After the fire – one year on

The summer solstice has passed in a very different way from this time last year. Last year we were in a prolonged draught and then on the 21st the catastrophic fire that ended our year. This year has been wetter and everything is starting to look green. We spent the first 6 months of the year cleaning up burnt buildings, garden and dead blackened trees and stumps.

I’m really glad that the cleaning up part is over now, it was so depressing working with blackened, charcoal covered stuff every day. I eventually developed an allergy to the black sooty charcoal dust. Anyway, I’m really glad that that part is over with. Since mid year, we have been more constructively involved in the rebuilding. We moved the orchard over winter to the front of the land along the road. We built a fire resistant fence along the street frontage, all 110 metres of it. It is almost finished, just 3 metres to go. We built a stone retaining wall where the orchard was and levelled the site in preparation for the new pottery shed. Then things slowed down.

We paid for the new tin shed on the first of July with an expected 5 week delay while the steel components were to be manufactured in the factory in Campbelltown. 5 weeks turned in to 5 months and we are just having the builders here now this last couple of weeks. They told us that they would be finished, with the job at Lock-up stage by Xmas, and so it came to pass. They finished the last roof yesterday evening and took off. The only thing that they left behind was a pile of off-cuts of rusty old gal roofing, 3 huge bags of plastic wrapping and a bill for $28,000 for the work. Oh! and about 2,000 dropped tek screws in and around the job site!

This has to rate as one of the best Xmas presents that I have ever had!

The next job is to dig all the trenches around the shed for the down pipes to carry the rain water collected off the roof, down into the 2 huge 120,000 litre water tanks that haven’t had any water flowing into them for the past year.

The garden is still feeding us with loads of zucchinis, tomatoes, cucumbers, the first of the hot chillis and the last of the broccoli. We have finished all the young berries and logan berries. but the blue berries are in full swing. We have harvested almost 10 kgs so far this summer and we are only just past half way in the season.

We are eating a lot of grilled zucchinis, steamed zucchinis, zucchini fritters and stuffed zucchini flowers at the moment. I will insist on eating with the seasons!

Zucchini flowers stuffed with seasoned, low fat, cottage cheese .
Zucchini flowers with Zucchini, with Zucchini, with cucumber in garlic and yoghurt dressing

Wishing everyone a relaxed, quiet, cover safe, non-commercial seasonal break.