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Summertime at Moondance!

I’ve been quite quiet of late, that’s because I have been busy with work and I had some internet bandwidth restrictions since I arrived in Australia. As we live in a relatively remote area, we use satellite internet and we have a very low peak-hour quota, so I need to blog during off-peak hours, which means after 11pm up to noon the following day. And we usually max out on that quota too.

It’s officially summer in Australia, which means it’s time to sow lots of tomatoes and yummy vegetables, and it also means beach time! There’s lots to do at this time of the year, although it is getting quite hot, and unfortunately it’s been quite dry too, even in the rainforest. The soil is cracking on parts of the property, and the creek is low. We are awaiting the big rains with eager anticipation, our land needs it.

In the two months that I had been away in Singapore, my boyfriend, Dan had been sending me lovely photos of our potato, tomato and zucchini crops. Upon my return, I realised that our other garden beds had become overgrown with weeds, and some of my beloved plants had died – claimed by the elements, he tells me. Hmmm…

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What a difference a year makes

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When I first got to Moondance, it was full of pretty flowers in bloom, teeming with lots of wildlife, especially birds, but the food garden looked like it had fallen into disrepair, and taken over by all kinds of weeds. It didn’t even have a gate of sorts.

Dan used to have a productive food garden but as a single man, he got busy with his music production business and did what he could with the rest of the house and just let the garden be. We decided that we should move towards living off the land as much as possible and eventually getting off the grid.

We started with one bed before moving to another. Dan’s family friend, Karel helped out a great deal by sifting beds of clumpy soil, and planting several seeds, including chili, radish and carrots. We bought several seedlings, but lost our entire cucumber and kale crop over the summer months to at least one bandicoot. Fortunately some seeds did spill on the ground, so we saved them for the following year’s crop. It was time for Dan to put up a fence, which he did eventually, after much nagging.

A zen nook

This is a must-visit each time I head back to northern NSW. Crystal Castle is a peaceful nook where one can recharge in nature, in the presence of large crystals. Like many places in the Byron shire, Crystal Castle is very conscious about their environmental footprint, where profits of the cafe are invested in sustainable projects. Dan and I love walking in their gardens, sitting on their lawn - either beside their enormous statue of Buddha or the world peace stupa (turning the prayer wheels is a must!), and dining at their cafe, which has yummy gluten-free sweet treats. I especially love walking through their bamboo grove. The world peace stupa was completed by the Gyuto monks in October 2012, and we...

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The biggest little town in Australia

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We live approximately 35 minutes away from Mullumbimby, a little town with an indie vibe. We go there once a week to do our organic grocery shopping, and usually like to pick up some seedlings while we are there.

One of our favourite stores is Santos, where we sometimes eat and then shop at afterwards. They have branches in nearby towns of Byron Bay and Lismore too. Other favourites include Edens Landing Health Foods, and The Source.

This is Moondance!

They call it God's country out here in the Rainbow Region, and Moondance is the name of the property I go to rest my spirit with my boyfriend when I'm in Australia to visit him. Spanning six acres, Moondance has plants and fruit trees from South America and Asia, lovingly put in the garden from scratch by its previous owners. Dan and his family have since added to the property by putting in a food garden, and necessary features like a water tank and solar water heating. It is situated in a rainforest in the hinterland of Byron Bay, and it can quickly get pretty wild and overgrown if not maintained. Dan and I take care of the veggie patch and plant...

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