After a month out of action because of a back injury, I am back in the garden. It’s such a big part of our lives, this pottering in the garden thing. The growing our own food, tracking the seasons by … Read More

General Collective

What a week it’s been.  We have so far to go, we humans. I have a lot to say about the US elections and the outcome. Others will say the same things more eloquently than me tonight. The hardest part … Read More

Garden goodness: then and now

We’re in the first of the warm spring days. Last weekend was the official start to planting out the garden with summer crops but my greens garden has been going off all winter and it’s still going. I planted celery, … Read More

catching koura

It was the morning after friends had slept over at ours. I had promised to make the boys a ‘training course’ so despite the post-flood sogginess I created a series of activities to do around the property. It ended with … Read More


Jed has wanted to foster ducklings to help out the local bird rescue centre for years. Our new house has a stream running past the front door, a big garden and a fenced off area (for when they get a … Read More


How fabulous are these jocks?!  There are three pairs, but one pair went on straight away and you know, it didn’t seem right to take ’em off to take a photo. Ahem. This colourful lot arrived in my mailbox last … Read More

rainday cape

It’s rained all weekend. Hasn’t stopped. The stream next to the house has broken its banks and the constant rain has turned into a downpour. I am not sure what the garden is going to look like come morning. I … Read More

Proof of spring

Duckduck is at it again. She’s not the most devoted wanna-be mama, preferring to potter around the garden and bask in the sun showers on our deck with her friend Patches for most of the day. But look what she … Read More

colour for spring

As winter gives way to Spring here I find myself drawn to colour. While in an op shop looking for a gift I came across a pile of these vintage blankets. Seriously. There were about six of them. All in … Read More

how things are

The dog and I headed for the hills together after coffee. I’m on a mission to explore the area. We’re still pretty new to the area, even though I lived ten years in a little community a few minutes away, … Read More

last throes of winter

 I stacked all three square metres of this firewood by myself. It took me three days in between work and the rest of life. A few months on and we’ve almost gone through the whole lot. We live in a … Read More

winter fruit

Within a few metres of my front door I can pick a fresh orange and sit in the sun on the bridge and watch the massive eel in the stream.  I really love it here. I am super busy with work. … Read More

Chickweed pesto – Free greens!

I try and eat wild greens every day. Chickweed is one of my favourites. My garden is running wild with it at the moment. It contains potassium, calcium, iron and zinc and because it’s picked and eaten fresh, you benefit … Read More

Wintry goodness

 Phoenix went from sleeping in a patch of sun to tearing out the door in a split second. His enthusiasm was infectious, I found myself running after him. Both times we’ve gone for a walk on the beach we got … Read More

tardigrades and moss

It started with an article in a magazine I picked up at the library. It was about tardigrades, micro-critters who live in lichen or moss worldwide. They are cute, at 1 mm fully grown they are visible under a microscope … Read More

the local dump shop

Sadly I don’t have much time for fossicking in op shops at the moment. We just moved into our new place and needed a few things. Budget was super low so we checked out the local dump shop after a … Read More

RIP Chester – the best bunny

This photo was taken yesterday. Phoenix and Chester hanging out in a patch of winter sun. At my side while I worked. (The rabbit was the boss in this relationship, if anyone’s wondering. )And I say ‘was’, because when we … Read More

Winter garden madness

It was the neverending summer until it wasn’t.  I had bare arms working in the garden ten days ago. It’s been sleepless nights with gale force winds, crazy rains, flooding streams and a frost since. I have been stacking wood … Read More

new members of the family

Meet the new girls. Actually, we took them on when we moved into our new home. The muscovy ducks have lived here much longer than us. They’re free range, love porridge and roost at night on a tree overhanging the … Read More

moving house

I have moved a lot in my life. I lived out of my backpack for vast chunks of time. Or set up house, worked and dreamed in one place for a months or years, then gave it all away and … Read More


I love our library services. We had just moved into our new home so were a bit out of the loop about any holiday goings on. Friends told us about a frankentoys session they’d been to at our local library. … Read More

Learning centre at the dump

One of the homeschool mama’s organised a trip to our local refuse and transfer centre. Otherwise known as the dump. I had no idea the council had a learning centre up there. It was all kinds of awesome. The women … Read More

an advanced version

It took us a few days to build this one. The satisfaction was huge when we’d finished. It was the first build using the motor. That was exciting. There was great fanfare as we switched the motor on. And super … Read More

Hands on homeschool physics

We belong to a Homeschool Science Kits group here in NZ. Every term we get to choose a science kit to work with. This term we’ve had this Fischer Technik Physics set. You work your way through building the different … Read More

Nature immersion

Being in nature always helps. Though I may grumble about ‘not having time’ to go to the beach or for a bush walk or hang out in the forest, I never regret being in nature. It feeds me, grounds me.  … Read More

The Luisa plum

 Luisa plums have to be the cream of the plum crops…they are kind of pear shaped, sweet and juicy with yellow flesh. And taste so good. Our local orchard had ONE week when these beauties were on sale. They went … Read More

100 Acts of Sewing

And so life goes on. With a good measure of sewing therapy to ease things along. I had to admit to being envious of the winner of the big holiday GrowMama giveaway. I promised myself I would buy one of … Read More

So many tears

I have been quiet on the blog this week. Last Sunday I received the kind of call I hope you will never get. A close friend was killed. Our son’s are good buddies. We live just down the road from … Read More

the importance of laughter

I was folding the washing when the phone rang. When I returned I found this. A small dog placed on a pile of clean washing. So funny. Things are a bit challenging around here at the moment and I really … Read More

Trash Footwear

I met Ben at Kraftbomb market. I sold a chunk of my GrowMama stock and left with a pair of Trash sandals as a treat. That was years ago and those Mahatma sandals are still going strong and are much … Read More

this stonking hot summer

New Zealand’s weather is a funny thing. Around yule time I was in a woolly jumper after swimming in the sea in a wetsuit. Yet January has just been the hottest summer I can remember here. Many days the only … Read More

Natural wasp sting treatment

Jed and I took our new neighbours along our bush track the other day and while in pursuit of some bamboo, I blundered into a wasps nest. There must have been hundreds of the dudes in there, they all came … Read More

a bumper crop

Jed has a pet sitting business. He may be eight, but I can already tell you I am not concerned about his financial future. One day while across the road feeding Ms Puss, we discovered their abandoned garden housed a … Read More

summer holidays

We’re deep in summer. It’s 7.42 on Saturday evening and it’s still stinking hot. We’ve had some wild weather and last week I was wearing a woollen jumper on the beach after my swims. NZ summers can be a fickle … Read More

new fave green smoothie

Oh my goodness, I need to get back into town for more supplies, this smoothie was so good!  Fresh pineapple, soaked goji berries, spinach and peppermint out of the garden, lemon straight off the tree, lime, spirulina powder, raw manuka … Read More


One of Jed’s very best friends has gone gallivanting around Europe and Egypt for the entire summer break. Six weeks is a long time apart for friends who see each other so much. In a wonderful stroke of fate, his … Read More

these guys

These guys. Honestly. So funny. Phoenix turned one today. One year ago, his mama went for a pee and looked very surprised at what landed on the lawn. True story. Admittedly not the most auspicious of starts but we can’t … Read More

Old Year New Year

Solstice fleeted past with barely a whoop or a whimper my end. Just too busy and gobsmacked at the butt end of a year that I had high hopes for and can’t wait to see the end of. Not to … Read More

Tis the season

For years I avoided the consumeristic side of Christmas. I lived overseas for a big chunk of my life so it was easy to go bush, or just work through and avoid the commercialism of it all. Now, with a … Read More

summer sewing therapy

In the midst of the busy I have been seeking the calm of creative work. Those of you who been popping in here at GrowMama awhile know that I sometimes sew as a kind of therapy. I think we all … Read More

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