My Massive Marrows

January 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

This summer I’ve become a veggie grower. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a little bit of time, a little bit of space and a little bit of inclination. It has not come without its challenges, but finally after much frustration, learning, and letting go, I am now reaping the rewards of my efforts and enjoying marrows the size of my calf, patty pans the size of a grown man’s fist, and a crop of melons that will keep me feasting all summer.

This has not been a solo project but a joint effort between me and my significant other. He has helped me toil and sweat to prepare the beds, to keep the ground weed free (well, as weed free as possible), and to water… and water… and water. He has had the added task of consoling me when the first little growers were lost to some roaming sheep, and then when some lambs got through the fence and had another go. He has also had to bear the responsibility of dealing with our mighty infestation of cabbage aphids because the site of their clusters had my skin crawling. Good chap! Patient chap – Oh, boy! Lucky for him I am finally able to cook up a storm for him, utilising the fruits (well, veggies really) of our labours.

This was a trial. We’re living in a new part of the country with a very particular climate, a climate that has also been behaving outside of the norm. Having never grown more than a few basics, this was the first time we’d tried our hand at cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and guess what?! This family has its own special type of aphid. Who knew? I certainly didn’t, and they’re awful. The cabbage aphids, or mealy bugs have been eliminated with a little pest control and some (rather late) companion planting. We’ve inadvertently learned a lot about companion planting. Next time will be better. We’ve also learned about making our own pest control sprays and I’ve learned to become tougher!

The best lesson I have learned is how nature is amazing. The plants that have not been successful have only not been successful because they have had some poor luck and went to flower – they fought tooth and nail for their survival. If I’d been munched by sheep, aphids and suffered floods then drought I’d probably have tried to spread my seed too. All of our survivors, however, have shown us that with a little bit of preparation, regular weeding and watering, some patience, and of course a dash of love, nature will do her thing and grow, and grow and grow. Oh, and taste delicious! We need just wait, and watch, and enjoy.



How to take your Yoga off your mat

November 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

The lessons we learn on our yoga mats are far more than a routine set of physical postures and breathing techniques. These lessons teach us: about ourselves, how to treat ourselves, how to respond in new ways to that which confronts us, and how to be more present. In effect, these lessons teach us how to live our lives. All that we learn on the mat in yoga class can be infiltrated into every corner of our lives, thereby opening ourselves up to increased health and happiness on a day-to-day basis.

Here are a few ways to live your yoga off your mat:

  • Embrace self-acceptance
  • Just be – observe the beauty in all things
  • Stop struggling and practice acceptance – accept each moment as it is
  • Keep moving through it and remember it will pass
  • Wherever you go offer the gift of a smile, compliment, or encouraging word
  • Accept everything you receive with gratitude
  • Where possible be of service to others…
  • …but not at a disservice to yourself
  • Express your unique talents and share them with others
  • Practice responsible decision making, contemplating (and owning) the consequences of your choices
  • Eat consciously
  • Enjoy every moment that life has to offer (and let go of the outcome)
  • Let go of the need to control – become content with uncertainty, be open to possibilities, and cultivate curiosity
  • Be realistic about the time you have available and rather do less with more zest
  • Know that you’re allowed to say “no” – look after yourself first
  • Practice patience with yourself and others
  • Practice love and kindness to yourself and others
  • Say it with love
  • If you need it, ask for help
  • When you’re struggling to balance, put one foot down
  • Practice courage
  • Remember to breathe

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