Mar 20, 2014

Spring Clean

What is it about this time of year that has us itching to clean? To get all out of the cupboards and sort things out? To weed and clear paths, prepare ground for seeds? Perhaps it's the lengthening of days, the delightful bird song and smell of fruit trees in flower that awakens us I suppose.....

......on the Spring Equinox enjoy this picture packed post on the events of the life at the Mount of Oaks and beyond in the last few weeks. 

Cleaning in our living spaces....

On a recent visit to Northern Ireland to visit family and friends many folk asked how and where I live. The pictures below try and capture the inside of 'the bus'. 

When I was away Barbara was busy giving the place a good spring clean. Dust, spiders and any remaining dog hair were well gone by the time I returned. New additions of shelves, a re-arranged bed situation and flowers were a welcome homecoming. 

Marcia and Eric were also working on their 'home' space. They moved from the guest room to the caravan in the last weeks. Having already fixed roofing structures above the caravan and Juran's old van - they have begun to transform the inside into a bedroom. 

Cleaning in the land.....

Since it is time to start sowing seeds we have been busy preparing beds for our future food. The fruit of a few years of preparing good healthy soil meant that it was not too difficult to peel back the mulch and sow seeds this week. In the moon calendar there have been some favorable days for 'leaves' - so we went mad sowing salad leaves, oriental leaves (such as mizuna and giant red mustard), chives, spinach, corriander and za'tar. Yummy! 




Clean lines.....

'Good fences make good neighbours'  - I heard this phrase frequently growing up - but only since moving to the Mount of Oaks and having neighbours on either side with extensive vegetable plots has this saying really had any strong meaning!!! Our two wonderful dogs, Tali and Goofy have not learned or understood this phrase - and how could they? It must be such a strange concept for them - FENCES and boundaries - this person owns this land, the other person owns that land.....for them I guess it is all a big play park. Any any case - we love our neighbours and respect their desire that our dogs don't mess around in their new potato patch or cabbage seedlings!! 

A few months ago we made a fence between us and our neighbour Sr. Joaquim - the result is that the dogs no longer run across his land. This past week we began a more robust fence between us and Tia Adelina. The fence posts are Mimosa from the land, which is quite a bit of work on our part, but saves a load of money! 


Visit of Brother Tom

It has been a few years since we have had the pleasure of a visit from Brother Tom from Edinburgh - too long! He and I (emma) returned from a SPEAK gathering in London together.  The main campaign of the moment is around the politics of Agribusiness - entitled "Seeding Change" - well worth checking out. 

Tom, fondly known to us here as "BT" is such a kindred spirit. We were blessed by his presence with us, his questions and his observations on life in city. 

Although he was only around a week - it was time for us to share lots of cups of tea/coffee together, chat philosophy, faith, economics, gardening, community, ways of being and current lines of enquiry. We look forward to having him and hopefully Hannah Kitchen his super duper wife with us again in the not too distant future.


Mount of Oaks on Tour.....

The week before last we traveled to the other side of the mountain to help out some friends. It was the run up to the opening of their Yoga retreat season for 2014. It was our delight and pleasure to do some prep in the form of gardening and gate making. Brother Tom and our dear neighbour Amandine joined Marcia, Eric, Ba and I on the adventure. Below are a few snaps of our time at Vale de Moses. 

If you would like to know more about the retreats that Andy and Vonnie run - check out their website   It is well worth a trip out to them for a week of restoration, massage, acupuncture and delicious food. We love these people with all our hearts!!! Thank you for doing what you are doing peeps!

Restoring the library to the loo...

As Eric mentioned in the last post - we lost the roof of the compost loo in a big windy storm a few weeks ago. The roof was returned quite quickly thanks to Barbara's skill - but the books which were rescued by Marcia and Eric and stored in the strawbale house took longer to be reinstated.  

Finally one sunny afternoon last week the compost toilet got it's SPRING CLEAN and books back in place. In the process we discovered that we have lots of great books. If however you would like to add to our eclectic collection, feel free to bring your interesting books when you visit and give them a new home in our loo/library! 

Next step with the olives for eating......

This process with the olives also involves we picked the olives for eating back in October/November - Butterfly Uli was there the first week of picking.......anyway since then the olives have been sitting in water in order to become sweet. We tested them the other day and they were getting ready to change the water and then add salt. 



We changed the water and then spent quite a while mixing salt into the water until we could float an egg! That is the test that the water is salty enough apparently!! 

 Herbs, garlic and orange peel added then the olives and the salty water will sit for another month - then we will taste them again and see how they are doing.....

Spring Equinox


Today, 20th March is the day when the length of day and night are of equal length. Spring begins. From tomorrow the days will lengthen. Woop woop! Question to ask oneself, what are you seeking to blossom into in the coming months?

We wish you all a wonderful Spring time - whether you feel the desire to clean - externally or internally we send you blessings of light, joy and contentment. 

In peace, 


emma, Barbara, Marcia and Eric - plus the animals, plants and trees of course!!


Anonymous said...

I'm hoping that this weekend will be seed planting time: I seem to leave it too leat each year.

I like your compost loo. I'm working on something similar although I don't think our climate will be very good for keeping books in there unfortunately.

Unknown said...

Lovely pics Em! They really capture the beauty of the place. Thanks for your detail x