Spring is here!
So for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere the Spring Equinox has just passed bringing with it the promise of warmer weather and lots of new growth over the coming months. In the garden the buzzing of bees is deafening as the fruit trees blossom and the garden bursts into life shaking off the colder winter months. It’s great to be back on the farm for this time of year having an amazing opportunity to enjoy the summer in Europe with family and friends. What a wonderful time I had and really feeling spoilt to be getting the best of both worlds and be back here now for this special time of year.
Since I last wrote so many things have happened on the farm. I was like a kid in a sweet shop returning to see how all the different areas had faired in my absence! I was excited to see how the bulbs were doing in the burn circles, were the proteas enjoying their new home, how the garden had survived winter and the cherry on the cake construction of our new roofed gathering area for groups next year was underway.
Having just celebrated our sixth year here in the forest, it was no surprise that there would be feedback from the land with these various projects. Let’s start with the burn circles. Lots of good positive stuff going on there, the clearing of the baby wattles post burn followed by a good layer of mulch has suppressed new growth of wattles so big thumbs up. The land all around which was cleared of alien trees is rehabilitating itself and lots of indigenous plants are growing all by themselves. The winter bulbs did grow however we have something moving through our land who found the green leaves above the ground irresistible. The result no flowers this time round sigh apart from Watsonia’s which are beautiful but obviously not palatable. The bulbs are still in the ground though so there’s always hope. Who is eating all the flowers now that is the question? If it were Hilary our resident pig or any of the bush pigs we feel they would have dug up the actual bulbs and not just ate the shoots. So that leaves buck or porcupine as potential suspects watch this space…..
Anthony planted a mixture of 50 different protea and pincushion species also during winter. Alas they have also proved to be too good to pass on and the leaves have been nibbled on. They are hardy plants though and meant to be very bitter. We’re hoping who ever has been on a tasting spree will now leave them alone and hopefully they will have a chance to establish. So we haven’t given up on the dream of fields of flowers just may take a bit longer than expected. Or it’s an indication that only the indigenous species that were here already are actually the ones that should be here, food for thought.
Having put old sheep and donkey poo on all the beds at the beginning of winter followed by a thick layer of mulch many beds were left fallow for a few months. The garden now has suddenly gone whoosh and looking green and healthy. Nectarine and peach trees are baring small fruit with lots of strawberries and raspberries also making an appearance. Seedlings are growing and the beds prepared by the chickens are ready to be filled with squashes, corn and beans. In fact the chickens have already cleared another three beds during this time.
On the animal front we sadly lost Fred our older donkey in July. He was such a gentle soul and we are grateful for the time we got to spend with him. He lived to approx 29 yrs old so a great age and he is dearly missed by all here at Tree Spirit.
I think that is enough for today. I wanted to share with you the construction of our new gathering space which we are very excited about. But alas that is a whole story in itself and I will dedicate a piece fully to that next time. For now greetings from the forest, it’s good to be back in nature and loving life ❤️