Wednesday, February 29, 2012

:: Slow Living :: February 2012 ::

Christine from Slow Living Essentials started SLOW LIVING - Month by Month 2012 last month. I am participating, because it will help me reflect on the positive things I am doing each month, and I like being part of a supportive online community and getting to read what other like-minded people are up to. In general, February has been 'on-your-marks-get-set-GO' with back-to-school, garden harvesting and processing, purchases arriving and finding space for them (decluttering... always), birthdays and anniversarys, chooks laying eggs, and loads of good stuff going on! Oh, gosh, this is going to be a long post!

Slow Living - February 2012

NOURISH: The Year of Eating Nutritiously is going along OK. I am still buying some packaged biscuits and crackers (though as least processed and most nutritious as possible), not to mention breakfast cereal, and going to supermarkets, and we are having the odd celebration take-away (and convenience junk food). I know I can only do my best, so not beating myself up, but I seem to be in the kitchen a lot these days, and eating more from scratch means more washing up! In these busy harvesting & processing days we need to be eating simpler dishes, but fussy kids don't like omlettes or mushrooms on toast! I also sort-of skipped ahead a few 'steps' to learning artisan Gluten Free Bread, because our breadmaker is not working so well, esp. for the Laucke GF bread mix I was using. I made and used my own stocks this month. We are still drinking water kefir and making milk kefir into a 'fruche' style dessert using fruit and gelatin (Miss M loves it). We are eating from the garden too, like Vege Bake, Zucchini Fritters, and Pasta Carbonara (well, one of our chooks eggs went into it!) I started taking Evening Primrose supplements, on top of the coconut oil I have been taking, and extra Vit B, when necessary too.

PREPARE: I opened the document I have started which has all the information from the Be Prepared Challenge. I am going it into make into a free eBook, but then didn't get to edit it and sort it out like I need to. Soon. I went along to a Nicole Foss talk. We have invested in a pressure canner, which finally arrived through customs the other day. We opened the box, but are yet to delve into it more yet. In the mean time, I'm processing as many jars of homegrown tomato passata as possible. We were also very fortunate to be given a Weber BBQ from a fellow Urban Homesteading Club member after this months get together, so we can now burn wood to make ash for the garden, but also have another source to boil water/ cook food in an emergency situation.

REDUCE: Took a big, huge load of boxes in to school for their box-craft session. I took six Envirosax bags full of boxes, with boxes inside boxes. Our kids are a little box-craft crazy. We save just about every cereal, flour, teabags, pasta and miscellanous box we get. We do donate them to the school, but I guess over the school holidays we got quite a collection up! I am still sorting out the garage, and instead of buying a buffet/ dresser like I would like to keep my various vintage linens and servingware etc. I moved a chest of drawers into the foyer and will start putting the items in there.

GREEN: I feel like we are 'green' pretty much all the time. It is how we started this journey, really, trying to live a lower impact lifestyle, and be more 'sustainable' (if that is even possible). We do so many things everyday that we just do as habit, or par-for-course. How about I share something cool & green with you instead of listing all the 'green' stuff we do: No Such Thing as Waste (Warning, you won't be able to get the song out of your head!)

GROW: In Our Garden at the Moment, we have several types of zucchini, beans, tomatoes, beetroot and pumpkin in the garden. Raspberries are on their way again now. Our chickens started laying, which was very exciting. I harvested the popcorn which is currently drying out. The Soybeans (Edamame) are coming on, same with the late planted Scarlet Runner Beans, two things I haven't grown before. I think the tomatoes and zucchini are just about done, just in time as I am chomping at the bit to get the direct sow Autumn seeds in soon.

CREATE: I am waiting on my new camera for my birthday. I want to find time to recycle our lounge cushion covers into new 'patchwork one' to match the quilt I made which graces the back of one lounge, but maybe in Winter. I am creating a lot of blog posts, so maybe that counts! I have also been designing a logo and rearranging this blog too!

DISCOVER: I am still reading, Real Food by Nina Planck, which is a fascinating, educative read, but I haven't been able to give it the time it deserves. I have borrowed Nourishing Traditions from a friend at work (I finally got it again from the library, but who can read that book in 3 weeks! Not me!) I read bits of The Story of Stuff, had Second Nature by Michael Pollan, and The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond on loan again, but didn't read them. I also now have The Toxic Avenger by Deanna Duke on loan too (which I am reading, as I am the one who requested the library buy it!) I just don't have a lot of time for reading books at the moment. What's my excuse? Preserving, school, or perhaps it is that I have discovered (or rediscovered, for some of them) a couple of blogs. Calico Hen, Our Wee Farm, One Crafty HabitatMy Family Table, Southern Sustainability and Simplicity, Whole Larder Love, 500m2 in Sydney and Sky Minded & Ever Growing. I also discovered my first gray hair. Might be time to cut it all off soon.

ENHANCE: I had two articles published on HerCanberra about Backyard Chickens. I have posted here about making Tomato Passata, and am working on Step-by-Step Guides to preserving in a Fowlers Vacola Simple Natural Preserving Unit. A great UHC get together in February.

ENJOY: Ah, yes, that stop-and-prune-the-roses concept. Oh, it's smell the roses. There you go!! Well, we have been enjoying the wonderful life we have, in between freaking out about the future, handling school and starting preschool, me working weekends, being thankful for the good stuff we have, and falling into bed at night. Talking about enjoying, I am off to lay down with my little boy for a quick rest before we battle the rain to pick up his sister! Thank you, if you happened to read this far!