on Serendipity Farm. Our crazy hippy friend down the road wants us to drink rainwater…we don’t have a say in it apparently, we HAVE to be drinking rainwater so he has given us a permanent loan of this 600 litre rainwater tank…I wonder if he will let us paint it blue to match the gas hot water heater (that is full of spiders as it gets turned off for most of the year while Brunhilda is pumping out her delicious heat…)

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Another one of the things that has been keeping us busy for the last few days. Steve headed out bush to get a load of wood with a mate on Sunday and this is the resulting haul. He will be heading out again for more wood sometime soon so thanks to his wonderful mum Kaye, whose property they are plundering for firewood, narf7 and Stevie-boy should make it through winter without turning into human popsicles

We are already finding nests in far flung well hidden places. I can only image how this is going to end and I have a VERY good imagination. When we bought our initial 8 chooks from an unscrupulous (read desperate) woman at a local market she insisted that they were all hens. I now know that this poor woman was desperate to offload at least one of her windbag roosters to some poor newbies with rose coloured glasses and visions of gorgeous fluffies assisting them with their permaculture ideals. I have since discovered that this poor woman’s flock have gone over to the dark side. No longer working FOR her, they have taken over her entire property and are festering malcontent all over the place. She has no control over them anymore. They live out of the lovely high-rise coop that her husband made for her back when she was a wide eyed newbie (not all that long before I myself came into the picture…) and they live in the trees and on the surrounding neighbour’s properties. There are so many roosters that have gone feral that there is no chance of stopping this maniacal hen invasion and the only option is to plead insanity…Allison…I no longer hold you responsible for your actions when you slipped Big Yin into my initial 8. I would do exactly the same thing. Desperation breeds craziness…a yard full of chook poo, no eggs, 40 000 chicks and 20 feral roosters all crowing directly under your window at 2am is going to render you somewhat crazy no matter how stoic and resilient you are. And still my dear constant readers will smile knowingly and will muse internally about the delights of keeping chooks. That’s how they get you folks…be afraid…be VERY afraid…

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I have been given permission to share a few of Steve’s more creative endeavours with you…

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I like to call this one “Serendipity Farm as a Christmas Bauble”…

I have been invited up to a neighbours for “morning tea”. I am a hermit. I have forgotten the niceties of social graces. I eat cake with my hands and tea from the ceramic equivalent of a bucket. I don’t have to worry about slurping or where my pinkie finger ends up or how to make small talk because Steve could care less about any of it. We talk about what our lecturer is going to do when he sees some of our “creative” photography and how we are going to be able to amend our creativity once he does. We talk about rain, and we talk about digging holes and how to deal with feral cats. I have NO idea how to talk to real people. These people, an older couple from Western Australia, my home state, are very nice. They live in a lovely old homestead with a gorgeous cottage garden in a completely walled property with gorgeous deciduous trees and three lovely miniature schnauzers. The only thing that we have in common with them is a love of gardens and a propensity to visit the husband’s place of work, he manages a bottle shop.

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I bought this ice-cream maker years ago from a market stall at the Evandale Markets. I paid $10 for it and have hardly ever used it. I would like to draw your attention TO the delicious chocolate ice-cream that is being churned in the ice-cream maker and AWAY from the dribbled chocolate creamy custard that narf7 dribbled onto the ice-cream maker and that Steve wouldn’t let me clear off before the shot was taken because I might melt the ice in the machine…sigh…

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Aside from the chocolate deliciousness in the ice-cream we chopped up some Cadbury’s dream finger biscuits and an entire crunchy bar to add. Steve is hovering around the freezer just waiting till he has eaten tonight’s Cornish pasty and spicy homemade oven wedges till he can serve himself a HUGE bowl of it. There are a lot of benefits to having a vegan wife…consider this as being one of them ;).

By the way, if anyone would like to try the truly innovative recipe for homemade chocolate ice-cream that doesn’t require eggs and is loosely based on David Lebowitz’s recipe, you can go to my food porn heaven site at Food 52 and find it here… http://food52.com/recipes/5872-naked-chocolate-ice-cream-for-lovers

Being “me” I have tried to think about the angles of this “visit”. Steve has been let off the hook (the lucky bollocks) because someone has to stay here because today is the day when the electricity metre reading man turns up and we had to promise to be here and contain our dogs because he took one look at them 5 months ago and refused to read the meter even though they were completely enclosed at least 10 metres away from where he would be reading said metre. We now have the honour of being able to read our own metre 3 times in a row and only having to lock up our dogs once every 4 months for a day till the metre reader has been. Today IS that day so Steve is off the hook. I, however, am not. A social butterfly I am not. A bewildered narf7 I am! I made a cake. I made it last night out of whatever I could cobble together that I figured would taste good and that I could eat a thin sliver of. I made it vegan and I made it chocolate and I made it with tofu and I used this recipe…

http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/cakes/r/veganchoccake.htm

I then decided to top it with a couple of jars of homemade coconut oil (that I almost blew my food processor motor out on trying to make), some date puree and some cinnamon to replicate a caramel topping. I ended up with something more akin to a caramel marzipan but it tasted delicious so I went with it. I formed it into a round on top of the cake and patted it neatly into a disc that fit the top of the cake nicely. I used a bit of Christi’s Farmlet jam, the BEST JAM IN THE WORLD to put in the centre of the cake and the end result looked both presentable and tasty, who could ask for more?

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Today is Bezial’s day on the blog. He is tired of Earl getting the centre stage and told me in NO uncertain terms that it will be a dog day afternoon if I don’t do something to redress the imbalance so here is a profile picture of Bezial (showing his good side apparently…)

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He will magnanimously allow this shot of Earl and would like to point out that battle scar that he, personally, inflicted on Earl making him the superior beast on the block. He doesn’t want me to tell you that this wound was inflicted while they were both rolling around playing on the floor…that would NEVER do 😉

I will hold this cake aloft like Excalibur along with a bottle of my non-dairy milk. I would hate for anyone to feel put out by my personal choice to exclude animal products from my diet. I hate a fuss being made and as I am already at a social disadvantage, I don’t want to add “crazy health nut lady” to my exponentially growing list of “crazies”. Steve and I keep to ourselves. We have, on occasion, visited with Glad next door. Glad is lovely. She is 90 years old, tough as old nails, calls a spade a spade and is ANYTHING but “old”. She also could care less what we wear and seems to like us. Frank and Adrian, our long suffering neighbours to the left seem to have gotten used to living next door to ferals. Feral cats, feral roosters, feral chooks and feral neighbours…they sigh but seem resigned to their fate. We never see Noel, our ex pilot neighbour who lives behind Frank and we don’t talk about our neighbours directly to the rear but needless to say, if “feudin’” were to be part of life on Serendipity Farm, we would pick these neighbours to start with…

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Here you see yet ANOTHER reason why we have been busier than beavers around here on Serendipity Farm. We saw a note stuck in our gate latch the other day saying “ring this number to get some more horse manure”…we phoned and were told that we could have a mountain of aged horse manure from a gentleman’s property because the person who was supposed to be taking it, didn’t so it was now free for the taking…we took! Here you can see 3 trailer loads. We ended up with 6 so even after our feathered buccaneers did their best to level the heap you can imagine the size of the mountain of manure that we can use in our new fully enclosed veggie garden 🙂

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Bezial laying next to a pile of spent hay that the chooks have done their best to redistribute all over Sidmouth. I am thinking of hiring them out as earth  movers…sigh…

The people that I will be visiting today (Tuesday) live directly opposite the neighbours directly to the rear of us. I will be heading up through the back of our property, cake aloft, plastic beer bottle full of non-dairy milk aloft and will gingerly attempt to step over the barbed wire fence between our properties where there is a council enforced “no-man’s-land” that was once mooted to be a road before they realised that lesser Sidmouth was NEVER going to be a teaming metropolis and shelved the plans to fester, along with neighbourly coveting of this area of non-road. We could care less about this small stretch of prospective road but Frank has already claimed his bit. He let us know in NO uncertain terms that should his bit of ex-road become available, he had kept it cleared for the past 10 years and had first dibs. Fair do’s Frank, you have earned it!

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Steve insisted that I put this photo of me actually doing some work on the blog. Here I am…narf7…willing and able to be the stunt double of the lead singer of Aphex Twin 😉

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Someone MUCH more handsome to look at. Isn’t he lovely? He actually smiled in town the other day and Steve got this lovely shot of him where Bezial has an uncanny knack of being able to avoid being photographed 🙂

I am not so sure that I would be as accommodating with the ex-road at the rear of our property…our neighbours to the rear are the same folk that duped our house sitter into cutting down trees on our back block so that they could attempt to gain more of a view to sell their house for more. No-one is willing to pay the ridiculous amount of money that they are asking for their modest home and so they are resorting to telling fibs to try to increase their chances of a sale. These self-same people sold my dad a dud of a car that he then gifted to my eldest daughter for her 21st birthday. He paid enough for it to have bought a sensible small modern car but a massive great automatic Mercedes Benz from the 70’s is NOT an ideal first car for a girl to learn in. When it stopped doing what cars are supposed to do…”Go”…she managed to sell it for $200 and is well shot of it. She catches buses along with her sister and living 4km from the city centre is an added bonus. No need of a petrol guzzling, road tax requiring car when you practically live in the middle of Launceston. It’s this ex-road that I will be navigating to get to my morning tea date today. Wish me luck folks and hopefully our neighbours to the rear don’t choose today, when my hands are both full, to decide to take a pot-shot of your own dear narf7!

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Here is Steve wearing his Canadian Club hat that keeps his ears warm…

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And here is Steve “Acting the Giddy Goat” as my nana would say. I doubt that he thinks I am going to put this picture in today’s blog post…but you know what Steve? You would be wrong! HA!!! He just told me he doesn’t care because this Canadian hat has been superseded by his new Russian hat that you will have to wait till my next post to see…

Bollocks…a week has passed since this post and I am tossing up whether or not to hurl it into the ether but I only have a day till I need to post again and narf7 needs something under her belt (aside from a stiff vodka) to get her through the day. It’s all things go here on Serendipity Farm. On Sunday Steve was fast asleep in bed and I was pootling around buttering bread to throw to feral chooks (it’s a tough life here on Serendipity Farm…) when the phone rang. I picked it up in shocked confusion hoping that my daughters hadn’t managed to get the dog stuck in the blender…again…and was pleasantly surprised to hear the dulcet tones of our friend who lives down the road asking for Steve. I carried the phone reverently in to Steve who was now awake and a detour for his day was on the cards. Our friend Guy was off to collect wood on his mum’s farm and had invited Steve to go with him “someday”. Apparently Sunday was “someday” and Steve was up for it. He jumped out of bed (another Jamie Oliver “literally” moment…) and hooked up the trailer and was off in a space of 15 minutes (had to have a coffee as well). That left the boys and I twiddling our thumbs and doing sweet nothing which gave me the time to eradicate my RSS Feed Reader and actually do something else on my Sunday

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Here’s a blended photo of Earl and Bezial. We had 2 photos. One where Bezial looked good and one where Earl looked good but the other dog (in each shot) was looking away so Steve used a Photoshop blending tool to blend the images. This is his first attempt but if you look closely at Earls little pink nose, you will notice it looks a little bit strange…

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With a bit of blending and a bit of cropping Steve turned less than great images into 1 wonderful image…Photoshop is the bomb! 🙂

I chose to take some gorgeous brightly coloured knitted sock boots that my wonderful son had bought for me previously. I had removed the red fleece insert prior to Earl nibbling 2 holes in each one and they had been languishing in the cupboard as I was loath to hurl them out. It’s lucky I didn’t hurl them out, even though they have the equivalent of a small airplane of a moth bite in each one, I can unpick them and use them for my next knitting project. My last knitting project, if I can remember back that far, was when I lived in Western Australia and attempted to make my ex-husband a jumper. It got as far as the front and back portion and the 2 sleeves and when it came time to put needle to collar and cuffs that was all she wrote folks! I have been married to Steve for 13 years this year so you can work out for yourselves how long it has been since I knit anything. I am going to take this gloriously and most raucously dyed (supposedly) Tibetan wool (it is certainly rustic enough in texture to be nomadic…) and after wrangling it out of its booty shape, which takes HOURS and is punctuated with moments of arm waving and Earl restraining as he is reminded of just how tasty nomadic Tibetan woollen boots are, rolling it up into ball shape and then actually knitting gauntlets using a pattern that I found through Ravelry, a most wonderful and magical place where furtive knitters and crocheters can go to satisfy their textile lust in packs. You can get some amazing patterns for free if you hunt and cheers to Linnie for sharing it with me…

http://www.ravelry.com/

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Here is a random stolen image from my brothers Facebook page of the beach where I come from in Western Australia. Check it out folks…it’s paradise :). It took a fair bit for us to consider leaving this wonderful part of the world and relocating down to the hole in the ozone layer but the lure of 4 acres of self sufficiency was strong young padawans and here we are…but I do miss those beaches…and Steve misses the fishing…by the way sorry for pinching your image Jim (no I’m not…you never read my blog posts anyway! HA!) 😉

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I designed this shirt. I WANT this shirt. Steve Photoshopped it for me and I am going to just have to head in to a printers somewhere and get myself this shirt.

On Monday I got addicted to Pinterest. That’s all I really need to say about that. On Sunday I looked down at anyone who used Pinterest as “sad” and “pathetic” creatures who didn’t have a life. On Monday Steve left me alone to go shopping and by 11am I was hopelessly addicted with the fervour of a heroin addict on a crack high.  I have been a Pinterest “member” since foreverty-boo and just ignored it ever since. I like the fact that I had to go through a waiting period to be admitted (and they say that clever marketing doesn’t work!) which shows that I fit exactly smack bang into the middle of their ideal demographic and niche market… the person (usually female) who has NO control over her life but who has a tragic desire to put EVERYTHING in labelled boxes and create order in her chaotic (read “real”) life. It’s food porn folks, food, and health, and travel, and photographic and just about everything else “ic” that you can think of and I am now officially addicted beyond hope thanks to Steve going shopping and my RSS Feed Reader emptying out nice and early in the day. I spent an entire morning cramming my Pinterest fluffy cloud with as many foodie things as I could find and I can find a HUGE amount folks, that’s what narf7’s are for…finding things. Steve returned with a carload of stuff and I had 154 Pinterest pages open on my poor groaning browser and couldn’t do ANYTHING till I had clicked “follow” on every single one. I learned (quick smart) how to make other pages on my page and now have so much food porn I won’t ever have to cook anything myself ever again to be able to satisfy that “perfect shot”. Don’t you love the fantasy of the interweb? 😉

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Steve and I FINALLY finished our media studies for this term. We finished nice and early to give ourselves 3 weeks off to get our veggie garden built. We needed to produce a slideshow of 11 photographs that we took ourselves that mirrored the 11 rules of photography for our final assessment. The only real stipulation was that we had to link them with the common theme of a colour. Steve chose green and this photo is a portrait shot…

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This was my submission…I chose blue…I didn’t get away with it. I had to repost another image that was less photogenic where Earl and I were both looking most intently over the deck rail but a girl has her pride you know and I liked THIS shot! It might not give a very good representation of portrait but who cares…for once I am happy to post an image of myself to the blog so here it is…happy days! 🙂

So there you have it…another big mutha post and I haven’t even caught up with what we are doing! I guess that means I have plenty for Saturdays post already so I might just start it off so that when I am laying somewhat comatose at 3pm because of all of the hard work that I have undertaken for the last week and am unable to lift my feeble fingers to keyboard to share it all with you, I will at least have something to offer you, my dear constant readers. See you then and whatever you do…DON’T go to http://pinterest.com/ …don’t say I didn’t warn you folks! 😉

A rooster is just a set of bagpipes with feathers

Hi All,

I just finished my last Saturday’s post where I waffled about sushi and gloves. I must be getting officially “old”…if you read the post; you are obviously getting officially old as well ;). Misery LOVES company…would you like a rooster? I have 2 that love to crow under the deck at crazy hours. The sun isn’t going to be anywhere NEAR up till about 7am today and they are already crowing great guns under the deck at a place that approximates the direct area underneath my feet as I sit here typing at 4.21am. I just finished telling you about Sarah’s amazing gift of a wonderful pair of hand knitted wrist warming finger and thumbless mitts and I am wearing the mitts as I type. They are akin to when your teenager insists on you buying them a specific jumper/jacket and then proceed to cut a hole in said (very expensive) jumper/jacket about 2 ½ inches (or 5cm for we enlightened folk) from the cuff just so they can stick their thumb through it and wear their jumper/jacket as a glove as well as a coat. I love them FAR beyond their physical presence because these gloves are giving me the impetus to get knitting again where there wasn’t even an inkling of a desire to knit prior to their arrival

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You can almost hear the roosters crowing in the background can’t you? 😉

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Early morning on Serendipity Farm with the obvious chance of precipitation 😉

Earl needs a coat. Earl is an amazing creation of muscle and scars and bones that all combine to create something that nature surely couldn’t produce without worrying about the result as soon as she stood back to take a look at her creation. Earl also has a curious lack of hair. He comes from South Australia and to anyone who isn’t an Aussie that means he comes from the equivalent of the Gobi Desert. It’s hot there folks…hot for an extended period of the year…hot and dry and perhaps dogs are starting to go through a form of natural selection that allows them to live their lives with less hair to keep them cooler. The problem is when you move a South Australian dog that has little hair and lots of body mass down to the Australian equivalent of the South Pole and winter hits… Earl loves to walk. He would walk all day if you let him. The problem is that Earl not only has very little hair, but the hair that he does have sheds. He must grow hair like sharks grow teeth, constantly, because I spend my days sweeping our wooden floors and rugs and get the equivalent of a small red and white mammal worth of hair from these rugs courtesy of Earl each day.

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Steve tapping in one of the poles for the fully enclosed vegetable garden

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This shot shows you the area that we are currently working in to build our fully enclosed vegetable garden. You can see the wood shed and the glass house and the existing vegetable gardens in the shot along with lots and LOTS of rocks and the trees that we had to cut down to ensure the garden gets enough sunshine

We can’t not walk Earl…we do so at our peril because when Earl gets bored, he eats the furniture. We have been warned! Knowing almost everyone in your neighbourhood has its perils as well. When you walk daily you become part of other people’s routines. Through the week we walk at roughly the same time every day. We pass the same people on their same journeys to work and school and these people have claimed us as part of their routine…they wave at us now. We have NO idea who these people are, but we are kindred spirits on that early morning journey to and from life. We are peripherals to other people’s routines and lives and as such they think that they own us. We get stopped a lot and called to from balconies and we chat and Earl sits shivering beside us looking up at us imploring us to “MOVE!”. Earl needs a coat. I was tempted to take my newfound desire to knit and render it Earl shaped…I could use up all of my leftover bits and pieces of wool and make Earl his own coat of many colours…Earl would like that. It would last for the first couple of kilometres until Earl found a bit to chew and by the end of the walk, Earl would have unravelled most of it and there would be a long trail of evidence leading from wherever we just walked all the way to our front gate! ”Busted sunshine!”…sigh…

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We are (in our minds) cleverly going to use these 2 eucalyptus trees as a basis for our gating system for our large fully enclosed garden. Here you can see Steve working on another pole and can get a bit of scale regarding the area

I won’t be knitting Earl a jumper any day soon. I am not (despite what I might seem) a stupid woman. We will pay some middle man (most probably from Korea where dogs are prized for more than their ability to guard a house 😉 ) to deliver a waterproof, cotton lined equivalent of a flak jacket made from sensible oilcloth that will lend Earl a sophisticated “Gentleman about town” look. Bezial won’t be needing a coat “thank you VERY much”. He has thick black fur that covers him entirely, courtesy of that small portion of him that shrieks “LABRADOR”. He might look like an American Staffordshire terrier…he might act like an American Staffordshire terrier, but that tiny little bit of Labrador is reflected in his fur, his appetite and his overwhelming desire to seek out water and delight in its comeliness at all times. Forget the coat; Bezial is on Labrador time…

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All of the poles had been hammered into the ground here and this shot is to try to give you a bit of perspective on where the garden is going to go. The existing veggie gardens take up approximately one quarter of the area that the large new garden will give us and are situated inside the parameters of the new garden area

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One of Steve’s newly concreted in poles. The branches from the felled trees are going to become a hugelkultur base for the new garden beds and the wood will be stored for next years firewood…nothing gets wasted on Serendipity Farm if we can possibly help it.

We got 3 days of rain last week and we are making hay while the sun shines and for once, Mr Jamie Oliver’s overuse of and entirely inappropriate use of the vernacular “literally” is quite honestly a reasonable word to use for our current situation. I started attempting to add porridge oats back into my morning routine now that I have hit my magic “ideal weight” but have discovered that oats give me a headache. I was wondering why I kept getting headaches. I stopped getting them when I reintroduced my morning green smoothies and they started again when I reintroduced porridge. It was the ONLY explanation and as an oat and porridge lover from way back I feel cheated. What could I eat that could take the place of the ubiquitous stomach filling long lasting humble (cheap) oat? I had to take to the internet to find out. I arrived at a few of the more exotic grains that I really didn’t want to imbibe on a regular basis (read expensive…) and bypassed them quickly. What I arrived at can be grown here on Serendipity Farm as a cover crop and loves our temperate climate… “Buckwheat”…the humble soul food of pancake creations made its über healthy self both obvious and noticeable.

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Spot the little wren with an insect she found in the hole that Steve dug

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I stood back to try to get you an idea of the scope of this garden but at the end of the day its just HUGE… 🙂 About the size of a standard tennis court.

Buckwheat? Who eats buckwheat! I don’t really know who eats is apart from the Russians and Canadians but now narf7 eats it as well. I decided to try making it like porridge. I got some raw groats (that’s what they are called folks) that I had in a container in our middle room pantry shelf and I ground them into buckwheat flour in my Vitamix. I then added a teaspoon of dried ginger because ginger makes EVERYTHING better for narf7. I added a couple of generous scoops of cocoa powder because choc-ginger makes a suspicious food a whole lot more tempting and hopefully the combination of flavours might just cover up any strange flavours that buckwheat might offer into the mix. I then tipped this floury brown mix into a saucepan and used some date syrup (the mix that results from the leftover date paste in the bottom of my Vitamix that I am
too lazy to scrape out and just whizz up with the date soaking water to make a thinner sweet syrupy date mix) to sweeten the mix. Date paste and syrup are nowhere near as sweet as sugar but add a subtle hint of sweetness to whatever you add them to along with a big hit of fibre and nutrition (especially iron). I started to stir the floury mix into the syrupy mix and become somewhat alarmed at the resulting gloopy looking mix. After smoothing out the lumps it had a decided slimy sort of texture…not promising folks!

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We are still trying to work out what to do with that little ride on lawn mower behind the trunk of the tree on the left hand side of this shot…any ideas? Using it for it’s original intention isn’t an option due to the steep gradients and rock infested tundra on Serendipity Farm

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You can tell that Steve has done this before…

I suspiciously put the pan onto the hob and stirred it all together with a wooden spoon. I figured it would react like oats do and would thicken…I was right! Buckwheat might be slimy when it is in its unheated form but as soon as the temperature reaches the equivalent of 88 miles per hour (do yourselves a favour if you don’t know what I am talking about there and watch the “Back to the Future” trilogy, thank me later…) it suddenly seizes and turns into cement. My absent minded stirring suddenly turned into a wrestling match between the buckwheat and I for possession of the spoon and I am ashamed to admit, the buckwheat won! What grain is this that can best a well-honed human bicep in an arm wrestling match and claim the spoon eh? Now I was afraid! I was just about to put this creature into my intestinal tract to see if it could tango!

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In a past life Steve used to be very proficient with concrete…a skill that has come in handy more than once since we moved to Serendipity Farm

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Left over concrete mix that we then decided to use to try to fill in some of the worst holes in our driveway (see Kym, we DO think of you 😉 )

I scraped the resulting “porridge” (for want of a better word), still containing my wooden spoon, into a bowl. It sat there stiffly with the spoon poking out of it at a jaunty angle and I eyeballed it closely. It seemed innocuous enough, and after pulling my spoon out of its thick mass with a primordial “schlepp” I considered how I was going to tackle this mound of buckwheat, ginger and cocoa. I decided to eat it plain, without non-dairy milk or kefir so that I could get a true representation of its “flavour”. Flavour isn’t an issue with me by the way folks, I sometimes eat strange things simply because they are good for me as a vegan and I was prepared for “strange” and willing to wear it for the sake of something that would stick to my ribs and last for half a day. I stuck a dessert spoon into the mound and got the distinct impression of when an arrow goes into a dartboard and just “stops”. I had just been warned…

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We got these metal poles for free so Steve cleverly made a stanchion with some offcuts to brace this corner pole and make it a whole lot stronger. We want this fully enclosed vegetable garden to last!

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Earl on patrol

I forced my way into the mass of buckwheat and started to eat. Buckwheat has a nice mild nutty flavour that is quite pleasant and after researching it prior to eating it I know it is cram packed with gluten free nutrition. I ate spoon after spoon of this dense creation with increasing enjoyment when suddenly I hit the equivalent of a runners “wall” or a career forgers “glass ceiling”…half a bowl in and buckwheat made itself known to my stomach in no uncertain terms. It told my stomach “you are now full…do NOT eat any more buckwheat…proceed to go/work and do not collect $200 because you are not going to need it, you are officially FULL WOMAN”. I don’t “fill” easily. I find it difficult to believe that half a bowl of buckwheat was going to fill me up. I foolishly carried on to finish the bowl… the equivalent bowl of porridge oats would have satiated me nicely until lunch time. This bowl of buckwheat spent the rest of the day reminding me that I should have stopped at half the bowl and that buckwheat porridge is the equivalent of eating house bricks in powdered form. I only regained “hunger” at 6pm that evening! I have learned my lesson…I will eat buckwheat porridge on a regular basis but half the amount I ate the other day. “You have bested me again buckwheat! You are a true master of seeds; I bow and concede to your superiority”

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The two grey areas on our driveway were, prior to this photo, very large holes. We are attempting to try to fix the deep furrows on our driveway so that Kym can actually drive up in August, rather than park at the church and walk 😉

Every Saturday, without fail, I inflict Armageddon on the localised population of spiders that live indoors on Serendipity Farm. I guess “Armageddon” might be too stiff a word for it and a more appropriate explanation might be the end results of a very strong storm when it relocates houses and flotsam and jetsam from where they were located before, to a new location. In my case I vacuum and clean on a Saturday. I am particularly careful not to vacuum up spiders. I don’t like killing things because you just never know…reincarnation might just be part of our life cycle and I might have just hoovered up someone’s uncle Ernie. If you were a bit of a deadbeat in your past life you might end up in Serendipity Farms spider population…you weren’t bad, just a lazy person who didn’t pull their weight and who just wasted their life bumming around but because you didn’t actually affect anyone aside from yourself and your long suffering mother (especially if she was Jewish and REALLY wanted a lawyer-doctor-specialist-insert other high paying career here… for a son/daughter), you are allowed to live someplace where you are considered to be part of the ethos and given some kind of “rights”.

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These 2 seedpods have made me VERY happy. This brachychiton tree was on it’s last legs a few years ago but it seems to have recovered now and had flowers for the first time in years this year and it has produced seed pods! Steve and I can now harvest these seed pods and grow some more brachychitons that are especially hardy for our local area

Bad people get reincarnated at my sister’s house. If you cheated, you lied, you broke people’s hearts and you were generally a bit of a nasty piece of work you might find yourself waking up in an arachnid’s body in the home of an arachnophobe. My sister could care less about spiders but her partner hates them…with a passion…any spider stumbling into his pathway is likely to have a VERY short reincarnation adjustment period and will return to be reprogrammed as something equally as insidious quick smart on the flat side of an enormous flip-flop (we call them “thongs” here in Australia BUT knowing that “thongs” also have another connotation elsewhere in the world I wouldn’t want ANYONE thinking that Jason wears men’s string underpants and likes to sit on spiders…kinky stuff Jase…kinky stuff ;)…most probably as a cockroach on Serendipity Farm where narf7 will reveal that cockroaches are one of the ONLY things that she hates with a passion and you will get fed to ducky quick smart…you might want to start mending your ways as after me it gets worse!

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Isn’t our Japanese maple putting on a lovely show this year? Another sign that our trees think we are living in Canada and that it is going to be VERY cold this year

Anyhoo…I vacuum and I tidy and I clean once a week in earnest. Most other days I give a few rudimentary sweeps to stop Earls rapidly shed hair from accumulating too much and forming into a small rodent that might or might not predate my stocks of seed in my pantry but on Saturday I get stuck in and put the boot into the dirt population on Serendipity Farm. I have to lock the doors as Earl hates the vacuum cleaner and tries to kill it if given the chance…only when it is actually on and only when the vacuum cleaner head is off and he can grab the hose and bite it. A specific vacuum cleaner serial killer is our Earl…I have to lure him (cleverly) from room to room and then shut doors and make sure he can’t get in. Earl is clever; he can push doors open with his paws and his nose so we have little latches everywhere so that we can vacuum in peace rather than pieces.

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Steve took this awesome motion blur shot with his new camera and without the aid of a tripod…apparently it’s VERY hard to take a shot like this without a tripod but when you forgot it, and you are 50km away from home, you do what you have to do 😉

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Steve took this lovely autumnal shot when we were in Beauty Point taking some photos for our final Digital Imaging assessment earlier in the week and walking the dogs at the same time. I think it goes to show just how pretty the area that we live in actually is. Tassie…you might be broke, but you are easy on the eye! 😉

If I had the equivalent of hurricane Katrina hit me where it hurts and remove my house and my possessions I would head off to someplace where there were NO hurricanes, no cyclones, no earthquakes, no anything really…the Ozarks perchance…I would head for the hills and I wouldn’t come back because I have a rudimentary brain stem and I can learn things and “FOOL ME ONCE NATURE!”. Apparently spiders are either missing that rudimentary brain stem that allows them a degree of memory and thus choice, or they really ARE lazy buggers from another life who just wait for me to finish and start spinning again…”whew Bruce…that was a close one wasn’t it? She got pretty close to me today…I saw you standing up to her…you’re a HERO mate! Remind me to shout you a fly next time I catch one…” and the cycle goes on…suck down their empire on Saturday and by Sunday they are working on a new one

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Steve put my new craypot (from the progressive garage sale) on the deck rail. We are still waiting for crayfish…none yet…

Steve is digging holes for Queen and country. He needs to dig 8 holes today and has been dreading it for weeks. Hopefully someone up there takes pity on him and makes the soil where he chooses to dig nice and soft and rock free and he returns at lunch time in triumph with his spade over his shoulder feeling pretty good about himself. The sad truth is that he is likely to be still working on hole 4 at 5.30pm when the sun is almost gone and his back and spirit are almost broken. I, in return for him kindly not expecting me to help him dig holes, am doing all the cleaning myself. I am baking him biscuits (cookies to you Americans), I am keeping the fire going and I am going to make him his new favourite Stromboli for his dinner tonight. I have just taken a brief hiatus to type out this final paragraph here because I formulated the second half of this post while I was vacuuming around spiders…it’s a funny world isn’t it folks! Have a great rest of your week and remember, if you suddenly find yourself waking up after being unexpectedly hit by a bus and you didn’t really do very much wrong in your life but you weren’t a shining example of humanity either, you might just find yourself a spider on the wall on Serendipity Farm ;)…I guess there are worse things to be…aren’t there Jason! 😉

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The last of the liquidambar leaves just about to head south for the winter…