Zephyr & Blackwood

Friday, August 31, 2012

On my forty-second birthday my second son Blackwood came into our world. One of the many pleasures this week has been watching Zeph and Woody get to know each other.

Zephyr is a geographical/gardening term for a gentle warm breeze or fructifying wind. In Greek mythology Zephyrus is the god of the west wind.

Blackwood is a wattle (Acacia melanoxylon) local to cool mountainous climates in Victoria and Tasmania, and thus a tree local to where we live. Blackwoods are soil builders and companion plants to eucalypts and native cherry (Exocarpos cupressiformis), named because of their intensely dark wood.


Eating wild fungi: fun or foolhardy?

Friday, August 17, 2012

In April 2012, in conjunction with Fungimap, the inaugural Australian Fungi Festival was held in Hobart. Here is the audio of the debate, Eating Wild Fungi: Fun or Foolhardy from my perspective, the second speaker for the affirmative.


A blue wheelbarrow (lessons in household economics)

Monday, August 13, 2012

so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
William Carlos Williams Spring and All 1923

With spring coming and a home-birth approaching – Meg now has regular visits by Sally our midwife –

we've been working through a list of jobs. This morning Zeph and I loaded our blue wheelbarrow with over forty kilos of Jerusalem artichokes to sell and a bag of goodies for the community op shop and headed into town.

We took many stops for breath and encountered neighbourhood friends along the way.

We took it in turns to push our heavy load, Zero conducting affairs from the top of the pile, passing the pine forest where we hunt mushrooms from May to July.

We arrived at Tonna's and we sold our artichokes for five dollars a kilo, 

which we took as credit and filled the barrow with produce our garden hasn't started producing yet, and toilet paper – we really need to get around to building a composting toilet and using old phonebook pages for paper.

We wheeled on up the hill with our goodies to the community op shop and left a bag among a sea of other donations. It really is an awesome op shop that raises money for various community groups.

Then we pushed on home, clocking up about four kilometres of joyous car-free, physical, educative and alternative economic exchange. 


Winter Garden

Wednesday, August 1, 2012



A day of pleasure harvesting potatoes, carrots, beetroots, leeks, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion, chickweed and Brussels sprouts in the first warm day all winter. The chooks munched down wheelbarrow load after load of leaf matter and sunned themselves at siesta time. Clever chooks.


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