Hello! I’m so glad you have joined us as we embark on our new chapter. For those of you that shared our journey at A Plot in Common and for those of you that start here, I look forward to sharing with you our new adventure – growingabitsmaller.
It has been four weeks since we left the farm. It feels like we are on holiday and will be returning to the farm soon. Our new home is still being built (taking slightly longer than anticipated..) so we are slightly homeless at the moment which I think contributes to the holiday feels… We have been moving between my sister’s and Ben’s parent’s homes, and it could possibly be another four weeks of ‘nomading’ before we settle into our new home. Ben and I have been having lots of discussions about the details of our new home. The house is very small. It is essentially a terrace house. No yard. Neighbours very close, but in our dream location. A block from the beach, park across the road, bike tracks that take us to various beach side towns. We still can’t believe that this little house will be our home. Ben and I have always preferred to live in small homes. When we renovated the house at the farm we didn’t want anything too big. Just enough space for everyone. Now that the children are all teenagers, we are conscious that they need their space but as a family most of our living is done in the living/kitchen. This is always the heart of our home. Our new little house has a small living/kitchen area downstairs that leads onto a small deck. We are going to convert the single car garage, which comes off the living room, into a studio space for Ben and a ‘snug’ type room. Ben is going to remove the garage door and replace it with a standard door and a sliding glass panels. Upstairs are the bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchenette and a living room that leads onto the front deck. As I mentioned, the spaces are tight, so our discussions have been about how to maximise the spaces and create flexible spaces where needed. Of course I am also working out all the possible places around the house to grow things…we have designed a vertical garden which we will construct on the downstairs deck, a way to create a little green oasis off the living space, hide an ugly fence, create privacy from our neighbours and grow delicious food. There is also the possibility of having a 1/2m x 9m garden that runs under the vertical garden where I hope to grow green leafy vegetables. I have never had a vertical garden before but figure it shouldn’t be too hard… I’m also not too sure about sunlight as our neighbours will be surrounding us, and I am also wondering about pollination. The area we are moving into is a new development and there are not many established trees and gardens as yet. There is native vegetation along the beach front but I’m just not quite sure if the exisiting bees would be able to find there way onto my little back deck. I have been researching stingless native bees and the possibility of having a little hive or log. I have found a local man that sells native bees so I will give him a call and see if I can pop over and ask him some questions.
So while we wait for the house to be finished, I’ll start planting out some pots for the vertical garden at my in-laws house (herbs and flowers) and do some more research on what vegetable varieties are more suited to this tropical climate. At this stage I am thinking of planting out a variety of pots with chillies, strawberries, tomatoes, zucchinis, climbing beans, peas and cucumbers (great for small spaces), small variety of eggplant, passionfruit, (will also be growing up vertical wall and due to the plant being evergreen, fast growing and providing delicious fruit it should be perfect..), blueberries and possibly attempt an espailer citrus down the side of the house if we have enough sun light. The garden that runs along the fence line will be planted out with rocket, lettuce, kale, spinach, bok choy, and radish. That’s my plan so far… I’m not sure how it will go but I’ll keep you posted.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we all still feel like we are holiday, just enjoying the Summer break. The kids have all been loving their time with their cousins and family, as have Ben and I, and it is wonderful to know that this will now be happening on a regular basis. Eden has just spent the last week up at the Woodford Folk Festival with a friend from Victoria, and tomorrow another one of her friends will be flying in to spend a week with her. We are trying to transition as gently as possible. Saying goodbye to people you love and a place you love isn’t ever easy, but we have moved here with open minds and open hearts and like I always say to my little family, “as long as we are together..everything will be just fine.”
Love Tash xx