Updated: Aug 27
…coming out of her deep sleep of Winter, and soon to be awakened into the Spring Equinox here in the Southern Hemisphere.
I feel very lucky over the past couple of weeks, because it has been very wet, coupled with being very cold, which is a great start for the warmth of Spring to arrive. I haven’t had to water for weeks and weeks now, and it has been such an unspeakable luxury for me!
I will say however, after 5 days of constant cloud and freezing temperatures, I was happy to see the last of it with a sunset out in the rose garden the other night. I hadn’t seen or felt the sun for days, and so to just feel a tiny little slice of him for 20 minutes before the Earth slipped away from him once more, was wonderful! Even the chooks loved it.
Before the rain came however, the weather was wild. The night before the rain, well! I thought the roof would blow off. There is a lot of wind where I live, but this was one of those scary winds. I didn’t sleep until perhaps 1am, and I went to check on the chooks twice. They were fine, but were very sleepy the next day. Who could blame them! So was their mama.
Despite the cold Winter, I have harvested wild tomatoes that grew from seed that I had in mulch, and I also harvested broccoli which was so delicious. I have attached a picture of the ‘store bought’ broccoli and the bluish green broccoli which was from my garden. The taste difference is also like night and day. It really does give one assurance growing your own produce. There is no taste quite like the taste of home grown food, when you know how much time, love and energy has been put into it. Only Mother Earth’s goodness can respond in return.
Store bought Broc. And below, El Noor Gardens Broc...
The chooks go mad for the green foliage of the broccoli and I have thousands of seeds that I harvested last year when I grew it out in the paddock. Think I might go and plant some more. Perhaps I will put some seeds up online if anyone is interested…
I made a delicious vegetarian dish with the broccoli and some cauliflower, hot basmati rice, and it was moreish on a cold Winters day.
Very simple but very delicious.
Many of you know that I have been in the works of doing a DIY project on an 1940’s antique French sofa. Did you know it was made on Valentine’s day in 1941?!! The craftsman signed his name on the bottom side of the frame. I thought that was endearing. So I had no idea of how to do this, but I had the vision, so I went to work.
Step by step I pulled everything apart. It was a filthy job, and it was embedded with so much dust, junk, coins, needles, lollies from another country and all sorts of bits and pieces. This is how it looked to start with.
I had to learn what to buy, how to weave the webbing, how to staple it, how to straighten and retie the copper springs. Actually that’s another thing—you never do find any furniture made these days with copper springs. It was a bit of a novelty back in the day for finely crafted furniture. After I heard my father huff and puff about what a ‘waste of money’ it was and how it was rubbish, I knew in my heart I had bought a good piece of furniture, despite the dire look of it, and it just needed a little love and care, like it once had, almost 80 years ago.
I did mess up the weave a little, but it was too late to fix it, anyway, I kept going. I ordered my silks and velvet, and quietly worked away. I found that I could also use the old wadding, so I combined that with some new wadding.
I finally finished the stapling of the wadding (after 3 staple guns and thousands of staples) and could apply the velvet and silk. Actually, in the original design, they had covered the arm rests. I actually liked the look of the wood on the arm rest, so I stained it a walnut colour and then varnished it. I like it.
I am happy with the end result. And of course, I am no craftsman and really do not understand the fundamentals of doing something like this, but I am willing to give it a shot.
And to this day, it is still in one piece—I haven’t fallen through the springs, and it is super comfortable. Even the chooks love it (probably a little too much).
Can I tell you a little story about the magical ways of manifestation?
I was invited out to lunch in a town I have rarely spent time in . I went to the café which the lunch was held and had really superb Italian food. On my way out, I walked past an antique store I never heard or knew about. I love antiques. I took a walk inside, and felt like I had found a treasure chest full of gold. I had been looking for a mirror for my bathroom for a long time. I walked into this place and found it immediately. And it was gorgeous, but I couldn’t collect the mirror that day, and It was very hard for me to pull away from this place—but I said to the owner I will be back to buy the mirror because I had to get home to my chooks.
Well I did come back, on the weekend actually. But the shop was closed. I was bummed, because I drove almost an hour to get to him. I should have asked when his opening times were, but failed to, and there was no store sign, no google search, no phone number…the mystery!
Anyway, I told myself to come back Monday, so first thing in the morning I did, hoping that it was a weekday, and that he would be open for business. But before I went to the antique shop, I had a very strong desire to go to a bakery and get a fresh pastry. I couldn’t find a bakery, so I looked on Google maps for a nearby café. Of course I knew I could have gone to the good Italian café that was in town, but I wanted to try something else. So I found another café along the main street on Google maps, and thought I would try that one. I pulled up, walked inside, and had a look at the pies and pastries. It was all delicious. I had a little conversation with the lady behind the counter, and lo and behold, in the far distant kitchen, was the man who owned the antique shop! I said to the lady—‘is he the man that owns the antique shop up the road?’ She called out to him and he came to the counter. I asked him if he was going to be open today, and he said ‘no, that he doesn’t open until Thursday and Friday’!! But before I had a chance to feel bummed again, he said “But if you like, I will open for you to get that mirror.”
I was elated!
Had I not followed that pulling intuition, to go to a café to get a pastry, I would have never seen that owner of the antique store, and I would have turned up to that store with the door closed again, going home with my tail between my legs! I smiled to myself as I left that café, thanking the Universe for always putting me in the right place at the right time. There are those higher energies always working behind the scenes to give you what you desire, and sometimes, even if things do not make sense, to just follow through on that intuition anyway, because you just never know what’s around the corner. Well, I certainly didn’t. And I was delightfully surprised at how it all turned out. I got the mirror!
I have also been able to remove some of those plastic milk containers. I removed them all off of my little sweet pea seedlings, and since then, they have loved the wet weather and are thriving. I cant wait to see what the Spring time holds for them.
Everything is coming to life. Doing a little weeding the other morning, I stumbled upon a most beautiful looking bee. I have never seen anything quiet like it. I think it is a bee? It was buried in the soil. It could be a wasp, but I put her back in where I found before the chooks could find her!
It very well could be a wasp. I am not sure. I also found a baby sleepy lizard as I was removing some wood for my new greenhouse.
UPDATE: I did a little research and found it to be a native flower wasp.
Speaking of greenhouses, I have finally completed my first of two ‘hot houses’ and by crikey, it is a hot house. I went inside today and yesterday and the heat coupled with the humidity was very reminiscent of my time up in the Daintree rainforest.
I feel confident enough to introduce an avocado in the hot house, plus a mangosteen, dragonfruit and a mango. I will keep you updated if my experiment is successful. Along with those few, I have already planted a bunch of tomato, eggplant, some herbs and other little seeds. I cant wait to see how things progress in a month or so in new, ‘tropical’ conditions!
It is not the most beautiful of hot houses, but after my first attempt of using the plastic the poly tunnel came with, and ripping it almost entirely in the first half hour, I had to try and find something else that would take the brunt of the wind in this area. It is still needing some more vertical ‘rope anchors’ on top, but so far, its lasted 24 hours.
I went in this morning and the entire vicinity inside the greenhouse is dripping wet, so I would gently assume that perhaps this is a good, home made ‘tropical’ environment...provided the plastic stays put. And we’re not even in Spring yet….and I dread to think how hot it’s going to be inside there in the Summer…..
This is the 2nd hot house. It still looks like this. I must condition the soil!
My grapevine cuttings I took months and months ago, are finally showing signs of life. I am excited. I love grapes and love the thought of them twining around El Noor.
My peach tree cuttings are also looking swell. I planted 35 calloused peach tree cuttings before the wet and some now even have buds on them.
Sawdust for me has been an untold blessing like no other. I know I rave about the great propagating properties of sawdust, but it is truly the best method for propagating anything I have found. Look at my rose cutting, that was in the sawdust! The callousing is lovely and fatted, with beautiful robust pink shoots.
Buds and flowers are popping out all over the place. Here is a plum tree, coming into flower. The bees at El Noor are very very busy bees!
One lesson I have learnt in the last couple of weeks, is that one should not wear ugg boots whilst gardening. It’s a bad habit of mine, one I will try harder to get out of. There is nothing fun about soggy wet ugg boots. Chooks love them though.
So its been a busy, cold and wet but lovely time these past few weeks. All the chooks are laying very nicely. They always have, except for Deema, but I am happy she is laying back to her normal self.
I hope you guys are also out in your gardens around the Planet Earth, no matter how big or small, it all makes a difference. Mother nourishes the soul like no other!
Blessings & Radiance
Until next time, Love Andulairah, Venus, Erethae, Shallaha and Deema. xx