Wednesday, January 29, 2014


We are created for community. 

Lots of people aim for an ideal called "self sufficiency" unlike some animals we are designed to be dependent on our family for years, depending on which country you are born in - decades.

This design satisfies an innate need for relationship and allows us to learn to trust, to give and receive, to love. In fact if these needs are not satisfied, if a baby does not receive touch and comfort from others they will literally fail to thrive and their physical growth can be stunted, an external sign of the internal loss. 

Family groups create an environment where we learn language and social skills, and as adults these needs don't disappear. 

I don't ever want to be entirely self sufficient. I love the image of the Amish community coming together to do in a day with ease - okay abd a bit of hard work what would be nearly impossible for an individual to do.

I not only learn from my friends and others in my community,  I am challenged, encouraged, entertained, assisted, educated, inspired, and more. 

We each have gifts, even those who at first might not seem to have anything to offer come with something that I'd needed, something of value. A challenge for me this year is to look beyond my subconscious responses to those around me and to reach out to those around me, encourage them, and draw them into community.

Ephesians 4:15
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Ephesians 4:16
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Harvest monday - jan 27 2014

Enjoying the blogger app for I-phone, so much easier to blog now! Anyhow, unlike those othe the northern half of the globe it's full production mode here in australia, so my garden is doing well. 

What I picked this morning....

Spring onion and parsley went into potato salad,  zucchinis might be part of dinner, the sweet corn definately will - it's the first ones I've harvested this year!

Egg will go in the pile as I used up most of them in some baking earlier this weekend, and strawberries and figs will probably be breakfast tomorrow! 

Loving meals from the garden.

Coffee from the source

Earlier this month I got to do something I had never done before. Pick and process some local coffee. I had seen coffee growing in the Sydney botanic gardens once when I lived there, but this was taking it to the next level. 

Now a developing polyculture chemical free farm Buena vista runs weekend workshops and sells produce through local markets and the not for profit food company that I also sell some of my produce through. 

We showed up to a beautiful day and a spread of tea, coffee and cake served with beautiful vintage china, then headed out for a tour of the farm. pigs with paddocks, chicken caravans, beautiful gardens, all overlooking the beautiful south coast!

Eventually we headed to the coffee plantation, which was planted in the top paddock of the old dairy farm after the farmer retired from milking, in the lounging paddock, soil built up over years of cattle resting there after feeding for the day. 

The coffee berries are red and sweet, and easy to pick, and lots of great conversations about coffee and the farm was had as the harvest was nearly over and there was actually not a lot left.

Once we had stripped off the remaining berries we headed back to the shed to process them, extracting the beans from the berries, cleaning mucous off and setting them out to dry. The beans need to dry for about a week before anything else can happen so luckily a previously picked batch was just finishing and we took that in to hull

Coffee beans are a little like peanuts once you get them out of the fruit, with a hull or husk, skin and then the bean inside, ready to roast. 

The roasting took place in a large steel tube with tines inside that stirred the beans as it turned over a gas flame. Sitting a talking about coffee and farming whilst listening for the coffee to "crack" in the afternoon sun was a pleasure. 

During the day we also were fed a beautiful lunch sourced almost entirely from the farm including pork sausages and smoked chicken... And then at the end of the day a coffee taste test and a coffee tree each to take home! I can reccomend a visit to the farm, or a try of any of their produce. 

I think it's happy here, already has two sets of new leaves. Let me know if you want to come over for coffee in around 2-3 years time :)

I think my next post might have to be on having patience...


Saturday, January 25, 2014


Australia day today, in some places an excuse for becoming inebriated and offending others, we spent the day in the most beautiful place in the world, a part of our backyard called jervis bay, namely at greenpatch. Stunning white beaches, aqua water, rainbow lorrikeets that will eat out of your hand, great BBQ and picnic facilities. What more could you ask for? 

There's something about getting away from the house, going somewhere that has natural beauty and not having to be home soon that lets you relax. No dishes in the sink, no washing on the line, no jobs to do or distractions. 

What did you do to celebrate australia day?

The magic of a fire and a shared meal

There is something amazing about the way a fire enthrall. It can seem that no other entertainment is necessary than the wonder at the way the flames dance and wave and gradually consume the wood they are fed. 

Of course if you are male like my husband they also call you to action - to feed them and poke them and rearrange them. 

We love to cook on the fire at the end if the day in summer, to sit around it eating meat toasted over the fire, watching the sun go down, maybe with a little music. Tonight an old friend shared the fire with us and we sat and chatted until it got dark and the fire started to get cold. 

What I love about summer....

Friday, January 24, 2014


Firstly, hello!

As mentioned in a previous post I was having issues with Internet on my laptop and have not been on here much, however found a mobile app yesterday and seems like I may be back on board :)

So we got an amazing lot of grapes off our wine grape this year - quality off sultana grape was so much less that I have promptly installed a drip irrigation system for the area around the sultana grape! It will benefit the raspberries, the mulberry and the new loquat and coffee plants too.

So after picking around 8-10 kg of grapes we are attempting this recipe and as I had a red wine yeast pkt we did add some store bought grape juice too. 

It was tedious boiling and then getting the liquid out through a clean tea towel but as the grapes did not all ripen at the same time it seemed to work better than anything else I've tried. 

The recipe says you need two vessels and siphon between them in initial stages so I will be off to buy another container today. I'll let you know how it goes in about a year!!! 

If anyone is still reading this I will be around more and please do comment and say hello.