December Landscaping

December started with two weeks of surprisingly gorgeous weather. The snow on the peaks melted and we had warm sunshine. We spent a few days pointing inside downstairs and filled in the holes left by the beams. Then since Dave was working again, I got excited to do an outside job that I’d been thinking about for a while.

At the back of the veg garden, the stone wall below the public path was tumbled down. It was taking up valuable planting space, was annoying to get around and mostly just covered in brambles and nettles which invaded on my vegetable beds. I set to work dismantling it and putting all the rocks up on the path. Then the three of us did some digging and moving some really big rocks out the way. After that it was ready to start rebuilding again. I really enjoyed putting it all together. Omar helped out some afternoons and within a week we had about ten meters of wall rebuilt.

Below the new wall, I decided to put up another wall to make a raised bed, since it was so much fun and there were lots of rocks left over. It looks great, I’m very proud of myself. My favourite feature is the little planting bed on the top of the wall, which is going to be adorable filled with flowers. Now I just have to wait until spring to plant my seeds!

Before

After

In early December we had our third permaculture community workday, now known as the Permaculture Roundup. This time we were on home turf at Tarje and Signe’s place digging a big old hole in the ground for a duck pond. Two swales got dug out too and loads of people came and went throughout the day, which was great. The pond still has a lot of work to be done on it before it can be filled up, but it’s off to a good start.

Dave and I have been enjoying our Sundays off taking walks around the local area. One week we went along the riverside path which is the old mining railway route. Another day we took a forest trail to get to the next village in the valley and have lunch with Omar’s sister. It’s great exploring new places right on your own doorstep.

IMG_20181209_162633

Sunset on the trail home

The lovely weather has caused a few of my winter seeds to germinate early thinking it’s already spring! I don’t think those ones will survive the winter but we’ll see. Otherwise, the garden is looking good for December. The greenhouse is still giving peppers, chillies, tomatoes, loads of physalis and the occasional late melon trying to ripen. And outside, I’ve got rapini, lettuce and stir-fry greens. The garlic I planted last month is up and my onions are looking winter-ready.

Mid December was chilly, windy and rainy. We spent a long weekend indoors with Dave working, me reading and studying. I’ve been busting my brain trying to find the best way for us to rebuild the suspended floor. We’ve also been looking after little Charlie who has been spayed. She recovered well and was soon back to her bouncy self.

Finally it stopped raining and I decided I’d better make a little more progress on the house before the year is done. Omar and I started preparing for the raising of the doorway height. Then the next day Dave and I were discussing plans again and the project went on hold a little longer due to further (albeit important) indecision.

With the house project grounded again, I turned my attention back to the great outdoors. Omar and I started landscaping the part of the field below the greenhouse. This eventually is going to be the large new veggie patch, but initially I want to use it for plant propagation whilst I prepare to make the food forest. We’re going to need so many cover crops, bushes and trees that it makes sense to have somewhere big to grow them all.

In only a few days work, we made three terraced beds. The soil in that area was better than expected but the level still needs building up, so we spent another few days adding all the compost and debris we could find. We had piles of brambles which we added then we topped it all off with dry grass that we raked out of the field.

For Christmas we went to see Richard and Suzanne and some of their family. It was a lovely few days of eating, drinking and talking to excess. Then Dave spent a hung over day travelling to the UK to see family and I headed back home where a beautiful sunny forecast was waiting for me to think of more jobs to do.

Now I’m home alone since the Danes are away in Denmark and Dave is in the UK. The weather is spectacular though so I’m having a lovely time. I’m taking long morning walks, enjoying relaxing in the sun and doing some outdoor jobs. It feels like a lovely holiday.

-Anna

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