A hive of bees – or what looked to me like a hive of bees – have been collecting pollen from the blossoms in one of the palms for the past week, thrumming away as we walked somewhat warily underneath them each day. I have been wondering what their honey will taste like. I suppose unless you plant specific things near your bee hives, your honey is going to be a bit of a mixture of whatever is flowering near you at a certain time.
I had at least two large spiders crawl across my pants today when I flapped my hands frantically at them and did a graceful little dance trying to get them off. We were moving a stack of wood that had been cut from a dead tree that we took down a year or more ago – it has been left in a pile ever since, being a good example of our general attitude of benign neglect towards our property. But this year we are trying to be better landowners, and have been spending time each weekend in the garden, weeding and mowing and hauling things around.
We loaded the rotted pieces into the ute to take down to the dump, and I carried the rest up to the woodstore underneath the house. Yesterday we bought a chainsaw, which has made pruning tree branches a much quicker process – although to my mind, the more exciting part of that trip to the shops was firstly, the discovery of a huge secondhand bookshop (one of those wonderful ones where all the shelves are at least double-stacked with books) and secondly, dropping into the produce store and putting my name down for four laying chooks for us to pick up next weekend. Chickendome will finally have residents. And we will have eggs. Well, once they have relaxed into their new surroundings and get down to laying.
We have started getting boxes of fruit and vegetables from Food Connect – local and mostly organic produce, from farmers who get paid more than they would selling to big supermarkets. I have been wanting to eat more seasonably and sustainably since reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma last year, and so far had only succeeded in feeling vaguely guilty. This seemed like a good opportunity to do something differently. We’ve only been getting the boxes for a couple of weeks – so far, the only unidentified item was some sort of yellow squash, which I am going to grill. The most wonderful thing has been the red Muscat grapes, the most beautifully sweet and juicy grapes I’ve ever eaten. And there’ll be no more of them in a week or so – the tragedies of seasonal produce.