So this is going to be one of these completely self-serving blog posts which I write to make only my own life easier... Thing is, a perceived 20 times a day (realistically, maybe once every 10 days) I get asked "So why did you call this place the Rabbithole??" Often, this is accompanied by a somewhat curious expression on peoples face - but sometimes there's a hint of a dubious touch to it.
Admittedly, if you're going to be growing vegetables, the last thing you want is rabbits, right?
But first for the story: if you have ever wandered the yards of the beautiful Rabbithole, you'll have noticed that our garden situation is a little peculiar. (Ok, less so since last summer, but still...). Against all permaculture principles (Zone 1, vege garden, most often visited, closest to the house) our main garden and orchard are a level below the house, accessible only via a somewhat treacherous bush track (which I love).
Which essentially means, when you arrive, you dive down through the shady dark forest until you reach the sunny meadow below. It's just like falling down a Rabbithole - and ending up in vege wonderland. Or something like that.
(Last summer we surrendered to permaculture wisdom and added a kitchen garden next to the house as well - but wonderland garden is still going strong and now - with more mature fruit trees flowering - more wonderland-ish than ever)
That's one version of the story.
The other version of the story is to do with Morpheus.
Because the simple yet complex life at the Rabbithole is very much intentionally a counter-reaction to popular culture. Here, we believe that salvation does not lie in purchasing the next shiny object. We acknowledge that our current lifestyles are unsustainable, and have to change. We live with this consciousness every day - even on the days when we are not making the best sustainable choices. It's a learning process. And one of discovery. We see through the wool that popular culture pulls over your eyes - we like to name things for what they are. In essence, our regular ways are killing the planet faster than we can comprehend, climate change is already here and the economic growth paradigm is - finally - entering hospice. To see these things for what they really are takes a bit of learning - and a fair bit of courage. So, what would you like? The red pill or the blue pill - and how deep do you want to go?
For those of you who find this a little bit heavy - don't worry too much. Just
Loving this time of year! The blossoms have opened up on the plum tree, which is the first sign of spring. The last month was all about dodging the rain and getting ready for spring - in an alternating fashion.
The bright side of 'dodging the rain' involved our lovely WWOOFer Stephanie creating some amazing artwork with the kids in the school holidays, and sewing some amazing floor cushion covers (I LOVE floor cushions!!) and all of us in a spontaneous kerfuffle redecorating the lounge...
And then - when it stopped raining - we did get out into the garden on a big weeding mission (the winter weeds we've been eating most of the winter - lambs lettuce, nasturtium and parsley - were allowed to stay just a bit longer :), applying compost and a thin layer of mulch.
Most of our compost is home-made, but for a top-up, we called in the awesome guys at CompostingNZ to supply us with a certified organic bulk order. Due to our very rabbithole-like lay of the land 'round here, we're always having to split our precious compostables between the upper and the lower garden - with most of it going down the hill into the chicken compost. Upstairs, with drive-on access, we can take advantage of some external capacity. Advantageously, this is also guaranteed weed-free - which has been my secret weapon to carrot-success last year. There you go. I cheat.
This last weekend, my seed order went in and before long, an early under-cover sowing of zucchini, peas, beans and greens is going to get under way. Below is my order for this year. Between $200 for a compost top-up (which is a bit of a luxurious bonus), $100 for seeds (plus a variety of self-saved ones) I would expect this to take us through to about this time next year, vege-wise. Not too bad for a year's supply of food.
Organic Bean Blue Lake Dwarf
Organic Bean Golden Wax Dwarf
Organic Bean Gold Marie Vining
Organic Cucumber Lemon
Organic Cucumber Tendergreen
Organic Lettuce Merveille des Quatre Saisons
Organic Lettuce Parris Island Cos
Organic Pumpkin Autumn Harvest
Organic Radish Easter Egg
Organic Squash Honeynut
Organic Zucchini Black Beauty
Organic Zucchini Cocozelle
Bean Lazy Housewife Runner
Bean Top Crop Dwarf
Komatsuna Mustard Spinach
Cucumber Homemade Pickles
Gourds Large Bottle
Beetroot Chioggia Red/White
Carrot Pusa Asita
Tomato Black from Tula
Tomato Matt's Wild Cherry
Corn Florida Supersweet F1
Corn Florida Supersweet F1,
Tomatillo Grande Verde
Organic Okra Clemson Spineless
Basil Genovese Giant