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The fire is flickering, the steam rising from my herbal tea of pungent garden peppermint and I, for the first time in months sit in front of the computer to share and write from my dirt speckled, dog eared garden diary. I am very much a pen and paper girl, I love the texture, smell and the flow of writing, The words that just seem to over flow when writing on paper, the rawness and rustic way of a mistake that can not be easily erased. I very rarely sit in front of the computer in summer, In the growing and harvest season, my time is spent mostly in the garden yet I do find myself behind it a fair bit already responding to emails, fulfilling orders through the store and posting shots of my journey and creations through social media. So you could say this is just the natural balance of modern age technology and my long for the simplicity of the garden finding harmony.
When their is a shift in the air I reach out for my garden diary to write about the changes from the weather to the birds, bees and insects evolving through the seasons - lets just say I feel all that is taking place around me in this time. This has to be one of the most grounding things I do , it's my kind of meditation, soul nurturing and contentment. During this time I slow and sit in stillness and do nothing but focus my mind of the flowers that are blooming the birds that are singing and the vegetables that grow. I learn a great deal during this time.
Below is a little from my journal, dated so you can relate to what grows in your garden. It has been re written as stated before , I feel no energy or flow when sitting in the garden with the computer. This could be a thought for those who also struggle, turn all forms of technology off around you and just feel and listen.
Auckland 27.4.2017 transition from summer to autumn
After the past weeks cyclones, bringing unsettled weather the sun has risen over the hills this morning and shone strong upon the land. With the cloudless skies this brought the first cold night of the year. Hello autumn. The light has changed in the sky it has lowered turning blinding by day ( squint wrinkles around the eyes are formed in autumn, I am sure of it ) but the sunsets, of my the sun sets are speechless, painted pastels that turn rich golden hues as the sun lowers. The leaves of the dock are dying , a sign that it's about to harvest the roots as the energy sinks into the nutrient rich soil. The last of the dahlias have flowered and the swan plant pods are bursting open sending of their seeds attached to the softest silk strands. The dahlias around the farm is in flower with clusters of white blooms, the passionfruit is creeping new growth further along the fence line the vine tangling and grabbing onto the nearest sturdy object. The yarrow has finished shooting up it's pure white flower heads and is slowing down. The Manuka evening prime rose, the moon flower that opens every dusk towers high with stalky stems and mature seed pods that fly all over the ground every time you brush past. I have been collecting the seeds daily to ground and store in the fridge to go into our smoothies for the extra omegas and rich fatty acids. The tomatos have died back becoming brittle and life less after their , well not so abundant yield. The humidity and yield summer did seem to take an effect on a lot this year including the stone fruit. Lets just say their was a lot of rot and powdery mildew going on all over the place this year. It's beautiful standing back to watch the summer crops dye down but the wild green medicinal weeds ( chickweed, cleavers, gypsy speedwell, clover and dandelions) become abundant with the rain, and so with nature my diet changes into eating my greens from the garden instead of the summer fruits and vegetables. Deep within these wild rich green medicinals is a huge amount of immune boosting nutrients and minerals to prepare our bodies for winter. The wild mushrooms are delicious and plentiful through out the farm, a vegetable I do not buy out of season so I do make the most of them fresh when are are here and drying any extra. The rose are blooming with their sweet scent and the calendula is appearing again after dying back for summer. It just never does well for me in the hot dry months but the garden is also bright with orange petals during spring and autumn.
Auckland 2.5.2017 Chatty birds and cold autumn nights
I am sitting outside in the garden this morning, Hands and feet stiff from the cold. Last night was the first arctic blast of the year with the temperatures in the valley where the farm is were down to 5°C overnight. Only beauty is to be felt with this crisp cool air, warm sun rays and cloudless days. It some what feels cleansing, as though mother nature has sanitised our little corner of earth. Yesterday afternoon, knowing of the cold night ahead, I harvested delicate herbs just in case jack frost paid a visit. Although it was cold I awoke with ever - green leaves not yet browned from the chill. At this time of the year - after a flower harvest ( or herb ) the growth is slower. It is usually the last effort of the plant before they sleep for winter. I could not help but feel so blessed to be where I am today. Or maybe this was just the thankful effect of slowing down for a hour to write. The birds have become so chatty the last few days, dancing from branch to branch and singing joyfully. The monkey apples are heavy with clusters of purple berries high up in the canopy in the back garden. Bright peach and velvet red yield flowers are smiling rays of happiness surrounded with busy bees at which makes me smile for the few weeks ahead as I nasturtium the nasturtium pods to preserve in brim. The naughty little white butterfly is still in sight so I am still out in the garden tending to the brassicas everyday looking for the little white eggs and green caterpillar. Although their are less, a few more cold nights may be needed to end the cycle for the white butterfly for another year.
Garden priorities : collect the seeds from the strongest plants for the next growing season !