Part-time Goddess of the Garden

by Honey Clarke

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The Chooks  by Honey Clarke

The Chooks
by Honey Clarke

I’m feeling frightfully bucolic right now. A bit like Ceres, goddess of crops tripping sylph-like through the fields, triggering all she touches into life. Winter in the Crater is the best time of the year for vegie greens and my vegies are a vision to behold. Gardening holds such power for change.

Please don’t think that I’m one of those green thumbs, who plants by the moon, grows an abundance of flowers and harvests pumpkins as huge as my head. In summer Mother Nature rides rough shod over me with her ride-on mower and I manage to save some things in her wake. But in winter, when bugs head north and possums seem to have plenty I am Goddess of the Garden.

It wasn’t always so. My turning point came in the 1990s when I had to start a garden from scratch and I discovered Gardening Australia. Here before me was garden porn for the desperate and undeserving. All the things I fantasized about apparently were there at my fingertips.

Sketch of Honey planting seed

Sketch of Honey planting seed

It was revolutionary how little was needed to make life come anew. I followed blindly. When Jane propagated I snipped tips off everything. Col saved seeds; I saved seeds too. Oh and I knew what Peter meant as he sniffed his compost, threatening to put it on his muesli. Truly, it was so “bloomin’ ” marvelous. The miracle of life in seed or sprig meant whole worlds opened up for me.

Okay my “tip-pruning” took on an unhealthy twist. My kids groaned as I drove twice around the roundabouts looking at new plants and they threatened they’d leave if I whipped out my secateurs one more time at the MacDonald’s drive-thru. In the end, our house block that was once a triumph of clay ended up a lovely garden and my zealotry tempered with time.

Plenty of people realize the power of the plant. Stories of generosity flourish including: fruit and vegetable swaps where garden wisdom is exchanged as well; towns where they help the homeless by swapping vegetables for collecting waste; community gardens that burst with produce and vibrant community, and movements like Landshare where those with land share their spaces with those who haven’t any, to grow food. How powerful is that!

So there are times in summer when it’s cheaper to buy a box of tomatoes than to grow one, but the thrill of that little green shoot promises so much. I’m following the footsteps of those who have come before me and planting possibilities for the season to come.

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Honey Clarke

Honey Clarke

Honey Clarke lives on the side of a mountain in an extinct crater lake with her partner, the Rock Doctor. She’s an artist, writer and teacher who encapsulates the essence of life in the quick strokes of paint or pen. Honey has two grown up kids and seven grandchildren. She is part-owner in a bamboo farm. She would like to say her hobbies are kite-surfing and abseiling but that would be a lie. Instead she reads, swims, travels, paints and blogs as much as possible. Honey’s blog is Honeyclarkeart. To inquire about Honey Clarke’s art, books or illustraoins contact her at: honeyclarkeartATgmail.com

Other posts by Honey include: Some Grandmas are Wild Things

Gemma Sisia has a big dream to fight poverty through education.

Gemma Sisia has a big dream to fight poverty through education.

 

The charity that she and the Rock Doctor champion is St Judes in Tanzania, a brilliant school educating kids out of poverty.

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Photo Source: Honey Clarke’s Blog and St Jude’s Website.

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Some Grandmas really are Wild Things!

by Honey Clarke

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You can retire from a job, but don’t ever retire from making extremely meaningful contributions in life.purple quote 2

…………………………………………………………..Stephen Covey, Author

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Illustration by Honey Clarke from her book 'My grandma is a Wild Thing'.

Illustration by Honey Clarke from her book ‘My grandma is a Wild Thing’

Australia has been perpetuating ridiculous stereotypes ever since Chips Rafferty came to the screen. His nasal drawl and odd sayings use to make our skin crawl. “We’re nothing like that!” we’d scream. Yet in any movie about Australia, he’d ride on in. Despite what we know to be true, Australians still willingly go with the stereotypes offered. Don’t think so? Just watch how quickly you can become invisible in the workplace, now you’re a woman of “a certain age”.

Grandma Swims by HOney Clarke

Grandma Swims by HOney Clarke

Lately Politicians are hinting that an ageing population is “becoming a significant issue” like Lyssavirus or finding you’d grown a third eye. The Bureau of Statistics gives projections of data pregnant with doom. What none acknowledge is the contribution the ageing give to our country.

 This theme has been a thread in my own work. My friend Marn breaks all the stereotypes and helped inspire my book “My Grandma is a Wild Thing” because she played drums, rode a motorbike and swung from a jungle gym to pose for my drawings. What’s more Marn speaks “Kid” in all its forms – eloquently and with love. She’s a dynamic part of work and family. Yet stereotypes of aging persist.

The Chooks  by Honey Clarke

The Chooks
by Honey Clarke

I hatched “The Chook* Book of Wisdom” when a farmer friend was about to go home and dispose of his chooks. The problem? They’d stopped laying. Was he crazy? They were just menopausal – they had heaps of good years. He thought it a hoot. The chooks were saved. Let’s hope we are too.

Australia has to get over the idea that passive earners don’t contribute. Let’s show our currency. Dare to be different. Grasp every opportunity to contribute to the quality of our own lives and in so doing, contribute to the quality of others too.

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Honey Clarke

Honey Clarke

Honey Clarke lives on the side of a mountain in an extinct crater lake with her partner, the Rock Doctor. She’s an artist, writer and teacher who encapsulates the essence of life in the quick strokes of paint or pen. Honey has two grown up kids and seven grandchildren. She is part-owner in a bamboo farm. She would like to say her hobbies are kite-surfing and abseiling but that would be a lie. Instead she reads, swims, travels, paints and blogs as much as possible. Honey’s blog is Honeyclarkeart. To inquire about Honey Clarke’s art, books or illustraoins contact her at: honeyclarkeartATgmail.com

Gemma Sisia has a big dream to fight poverty through education.

Gemma Sisia has a big dream to fight poverty through education.

 

The charity that she and the Rock Doctor champion is St Judes in Tanzania, a brilliant school educating kids out of poverty.

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Photo Source: Honey Clarke’s Blog and St Jude’s Website.

*Chook is an Aussie colloquialism for a chicken.

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