growing your own, Uncategorized

Our First Home-grown Mandarin

Graham and I made a big decision this morning. We thought about it a little, then we went out to the back of our place, and we picked a mandarin from our mandarin tree. If you haven’t been following this blog, that may seem a little uninteresting to you, but if you’ve been following this blog, you may know why this is such an important thing.

This little mandarin tree (bush really, because it’s still so small), has been planted in the ground for only about three years, and this year is the first year we have actually had fruit go last all the way to maturity. There are only about 20 mandies, lovely orange coloured globes of fruity goodness. Well, 20 minus one, because we plucked on from the tree, brought it inside and ate it. It looked exactly like a mandarin, smelt exactly like one, and yes it tasted exactly how a mandarin should taste, tart and delicious.

A little too tart, really, but still very tasty. We will leave the remaining fruit for a few more days, so they can ripen some more, and get some sweetness happening. The one Graham and I shared today, was worth trying, and I’m glad we did, but I hope and expect the next one will be even more delicious!

I love having homegrown things. Tonight we are going to have chopped cos lettuce and baby spinach, which either Graham or I will pick from our vegetable patch, yum! This will be the first time of this season too, and I love the way all of these delicious things are moving into the stage where we can taste the value of ‘Home-grown!’

If you have any ‘home-grown’ success stories, or even horror stories, I’d love to read about it, leave a message and we can all congratulate or console you!


community, Uncategorized

Winter is Here!

Yes, the seasons move on, from one to the next, and the next, then the next, then back again. The season has now definitely moved on to winter in the southern hemisphere now, in South Australia, where I live, for sure. We’ve had mostly grey skys with rain the past few days, with more rainy grey days to come.

But that’s the way of Nature, things grow, watered by the rain, they flower, then fruit, green leaves provide shade, change colour, fall off, withe he fallen leaves providing nutrients to the soil, helping more plants to grow. We harvest the fruit, or pick the vegetables and herbs, and are thankful to the people who did the planting, and to Nature too.



Winter is cold, yes, and not all people have warm and safe homes to live in. I am so grateful that my home and my household provide safety for me, and I can live here, do the things I want to do, and know that when I go to sleep at night, I will wake up, still able to do all I want to do. Living this life is a result of many things, some of them provided by me, some my partner, some society, some the government, and so on.

I feel for those unable to live such a good and safe life, and wish they all too had access to better things is life, better ways to live. Life though, that gives opportunities, but not for all. People will apportion blame to those without the whatever it takes, to get on well in life, but really, who can honestly say who is to blame for a life that goes upside down, unable to be set up properly again?

All it takes is for one thing to go wrong, and then another, and we may be disabled or dead, Snap! just like that … The seasons of a life are changable, our lives are changable, and we must be prepared to make the best of what life gives to us. Having said that, I realise that this is easy enough to say, but taking advantage of these things isn’t always easy. I realise that, and am mindful to not lay blame on people for not having things.

The Blame Game is an all too easy road to take, but really, should we do this? I’m thinking, sadly, about the women recently murdered, raped, abused, and also men similarly murdered, or who have killed themselves because they no long want to be alive … Suicide surely is never the best available option, but when a person has sunk to the depths of despair, it can be difficult to see any other solution. If this was an ideal world, which it certainly isn’t, nobody would feel like that. I wonder if that ideal world is ever going to be here? I doubt it, though, there are far too many people making money from the despairs of others …

Does anyone know a better way for our world to be? And end to wars would be a good start, the weapons-makers could make other things instead. We could all begin to think kindly thoughts instead of unkindly thoughts, when we have the choice. Being kind, instead of being curt, smiling at others and not frowning at them. Giving freely whenever possible, using less, giving more, growing our own, sharing produce. Many things and ways, but how to encourage others to be involved?

Community, that’s the way to think, building communities that promote the ideas of giving, growing, teaching, sharing. In my community of Mallala, there are people who will give excess fruit if they have it, lemons, for instance. In the nearest bigger town of Gawler, there are people who grow their own and get together regularly to share what they have, all working at strengthening the community. Strong communities can help to build strong people, strong and caring people.


Are stronger communities, ones that grow and connect with others, sharing knowledge, sharing good ideas, sharing the idea of sharing, are these the things that can bring about the ideal world I dream about, I wonder? I’m interested to know what other people think – is there hope for our future? If so, how will it happen, please leave comments here.


My Spiritual Site

Our backyard seems to be the place I can go to, to find peace and a sense of secular spiritually. I am not a believer in any god, but a believer in the all mighty power of Good. When I go out of our back door, I am at one with Nature, which is my symbol of the greater good.

Outside are the plants we grow for food (herbs, fruit, vegetables) and for enjoyment (flowers, lawn, greenery). Outside is the big blue or clouded sky, and the huge trees that bring the birds I love to watch. And further, beyond the backyard is the rest of our property, and all of the rest of our township we’ve lived in and loved for over thirty years.

When I sit outside on that sofa that once upon a time was our ‘good’ sofa, I think about lots of different things, or sometimes I meditate and think about absolutely nothing. Whichever end of the thinking spectrum I am at, I know it will be good. I also go outside sometimes to do a secular salute to the sun. I did one of these this morning. I will explain how I did this today, which is similar to how I usually do it.

Today I let Missy outside, then swapped my slippers for my rubber boots, and went and stood on the concrete path and looked up toward the sun. Then I held both arms out behind myself with my palms facing upward, before holding that position and sinking into a squat. I held that squat for about ten seconds then rose slowly, finishing with my hands in a ‘prayer position’ in front of my chest. I repeated that entire routine, I think five times and then Missy and I came back inside. I think both of us benefited in various ways from it.

I’m trying to live as mindful a life as I can, and with the mindfulness and meditation, combined with the wonderful family and friends I have, my life is a joyful one too! My simple life brings me much joy indeed. Do you find joy in your life? I’d love to hear about how you do it, leave a comment here!