A Speck Circling the Sun
The Sun is love. The lover, a speck circling the Sun.
A Spring wind moves to dance any branch that isn’t dead.
When people ask us what our busiest time at the patch is, our usual answer is: start of August to end of May. Thats not an understatement. The jobs and priorities might change over the course of those months, but generally the pace is much the same…cracking. We are getting better at having boundaries and not letting the never ending ‘To Do’ list ooze into longer and longer days, but its a constant balancing act with the wave of seasonal overwhelm that can be hovering just beyond the shoreline of our consciousness (or crashing right over the top of us-depending on the day!)
This Spring we have had an incredible, dedicated and spectacularly wonderful group of regular volunteers coming out to help us one morning a week. Without this crew, we would be so far behind and so much poorer for the joy, inspiration and encouragement these unique humans bring to our week. Conversations range far and wide and deep and such beautiful connections and friendships are sprouting before our eyes as we all weed, compost, plant, harvest and eat cake together! Its a constant reminder that food has always been grown and shared in community. Its not about one person trying to do everything on their own, but working together with many hands and the unique and diverse skills of each person to create something beautiful…stay tuned for our whole Co-Op dance routine in development, to be choreographed and directed by two of the afore mentioned unique humans who have been volunteering with us, Rex and Sky.
Spring is an exciting and hopeful time. The patch slowly gets transformed, one bed at a time, from the end of winter chaos of weeds and spent crops into nice neat rows of freshly composted and carefully planted spring seedlings. Don’t worry in a few months it’ll look like chaos again, but its nice to take a moment to breathe and feel like ‘we got this’! Occasionally in these moments, Mel and I look at each other and say ‘Wow, it is actually starting to look like a market garden!’
Last week together with our vollies, we planted out the first sections of our Bush Foods plot. We’ve written about this in previous blogs, but in short its a partnership with Murnong Mammas which we are extremely excited about. The first lot of plants to go in included a few different varieties of native mint bushes, salt bushes, Warrigal greens, sea celery and a few different yam varieties (including Murnong, Bulbine Lily, Chocolate and Vanilla Lillies). Many of these are Perennial species, so once established will require a lot less intense management than our annual vegetable beds. We have a lot to learn and theres nothing like just giving it a go see what is possible.
Our sixth crop of garlic is all harvested and plaited now. We’ve still got a few plaits available through the Open Food Network Shop . “The best ethical Christmas present ever” as one person said! We were pretty stoked about that compliment. We are also discovering its uses as a Dracula Repellent! There are many wonderful garlic growers in our region and so we choose not to grow a massive garlic crop and further flood the market. We cant help ourselves growing some however, as it is such a rewarding crop to grow. Not only that, the financial boost it gives us in our leanest hour of Spring, when the outlay (for compost, mulch, propagation materials, trellising etc) far exceeds the income, cant be underestimated.
We’ve been flat out planting over the past few months…tomatoes, eggplants, capsicums, chillies, zucchinis (the grade three Steiner kids planted them for us), cucumbers, okra, leafy greens, salad, herbs, black beans, kidney beans, pop corn, radish, beets, spuds, spring onions etc etc. We’ve still got a bit to go in the ground yet but we’re starting to see the contents of our summer veggie boxes to be, taking shape. We will be commencing the Summer Veggie Box subscriptions in January, so stay tuned for more info. Until then, stay sane little specks as we keep on circling our old friend the Sun.