big ideas from a little garden

tales and stories of how we make the most of our garden and our terraced house.

Monday, 15 August 2011

To bee, or not to bee.

A bright idea or unmitigated disaster? I have just sat at the table with DD. A huge bowl of pasta for supper made with left over beef, a chilled glass of pinot and soft lighting.

The subject of bees came up. Now, my view is that if you respect the wee little critters, they could be a wonderful advantage to the tinyholding.  Who doesn't love honey? Imagine the cakes, sweets, and glazes. A spoon full of honey makes MD a happy girl.

I am currently undergoing a variety of therapy courses to retrain as a phytotherapist/massage therapist. The advantages of having our own honey are infinite. A sideline to the tinyholding is going to be my own cosmetics. After all, what is the point in clinical herbalism if I can't make it pay?  The pluses far outweigh the minuses.

We would locate the hive on the roof of the ground floor bathroom and kitchen. This would raise the bee line from any unsuspecting passers by. Not to mention team duck working in the garden.  It would be accessed via a step ladder that is removed when not in use. This also affords us with added security for them.

So what is stopping us?

1. knowledge.
2. financing the project.
3. not wanting to upset the neighbours.

These, in my opinion, are merely hurdles to be vaulted.  We can learn!  Ignorance of a subject should never prevent a person from doing anything. Ignorance and lack of knowledge is not a negative. It is a starting block.
Finance is, and will be for a long time yet, a means to gain appreciation of all we struggle to achieve.

As for upsetting the neighbours. A regular donation of eggs, preserves, veg and eventually honey should sort that one out. Everyone loves a generous neighbour.

Personally I relish the idea of street entertainment in observing the barefoot bee-keeper in action.

"ow, ow, bugger, ow!"

Perhaps DD will see the merit of footwear on this rare occasion......

but then, probably not!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

When the tiny holding takes over the subconsious.

While discussing the merits and ethics of deep tissue massage, poor sleepy DD started to drift. Now, I'm not a vain woman, but I would like to think my conversation would stimulate the mind a little more.

I have been greeted by the phrase "why don't I just bring the chickens in?"  What, I ask you, has that got to do with aromatherapy and deep tissue massage?  Bless him!  DD clearly works too hard. I must make more time to practice these ethics upon his poor exhausted form . :)

no flip, only flop...

Even though a completely barefoot lifestyle is preferred, I cannot claim to be as hardcore as DD. I suffer from sore feet on occasion and have been known to keep a pair of flip flops handy.

Picture the scene! The egg laying committee have forgotten that their home has been relocated up the garden. In an absence of comfy beds they opt to sleep perched on the ladder located next to the back door. So we decide carrying them to bed is the only option. Unfortunately this involves walking through the slurry the rain and chooks have made of the garden path. DD has made the majority of it shiny and clean but some still resembles the Somme. Not wishing to brave the duck faeces between the toes experience, DD decides that my flip flops are the answer.

I would like you all now to imagine the spectacle. DD limping down the Somme like path with sleepy, yet outraged chickens in his arms. Then the inevitable happens. The flip flop toe post gives way. (he is size 11, I am size 5. I wonder why this happened) Cue Quasi Modoesque limping and groaning in the twilight, with stroppy flapping chooks under arms. The neighbours must love us :)

bock bock bock....

chickens and ducks are installed. After a two week false start where they lived just outside the backdoor. The egg laying commitee are now safely and happily installed down the end of the garden. There they can scratch round in the leaf mould under the conifers. There is room to dust bath, sunbath and do their chickeny thing. Within seconds of their home being scrubbed, shiny and relocated they went to investigate. Soon enough though they were hanging out at the back door like a bunch of hoodies. Beware the back step you may be mugged for your corn! Ah well, at least DD has made them a nice blank canvas to decorate with their highly scented splats.;)

A new begining

Barefoot Team Duck have finally consolidated our lives into one household. Both MD and DD have a deep rooted desire to be as self-reliant and sustainable as possible. Our aim is to do this in an environmentally friendly way. Never loosing sight of the barefoot ethic. Treading lightly on the earth and giving  back for the generosity of all it provides for us. We wish to heal the earth in a small way where we can. All the while keeping our family happy and healthy. Instilling good ethics and a sense of fun into our cubs. Turning them out into the world as well rounded, kind and thoughtful adults.
Feel free and welcome to follow our journey as we try to get the most from our tiny holding. Maybe one-day you can come with us on our journey to the small holding we so desire. In the mean time stay tuned and never forget to laugh. After all, if you can't laugh your way through your life then a sad journey it will be.