Urban Homestead Update

Spring in Wellington creeps quietly,
full of gentle promises of warmth at the end of Winter,
and just when you think to yourself
this is the beginning,
the storms return.
Wild winds rampage around the house,
searching out any cracks you’ve dared to leave unmended,
sheets of rain slam the window panes,
and beat a tattoo on the roof at 3am.
Peach blossoms,
beautiful just days ago,
are gaudy and bedraggled now,
torn and tossed to the ground.
And then the sun returns,
and you’ll forgive the city everything
for a day of warmth and light.
 – B.           3 September 2018
S., T. and I have been harbouring a dream to move to the country for a while now. It’s actually less about moving to the country and more about wanting to live a slower paced life, be more self-sufficient and more connected to nature. For a whole lot of reasons, moving to the country is not a reality right now. Lately I have been really thinking about how we can achieve some of these things while still living in our current house. We really do love our little (90 metre squared) house in the suburbs. So we’ve decided to re-frame our thinking – we don’t have a house in suburbs – we have an urban homestead. So, here we are – Pine Cottage Urban Homestead; trying to find out just how much we can get back to the land on a 500 square metre section on a windswept hill in the Wellington suburbs.
Last week our seeds arrived from Koanga Gardens, so we are set for Spring planting, if only the rain would stop. Still, at least the soil will be nice and soft to dig. We actually had some respite from the rain over the weekend, but we had people staying so weren’t able to get out in the garden. I consoled myself with creating spreadsheets to track our garden spending, planting rotations and seed inventory. To be honest, S. has done all the planning out of where things should go as I have been pretty busy between work and the dance school. But we’ll both try and get out into the garden together to get these seeds started.
S. and T (with my Dad’s help) have made a seed raising bed using an old window that was taken out when our folding doors were put in and a pallet sourced for free from the local organic store, so hopefully this will help us raise those seeds which need to be raised as seedlings first a little bit more securely than if we left them to fend for themselves with our wild Spring weather.
It really does feel very wild at the moment, the tempestuous Spring winds have returned, and we’ve retreated again into biting southerlies and sharp, icy sheets of rain. I’m sure there are some parts of the world where Spring rains are gentle and the wind refreshing, but it’s not Wellington. We alternate between solitary beautiful days, and weeks of wildness.
Thankfully the end of winter colds are retreating, and despite the freezing weather our peach tree has decided that it is officially Spring and is happily blossoming away. Tomorrow is forecast for 8 degrees, so I am glad I haven’t yet put away the winter woollens. Living only a 1.5km away from school I generally walk to and from school, but I think maybe I might be trading some fresh eggs for rides this week!

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