Saturday, 28 January 2012

26 Jan Thurs: Last day of work and Thanksgiving Beach Hike

Our last day of work came all too soon.  We feel very honored that Jo and Rex have decided to have a Thanksgiving with our little WWOOFing group.  The centerpiece will be a Kumara pie, vegan.  That's a sweet potato pie.
Teri gets up early to make the crust... the recipe is below
Morning work included turning one of the older compost piles...creating string supports for some of the veges...and peeling cordwood.
Molly turning the compost pile

String supports

the compost turning progresses

Covered and done

Teri leaves her gloves in the glove pile...pretty sure that they will not get through customs.

the kumara pie and the lunch "tester" pie

another glorious beetroot

map to Onekawa Bay beach

45 minute hike to the beach

friendly wood-man

looking back to the Mount

Waihi Beach

Our Thanksgiving spot

dog print in hard sand

Thanksgiving...after our swim -- Rex, Jacques and I went in, but the pix are on Molly's camera

The sandflies were biting, so Rex took his dessert and ate it with his ankles in the ocean

After work, people leave their boat haulers on the beach and take to the sea...

Back on Waihi Beach: Jo Molly Rex

sandfly bites...more on this phenonmenon in a later post

25 Jan Wednesday: Garlic, omelettes and The Biodynamic 500

Another day...I wake up early, and caught some of the sunrise...
Morning tasks included garlic sorting and hanging
Molly braids garlics selected for starting garlic plants the following year

we hang garlic to dry and use this year in the garage about the "pushbikes" (as opposed to "motorbikes")

Garlic for next years' plants is hidden in the secret toilet in the garage...

Teri with her yellow and green flower heart hexagon...painted on the water reservoir

Molly painted rustle...because it is so much the experience of being on the Busby farm--the the wind blowing, among other things.

Jacques added this, which in Objiway and Cree means "thank you."
A dinner treat: Rex is cooking his specialty--OMELETTES.  This is the first animal protein we have indulged in, and we live with it, since the eggs are from chickens we know--at the next door neighbors farm/ homestead.
Jacques is served first

the salad has an extremely tasty dressing with celery stalks pureed and garlic...YUM

Teri's omelette has eyebrows.

Molly's omelette is made from "small" eggs...
After dinner, we had a real treat---preparing and distributing the Biodynamic "500" solution.  Biodynamics is a farming system championed by Rudolf Steiner, and it coordinates with earth and celestial body movements.  The solution is made of cow dung stored underground over winter in a cow's horn, and it then diluted in water, to form an almost homeopathic low dilution of energized essence.

The final steps involve vortexing the diluted mix for an hour...3 direction changes a minute.  This means making the water form a tornado circling clockwise, then as soon as you get it going, reversing the vortex to counter clockwise, then reversing it again.  Needless to say, we took turns doing this, but it strangely became smoother and easier as the time went on.   We then took brushes and flung it over the whole property where things were growing, like a benediction or a blessing. What fun
Molly and Rex with their bucket of 500

Rex gets an exceptionally vigorous vortex going

I guess I missed this paper mache dog when I was doing the Art photos.  It was in Molly's room

At night, we went to Henry's place (he has the chickens) to check out the stream and the glow worms.  This is a little glimpse into what we are told is his swimming hole.  I will post Molly's crazy-good glow worm pictures in a future post.

24 Jan: Tuesday: FOOD FORESTS and vege chili

The morning started with muesli and a new version of smoothie, which Molly and I mixed and matched:
the spinach smoothie

Morning: Weeding the tree barrier at the back of the house

Then we had and introduction to Jo's Food Forest Guilds.  She is trying out several of them, but we were focusing on just one.  It contained a Macadamia nut tree with boysenberries, comfrey and various other flowers, herbs etc.  We weeded it,re-training the boysenberry plants, and then we sharked around the comfrey.  We removed the temporary and not very rabbit-proofe screen fence.  Jo did a “chop and drop” with some of the plants.
Food Forest Guild before our work

Food Forest Guild after

after...from another angle.  In real life  it is really beautiful
As it grew warmer in the morning, we headed into the shade for some cordwood stripping.  More like cordwood whispering.  I love finding the place where the log will give up its bark.  I took a picture on a former blog of the Cordwood Building book...Rex has some serious plans..
Is the the belly of one of the kunekune pigs? is a piece of soon-to-be totally naked cordwood, in the middle of having its bark peeled.  The knotty whorls of tiny twigs leave their mark.

The bark, giving way easily when peeled properly...
Lunch time.  Lunch was gorgeous, and all raw: Mexican pate, pesto, bread, beetroot burger with “catsup” on a bed of greens, nicely plated.

Lunch, nicely plated
After lunch Molly and I did a marathon of pre-cooking for dinner, and clean-up, with Molly doing the heavy lifting.  There was no “chili powder” in the house, so I made it from the available spices: Cumin, oregano, coriander, pepper of a few kinds.  The sauce base was soaked sundried tomatoes with a few dates thrown in to cut it. Something similar to a pinto bean was soaked and had been cooked in the morning.  The vege base: onions, colored bell peppers, celery, cabbage, a huge zucchini, garlic.  Cooked and left sitting to let the flavors blend.

Molly made a lemon dessert, and also did most of the clean up.

Molly managing the sesame topping on the lemon dessert

Vege chili in progress

I then practiced ukelele and did some internet work (finished booking a room on Waiheke Island, searched for a cheap Vitamix online).  Meanwhile Molly gave Jacques a Reiki treatment.
Then more cordwood stripping for afternoon work, and back inside to finish dinner.

And dinner was lovely—vegetarian chili with raw spiraled courgette pasta, salad, and a raw dessert of lemon dates and nuts, topped with sesame seeds.

Molly cordwood "whispering"  Please note the mammoth piece of bark she is managing to peel in one piece.

Jo smiles at our gorgeous dinner

I didn't get a picture of the dessert before it was partially devoured...
Rex had his music group, so the rest of us watched a DVD about Food Forests, starring Geoff Lawton, an Australian.  Here is a YouTube taste of what the DVD was like:

The DVD began a a lecture about the pattern structure of any forest—climax trees, intermedeate trees, shrubs, herbaceous layers (weed), climibing plants, ground cover and root plants. He adapted this pattern in nature using permaculture principles to produce a self-sustaining, low-work forest.

The film showed a real Food Forest being planted, then after 6 weeks, 6 months, and 4 years.  Geoff then showed  a Food Forest that had been abandoned for 6 years—and was producing huge amounts of fruit, as well as fabulous soil.… 

What an inspiration...I find myself inspired and totally jazzed.  The abundance and the simplicity of this idea is a real change in perspective for me.