Permaculture in Action

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Slow Living March

I find life anything but slow. I find that I try to pack so much into each day, that the day, the weeks, the month, the year just flies by. I know of people whose lives are so slow that they just watch TV, play computer games or other such things all day. So what do we mean by slow living. It's become the words used to describe a way of life that is more mindful, empowered, resouceful, caring, respectful, loving, and so on and so on. But whatever those words mean to you it has connected me to some really great people such as Christine who I'm linking in with for a look at this months attempts at living with mindfulness. Last years attempt at linking in each month was a total failure but I'm going to give it another go this year. It's such an inspiration to see what others are up to it's only fair to contribute myself. So here goes.

                                                            Nourish


 This ones easy. We eat from the garden. Our meals are seasonally based on what's growing. We draw up a weekly menu each Monday morning over breakfast, just after we've visited the garden. I love my menu. It takes away the hassle of thinking what to have at that busy time of day when so many other things need to be done. It tells me what extras I need to buy at Organic Feast when I'm out delivering boxes. It cuts down on waste because I don't buy unecessary items, and using leftovers are factored into the menu. We make bread every other day, yoghurt weekly and cheese throughout the month. And this month Mark made us beautiful Hot Cross buns using sour dough with some whey added. Delicious!

Our newly restored cupboard to store our resting cheese and cooling bread



                                                            Prepare

Our bumper summer crops are finishing up now. Tomatoes have been bountiful and we have made enough passata to last us the year.  We also have tomato sauce, pickles and sauerkraut put away. To hold all this we moved our laundry out onto the verandah and converted the room into a pantry.



preparing sauerkraut




                                                            Reduce

Everything has a beginning a middle and an end. How has a product been made, has anything or anyone been exploited in the process. How many times can the product be used and is there any waste from using the product. These are some of the things I think about before purchasing anything. This year I have decided to make trivets from bottle tops. The trivets will become the usual item for gifting this year. We've also made a Chook tractor from an old trailer. This is the retirement village for our old hens. we move it around the paddocks and the hens free range, cleaning up cow manure and fertilizing with their own.



                                                         
 
 

Bottle top trivets

And how many ways can a milk container be reused. we use them for little baskets at the birthday parties so that the children can carry food to feed the ducks and geese. And just recently I've started to use them to put tomatoes in for the CSA boxes.




                                                              Green

Lip gloss made from our own beeswax. Another gifting idea on hand.



                                                              Grow

In goes the onions, garlic, peas, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, tatsoi, and bockchoy.   Eating in season means an eager anticipation for those foods eaten at only certain times of the year. For winter in this area it means growing all those brassicas that we miss in the hot summer months.

                                                               Create

The cooler months allow me to enjoy my knitting much more. I do knit a little over summer but usually with cotton. And just this past month I've pulled out my spinning wheel. I started spinning many years ago using a wheel that my dad had made. It is a beautiful looking wheel but just wasn't working weel and as a beginner it made it hard work. I have since been gifted a new second hand wheel and find spinning so much easier. It has inspired me to get cracking and just this month have finished a shawl and nearly finished a vest.

some carded fleece



                                                               Enhance

I am very priveleged to be able to share our farm with visitors. this month we had a lovely family choose the farm for their daughter's first birthday. It pleases us both to be able to give children the opportunity to interact with the animals and eat food grown here at the farm.



Playgroup is also another opportunity for the young mums in the community to participate in farm based activities with their young children.

                                           Discover

Reading two great books this month. Cycle of the Year by Rudolf Steiner. A look at the importance of seasonal festivals. It has inspired me to look at the festivals we follow here in the Sth. Hemisphere and their realtionship to our seasons.

 The other book is Foodwise by Wendy E Cook. A look at nutrition through the ages and the corresponding eveolution of humankind due to the availability of certain foods. Wenndy writes from a point of view that is based on Steiner phylosophy, which I like.

                                                                Enjoy

We celebrated the birthdays of my youngest daughter Sarah and my grandson Evan. Their birthdays are a day apart. Sarah and her boyfriend (now very recently fiance) and my oldest daughter Meghann and her partner Dom were able to fly up from Melbourne for the weekend. I certainly did enjoy having my girls altogether.

Evan and his mum

14 comments:

  1. And I certainly enjoyed being 'all together' too.

    Just started reading Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes which really explores the conversation we had on the phone recently about how homemaking is not an anti-feminist act. It's amazing and I look forward to lending it to you some time. All of the wonderful activities you've written about above are part of the lifestyle she describes. You're inspiring, Mum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Meg,I only wish that I'd known all this when you girls were little. A much more wholesome childhood you would have had. Not that I'm complaining., because I couldn't be any more proud of the way you all turned out! Look forward to reading the book. I have heard it mentioned in a few different places but wasn't sure what it was all about.

      Delete
  2. I love it all, just a beautiful post. It seems our lives are very similar. I am coveting your cabinet, what a great idea and one I will be sharing with Mike. :) The days are full and sometimes hard, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too feel that our lives are very similar!

      Delete
  3. So much too love about this month! Spinning, a chook tractor, lip balm.... Isn't it funny that Evan seemed to take ages arriving, yet now I feel like I've blinked and it's his birthday! What a beautiful little boy. I love reading about all the things you achieve.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post.
    For a split second I thought that you had a one year old as well as your daughter, until I read further!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree, life is anything but slow!

    A beautiful post; love reading about and seeing what you do and make as I find it inspires me a little further too. What a good idea to move the laundry! Love to all, xxx

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a lovely read Kate, and you're absolutely right. Where's the Slow? My idea of slow is pottering around the house, doing those things that people have forgotten about: cooking, gardening, spending time in nature and hopefully just being. I'm working on it too (which is why I called the blog what I did; to remind me every now and again!). How good that you have enough passata for the next year. And thanks for mentioning the link-up - I'd never heard of Christine's site. x

    ReplyDelete
  7. yes, where is the slow.... wonderful that you can share your farm life with others!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Our child hood was nothing but amazing mum. Your blog inspires me to be a better me every time I read it, thanks and thank you for being you. I love you. Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah. So nice to get reassurance from you girls. And thanks for being you too. Love you too.

      Delete
  9. Is that a water collection system on your Chicken Tractor? Very cool!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Kate, you have had an amazing month! The chook tractor, the spinning, the pantry and the family togetherness! Thankyou for sharing!! You are VERY inspiring! xx

    ReplyDelete