Monday, 13 April 2015

Biome drink bottle winner

I'm sorry I'm late in drawing this giveaway.  The children and I went to an amazing camp and I confused my dates. Hopefully I'll get a chance to tell you all about our fabulous holiday from home learning some time later in the week.

Without further ado, the winner of the drink bottle from Biome is..... Laura!
Perhaps the best way to contact me Laura would be to click onto my facebook page and private message me with your address.  I look forward to posting you your new reusable bottle!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Monthly nine - March 2015

And just like that!  March has gone for another year!  It's time to look back and reflect on the nine categories of the Monthly Nine.  Thanks go to Christine from Slow Living Essentials for creating this link up.

Join in with us and tell us all about your March.  Just link below, then leave a comment.  Don't forget to look around at what others have been up to.  There are some pretty inspirational ideas to be found on participating blogs each month!


March saw us collecting our bulk foods for the quarter.  We've been buying in bulk for.... hmmm, eighteen months, maybe a bit longer.  I'm learning more about what we eat, when.  For example, toward the end of summer we use copious amounts of vinegar and sugar while making cordials, jams and pickles.  In the winter months it's more about beans and spices for baked beans, casseroles and soups.  Because you already have the food on hand, when you buy in bulk, you tend to notice what you are going through or, in the case of our sugar this summer, running out of!


Yummm!  I've been making jam and fruit butter.  The fruit butter recipe was given to me by a friend and the spices make it taste AMAZING!  The children have it on their breakfast sometimes and we all love it in yoghurt.  I've never tasted nicer yoghurt.  Sadly, I'm not proving to be a natural at this preserving caper.  Many of the jars of fruit butter are starting to grow mould; something my recipe sharing friend has never experienced with hers.  I think I will water bath it as a matter of course next year.

It's becoming second nature for us to reduce the amount of waste we create.  I love that my children don't have to think twice about which bin their recycling, chook scraps or rubbish go into.  It's now ingrained in them.  I've recently discussed, in a post, our love of reusing items, rather than throwing stuff away.  Have a look and join in the giveaway which will be drawn next week.


I've been loving using a friends comfrey hand cream lately.  She makes it with lard from her own animals and comfrey from her garden.  It really puts moisture back into my hands.  I'm also trying to get into the habit of putting bi-carb in the toilet each night so that it can sit overnight for a quick scrub in the morning.  I have two problems with this routine though.  One, remembering to do it.  Two, with five people in the house, it's kinda hard to time it after the last use of the day and get around to scrubbing before somebody wants to use the loo in the morning.


Oh the shame!  I have to report that I'm very uninspired in the garden at the moment.  After pouring water on all summer, I feel like we used more than we should have to keep the garden going.  We have also had fruit fly in the last month.  I had never heard of fruit fly in this area before but apparently the Department of Primary Industries (or whatever they currently call themselves) have given up fighting the spread and have declared fruit fly endemic to Victoria!

I did put some cabbages and broccoli into a bed but I've been very busy with teaching the children and looking after the animals.  Within a week they were gone.  I wasn't watching the garden closely enough to notice if they were eaten by rabbits or if it was my own chooks/duck that did the damage.  I've decided I'm not going to push myself to plant anything right now.  I know my gardening mojo will return and when I feel enthusiastic, I will set about organising the garden again.  A decision I may regret when I have nothing to harvest in a month or so but, oh well!  It's where I'm at right now.


I've really enjoyed creating recently.  I haven't spent much time pursuing craft but the snatches here and there have been very satisfying.  I've been working on a rag rug and even spent about twenty minutes spinning.  I love spinning and hope to find/make time to do more of it over the winter months.  Wouldn't it be lovely if I could set my spinning wheel up on my completed rag rug!!  A touch ambitious, me thinks.

Sadly, I've learnt a lot about fruit fly lately.  There was a local workshop run to educate gardeners on the best course of action.  It takes whole community involvement to combat the problem so I hope everyone gets on board.  If you would like to find out more just rembember it is the Queensland Fruit Fly that is causing the problem.  Apparently there are many different varieties but the Queensland one is the concern.


I've attended the first meeting regarding our local swimming pool.  The great news is that the council has no intention of closing it.  Whew!  They are looking at all aspects of community use, costings, opening hours etc. to see if improvements can be made.  I'm pleased to be involved in the process seeing as the kids and I use it so often.  It's a lovely little pool!
I've also been looking into ways to help people in Vanuatu.  The hardest time for them is yet to come as the news of Cyclone Pam wanes (and people overseas forget) and they struggle to provide themselves with food and, in some cases, shelter.  They lost so much infrustructure that it must be hard to know where to begin.  Their gardens were destroyed and, while their root crops survived the wind, many were damaged by water.  Their community centre buildings were damaged, schools lost equipment and all of their books.  The list goes on!  I have a couple of contacts over there and some of my wonderful friends have donated books to ship to the main school for distribution.  It's nice to be able to help on a practical level.


March saw me take a small break.  I spent a couple of days resting when I felt close to burning out.  It was wonderful to be able to step away from my busy life long enough to get some perspective.

Belle turned twelve earlier in the month and we had a lovely day visiting the Melbourne Zoo with some of her friends.  Her friends are lovely young people and I really enjoyed seeing them all together again.  I noticed that they relate differently these days.  They are maturing into a new phase of life as they head towards their teenage years.  They loved being allowed to wander off together without me being right there with them.  I had no qualms.  They are sensible and lovely young girls.  I felt very proud.

And I loved a recent excursion with Buddy.  He had an appointment in Melbourne and we went down just the two of us, no girls.  After we finished, we wandered the Vic Market and even had a bite of lunch together.  It felt like a lovely date.  Buddy loved the chick pea salad so I must try and make something similar at home.
I hope your March was wonderful!  See you soon.

Monday, 30 March 2015

REUSE and a great giveaway

We've all heard it.  The three 'R's.  Reduce, reuse, recycle.  Thank goodness this message is being touted by schools, community groups, governments and NGOs.  I won't bore you with the same message.  It can be found countless places if you want to know more.

It's a great message and I love the philosophy.  However I don't believe it is enough.  I have a favourite 'R' and believe we should reuse, reuse, reuse.  By reusing, we automatically reduce our rubbish and conserve energy.  Recycling is great in theory, and certainly better than throwing our rubbish away willy nilly, but items can't be one hundred percent recycled and they use a lot of energy in the process.

Let me give you a couple of examples of the reuse that happens in this house.  Last week I dealt with a pure wool top.  I received it second hand from a friend.  It was so badly moth eaten as to be unwearable.  Rather than throw it in the bin, I cut it into cloths to use for cleaning.  Today I cooked pumpkin soup and all my scraps were placed into the chook bucket for the chooks to pick over. Anything not eaten by them can decompose in situ rather than become land fill.  My chook bucket itself was gifted to me by a friend when she saw the jealous longing in my eyes as I gazed at her chook, compost and worm buckets on her bench.  Old yoghurt buckets of a good size with nifty little handles!
Beware!  Can you see what happens when you start taking reusing seriously.  You start to see everything in a new light and begin coveting the neighbour's rubbish!

I also needed to buy milk in containers last week.  Due to a test I needed I wasn't allowed to drink full cream milk.  Ouch!  This goat milker who hasn't needed throwaway milk containers for a couple of years!  The upside is, I will use these cartons for soap moulds.  Perfect!
Whenever I need to make a purchase there is much thought.  Often I do it well.  We buy secondhand as often as we can.  Always there is thought about whether the item is really needed.  If it needs to be bought new, thought goes into whether it's possible to buy it locally; can it be of varying quality and therefore should I buy better quality so will it last longer. Sometimes I do it badly.  Occasionally I'll be disorganised and suddenly realise one of the kids has no socks, pants or shoes.  If the op shop don't have anything to fit the bill I end up in a department store in desperation, carting around my heavy and guilty heart as I shop.  At least I can take the offending item home in a proper, reusable shopping bag I've brought with me.

Recently I've had cause to think about my shopping choices.  A win really.  Years ago I bought the children drink bottles.  The dilemma!  I was sick of throwing away plastic drink bottles which harboured so much bacteria that they were no longer usable.  This was back in the dark ages (pre homeschooling) when the kids were at school and the rule was, they were to have sipper bottles to avoid spillage.  Fair enough really because the rule allowed children to have their water on their desks.

After much searching, I decided on stainless steel bottles for them.  I was apprehensive about my decision because the production of stainless steel products has a greater negative effect on the environment so is only beneficial if you get years of use from them.
The lovely new bottle for the giveaway
I'm happy to report that three years later after many bottles of water we are still using two of them.   I'm not quite *ahem* sure where the third one is.  These were pretty clever drink bottles.  They have a silicon insert for the sipper part and a straw, and you can buy replacement parts.  After being shoved under car seats, being lost behind the couch for a week or two, being left in the bottom of a bag for days after a day trip, they were getting pretty manky!  At first they washed up well but over time they just weren't coming clean enough.  It was wonderful to be able to hop online and buy the parts that I needed from Biome.  The sipper part and the straw can both be purchased separately which is perfect.  
I bought parts for three bottles although one is missing because I am confident Buddy's bottle will resurface one day soon from in the cubby or under a bed.

I would love more people to find ways to reduce the rubbish they create and, guess what?!  Biome kindly agreed to supply a bottle for a giveaway.  The Funtainer drink bottle is 335ml and the replacement parts can be purchased online from them as well.  The winner will be randomly chosen.  I thought I'd number the comments and get the kids to pull one out of a hat rather than an online selector.
Belle's well used and perfectly functional drink bottle with a lovely clean sipper straw
The giveaway is open to those in Australia only, due to postage costs.  As the winner will be randomly drawn all you need to do is to leave a comment (but I would love it if you could share some ideas on how you reuse).  Let's draw it on Thursday the ninth to allow time for all our Easter busyness.

Good luck.  Happy reusing.

*I'm not receiving any kick back for this post.  I just think it's a great product and was delighted that Biome were happy to support a giveaway.  I am considering becoming an affiliate with them in the future.*

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Sun day

How I love a Sunday!

The day lies open before me.  No expectations.

I postpone my planned soak in the tub.  Later.  I may get grubby yet...

Time beckons, not threatens.  The sun shines with warmth.  A pretty dress kind of day.

Will I plant new seeds for winter growth? Will I empty beds of spent summer growth?  Reacquaint myself with the spinning wheel?  Endless options.

Rag rugs to continue, ponds to dig.

Or books.  Books read to children; or a novel in the hammock with no-one but me....
And then my bath.  Once my passions are sated.

On Sunday time is my friend.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Self care

There's been quite a silence from me recently.  You may have noticed I regularly have spurts of blogging and spurts of nothingness.  If I've not been writing, one of three things have likely happened.....
  1. I've been so busy with projects and fun stuff that I haven't had time to write.
  2. I've decided I'm finally going to get life 'right' and I'm putting all my time and energy into organising the house and kids.  Always a nuisance when I get into this mode because I waste precious time sweeping and wiping surfaces!!
  3. I'm overwhelmed, exhausted and feeling like a failure.
This time around it was number three.  One of the down sides with trying to live thoughtfully and with respect for the planet with which we are blessed is that often we are time poor.  Since I began teaching the children at home I have really struggled with time issues.
I still want to find time to cook most of our food from scratch to avoid shortcuts that mean creating waste.  I want to garden to avoid feeding my children food with residual pesticides.  I want to make cleaners, again to avoid packaging waste.  I'd like to sew rather than buy products that have wasted resources in the transport process.  The list goes on and on........
Not only do I want to do all of this; I want to do it all perfectly!!  Of course.  For the last few months I have been feeling very tired.  Near on exhausted.  But I couldn't see a solution.  Especially because, even in this state, I keep jumping at opportunities to learn new skills.  A new recipe here, how to dispatch a goose there, how to pickle.....  So I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and trying not to think about it.
Now, this is not a once off exhaustion.  This is a pattern I follow.  I think it's probably something many of you who are greening your lives can identify with.  A lifestyle danger if you will.  On other occasions I have reached crisis point by exploding with the kids or by falling into a sobbing heap.  Last time, I decided to really take notice of the warning signs and be proactive in fending off an inevitable collapse.  But how............?
I thought long and hard about what I felt I needed.  I decided I just. needed. to. STOP!!!! I didn't want to feed another chook, milk another goat, teach another child, book another appointment, clean another mess - all the things that make up our day.  I didn't even feel like talking to Hubby once the kids went to bed because I was so worn out from doing and thinking.

So there it was identified, I needed a break.

I am very lucky.  I rang and asked my mother, feeling very guilty, if she could take the children and she didn't hesitate.  She and Dad looked after the kids for two days even overseeing their lessons for me.  Hubby took on a load as he worked all day and then cared for the animals and milked.  Belle and I did heaps of preparation to cut down the work and I think it helped him.

I booked a room near Rosie so I could squeeze in a visit with her and my lovely granddaughter.  I spent two days listening to relaxation cds, crafting, planning a new daily routine for when I went home and generally just sitting quietly (just being) !
It worked!  I came home refreshed, implemented my new routine and threw myself back into our busy lives.  I kinda felt validated when the kids arrived home.  They were all talking to me at a million miles an hour and it was mayhem and busyness right from the word go.  No easing back into it.  The contrast of my peaceful time made me realise that my life really is very busy and tiring.  The difference is that I have got through my week with it's usual up's, down's and minor crisis's with a sense of humour rather than doom.   I have had energy as I've tackled my work and I've found enjoyment in my everyday tasks.  Cooking and creating a nice environment for my family has been a particular pleasure.  Taking care of myself was really successful in enabling me to care properly again for the others in my life.
Pre-rest photo.  I didn't even get around to icing the cake for poor Belle!
As I stated earlier, I am very lucky to have such caring parents.  I know not everybody has a backup but I hope you have a way to refresh yourself when you need to.  Or more importantly perhaps, the ability to know when you've had enough and it's time to care for YOU!  Maybe you have your own secret weapon to use against burn out.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Monthly nine - February 2015

Ughhh!  I feel a bit like sleeping beauty!  I've just woken after a couple of days of solid sleep.  I've caught a doozy of a cold.  I'm delighted no one else in the house is showing signs of catching it!  I hope you've been faring better.

I'm excited to be welcoming Autumn again.  Not only does the calendar announce this wonderful season, the days are changing also.  There's moisture in the early morning air and the sun is noticeably swinging around to it's winter position.  The birdsong is changing.  It's happier and more gentle.  Trilling birds and warbling magpies.  I think they are enjoying the weather as much as I am!
It's now time for reminiscing.  February.  The final month of summer. What did you achieve under the nine categories?  Thanks go to Christine at Slow Living Essentials for this great link-up.  Please join in and tell us about your month.....

We've been eating a lot of pizzas lately.  It's the perfect time of year because there's always something in the garden.  Tomatoes and silver beet are the most common.  More often than not, I have some home-made goats cheese to add a flavour boost.  That reminds me, I must make some more!  I love having goats cheese on hand for cooking.
Crumbles have also been common.  All sorts of crumbles.  The standard apple crumble is yummy but we've had lots of fruit in the house over February.  We've enjoyed plum crumble, peach crumble and a couple made with a fruit medley (my favourite).  My children tell me I'm a GREAT cook when I make desserts!


I purchased tomatoes from an orchard and set about making passata.  To be honest, I'm not sure how well I went.....   I had empty champagne bottles to preserve them in.  Champagne bottles are thicker and stronger than beer bottles.  The caps, that I thought were champagne caps, turned out to be beer bottle caps instead.  They didn't want to go on very well.  Hubby later showed me where the champagne ones were hidden but there weren't many left.  Arggh!  I hadn't purchased more because I was so sure the beer bottle tops were champagne ones.

I made enough tomato sauce to last us the year too.  Same issue.  Now I'm not sure what to do.  Do I just open each bottle as I need them and carefully inspect or should I throw them all out *sob* and start again?  Oh well.  Every year, every mistake, I come closer to being experienced at preserving....


I'm giving this category firmly to Hubby with a pat on the back!  He extended the goat pens.  We now have four pens in the shed where previously we had two.  Hubby made use of some posts we bought a while back for the purpose of espaliering.   Every thing else he used was scrounged!  Right down to the catches and hinges.  Our pens are a hodge podge of second hand materials, bush poles etc. and they are perfect for their purpose.  I love sitting out there and admiring his work.  I think it was in January that I came across a swing seat by the side of the road with a 'free' sign on it.  We snapped it up and it now sits out in the dairy.  We often all hang out together at milking time and the seat is the perfect spot to sit.

Same old, same old for this category.  I desperately need to make more soap though.  I've also found my hair a bit like straw because we've been going to the swimming pool so regularly.  Our pool is due to close for the season this weekend.  I will miss frolicking around with the kids.  Oh.. and hankies!  Lots of hankies!!  Much better than tissues.


I'm mainly producing tomatoes and eggplants now.  I have silver beet and a few beetroots growing too.  The tomato plants are looking very sad but are still managing to produce enough tomatoes to keep us going.  I'm overdue to sow my winter seeds.  I'm thinking I might just buy seedlings in the next week or so.

Hmmmm....  I pulled out a rag rug that I began years ago.  I spent a couple of hours working on it, which I really enjoyed, but haven't got back to it again.  Hopefully I will find more time this month.  I find with looking after the animals and teaching the children, there isn't a lot of leisure time left.

I've been looking for free sites to teach me about photography.  I have a dilemma here.  While I love my camera, it is not an SLR.  I can change shutter speeds and whatever else it is that you need to change.  (Well, I could if I knew how!)  However, it seems from all I've read that I need an SLR to learn proper photography but I'm reluctant to go out and buy one in case I just can't master the skills.  I don't learn well by reading.  I like to be shown a skill and to be able to ask questions.  Therefore I'm also reluctant to use a paid course online in case I just don't 'get it'.  I'll keep tossing all of this around in my head but I feel I've nearly reached a point where I just HAVE to learn!!  It's on my mind a lot.

I've applied to join a group which will be making decisions on our little community swimming pool.  As you know, the pool means a lot to our family and over the next few months decisions will be made about its future.  Apparently it runs at a large loss and it appears that most things are valued in monetary terms these days!  Personally I don't think you can place a value on a resource that provides rural kids with good, clean fun and also connects the community.

I've really enjoyed teaching my kids over the last month.  It was our first month of study for the year and I feel that (maybe?) we're finally developing a routine.  The children have been so cooperative with their work and seem to really enjoy using Reading Eggs and Skwirk.  I have found Skwirk has taken a lot of the pressure off me wondering what they should be learning next.

Pumpkin, in particular, has been enjoying writing stories and, while I was tucked up in bed, she read books to me.  There's nothing quite like listening to your children read!

I hope you can join in with the Monthly Nine.  I can't wait to read about your month!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Food fight

Everyone loves a good food fight, don't they?  Apparently not.  Last week the children and I travelled to Melbourne for the EatBuyGrow Rally held by the Regrarians.  We expected to see hundreds of people and hoped to see thousands gathering to stand up for this important issue.

I was very disappointed to find around a hundred (correct me if you were there and I've made a wrong estimate) people standing up for a better food system.  Admittedly it was a week day so harder for people to attend but still.....  I found it strange.  Climate change rallies are so well attended but this one was not.  Is it possible people haven't made the connection between the way food is delivered and the damage to our climate?
Our food system has become so commercialised.  Since the introduction of supermarkets food has moved further and further from our homes.  It became easy for people to buy fruit and veggies so they stopped growing vegetable gardens.  Women left their homes to go to work and appreciated the ease of buying food from supermarkets.  Now busy families can buy pre-prepared meals and can avoid cooking at all if they so choose.  As time has gone by, large commercial food suppliers have found more and more ways to sell their products.  They market their products with a great deal of thought and their advertising works well.  Most people no longer know how to provide food for themselves without going to the supermarkets.

Families trying to manage their weekly budgets are often looking for the cheapest options to provide food.  The commercial companies wanting their dollar have responded by finding cheaper ways of manufacturing food.  Small farms are dying out as companies push them to supply food cheaply.  They simply can't make ends meet.  They've had to sell their land.  This has resulted in HUGE farms owned by corporations growing crops as cheaply as possible.  I can tell you now, the main concern of these companies is NOT your health or the health of the environment.  They encourage intensive farming and they are not focussed on environmental issues such as salinity, erosion, water conservation etc.  Their focus is how to make a profit.  The super-farms aren't worrying much about improving soils because they don't need to.   They can use chemicals to fertilise crops and kill weeds and there's now the option of genetically modified seeds.
Can you see the strong connection between buying from the supermarkets and the damage we are causing to the climate?

But wait!  There's more.  There's the issue of transport. Years back I briefly lived in Shepparton.  I was buying my apples from the supermarket and paying through the nose for them although I was in the very area that these apples were grown.  The large supermarkets were buying from the local orchards, transporting the fruit to Melbourne to their warehouses and then trucking them back to Shepparton.  I paid more for my apples than people from Melbourne were paying!  I've learnt a lot since those days.  The unnecessary use of fossil fuels was causing damage to the environment when I could have just searched for a local orchard that sold direct to the public.  Convenience has a lot to answer for!

Now think about the production of manufactured food.  The plastic and cardboard used in the packaging.  The unhealthy process of adding preservatives so food can sit on shelves for weeks/months.  Additives so that their products will look more attractive.  Do you think this is done to make your life easier, your family healthier, or to trick you out of a dollar?

Food is tampered with in so many different ways.  Milk is an issue that is close to my heart because it is such an obvious problem.  As a person who milks goats and yes *gasp* drinks raw milk, I'm very interested in what is happening in our milk industry.  Milk is taken from many dairies (again the smaller dairies are pushed to provide cheaper prices but are outcompeted by large corporations taking over and forming super-farms), put into one lot, forced through a tiny strainer to homogenise, heated to a temperature that damages vitamins and good bacteria, and then transported again to the supermarkets.  Now not only do the corporations, advertisers and supermarkets but also our government tell us this is done for our safety.
This is a half truth.  Yes, pastuerising milk ensures any dangerous bacteria are killed.  It also kills many health benefits.  It's a half truth because while they have told us about the risk, they have not explained that this risk is absolutely minute and applies to soooo many foods including foods like fruit and vegetables.  Since the tragic death of a young child (linked to raw milk) the FDA have painted such a vivid picture of the risk from fresh, untampered milk that in many people's mind the term RAW MILK equates to drinking poison.  What rubbish!!  You could die from eating a lettuce!  It's not possible to eliminate all risk from life.  We are human and susceptible to bacteria from many sources every day.  I can only think that we are being fed this half truth to encourage us to spend our money on the milk the large companies are profiting from.  Did you know that the milk in question, in the recent case, tested negative for e-coli?  No?!  Well the media haven't really been running with that very relevant information!  So before any proof of a connection with raw milk, our government have banned sales unless it contains a bittering agent (making it undrinkable) and non-compliance attracts ridiculously HUGE fines!  Just for the record, you can legally drink raw milk in many countries across the world.  I feel failed by a government that seems to value money before people.

I know that my children are being nourished by the raw milk from our goats.  I have been giving it to them for over a year now.  One of my children has suffered terribly from colds for eight of his nine years due to a low immune system.  He caught them easily, was affected for weeks, developed infections and developed hearing loss from his colds. Now he rarely catches them and recovers quickly.  Ironically, I have my first cold in two years as I write.

I had never attended a rally or protest in my life until a couple of years ago yet now I've been to a handful.  I don't go willy nilly.  It takes time, energy and effort to traipse to Melbourne with three children in tow.  I attend rallies if I think they are addressing issues too important to ignore.
The EatBuyGrow Rally was of vital importance.  Costa Gorgiadis came to speak, amongst others.  He was great!  Joel Salatin also spoke at the rally.  He even waived his fee because he is so passionate about changing our food system.  The current one isn't working.  Farmers are going broke, our food is being produced overseas, some people can't afford good food and cheap food isn't good for them.  (think obesity, diabetes etc...)  Our food is poorly labelled so we can't truly make choices about what we are eating.   And now we are banned from using food which we know is good for us.

Okay.  I've painted a pretty bleak picture (because it is) but there's heaps you can do on a personal level.  You can grow fruit and veggies, buy locally, buy in bulk, buy organic, buy direct from growers, cook from scratch rather than buying pre-prepared food.  You could also link in with organisations working to create change.
Why not join Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA).  They are aware of all the above issues and their website will explain them much more clearly than I did.  They are lobbying government to try to bring about a better food system.

The Regarians are also very proactive with changing our system.  I must admit I didn't know much about them before the rally which they were instrumental in organising.

There is also an organisation fighting for our right to drink raw milk.  They are the Australian Raw Milk Movement. I'm sorry but I couldn't find a website for them, just a Face Book page.

Now, you know I'm not a food scientist, chemist, doctor etc.  I'm just a mum.  But being a mum doesn't make me inconsequential.  It gives me the strength, the right and also the responsibility to fight for a healthy and fair food system that doesn't damage our climate.  I owe it to my kids.