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Posts Tagged ‘Daily Life’

Bunching onions, sauerkraut, local lamb roast, and working in the garden….

Chopping up bunching onions to go in my neighbors freezer

Chopping up bunching onions to go in my neighbors freezer

What do all those things have in common? …. Just more “not dabbling in normal” normal.

Over at the neighbors getting things ready to plant.

Over at the neighbors getting things ready to plant.

Cleaning and clearing out the winter garden. the onions are starting to flower. I let a few turnips and some of the kale flower so I can collect seeds. The monster spinach is just starting to bolt, so will leave a few plants in the ground for seed saving also.

I was over at the neighbors yesterday to help clear out winter plants and get some spring things in the ground. He uses a hoe (made in the USA) that belonged to his grandmother. (my neighbor is 81 years old, so that is one old hoe that he is using.) we planted some cucumber and zucchini seeds and got a few bell pepper plants in the ground. My body is still playing catch up from being sick a year ago…. so that was all we got done. We will work out there again on Saturday. I plan to work in my garden today and hopefully get some plants in the ground. I still get out of breath, but it feels good to work out there and I need to keep pushing myself a bit to keep getting better. I have certainly come a long way, especially when i think back to march 2013 when I couldn’t even walk across the room!

chopping cabbage for sauerkraut

chopping cabbage for sauerkraut

I have picked my cabbages and they are in the crock turning into fermented sauerkraut. I picked up some more local cabbage at the local swap that I go to and those are also fermenting in another second crock. A Roasted lamp shoulder

Dinner the other night was a roasted local lamb shoulder (picked it up at the swap/barter.) I had a second pan in the oven roasting sweet potatoes and onions that I also traded for.

Making a cough syrup

Making a cough syrup

I am also taking an herbal medics class. Learning a lot, and So much more to learn. It is a lot of fun. I am harvesting some wild herbs and edibles as they are popping up this spring. The lambsquarter is popping up so I am potting some up to take to plant swaps and also the month swap/barter.

So, like I said…. Life. There is a lot going on. Spring is in the air (It was 87F yesterday – I think we skipped Spring!)

What are you up to this time of year?

Sincerely, Emily

 

 

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“Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.”
Henry David Thoreau

***

Serendipity Farm is almost devoid of plains. Plains are not something that we get to see a lot of here in Tasmania. I struggled to find a few photos of “plains”. I then remembered that “plain” means more than one thing! I want to share someone here who is just “plain old comfortable”…

Bezial found a sunbeam

Bezial found a sunbeam

And here is one of the bush tracks within an hour of Serendipity Farm that we can head off to whenever we get bored of our regular dog walking tracks…it’s just “plain gorgeous”…

Cool Temperate Sclerophyll Forest track in Northern Tasmania

Cool Temperate Sclerophyll Forest track in Northern Tasmania

***

I (Sincerely, Emily) and in the same boat with Fran (figuratively speaking of course.) No open plains or prairies with beautifully dancing grasses. Just plain life happening around here.

A plain view of dinner (not quite a landscape, is it?)

dinnergetting ready for a plant sale as part of the local garden club I belong to.

Need to keep an eye on that deer in the left of the photo! She will come and munch on everything

Need to keep an eye on that deer in the left of the photo! She will come and munch on everything

I want to say “just plain life,” but my life is anything but plain. There is a lot of “not dabbling in normal” around here.

***

The plains are my (Alexandra) landscape. Although I spent my childhood in the rocky passages of Pennsylvania, my heart belongs to the prairie. My brother has an eye for its beauty:

9643416005_e067fbeb9f_bphoto: (c) Andrew Paul Nelson 2013

Do you have great views of plains in your area?

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Hi All,

When I saw that one of the topics for us to delve into was “Rivers” I smiled. The front gate of our property (Serendipity Farm) is just over the road from the river…

The view of the Tamar River from our deck

The view of the Tamar River from our deck

The road near our home

The road near our home

When I look out of the window I see the river. The Tamar River is part of our lives and our constant companion. It keeps the property cooler in summer and warmer in winter and allows us to grow plants on the property that would succumb to frost anywhere else. It is the culmination of the North Esk River and the South Esk River and is subject to some pretty wild tides at certain times of the day. Here are 2 of the smaller tributaries that flow into the North Esk River to eventually form the Tamar River…

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I bet there are trout here!

Liffey Falls

Liffey Falls

The river is salt water where we are but the South and North Esk are both freshwater and full of trout and eels. Where we live is a shark nursery and in summer the water is full of these jellyfish that flow in and out to sea on the tide…

The kind of jellyfish that the Chinese dry and eat. I am yet to attempt this...

The kind of jellyfish that the Chinese dry and eat. I am yet to attempt this…

The Batman Bridge spans the river from the West side (our side) to the East side and is the only way to cross the Tamar River outside of Launceston…

An early evening shot of The Batman Bridge

An early evening shot of The Batman Bridge

It took a long time to get used to riverbanks with black volcanic soil and smooth round pebbles. In Western Australia I was used to white sand and shells. This image shows some of the driftwood that we regularly see on the riverbanks as we walk the dogs it was taken directly opposite our front gate…

The river taken just opposite our gate

The river taken just opposite our gate

When my father died he left us Serendipity Farm and he also left Steve this small aluminium dinghy. Steve promptly ignored it for the first year that we were here but last year it was christened “The Mumbly Cumumbus” and set sail on the high seas regularly. Here are some photos that Steve took while he was out fish and pootling about on the river…

The good ship Mumbly Cumumbus on one of last summers voyages

The good ship Mumbly Cumumbus on one of last summers voyages

A Steve eye view of the world in the Mumbly Cumumbus

A Steve eye view of the world in the Mumbly Cumumbus

A small excursion up the river to Deviot our neighbouring town

A small excursion up the river to Deviot our neighbouring town

A lovely shot Steve took of Redwood Island, not far from Serendipity Farm

A lovely shot Steve took of Redwood Island, not far from Serendipity Farm

If you look VERY carefully to the right of the Auld Kirk Church in this photo you might be able to find our house...

If you look VERY carefully to the right of the Auld Kirk Church in this photo you might be able to find our house…

Steve and I are studying at the moment and part of our course involves learning how to manipulate images. Steve took a photo of a Serendipity Farm sunset taken towards the river and turned it into a Christmas Bauble…by the way…there are only 106 days left till Christmas 2013…

Pity this wasn't one of our assessments

Pity this wasn’t one of our assessments

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not dabbling in typical

 For my post on a typical spring day, I decided to keep a diary for one day.  Most of my chores are the same every day during the winter and late spring and any extra projects that get done are weather dependent.  Meaning do I want to work outside or inside?  Or in other words – no monsoon or monsoon, or even snow this last week.  I try to get at least one “job” done each day outside of regular farm/household duties.  These could range from hauling in more firewood, to sorting through stored apples or digging the weeks root crops for the house and the milk cow.

5:00 am – get up and start the fire in the cookstove, so I can have my coffee and make breakfast. 

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While I’m waiting for the cook stove to heat up, I check emails and read East coast blogs that I check in on daily, and generally enjoy the blessed quiet.  I am a total morning person.

5:30 am – start breakfast, and go open the perches for the hens so they can start their laying.

5:45 am – wake-up hubby and child, he packs his lunch and we all eat and visit.

6:15 am – hubby leaves for work and we close the gate behind him and let the dogs loose to run to their hearts content.

6:30 am – wash morning dishes and put away, and get jars out for milking.  Straighten the house up and fight the kid for the computer, or go over her on-line school work and log that into the computer.  Check the web-mails from her teachers and take care of any school business that needs immediate attention.

7:30 am –  feed the bucket calf and milk the cow, and leave her to eat her special hay and to finish her roots.  I am only milking once day, so I can milk later than I normally would, since I don’t have to milk at night.

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7:50 am – process the milk and wash up the buckets. 

8:00 am – scan the obits for my name, and catch up on the local news.

8:15 am – go back to the barn and fill the feeder for the milk cow, her yearling steer, bucket calf, and MCIT (milk cow in training).  By this time the horse and the milk cow have finished their feed that we don’t want them to share – the milk cow goes to the shed with the others and the horse is turned out.

After that, we walk up to the other barn and shoo the cows out, and while my daughter beds the loafing shed, I fill the feeders, water trough and feed/move the sheep, and check the hens feed, water and bedding.  When the shed is bedded we let the cows back in to eat. 

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Every morning while we are at the barn/greenhouse area, we check on the seedlings in the greenhouse,  water, and uncover the flats if the day will be warm enough.  On cold days, we are still leaving the heat mat on.

9:00 am – now that the regular chores  are done, my daughter usually starts her school work and I am free to do whatever project needs doing that day. It was raining, so the extra task of the day will be inside.

However, since it is spring vacation, I collared her to help me harvest the last of the cabbage in the greenhouse.  She didn’t mind too much, since she can eat a 1/4 head of braised cabbage for lunch. 

Contrary to popular belief, I’m not too much of a slave driver – we talk and visit while we work, and she took quite a few photos for me of the different stages of the harvest.

We harvested all we could for the house, and pulled some partially rotted cabbage heads for the hens, and sheep.   

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11:30 am – time for lunch, she fixed cabbage for herself, and I had an apple and some carrots.
We both read during our lunch break, and I started a load of laundry. 

12:30 pm – I wanted to take a nap since it was such a cloudy day, but I knew the cabbage would not wrap itself in plastic wrap and store itself in the refrigerator, so I finished up the cabbage and jotted down notes from the harvest in my garden notebook.  Amazing!  Little seeds I started last June are still supplying us with meaningful work and food 10 months later!

1:30 pm –  back up to the barn to flip the hay back in the feeders for the cows and top off their water.  Usually at this time, I check for eggs too.

It is also a good time to wander into the greenhouse and look at the seedlings and dream of warmer days to come.  I never get tired of looking at those little seedlings struggling to break ground. 

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2:00 pm – this time in the afternoon I can work on bookwork, bills and general paperwork, and make or return phone calls. 

3:30 pm – back to the barn to check on the cows and gather the final eggs, and close the nest box perches.  I button up the seedlings for the night.  After putting away the eggs, I feed the bucket calf again and put more hay in the feeder for the motley crew at the house barn.

4:00 pm – this time of year, I start a fire in the furnace to take the chill off of the rest of the house.  I straighten the house up again, and start dinner, and hang up any laundry that needs drying over the heat registers. 

5:00 pm – hubby comes home from work, and needs to decompress, so he tells us of his day, while dinner is cooking.  After we have all settled down, we eat.

Some evenings  we watch TV or a movie, read, or stay up late writing posts on the computer 🙂

Bedtime comes at 11:00 –

This was a rainy day post, but if the weather was nice, we would be back outside after dinner and working on something until dark, those days will be here soon enough though, so a slow day harvesting cabbage and doing regular chores feels kind of good! 

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