Winter mornings

Chilly mornings on Mulberry Tree Farm bring a special magic to the garden. Jonquils and daffodils bloom, and the trees make majestic silhouettes in the mist.

And the past two morning have brought a new feature – an ice skating rink, for the birds! The birdbath has been frozen solid, much to the dismay of the wrens and lorikeets!

But the birds are enjoying the biscuit and bread crumbs we put out for them. Scone crumbs are a favourite, so I’m pleased my winter baking is proving to be a hit with the locals!

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Winter flowers

I’ve had my cup of tea and muesli this morning and have just headed out to get some firewood to crank up the embers left over from last night and this is what greets me! Magnificent helleborus flowers, bobbing their little heads in the chilly breeze.

There’s something comforting about winter flowers. They reassure us that the garden is sleeping, rejuvenating itself to Spring into action in a few months time.

The daffodils have popped out too, and their bright yellow colour is like a ray of sunshine to warm us up.

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Have you Herd?

Greener pastures awaited our boys this morning, so we swung open the gates. But they seemed to be content where they were.

I don’t blame them. Under clear blue sunny skies, some had pulled up a patch and were lolling about lying under one of the big gum trees.

They soon started to get the gist when we made our way towards them. A few “koo-mon’s” and they were off in the intended direction.

But there’s always one who wants to be the stand out, and this morning this was multiplied by three. The jokers who think it’s amusing to hang out at the bar for just that bit longer. Our collection of garden off cuts is a smorgasbord for the boys, and these three were having double helpings. And to their credit, it is pretty funny! Those brown eyes blinking at you, those four (or twelve) stubborn legs glued to the spot. And just when you get within a couple of strides, they’ll turn and shimmy off, joining their mates who have seen the joke a thousand times & don’t want to encourage them.

And I promise one of them winked at me when I started giggling, just like any good country boy would!

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Bon(za) Appetit!

Did you know it takes 31 and a half hours to make croissant dough? I didn’t until today. Planning to get French for brekkie, I rose at 7am, put on my Edith Piaf CD and opened my Alison Thompson (ah-mazing!) baking book to the recipe for these buttery parcels of yumminess.

As I pored over the instructions, my mood plummeted as fast as a beret falling from the top of the Eiffel Tower. At this rate I’d be sitting down to my freshly baked parcels of Heaven in one and a half days time.

Never mind. I’ve pressed on and here’s the dough proving in a warm spot. I’ll let you know how I go tomorrow. Now I’m about to tuck into some Vegemite toast!

Bon appetit / bonza brekkie!

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That little (horse) chestnut

Sometimes I wonder why people do things. For example, up until this morning I wondered why someone, many years ago, planted a horse chestnut tree in the garden at Mulberry Tree Farm. In my attempt to harvest food locally, i.e. from our garden, I have learned that horse chestnuts taste rancid to the human palette, explode when roasting in a fireplace and hurt your head, a lot, when they fall from a height.

However, as I gazed out the kitchen window this morning, these allegedly dreadful horse chestnuts were providing a royal feast. Ten beautiful brightly coloured Australian King Parrots adorned the tree and the ground underneath. Blazing red and rich green heads bobbed up and down, pecking merrily. Some of the King Parrots seemed to be inspecting the nuts as they held them in their claws, much like me at the farmer’s market squeezing fruit to check for ripeness.

The image doesn’t do these magnificent birds justice, but it didn’t seem right to disturb their breakfast just to get a better photo. Plus I didn’t want those Australian King Parrots wondering why I would do something like needlessly interrupt their brekkie!

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