The boat in our room

 

I found this in the back yard, it now lives in our room. I love the shape, the colours, the vibrancy…

 

 

 

It’s been a busy and tough few weeks, that having a quiet sanctuary has been important.

My boy is now 9, there is a new pet in the house, I’m back at uni, I’ve been placed on a derby team, I’m involved in a theatre project… I’m out 5 nights a week… life is busy, but it is also very, very sweet. This afternoon I spent some time in the garden harvesting lettuce, collecting eggs, watering the garden, preparing food for the new pet… all whilst this happened at my feet:

 

This always happens when I go outside! I’m kinda treasuring the time I have at the moment…

Life is good.

 

 

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Pink + Red

Red hens, that is.

After the days (and days!) of grey skies, it has been a delight to get back into the garden. We’ve been improving the soil with the help of the chickens. The chickens have their hutch cleaned weekly and the lightly composted straw + waste is mixed into the garden soil… and the chickens will scratch at any unprotected surface.

To prevent the scratching and destruction, please meet the lettuce cage. So far, so good. The only problem is that we haven’t worked out how to harvest the lettuce in our time!

Life with the chickens is fabulous!

More on the backyard farm

We are still enjoying having the chickens live here… a week in and it feels like we’ve won the chicken lottery with them. In fact, today was a very big day as….

Our first egg was laid! It’s that really, really small one beside the big ones… that were store bought. Free range, of course.

I’m so surprised that they would lay – I mean, it’s been a stressful week with them moving house, being introduced to their big sisters and pretty constant cuddles.

Perhaps it’s time to have a nice lettuce, tomato and egg salad!

Newest ladies to join the family

Dot’s a girl
Piper’s a girl
The two new girls:

They are red commercials… our very own red hens. We can tell them apart with their colourations, feathers and their temperaments.

This is Ruby. She warmed up slowly, but has the sweetest nature. She’s the more cuddly of the two. She is also ruled by her stomach, the most likely to find plastics to eat in the yard and the likes long exploratory walks.

Scout is noisy – I can’t wait to hear how she celebrates laying an egg! She’s not so eager to be picked up, flies about 30cm off the ground at the drop of a hat and tolerates cuddles, but they are not her favourite thing in the world.

They came to live with us 3 days ago… and today was their first time out of their new home. I’m hoping we’re able to free range them a fair amount, judging by today they will be quite happy. I shook their feed dish and they came running back to their house so quickly… the cutest little chicken waddles I have ever seen.

Yes, I am besotted by my hens. I think I may be a bird person after all 🙂

Green (How Roller Derby destroyed my garden)

This was my vegetable garden last week. It appears that I haven’t gone into the backyard much since I got my skates….

But then, enough was enough and I weeded it all last week, cut the asparagus down and found some hidden cucumber plants, a bean plant and a thriving sweet potato vine.

Thankfully asparagus comes back quickly and I feel that my efforts in the garden have already been rewarded:

So I picked a handful… and it became a topping on our homemade pizza last night!

So my lovely garden will not be ignored for a little while… I’m going to plant some seeds and see what happens. The soil is beautiful after being dormant for so long – I had mixed in a lot of raw ingredients before ignoring the garden… It’s all broken down and friable. I read somewhere this week that one of the secrets to happiness is growing tomato plants… I’m pretty sure I’ve written about my love of growing tomatoes before, despite not eating them. Maybe it is a universal truth?

Bring on the winter salads!

Spring’s afternoon (mulberry picking 2011)

For the rest of my life, I know some of the images of love that I shall carry in my mind, my heart and my soul. The ones of my twenties are diverse, but they feature my boys. Yesterday was a hot Spring’s afternoon that we spent picking mulberries, kicking a ball around and making the beginnings of Mulberry Pie.

These are what I carry:

 

The fruit tree is laden this year… amazing crop!
Someone was kicking mulberries around the yard…

Part of the harvest

The weather is hot, dry and smoky. I am loving it. Summer 2011-2012, bring it on, baby!