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Firing up the (mostly moneyless) home economies

Our last post ended with the butchering of a large car-killed male kangaroo on the morning we rode into our home town on the last day of our three month book tour. This sad and angry moment, which became an opportunity to store a large amount of meat for Zero and us, has triggered a month of joyous local resource gathering, starting with dandelion coffee making.

We have harvested carrots, potatoes and beetroots that we planted before we left.

Revived our sourdough starter and made bread for home and friends. Friends and neighbours have also bestowed upon us many foody gifts, understanding our home production is at a low ebb courtesy of being on the road so long, coupled with an extremely dry year. They know, as do we, that what goes around comes around. Thanks Bob and Beth, Pete, Alison, Su, Maria, Nick and Larch, Lena, Beverly, Kate and Bren, Bee and Ra, and Andrew. 

Planted out new beds and put our permie love shack on Airbnb — proudly the cheapest, most primitive tourist accommodation in Daylesford.

And for money (and love) Meg is back at Melliodora writing, editing, answering emails and phones.

Back on the non-monetary home front, we’ve been walking daily for our fuel,

hand cutting and wheelbarrowing, readying for the winter.

We’ve been preserving fruit and vegetables, using the free service of the sun.

We’ve brewed up weed teas as bio-intensive soil foods for our winter crops of leek, kale, coriander, garlic, cabbage, carrot and spinach.

We’ve harvested apples.

We’ve pulled wild radish seedlings from the newly sown beds and used these autonomous greens in our salads and roo stews.

We’ve both admired and salivated over the kiwi fruits that are slowly readying themselves for our bellies.

We’ve been propagating tenacious spores of the edible King Stropharia (Stropharia rugosoannulata) mycelium,

to add to woody material (currently fermenting) in the attempt to get them naturalised in the perennial food forest parts of the garden. Hopefully soon we will be eating the delicious wine cap mushrooms they produce.

We’ve been setting snares for occasional rabbit nourishment,

and poaching unwanted fence-line grapes on our by-foot travels through our locasphere food commons.

And, over the past month since we’ve been home, we’ve also had several book events that in a way has extended our book tour. We have travelled by bus, train, bike and on foot to Geelong, Bright, Warburton and this weekend we’re in Woodend for the Macedon Ranges Sustainable Living Festival where Patrick will be appearing on two panels discussing sustainable food with local food friends Tammi Jonas, John Reid and Justin Walsh, and where Artist as Family will be performative exhibitors. We hope to see you there.

Summer time harvesting, writing, communing

It’s been a time of great harvest, probably the best fruit season for a decade. All this food is free from a combination of street trees, neighbours and or our own garden.

It has been a time of writing, bringing our book together for a looming deadline.

A time of getting to know Maarten and Marlies and share skills in the garden as they spend a fortnight with us.

A time of preserving, stewing, fermenting and drying,

A time of making bread.

A time of making plum wine.

A time to work together.

A time to shovel shit. Thanks Mara!

A time to pull weeds. Thanks Ayumi, Maarten and Batiste!

A time to observe those more-than-human.

And a time to be photographed by Jay Town and written about by Rebekah Cavanagh.

Our first month home has been quite a time of adjustment. Although we are loving being back in our climate zone and among our community and all the free food of summer, we still miss life on the road. There is nothing quite like waking each morning and having nothing to think about except the day ahead.