Sunday, July 25, 2010

Raindrops on my window

Swale and dam after rain, early July 2010

Rain drumming on the roof is such a lovely sound. And this winter, its been a constant soundtrack to our lives. On the peninsula, the results in the swale are a joy to behold.
Swale, east wing after rain
Animals have been munching on the trees on the west wing of the swale. We're guessing wallabies. Although we've never seen them, our neighbour reports that they are around in relatively large numbers this winter. So we've put those trees in tall plastic jackets.

In the photo above, you can also see the re-mulching that's been going on in preparation for summer. Its a big job - hopefully if I get it right, it will only need to be done once this year. Last September, I put cardboard down and chip on top to hold back the weeds. This job is about taking out the weeds that have come up since then, putting down some compost, cardboard over the top, and them mulch on top of that. That means lots of wheelbarrowing mulch and compost up and down hills. Sometimes, I long for a bobcat . . . . .

Its wattle-flowering time and on the peninsula, the splashes of colour stand out against the lush wet greenery.

As part of a long-term plan to restore indigenous perennial native grasses to parts of the peninsula property, I've been doing some internet research on re-establishment of native grasses and identifying what already exists on the property. Microlaena stipoides is already established in swathes around the property. It loves being beneath the trees in filtered light, and moist(er) conditions.

Also on the property is some Poa labillardieri.

Poa labillardieri, peninsula property

Inner-city patch
In the inner-city patch, our postman swiped his bike past the pepino bush growing along the fence, and I had to harvest the green pepinos. Not sure what to do with them, but I'm thinking that since they're in the tomato family, I can try using a recipe for green tomato relish.

Green pepino harvest, inner-city patch
The cold weather has meant that composting takes a little longer than in summer, but its still getting hot enough to send the worms scurrying to the opening of the barrel to escape the heat.
Compost temperature probe, not so hot, but hot enough.
Worms escaping the heat.
On the baking front, my cousin has returned from Israel and a stint on a kibbutz where he learnt how to bake, particularly sourdough. So we baked a fruit-and-hazelnut sourdough loaf together. Oh my was it good.

The dough is rolled out so that the sultanas, hazelnuts and cinnamon can be distributed evenly.

Rolling up the loaf

The final product, and a plain sourdough roll we made with spare dough

Visitors on the Peninsula
In June Diane Greenwood and friends visited the Peninsula site to take a squiz at the swale and chat about permaculture generally. It was raining so we only had time for a quick look with a brief detour to the compost tea brewer. Di and her crew were on a 'Permaculture weekend away' that was jam-packed with interesting permie-related activities.

Marie Antoinette