We got the hots

Murrindindi’s feeling hot hot hot!

The sun

The culprit

Especially for the tree surgeons amongst us with their thick padded pants and long labour filled days hanging from suburban trees like slightly cranky electrolyte and protein shake packed macaques.

Passing through spring’s bloom, we’re promptly moving into summer’s fuller, dryer warmth. Many of us (especially the Dunedin acclimatised amongst us!) are not used to being late year westies and it’s taking a bit of adjustment.

So hot even the trees are getting nude

So hot even the trees are getting nude

Nude tree

Woo wooooo

Luckily as part of our fire planning we are using sprinkler systems to green up the areas of grass surrounding our house for improved protection from flying embers, and learning to use our fire hose. This has the tidy fringe benefit of giving you something to run around and squirt at one another like 7 year olds!

Our new petrol powered fire pump contraption - invaluable in the hot, dry, bushy, fire-prone Wollondilly shire

Our new petrol powered fire pump contraption – invaluable in the hot, dry, bushy, fire-prone Wollondilly shire

But we have lots of fresh tank water, leafy trees, valley nooks, shades, curtains and a nice dark bulk of the house that doesn’t heat up too much like a chimney.

There’s also the Nepean river nice and handy to jump in (a 15 min drive away) if the fever really hits. Lots o’ fun!

Another cool off tactic me and Amy employed recently was whipping on the budgie smugglers and bikinis and traipsing around Sydney CBD and to the swanky, wanky Ivy pool bar to raise money for an awesome indigenous mentoring program, AIME.

Aims at AIME Strut the Streets after party - swanking it up at The Ivy pool bar in about the funnest afternoon ever

Aims at AIME Strut the Streets after party – swanking it up at The Ivy pool bar in about the funnest afternoon ever

So, what’s been happening round traps?

We had our first working bee for yonks this weekend, which was really fun and ultra productive, despite the full on shake down from our summer sun.

So grateful to have so many lovely folk come up, pitch fork, break bread and help us bring things under control before the silly season.

The huge rocket harvest made small work with lashings of help!

The huge rocket harvest made small work with lashings of help!

We pruned a load of tomatoes

Keeping the girls tidy

Keeping the girls tidy


Our pruned branch pickings - later becoming tasty green tomato chutney

Our pruned branch pickings – later becoming green tomato chutney

Built a stack of new no digs

Greg, Chris and Gabe, whipping up our summer round of no digs

Greg, Chris and Gabe, whipping up our summer round of no digs

Cooked up a heap of tasty harvest

A chop fest

A chop fest

Hippies!

Hippies

And shared a good spot of shenanigans

Orlando and Amy

Orlando and Amy being cute

Was great to give things a big team kick start for summer, because we’ve been in a bit of a wash of shock with the sudden loss of our chicken brood (11) to foxes a few weeks back.

Life keeps turning, or so says Elton, and we have been working on chook shed fortifications and adjusting properly before we fill the yard up again. There is a lot of sadness but we are facing a frank mature reality and becoming more aware of the difficulty of securing life, and the importance of vigilance around the safety of our farm animals. Good enough for 15 years isn’t necessarily good enough and we’ve been forced to re-evaluate our set up and improve it, which is only ultimately a positive thing.

Corrugated steel dug 3 feet deep to stop foxes from tunnelling in (as they did)

Corrugated steel dug 3 feet deep to stop foxes from tunnelling in (as they did)

Spencer and Angus have also been sold to the meat market, so there has been a lot of coming to grips with the nature of mortality under play. Hard but an ultimately healthy move away from a supermarket cling wrapped present to a more earnest understanding of the nature of producing meat.

A grounding influence along these lines lately has been reading Rohan Anderson’s beautiful blog around homesteading and moving towards a more completely sustainable and honest household provenance. Check it out, full of excellent reads.

Bathers Beach pier in beautiful Freo

Bathers Beach pier in beautiful Freo

I’ve been travelling heaps again, to Fremantle and then Brissy til late November as have Amy and Chris – including to his brother Matt’s exciting impromptu wedding to the lovely Lucy.

Cutting their amazing cake

Cutting their amazing cake

Greg, Tom and Nina have been holding up the fort, keeping watch over the bustling veggie growth and weeding, mowing, and our new babes.

Growing babes, yay

Growing babes, yay

Harvests have been rolling along at a steadier pace. We now have enough leafy greens to feed a small nation or vegetarian football team and beetroots and zucchini have been cranking.

Beet feast

Beet feast

Incidental vampire proofing

Incidental vampire proofing

We also picked our exciting maiden garlic bulb. Only the one tucker this year, but come next spring Murrindindi’s going to be a stank fest.

This cute little bug....

This cute little bug….

....has an appetite!

….has an appetite!

Predators have been taking off and chowing down in a big way, and we’ve had to make up a bit of an arsenal against them, including iron chelate snail pellets, and a chilli, garlic and soap flake spray which I’ll blog the secrets of in more detail shortly.

We’re also stoked to announce our first course for the new year:

Bathtub worm farm construction with Gavin Smith and Paul Boundy

O

– This bumper one day worksho up at the farm will teach some good basic DIY carpentry skills and worm husbandry know how under the watch of two permaculture dynamos. You’ll also share a beaut mid summer day in the Murrindindi shed.

murrindindiwormworkshop.eventbrite.com

Book in nice and early if you’re keen, places are limited.

Meanwhile, hope the Chrissy season’s sending you nicely silly and summer’s filling up with all the good stuff!

That good stuff (proudly stolen from/inspired by Sydney Festival's marketing department)

That good stuff (proudly stolen from/inspired by Sydney Festival’s marketing department)

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One Response to We got the hots

  1. Hey dude,

    If you’re succeeding with beetroot, you might want to give radishes a go – another nice and easy, plant-and-ignore crop, which won’t go to seed.

    Also, this is where I buy my seeds:

    http://stores.ebay.com.au/Boondie-Seeds

    They have a range of heirloom plants, including my 2 m red sunflowers.

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