Thursday, 6 October 2016

Independence Days Challenge: Week Fifteen

OK, once again, not really week fifteen but let's just roll with it!

'Human hands and human powers are more remarkable than most of us really understand. We live in a world that systematically devalues human power, even as that power moves to become among the most abundant things on the planet. We create fossil-powered tools to replace even the things that human hands and energies can do quite easily, and we let the tools tell us by their presence that we cannot do things as well without them. The very presence of the bread machine stands as a silent assault on the efficacy of human hands in dough.'
Independence Days by Sharon Astyk pg 249

Right on, sister! I must admit, this is one of my bugbears. I am constantly being told that it is a waste of time to weed by hand when you can just spray them. Or make or grow things yourself when you can just buy them. But no one can really tell me what they want me to 'save' this time for. There is so much talk about saving time, but if this is how I enjoy spending my time, I'm not sure why other people have a problem with it? Jenna Woginrich talked about this in one of her books (not sure which one, as I have read and love them all!) - about how people are always asking why she wants to make life hard for herself by doing all this unnecessary work. She says because she loves it, it is what she wants to do. I think today's society has an overinflated view of leisure time and an equally underinflated view of the value of work. Or maybe I was just told too many times when I was young that:

What do you think?

Rain, rain and more rain here, so that weeding is not getting done. And we all know what the spring rains will do to the weeds - as soon as that sun starts shining again, it will be on for young and old! Every weed seed will be germinating - aawww!

At least I have a cake for all the weeding work to date.

Only joking! I found this on Facebook. Not really sure if it was a spelling mistake on a wedding cake; in which case, poor bridal couple. Or someone has a really cool friend who made them a cake to celebrate their weeding success; in which case, where is my cake?!

1. Plant something

Lots of spring planting. I have planted seeds in the greenhouse of rainbow silverbeet, cos lettuce, mesclun mix, broccoletti, many types of dahlias (can't afford tubers, so am going to see what I get from seed), purple podded peas and snow peas.
In the field, I have planted out mixed lettuce, Siberian kale, Red Russian kale, rainbow silverbeet, Italian parsley, coriander, broccoli and direct sowed carrot seeds.

2. Harvest something

Eggs, anyone? I have 60 sitting on the bench at the moment, even after making mini egg and bacon pies last night which used 14. I am getting about 8-12 a day.
I am also harvesting rhubarb, lemons, snow peas, parsley, Vietnamese mint, rosemary, mint and lots and lots of daffodils and tulips.

3. Preserve something

In the last three weeks, we have filled the freezer with two lambs and a pig. It took a bit of creative re-arranging to make it all fit! It is very exciting to have all that home grown meat in the freezer.
I have also made lots of lemon butter (see 2 above, re egg and lemon glut!) This freezes really well in the jars.

4. Minimise waste

I know I have mentioned the boys' school lunches before. But it was gratifying in the last few weeks to have the school doing a sustainability study. One of the areas they investigated was plastic waste in school lunches. All the children had to separate out all their plastic waste for the week and it was collated at the end of the week and all put together to show the children just how much waste there was in only one week. It was great for the boys to see exactly why I pack their lunches the way I do, as I have had comments before about why can't they have packaged food like everyone else?

And I just found this great blog, Gippsland Unwrapped, about a zero waste family. I know there are lots of blogs like this, but it is good to find an Australian one. This is a great post, listing all the things they do as a plastic-free, zero waste family.

5. Want Not

Not really gardening, but I have been cutting up our frayed bathroom towels to make into bat mats and hand towels.
I am also saving 3 litre milk jugs and punching holes in the lid to use as watering jugs.

6. Cook Something New

I have not tried anything new this week - school holidays so just going with simple favourites! But I have lots in the pipeline that I want to test on the boys. Little guinea pigs, they are!

7. Manage Your Reserves

I did a bulk wholefoods order this week, after going through the pantry.
I have been making three jars of lemon butter a week and putting them in the freezer.
Hubby (and friends)  butchered a pig and two lambs in the last few weeks, so the freezer is definitely full!

8. Work on Local Food Systems

A work in progress. Local fair food is something I am passionate about, so it is always on my mind.

I want to be that farmer!


  1. You really are doing well. The cut offs from the larger towels I make into cleaning cloths, they are always useful. Hand towels I add a row of lace and ribbon to make them look pretty. Good luck with the weeding, its an on going battle here too.

    1. Yes, never have enough cleaning cloths. They would be pretty with ribbon and lace. Or I saw some that have strips of quilting fabric sewn across them, which look pretty. More weeding today as it was sunny!

  2. I find weeding by hand cathartic, it gives me time to think. I do have to stand up regularly to get feeling back in my feet! But I do enjoy it.

    1. That's why I like it - but not the aches and pains afterwards!

  3. Thank you for visiting my blog. Would you like me to send just a few glass gem corn seeds to you? If so, just comment on my blog with your email address (I will NOT publish it) and then I can contact you and get your mailing address. :)

    1. Thanks for visiting (and following) me here! I would love some seeds but they would not make it through our quarantine. Thanks so much for the lovely offer.

  4. A delight to visit with you for the first time today! I enjoyed hearing about life with you on the other side of the world, we are in the fall season here, whilst you are in the midst of spring. I just put up most of the bounty from our garden, and still have some carrots to pull. I laughed about the weeding cake, too funny, I sure could have used one of those this summer, lol! Enjoyed your happy place here, blessings and hugs to you :)

    1. Thanks so much for visiting - I love 'meeting' new friends! It'll be nice for you to be heading into a more restful time, whereas here the sun has been shining and it was the first real warm day of spring. A reminder of all the planting and weeding I need to be doing!

  5. The cake looks fantastic! All the best with weeding ♥