Spring Time Happiness

The time for possibilities, dreams,...
New growth.
 New products

And experiments.
Cultured honey is a highly anticipated new product range I’m playing around with at the moment.
It’s looking promising, the only downside my impatience, the culturing process takes a couple of weeks!
I’ll need to build up my starter, to be able to tackle bigger quantities and hopefully have a couple of big batches started before it gets too warm.
It will hopefully produce a beautiful, thick creamed honey. While the experiments with added flavours are terribly fun. Taste wise, lemon myrtle will be hard to beat...

New beginnings.
Our septic system has been giving us headaches for many years. After the 5th time of opening up the trenches for tree root removal (not a very nice job!) an upgraded system was put on the list.
With all the gum trees around us, notorious water seekers, it was just a matter of time before they would be clogged up again. They found their way back in no-time. It’s a mucky, stinky mess.

With plans for a guest cabin as well, we decided to combine the two projects.
Making it also possible to have a toilet in the cabin.

Adding to the existing septic system with an extra tank results in the output of very high quality water. Evaporation trenches weren’t working for us, but sprinkles would be great. 
And so I have been thinking, that this area of 45mx15m will actually have the perfect base for an orchard. With a gravel bed for drainage, a necessity with our heavy clay soil, regular watering from the sprinklers and because of the slight dip in the landscape: proper soil.
So now I’m dreaming up an orchard... What to plant... Fruit trees, bananas, lemon myrtle, macadamia. And an extra row of natives.
Once established, we would really need a beehive... I mean reaaaaaly need a beehive. Right?
The new tank is in, but massive delays on the cabin is pushing everything back.
Next week the cabin will (hopefully, finally) go in. Just in time before my parents arrive, giving them a place to sleep.
The kids have been loving all these big machines: excavators, cranes, trucks and bobcats have all been paraded around.
The ultimate inspiration for pretend play...
After re-discovering an old cattle track, Tim and Sander have been going for bike riding trips,
Every day is Fathers Day, 
but what better way to celebrate then with your sons and a fallen over tree...
I’ve been enjoying myself in the kitchen garden which has gone unplanted and neglected for most of this year, while I was too busy doing other things.
But it’s great to see how quick everything gets back in shape, after having been buried under a thick layer of mulch, just push the mulch aside and you are ready to plant. The topsoil is actually in its best shape ever and teaming with earthworms. Having set up drip irrigation for the fruit trees and perennials in the border of the garden, it all came through Winter surprisingly well. All that was needed was a good trim, sprinkle of manure and a mulch top up. The fruit trees, one by one are, are sending out new buds and flowers.
After a long and very dry period with the rainwater tank going towards empty, there came the predictions of good rain for the first week of Spring, the end of the soccer season. My sign to dust off the gardening tools and get organised. And so I did, planting out herbs, flowers and all the big ticket items like zucchini and cucumber. Because however great and convenient sprinklers are, even hooked up to the rainwater tank, it has nothing on water coming straight from the clouds. Timing is everything and this year I grabbed it by the horns.
Rain, beautiful life giving rain. Yes, I’ve come a long way in the last 12 years, with rain being more or less the default weather in The Netherlands. I now find there are few songs or sounds prettier then fat rain drops falling on the tin roof. You can hear the sigh of relief from the trees and the happy twittering from the birds, not fazed at all by the naked kids splashing in the puddles.
Glorious...  everything washed clean, sparkling and bursting with colour.
Bursting with happiness, I plant some more flowers...
The kids are more then happy to help in the garden. David makes sure no earthworms are damaged, while we’re making pockets for new plants. He transplants them to a safe spot, with another plant. Sophie is like a gardening fairy, dropping seeds here and there, while Tim is more for hammering in stakes. Alex is happy to watch us from his perch, sharing with the parrots in the loaded mulberry tree.

With my last online order for seeds, I’ve gone a little overboard (again), this weekend we’ll have 12 types of heirloom variety tomatoes to plant, sunflower seeds, beans, lettuce, melons and the rest of the herbs. I’m trying to convince Sander that we should rebuild the green house, which had to make place for the swimming pool, for better seedlings... Spring time, a perfect time for dreaming...


  1. I agreee Spring is the time for possibilities and dreams. My favourite season. As always plenty happening at your place, you've got me nervous re the septic, we've just pulled out sprinklers and were going trenches...Are you going to plant your orchard in the sprinkle system??
    Ooo a cabin sounds fantastic! you're getting one bought in? where from?
    We need to mulch big time, where do you get yours from, what do you use?

    1. Hi Erin!
      We’re on very heavy clay soil, with a lot of gum trees around. For us, the evaporation trenches kept failing,
      hence changing over to a bio retention-cycle system from Taylex. This will be added to the current septic system (double filtration!)
      while changing the trenches over to sprinklers. Because the sprinklers stay rather low (40cm), any trees would have to draw the water
      through the roots, leaving the chance of contamination to the barest minimum.
      I get my hay for the horses through Kirkwood Hay Sales, they happened to have the large round bales of mulch for $50, I added two to my order for the garden. But they’re all out now. I’ll let you know when they come back in stock. I’ve had deliveries of sugar cane mulch before as well, just have to be lucky to find someone...


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