Community garden

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Just a ramble.

So a while ago I wrote about allowing myself the time to do some of the things I have always wanted to do, you know the saying.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and all that!  I didn't mean too but I had fallen into the rut of putting everyone else first and saying "yes" to more then I should.  Nothing serious but something I think many of us do from time to time.  The kind of habit that can really be draining if you leave it unchecked.  

HERE is the blog post I'm referring to. 

So I finally did it, I got dreads.  They are clean, neat and feminine little ones.  I really like the look of them, though I currently resemble a bit of a fuzzy poodle that will settle down in time.  ;)



I'm able to wash them easily for those that are wondering and If I get tired of them I can cut off some length and brush them out.  You know what?  I don't know why I didn't do it earlier.  Its silly how we build things in our minds to be bigger then they really are isn't it?
Excuse the clean washing I was folding in the background....keeping it real!! 

A girlfriend from the APY lands gave me some beautiful gum nuts and seeds decorated by the women up there, which I have threaded on.

Aside from that things have been pretty quiet here.  The children are tired, really tired.  School term is taking its toll and the grumps are a daily occurance.  Thank God for coffee....

Study is finally going somewhere.  I may be a little over excited that it appears under the mountain of fluff that is currently taking residence in my head there seems to be a brain after all....I was becoming concerned it had retired early.  Hopefully now I have managed to finally find it assignments will begin to flow a little easier, it's been a rough start to the semester!

But I'm so very greatful Easter is here.  We are taking the old van away to Robe for a few days and have friends looking after our house and animals.  The weather has cooled, the days are growing shorter.  Soups and casseroles are beginning to appear on the menu.  More then once I have sat under the Tin veranda and watched the rain soak the ground.  So peaceful!  My soul is at rest knowing the land will soon begin to heal and become green again.
This is the level of dust storms we are living with here.  Just awful.  We are looking forward to the crops being in and holding the soil togeather.  The erosion has been terrible.  

Anyway I have a mountain of packing to do as the kids are now in bed.  I'm pecking this on my phone waiting for little Henry to finally drift off.  His legs are moving more slowly and his body beginning to relax.


Much love,
Emma
Xx

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

A detour on the journey.

I have been doing a lot of pondering coming into this year.  Who am I kidding?  I'm always pondering something as plans grow, change and evolve. 

You know when you hear or read something that stirs inside of you and you just cant put it down?  Well a little while back I listened to a pod cast while I was pottering in the kitchen about a lady was on there talking about how she started her journey into simple living.  Like many of us, held the ideal of growing/cooking everything from scratch.  She went right down deep into the rabbit hole of simple living and made bread, cheese, you name it she threw herself into the whole making EVERYTHING from scratch thing.  Then her entire life was made up of these activities and in the end it didn't resonate with her, or her idea of what a simple life looked like.  She found that way of life was complex and time consuming and took her away from what she was truly looking for in her simple living journey.  That level of self sufficiency is a beautiful and inspirational thing, but it was simply not for her.  

They re-assessed their lives and she became pretty much zero waste.  Today she still lives minimally,  frugally, but in a way that resonates with her.  She chooses to buy good quality cheeses from small cheese makers and so forth, from people whose passion it is to make cheese.  But her realization resonated with me, she wanted to simplify life so her life could become rich in experiences rather then things. 

Here is a link to the episode HERE.

This was all stuff I kinda knew, but you know when you know you know something and its finally sits a little differently on your mind?

(^^^ That sentence totally makes sense in my head! Ha!)

There is a part of me that dreams of owning a little dairy cow, making cheese, having a pantry stocked with shelf after shelf of beautiful jars of my own produce.  
 Loving being able to ride my bike around town!

And its a beautiful dream, it really is.  But in this season of my life its not truly mine.  Its a little bit mine, but not in my heart of hearts.  I want to be building experiences and memories with our kids.  Bush walks, going to the beach, taking our little old van away for a night or two every month.  I want to study without a mountain of work hanging over my head. To have the occasional regular daytime nap.  The reality is this season we are in is really busy, and I want to be able to live simply and slowly enough to be able to enjoy it.   

I do want a good productive veggie patch, I truly love gardening.  But its OK if it doesn't resemble a market garden.  I'm quite happy to preserve some of the produce, but I don't want to spend every waking hour doing it so nothing goes to waste during each growing season.  Preserving is a wonderful and important tool.  But I don't want to loose any sleep over it.  In fact I don't want to loose sleep over anything in my life.  I have spent enough time losing sleep over the past 8 years of parenting small children and I'm all about fiercely protecting my sleep these days.  I'm happier, more patient and calmer because of it.  All essential in raising happy children.  I'm happy to give some produce away, pop some in our shop to sell and even give the chooks some imperfect fruit.  And a dairy cow?  Well the reality is not in this season.....

It kinda pains me to write this, like part of me feels like I'm handing back a part of a dream.  I feel like this is the epitome of simple living, but the logical side of my brain tells me not to be ridiculous!  That its about living MY authentic life and that trying to life simple, mindfully and consciously is whats key.  These are simply tools to help us live the life we value.

And I have done ALOT on my simple living journey, sewing, gardening, de-cluttering.  Oh my goodness the de-cluttering.  I'm proud of how much our shopping habits have changed, how much easier my house is to tidy and clean.  I'm proud my boys understand "junk" toys and why we avoid them, how they are happy and capable of assessing what they want to keep and why and what they want to donate.  The reality is we are living in a tiny space and doing just fine!  All 5 of us share the one bedroom, we all have one cupboard each which stores our clothes and its going great with room to spare.  5 years ago our priorities were very different. 

There are some amazing blogs out there, and I kind of feel like I want to be doing what they are, to be doing "real" simple living, the full on self sufficiency thing.  Who knows, maybe one day we will.  But the reality for us is not in this season.

There are perhaps some triggering factors to this thought process.  My heart of hearts is in helping build our community and helping it heal after the bush fires.  I have been in conversation with various Rev's, people in the community and  pitched a few ideas which have been given the green light.  With a lot of support and enthusiasm beyond what I expected or could have even dreamed about hoping for.  So this is going to take up a lot of my time and energy and I'm aware there is only so much fuel in my tank.

The thought process is kinda long term and multi-faceted.  Our little country church has essentially shut down.  There are services offered in the local nursing home once a month and there is a vibrant home group of about 15-20 people also held once a month.
The old church.

The thought is to use the church to create a kind of "community hub".  A place where groups in the community can gather, where we can hold a family orientated home group which is starting shortly, perhaps a mothers group, and to use the large plot to create a community garden.  The aim being to create a lovely space in which we can care for the community, and do church in a way that looks a little different but is in keeping with the community at hand.   

Garden therapy is a very useful tool in helping recover from trauma, its relaxing, its healthy, it provides gentle exercise which releases endorphin's which help to counteract the cortisol stress hormones.  The aim is to add a beautiful green zone to the scarred landscape.  To show the community there is still a church here, going quite nicely thought it doesn't look the way they are used to it being.  It would be lovely to do it in conjunction with kids and make it part of a regular mums and bubs/kids group, but also make it accessible to the older generation that are present and vital to this community.  I'm thinking that if we used some raised beds hopefully the oldies from the local nursing home would be able to make it down too with a bit of help.  It would be lovely to grow veggies, to share among the gardeners and so the garden is generous in nature, also it helps to spread the simple living message which I'm so passionate about.  I hope that we can create a "quiet" reflection area with a lovely kid safe water feature and seats, lawn and a natural play space for the kids.  There will be no fancy play ground, as their is no budget for that in a little country church, but imagination and creativity and hopefully we can create a special space.  We have put it through all the relevant people and its got the thumbs up, so now to plan.  I'm very excited, a little nervous and a little overwhelmed at the amount of work.  But as with anything its just one step at a time, working steadily.
There are some good trees in the church garden at the moment, its quite wild and over grown, but its peaceful there.  There are toxic oleanders to remove, trees to prune up and all sorts of jobs.  I think its important o create a garden that works with both the old and the new.  To create a garden that reflects both the history, the present and the future.   

So I guess this year my simple living journey is shaping up to look different then I expected.  But I have great peace in my heart that this is the right direction.  That after all that has happened with the fires and everything else that this is right.  Perhaps wider spread then I imagined it would ever be.  But change is good, a challenge is good and detours are all what make a journey interesting, yes?

Anyway I best get back to my study, enough procrastinating!

Much love,
Emma
xx






Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The littlest chocolate thief....

Hello!  Posting might be light on this week as I need to sort through my curriculum of my study today and get my head around the readings, text and so forth. but I thought I would pop in with a little hump day chuckle.  Just a quick clip of my littlest man Henry and his chocolate thieving antics!  He caught himself out in the details of his own story.  Gosh I love these boys of mine!

Excuse the darkness of the clip, it was stupid o'clock in the morning.

YouTube evidence of the chocolate thief's confession....

Much love and happy hump day!
Emma,
xx 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Farmers markets VS the big supermarkets.

It will never cease to amaze me the difference I feel going to a farmers market to pick up bits and bobs for the week in comparison to the supermarket.  The vibe is friendly and relaxed, you know your money is going to the farmer, the produce is local, seasonal and I swear it tastes better.

I hate going to the supermarket, but to the farmers market?  I'm there in a heartbeat!  My all time favorite is in Angaston, held in big sheds undercover, the vibe is earthy, super friendly, the smells are delicious and its a bustling market.

When I go to the supermarket I walk away feeling stressed, bombarded with choices, most of which I don't want.  When I walk away from the farmers market I feel relaxed and happy and inspired to cook for my family for the week.  Its a decision that resonates with the way we want to live our lives, you know? 

I also nipped to Jembella Farm on my way home.  Sally is my blogging neighbor and has a beautiful farm and farm gate stall.  So I stopped on the way home and grabbed some honey and a gorgeous little succulent for my kitchen window sill.  My gosh, if you were to ask to look at the quintessential Barossa farm, with the old stone home, that my friends is it.  Just a beautiful place and the love they put into that farm is so clear.  You could just feel it, you know when you go to a place and you can actually feel the love and energy?  Like that.  And my gosh, the gardens, at this time of year are lovely, considering we are at the end of a long hot summer, and this summer has been HOT, and endless.

Angus being Angus got there and decided he needed to go to the toilet RIGHT. NOW.  I tried to direct him to go around the back of a huge pine tree, where it was discreet.  So he walked the entire way around the tree only to become quite convinced there would be snakes....So he settled to pee on the front of it.....on a hill....in plain view of any person driving by......*shakes head*  These children of mine, gosh I love them but they are totally shameless. 
 
I only did a quick lap around the market this morning, Grant needed me home by lunch so he could take Will fishing, and I promised Angus a homemade market ice cream.  I didn't need too many things this week.

On the menu is a chicken and veggie lasagna tomorrow night for dinner once the boys get back from their fishing trip.  A big pot of veggie soup with some of the chicken broth I made the other day for lunches and perhaps a light dinner, moussaka, a very simple. creamy pasta with the amazing sausages and by the time I cook double batches that will about do it for the week!

Its going to be a scorcher again here over the weekend, Mother nature seems to have missed out on the memo that Autumn has arrived.  I think a little doll making will be on the cards tonight, and my washing can be done once the heat is gone a bit.  I'm simply not built for the heat! 

Hope everyone is having a lovely relaxing weekend and that you each remember to take some time out for yourselves, even if its just a cuppa in the garden, sitting and doing nothing for 20 minutes. 

Much love,
Emma
xx

PS I have noticed a few new names in the comments sections lately, or a few names I have not seen for a while, I just wanted to say a big hello!  And thank you for taking the time to read, comment and share this little corner of the internet with me.  I try hard to get back to every comment, though it can take me a couple of days as I need to do it on the computer.  But I absolutely love to hear from you all and it all means so much to me.  :)   xx

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Autumn.

You know it's going to be a good day when it starts off like this.....
(When I say spur of the moment decision, I mean it.  Henry is still in his PJ's, which my I say he is totally rocking!  I was not intendung to do anything other then school run on this particular morning.)

After a spur of the moment trip to my local nursery I came home with a box of hardy flowers to plant in a little garden bed near the table and chairs.  Salvias, lavender, and a few other bits and bobs.  I love Salvias for our climate.  Hardy, pretty, low maintenance, and a huge varieties available, a winner all round!

So after a couple of hours working in the garden, this bed is beginning to look lovely.  I just need Grant to help with a little paved area so the dogs and the children can access the fountain for a splash without trampling my garden.  I have marked and dug out the area for the paving, I'm just terrible at laying it.

I find the best way to garden with dogs and children is to create spaces that they can access in a way that will encourage them to stay off the bits you don't want them on.  I find roses are a useful deterrent in garden beds to stop them creating a habit of running across a bed, If I see a habbit forming I don't want then buying (or moving if you have one available) a decent sized bush rose has saved more then one bed in the past!  Also buying plants bigger helps, which is less affordable but in the long run saves us money.  Then they can see them with ease they tend to avoid them.  Planting densely helps also.  Temporarily fencing with chicken wire can be useful though our boarder collie will simply jump over is he wants too.  The best deterrent I have found is accommodating garden design I must say!


Yes, the first day of Autumn has been and gone and what a way to celebrate!  Im looking forard to this season and the milder changes it brings thats for sure.

Much love,
Emma
xx