Well as the title of this blog post alludes to, it’s Sunday again. That means I either sloth around reading or lazing around in a hammock or I decide to take a few photos and update my long suffering blog. Steve had a chat to a friend the other day who mentioned that she loved reading my blog so I am going to dedicate this blog post to you Kaye. Without your gentle prompting this post would most likely have been set back a few weeks 😉
So what has old Narf7 been up to over the last few weeks (months)? Well, we started TAFE again and are up to our eyeballs in learning how to create short films with all of the accompanying technical jargon and additional learning that goes with learning a new craft. The course that we studied last year didn’t run this year as only two students signed up for it so we can use the classroom and computers to edit our films as the screen and media room only has 2 computers capable of editing. The last 2 years classes in Screen and Media have been small and manageable. This year the class is more than double the size of the past few years and at 17 students the ratio of cameras and audio equipment per student is significantly diminished so Steve and I are going to film our short documentaries on his Nikon.
We have been doing a bit of research on Youtube and found that there are a lot of people filming on Nikon’s so we are going to give it the old college try. We may not have to buy the cloud from Adobe which will make us incredibly happy as we only just got our old CS6 programs back after having to delouse our computer from could contamination. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless their business requires it. All of the computers in our old class are loaded up with the editing software that we need to edit our films so if it means we have to head in to TAFE on our days off, so be it!
We are really enjoying the new course and the class is a mix of middle aged students, fresh out of high school students and all ages in between. Everyone gets along and no-one is left out and I can see this selection of classmates being a brilliant asset in the future. I am still a bit twitchy about learning how to use all of the technology involved with mastering this course but I am not the only one who hasn’t ever made a film before and everyone is supportive and friendly which makes it a really excellent atmosphere to learn in.
The garden has been going mental now that the weather has warmed up a bit. The boys are not at all happy that we are back at TAFE but despite digging up a section of rock garden whilst hunting for lizards, Earl hasn’t eaten the furniture yet and Bezial spends his days lazing around in the sun so we count ourselves as lucky (so far). We have had a chicken explosion with most of our hens heading off into the wilderness and bringing out between 1 and 15 babies. I couldn’t begin to count the amount of chickens that we now have but we are going to have to start reducing numbers soon as pretty soon we won’t be able to afford to feed them all.
The weather in Tasmania has been exemplary. We have had a wetter and cooler summer but that has meant less watering and more green leafy vegetable production. We grew celery and silverbeet in the wrong season and they didn’t even go to seed! We don’t know all that much about growing vegetables and succession planting does my head in. I just potted up some pink gooseberry plants that grew from a handful of pink gooseberries that I scattered over the top of some potting mix last year. I am going to give some of them to a fellow classmate who has a very similar ethos to us. I love sharing.
Talking about sharing, we gave our 4 x 4 away for a bag of plums. Well, technically we just gave Betsy away to someone that we used to wave to when we were walking our dogs. He would pass us every day on the way to work and he owned a Feroza like we did (which is why we waved). We would sometimes see his car in Exeter when we were driving through and when Betsy decided to dump one of her pistons and stop working we decided that we would like to give her to the man in Exeter. The only problem was, we couldn’t find him any more. He had stopped working in our area and we hadn’t seen his car in Exeter for quite some time so we decided that we would advertise Betsy as a ‘giveaway for free’ on Gumtree.
We did see someone that wanted a rear axle on Gumtree so we contacted them and waited…and waited…and waited for a response. Obviously they didn’t want Betsy so we were just about to list her on Gumtree after we had to pick up some more chook food (we are going through 20kg in 3 days) and Steve saw the Feroza in Exeter! We skidded to a stop (much to the bemusement of the line of cars behind us!) and I raced off to knock on the door and attempt to give Betsy away. It turns out the man doesn’t live in Exeter and was only visiting his mate. He was most happy to take Betsy and picked her up the next day and gave us a nice bag of ripe plums. You can’t do better than that 🙂
We actually have tomatoes ripening and have been using lettuce and greens and herbs from the fridge wickers for months now. There is something deliciously luxurious in being able to harvest something for your dinner from your own garden. Now that Steve and I are both vegan we have been able to use a lot of our harvest to concoct tasty meals. Tonight’s dinner has already been made. We collected 3 large beetroot from the fridge wickers which we steamed and added to ground up sunflower seeds and chickpeas. We added herbs and spices and flax seed to bind them together and we used egg poaching rings to make burgers so that they would be the same shape and size. We will cook them and serve them with home grown tomatoes, spring onions, lettuce and homemade vegan mayo.
We have enjoyed harvesting veggies all summer long and now we have to work out what we are going to do with a few anticipated gluts of veggies including celery and chillies. I have plans for the chillies but the celery was grown entirely by accident. We bought one punnet and the other two that we planted out were bought for 50c a punnet and we couldn’t pass them up. That means we have three wicking beds full of celery and we don’t use a lot of it. I guess we live and learn. The three punnets of beetroot will not go to waste as Steve and I love it so it will be included in a lot of our prospective meals.
We collected more grass from the park over the Batman Bridge and have stashed it to use as mulch in Sanctuary. I also cleared out the chook coop and replaced the bedding and instead of just shoveling the bedding out of the coop and forgetting about it, I shoveled it and Steve barrowed it into the house fence and I bagged it up the next day to be saved to use as top dressing, nitrogen rich mulch in the fridge wicking beds when we put in our autumn crops. I am really looking forward to growing broad beans this year. I love them and nothing tastes as good as homegrown broad beans fresh from the garden.
Well that’s another month or so ticked off the calendar for 2017 and on the whole, we have heartily enjoyed almost every minute of it. The fridge wicking beds have been an incredible triumph and have proved that the system works really well. I have loved regaining my early mornings for reading blogs and researching rather than spending 2 – 3 hours a day watering. The watering that we do is much more economical as well and we don’t waste water. The drip irrigation inside Sanctuary is working amazingly well and is directing water to where it is needed. Everything is growing like topsy and every time I head up to Sanctuary it makes me smile. Our studies are interesting and we are learning heaps. We followed one of our lecturers and watched how to make a short documentary the other day which was both enlightening and a huge relief as it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. 2017 is shaping up to be a brilliant year and although it hasn’t been very hot this year, I am really looking forward to firing Brunhilda up for the duration as I have some serious plans for cooking that require her multiple cooking surfaces and 4 ovens to accomplish. Till next time, I hope you are all enjoying yourselves on your respective sides of the world. Spring has sprung in the Northern hemisphere and we are getting lovely cool balmy days here in the south. Life is good and living it is a privilege and a joy 🙂