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  • Writer's pictureHuttons Valley Permaculture

Getting the basket out again!

While my veggie patch has been very productive throughout winter you can really see it picking up of late. I even had to grab one of my harvest baskets to collect a few goodies yesterday which was nice. Plenty of snow peas, peas in pods, more artichokes (might try roasting these ones), spinach, garlic scapes and chamomile flowers (which I'll combine with some chocolate mint and lemon balm for a lovely tea). My nasturtiums are finding their way into all the gardens, as they do. I really love that pop of colour they provide so don't diligently pull them out when they spread. They bring joy, leaves for salad and lots of mulch when the time comes to control them. I think I mentioned last week that I got a bed of corn planted, well I finally got to mulching it with some grass clippings from the back yard which works well. Also managed to compost around some beans that are coming up and then covered this with the clippings as well. Nice feeling to avoid the plastic wrapped around the sugar cane mulch and all that transporting!! Little by little we can all contribute to improving the planet in small ways like this!!

Had a bit of a storm here last Friday. A couple of big branches down (more firewood!!) and another tree down on my swale (will turn that into mulch) but considering the strength of the winds I feel kind of lucky. I did have to weather 4 days without power from the grid and relied instead on my magnificent generator - it did great!! One thing that was challenging was not being connected to the world - phone and internet down. That feels worse that being without power. It's amazing how our lives depends on it these days. I feel very remote from my family without this lifeline!!

With storms like this becoming more common it really has me thinking of ways to improve things here so I can weather power outages better. My reliance on electric forms of cooking for instance may need to change. I do have a bbq but I'm thinking of building an outdoor rocket stove which is just fuelled by small sticks. Would be very handy in future I think!!

It was nice to escape off farm on Sunday for a visit to my boys for a bbq. It has been months since I've seen them, so it was lovely. A stop by to visit mum of course was also on the agenda in the morning - hopefully we don't ever have to convert to full lockdown again!!

This little trip out also meant I got my fill of connectivity so vital when you are making videos and need to upload them.

I've been working on trimming my top swale this week. It's fairly dirty work as you can see. I do wear protective eyewear but that quickly gets covered in wet grassy clippings so it's very hard to see. One casualty this morning caused by this lack of vision, was a struggling lemon tree. Oh well, it probably needed to be replaced. Don't think I could have intentionally chopped it down so maybe this mornings error will turn out ok!!

Still lots of grass clippings to move up to the swale and back cut, with some more around each tree but thats the easy work. Using my trimmer is incredibly exhausting. I can only manage an hour or two at a time but bit by bit you get there!!

While up on my swale I discovered some almonds coming along really nicely. Will have to get some covered with netting before the birds find them. Not many at this point but exciting to be able to snack on a couple in the future haha!!

I published two videos this week - one showing me in action with my trimmer - looks more impressive when I have the film sped up a little (or a lot), and the other is a morning moove of the animals. The link is at the top of the page if you need it!

So thats another week gone here. I'm hoping the winds and weather change today doesn't put me back into darkness and non connectivity, but what will be, will be.

Enjoy your week & cheers!!

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