From little things

Acacia tree in our local park, bent over and forked. Yes it’s as weird as it sounds. ©careerusinterruptus

I’ve been working on two posts for aaaages now, and they’re taking forever because they’re chunky topics and I keep getting bogged, dammit.

Okay and they might also be taking forever because my brain’s been even more AWOL than usual: ask me about the chicken medicine I drove an hour to buy, left in the shop, drove back to collect, successfully brought home and … put in a safe place. And – oh, shit – ask me how thinking about that made me think, maybe they’re still in the boot, which made me remember that the bag of compostables I picked up yesterday is definitely still in the boot, seeping in the heat. Excuse me a minute.

Of course it’s probably not helping that Mr Pixel’s anxiety is heading skywards again, which means I’m using functioning neurones to try and find a useful doctor to replace the one we’ve just lost, and sent me back down the rabbit hole of WHAT IS UP WITH THIS KID.

And because the IPCC report energised me in a weird way to try and get my house in order, when it’s chaos from top to bottom with a vast, vast list of Important Stuff I Still Haven’t Done. We never finished the Great Garage Clearout so that’s in my sights now – temps starting to hit the high 20s provide excellent motivation – we need to clarify our insurance, we need water tanks installed, and I’m desperately trying to squeeze in some gardening before the heat hits and I have to lie down for three months.

The leaves are going great guns and the peas are starting, but I’ve also started eyeing some horrible suburban dead patches: along the front fenceline, the front weedfest lawn, the east fence which has one lousy tree. So much space for planting, so much need for trees and other habitat. Thinking about natives, particularly bush tucker… Tomorrow I’m collecting an old bath which I plan to sink into a bed and fill with pond plants; I’ve been chasing down citronella geraniums to plant around the chook house to deter the mosquitoes that swarm in at night. And I finally actioned a plan I’ve been simmering for a while now, to start a food swap.

Essentially it is what it says on the tin: people who grow their own come together to share. Produce, eggs, seeds, cuttings, preserves – whatever you’ve got in excess at the moment, swapped for something you haven’t got and can use.

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Spinach, snow peas, red amaranth, mulberries, and a jar of basil seeds. That’s all it took to get started. @careerusinterruptus

Of course, it’s also much more profound than that: it’s about the sustainable development goals of more responsible consumption and building communities. All I did was ask half a dozen people – some I know, some I’d met but don’t know – if they’d be interested. Volunteered my patio, picked a time, made scones, put out two dozen eggs and a wodge of spinach and chard. Only two people turned up, but that’s okay. We have a big social net to build and that won’t happen overnight. Now two people with common interests know each other, who didn’t previously, and I have tomatoes to go in my salads and loofah vine seeds to plant, for chook food and to share in the future.

Start small, connect, grow. 

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