Permaculture in Action

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Watching my small grandson approach his first birthday, I look on, in admiration at the way in which his parents stay strong in their desire to give him a healthy and happy childhood. There are so many pressures on them to parent in ways that don't sit well with them.

The celebration of birthdays is just one area in which they are finding some pressures and have chosen to celebrate Evan's first birthday with family and friends with morning tea. My daughter has asked for no presents as  Evan is still exploring the small number of toys he has and really doesn't need any more at the moment.  But invariably the response is that they must get him something to play with. But of course we all know that at this age the child's favourite place to play is the ''tupperware'' draw. Evan loves to open this draw and take things out and put them back in. He has a small bucket outside. He puts things in and takes them out. He uses the bucket when he comes to help me feed the chooks, and imitates everything I do. He helped me wash down the verandah. I had a bucket of water and Evan had his own. In and out went objects and then Evan himself. Mark and I looked after him for 3 hours while his mum had some time to herself (the first time since he was born) and really he didn't pay his small basket of toys much attention at all. He is full of wonder and joy and just loves to be with his grandma and poppy and be involved with their activities. We made muffins, fed the animals, let the geese out, cleaned the verandah sang and laughed and danced to some music. We had morning tea and lunch. He eats whatever's going and really enjoys his food.

Evan is breastfed, wears cloth nappies, eats food cooked at home from scratch. He doesn't have the latest gadjets, plastic toys, or merchandise from the latest children's programme. He doesn't have a favourite TV programme to watch before he goes to bed. He doesn't know the Wiggles or High Five. But he does get to listen to the birds, play at the beach,and talk to the farm animals.

The inspiration for my Farm Birthday Parties  was a desire to provide an opportunity for other children to have what Evan has. A Childhood! An opportunity to walk around a farm and touch some anilmals, to pick something straight from the vine and eat it, to look at the world with wonder! To eat something made from scratch, on the farm, with  fresh organic ingredients.

Our catering is dependent on the season, as is the theme for the party. In summer we provide lemonade  (pink for a girls party) to drink and fruit iceblocks.

I promised to share my Pink Lemonade recipe a few weeks back and time has just slipped away, (sorry Linda). But better late than never.

This recipe originally came from here
4 cups of very warm water
2 cups room temp. water
1/3 cup honey plus 2 tablespoons
6 lemons

Add honey to warmed (hottish) water.Stir to combine and then add in room temp. water. Pour in juice of 6 lemons.Add mint. To make it pink puree a handful of berries and add to lemonade. Cool in fridge.

And for the iceblocks, blend 1/2 cup of yoghurt with fruit of choice in the blender. Make a cone shape from a piece of baking paper, being sure to secure the pointy end with some sticky tape. Sit cones in a glass for support and pour in yoghurt mix and pop into freezer. Before they are completely frozen add an iceblock stick.. the ones I made were banana and honey, and berries and guava juice. They were a hit!


  1. Ah, Kate, what a lovely granny you are! We have just celebrated our Lolas first birthday and although I can't spend as much time with her as I'd like, it is a joy to see how well her parents are bringing her up. I could have written all those bits about no TV, home made food and a few natural toys!
    How beautiful to see our children raising their children in a wholesome harmonious way. And how fortunate for our grandchildren that somewhere along our journey we chose to instil in our children a love of all things natural!!
    I've been missing your cheery posts.... great to hear from you again!

  2. It's a wonderful feeling when your kids 'get it right'! I love watching my Lou Lou parenting too. I must say though - your daughter is getting it so much more 'right' than I am. Buddy Boy was raised on The Wiggles and still loves them at seven years of age. I think he learned so much language and movement from his obsession with them that I feel ridiculously grateful to them. I swear they taught him more than his therapist did, because he needs so much repetition that I couldn't have managed it without the telly.

    I love the way your daughter is parenting and she should be soooo proud of herself! And so should you because you raised her that way. Thanks for the lemonade recipe and I love the baking paper idea for icy poles. I'll be trying that for sure!

  3. Happy birthday to your sweet Evan, I can't believe it's been a year already. It sounds like his day was wonderfully celebrated. I loved reading about your daughter's parenting style, she is a girl after my own heart.
    And thank you for sharing your popcicle recipe, I am going to save it for when our berry season comes in.

  4. What a precious life that child has. When my grandchildren come to visit, we forget about the TV and toys and we garden, and bake, and read. I just love it!

  5. We're raising our daughter just the same way, as it's something that feels right for us. There does seem to be a lot of judgement surrounding it, though, which I just find so odd at times! I think it's really wonderful that you're so supportive and proud of your daughter's parenting choices. What a lucky little boy to have so much goodness around him!