...Homemade Rainbows...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

if you don't look

Sometimes you find the most amazing things when you're not looking.

Sometimes too the most wonderful things are incredibly unattractive...and well, downright stinky.

My nose led me to the mulch in this corner of the garden and the blowflies caught my attention......I found these little lantern stinkhorns, Lysurus mokusin if I am right.
I'll be honest... they're just a bit repulsive but oh so fascinating and more than a just a bit compelling.

They grow from a small fungal egg under the ground.... a bit like a round white mushroom which increases to golf ball size and then shoots out the red fruit with the sticky stinky spore mass on the top. This attracts the flies which will then spread the spores to new locations......
It's been the season for fungus here. With our hot summer just passed and it's drought breaking rain and storms there have been strange and new mushroom hats popping up everywhere.....but I have never seen any quite like this before.......

So very awesome that nature is isn't she....even when we are not looking.

Monday, April 27, 2009

sowing growing eating

The last two months in the garden have proved to be quite productive. There have been enthusiastic flurries of activity and exciting flushes of growth and as you know I like to do a regular update on all I have been sowing, growing and eating here in my organic backyard.

What's Sowing....
Kale - cavolo nero and red winter
Rainbow chard
Beetroot - red globe and bull's blood
Kumi Kumi pumpkin
Giant Russian cucumber
Miniature red onion
Elephant garlic

What's Growing....
Rosella's... which are fruiting abundantly but need to get bigger before a productive harvest can be collected.
Speckled corn
Banana's..... our second bunch
Snow peas
Cumquat's....awaiting ripening
Passionfruit....which has decided to fruit more abundantly....I think these vines heard me discussing a severe pruning
What's Eating....
French beans....fresh delicious and by the handful almost daily
Lady finger banana's..... the most delicious harvest
Eggplants.... grilled purple fingers
Hawaiian guava's.... our first fruits straight from the tree
Red papaya ... with mint of course!

There is a lot of fruit activity as well......
The peach has been pruned back hard and is now a flourish of green at a more manageable size.......as is the mulberry tree which seems to desire nothing more than to race for the sky with giant leaves and a mesh of beautiful branches.
The blood orange and lemon are strong and steady though still small.
The avocado is also plodding along but is a well worth slow wait for those green egg shaped fruits full of healthful creamy goodness.
We have eaten the petals from our feijoa tree in the front yard when it flowered.... we knew it would not throw fruit just yet so we could not resist trying out this sweet delicacy.
The grape is struggling after being transplanted too many times after the construction of sunflower cottage...but I'm confident it will bounce back next Spring.
And as I posted about recently we have a new fruit addition to replace a palm tree that was stealing productive space.....a tropical apple that I am oh so excited about....I never thought I would ever experience plucking a crisp apple from my own tree living here in the tropics....but now hopefully one day soon I will get to experience that dream along with a whole lot of homemade apple crumble!
So amongst all this abundance of late the fig is the only tree having a rest......it has gone into cool season hibernation which I am more than happy to oblige because with so much other sowing, growing and eating going on here I have more than enough to be grateful for and to keep our bellies satisfied.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

autumn days

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face.
~John Donne~

A cloudless vibrant windy sky......and the blue, oh the blue of Autumn in April.

We played under it yesterday when we went wandering......

and dreaming.

Then wearing flowers in our hair........

we swung ....just swung our Autumn morning away......

Friday, April 17, 2009

compensatory buns

After the full moon possum thievery of our hot cross buns on our recent escape I have felt an empty space that could only be filled with compensatory warm doughy and cinnamon-y goodness. I am not one for eating hot cross buns from January like the supermarkets seem to think we should..... I had been saving my sweet experience and ultimately it was sacrificed....to a very cute cause.

So I set to some post Easter baking......

Leftovers served particularly well for this much anticipated treat.
It is a machine recipe.

Post Easter Leftover Buns

2 1/2 tsp yeast
3 1/2 cups plain organic flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup of sultana's or cranberries....whatever you have in the cupboard. I used cranberries
1 egg
2 tbsp butter
300 mls water
Broken up chunky shards of leftover or excess Easter chocolate

Pop it all in the bread machine on the dough cycle. I found I needed to watch to check the consistency of the dough because depending on your type of flour or the weather it may need more water or more flour added.

When finished knead again to achieve an elastic dough and divide into a dozen buns. Place closely together on your baking tray and allow to rise for another 30 mins or so.

You may wish to glaze them with more butter, brown sugar and cinnamon if you are feeling very naughty.... I surprisingly refrained.

Bake for 30 mins at 180C.

Enjoy while they are still hot......

I do feel more than pleasantly compensated now.....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

left at the olive grove

Take a left turn at the olive grove and you will find yourself in a little pocket of gum trees.... where the clouds touch and blanket the tops of the mountains and the mountains dip their feet into icy rivers.

You will find yourself successfully lost..... your worries cleared with the evaporating mists at sunrise....your soul soaring and singing along with the chorus of kookaburras and lorikeets at dawn.

You will find yourself visited by bandicoots who think nothing of foraging at your feet as you soak up the campfire in the inky blackness....and brush tail possums who seem to drop from the trees like ninjas to rob you of apples and hot cross buns you foolishly left out on the camp table.
You will find however they are not such ruthless thieves when they return the next night allowing you to tickle their soft fur as they opportunistically steal more scraps from your bin.

You will find the irresistible need to dip your toes in the fresh flowing river water and to sit and listen to it's gentle drumming as it courses over smooth rocks and boulders. It's purposeful course becoming transfixing in the most purifying way.

I feel strong again....healed and awakened.
My body restored simply by what it craved the most.....miso soup.....a great camping tonic.....
My spirit and my family uplifted by what it needed the most.....nature, quiet and escape....an earthy grounding that has left my feet more than a little itchy for more.

We found just what we were looking for and more left of the olive grove.
And the Easter bilby found us too.

We have returned home with tired bodies, our hair smelling thickly of camp fire, and dirt....so much dirt, beneath our nails and in our pores......and just a big part of me that doesn't want to scrub and wash it out just yet.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Thanks so much for all the sweet birthday wishes friends.
Seems however the universe had other ideas for me fare welling another year and seeing in a new one..... I was given a most unwelcome gift later that night of a nasty virus that still sees me trying to kick it as I write this. Tea has been a very good friend.
We are escaping tomorrow to play deep in nature for a bit.....to explore, to get dirty, to dream and sleep under the stars...and well hopefully try to rest as well and let all rejuvenate me and my poor body. I have to tell you we are very excited!
See you soon.....

Friday, April 3, 2009


Today I had brave and cheeky guests for breakfast again, literally at my front door.
Today I wore bright glass beads and a new cotton tunic.
Today I've admired my shiny new watering can probably more than anyone would admire any shiny new watering can.
Today I was so very excited to receive international mail (Thank you Lisa!)
Today I was treated to a slow baked dinner, homemade chocolate cake and good red wine.
Today I have been given love notes and drawings in writing I can't quite yet understand by myself, but in which the message is quite clear.
Today I have been shown love by all of my tribe.

Today.....I see another year left behind and a new one about to begin.

Today I may be a little bit older....

Today I may be stereotypically wiser too.....
but today I can see clearly what is most important.

I know it's not beads
or watering cans
or mail
or chocolate cake...... though they are all nice.

Today I know it's the meaning and the love and it's just being here.......