Sunday, May 30, 2010

This weekend we.........

went to our favourite little Lifeline shop - its at the dump just near us and we nearly always find ourselves a little bargain there and this weeks bargain was this little beauty above. Do you know how long I have been searching ebay for one of these? - its an Fowlers Vacola electric preserving steriliser if you didn't know LOL and all the ones I found on ebay have been far too expensive for this little stingy duck but this little baby was ..... wait for it ......$20. Admitedly it was a risk when we bought it because they couldn't tell us if it worked or not but we bought her home and tested her out and yipppeeee she works . Now all I need is some cheap fruit to make some jam and what fun we will have :)

made an awesome home made wooden toy - do you like it? Made by Darren who had been telling me for years that he would be able to make some wooden toys and well wouldn't you know it.....he can!!!!!
This is a first attempt and its not quite finished but I think it rocks, so much so that I think he could sell some at the markets. He has plans for some different types etc and I think he would do well. What do you think - would you buy one?

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Achievement number one - garden harvest - I can honestly say I have never grown a thing in my life, well do weeds count? Darren had a little vegie patch when we lived on the coast but to be honest it was not a great success, but this little vegie patch ( see pics in previous post) is pretty much all mine, I have fertilised ( picking up the cow poo and watering it down), watered ( carried out bucket after bucket of the kids baths water) and even made my own pesticide ( see a previous post on this too) and now harvested my first ever food. Yes I am little proud of myself - can you tell?

The kids helped me pick the beans, peas and snow peas, this is whats left of the peas and snow peas after we sampled them along the way.... Well you have to try them - thats the rule isn't it?
So tonights dinner will be zucchini slice with our own zucchini and our own eggs - how great is that.

Achievement number 2 - socks - yes finally I finished my first ever pair of knitted socks. They were started about a year ago and I quickly finished one and then lost the urge to do the other and well as you know a sock is not much use on its own so I finally bit the bullet and decided that since most of my socks are decidedly holey I should finished this pair and VOILA - here they be!!!

And I feel so happy with myself that i have cast on another pair, hopefully they will be finished a lot sooner.
Stay tuned

Saturday, May 8, 2010

a learning process

Well here I am again, let me tell you this gardening business is new to me. i have never grown a thing successfully in my life, not that i haven't tried. But here i am giving it a go once again and touch wood I can manage to keep these gardens alive :)
Above are my tomato plants, there are 17 - one didn't make it. We got the seedlings from Bunnings, punnets of 6 marked down to $2, because they didn't look so crash hot but ever the optimist I thought I could rescue them and so far so good. Because I am new to this area I am not sure when to plant what and what will survive the frosts that are coming from what I am told but its all learning.

this is another lesson learned here - I had no idea how big zucchini plants grow, if I did I would have given them a row to themselves but hey live and learn, in this row there are zucchini (obviously), carrot, onions and some cauliflower.

in this sad looking area are my cabbage and baby beets, as you can see the garden is not finished its just baby steps.
I discovered the other day that my cabbage and cauli were being eaten by cabbage moth so I googled ( as you do) for a natural pesticide that I could make myself and here is the recipe I came up with
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsn veg oil
let these steep for about 24 hours and then drain the garlic off and mix the oil with 2 tsn dishwashing liquid and 1 lt of water
i then liberally sprayed said plants with this mix and will keep you posted with the results
Also on a side note just to show how I am getting the hang of this simple waste not want not way of life, I then used the garlic that I drained off the oil in a herb and garlic loaf that we ate with plenty of butter for lunch mmmmmm - it was good :)

peas and beans here, which are all doing well. Darren built a trellis type thing above them out of some metal we had lying around. Gotta love a handy man.

And this slapped up chicken coup is very very temporary - these girls and boys are getting the ground ready for stage 2 of the vegie patch. I think I will wait the winter out before planting anything here though - I am hoping for some pretty special things from this patch of well turned and fertilised dirt
thanks for looking

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

getting up close and personal

with Freckles the pig. Delaney took this shot on the weekend and I loved it too much not to share it. And just quietly she kicks my butt in the photo taking department. I can't believe how fast my gorgeous little piggies are growing, we will have to separate the boys and girls soon as we do not the girls to get pregnant the first time they are able because pigs have large littlers and having them when they are too young can kill them :(

And on the subject of growing too quickly - here is my baby boy Macallum who has recently learnt to walk. OMG slow down boy where is my baby going. He is such a cheeky devil - can't you tell in this photo.
anyway 2 posts in 1 week what is the world coming to - better get back to it - cheers :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

my journey

The dream is self-sufficiencyor I should say as close as possible because I don't believe it is possible for me in entirity ( there are things I like too much - coffee being one) and the journey is beginning. We have been making baby steps and I have tried off and on with making my own bread but this weekend I decided I will never be self-sufficient if I can't make my own bread so i thought I better get practising. So here one of this weekends results and while I have to admit they are improving every time they are not yet "perfect" but I will reserve my judgement on my bread making ability until I get my hands on some Bread flour and not just regular flour.

The simple life is the life we are aiming for, make what we can, buy second hand, repair, recycle and generally make do. This is something that I/we are particularly passionate about and we are trying bit by bit, baby step by baby step weave it into our lives. We have our chicken for eggs and soon some for meat, trying desperately to grow vegies which is not easy given my black thumb, some pigs who we will breed to sell and some to eat.
Some time in the future I hope to have a dairy cow to milk for milk, cheese, cream all the natural milky, dairy things I can create.
So the journey has begun, and I hope we can achieve this slow, simple life we dream of. We have a set of values we are trying to live up to and still we need to change some of our mindsets and its not going to happen overnight but you know the rest.
will talk more on this journey at a later date - so much for trying to slow down i seem to be always in a rush still LOL
edited to add - I just ate fresh bread for lunch and mmmm mmmm is all I can say - I am definitely getting there in the bread making stakes if I do say so myself :)