White butterflies are eating my wombok. There’s a sentence I’ve never written before. I’ve been researching what to do about it and the most fun solution seems to be: make fake butterflies and stick them in the veggie patch. Because they’re territorial, the real butterflies will move along as soon as they see the fake ones. I’ve downloaded a template and will give it a go!
There’s been exciting veggie growing progress at the community garden. Leeks, red cabbage, spinach, cos lettuce, herbs and broccoli are thriving after only four short weeks. I’ve forgotten which is the cauliflower and which are the Brussels sprouts (Shhh! Don’t tell anyone!) and am wishing I’d made wooden labels, as recommended by my 1950s gardening encyclopaedia.
The legacy fruit and veg, those plants that were already in the plot, are feeding me well. I’ve made a few batches of tomato soup and a couple of rhubarb crumbles and am eating green beans for dinner every other night.
I also made some green tomato relish, loosely based on this recipe. The simmering goop was taking ages to thicken, so I turned it off and took Daisy for a long walk in the hills. At least, I thought I’d turned it off. What I actually did was turn it up. We came home to a strong smell of caramelised onion and a pan that needed to soak for a week. I still got three jars of relish out of it, though (nicely thickened) and it’s tasty!
This morning, when I was picking more produce, Margaret told me about the compost wars, Ted gave me some of his beans and Wozza popped in to get food for his chooks.* Often when I’m there to do the evening watering it’s just me and the magpies. Friday mornings and weekends are obviously the best times for mingling and getting the goss. *(Not their real names.)
Over Easter I took out the block of clay that was languishing in the cupboard and made some pendants. They looked quite sweet and I was planning to paint them in a folk artish kind of way and string them on pretty ribbons.
Unfortunately, all but five cracked when they dried. Undeterred, I tried mending them with water (cracked again), glue (peeled off) and paint (also peeled off). At that point I gave up, put them in a container and shoved them back in the cupboard. Perhaps I’ll get them out again on the next holiday weekend and find a way to mend them…or turn them back into a big blob of clay and put it back in the cupboard.
What are you reading? A friend gave me Rodham for my birthday and I devoured it: sad, funny, thought-provoking and smart. Curtis Sittenfeld is sooo clever. I’m also reading Falastin, which, like Jerusalem, is a lovely object to hold, as well as being a cookbook full of stories.
Here and Now was a relaxing Easter read, despite being about dementia. A recurring question in the book is: “What’s wrong with now?” And the answer is: “Nothing.”
I’ve been reminding myself of that this week because I’ve been dwelling too much on certain aspects of life and am quite worn out by a stubborn cough. But when I think about NOW, when I’m walking down the laneway and looking at beautiful native plants, and NOW, when I’m drinking a big mug of tea in the garden and watching the autumn light, and NOW, when a suggly puppy wants a cuddle, I know that the book is right. There’s nothing wrong with now.
Wishing you a weekend of nows.