Saturday, 1 March 2014

Slow Living Link Up for February

I'm linking with Christine at Slow Living Essentials today.  It's been a while since I did a report on the state of life for the previous month.  So here is a quick picture of our February.

Don't forget to pop over to Christine's to see what others have been up to.  It's great to get a little inspiration!

Nourish - I've been making quite a bit of quark lately.  Ten year old Belle has decided she likes it on everything.  I kind of agree!  It's yummy with relishes, pairs perfectly with home grown tomatoes and is nice on a platter with olives etc.
And we've been eating plenty of zucchini!  I've been searching for new recipes and trying them out.   Where no recipe was to be found, I just threw them in to any meal.

I've also been making my own chapatis.  I don't make them often.  It seems such an effort!  But then when I made them again this month I remembered they're really very easy.  They only take minutes.  A friend put me on to making burrito wraps with sour dough this month too.  Just roll out the bread dough and dry fry.  So easy!

Prepare - I have grated zucchini and frozen it for use later in the year.  I dehydrated some plums a couple of days ago.  A friend had a glut (a whaaattt!  I'm yet to have one of them) and kindly thought of us.  More about this under another category further on in this post.  These categories are very inter-related and sometimes had to separate up.  For example, I bet you can already guess what's coming in my 'Grow' category.  ;-)

Reduce -  MESS!!!  Sadly I'm STILL working on decluttering.  Due to teaching the kids at home and keeping up with normal daily tasks, I can don't have time to just throw myself into a big clean.  So slowly, slowly I'm chipping away.  I've begun on one of the kid's rooms and I'm nearly there!  It's taken me most of the month to go through craft boxes, clothes, under the bed etc!  I don't care if it takes months.  I'm just going to keep going until I get rid of the things we don't need or use.  Our local op shop must be happy.....  I'm singlehandedly restocking their shelves!!!

Green - Not much new.  Just the usual green cleaning with bi-carb and vinegar.  I am working on liquid soap though.   I nearly have the right consistency and will post about it when I perfect it.
I found an online store with great recycled stationery for our school work and home.  The order I placed seemed a bit pricey but I don't care.  We all know there is a TRUE cost hidden within the cheaper products.  We either pay later with the environment or we are taking advantage of people not as fortunate as us in the case of cheaply made products (or both).

Grow- ZUCCHINI!!!!  You already guessed, didn't you? 

My garden has been terrible.  I struggle every year with the summer garden.  It's too dry and too hot. Every year I think I will do better than the last and every year I discover that I haven't learnt a single thing.  Oh well, I'll try again next year...    I did well with zucchini and I grew some great strawberries, a few apples and that was it!  An occasional tomato and eggplant completes the picture.
Can you spot the apple thieves about to raid the tree?!
Create - No, sorry!  I can't think of a thing.

Discover - I have learnt heaps and heaps about goats.  I was thrown in at the deep end.  I was unexpectedly offered my goat back.  She came with another doe and two kids.  She was in milk so I have been madly studying goats, milking, natural health for goats etc.  It's been a crazy and busy adventure.  As a consequence of the goats, I've also learnt a bit about fencing!

Enhance -  I'm afraid to say I haven't enhanced anything.  Not for the whole month of February.  I've been concentrating on sorting out the children's homeschooling for the year, decluttering when I could and goats.  Plenty of people have enhanced my life though.  I've been given unused exercise books for our schooling, hand-me-down clothes and more.  I have lovely people in my life!
I also have a friend that I secretly view as my mentor.  She has been living a sustainable and thoughtful life for many years.  She could be forgiven for being a touch smug but no, she encourages, boosts and helps everyone that she can, to learn more.  I truly believe if we are to get ourselves out of the environmental mess we are in, we need to take on this type of community attitude.  We need to share our knowledge and expertise and make it easier for the next person who is trying to reduce their impact on the environment.
I was invited to her place to process some of her excess plums.  I thought I was going to be helping dehydrate and bottle for her larder and learn along the way.  I hadn't realised that she was giving me the excess!  I went home with a full dehydrator (which was given to me by yet another generous friend) and some jars of plums. 
Told you I have lots of lovely people in my life.  I must try to be the enhancer, not the enhancee in March!

Enjoy - I'll give you this category in photos.
Encouraging kisses from a stranger's puppy!


city garden country garden said...

That basket of plums looks amazing Linda, what a lovely gift! And thanks for sharing the burrito tip, that is so simple but judging by the very tempting photo it obviously works a treat!

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Great monthly wrap up Linda. You inspire me so much and I love hearing about all of your adventures. What wonderful friends you have and I am sure you will put those plums to good use.

Sharon said...

Looks like you have had a great month. I love goats and would like to have a couple some day. Will be interested to hear all about your liquid soap, that is something I would like to have a go at as well. I bet those plums were delicious.

Christine said...

So nice to catch up on your news, Linda. Your comment about the goats and fencing made me smile. Are you planning on keeping them?

Love to hear more about the liquid soap - very curious. I have never attempted this.

It sounds like you have a great group of people around you and I am sure you are enhancing their lives as much as they are enhancing yours. Have a lovely month! xx

lightlycrunchy said...

Your photos tell a great story all by themselves (love the milking photo). You have a wonderful group of friends - you're very lucky! I'll look forward to your next update in March.

Cath said...

I enjoyed reading your post Linda. My friend with goats said it's almost impossible to have goats and a veggie garden at the same time, so it's just as well you've been so busy with fences. I have a book on making liquid soap but it calls for potassium hydroxide in the soaps which I have trouble locating. I would love to hear more about the liquid soap, hopefully a more natural approach.

Urban Homestead South Africa said...

We love making our own chapatis but we call them rooti here in SA. Thanks for sharing your month!

Urban Homestead South Africa said...

We love making our own chapatis but we call them rooti here in SA. Thanks for sharing your month!

Kathy said...

What fun and the goats story made me laugh. The plums looked wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

Linda said...

Thanks CGCG, yes, please give it a try. I thought they were great!

Gee thanks Fiona but trust me, my life's a muddly mess a lot of the time!

Hi Sharon. Goats are gorgeous but not so straightforward, I'm discovering. I'm working on the soap. I'm trying to create a mix that's not too gloopy! I'll post soon.

Hi Christine, yes the goats are staying. I only milked for a week but I've fallen in love with goats milk! I'm glad you're still doing the monthly catch ups. I know I don't always get around to doing it, but I love taking part when I can!

Thanks Lightly crunchy, yes I am ver lucky!

Hi Cath, last time we had goats they always got out but I'm determined to try again. Yes, I'm trying to find a good hand soap recipe that has a nice consistency.

Hi Wendy, I must look and see if you've posted a recipe off your rooti. I'd love to see how you do them.

Thanks Kathy, nice to have you visit!

EMMA said...

Those goats sound like hard work! I've been asking my husband for years to get one - my argument is that it will eat the grass for him (he hates mowing) - his argument against is that it will eat everything else as well.
I can't imagine a garden not working because of the heat - here it's quite the opposite.
Enjoy your plums and zucchini!

Wendy Meijer said...

Sounds full and busy. I also need to do the de cluttering thing...I think it can be an on going project...

sustainablemum said...

Homemade burrito are so much tastier than bought ones I haven't made them for a while.

I would love to hear about your homemade liquid soap we make just about everything else and I have been pondering making our own.

Like Emma, it is the cold that stops our produce growing not the heat!

Evi said...

Hey Linda! Every time I do one of these Slow Living posts I can't help but think about how much we achieve and how not slow it is!!! Truly you are a busy woman and have achieved so many things even if you haven't covered all the categories. And I guess thats not what its all about anyway is it? But it is a great ways to sit back at months end and reflect over what we HAVE crossed off our never ending lists!
Great to hear your home schooling is working for you - i knew you would love it!!!

Suzie Simplelife said...

Hi Linda, I have joined in on the 9 things with slow living essentials...I find your webpage very inspirational...and as for not a creative idea for Feb, I think everything you do is very creative. ps: I love your goats.

Practical Frog said...

Its sounds like a fun and contented life even if it is chock full of goats and kids and clutter! I cant do much in a summer garden either (I don't get much out of a winter one either but that's another story!) Great to catch up - K xx