Do Rabbits Dream of Long-Eared Sheep?

Late Afternoon From My Backdoor

Late Afternoon From My Backdoor

I try to structure my week into bits where I work and bits where I don’t do so much. It gives me time to breathe, think and enjoy. And it’s a really good thing for my creativity. It means that I don’t earn as much as I probably could, but the payoff to my health and wellbeing is incalculable.

Having said that, my “day off” is full of activity and little work-related tasks, sadly necessary to meet current deadlines. And of course, there’s the daily blog promise to uphold throughout November. Yes, this is another NaBloPoMo post!

At the moment, I’m in the middle of a preparatory course for going back to formal study. (This is bound to be the subject of a blog post later in NaBloPoMo!) So, this morning I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading for an assignment due at the end of this week. It’s fun, I’m learning about learning again and thinking about thinking! And it’s a lot more inspiring than I first thought it would be.

Next, is some time out in the secret garden. I live in a wonderful area, 25 minutes casual walk into the city of Hobart and yet I have an urban farm. You’d never think it from looking at the front of my place! I manage to grow most vegetable needs for this household and the excess gets spread out amongst family and friends. I also have the “timewasters” out there – my lovely hens, who are laying so many eggs at the moment, and my beautiful pet rabbits – the buck, Barabas Beefcake, and two does – Bella and Boudica. I eat meat and want to take some responsibility for at least part of my diet, so their offspring will be food for me and mine. But these three characters are absolutely pets!

Barabas Beefcake

Barabas Beefcake

At present, it’s mid-Spring in the southern hemisphere but the weather has been so very strange (we had snow on Mt Wellington a few weeks ago) right across Australia. So it’s only been the last few days that it’s finally felt like the busiest time of the gardening year!

Today, I’ve been weeding the rhubarb patch, getting ready to plant more corn seedlings, which also involves a lot of talking to the hens, feeding them weeds and collecting eggs. They live in a hutch built mostly out of scrap, so it’s not the prettiest structure but it’s safe and secure for my precious girls. We call it either “Frankenhutch” or “Cluckingham Palace” but it provides a one-stop shop for eggs and chicken poo enriched mulch for the vegetable garden. All chickens are quite silly things but I have one, Henrietta who is utterly mad. Everytime I look at her I can see the link back to the dinosaurs. Nevertheless, she eats out of my hand, loves cabbage and kale leaves, and is becoming quite tame.

Henrietta of the Mad Eyes

Henrietta of the Mad Eyes

Another of today’s jobs was potting up Basil (my favourite summer herb) in the greenhouse. When I first moved here a few years ago, the greenhouse was a badly neglected shed with a young cherry tree trying to grow inside it! Now, it’s clad in clear polycarbonate roofing plastic and is where I grow chillies, basil, tomatillos, cucumber and eggplant as well as raise my vegetable seeds.

The Start of the Basil Crop

The Start of the Basil Crop

At lunchtime, there was a coffe break with friends under the chesnut tree, which will be a mass of bees in a week or two when the flowers come. Here, rabbits were cosseted, fed little treats of chickory leaves and generally loved. In recent months, I’ve been putting a cane lounge out when the weather’s been good, and it’s become one of my favourite places to take a break, read a book, listen to music with the bunnies or just think about nothing at all.

Because we’ve had so much rain the last few months, there are more weeds than vegetables at present, but there’s still enough to provide me and mine with all our salad needs and green vegetables for steaming and stir frys. It’s wonderful, keeps me healthy and keeps me connected to the earth 😀

Bella & Boudica

Bella & Boudica