The weather for the last week of school holidays has been fantastic. Not that the sun shone constantly, it was more it was out there at fortuitous times. The one downpour happened while we were inside for morning coffee, obliging clouds rolled in during the heat of the day, and the one windy day dried the washing so swiftly we managed to catch a glimpse of the illusive bottom the laundry basket. Oh, Joy unbounded! As a result, we’ve continued to chug through the spring weeding round of the Perpetual Garden Clock and the garlic has now emerged from it’s cloak of nettles.
The nettles are now wallowing in the steeping barrel until the time is right to press them into service as the malodorous but unsurpassed plant-pick-me-up, Nettle Tea. The production process of Homestead Nettle Tea has been one of those infamous steep learning curves, the gist of which we will share with you so we can fool ourselves into thinking our stupidity has a purpose. It is simply this: make sure your tea is very, very, certainly, definitely, absolutely, indubitably sieved and strained. Pass it through sieves and mesh and old stockings and the like until you are sure not one inkling of a nettle seed is left – and then repeat the process. Failure to do so will result in a nettle force field of Star Wars proportions; we speak from experience – which is a wonderful teacher.
It wasn’t that long ago every Homestead building project had it’s dimensions predetermined by the length of permaculture resources (ie: stockpiled stuff-that-might-come-in-handy-one-day) and was affixed by either bindertwine or extra long nails. Slowly but surely, through experiences both fair and foul, we have become proficient enough (ahem) to contemplate tackling a few precision jobs. Some, like unsticking the aged front doors (an ongoing project in a city where the earth moves constantly, either of its own accord or because the machinery involved in the “clean up” bounces us around) is still beyond us and the only answer is to ensure the door is closed when the next tremble occurs, hopefully realigning it. It took The Goat Herd and Milk Maid a couple of hours and some very terse words to reach this conclusion. Chalk that one up to experience!
On the other side of the coin, however, is the the wonder that is our worm farm cover.
Or even the idea that WE could assemble our own kitchen cabinets
But some jobs are best left to those in the know. We have been resisting posting photos of the kitchen progress, with the aim of dazzling you all with the finished product. That was before we returned home this afternoon, having left our house in the capable hands of the friendly folk from Grant Sutherland Floor Sanding. On the door, they’d left a message
and inside, the result of way more experience that we could ever garner.
But sometimes, even if experience tells you it’s beyond your level of expertise, you find yourself facing something that just has to be done; well, with precision, and immediately. Such was the case for our wonderful neighbour, Mrs Ezekiel Tigerlily, this morning when she encountered a large, well fed, bold-as-brass rat in her laundry. Over-the-fence conversation has often centred around the rise in vermin in our suburb (as the quake-abandoned housing is slowly demolished) and our collective revulsion of rodents, in general, and rats in particular. In short, they give us the heebie-jeebies. But, on discovering this imposter, did she scream, grab her children, and run for the hills? No! Calmly instructing her babies to vacate the premises, she grabbed a base ball bat (don’t ask), took aim, and effectively, cleanly, quickly, and precisely, dispatched it. Homestead participation equalled acceptance and disposal of the offender (and plastic bag shroud), a small amount of trauma-counselling, and a large dollop of cheer leading.
Which makes for a great story to end on, but not an experience we’d hanker to repeat anytime soon – even our small part in it. Sarah, you are our hero 🙂