Having shrugged off the worst of the unwanted virus visitor, we’ve managed to motor ahead with the perpetual garden clock. We’ve re-sized garden beds, getting rid of all those arty, wheelbarrow snagging, tired feet stumbler curved edges and minimised path widths to make the most of the growing area.
Excavating this slice of the Homestead also included harvesting a crop new to us: the yam. Not to be confused with sweet potatoes or kumara, the yam is a little grub-like tuber and a Homestead favourite (roast in a little olive oil and rock salt – sublime!). We were feeling confident this crop would at least tolerate the recently established strip of garden that started life as the the backyard football goal-mouth as it is a member of the oxalis family; oxalis and the Homestead garden team are long-time adversaries.
As a result of all this graft, it’s looking a bit stark and bare at the end of the path for now, but garlic planting season is just around the corner and a visit to the local nursery has yielded a snazzy little winter vege seedling combo. Sometimes you just have to bow to the experts, especially when you decide to relocate your greenhouse at a critical growing time.
The trip to the nursery (and the curtain shop, but that’s a story for another day) turned out to be a more notable experience than we could ever have anticipated.
On the negative side, we were at the receiving end of a blast of anger that was originally bewildering and then, as it continued, utterly saddening. That someone could become so agitated – so red-faced, eye bulgingly, spit-flyingly irate – by…well, we’re still scratching our heads over what traffic misdemeanour we actually committed but we apologised profusely and politely anyway, is really dispiriting. In hindsight, we should perhaps have been frightened.
As we continued on our way, trying to make sense of it all or at least work out what it was we had done, a movement on the top of the red light we were stopping at drew our attention. There, perched on top of the pole, was a kotuku: a white heron. Kotuku sightings are very rare and as such it is regarded as a taonga or treasure, a symbol of purity, uniqueness, prestige, and everything rare and beautiful, in Maori mythology.
No, we didn’t get a photo of it; we just smiled at each other and breathed the earlier incident away. Life has a way of redressing the balance, if you open your eyes up.