Saturday, 4 May 2013

Slow Living - April 2013

I haven't had time to join in with the Slow Living Diary over the last couple of months but I'm making time today because it's such a great idea.  Month by month we join in with Christine to record our achievements under each of the categories.

I am surprised to think back over April and realise how much I have done.  I felt as though I hadn't done much lately.

Nourish - I really enjoyed the colours in food over the last month.  The summer crops are much more colourful than the winter ones.
 The kids love fried rice which I make with brown rice and bits and pieces from the garden.
We were also given heaps of home grown apples.  Yay because we'd eaten all of ours.  Obviously I have only early varieties so I've now ordered late varieties for a second orchard that we're planning.

Prepare - I'm pleased to say that I've actually done something in this category.  I made tomato sauce with some tomatoes from a local-ish tomato grower and..... for the first time I dehydrated some fruit with a dehydrator I was given.  I dehydrated tomatoes, banana, orange, mandarin and watermelon.  It was such fun trying out all the different results!

Reduce - I finally, finally finished the last of the lunch bags that I began making in first term.  They have a frozen gel pack that is inserted in the bag in the mornings.  I also made a couple more sandwich wraps to replace the ones that have gone missing.  Pretty sure I know which child is losing them.  Thanks kid!!
Sandwich wrap with purple stripes.  I am amazed at the mess we create in less than ten minutes on school mornings.
Green - I made honey and oat soap with a friend last month.  I used her lard from her organic pigs.  It looks wonderful and should be ready to use by next week.
Some are a bit wonky because the soap reached trace more quickly than I expected
Grow - Hmmm!  A couple of raspberries.  I've also had some success with carrots by using a wicking bed.  I'm pretty happy with the results because I've been trying to grow carrots for three years with very little success!
This photo was taken about a month ago.  They're much bigger now.

 Create - As well as the lunch and sandwich bags, I made a soft toy for a friends new baby and another one for my granddaughter.  I stuffed them with sheep wool and dried lavender.  I also gave her the two cute beanies that are in the photo.  I bought them from Christine's etsy shop.
 Discover - I borrowed Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon from our library.  I've also been reading a book lent to me by a friend.  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  I had never heard of it before but I think it is a must-read for anyone who is interested in food (and where it comes from) and environmental issues.  I am finding it fascinating!
Enhance - Well that's easy!  My soap making day was greatly enhanced by the company of my friend (pig lady) and her young son.   She came to watch how I make sour dough bread.  T'was a win/win!  AND she has a local wheat supplier and is helping me link in.  We were too busy chatting for me to remember to take any photos of the lovely day we spent together!

Enjoy - I suppose I'm cheating if I just say 'all of the above' but it's true.  If I have to be specific, I enjoyed visiting my two older girls, meeting my friend's new baby and I have really enjoyed the change in the weather.  I feel as though I have been given my life and energy back.  I found it impossible to achieve anything over our hot summer and found it depressing.  Yay for Autumn!!!
Look at all the leaves falling in the herb garden!
 I hope your April was wonderful too!


Ali M said...

I love your sandwhich wrap and bag idea..I wonder if you could do a little tutorial to show how you did it. I am a very very beginner sewer! Great idea

purplepear said...

Oh I have soap envy. I will get to it one day soon.!It's funny that we've both chosen carrots for our wicking beds. We've also been trying for years but with our heavy clay it was just too difficult. Ditto with the summer go slow and yeah for Autumn.

Christine said...

Wow, I'd love to see how watermelon tastes after going through the dehydrator! And your lunch bags are SO cool, Linda! Did you use a pattern?

Lovely you were able to meet the new baby!! xx

Busy mum of 3 said...

I have been wanting to read nourishing traditions for quite some time, it sounds great.

I am reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan at the moment, it is SUCH a GOOD READ. If you haven't already read it, be sure to get your hands on a copy.

africanaussie said...

Oh it sounds as though you have had a wonderful month. My wicking beds are not producing like everyone else's are! I was hoping to be able to grow heirloom tomatoes up here in the tropics... Oh well it is early days yet.

Wendy Meijer said...

Lovely month, would love to try my hand at soap making.

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Wow you have been busy over the last month. Your soap looks good and it sounds like you have had a lot of fun over the month.

Christine said...

What a great idea it is to reflect on such pure and simple joys! Very inspiring. That soap looks good enough to eat!

Linda said...

Hi Ali, I do need to make more sandwich wraps soon so I'll try and do a tutorial. They are very easy to make! The bags are a bit more complicated.

Kate, I will certainly be growing carrots like this again. We've put more in the ground since making the wicking bed but I can't see a sign of them emerging yet!

Christine, I think the dried watermelon tasted very watermelony! Yes I just bought a large gel pack and made the bag to work with it. One of the kids has already punctured one of the gel bags though so they may not be such a good idea for rough and ready kids! We've patched it with duct tape.

Cheryl I think you would enjoy Nourishing Traditions. Try the library. I will have to see if I can get the book In Defence of Food when I get a chance. Thank for the heads up.

African Aussie, That's a shame. I feel like mine is magical! If it's any consolation my tomatoes were almost non-existent this summer.

Hi Wendy, yes soap making is fantastic! I love using my own.

Hi Fiona, It was a good month. I love reflecting like this because I often don't realise how much I have actually achieved otherwise.

Hi Christine, It is a lovely idea. It's the brain child of the other Christine at Slow Living Essentials. You'd love her blog! And yes, the soap even smells good enough to eat!

Kathryn Ray said...

I'm laughing at you calling your friend "Pig Lady." :-)

Linda said...

I know Kathryn, terrible! But I mean it in the nicest possible way.

city garden country garden said...

I love your use of that laundry trough for a garden bed, what a perfect size, and the carrots are obviously thriving. I really enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver's book too. It made me appreciate the fact that we can grow things all year around, I think you'd have to be super organised to do all that she does in the compressed year before winter hits.