Thursday, 18 June 2015

Independence Days Challenge: Week Three

'Right now we use an increasingly costly, environmentally destructive and unsustainable just-in-time delivery system to get food to our store shelves, and then private cars to get it home as we need it. This can't last. Our homes have to take the place of the supermarket in many cases for a host of reasons. The best way to ensure a reliable food supply and safe food sources is to preserve your own (and support community food preservation efforts and local small producers and preservers) and to buy staple food direct from farmers or through co-ops whenever possible.'
Independence Days by Sharon Astyk pg 31

It has been raining solidly all week so not a huge amount of progress in the garden. Although I am particularly happy with the sawdust paths!

There will be a smaller intersecting path that will divide the garden up into quarters of different sizes. It was too big to have it all as one bed - I would always have to step on the soil to reach any plants!

This week I have:

1. Plant something

A punnet of broccoli, a hellebore, a Strawberry Taffy penstemon, an aloe vera and 200 bulbs - 60 Dutch Iris, 60 daffodils (40 Dolly Mollinger and 20 Fortune) and 80 mixed tulips. I am hoping for lots of cut flowers!

Dolly Mollinger


I have been browsing through Sarah Raven's The Cutting Garden for some ideas for plantings. I do love the order of her cutting garden with swathes of the same varieties of bulbs together. I tend to buy the cheaper mixed packets and pop them anywhere. Maybe I can have a dedicated cutting garden?!

2. Harvest something

At the risk of being totally monotonous, lemons and eggs again! The chooks are up to 4 eggs a day now. I have been letting them free range for an hour or two in the afternoon; any longer than that and they will stray too far and the neighbour does not like them in his paddock.

3. Preserve something

Lemon and lime cordial and lemon syrup is about all I canned this week. Plus made some bolognaise sauce for the freezer.

4. Minimise waste

These are my coffee jars, enjoying a new life as spice jars. 

I have been sifting through the timber piled up for burning. It is like a mad race as I try to rescue as much timber as possible, that hubby thinks is useless. He is a bit of a straight line man, whereas I am quite happy to have quirky garden beds with crooked edges and timber with the bark still on it. Problem being, some of the pieces are enormous and too heavy for me. I will do what I can!

5. Want not

I found a bargain at the supermarket so stocked up. They are use by 2016. These packets of quinoa are normally $10 and were marked down to $2. 

So I am looking for some new quinoa recipes to try, especially kid-friendly ones!

6. Cook something new

I haven't made bread and butter pudding in forever, as hubby is not a fan. But I had some raisin bread that needed using and some Granny Smith apples that I got on markdown, so Googled a recipe to combine the two - Apple Cinnamon Bread and Butter Pudding. It was a hit (except for hubby, who still says bread belongs in sandwiches. Thought I could win him over with this recipe, but not to be!)

7. Manage your reserves

My daughter came to visit this afternoon and I had run out of Milo. She was astounded as I never run out of anything, so she wanted to know where the stores had gone. I am not used to not having a stockpile and haven't really adjusted to not having something in the cupboard when you need it. I really need to organise this, as I totally agree with the above quote from Independence Days and it is beginning to stress me out a bit, not having my stockpile as a security blanket.

8. Work on local food systems

Still looking into the farmgate stand idea. Our property has recently been rezoned, which means I can actually have a shop on the property as long as it is council approved. That is another idea to explore. Maybe then I could sell my hand dyed yarn and other items as well?! Hmmm, the gears keep turning!

I bought this book recently and think this would make an amazing little shop in our front paddock.

Some links for this week:

Food In Jars - the name says it all! Some great preserving recipes here.

A great article about the Fork and Hoe Collective  - this is exactly what I hope to achieve!

Planning a cut flower garden.

Happy planting, growing, cooking, preserving!


  1. Such a great post, with some wonderful ideas.

    1. Thank you! I feel as though not much is happening at the moment, being winter here. But it is a time of preparation and gearing up for spring/summer, I guess.

  2. That shop would be so neat! I love the shape of that building.

    I am also in the monotonous harvesting cycle right now. Greens, greens, greens, that will be it for a while.

    Lemon syrup sounds delicious.

    And I want to check out that cutting garden book. I am usually a failure at flowers, but wish I could sell cut flowers at market along with our vegetables.

    Have a great week!

    1. Thanks for visiting, Kris! I really want to progress to farmers markets at some point. I think bulbs are a great, really easy way to have cut flowers to sell. Everyone loves daffodils and tulips. I always buy my at the end of the season really cheap and just keep adding more each year. Also sunflowers I have always found really easy to grow.

  3. The path is wonderful! No, my hubby doesn't like bread and butter pudding either... and raisins? Not a chance. I've been looking at hand made buildings of late and kind of joking (and a bit serious) of building a little wattle and daub round house for myself. I've been told to not be daft and I'm being built an arbor instead but I think I would be tempted if I had more land, especially if I could add shiny stones to it!

    1. I've spent 20 years not doing what I always wanted to because I was told it was silly and wouldn't work and I should be sensible and just do what everyone else does. Don't listen!! I say, go for it, and do what you want to do. I think it would be great and I am so hoping that I can get up the confidence to stand up for myself a bit!