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Getting Back into Gardening After a Busy Break
August 16th, 2003

It's been a busy year. Some time during March we had a brainwave and decided to fill in our verandah to make a bright and sunny office for my sudden urge to stock and sell books by other homeschooling authors. Launching into this business is something I've yearned to do, but have never been quite sure about. Running a business from home seems a natural thing for a permie to do but running any business is a daunting prospect. I've started off small, encouraged by increasing sales of my self-published getting started with homeschooling book and requests by several people to stock excellent authors such as Grace Llewellyn and John Holt.

Our new 'room' is about ten metres long by just over 2 metres wide and accomodated our redgum slab dining room table, leaving lots of space in the open plan living/kitchen area. The space is welcome as our busy lifestyle was beginning to feel a little cluttered.

TAFE studies in professional writing proved frustrating and eventually led to another bout of depression brought on by the anxiety of trying to meet assignment deadlines. It's important to meet deadlines as a professional writer, which made me question whether I actually want to be a professional writer. Meanwhile I've produced two new booklets for my practical homeschooling series, began gathering information for another new homeschooling book, a compilation of essays by homeschooling families, and finished a teen romance novel which I hope to begin submitting to publishers soon. So I've not been idle, even if I haven't managed to finish my assignments on time!

This busy-ness, both writing and building, have meant that gardening has been largely absent and as a result my health and fitness have declined. Spring is almost upon us and the grapevines and ash trees are sprouting and the daffodils are in full bloom. There are dozens of native shrubs bursting into flower - and I'm taking photos of them all with my son's new digital camera. My other son is organising the photos onto a new webpage for me - watch out for "My Flower Garden" in a month or two.

Meanwhile Robin has continued building his compost heaps. Twice a week we collect vegetable scraps from the local supermarket - usually a trailer load each time. This we mix with hand-shredded paper, spoiled hay and any suitable material lying around and build into a compost heap. It's been slow to compost during winter but our three new bins are just managing to contain the bulging piles. I can't wait for the warmer weather to get the heap cooking again. I'm already using the compost made late in autumn for the new planting beds.

It's good to be planting again. I pulled the soursobs (oxalis) weeds by hand, not worrying about the bulbs. They'll eventually lose vigor and die back. I realise I'll never be completely rid of them. It's easier to pull them when they are about 150cm high and I grub out the regrowth so that they don't swamp the emerging seedlings. I've planted brassicas and peas, dandelions and lettuces. This year I've decided to broadcast lightweight seeds, though I'm interested in making seedballs when I get time and enthusiasm lined up together!

I apologise for not getting the calendar organised this year, and for neglecting this site. I've spent the time reorganising my other sites. I have great plans and then find that everything takes three times as long as I thought they would take!

I read a disturbing article in New Scientist a few weeks ago that talked about the toxicity of computers - during the manufacturing process mostly, but it also indicated that most computers end up as toxic landfull. This is a major concern. We take our old computer bits and pieces to a recylcer but I guess there is only so much that can be recycled. Computers were supposed to save forests... The fact they don't makes it hard for me to feel okay about being a writer. If there was a way I could earn a living from cyberspace I'd happily stop producing paper books...

Well, as the dude says on that gardening program on the box, that's your lot for this week (month, half year!), I'm off to do some real work.




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Our ever-changing view!
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Copyright © Beverley Paine 2002-14. Article from this website may be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed without permission as long as each copy includes this entire notice along with citation information (i.e., name of the periodical in which it originally appeared, date of publication, and author's name). Permission must be obtained from the author in order to reprint this article in a published work or to offer it for sale in any form. Please visit Bungala Ridge Permaculture Gardens for more original content by Beverley Paine.