Winter End Garden Tour

I have shared about myself and what my life has been like over the past few months living with CPTSD. It seems to me writing here assists me so much. Seeing my thoughts/activities/feelings in print help me see how far I have come in my life with this illness. Learning to live my life accepting how I move through each day no matter how and what is happening in my life and life around me. I am proud of myself that I keep moving forward no matter how minuscule it may be.

Lets look at what is happening in the garden. Here in the Southern Hemisphere we being our Spring Season very soon; the problem tends to be I along with many others feel the days lengthen and see the weeds growing all the new growth everywhere. I feel the urge to sow seeds. I have to hold myself back and wait wait.. which I have been doing, today I intend to plant a few in pots to germinate in side.

Lets go for a walk around my gardens in the last few days of the yearly Winter season.

I feel like I have done very little during winter, yet when I review the photos I have been doing small things. On top of this each day I walk around and pull weeds out of the paddock area.
We have had a very wet few weeks very wet. This has made it more difficult to continue to clear around the fruit trees as the ground is too wet.

The joy of my garden and the hope that I will get seeds in and growing for my own vegetables and food. Rain and colder days are on the agenda for a few more days.

The chooks ahh the chooks sadly I have three roosters, and only five girls. Rupert has been amazing with the chicks but they have all grown up now and I have to attend to reducing the number of roosters, as they will be to much and to mean for the few girls I have. Sadly only one of the female chicks have survived to now. I also lost one of my original hens one of the brown girls. Penny I am not holding out any hope that she is nesting anywhere. My neighbours have also got new hens, and both my neighbour and I have noted that a Sea Eagle has been flying around everyday. This may be part of why my hens have disappeared along with one of the rooster chicks (perhaps not so bad one less for me to attend).

I have been taking my vitamin D as down here we have such low levels of sun over this time of year it is a necessity. It also helps with mood and lessening seasonal affective disorder. (SAD)

It is great to wake up each day, to see how beautiful my garden is looking. I am so thankful to have such a great area to create my space.

I am thankful to those of you who read my posts, blessings to You all. Tazzie

Unexpected beauty

This morning I have woken really early for me it is just 05:30.
Having been woken by Miss Treacle who needed to go out at 04:00 I was not able to go back to sleep and left both dogs and came downstairs.

Dawn is breaking and it is a cool morning so I have opened doors and windows cooling the house down after a hot day, in preparation for a lovely day. The skies are clear with the exception of what is the mist/cloud/fog forming over the river. Street lights are still on across the river and the


Roopert is crowing, Micro bats are flying in the last moments before dawn breaks, catching insects. Swallows somersaulting, swooping swiftly soundlessly. The soloist begins in the dawn chorus Kookaburras laughing, joined by Roopert cock-a-doodle-doo, and chorus of many other birds, The mozzies have taken their last bites of me as this new day begins.

A slight pink tinge begins to appear in the sky. I can see the light indicating the sun is coming up the hills behind my home block sunrise for a while but

It is really interesting to see a river fog being created as the sun begins to rise. Almost more of a winter morning than a late summer one.

If I had not been up as early as I was I would not have seen this beauty. As the fog ended up thick enough that I could not see across the river. It rose again at about 8:30am.
It may not have been the most amazing sunrise I have seen here. The morning was so unexpected and beautiful.
Even when I am not feeling so great with my mental illness (CPTSD) I am learning to find so much pleasure and contentment in what I have about me. I do understand I am very fortunate with where I live. Yet whilst I was very unwell I was not always able to see all that I had and find contentment. I am a bit flat lately and this may be a perfectly normal part of my life, and that is how I am seeing it, rather than seeing it as a part of my CPTSD. Learning to understand normal reactions to those that are triggered reactions. It is all part of my management and living my life with CPTSD.

I am thankful that I was able to enjoy so much this morning that our world has to offer if we just take a moment when we can to do something a bit different. I am thankful for where I live, thankful for my chickens.

blessings to You, Tazzie.

Not the Greatest Gardener

Sunday today a walk about the garden, and a quick trip to my wee village to pick up a voucher for my mobile as I had run out of credit and have a doctors phone call visit tomorrow at 9am.

It was supposed to be really cold and wild weather here over the weekend and we seemed to have missed quite a lot of it in my little corner of the Huon Valley. It was mild today and if the sun was out behind the clouds I had just a T-shirt on. I am letting my fire go out as the following days are to be warmer overnight and during the day.

As I walked about the paddock and pulled out young bracken ferns noticing the wattle is still flowering (weird) and most of the leaves are now off my plums. I also noticed my neighbours had left a bike on the main road with a notice saying free to good home.

As I stood there looking at what a great bike it looked a man and his son stopped and the son said hey dad mum wanted a bike. Fathers reply was yes and we could not get her one, but we can have this one. I watched them load the bike into their car and the smile on the sons face was wide. He said to his dad it would be a great Mother’s Day gift (Mothers Day is next sunday here in Australia).

As I was ambling back up the side of my paddock my neighbours were walking down there drive and I said Hi. They shared that they had just put the bike out 5 mins ago, it had flat tyres and needed a little work probably tweeking the chains, and how happy they were someone had taken it. I shared the story and that made them both even happier. I too smiled as I walked to the vegetable garden.

There are sunflowers still attempting to produce flowers and others like the one in the bottom of the photos above that the birds have been eating seeds off. Broad beans flowering, lettuce setting and sending seeds forth on the winds. I have picked the sunflower as I would like more seeds to grow next season.

The vegetable garden is going slowly into winter mode,(photos above) and I am making a compost bed. Manure horses, and vegetable waste, green and brown material will be added. The three sisters bed is finished now and I will not be doing one again, as I feel it is not really the best way in my climate to grow beans, corn and pumpkins/squash. I had to pull out the beans as I could smell mildew on them with all the rain we have had. I have the plants undercover on the deck my fingers are crossed the beans will dry out and not rot.

The tomato bed is winding down the lettuce is ending its life cycle and the sunflower is now gone. I will add some manure, compost and minerals when I decide what will be planted in this bed in spring.

Above a wee bit of artistic license with cape gooseberries flower and fruit. I love the fruit taste and its crazy paper cover. Some of my sage is flowering, and the red kale seedlings are going well. All the plants with the lables on them were in the discount area of my local hardware(nursery area no not a bunnings) I got two lavenders that were $24 ea alone plus 12 plants for $20 I could not pass them by. Two salvias, a rosemary, some seedlings. Several others. I will be planting them out this week. They have all perked up since coming here.

I have been busy putting all the seedlings and potted lettuce and brassicas up on wracks to get them off the timber, I am worrying about the rot that might happen. I am still working on the big pots. A trip to a tip shop may be on the cards. When I take a load of rubbish to the tip which is essential.

Let me reassure you all I am not the worlds greatest gardener. I am very much a hit or miss kind a one. I am absolutely delighted and appreciative of what my garden gives me for how neglected it has and can be at times.
I look at my neighbour up the road. Who has the money to spend on an amazing set up his vegetable garden is a work of art and stunning. He has wallaby and possum proof fencing, and yet he has lost part of his pumpkins crop to rats, and now his beetroots and carrots have been eaten underground by rats it seems too or possums.
He is devastated. Where as after 20 years of living here and knowing that the more you fight nature the harder nature fights you back. I have things outside my veggie garden that the critters can nibble on. They have free run off all areas with exception of my deck part of it, and my veggie area. I leave them food, I have had very little damage from anything with the exception of birds and cabbage moth.
I protect individual trees rather than fencing the whole of my land off from them. Sure they do some damage, sometimes, and I feel it for a wee while. In the scheme of my way of thinking the critters were here first, and if fences are stopping them from getting to their food supplies and you have temptation I know where I would be going too. The critters are not silly.

The photographs above were taken on my quick run into my village to get the darn phone credit voucher (I don’t own a credit card). This was the return trip home.
I bought some potatoes at one of my road side sellers and as I came upon this little one closer to my place I bought some eggs $5 for a dozen fresh eggs and 10 golden delicious apples for $2. I am eating one as I write, crunchy slightly tart and juicy. Flavoursome.

I am so very fortunate to live where I do. I love being in my garden and need to get in it to weed but no point weeding when the ground is so wet.
I also have to fix my faviourite tool. My partner bought it with him from Malaysia, and he called it a ‘chunkor'{sic} The head has come away from the handle and I love the handle as it is thin made for a female hand, as they are the worker who use them most on rubber plantations. I have to find a small piece of wood to hold it in place.

I am thankful for being in such a beautiful place and working with mother nature to ensure the wild life have the correct food for them. I am thankful for all the birds that were about today. I am thankful for the bees that were in my garden today. I am thankful to Mother Earth. I am so thankful to have such wonderful cheap locally grown produce available to buy at roadsides near me. I am thankful that the rain is helping my large trees about the house. I am thankful for all I have, and all I can share. I am thankful for good sleep. I am so very thankful that my mental health is improving and that I am moving forward no matter how small every day. Gardening certainly helps me there, along with my routine.

No walk today it was a car run for the dogs. I was not well this morning very dizzy. I am thankful that I will be able to get back into walking my dogs tomorrow.

blessings to you all Tazzie

Simple pleasures.

I adore these two as I have all the dogs I have had come into my life. Miss Treacle is the most soulful and sweet girl she has too be touching me.

Last night on the lounge she was doing something else and Busby had climbed up and was laying with his head on my lap. I was patting him, when Miss Treacle climbs up and walks over him, pushing her 8kg/17.6lbs body in between his 41kg/90.38lbs body and the lounge. Forcing him to move, she then lays herself over his nose so I can not pat him so easily. I had to chuckle to myself at her devotion. I do feel for Busby, but he is a very easy going boy.

Dogs are great company. For me they have been integral in dealing with my breakdown, the times I was so unwell and life was just too hard in my ill state of mental health. Now they are integral in helping me and my improving mental health. Though let me say their tactics are pretty strong pawed ones.

Miss Treacle was not impressed, and actually pushed my hand off the key board and would not let me keep writing. She was not so subtle letting me know it was time for a walk and to get off the computer!

It worked, I realised if I did not get up now with less wind and no rain the opportunity might not come again today. So we set off. and the sun came out and it showed all the trees up in such a pretty light. The colours of Autumn are much more noticeable today.

We only saw one of our neighbours at a distance this morning and we just waved at each other. the dogs and I kept walking, I use the time for training Busby to come.

He tends to loose all ability to hear me if he sees any wild animals and will take off chasing them. I guess being a Staffie/boxer/ridgeback cross is to blame for his instinct in chasing. He is improving at coming when I call him, I only have myself to blame. He came into my life when I was unwell as a foster puppy with two siblings.

The wind was picking up on the home ward journey. as can be seen in the poplars in the middle row below. I also love the very old quince tree with the Hills Hoist rotary clothes hoist in front of it. Many hours of childhood were spent spinning around on one similar.

This mornings walk up the road, probably looks pretty much like the last photographs I posted. We took a chance in between wind and rain, to go out, and I timed it really well. Autumn has finally arrived here and Mother Earth is changing the trees colours well at least the deciduous ones. The problem lies with the wind, the leaves are being blown off so quickly.

Photos above Miss Treacle smiling at me saying see a walk makes us all feel better, and the clean air and being in nature the smells all wonderful. I had to agree and said to her yes it was wonderful that you made me get up and go for a walk. Second photo she is sleeping and snoring. Little angel that she is. Yes she does sleep with her eyes open.

Later in the day we walked about the garden. It was another interluded of sunshine between showers and wind. In the grass I often see these holes dug out, now if you do not know many people would assume that they are dug by rabbits. We do get rabbits here. These holes are not dug by them, rabbits when they dig usually leave little piles of manure, and a very different shaped hole. This one has a pointy shape and is quite different it is dug by a bandicoot, who as you can see have a pointed nose. This is an Eastern Barred Bandicoot we also have Southern Brown Bandicoots

Bandicoots – Bush Heritage Australia
bushheritage.org.au

The photos below show the vegetable garden and rhubarb which is in a bed in the front of my house.

The fig is giving me small tasty figs. I am not sure what I need to do to increase their size next season. It is growing in a half wine barrel.

The beans took a huge hit in the wind last photo.

Broad beans, coriander, kale, and other brassicas are doing well. I have small lettuce seedlings, rocket, red veined sorrell, silverbeet all coming up. The broccoli that you pick again small style is doing well, delicious and sweet I pick it and eat it raw.

My neighbours glass house is looking wonderful and I have said I am jealous. In a very nice way.
The colour of the blueberry bushes is such a strong red. I also have some garlic shoots already protruding. Along with the broad beans which are flowering already so very strange.

We returned inside, and relaxed for a while.

I found it hard to sit still today and at about 1700 I said to the dogs, lets go for another walk up the hill. You can probably imagine their responses.


They were both uber excited, and off we went, the sun was getting lower in the sky and I was a tad concerned about the critters that might be coming out, but we headed off.
I had no expectation of seeing anyone. So we were all very happy to see our neighbour at the top of the hill and his dog Toby. Off went Busby to play with Toby.

Miss Treacle actually squeaked in such joy at seeing our neighbour, she loves him so much. He picked her up and she was in heaven.

He and I talked and he had made 6 litres of pasata from his home grown tomatoes and dried several kilos as well. WOW!how wonderful.
The sky was darkening a bit as clouds came over and we headed home, two very satiated dogs.

We were almost home and Busby saw his other friends Chubb and Toby from across the road, and I said yes he could go and say hello.

Off they both went and I chatted with their owner. They played we chatted standing far apart.

As we were talking another neighbour and her little one came by with their bikes, so we all said hi and chatted. The little one no longer has training wheels on her bike, and so we watched her ride all the way down the hill and use her brakes well, several times. Complimenting her on her achievements and brake skills.

It was growing darker and colder, the tip of my nose was chilled. It was really feeling like winter.

I was very very happy to come home ,to my warm home made white loaf of bread. A big cup of tea and fresh crusty warm bread with butter and vegemite.(Please Note see how little vegemite I spread on my bread..some like a bit more but never spread it thick)
The best end to a really wonderful day all the while staying at home or very close bye, being safe and keeping social distancing, and exercising.

I am thankful for the beauty that I am surrounded by. I am thankful for the food I have and the ability to make my own meals from scratch. I am thankful for good neighbours, I am thankful for feeling unafraid in these times, I am thankful for being so fortunate. I am thankful for my dogs. I am thankful for my physical health. I am thankful for you. May you all stay safe.

Blessings Tazzie

Productivity in Isolation

It was a wee bit weird to be heading off to my small village, after being at home for 14 days. I had to get a script filled, and buy a few essential things.


I was really quite amazed at how busy it was in my small village.
My local supermarket, IGA was stocked well with everything I certainly required. Yes some things I had to buy a different brand or variety, these things were a small price to pay to have what I needed. It was good that my Tasmania milk was available. There was toilet paper, flour, pasta, I did not need any of these. Dried fruit was a bit lacking. I was fortunate to get some sultanas. Just what I wanted. I have dried apricots I dried at home

I think I may have over dried them hard but delicious.

The plants in the photo below, are three I bought plus there are two lavenders on the right you can see the flowers. The three plants cost me $9AUS/$5.46USD/4.42 UK pounds a small prostrate rosemary, and two salvias, The two large lavender plants were selling for
$24AUS/$14.56US/11.14UKpounds each, but they were in the unloved plants area and were $12AUS/$7.28USD/5.57 UK pounds each. I have some cuttings I had taken of some friends lavender plants but they would take several years to be as large as these plants. I know exactly where all of them will be going.

I also purchased some potting mix. I had a lot of seedlings of cabbage and cauliflowers to pot up. I accidentally ordered to many from my local seedling man Dave. I thought they were one seedling in each pot when I read his post on what he had available. So I ordered three of each of four cabbages, two red and two white, and four cauliflowers two different varieties. When the order was picked up they were punnets. So I have so many to plant. I am attempting to put them in pots and in the veggie garden.

If You look at the photograph above you an see seedlings basically in the middle of the photo these are some of the seedlings. I have to take out the tomatoes I have picked them all and wait for them to ripen.

New England Honey Eater

I love my garden this salvia is loved by these birds. This wee New Holland Honey Eater was happily getting nectar as I was potting up seedlings on my deck.

Above are the 3kgs/6,61Lbs for $12AUS/$7.28USD/5.89UK Pound of tomatoes I purchased from my friends who had a veggie store at the Cygnet Market,(which is closed due to the Covid-19 virus). They are selling their produce from their gate, you order and they book you to come one at a time to pick up.
I wanted them for sauce. I had not told them this and they had picked me a lovely lot of varied ripeness tomatoes. I had to think fast. How could I ripen them all at once? I put them in my car, with the windows up. The next two days were gorgeous. Hot sunny and clear. This is how the box of tomatoes looked (photo above) when I took them out of the car/glass house. I have also used my car as a greenhouse for seedlings in the past.

I started the sauce yesterday (Tuesday). I had picked some rose hips in the morning to make some rose hip syrup. I put them on to cook, I just took the tails and heads of them, popped them in the saucepan whole put them on to come to a boil and left them to soften. I came back twice and mixed them to break the hips up and to release the juices. I then strained the seed and skins overnight catching all the juices. I then added some sugar. I do not add a huge amount as I do not like it too sweet.

The history of rosehip syrup

During the war, government scientists realised that, weight for weight, rosehips have over 20 times the vitamin C of oranges. So the Ministry of Food (UK) recommended rosehip syrup and a generation of children began receiving a daily dose.

During World War II, a national week for the collection of rosehips was established in late September. Scouts, guides and other groups would head out to harvest the nation’s hedgerows. In 1941 this produced a 200 ton haul of hips which made 600,000 bottles of commercially produced syrup!

With the growing popularity of foraging, the vitamin saviour of World War II has been making a welcome comeback.

As well as vitamin C, rosehips are a great source of vitamin A, D and E. They contain an anti-inflammatory and have been shown to help relieve the symptoms of arthritis.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2019/07/raw-rosehip-syrup/

Home goods for my pantry.

In the photo above the tomato sauce is in the large jars on the left( with the seeds in them). The small jars in front with the red colour are my four jars of rosehip syrup for over autumn and winter. To the right of that t

Blackberry Thyme Oxymel

Based on a recipe from “Wild Drinks and Cocktails” by Emily Han

Ingredients

6 oz container of organic blackberries (approx. 1-1/4 cup)

½ cup roughly chopped thyme

1 ½ cups of raw apple cider vinegar

1 cup local raw honey

Directions

Place berries in a bowl and lightly crush.

Coarsely chop thyme and combine with blackberries in a glass mason jar.

Cover with vinegar, making sure thyme and blackberries are submerged with at least 1/4 inch of headspace.

Use a non-reactive lid and store in a cool, dark space for 2 to 4 weeks.

Strain the mixture using cheesecloth, add honey and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.

Add your oxymel to seltzer or use as a base for sauces, marinades or salad dressing.  It’s a great way to stay healthy through the winter.
Recipe from https://soulholistichealth.com/blackberry-thyme-oxymel/

The final jar the tall jar on the far right with all the chopped up things in it is my Fire Cider Vinegar. I followed the recipe from Danus Irish Herb Garden. on Youtube. It is not quite ready to be strained.


I feel happy to have these items to go in my pantry in any year. This year with all that is happening as we here in the Southern Hemisphere are heading into Winter and the normal cold and flu season. The added concern of Covid-19. Well I want to be as prepared to have things to assist me and my body as best I can.

My garden provides so much the rosehips, the black berries, the garlic. All for free, as I now grow garlic from my own previous years supply. Horseradish seems to have fallen out of favour with Wasabi seeming to be many peoples preferred heat these days. I am very content with Horseradish.

I am thankful that Mother Earth provides me with so much free food. I am also thankful that she has given me the ability to grow things for myself.
I am thankful that I was able to go out and do what I needed to today. I am thankful to be home, in my safe, isolation with my two dogs. I am thankful for the lovely fresh produce that is grown around me in this beautiful valley.

keep well blessings to you all Tazzie





Rapidly Changing Life

As things rapidly change here in Australia, and life for us all will be quite different. I know I am so very fortunate.

The weather during the day time has been really lovely sunny with puffs of cloud and gentle breezes. I love using my solar powered clothes dryer. And sat reading a book having a cup of coffee before I headed out to do one or two things. This was on Monday 23/03/2020 Australia.

The photos above are of my drive to some friends, a lovely couples who live about 13 kms from my home. They grow wonderful vegetables and fruit for their stall at the Cygnet markets.

Unfortunately the market has been closed due to the Covid-19 virus. It is not just our local market Fanklin, Geeveston, Cygnet the Wonderful Salamanca Markets an institution that commenced operating 48 years ago, and the Farmers Market in Hobart, have also closed as all markets across Australia have.
Leaving many growers, producers, and artisans with no customers and a lot of produce.

This wonderful couple work so hard and are pretty savvy. They just got on to the local community pages on facebook and were inundated with people who wanted to buy their organic tomatoes. I have bought 3kgs/6.16lbs at $4AUS/$2.39USA/2.03 poundsUK a kg for my own bottling. They were red in colour (but picked for eating as I had forgotten to say I wanted to bottle them). It was lovely that they had picked the tomatoes in various stages of ripening for me.

My dilema was how to ripen them all so I could bottle them. My solution is leaving them in my car. A easy and cheap green house. Problem solved.

The above photos are of their house and gardens, no one is currently allowed in their vegetable growing area. They had also staggered the time people were to come and pick up their ordered tomatoes. They had tried to meet all the current hygiene and social distancing guidelines. Your tomatoes were packed ready to go.

The other photo graphs are of the drive home. On the way I wanted to check to see if there was any mushroom compost from the mushroom farm. They grow oyster mushrooms and other oriental style mushrooms. When they no longer use their bags, they put them in the old apple crates below and sell them on the side of the road. They really just ask for a gold coin donation to cover the cost of moving them with the tractor and driver to the side of the road. I had been keeping an eye out for a few weeks. I was thrilled when I saw them and that they were full. I got out and rummaged through the crates, looking for the ones I hoped would keep growing mushrooms for me for some time to come. I have grown from some over the years several kgs/lbs of basically free mushrooms. Once no more mushrooms grow, the leftover compost, gets added to my vegetable garden. Win:win.
Cygnet Mushroom Farm uses a zero waste model. They even have bags on the side of the apple crates to put the plastic the mushroom compost comes in can be left behind. More information at the site below.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2016-10-06/cygnet-mushroom-farm-success-tasmania/7907960

The drive back home was pleasant and grey clouds were moving in. All in all it was a very enjoyable day.

As the pace of life is slowing and closing down on many of us due to being perhaps not able to work, to being unemployed suddenly and unexpectedly. To having your children home all the time and your partner, to those in share accommodation. Be kind to each other and thankful to have each other. Everyone of us is under more and more strain and stress and worry. Remember these feelings are appropriate for the situation.

What many of us may be feeling is grief. The sudden loss of our jobs, studies, being able to do things that make us happy and feel connected. The loss of social life and sports life. Going out and chatting over a coffee with friend or to a restaurant.
Weddings now in Australia can only occur if no more than 5 people including bridal party are present. Funerals can have 10 people.

We here in Australia are being told to stay at home (not enforced as yet) and to only go out for essential things, groceries chemist/pharmacy, petrol, work, taking children to school and picking them up. Nail and beauty shops are closed, general massage are closed but ones for medical reasons can go ahead. Hair dressers are still open as long as appointment is less than 30 minutes. Food courts are closed. The list is long.
Queues around the Centrelink offices (benefits) grow each day and their phone and computer services seem to be not able to handle it.
This changed overnight. I imagine that tomorrow we will see more changes. The change has happened so fast. No time for anyone to catch his or her breath.

I know I am one of the most fortunate people in Australia. I will still have to deal with changes and uncertainty.
I can only know how it was for me in the 90s interest rates went so high unemployment back then was extreme, stress, anxiety were extreme. As hard as it was to try to keep me going I would look for anything that made me smile, and make me see the beauty about me while my world was crashing around me. No control no money, lost my home, and almost homeless, but for the kindness of a friend of a friend.


I am thankful that Australia has had so few deaths, I am thankful for the financial assistance I and many other Australians are being given to assist us. I am thankful that it seems the Federal and State Governments are working more cohesively. I am thankful that ultimately I am so fortunate if one can be with a mental illness. Having CPTSD sees my life basically the way it has been for the last three years. I was working on being more social as both my psychologist and the psychiatrist I saw recently were concerned I was becoming agoraphobic. I am thankful that I am really aware of this now and am making a concentrated efffort to leave my home and go for a walk about my acre. I am working up to get back to taking my dogs for a walk everyday. We are allowed to do this as long as we keep social distance. As I live in a rural area this should be no problem for me.
I am thankful to have access to such great local producers and services. I am thankful to be able to make some tomato sauce base for over winter. I only had two jars left from my sauce from last year.
I am thankful for being able to dry my clothes in the sunshine and breeze. I am thankful for the rain that fell over night filling my rain water tanks and watering my gardens. I am thankful for all I have especially my dogs who have seen me through and have been my company constantly. They make me laugh and give me something to hug. I am also thankful for having commenced this blog, and found so many other interesting bloggers out there whom I have connected with.

Keep safe everyone,blessings to you all Tazzie

Hedge Rows and Killer Ants.

I was out picking blackberries this morning in what I consider my hedgerow. I know it is not really a true hedge row.
I know that here in Tasmania mostly in the midlands and north of the state there are some amazing hedges and hedge rows. I recall driving into Perth Tasmania from Hobart and seeing these amazing structures, quite neglected but quite lovely still.

In spring Tasmania reminds many people of UK.

It is so green and rich looking, from mid Autumn to late early summer providing rainfall has been adequate. Combined with Georgian and Victorian style houses and buildings in towns and cities across Tasmania and rural areas.

Records indicate there are 3,000 kilometres of historic hawthorn hedges left.
Landline: Tony King

Along with hawthorn hedgerows, many planted in the first half of the 19th Century and stone walls. In reality the only similarities are the verdant green of the grass from autumn to early summer, the Georgian and Victorian built heritage that still remains and the patchwork of fields enclosed by the hawthorn hedgerows, many of which were planted in the first half of the 19th century.

The first hedgerows were planted and cared for them which then enabled the family that owned the property to plant crops for the early colony of Tasmania.
Sadly for the last 70plus years these hedgerows hae been neglected as barbed wire fencing became more accessible and affordable.
Mr Dumarseq a sith generation farmer said.

“We’re slowly now just starting to trim them again, lay them over in the traditional way and bring them back into traditional working order.”

The family has employed one of Australia’s few traditional hedge layers, James Boxhall to work on the property. James has been slowly beginning to trim and lay them as the convicts would have so once again the hedge rows will be back in working order.

James Boxhall at work in Tasmania

Since the introduction of barbed wire, fencing has taken on a whole new form, harsh on the eye, requires mining and high energy to produce and is lifeless. In stark contrast a healthy living hedge is not only a fence or boundary but a nature reserve full of diversity.

Flowering profusely in the spring, highly fragrant, buzzing with insects and the chatter of birds they attract, visually spectacular with painful thorns for the unwary. A sensory overload! Ever-changing autumn brings fruit, prized by the Green Rosellas, the swamp harriers and goshawks cruise the extremities flushing out prey, small mammals find homes among the roots and branches, all while these carbon sinks provide shelter from the elements for our sheep and cattle.

The satisfaction of preserving these ancient hedges and passing on a dying craft has kept people like Mr Boxhall on the job, cutting, pushing, bending and chainsawing the thorny and at times nasty plants back into the shape of the traditional fences.

“Science has shown your mortality rates in sheltered paddocks are 50% less than in unsheltered paddocks”, James says. https://www.outbackmag.com.au/sticks-and-stones/

We must ensure their survival long into the future.

In the UK their benefits are of such importance the government pays land owners to look after and maintain them in the Countryside Stewardship scheme creating gainful employment for many. Here in Tasmania we too should appreciate the great value healthy hedgerows make to the diversity, ecology and charm of the Tasmanian landscape as well of course as the cultural importance of our British colonisation.

Fortunately in 2003 John and Robyn Hawkins employed master hedgelayer and stonewaller Karl Leibscher from Shropshire in the English midlands to teach a small team these traditional skills and to restore the many kilometres of hedges on their property “Bentley”.

James says he has had the great privilege of being invited to the Patrons Event, a competition held this year on the Queen’s estate “Sandringham” by the Patron of the National Hedgelaying Society HRH The Prince of Wales.
“I travelled to England to compete in the National Hedgelaying Championships, becoming the first person from outside of Europe to do so”.
http://www.omlxi.com/sticks_stones/about.php#james

Along with 35 other competitors from most parts of the UK we were given six hours to lay, stake and bind our 7-yard section of hedge which was judged at the end of the day. Many of England’s masters of the craft were in attendance to advise and mentor which made it an invaluable experience. The chance to meet and talk with Prince Charles about Tasmania and hedges was wonderful, an opportunity I will not forget.

“It’s a big undertaking, it’s a long-term thing, it’s almost a five to 10 year plan that [the] Dumaresqs are looking at and it’s a big financial undertaking as well,” Mr Boxhall said.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-04/restoring-tasmanias-hawthorn-hedges/9106960


So I accept that my boundary is not a true traditional hedge row, as it is not made from bent trees and woven and trimmed. It does keep my dogs in. I love my hedgerow. It is full of life. It is not for stock and meets my needs.

Looking down the hedgerow.

I do wish I could say this is a fairy entrance into my garden, it is almost as magical. This is a pathway for wallabies and other animals it goes under the apple tree. The blackberries provide a safe escape. Quiet a few years ago I watched a blue tongue lizard eating blackberries just up from this spot. This has been a pathway for all the time I have lived here. I will not fence as I love having the wallabies come in and be part of my garden. So many new people are moving here and fully fencing their properties to keep the wallabies and possums out. I understand if you are having stock or horses, but just to keep the animals that belong here much more then we do out of their pathways and feeding areas not good.

Hedge row blackberries grass and bracken no fencing at all along here. The only small bit of fencing is where the apple tree is and the first bit of grassland as people would come onto our land to pick the apples. No problem with them taking them from the road side.

How lovely the rain has arrived and is falling as I type. It has cooled off.

Hedge rows (neighbours across) is a pine of sorts just a hedge) Mine blackberries bracken and agapanthas.(white flowers) I do not have any fencing along here at all.

Agapanthas I cut and had to go back to pick up because I had forgotten them. The clouds were coming over and as I bent to pick them up I felt two stinging burning bites. Really painful I was in a mass of Jack Jumper ants. I feel they knew it was going to rain. Why they were about the agapantha flowers I am not sure. They were no where about earlier when it was humid so sticky and humid. Below is the photograph I took of two of them and some information about these beasties! (I was also bitten earlier in the week in the veggie garden on my left index finger).

Photograph of Jack Jumper Ants in my garden

The jack jumper – Tasmania’s killer ant: 2012

By Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Jack jumpers (Myrmecia pilosula) are small, black and orange ants with extremely keen eyesight and an unusual ability to jump. This tiny creature is considered one of the most dangerous ants in the world – and, indeed, the most dangerous animal in Australia! In Tasmania, the death toll from the jack jumper’s sting is about one person every four years – greater than the toll inflicted by sharks or by the most poisonous of snakes or spiders.

They are named after the ‘jumping-jack firecracker’ because of their tendency to jump aggressively towards potential threats to themselves or their nests, and to follow up with multiple painful, fiery stings.

The ant’s fierce-looking, toothed jaws are ideal for holding insect prey in place while using the stinger at the end of its abdomen to jab its victim.

Jack jumpers are so very dangerous because the venom in their stings is one of the most powerful in the insect world; about three per cent of Tasmanians (some 14,000 people) are at risk of anaphylactic shock if stung.

While jack jumpers are common in the bush, their preference for disturbed, sparsely-vegetated and stony ground allows them to colonise roadsides, pathways and heavily-grazed paddocks.

For the same reasons, they can also be common in recently-established suburbs. Nests are typically found under logs and rocks and can often be spotted from the mounds of gravel that mark the entrance holes.

Not one single ant species, but a complex of seven superficially very similar species, jack jumpers hold a key position in native ecosystems.

Despite their notoriety, their nest-building improves soil structure, while their predatory and competitive behavior with other insects and invertebrates helps to selectively enhance plant growth.

They are also a food source for other animals. The most important predator of jack jumpers is the echidna, which – unfortunately for people – avoids disturbed ground and suburban areas.

Below please excuse my dirty feet, I have been working and walking about in sandles all day. Digging and on dirt paths in bare feet.
You can see my bites fortunately I am not allergic to them.

The first is on the side of my big toe, and it is swollen quite a lot now it feels like I have a huge blister or pad under my foot when I walk and the top and side is hot to touch and red. There is no pain just a burning sensation which is not unusual. This ant really had a tight grasp on me. It was still attached even when I pulled my sandle off.

Below. The one on my toe is not too bad it has not swollen any where near as much as I feared. (I could not bend my finger for 24 hours after it was bitten, and it itches off and on annoyingly so) It is burning still I know if it had swollen I would have found it really annoying as you can see I have webb toes and it would have impacted both of them. The redness you can see is the reaction but that has disapated and basically where the whiteness is and the small red dot (bite) is now red and the rest of my foot now clean is back to normal. Of course I was bitten on different feet. I can laugh now.

Even with this I have had a wonderful day and so have my dogs. We did our usual run this morning. I picked fruit and stacked some of my wood. I pruned some trees and bushes. (bushes mainly for access for my gas bottle delivery man. )
My dogs were wanting another walk so after their meal we went off on the way home one of my neighbours was out with her two dogs, so my guys played with them as we chatted for ages.

We waved as several other neighbours drove up or down the road. As the dogs played in their paddock.

Another neighbour came and joined us, bringing us each a gift of half a marrow, a zucchini/courgette that has grown huge. I am going to stuff mine and bake it, yummo on tuesday when I have gas again.
She also gave us each a jar of her homemade home grown apricot relish yummo!

We chatted for quite a while and her friend came looking for her and stayed for a while and talked with us more.
I had to go as Busby was so hot and tired and Miss Treacle was sleeping under the shade of a tree. So we all said bye. All smiling.

As I write I am listening to the rain and Busby snoring deeply as he has been since 5pm (it is now 8pm) and Miss Treacle making mmmering noises in her sleep. Neither of them raising their head if I get up to do something. Not normal. Sleeping the exhausted.
It is a lovely night, all dry our tummies full and comfy beds to sleep in.
I am not suffering with my ant bites. I have learnt about Tasmanias true hedgerows.

I am so thankful for lovely neighbours, other dogs for my dogs to play with, the rain, the gifts I received to day, the bounty of Mother Earth, I will have more blackberries, and the apples will be ready soon. I am thankful for I am truelove blessed.

Blessings to You all Tazzie

A little bit of paradise

It is such a glorious day here in the valley where I live. The sky is blue with puffs and streaks of white cloud blowing over. Its a lovely temperature and being a Saturday many people are out enjoying it. The most enjoyable thing is there is not one mower or chainsaw being used. It is blissful and relatively quiet, except for the birds singing and my neighbours little girl playing and laughing with her daddy.


There is a gentle wind, which will dry my washing out. I use a clothes horse and fencing about my deck to hang it. The pleasure I have when I bring in the clothes smelling of sunshine. Sigh.


I did have three clothes lines but had to have them taken down for my replacement water tank to go in. (I guess that is important information if you are on tank water; ensure access is easy to replace your water tanks.)
The plastic ones are easier as you can roll them into position, I do have one plastic one. Not so with the corrugated metal ones.

Corn flowers continue to flower, and provide seed for next flowering season. A sweet pea is growing in the planter, along with some strawberry plants. Only the strawberry was planted in this particular pot. I love my garden for this it self seeds and brings so much beauty for so little work.



I am watching lots of butterflies and bees flying about, along with some white cabbage moths, I feel I am loosing the battle with them and my brassicas. I am having little luck with broccoli forming heads, and the pick again are also not as I hoped. Perhaps I put them in a bit early. Oh well I am eating them and enjoying what I get. I am also adding the leaves to dogs food and my own too.

I spent a while at the begining of the week cleaning the leaves of all the brasscias on my deck before I put them under the netting. Only to discover that I had left it open so the white cabbage moth had laid eggs and caterpillars have eaten the leaves.

So sitting out on my deck just enjoying the day, I am attempting to shoot photos of butterflies the one below is the only one I captured.

I am not sure what it is but all my butterflies look the same. I am not sure if I can attract some others. I may have to research this. It was lovely to see so many floating about my garden.


Earlier in the morning I was watering the garden. I realised all of a sudden that all the bird life had stopped flying and chatting. I just caught the wedge tail eagle as it flew bye, explaining why it is not a great shot.

Treacle on the wet paw out door mat eating her blackberries



I gave my dogs a squashy blackberry each and how they loved them. So they have had a small feast each of delicious organic blackberries from the bushes that make up my boundary.
Miss Treacle was not too sure about them. I had to feed her several by hand and then she decided she liked the a lot.
Busby on the other hand just tasted and dove into his serve and then ate the leftovers from me. We all had our fill of blackberries this morning.

Oh Yum delicious blackberries!
Busby loves blackberries. Cleaning up the left overs
Thanks for the tasty blackberries

The beautiful days have bought some growth in the veggie garden.


The asparagus bed is still giving me asparagus every so often, I have high hopes for it next season.





Onions in the old wheel barrow. Looking
lush. The peach tree needs a prune.

Whoa so proud of this capsicum plant(above) I planted it in the asparagus bed and it is doing really well. It has 3 capsicums forming well and more flowers. Who knows if they will grow bigger and ripen or not?

Oh my this bed above is a bit of a disaster. The pumpkins are not happy, neither are the cucumbers. Ahh well a big learning curve lots to read up on for next year. The pumpkins that are meant to be growing (unless I confused the names are butternuts. The wee yellow round blobs are not butternuts. Lucky I can laugh at it.

The chili (at least that is what I think it is ) has another fruit on it, and is flowering. It is purple coloured the fruit. Again all I can do is wait and see what develops.

These tomatoes are Suplice and were supposed to be early developers. I have had five small sized tomatoes of the two plants in the garden bed. There are more beginning to change colour and quite a few green ones. The good news is that at least I am getting some ripe tomatoes. Most people who are growing outside this year are having a bad time with tomatoes.

This is my one and only zucchini I have managed to grow so far this summer, and I am nervous to suggest it is going to develop.. As three others have not but they were smaller than this one. It is not for lack of water so I am so uncertain as to why my squash family are doing so poorly.

I have never had this problem in the past. It is not just in one bed three beds have not really done much. The zucchini has a lot of male flowers and few females.

Red vein something the young leaves
can be eaten.

Rocket is beginning to shoot up all
over the place, this is great news.

The Corn is looking good, as are the beans, I have begun harvesting beans though I am fairly certain I have created a bit of bad seed scenario. As I have planted two or 3 varieties of indeterminate and one determinate. So I am not sure if they cross pollinate. I really have forgotten so much and realise I was quite gung ho with my summer crops. It is an adventure.

I am fairly happy with the Three Sister bed, it is the first time I have grown squash, beans and corn together. Below is the only pumpkin I have growing and this is a butternut Waltheim variety from memory. It is only about 9cm/4inches long not including the dead flower. Again I have no idea if it will mature or not.
Previously I shared about my neighbours lovely pumpkins sadly something has got into his and eaten them. Which is really disheartening for him and I do feel for him. As he has worked so hard on his beds and building his trellis.
That is the thing with gardening you can never count your pumpkins or any harvest definitively until it is inside your house, and you taste it and it is delicious.

The beans just keep reaching for the sky, they are now way over my height, probably at about 213cm /7 1/2foot now and flowering and producing beans..Yippe!

Immature waltheim butternut pumpkin 9cm /4inches approx.
brassica bed

Photo above is my brassica bed. It looks like the flash went off, but it didn’t. A very bright light at midday. The kale is the plant on the rear left and is doing really well. I never knew it would just keep on growing.

My broccoli plants are in the foreground. Interestingly the one with the seed heads from my silver beet draped all over it is not as impacted by white cabbage moth caterpillar as the one on the left.
To the right background is the jostaberry bush.

The photograph above show the other two capsicum plants that were put in at the same time as the one in the asparagus bed. In hindsight I should have left all of them in the one bed. This is not the best photo of them, as the smaller plant in front has some wee capsicums on it and lots of flowers. The taller one only has flowers.
The plant to the right is another pumpkin, variety I have no idea but

it has a fruit growing on it. Fingers crossed it matures. If anyone can assist with help as to why I seem to be having more male flowers I would really appreciate it.

Daisy I put into wine barrel at the front of my deck is very happy as it seems the self sown sunflower. I wait to see what happens with it.

Self sown peas, green peas not sweet peas. I love it when things just pop up, and surprise you especially as I dont think green peas are supposed to be growing now.

Two cabbage seedlings, just beginning, I had some others but someone ate them. So I moved these and hope they will be OK. I have to sow some more.

Ive been tidying up my deck plants, just waiting for the lettuce in the background to seed and I will fix that pot up too. Sadly I lost one of my lemon trees this year, it was in the purple pot. I keep meaning to plant one of them out in the ground. I just never know when is the best time. As they seem to be always flowering.

You can see it is still very dry here, pretty normal for summer. We did have some rain (not a lot on Thursday night and it was quite cool) I am fine for water I still have two thirds of a tank in the metal tanks and my plastic tank is full.
I have to work out how to connect it to my others so I can use it on the pump as it is very slow to water the garden on pressure alone. I have also been distracted, forgotten I was watering and emptied the tank. Not good

Actually I know how to do it, it is just purchasing the things I need and doing it. It is just one more thing that is difficult with my CPSTD. Since so many things I have done or had done, have been made worse not so bad when I have done it. Really frustrating when someone you paid has left you worse off than before they came to fix it, and three times came back but made it worse! OK let it go, let it go breathe.

I have a very long list of what I need to do. One list only and no pressure.

Strawberries and brassicas hmm weird.

This is a very healthy eggplant/aubergine and it has flowers, same story as almost all things will any fruit mature? It is the wait and see vegetable garden here.

Busby is hunting gekos, and I love the red geranium it brings such a lovely colour to this part of the garden. There is a curry plant on the left that has seen better days. Soapwort grows under and about the geranium.

Red veined sorrel has seeded and has new young leaves, delicious.

The tomatoes on my deck are getting larger, and flowering still I just wait for them to ripen. I have noticed some I think they are the mortgage lifter appear to have some blossom rot damage. No idea how that happened. As non of the others have it and they have all been roughly where they are all together since I put the seedlings in. I have basil growing in some of the pots the way things are going I will have to harvest the basil and make pesto.

Brassicas on the deck not looking so great.

New leaves on this poor lemon and lots of flowers, I am hoping it will give me a lot of lemons. Lots of new growth on the lemon and lime too in the foreground.

This is really interesting, this little pot has violas in it an two brassicas. It has never been under the netting and up until this point in time, no white cabbage moth damage at all? I wonder if the scent of the violas is deterring the moth?

My attempt to fix a broken limb well part of it is still healthy. Not sure what happened to the broken bit at the bottome of the tape there. I need to check if there is scale on this plant again. I have recently given it some iron water, not sure what is going on withthe older leaf. I need to look that up.

This is a happy lemon look at the new growth yes.

I am so thankful for today. It was lovely just to be able to spend time in the garden. My back is getting better, and I am hoping next week I will be able to begin to stack my wood. I am thankful that I did not hurt my back severely.
I am thankful that I am getting produce from my garden, and that I have been outside for most of the day.
I am constantly tired, and a bit flat, but spending time enjoying nature, watching the birds, bees, butterflies, meditating and just enjoying the sunshine have all been good.

thankyou all for your support
blessings to you all
Tazzie

A few feathered friends

Gardens are one of the places that can bring so much pleasure and delight not just for the humans. The garden that I have created is always evolving as trees planted by my partner grow and spread. The rainfall or lack of. The garden that surrounds my home is a place for nature. I plant to encourage bird life. I ensure that there is water at different levels and flowers in every season if possible. It seems I am very rarely without birds and their songs in the garden.

Welcome Swallow possibly a juvinelle

These small birds live all over Australia even seen flying between city buildings, from the desert to the sea. They got there name because sailors noted them as they flew about the sea indicating that land was not far. Or as a sign of Spring (Imbolc) returning as I read in another site.
They build mud nests under bridges, walls of buildings, verticle rock walls the nest is a snug lined with fur and feathers. Both parents build the nest.
They are aerial acrobats swooping and turning as they chase insects that are their food source. A variety of insects are eaten. The insect is guided into the bird’s wide, open mouth with the help of short rictal bristles bordering the bill. These bristles also help protect the bird’s eye.
I often sit out and watch them flying about my place. I have lived here a long time and have never had a nest built on the house. I would love one. (many people would think I am crazy).

New England Honey Eater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)

These striking little birds are hard to miss but they are easy to confuse with another bird. The White-cheeked Honeyeater is about the same size and has similar colouring to the New Holland Honeyeater. If the bird has the white eye it is the New Holland Honeyeater.
After the Dutch navigators charted the northern, western and southern coasts of Australia during the 17th Century this newly found continent became known as ‘New Holland’ These little birds are named New Holland from this name.

New Holland Honeyeaters are active feeders.They mostly eat the nectar of flowers, and busily dart from flower to flower in search of this high-energy food. Other food items include fruit, insects and spiders. Birds may feed alone, but normally gather in quite large groups. Most feeding takes place in lower areas of bushes and thickets

The long, curved beak these honeyeaters have are perfect for reaching deep into a flower to get to the sweet nectar inside.

These birds get their name from the first name given to Australia (New Holland). It was called New Holland because the Dutch were the first Europeans to visit here.

New Holland Honeyeaters have two breeding peaks, in summer and winter, when they build two different nest types. Their winter nest is built at the top of a bush facing the northern sun to keep it warm. In summer they build their nest deep in the bush away from the heat and the sun.

Striated Pardolte (Pardalotus striatus)

The Striated Pardalote can be found throughout much of Australia, and across this range there are numerous populations and subspecies. Despite being tiny birds, some populations undertake remarkable migratory movements, while others remain in the same area throughout the year. In some populations, some of the birds migrate while others remain behind. Clearly, the movements of the Striated Pardalote are complex. The best-known migratory population breeds in Tasmania and makes regular seasonal movements across Bass Strait, where they mix with various mainland-breeding populations.

Striated Pardalotes feed in the foliage in the tops of trees, although occasionally coming close to the ground in low shrubs. They eat a wide variety of insects and their larvae, which are usually captured by picking them from the surfaces of leaves. Feeding takes place in small groups and birds maintain contact with soft trills.

During breeding season, Striated Pardalotes form pairs or small groups of up to six birds. The nest is constructed close to the ground, usually in a tree hollow or tunnel, excavated in an earthen bank; small openings in human-made objects are frequently used. The birds display regularly at the entrance to the nesting chamber, and vigorously guard the vicinity against other pardalotes. Both sexes incubate and care for the young birds. Other members of the group may also help with the feeding of the young.

These are just three of the visitors to my garden. I am so fortunate and keep planting to attract more birdlife, bees, butterflies and dragonflies. Along with the wallabies, bancicoots, quolls and the tasmania devils who I heard fighting last night on the old dam wall. The possums that chase each other over my metal roof during mating season, and the one that makes Busby bark in the wee small hours of the night waking me in fright. I certainly can not forget the wonder of having an echidna or two that roams across my paddock and garden. How wonderful to have and be creating such a home for us all. To live in harmony.

I will be woken in the morning with no alarm clock but the sweet sounds of so many birds hopefully not demanding me to fill the water bowl…(just checked it and it is full).

I am thankful to have these wonderful birds feel welcome in the garden. Mother earth is so wonderful if you plant the things the birds and animals enjoy, they will come.

Blessings to you all Tazzie

Vegetable Garden Lammas Celebration.

I am so thankful to the Goddess for all I have harvested enjoyed and prepared for later on. Thankful to having the space, the provision of food helps me on my low budget. It is a blessing to be able to grow what I have and share and enjoy it.

It is Lammas the celebration of the harvest. The Godess, (Mother Earth) Gaia, thank You for all I have harvested over the summer. Sweet tasty peaches 18kgs so wonderful to share with friends. My attempt at dehydrating my peaches was a failure. I have picked 4.5kgs of plums.

My garlic and the scapes wonderful. A few green peas grew and were lovely as were the broad beans.

Lettuce and spinach, kale, silverbeet. Rhubarb
Apricots from a friend, nectarines and cherries oh my delicious cherries from a local orchard and blue berries sigh summertime fruit in a temperate climate. Lemons, the flowers sweet peas, corn flowers, nasturtiums.

I notice my wattle trees are in flower! This is really strange as they usually flower around August. In fact September 1st in Australia was known as Wattle Day.

Wattle Day is a day of celebration in Australia on the first day of September each year, which is the official start of the Australian spring. This is the time when many Acacia species (commonly called wattles in Australia), are in flower. So, people wear a sprig of the flowers and leaves to celebrate the day.

Mother Earth is in some turmoil.

While some Christian communities may still practice a “blessing of the loaves” on Lammas, it is a tradition that is beginning to diminish. Nowadays, most Christians who want to celebrate Lammas do so by attending mass or by adorning their house in fall symbols such as corn husks, wheat strands, apples and other traditional harvest symbols.

Lammas Day (Anglo-Saxon hlaf-mas, “loaf-mass”), is a holiday celebrated in some English-speaking countries in the Northern Hemisphere on 1 August. It is a festival to mark the annual wheat harvest, and is the first harvest festival of the year. On this day it was customary to bring to church a loaf made from the new crop, which began to be harvested at Lammastide, which falls at the halfway point between the summer solstice and autumn September equinox.

The loaf was blessed, and in Anglo-Saxon England it might be employed afterwards in protective rituals:[1] a book of Anglo-Saxon charms directed that the Lammas bread be broken into four bits, which were to be placed at the four corners of the barn, to protect the garnered grain.

In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to regularly, it is called “the feast of first fruits“. The blessing of first fruits was performed annually in both the Eastern and Western Churches on the first or the sixth of August (the latter being the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ).

Lammas has coincided with the feast of St. Peter in Chains, commemorating St. Peter’s miraculous deliverance from prison, but in the liturgical reform of 1969, the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori was transferred to this day, the day of St. Alphonsus’ death.

In many parts of England, tenants were bound to present freshly harvested wheat to their landlords on or before the first day of August. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where it is referred to regularly, it is called “the feast of first fruits“. The blessing of first fruits was performed annually in both the Eastern and Western Churches on the first or the sixth of August (the latter being the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ).

In the Northern Hemisphere it is Imbloc on the 1st February 2020.

Imbolc today for those in the Northern Hemisphere

Unlike Samhain, which transformed into the much loved night of Halloween, Imbolc is one Celtic festival that hasn’t quite survived through history. Although Christians still celebrate St. Bridget’s Day in Ireland and children still learn how to make crosses at the start of February, little else remains of the ancient Celtic spring festival. However, Saint Bridget’s cross, made from rushes and hung around the home just as the Celts would have done, is as good a reminder as any to the festival’s ancient and mythological origins.

Blessings to You all Tazzie


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