Thursday, 10 May 2012
Putting down roots
Now that we know exactly how much longer we will be living here in the forest I have put the brakes on our productive food efforts in the garden. We harvested the last of the cherry tomatoes and have pulled up our Jerusalem artichokes and a red onion or two. After 18 months observing light and rain and shadow fall on this hillside garden I have accepted that there is no one perfect spot with sufficient sunlight to grow very much in the way of vegetables here. Instead I have dragged my raised vegetable bed up to the lawn - the sunniest spot there is - and planted lettuce, silverbeet and rocket so that we might at least enjoy some homegrown winter salads before we move to our new home.
The garden that I will be able to call mine in two months' time is open to the northern light and has rows of vegetable beds waiting to be planted and fruit trees in need of love and care. I am poring over my seed catalogue and dreaming of banks of raspberry canes and boysenberries bursting with summer sweetness. We have fruit trees in wine barrels dug from our garden in Fremantle which will soon be sending down roots into the rich Denmark earth. We will be putting down a few roots of our own too.
The rain and cold are here at last and we are retreating indoors, spending days drawing and sewing and baking. We really should bring in some more firewood to get us through the dark days ahead, but for now we are burning candles to bring at least the visual warmth of a flame. Sunny days still draw us outside for wet walks in the winter forest. And we are eyeing off the oranges - the last of the trees to bear fruit - and wondering whether they will be sweet enough to harvest before we leave. Our new home has a trap door in the kitchen which leads to a cellar beneath the house. Perhaps some marmalade will be called for to fill the bare midwinter shelves.