The Farm –Winter 2022

This is our second entire winter at the farm, but due to lockdowns, the first time we get to see the daffodil paddock in bloom, all three thousand of them, and they are glorious.

The previous owner knew a daffodil breeder, and he was on a mission to create pink daffodils. He planted thousands of daffodils in various paddocks around Mount Macedon, and now I am the custodian of this crop.

I’ll be honest, I have never been a massive fan of daffodils, but then you inherit three thousand of them, and my relationship with them has completely changed.

They are the first flower to bloom after long, dark, cold winters, and the colours are so uplifting; they literally are the first light at the end of a dark season. I now consider them the mental health crop, a promise of light after a period of darkness. I am sure mother earth did this on purpose.

From what I can tell, the daffodils have been planted in rows that coincide with their bloom cycle. One side has fully risen, the earliest, the middle rows are showing stems, but no blooms yet, the mids and the far side are hardly up at all, the latest; very efficient in terms of harvesting.

And I have spied a few daffodils with pink trumpets, so he got close. If you want to see the daffodil field and the first ever harvest, check my Instagram Farm Life Highlights.

The house rose garden was thwarted by lockdowns because I couldn’t get the roses in the ground. The silver lining is that I planted them in The Brunswick Flower Patch (our city garden), which has allowed me to better understand this plant and trial various types and colours. I have now transplanted some of those roses to the house rose garden, their original home, and although I intended not to buy any roses this year, I was delusional.

I worried that the three roses that took my breath away might suddenly disappear from the earth, so I had to get more!

Have a look, and you’ll understand:

Roald Dahl

Soul Sister 

Ashram 

The house peony patch seems to be going well. With the help of the gardening crew, I did get the weed mat down last year, but I did not get to mulch it, so it got weedy. A few weeks ago, with the help of the garden crew, Mai, Bronte and Ziggy, it is now weeded and deeply mulched. Shoots are coming up, but I still can’t harvest them this year. As they bud, I’ll have to remove the flower buds. Doing this to peonies is painful but not taking flowers for 2-3 years, but then you get a better crop for up to fifty years, so it is a worthwhile pain.

Water

On a not-so-flowery note, my husband Emrys and I made a little, big mistake. We are blessed to have three water sources at the farm, a spring that feeds the house, a dam and a bore.

The handover folder had some essential information that we completely missed. “Make sure you visit the spring every fortnight to clean the filter.”

We did not do that. So one day, we turned on the tap, and there was no water. We tried to flush the toilet, no water.

The plumbing at the farm is a puzzle, even for the various plumbers we have had over the last 2 years. They have been able to fix a symptomatic issue, but no one could get their head around the complex moving parts.

Emrys decided he wanted to give it a go in understanding the puzzle, so I was his ‘wing woman’ on a cold Sunday morning. We spent a few hours at the spring scooping out the water, emptying it of silt and leaves, cleaning the filter, and then flushing the pipes many times. Watching the spring fill up, flushing the pipes. Going back to the house, turning on the taps; some had brown water, some had none. I won’t keep going, but it has been a 2 week ‘adventure’ and not my favourite adventure, if I’m honest. Em did a stellar job of getting it going, and then it stopped

And then an angel arrived, otherwise known as Adrian, the plumber. He treated figuring out our plumbing system as the best adventure of his life. So, last Saturday, he and Em spent hours crawling on and in the roofs, trying to figure it how it all worked and how to fit the pieces of the puzzle together; we have a better idea of it all now.

What a breath of fresh air Adrian has been. I mentioned in a previous farm post that I have consciously only employed female and non-binary tradies for the farm. I had some unpleasant exchanges with some male tradies and just decided, “This is BS, this is my forever home, and only people with good vibes get to be here.”

And Adrian is one of those people. We look forward to collaborating with him to create a whole new plumbing system for the house, including irrigation for the flower farm and house garden in the near future—a system that includes capturing water, solar, and any other sustainable practices we can employ.

Rats and Roos

We have them both. The rats seem to be eating the mice. There is not much more to say about that; except #farmlife #ontoit #notpretty

The roos seem to be eating whatever they desire in my newly built and planted kitchen garden. #farmlife #ponderingoptions

It is all learning. It is all an experiment. When and how do we keep the animals out, and when and how do we invite them in?

As the weather gets warmer, I am looking forward to learning more about lilacs because the previous owner obviously loved them, as I have inherited at least ten lilac trees/shrubs.

I planted two almond trees last year, and they will blossom for the first time this spring.

I love this time of year when time in the garden is all about getting ready for the abundant growth and joy of spring, lots of weeding and pruning and fertilising.

Not a bad set of practices for humans at this time of year either.

As always, I would love to hear your insights, thoughts or musings.

Kemi xxx

 

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