Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Spring update 1

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Alpine strawberries are fruiting already!

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Last year’s self seeded grape has bounced back

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Berries (Loganberry?) are flowering

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Last year’s bean teepee was a flop: take 2 in a new position

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Broad beans and purple beans in succession. We aim to use the purple beans as shade each year on the west side of the house. On the far left is mallow, a weed I’m cultivating to eat.

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Stay warm, little veggies

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It’s going to be a very cold night after what had been the hottest winter on record in Canberra. To protect or baby tomatoes, it’s stakes, plastic and bricks to form a makeshift temporary cloche. It should be enough to keep the veggies safe. Hopefully it defrosts soon!

Winter solstice preparations part two

Last week Mme Four and I went for a walk and gathered some pine cones. We then spent several days this week painting them with glue and sprinkling them with glitter. Every four year old’s dream. (Our house has never looked so sparkly either). We finished them with some ribbon and buttons hot glues on so we could hang them.

Mme Four took great delight in helping to decorate the house this year and really being part of the family festivities.
And I’m really enjoying making new family rituals that are in sync with and celebrating the changing seasons around us and watching and noticing how nature changes through the year.

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Hail!

We had a fairly heavy storm come through yesterday and it dumped a lot of hail on us. Here are a few pictures of our yard just after the storm.

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Thankfully the chickens were sensible and stayed in their house.

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Our broccoli seedlings were safe and warm in their little mini greenhouses (aka upturned plastic cups), installed the night before in the nick of time (good work MacGyver!)

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The silverbeet looks okay but this might be the end of the basil and mint for the season though – I’ve been expecting them to curl up and die for well over a month now, but so far they have stayed alive.

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This morning there was still lots of hail left on the ground.

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The chickens came out and braved the icy ground this morning and seemed quite perplexed by the cold white stuff.

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Splash was not amused by the cold stuff.

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The broccoli seedlings and mint (amazingly) look fine, but I think this is it for the basil.

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Our makeshift kafir lime greenhouse (aka a plastic bag over a tripod) has also done a great job of protecting the little tree.

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All very exciting really.  It’s rare for Canberra to get snow that sticks to the ground so seeing everything white was a big novelty for the kidlets.  Mme Four had a lovely time building “hail castles” after the storm had passed.

Winter Solstice preparations – orange pomanders

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orange pomanders

We spent the afternoon today making these beautiful decorations from oranges and cloves.  While it would be more awesome if the oranges were home grown, sadly we bought these.  They still smell delicious though and look very festive.  And Mme. Four had a lovely time helping to make them.  M. One, however, did not have as much fun – he found and ate a dropped clove.

Autumn rabbits?

This was meant to be an Easter post but circumstances conspired.

This shouldn’t be overly surprising: we don’t celebrate Easter. At least not at the same time as most of the world.

It’s autumn here in Canberra. The days are getting shorter and cooler, and the ground is looking forward to its leafy blanket. It’s harvest time too and we’re enjoying tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, figs, berries and stone fruit.

With chickens moulting, there are few eggs to be found, and I’ve not seen a rabbit in a while. The imagery of spring, so relevant in the northern hemisphere, is seriously out of place here.

But what’s a parent to do when the shops are full of chocolate bunnies and eggs? Even though we can tell our kids that the festivals of the northern hemisphere are six months out of phase here, I wouldn’t want them to miss out on anything tasty! And the point of celebrating the sessions as they happen is not about privation.

Here’s what we’ve done this year. While chocolate spring is in season, we’ve stockpiled it’s gooey bounty for the real, southern hemisphere spring: September. And for right now, we’re celebrating the abundance of autumn with something slightly more seasonal.

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Punnet of raspberries, melted chocolate, and some sticks

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Drizzle a little chocolate into each raspberry and insert the stick. Pop them in a tin.

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It’s fiddly but goes faster than you’d think. Pop them the fridge to set.

Once set, dip in the remaining molten chocolate.

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Three-year-old had great fun with this.

I call them “raspberry pops”, but three year old thinks “chocolate raspberries”is more appropriate.

We bought our raspberries this year but hopefully our canes will be established enough next year that we have our own to use.

The beginnings of a bean teepee

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