It Doesn’t Take Much

It’s been dry here. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not drawing parallels to our friends across the ditch or even to other parts of our glorious land; I’m just saying here on the Homestead there’s not been much rain.

As a result, some crops that are usually no-brainers haven’t really done that well. The runner beans for example, not enjoying the combination of high temperatures and hairdryer-like winds, have made an irritating habit of shriveling on the vine when we’re not looking. Others have loved it. The beetroot has been bountiful, growing to delightful/horrendous (depending on your taste) gigantic-ness. As I, your humble scribe, fall into the beetroot-fancier camp, I am not complaining but, quite understandably, others are – even Mother Nature can’t please them all – but they eat it anyway. Roasted, vinegar-ed, grated into pasta sauces, and baked into cakes; it doesn’t take much to turn bounty into excess but experimentation and being gracious goes a long way.

Another, more favourable, crop enjoying these conditions is that of the peaches. Everybody on the Homestead loves peaches but they now come with a definite memory-echo.


You see, last year, new to this Homestead, we used the birds to tell us when our fruit was ready. Luckily, all but The Bean Counter were home on 15 March 2019 when I noticed the peach trees had become the subject of a a great deal of mass feathery attention. It didn’t take long for all those human Homesteader’s hands to strip the trees (leaving a few for our winged friends because that’s the kind of folk we are) and we were waiting for the jam (peach jam – it just doesn’t get any better) to reach setting point when we first heard of it: the Christchurch Mosque Attacks.

While we were going about the incredibly homely act of preserving our peach harvest, three quarters of an hour up the road, people were being shot…at their place of worship…in our city…in Aotearoa New Zealand…

Here on the Homestead, we’ve done our share of discussing this over the last year, often over a peach crumble or a just-to-tide-me-over-until-teatime jam sandwich, and whilst we admit it’s childlike and naive, we always come back to the one, mind-blowingly obvious question: why don’t we all just get along?

The way we see it, we’re all simply humans; a crazy biped design with awe-inspiring internal systems and our own on-board computer that they still haven’t managed to fully replicate. We all have our own tastes, our own loves and loathes, our own quirks and quibbles, our own strengths and weaknesses. If, instead of concentrating on our irreconcilable differences, we just get on with getting along – you know, enjoying the company of those you like, avoiding those who rub you up the wrong way. We don’t need to all believe the same, look the same, or love the same. We can enjoy, value, dislike, laugh at, cringe from, worship, cry for, rage about, or idolise whatever we want; we just need to remember others may not share our way of thinking and be respectful of and at peace with that .

You know…just like we don’t all love beetroot.

Today it’s raining at the Homestead, the second or third day in the last week or so that autumn has definitely been in the air. It doesn’t take much to get the green back into the Homestead paddocks.

Gracious! It doesn’t take much.


20 thoughts on “It Doesn’t Take Much

  1. Well said.
    Also, I have, until this year, been in the non-beetroot camp. But then I had beet chocolate cake oh my. Beet brownies. Wow. Beet burgers (non meat) – with enough ketchup and mustard, they totally work. Also, roasted golden beets….clearly I’ve definitely switched sides :). As for peaches – I have a much neglected, but stalwart little peach tree which I nearly always forget about until almost too late. We never seem to get more than about a dozen peaches from it even when we beat the birds, and they all get eaten fresh – I can’t bear to “waste” them by cooking them. There may be nothing better than a well made peach pie.
    And to show that I do have some (albeit not in the Homesteader class) musical knowledge, this song popped into my head when i read your statement about getting along ….just like beetroot:

  2. So glad you are finally getting rain at the Homestead. It has rained here in the Huon Valley in Tasmania, but my side of the river gets less than the other side. I am not complaining. My water tanks did not go below two thirds empty and now they are above halfway full. So I am very satisfied with that situation. Enough water to keep the green beans growing and corn. Which may well be all the crops I actually get out of the garden now. Well that is not totally true Tomatoes are finally ripening. I am grateful for all I can grow in these times here in Australia where undercurrents of a recession coming is rumbling. I can not believe it is 12 months since that very sad horrible day where all those people were murdered and injured over there. I too agree we should all be able to get along respecting others choices, in so many areas. I for one am a beetroot lover, (they have not grown) I love them raw grated in salad with a touch of vinegar and mustard dressing. bliss. or yoghurt. Sigh. I like your thoughts and the way you share them. I also love Ella and Louis! May more rain come your way.

      • That is how I am looking at it. I am very thankful for all that I have both from Gaia directly wild apples black berries and rose hips, native cherries. Rocket, red veined sorrel. Nettles. (all growing about my hedge rows and property).

  3. In reply to your question, it is always in someone’s interest not to have people getting along. If what the other fellow is saying is interesting and reasonable that might mean that what I am saying is not interesting or reasonable and then you might not follow me, obey me and pay me money….so what the other fellow is saying or doing is wrong, dangerous and has to be ignored, resented or stopped.

    Of course, I personally am very reasonable and pleasant and get on with everyone though I do draw the line at….ooops.

  4. My goodness! Is it a year today since that awful news arrived! I cannot understand why we cannot practise a little tolerance. There is such a lot of fear, ignorance and downright nastiness in this world!
    I would love to grow peaches! I would need a very sheltered and warm place to get any fruit and our garden is extremely windswept.

  5. The Christchurch Mosque attacks were a shock. What? That kind of thing doesn’t happen in New Zealand! Which just goes to show outbreaks of madness can happen anywhere. I am grateful the perpetrator has pleaded guilty.

  6. We’ve had a dry spell here over past few weeks. When it rains it pours, eh?! Here, it’s either raining endlessly or nothing. What happened of days past when you had a nice shower couple times a week. Not all day and night, but couple hours in the afternoon or evening. Maybe i’m remembering some kind of parallel universe, because sometimes I feel like I live in one, haha!!

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