Just like that. The days seem cut short by a simple act of the clock. Sure, it’s vaguely light at 6am now, but the afternoons have nearly gone by the time I really get going. From the equinox to the solstice, each week a little bit of daylight ekes away, meaning you have to plan your days well to make the most of them. You can still wear yourself ragged in daylight hours, but the lower light gives a sense of finality to the early evening that summer just doesn’t have.
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4 Apr 2012 - 10:46 AM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM

Have broadened the brood lately. Did you know that the common breed of chicken that is used for meat in Australia can quadruple in weight in their first week? Well, they can, and the fat little beggars that I have in the barn don’t feel like the chicks we’re used to rearing. They’re round and heavy and hot bodied, feathering up within days of being hatched. They also get a special diet because they grow so fast they need super food or their systems can’t cope. They grow so fast they make pigs, an animal renowned for getting big quickly, look like slowpokes.

Had a bit of a slow morning today myself. Weeding the carrots. Didn’t exactly get much done; the fine stems of very young carrots barely seen amongst a jungle of different grasses. They were put in hurriedly, though with seeming care, but now it looks like a trial plot for pasture more than a few metres of vegie garden. I didn’t use tweezers to weed, though a part of me thinks it would probably be easier if I did. I hardly have the dexterity needed for such fiddly work. Or the patience, though it was quite contemplative work.

Sadie tends to tend the garden more than I do. My responsibility lies more with the animal protein and the heavy lifting than the finer points of the garden. I’d like to spend more time nurturing plants from the soil, but there are only so many hours in the weeks, and I have my hand in a few projects at the moment. Including planning the rest of our garden. I’d like a mulberry (probably for my grandkids to enjoy picking the fruit from, they grow so slowly). I’d like to try growing peaches. Hazelnuts. A few heritage cider apples. Greengage plums. Elder (for the flowers, mostly). My first harvest of white nectarines, only a handful, was blissful to eat, so I’d like to plant more of those. It’d be wonderful to have a small-fruit section, too, with gooseberries and raspberries and more. And a poly tunnel to extend the vegetable season a little outside the colder months.

All of it is a dream; some of it will happen this winter, the rest over subsequent years. A garden is a good thing for me. It tends to resist my haste, my need to do everything in one year. In fact, a decent garden has to happen over time, as we hone our soil, expand our skills, and begin to learn things about growing that many people learnt as they grew up.