Saturday, February 17, 2018

a punnet of possibilities

Hello honey bunches,

How's your week been?

Let's do a run through of some of what's been going on here, in the last little bit of summer.

Picking - Jersey Mac and Abbas varieties of apple from the orchard.

The Jersey Macs have been a bit spotty to sell, so I've been cooking them and dehydrating them for later. The Abbas's look, smell and taste pretty perfect. Hopefully we'll open the farm gate stall in the next few days and sell them to the passers by.

I'm so excited that we're here again. After a whole season of hoping for the right weather conditions, after netting and irrigating and fertilising and mowing them, after months and months of watching the blossom, the fruit buds, the fruit set and the fruit growth, after weeks of slicing and squeezing and taste testinging, apple season is here!!

I'll be posting the details of what we have for sale and when on my Foxs Lane Facebook page, on the Daylesford Organics Facebook page, on instagram and here. So watch these spaces and please come and try them for yourselves.

My dried apple ring recipe is here.
My fruit leather recipe is here.

Knitting - the back of my Mirehouse sweater.

Ravelry details here.

Reading - my mum's library copy of My Absolute Darling. Woah! It's been a while since I've read a book that I cannot put down. This book is dark and intriguing and incredibly painful. At 80 pages in I still have no idea where it's heading but I'm in for the ride and I'm hoping there's a glimmer of hope somewhere along the way.

Listening - to the This American Life podcast. With so many brilliant podcasts available these days, I found I left TAL behind a few years ago when many episodes were repeated and then others seemed overly political or irrelevant to me. For some reason the other day on the way home from school I decided to have a look at what some of their current shows are about and I was pleasantly surprised.

I loved the first piece in Words You Can't Say.

And I really enjoyed Rom-Com.

Arranging - brightly coloured bunches of summer flowers to sell, to give away and to dot around our house.

Pulling - the biggest onions I have ever grown out of the ground.

Meditating - !!!! I've always had this belief that there are those who can and those who cannot. I unfortunately fall into the latter category. I'm too fidgety to sit still, my mind speeds up whenever I try to slow it down, I feel jittery and anxious whenever I attempt to, and so I don't.

I also don't sleep. I've been suffering from such a severe bout of insomnia lately that I don't even know what to do with myself anymore.

I eat well, I exercise, I try to deal with stressful situations, I garden, I don't drink caffeine after the early afternoon...but still I don't sleep and it feels I'm running on empty.

So a few days ago, I agreed to my farmer boy's suggestion to give meditation another go. And because I'm pretty good at following along with apps (that couch to 5km one, the drinking water one, the period tracker one...), he suggested 1 Giant Mind.

We've done one a night for the past four nights. I'm interested in the fact that this style of meditation allows my mind to wander, it allows me to be a bit fidgety and it doesn't make me feel bad if I forget the mantra, as long as I effortlessly come back to it.

Over the past few nights I've still lain awake for hours at a time, but I feel like I've turned a corner. Like things are slowly improving. Like I'm not a complete crazy zombie (still a bit crazy zombie though). I'm going to persevere with the meditation and hope that my sleeping continues to improve. I'll let you know how I go.

Appreciating - the past lives of things we have inherited.

This trestle table belonged to my grandparents and lived in their garage. Every time there was a festival or an occasion to seat more than their dining table accommodated, a few family members would bring the wooden table up, lay it on its metal legs, cover it with a crisp white tablecloth and then set it with heavy silverware, white china, vases of flowers and then course after course of delicious meals. Now that those times have ended, sometimes I miss them so much that it hurts to think about them. Often the memories make me smile too though. What I would give now to take my place with my sisters and cousins and parents and friends, to tell stories and laugh, to eat, and to look up to the head of the table at my grandfather gazing lovingly at my grandmother. To have his big hands delicately roll me up a pancake or peel me an orange. I miss them.

Now that trestle sits in the centre of our new sun-room. Even though we bought a big slab of wood with a history all of it's own to build a table for that space, I can't seem to let this one go. I don't want to put it away for special occasions. I want to be reminded in our everyday. I want to bring them with me.

Emptying - my overall pockets and noticing the things I've collected along the way.

Watching - the eucalypts burst into a blaze of red flowers, listening to the bees in a frenzy drinking nectar from those fuzzy little cups, wondering what my farmer boy has planned as he snips bunches of the red blossoms and carries them into the garden, loving him and his concentrating posy making face, feeling happy every time I see that vase full of summer loveliness sitting on the coffee table for all to see and admire.

Listening - to these two writing a song together.

Planting - broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, beetroot, lettuce, cabbage, leek, kale...

Discovering - new flowers in the garden.

Last year in very early spring I got addicted to buying those $2 punnets of flowers from the nursery. I had decided that I wanted to grow lot of blooms this season, but being so new to it I didn't really know where to start. So I grew most things from seed or bulb, but then I discovered the punnets.

Each tiny tray had six or eight little bunches of greenery with a colourful label on the front. They felt like a bit of a head start and weirdly a bit like buying lollies. Each time I passed, I chose a punnet with a pretty looking flower on the front and brought it home. I had no idea which of the colours would grow or if they would grow at all. Eventually I ended up with quite a selection and planted them at the front of many of our garden beds. Watching them pop open their colourful faces over the past few months has been such a treat.

These Asters have been the latest. Just last week they were all still tightly closed buds in a sea of green foliage. And look at them now! I'm not actually mad on their smell, or that PINK!!!!! But I have loved watching and guessing and discussing, every single flowering plant that I bought back when it was freezing cold last year, often as a reward to myself for doing the school run in the rain or wind. I hope there'll be different ones for me to choose from next season.

As well as all that I'm eating the summer sandwich my farmer boy just brought me - feta, tomato, pickled cucumber and basil, I'm listening to Jazzy playing Stand By Me on her ukulele in the other room, I'm reading a little story I wrote about seasonal eating for a magazine about the Daylesford Macedon region in today's The Age newspaper, I'm wondering where Pepper is and what she's up to, I'm missing Miss Indi who I haven't seen since last Tuesday and I'm getting interrupted every few minutes by text messages from Bren with quotes from Barbara Kingsolver about writing.

What are you up to? What are you eating, reading, planting, thinking, watching, hoping....
Are you meditating? Sleeping?

I hope you have a gorgeous weekend my friends.
I hope the sun shines on your smiley face.

See you next week.

Love Kate x


  1. I too have been suffering with insomnia. I will try that tip of meditating when I can get a quiey moment. What a wonderful space your sunroom is and so many precious memories from that wooden table. Have a lovely weekend xx

    1. Thank you so much Faith. I'm not sure how I'll go in the long term, but so far this meditation app is great and I highly recommend it. I hope you sleep well tonight. x


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  2. Once again a lovely thought provoking post. I stand amongst all my craft stuff. My books fabric wool etc and think back to something you said about life changing. I just need to click in my head that’s it’s ok not to be surrounded by craft stuff. To slightly unclutter my life and mind. To have a few things on the go would be so much better. Far less stressful. To be out in the garden more or to read stuff that makes my brain think. I have also never been one for meditation. I can’t calm my thoughts. Might be worth checking out that app. I always have my own mantra in my head ‘be still my troubled mind’ I guess I must have heard it somewhere. Have a lovely weekend. Can I ask what was the online flower course you’ve mentioned?

    1. The course is run by this farm -
      Summer was obviously not the right time to take on an online course as I have still only completed the first module but there is a life long membership and access, so I look forward to completing it this winter when things quieten down. x

  3. I love that Bren is texting you quotes about writing. This is a great post. As you say, a lovely, rambling post. Perfect.

    1. Thanks honey, I hope you sorted yours out. xx

  4. I'm on day ten of meditating. Using headspace. I think I already feel calmer xxx I'm going to keep going and I'm going to read the book you recommended. You've recommended tv that I've then watched and also loved. Thank you.

    1. Go you!! I'm so happy to hear that you feel calmer. And I wouldn't actually recommend that book. The Australian version - The Choke is so much better. x

  5. Those colourful flowers are gorgeous. I do love the yarn you are using for your jumper, looking forward to seeing it all finished.
    So many lovely things in this post. I don't have insomnia but I am always tired, can't seem to get enough sleep. I do meditate everyday but I sit first thing in the morning.
    So many lovely things you have shared in this post.
    Cheers Kate

    1. Thanks lovely Kate, I always love hearing your thoughts on my posts. I hope you have a gorgeous weekend. xx

  6. I'm making dinner and listening to my other half play Stand By Me on his uke too! Snap!

  7. I love the calm app for meditating. I have it set to rain falling & choose a different meditation each time. But they also have sleep stories on there that you might like. Nothing worse than not getting enough sleep....

    1. Oh awesome, I'll check it out. Thanks so much for the recommendation. xx

  8. Hello Kate, I'm loving your flower and sun room photos. I've been having trouble sleeping for a few years now. It's age related for me. My doctor told me about Melatonin, yes, the hormone we produce in our bodies. It's sold as a homeopathic sleep treatment, I use the Bioglan one. It's very gentle, doesn't knock you out and has no after effects the following day. Since taking it I've slept like a baby. I still wake up once during the night but when I sleep, it's a deep and restful sleep. Now when I wake up, I'll wonder: Is Kate awake too?

    I meditate too, once after lunch and again - a shorter one - just before going to bed. I think it helps.

    1. Ahhh I've heard from quite a few Melatonin users, I'll definitely look into it. And I'll definitely think of you tonight when I'm lying awake. It's such a lonely time, it'll be comforting to know there's a friendly face out there. xx

  9. A very enjoyable post Kate, such gorgeous colour flowers. I hope you manage more sleep and rest. There have been a few times when I couldn't sleep, so I got up and read or knitted downstairs. If I'm washed out after suffering food intolerances, I often put sleeplessness down to napping during the day. I assume you've tried all the obvious sleep preparation techniques such as - take at least an hours break before bedtime from electronic screen time, which is what we tell our children. All the best, Cathy x

    1. Thanks so much Cathy. I'm slowly working my way through all of the obvious sleep remedies. Bren keeps suggesting I get up and knit but something always stops me from leaving the bedroom. Maybe I'll try that one tonight. x

  10. I am waiting very impatiently for your apple stall! I shall be the first there.

    I also find it hard to settle when I meditate, always have, and I’ve been doing it 20years. I just drift around, noticing when I’ve got stuck on a thought and then just trying to kindly bring myself back. That’s all you need to do. It’s hard to only meditate 10 or 15 mins, I find I need that long just to chill!

    I’m still sighing over that sunroom ❤️

    1. PLEASE make sure you let me know when you're coming!! I'm terribly excited. xx

  11. I am so in love with your flowers and you are inspiring me to grow more flowers in our garden...I am reading the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.....and i am looking forward to buying some of your apples....Bless you and your blog xx

    1. I loved that book so much! And I love the thought of more flower growers out there. How wonderful. xx

  12. Just a thought about meditation. I have found that moving meditation works for me. This is a kind of dao yin/qigong kind of thing that you could look into to find out more. I have found that a repetitive slow movement with breath works better than sitting still.
    I always love your blog.

  13. I have been enjoying your blog for years now, Kate. I am sorry that you have trouble sleeping, and I hope my solution works for you. I used to drink warm Milo at bedtime which has always worked for me during my occasional periods of insomnia, however a few years ago I had long months of insomnia following the sudden loss of three lifelong friends within months of each other. A doctor recommended the 4-7-8 breathing technique, and while I didn’t have much faith in it, I tried. Wow! It was a great success, and I hope it works for you. Many times I have been breathing to the count, and thinking “it isn’t working this time”, but I wake in the morning and realize that thought had been my last one before falling into a deep slumber. Do try it, Kate.

  14. I enjoy your posts so much. A mindful moment to pause and reflect :) I will have to add that book to my list. At the moment I am reading 'Talking to My Country' by Stan Grant. And sitting on my bedside table is Barbara Kingsolver's 'The Bean Trees'. I love seeing what seed you are sowing. My Diggers Club arrived this week (Asian Greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots and kale) but I was worried I have left it too late for Canberra. I think I'll throw a few seeds in and see how they go :)

  15. I really enjoy your blog. Your photos are so colorful and real. It's nice to see summer while I'm in winter over here in the U.S.

  16. Hi Kate! I'm catching myself up on your blog (I'm about 6 months behind! Yikes!) I used to read it every Friday, and then life happened :-/ I'm promising myself that I'll get back into the habit! I'm so glad Farmer Bren is sending you quotes from Barbara Kingsolver. She's one of my favorite authors. I really think you'd like reading her book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". It's given me tons of inspiration for how I'd like our future farmette to be, as has your lovely blog! Blessings to you and your family!


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