The Spring garden and Roger’s new job!

It’s been two weeks since Roger left his job. The day after he handed in his notice of two week I was rung by a friend to ask if Roger would be interested in doing a job for her in his spare time, putting in a new hot water cupboard and a concrete base for her wood stove to be shifted onto in her kitchen. Yes, she could wait two weeks, so that’s what Roger did the first week.

When we decided he should give up his job we felt ok about it, trusted that everything would be ok and he would find something sooner or later, ideally 3 days a week so he would have time here to do what is needed. We trusted but we did have periods of anxiety because that’s not really the practical thing to do nowadays, job security is important. Anyway – while he was doing this work for my friend he wasn’t entirely sure of something so rung an old building workmate for some advice. The guy was off work after an op so called around and while there mentioned Roger’s old boss is always asking him “what’s Roger doing now?” and saying he was a damn good worker. So Roger rung him, they had a discussion and it’s turns out they are building a concrete precast yard in our little town, to build a new winery. Roger spent several years building concrete wineries, this guy said they could really use him, Roger told him he only wanted to work 3 days a week at present, the guy said that is fine and his hourly wage will be 50% higher than it was on the farm! He starts Monday. WE ARE OK, we are better than ok! Serendipidity 🙂

I found this on the net and it seems appropriate and I shall try to remember it.

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He has had a great week getting projects done but I can’t (won’t) show photos right now as he has also created a huge amount of mess everywhere and I have my pride! He has been using some of the scavenged timber to fence off the vegetable garden from the dog. It looks great but the whole back yard is a building site truly representative of Roger’s tendency to create chaos.

He has also been working on the fountain he started around 9 months ago. Done in stone aggregate and hardwood corner trims, he has put two stone hearts in the front. Problem is now though it weighs over 200 kg and he can’t lift it into place on his own.IMG_4068

A few pictures of the front garden

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The vegetable garden is all planted we have (in different stages of growth) potatoes, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, silver beet, spinach, pumpkins, apple cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, chilli, brocolli, cabbage, carrots, leeks, garlic, onions, red onion, beetroot all in. Roger doesn’t bother growing peas anymore because they take up too much room and you don’t get enough food from them according to him and we don’t grow corn because we have it given to us by friends.

Fruit we have growing are strawberries, red and black currants, peaches, cranberries, figs, feijoas, blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries plums (we hope we’ll get some this year along with the apricots) lemon, two newly planted passionfruit, new blueberry and gooseberry plants

Herbs we have are parsley, rosemary, chives, calendula, lemon balm, soapwort, mint, chamomile, peppermint, thyme, comfrey, oregano and basil, sage, feverfew, nasturtium, plantain.  Last year we dug out one of two remaining rock gardens to put in a bigger herb garden and the other one is about to be dug out for more.

Flowers: I have been planting some flowers in gaps around that I want for soaps creams etc. A friend has given me violets and lily of the valley plants, I have been splitting up geranium, planting marigolds and more calendula and a whole lot of sunflowers are going to be planted…somewhere!? It’s California Poppy time and I have been down the riverbed and beaches picking it – did you know it’s very good in wound salves? I made some this afternoon and will share the recipe during the week, along with some information about the uses of California Poppy’s I have found….it’s a handy plant for the medicine cupboard.

This morning we were out and about and I took a wrong turn down a street and ended up outside a scrap metal place that has junk and rubbish everywhere. Sitting in a pile of rubbish was this crate, it had one end broken but the two sides has this stamped on them. I gather it’s a wine crate…anyway, we snatched it and made a quick getaway lol

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I think one side will go on the dining room wall and the other ? Neat though.

I mentioned a while ago I had started a Freeconomy group for our area on Facebook and there is nearly 100 members now. It had been slow for the last month or so but people have started sharing seeds and plants which is great and I spent a good portion of a day last week running around delivering strawberry plants and vegetable seeds. It was nice and it was good to meet so many young people just starting out growing for their families. One person asked for anything spare so she could grow food for her kids and others joined in, it was great to see such alot of sharing happening. I was proud to see my son give away a near new mountain bike he wasn’t using, he thought someone could give it to a kid for Christmas but it was taken very appreciatively by a guy who needed it to get to work. I remember we had a discussion here about the fact some people will take advantage of other’s generosity but it’s proving to be a really worthwhile thing.

Sorry if this has ended up too long!

The week that was….reassessing things and SPRING has arrived

It’s been a week since our big earthquake and Roger has been home for much of it but returned to work yesterday and is working the weekend to catch up. Most of this week has been spent cleaning, firstly picking up all the broken stuff then keeping busy cleaning walls – you have no idea how grubby they are until everything is taken off them!!

Damage: Alot of broken china and glassware. I will NEVER collect old china again – the sound of it smashing all around you (as you are shaking terrified under a computer desk wondering if your whole house is coming down!) is awful. So, this is some of it waiting for insurance assessors to check it off. I had taken much of it down weeks ago with other quakes but had put some back 2 days prior to this, 5 weeks of living with stuff all around the floors seemed long enough. I did not expect a cabinet to fall on the nicer things I had left on the floor.

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This box in the front holds a very large china elephant my son gave me for my birthday when he was 18, 18 years ago. I was really upset to have this broken 😦

Our hot water cylinder sprung a leak so that needed replacing, we lost power downstairs so that needed fixing and our house has developed cracks all through like this:

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All in all our house did extremely well and I am grateful for that as others have lost their homes, many we know personally have not come out of this nearly as well…alot of sadness and stress in our wee community.

When we bought this house 7 years ago we bought it because it was cheap and had alot of potential. We live in two rooms of it really, most of the doors stay shut as rooms aren’t used. This week we camped in the lounge as the bedrooms are 2 stories up (too high off the ground for me in quakes) and we have felt really comfortable living in a smaller area SO, we have decided to put a small kitchen and bathroom (rooms are there just not fitted out) downstairs, live down there and rent the top out. This was our original idea when we moved here. It opens out into the garden and is pretty, has a lounge, one bedroom and another small one up a flight of steps.

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Spring has arrived in the garden 🙂

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Broccoli plants that were decimated by chooks and pruned off at ground level have recovered and the glasshouse is producing.

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The asparagus bed is shooting up spears, tomatoes are sprouting in seed trays and potatoes are just about to go in, the berries are all getting fresh new leaves on and the herbs are all taking off again. The strawberries are all weeded for the start of the new season and hubby is trying to build a rotary hoe out of parts picked up at different times.

The seasons come and go, Mother Nature can certainly create her havoc but winter is always followed by spring! And some things always stay the same, especially when they are made from wood or stone!!

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Also….we have found a market for vegetables, fruit etc that we do not need for ourselves. An Indian gentleman  and his extended family /community  wish to buy from us. He asked last year and we didn’t have enough but will do it this year 🙂