Thursday, 12 January 2017

Independence Days Challenge: Week Eighteen

As I've gone through all of Sharyn Astyk's Independence Days, I will now move on to her Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front. This is the more hard core discussion, without the recipes! One of the first books I read that I felt really called it as it was - no tiptoeing around the issues, saying we can fix it with technology and still live the way we live now. Brutally honest, but I feel this is what everyone needs to read so we can all accept life needs to change and move on.

'So far the message most of us have received about climate change and peak oil and our financial situation is "We can go on exactly as we have been, with just a few little changes to renewable energies." Unfortunately, that's a fairy tale.'
Depletion and Abundance by Sharon Astyk pg 7

Really, I feel like the typing out the next two pages of the book as I feel getting that mindset change is so important. But instead, I urge you to look for the book at your library, if you haven't already read it, or one similar.

1. Plant something

I planted a few more zucchini seedlings, but really it is time to be thinking of autumn plantings. It just doesn't seem like it with the heat!

2. Harvest something

Same as last week really. The chooks are laying really well at the moment, especially considering they are all 'elderly'. They would be considered well past laying age commercially, yet most of them are four to six years old and still laying consistently. They are doing a great job scratching through the weeds as I pile them up.

Note the new fence in the background - yay!

Even had a little surprise this week - one of the hens, who I thought had succumbed to a fox, appeared with a little chick. Only the one unfortunately. If I'd known she was sitting, I may have been able to keep the others warm. She is one of those hens that hatches the first one and hops straight off the nest, thinking 'thank goodness that is over!'


Still harvesting some flowers, but I will be leaving the rest to set seed.

And one of the dahlias that I grew from seed. They have all formed tubers so will stay in the ground to over winter and hopefully will have more and bigger blooms next year.

Some wild garlic hubby found in his travels.

3. Preserve something

The very hot weather has made me slack off here. I just couldn't face canning in the heat! We just ate our last jar of applesauce and are down to one jar of mint jelly and we use a lot of both of these. Definitely need to make some soon.

4. Minimise waste

I have decided to be brave enough to front up to the supermarket and ask to have my deli and meat items put in my own containers. I know that sounds silly and I don't really know why I am reluctant - all they can say is no. I'll have to work out which containers weigh the least!

5. Want not

I am hoping to get lots of upcycling done this year, in various areas. Also planning to add regular op (thrift) shop trips to my to-do list. I keep a running list in my handbag of items to look for at the op shop, but then I hardly ever make the time to get there!

6. Cook something new

I must admit to loving those tie-in books they always come out with when a series or movie is successful, especially the cook books.
Enter The Outlander Kitchen.

I made Father Anselm's Almond Pastry - yum!

The end was a bit bulgy, but it was delicious! And very simple to make.

7. Manage your reserves

That whole getting organised thing is a work in progress!

8. Work on local food systems

You guessed it, a work in progress!

I will just show you some photos of one of my veggie gardens so you can see why my harvesting is not great. I am ashamed but I will show you anyway!

On the plus side, look at that lovely healthy rosemary in the bottom left!

And also a huge plus, hubby did the fencing! Which means that the gardens are now fenced off from the paddock and we can get some sheep again.

Very dry at the moment.
How are things in your neck of the woods? I would love to hear your plans for 2017.


  1. No real plans as yet until we establish where we will be, we are in the process of moving but haven't found the home of our dreams yet. You certainly have some great plans, wishing you every success.

    1. Thanks! I look forward to hearing all about your move, especially if this is a final move to your dream home! That is what I hope to do one day.

  2. Love the poppies and cornflowers, just started planning our allotment for this and bought some seeds. Love the idea of asking the deli counter to put the goods your buying in your own containers, have seen this idea before but like you have always been a bit reluctant to ask.

    1. I will probably find that there will be no problem when I finally gather the courage to ask! Hope your allotment planning is coming along nicely.