Monday, 1 September 2014

Slow Living Monthly Nine - August 2014

Spring has arrived today and brings with it the winds with which it is so often associated.  I lay awake last night listening to the wind howling and hoping our house would not end up on the neighbours farm!  I'm not exactly sure when the spring rains were replaced with the spring winds.... 

We're in gardening mode here at our place but, before I step out into the garden, I'd like to invite you all to join in with the Monthly Nine link-up and share your achievements in the nine slow living categories.  It's time to reflect on August and all that it involved.

The Monthly Nine was created by Christine at Slow Living Essentials and I have gratefully become its custodian.  The details of the categories can be found here.

Slow Living Monthly Nine - August 2014

Nourish - I may struggle this month with recalling the month just lived.  I have broken my laptop.  It's at the repairers so I have no photos to prompt my memory.  So!  Relying on my dodgy grey matter..... 

I received my bulk foods delivery late in the month with much relief.  I had run out of flour, sugar, puffed rice and many other items.  We receive our order every three months and it's hard to estimate quantities perfectly for a three month period.

Eggs are back on the menu!  The girls are laying again.  We've had a couple of quiches topped with the meagre pickings available.  Mainly kale and broccoli.  Thank goodness for our goats cheese which added a wonderful flavour kick!

We also enjoyed a roast chicken when we received our monthly free range chicken delivery.  There's something wonderful about only occasionally having a roast.  We have sooo much more appreciation for the meal!  I was amused to hear my children asking 'would it be okay' if they had seconds and thirds of the roast veggies.  Hahaaha!  Yes, please help yourselves!!!!

I froze a lot of stock when I made up a batch of home made baked beans.  I saved all the veggie peelings and ends and then I covered them with water and popped the pot on our slow combustion fire for a couple of days.  It smells so good.  I also froze a lot of whey over the month.  I mainly use it for our spoilt chookies.  I figure they are more likely to lay me eggs if I warm their tummies with a warm and nutritious mash.

The weather was great over winter.  We had a fair bit of rain and the ground stayed consistently moist.  However it's been a good couple of weeks since we have seen any sky juice and we are reliant on tank water for all our needs hence shared baths have become a regular routine in our house.  Hubby has also set up our grey water again so the shared bath water gets well used before it leaves our place!  Update - It's begun to rain since I began writing this post!!  Let's hope it keeps up for a while.


I'm due to visit Rosie soon and have been thinking about what I'll need to pack.  My toiletry box doesn't need much these days.  Some soap, bicarb soda for deodorant, herbal toothpaste and my moisturiser.  I'm using a commercial moisturiser at the moment.  Sometimes I make my own but life ebbs and flows with it's busyness which dictates how much time I have available.
I can't wait to see how much she's grown since I last saw her

Asparagus is shooting now.  I haven't used it in a meal yet.  It's still such a novelty that I can't resist cutting the spears and munching on them in the garden!  Yuummm!

We have broccoli, rhubarb, kale, snow peas and some leeks.  I also found some yummy potatoes that were still hiding in the soil when I started preparing garden beds for spring gardening.  The cabbages are steadily hearting up.

I made some dish draining cloths for us and gave one to Lou Lou with a matching dishcloth.  I use a pretty cotton fabric on one side and back the other with old towel that I cut up.  I don't like using standard dish drainers because they get so germy and I think these home made cloths brighten up the kitchen.  Then when I clear the sink at night I just throw the draining cloth into the wash.  I must get around to making myself some matching dishcloths like I did for Lou Lou.

Funny isn't it, but over the last year I have claimed that I hadn't achieved in this category in a couple of slow living posts. I didn't think about the fact that I was on the committee of our local environment group.  I've realised it this time around because I've decided not to be on the committee this year.  Even though the commitment wasn't too onerous, I now feel freed up and enthusiastic about becoming very involved in practical ways with new activities to do with our environment.  Our family are also taking part in an emerging community garden that I anticipate to be spectacular in a few years time.  I'm really pleased that my children have the opportunity to be involved in the creation of a fantastic community space right from the conception stage.  Again, I've chosen not to be involved at the committee level because I don't 'do' meetings very well.  I'm much more comfortable with being a worker bee!!

Over the past few weeks I was supplying a neighbour with goats milk for an orphaned baby goat she was given.  It paid off tenfold!  Her cow has since had a calf and she has been giving me cows milk in return.  CREAM!!!  It was very buttery because the cow has just started lactating so  I made my first ever batch of butter.  I googled homemade butter to find out how to do it properly.  It's very easy to make and it is lovely.

I have loved becoming involved with a social swimming program that I discovered was operating near us.  It is designed for preschoolers of course, because most children of my kids' age are off at school.  However, it is perfect for Buddy's developmental stage and my girls are fully included in the program and enjoy the interaction with the younger children.  They make good role models and give the preschoolers experience with older children.

We find that it is now the highlight of our week!  We swim, laugh, sing and enjoy the company of others.
I hope you had a wonderful August and I'm really looking forward to reading your accounts!  Please join in the Slow Living Monthly Nine and tell us all your news.

Thank you so much Christine for helping me out with the linky tool again.  I will try to learn this skill during September.  :-)


Anne Fraser said...

Hi Linda, your monthly round up shines a true light into your green lifestyle. It looks really honest.
I was going to make moisturizer too,
but decided to just try using a little jojoba oil, which I had read other people have used. I was pleasantly surprised - a little goes a long way, plus it's not greasy and I can even put makeup on over it.

Kathy said...

Creating a community garden will be great and your butter looks fantastic. I'll round up a post in the next few days. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

What a fantastic month you have had and that butter looks amazing. How great the kids can be involved in that swim program.

Kathryn Ray said...

It's pretty hard to beat fresh, home made butter. Yum!

EcoGrrl said...

Baked beans, one of my favorites! I'm one of the few here in sunny Portland who can't wait for fall so I can make cold-weather foods! :)

Linda said...

Oooh! Anne I'm so glad you commented. I'd forgotten all about jojoba! I used to use it and loved it. Must get some again.

I'm looking forward to reading your post Kathy.

Yes Fiona, the program is great!

We were excited to have REAL butter we made ourselves Kathryn. I didn't expect it to be so easy.

Ecogirl, I'm with you! I'm trying to enjoy each of the seasons for their own merits and not to mourn the passing of winter. It's such a cosy and peaceful time of year.

Skippyherron said...

What a great list of things this month. I love the hay bag your boy is carrying....did you make it yourself?
Your dish drainer cloth is also a great idea.....using a new one every day keeps everything clean.
Beautiful photos! Loving your greenery. Xx kel from brissy

Linda said...

Hi Kel, no I didn't make the bags, they're from our stock feed store, but I should have, shouldn't I?! Must brush up on macrame because it shouldn't be too hard. I love them because goats are naturally foragers so I hang the bags in trees for them.

sustainablemum said...

What a wonderful month. I would love to make my own stock what veggies do you put in? Is it just the peelings/ends/bits that would be composted or do you put whole veggies in too?

I stopped using moisturiser a while back and have found that if I drink enough water I don't need to use it at all even in Winter!

Thank you so much for taking over this monthly link up, it is such a wonderful idea and love putting my post together and reading about what others have been up to in their parts of the world :)

Suzie Simplelife said...

You've been so busy...I've always wanted to try making butter and you've inspired me to give it a go. It will be wonderful for you to catch up with your daughter and grandchild...enjoy.

Linda said...

Sustainable Mum, I just used the scraps. Cooking long and slow makes it quite flavourful. Yes, the link-up's great fun, isn't it.

Suzie, Thanks. Good luck with your butter.