I'm ruined. I'll never be able to walk past a pile of dirt ever again and ignore it. I have developed a deep, deep feeling for dirt. Kind of like Adam's deep feeling for chickens. He's watching youtube videos right at this moment on how to sex chickens. He commented that 'sexing chickens' was perhaps not a youtube search to stumble on, and we're specifially trying to learn how to identify cornish cross hens from roosters for breeding purposes, but otherwise Ad seems to be enthralled. More on sexing chickens another day.

I digress from soil.



We're surrounded by it, as you always are when there's a building going up. We have new rules: gumboots ON when playing on the pile of dirt, girls, ok? We've only wrecked one pair of white sandals so far.

The digger guy loves our soil so much that he had a moment of dismay when he considered that this site will be covered with a (modest) slab of concrete at some stage soon. We'll be growing heirloom vegies in large quantites on another patch of equally lovely volcanic ex-dairy-farm soil soon! Please pour the damn concrete.


As an aside, I love the meter box on the site. It's the actual house power box which will be attached to the side of the house when it's no longer a drawing but a building. Cool, hey.



Dad has very kindly shifted a big pile of beautiful topsoil over next to my pumpkin patch so I can improve the patch once the pumpkins are finished. He's also shifted another big pile so I can top up my raised beds too. It's gorgeous soil. We're so incredibly lucky here, it's rich, gutsy, soft, full of worms and fertilised by 150 years of quality cow poo. I have an heirloom veg list for the market garden and I cannot wait to get planting. 



Meanwhile, in the house vegie garden, the beans are finished and in the freezer, the zucchini is out and the turnips are on the menu just about every night this week. Tonight we had a chicken pie made with turnip and spring onion. It was yummy. We're harvesting radish, rocket and rhubarb, the pumpkins are still maturing on the ground (very late for around here), the beetroots are up and the broad beans are solid and soldierly. The teepees are for the sugar snap peas. The garlic has to go in this week. My horticultural guru, Permaculture Vanessa (as distinguished from Pole Dancing Vanessa) told me this week that garlic needs to have a foot of green growth on it before the shortest day of the year in order to adequately photosynthesise the reduced sunlight from that point into fat bulbs. Makes sense. Must plant the garlic. And google when the shortest day of the year is. 



Also must find a home for the flats of seedlings I'm currently enthiastically spraying with water and peering at daily. I'm attempting onions, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. Probably doing it all wrong, but whatever, I'm excited about those sprouts. Might need another garden bed or two…

So here's to dirt. 

And correctly identifying chicken vents.


13 Comments on “soiled

Just Joyful
April 29, 2013 at 9:06 am

Sexing chickens is a post I’m surely looking forward to!

Man I love your dirt. Ours here is hard as a rock, as it’s been pretty dry. But I have the trusty worms working away in their farm, so when I get the vegie patch going, I’ll have some good quality worm poo to mix in to improve the soil.

A question, though. How do you keep the pests (and I don’t mean the children) away from all your plants?

April 29, 2013 at 9:07 am

I am enjoying your blog so much! What a wonderful spot to build a house, and such great views from the vegie patches! I completely identify with the excited feeling (addiction?) of sowing, growing and harvesting vegies. Thanks so much for resuming your posts. Greetings from Western Australia.

Elise @ This Little House
April 29, 2013 at 9:50 am

So jealous of your dirt! Mine is glorified dust. Or sand. Whatever. Either way, I have to practically beg my plants to grow. Mum bought some land in Fish Creek (near Wilsons Prom in Victoria) that has been used as a cow paddock for about a hundred years. She plonked some plants in a little patch of soil while she plans out her garden properly. They’ve gone berserk – the roses flowered 3 times when they allegedly are only one hit wonders.

Deborah Taylor
April 29, 2013 at 10:43 am

I am in the line of Jealous people. We are on CLAY beautiful hard clay…. that you cannot dig into in summer and have fun doing so in winter too. I am working on improving it, have been for many, many years we have worms now too. (getting there) What would I give to have soil like yours. WOW!!!!

April 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Beautiful garden, but instead of looking at the soil I was looking at your amazing view!

April 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Your veggie gardens are so impressive! And your soil is also really very pretty…as far as soil goes ha ha. Ah*sigh*….I’m quite envious of your little farm.

Katie Lee
April 29, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Oh Fi, the shortest day of the year? The seasons are fundamentally linked to the solstice. Farming is linked to the seasons. The seasons, although neat on a calendar don’t start and finish at the beginning and end of the three connected months, they traditionally work with the solstice/equinox. . Anyway, good luck with your research, will let you source the dates – I think you’ll find this is general knowledge. KL PS great pics of your garden.

April 30, 2013 at 3:39 am

Man, am I ever jealous of that gigantic, amazing garden! I only have one real bed, & it’s in partial shade–but we do have really excellent compost-enriched soil, so I’m not complaining. 🙂 Still, one day I will have a garden like yours!

April 30, 2013 at 6:02 am

Wow! Love the view! Your garden looks fantastic!

Our longest day is usually around June 21st ( the summer solstice ). We’re hitting triple digits today. . . . The start of a very, very, hot 5 months of summer! But, our popcorn, sweet corn, beans and tomatoes are looking good! Should be able to begin harvest in a couple weeks!

Thank you for sharing your adventures with us : – )

April 30, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Oh for a sweet bucket of weir dirt… Trade u a steaming hot sourdough for a barrow load : )

May 3, 2013 at 2:18 am

I’m completely obsessed with compost. When the kids are bitching’ and fighting I go turn my compost and count the many I have. Currently 9 large jap pumpkins thriving on my vege garden. The moment of my week was when started making shepherds pie after a chaotic shop with 3 littlies. Having realised I didn’t actually have potatoes I resigned reluctantly to having to return to the shops…., with all the kids…. Again. Then I recalled the self sprouted potato plant in my garden. Low and behold I dug up 5 ginormous Desiree spuds. A delight to a sore tired soul….. Love it love it love!!!

May 3, 2013 at 6:54 am

There is nothing quite as cool as digging up surprise potatoes, thats fabulous!!

Daisy P
May 24, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I guarantee if you had our ‘soil’ (and I use that word loosely) it would bring tears of despair to your eyes. You’re a lucky lady.


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