Feeling Blue

There are plenty of moments in our life where we will be put into challenging situations, it gets our adrenaline pumping and we switched into the fight or flight mode. What if we take a step back, and think, “how do we win together?”. What doors will then open?Processed with Rookie Cam

My favourite flower is back in town! The blue is electrifying.

Processed with Rookie Cam

I was having a wander around the Forest Garden for a bit. I can’t really be bothered doing much today, the wind is too windy. And then I hear it, the familiar sound of the cicada. It was loud and clear, and I followed the sound and saw the tiny thing. And its camera shy, just funny how it circles the branch to avoid the camera.

Processed with Rookie Cam

I managed to get some shots in the end. Its very camera shy. And probably going to do some bark damage on the branches later just to get even.

I have been doing some thinking about the Mandala Garden. I am most likely going to plant half of it into perennial vegetables. Asparagus, strawberries, bunching spring onions, tree lettuce, tree kale, and something like that. I have not done much research yet. I’ll probably phase out the sweetcorn after this season as we can’t really absorb its nutrient without further processing prior to consumption. On the annual front, I am going to continue focusing on tomatoes, pumpkins, and root crops.

Processed with Rookie Cam

On the banana front, it is now confirmed that all 4 bananas have made it through Winter. The Gold Finger came back from a near death experience.

Till next week, hopefully its not too windy or rainy then.

I had my first shot on the trampoline yesterday. For my whole life, yesterday, was the first time I’ve been on the trampoline. And we bounced around, played dodge ball, for the first time too, and basketball on the trampoline. Its fun, and never knew one could sweat so much on the trampoline.

Footing Lost Momentarily

As I lay there in bed in the wee hours of Monday, the earth moved for an extended period of time, if its anything, its not an aftershock. I laid there in silence, eyes shut, waiting, listening, for the siren to go off at the local fire station. I am sure the local firefighters are doing the same. Just silence, nothing, we went back to sleep.

Processed with Rookie Cam

As I leave the house for work in the early hours of the morning, I was wondering if the Rakaia Bridge is still there. Heading towards the main road, there’s no question the road will be fine by the sight of the travelling traffic. No detour after all.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Forget-me-not in macro. We are once again reminded of our earthquake nation.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Out here in Rakaia, the Belgian Fence is humming along as I go about my weekly spur pruning, persuading the apple trees to take the shape intended. And they are mostly obliging. Though, I may have to resort to some notching next week.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Of all the bales of pea straws, I’ve only got one pea coming through. I am not complaining though as these are merely shelling pea, not my favorite.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Might actually have some homegrown blueberries this year.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Now I know how a kiwiberry grows. It twines, instead of ramble. Once the growing shoot find something to twine long, it goes.

Processed with Rookie Cam

One of the most affected stonefruit trees. This is a flatto nectarine.

Processed with Rookie Cam

In the end, I managed to give the 3 IBC tanks a good washing down. One of them were used to store milk for calves before and the remnants have cheesed. That took the longest to wash out, and Caesar ate those cheese.

My neighbor helped me move them into place just now and there they are sitting snugly on their platform which is a sight for chuckle when my neighbor saw them. Layered fence palings.

So that’s a job half done and I am not sure when I will be going back to finish it off. I’ll probably do Gate #2 first. I’m putting off anything that involved spending money to my Boxing Day shopping list.

Trump Happened

A few things happened this week. Someone won the Powerball jackpot all for themselves instead of the jackpot getting split out, what are the odds? And Trump happened. And few of my friends back in the college years will have known that I am a big fan of Trump, like I read his books, not watch his show. Though I would never have thought that he will run for office the way Simpsons had. What’s next?

Processed with Rookie Cam

We have never gone down that path before, its the one less traveled. It might be the start of Idiocracy. Or just a refreshing change. Who knows? What we need to keep in mind though, is that in a democratic environment, the power remains in the hand of the people.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Half of America did not vote. Did they choose not to vote because they can’t decide who is the best among the worst? Or they just don’t give a damn? When you look at it, only a quarter of the population supported Trump and another quarter supported Clinton. The half, is the true silent majority, they remained silent.

Processed with Rookie Cam

How many of the quarter that voted for Trump sincerely bought into his policies which is way over the top, makes a Trump fan like me want to dig a hole and bury myself? How many see the the potential that he can do good for a country whose debt can be paid off by winning the Powerball jackpot 450,000 times (of wait, I forgot the exchange rates).

Processed with Rookie Cam

Or simply, how many have gone so sick and tired of the status quo, same old same old, nothing is going to change, for good or for worse, that they decide to gamble with the fate of their country? And if one is to gamble, the odds are in favor of Trump, definitely not West, that something good might actually come out of it?

Processed with Rookie Cam

After all, there must be something to someone who keep coming back after declaring bankruptcy four times. Ask yourself this one question, how well do you think you can come back from even one bankruptcy?

Perhaps, one of his first act upon taking office is to declare the nation bankrupt? Who knows, maybe his daughter is going to be the first female US President.

At the end of the day, it is up to us, as individuals, to make this world a better place. To elect someone to the office to make the world a better place while we continue to poison the world in our own little way… oh well… Might as well join the other half as a silent majority.

Hanky Panky

Just came across a new phrase recently. Bio-nutrient. Well, first we have organic, then nutrient dense, and now, bio-nutrient. I suppose we are now going to differentiate between the synthetic nutrient and the normal stuff. It felt like iPhone 7 all over again.Processed with Rookie Cam

While driving to work one morning, I received an amazing inspiration for my rainwater collection project. Where to put it, the design, how to make it work, pretty much everything came together. The only thing then is to get the IBC tanks at a killer deal.

Well, I got this three in near new condition for half the price of a brand new one. It’s a steal. It hadn’t been used to store any toxic material beforehand either, just had some dried up non toxic glue in it, it was used to store milk for calves. Drove up to the yard, the farmer loaded it up with the tractor and helped me tie it down. We had two double stacked towards the front and one hanging off the back of the ute. He reassured me that it is safe and legal for the double stack as they normally do triple stack. Least he didn’t say, “just avoid the main roads”.

Getting home is easy, no drama, the weather was calm, no gusty winds on the road to blow things over. The first tank hanging off the back is easy enough to unload by myself. Then comes the double stacked tanks. I have to choose between bringing it to the engineering place nearby to get them to forklift it off and part with some chocolate, or to unload it myself.

Well, let’s say I choose not to say “it can’t be done”, but “how can it be done?”.

For a start, the first IBC tank that I have unloaded was positioned right behind the truck with enough gap to fit an IBC tank between it and the double stacked tanks. Then 2 banana boxes placed on the tailgate to cushion the IBC tank on top. Climbed up to the IBC tank on the ground, and slowly lever down the IBC tank at the top down onto the banana boxes. Climbed down, pull the tank on the ground away, and work the other tank to the ground.

For a week where it felt like I took one step forward and many steps back, I felt like a winner yesterday. 😉

Processed with Rookie Cam

In the sun room, the watermelon seeds germinated, and this particular variety, seems a bit odd with its yellow cotyledons.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Pumpkins are growing leggy reaching for the sun.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Tomatoes are coming along nicely. I am starting to harden up the seedlings now with all the windows in the sun room opened for the breeze to come through.

Processed with Rookie Cam

The comfrey babies are coming through now. Its a matter of time before this become a comfrey haven.

Processed with Rookie Cam

I don’t know what this is. It showed up in front of the cherry trees.

Processed with Rookie Cam

These are really beautiful looking mushrooms.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Plenty of foraging in the Forest Garden nowadays.

Processed with Rookie Cam

The mesclun mixes that I have sown in the guilds have all come through adding a delightful color palette to the Forest Garden. And they are mostly edible, apart from the weeds.

I won’t be eating them though as I have just gone through the Forest Garden to spray off the grasses. Ta-da~ I am not so organic after all.

Processed with Rookie CamGave the Belgian Fence a tidy up today. Bit of pruning to get things growing where I want them to grow. The aphids population are booming at the moment. Here’s a rather creepy sight. Not going to spray them off. They are going to be sustenance for the good guys to come along and set up shop.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Saw a ladybird having lunch.

Processed with Rookie Cam

The bronze beetles thought they have got plenty of privacy… Yea nah.

The grasses have been mowed, and some sprayed. Belgian Fence had a bit of a prune. The soil in the Mandala Garden has been nourished with Neem granules, Rok Solid, and BioPhos. Prepared the place to position the tanks.

Next week, hopeful to get hold of a water blaster and clean the tanks out. And perhaps, for the first time in a long time, enlist the help of my neighbor to place the tanks in their final spot. They are going to be sited side by side, then all will be linked up together, the roof water from the garage will feed into it, overflow will drain into the garden as well as another down pipe that goes to a soak hole.