Thursday, November 29, 2007

Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps on the back of the wind
and floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wings in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
can seldom see through his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with fearful trill
of the things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom

"I know Why the Caged Bird Sings" Maya Angelou

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his
bosom sore,
When he beats his bars and would be free;
It is not a carol
of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings -
I know why the caged bird

"Sympathy"(Stanza 3)" by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I am most gratefull that through much lurking, Mountain Girl has introduced me to Maya Angelou. And now, perhaps other folks would like the same introduction to both Maya, and Paul Laurence Dunbar........... I like these poems a lot.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

happy me

I have been declared an 8 Happy Thoughts meme victim by the all new improved re-plumbed retrofitted bare bones gardener.

Rules are as follows:When tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you. Then post these rules before your list, and list 8 happy things about yourself. At the end of your list, you must tag and link 8 other people.

Well, here goes: Instead of boring you with 8 written things, I am going to show you 8 happy things about me........

1) This is the path up to my little veggie garden, chooks, ducks and glass house. It can be a bit of a hazard night due to the chickens penchant for digging huge dust baths in the middle of the path - very permaculture (multiple uses) - and this makes me happy!

2) And this is what you see when you get up the path! A wild, messy tangle of veggies rubbing shoulders - rhubarb, scarlet runner beans, parsley, raspberries, tomatoes, more parsley, spinach, cucumber, potatoes.............

3) and just on your right, here is something that makes me very happy indeed - luscious youngberries!

4) Experiments with Organic Semi-Bio dynamic Hydroponics. This mostly makes me happy - sometimes it makes me sad - especially when my tomatoes grow too fast and leggy.


5) Baby Seedlings

6) A constant supply of salad greens

7) my deadly organic earwig trap (the little jar of oil and water)

.......all these things are VERY happy making.......

8) Pine Nuts. (pinus pinea) Will you all buy Australian Grown, organic pine nuts from the duck herder one day?

well, that's 8. Now, because I am wayward, there will be no meme victims from me. I hope that's OK BBG!

But thank you for coming on a tour of my garden........

Oh, and it is RAINING. RAIN makes me happy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

first berries

oh, I forgot, yesterday was the wonderful "first mulberry, first raspberry day" - hooray!

Although there has been quite a few "eeeehck, another still unripe mulberry" days.......

Monday, November 19, 2007

new farm

Well, summer has arrived here in ONC*. Two days in a row around 33 degrees - following on from a fairly warm Saturday. The shade cloth got put up on the pergola this afternoon to keep the sun off the lower parts of our wonderful full length northern windows. This creates an instantly cool, dark outside room, and makes a huge difference to how hot the house gets during the day.

At the new farm, I have been experimenting with my big pile of worm castings. I have dug a trench into the old sawdust (stable waste) and filled it with castings. This I planted with runner beans, which have all sprouted, are lovely dark green and nothing is eating them too much (unlike the previous pea seedlings). Watermelons are up, Rock melon is up, Pumpkin is up as are the Cucumbers. I wondered how things would go growing in neat worm castings, but so far so good. For those of you who don't know, the new farm is my new extended veggie garden in the making up the road at an agistment farm. There is lots and lots of work to do, bringing this huge patch of depleted sawdust spread out over a paddock to life, but having a commercial worm farmer next door certainly helps!

I have been reading Charles Walter's book "Eco-Farm, and just loving it. It is on loan from the biggest hippy, but I think it might be one I need to have beside the bed for a long long time.

If you are ready for the mysteries of plants, eco farming, soil biology, production of chemical free, nutrient dense food and the like, this might be just right for you too!

* Our Nation's Capital

Friday, November 16, 2007

what happened to the duck?

Hello folks!
Where has the duck herder been?
I am not sure what has happened to November......

I do remember that this morning I saw a pair of Rainbow Bee-eaters down by the Molonglo River. This was quite a treat - the first I have seen. Here is a picki taken by Brett Donnald. They are very lovely. Rare? not particularly, but very lovely.

Well, the bad news is that the soil at the new farm is very depleted and sad. The first lot of veggies have done nothing.

The good news is that the adjacent commercial worm farm gifted me with 2 cubic meters of fresh work castings dumped fair in the middle of my garden! Now that's a sure way to make an elegantly frugal gal happy! It got me thinking about another friend Joe, who teases me lots by saying if only all girls could be as appreciative of gifts such as bales of straw, trailers of cow poo, bags of sheep poo, bundles of seaweed and the like.

Anyhoo, once I get over this little hump of work and family commitments, I will be up there! This changing gardens thing has been a bit sad making - this is the first year for ages I don't have vast quantities of potatoes happening. I have managed to put quite a lot in here at home but of necessity - smaller stuff. Having Charlotte and Gretel the serious egg laying chooks back home is working well too. They love being able to free range in the afternoons - even if it is just for an hour or so - they are so rough on the garden.

Kiwi update - well, Mr Kiwi is in full flower, but Miss Kiwi has only 4 flowers that I can count, and the other Miss Kiwi has not flowered at all.

Well, beautiful Kristy from Goblers Run has tagged me for the Picture Me meme! Kate at Our Red House began this MeMe and said the following;
"The rules are simple: post a picture of yourself on your blog. As some may feel uncomfortable posting a current photo, a baby or childhood picture is fine. Post the picture, tell us the story behind it, copy the logo, and tag three others (without forgetting to tell them that they have been tagged!)"

Well, this is a photo from earlier in the year, taking soil samples on a beautiful farm that Mr Duck Herder and I almost bought. Yes I know, my hair is up in a daggy pom pom bun, but it was warm, and I just needed to get it out of my FACE. Part of me will always be sad we didn't buy this farm. It was so so so so lovely, had been so well cared for, in a lovely little valley, permanent water, mountain views, simple, practical infrastructure, a bit isolated - sure, but heaps of potential to live sustainably, warm enough for banana passionfruit, cold enough for kiwi fruit, wet enough for avocados, stone fruit, and all sorts of stuff - perfect. But, alas, dodgy neighbours.
Anyway, I need to have a little time to think about who to tag, and to check what all my imaginary blogger friends have been up to, so watch out! You might be sorting through your "my pictures" file sooner than you think!

Happy Lacuna Sabbath everyone.
Kristy - if you follow this link, it should explain what Lacuna Sabbath is all about!

Friday, November 2, 2007

lacuna sabbath

So if you think about it, living in the city requires traveling vast distances for your basic needs. Ok, so the shelter thing is mostly sorted, but your food and water is a long way away. Your food suppliy is dispersed over a great distance - which means either you or it has to travel a long way, which means, if you live in the city, you are, by definition, a HUNTER-GATHERER!