As I lay in bed last night, excitedly devouring 'Water in Permaculture' by Bill Mollison, I was absolutely thrilled to discover my good friend Azolla on Bill's list of totally awesome must have dam plants. Cool! admittedly, we don't have any of the other plants he mentions (yet!), but the azolla is currently covering THE ENTIRE SURFACE of the dam, so that has to count for something, right?
When I arrived home from work this afternoon Pearl suggested we go for some plum therapy - visiting the land and stopping off at 'our' plum tree. Obviously, she didn't have to ask me twice, so we bustled off up the hill, buckets and bowls in hand. Pearl and the kids stayed at the tree while I trotted on down to the dam to collect me some azolla. Our little vegie patch was in need of a good mulch, the azolla crop was totally out of control and, excellently, we'd just had a substantial dump of rain (and Olive's first ever hail!) so the timing was perfect.
The wind, this afternoon, was absolutely howling. The noise of it rushing through the trees up on our hill was simultaneously thrilling, beautiful and terrifying. And the volume of it was quite unbelievable. The immense wind had blown all the azolla to one side of the dam, and a huge flock of ducks were dipping in the bit of dam that had been left exposed, presumably excited to be able to access the water without the hindrance of pesky floating ferns.
As I luxuriated in the delicious contrast between the warm muddy dam-water on my feet and legs and the cold wind whipping my face, I collected handfuls of azolla. Anyone who knows me will be unsurprised to hear that I collected a lot more than I could comfortably carry, but I struggled on anyhow.
Pearlie, meanwhile was breaking in her brand new remodelled King Gees.
After searching for months for a pair of Pearlie-sized farm pants, to no avail, I decided to take matters into my own hands and picked up a couple of pairs of King Gees at the Bega Valley Swapsies clothes swap. I unpicked the side seams of the best pair, and used the other pair to make extender strips to sew down the sides so as to lovingly accommodate the awesome curvature of my lady friend.
Mission accomplished, and mission successful! Pearl declared them to be "the most comfortable pants of all time!", and they proved to be perfectly suited to azolla collection and distribution.