Sunday, August 31, 2008

Our Ecological Footprint

Today my son and I went to to calculate our carbon footprint and even though I thought we were doing OK we still would need 4.5 earths to continue our lifestyle if everyone on Earth lived like us...this was shocking to me!!!

At least they do not leave one without hope as you can print off a list of things to reduce your footprint here:

I am not such a tree hugger that I am going to beat myself up about this...we are making slow progress towards wasting less, living green and growing our own food, but there is ALWAYS room for improvement!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Harvest time - sort of....

It's been two weeks since I posted and I wish I could say we have been busy in our garden but sadly that is not the case. The rain has kept us indoors for most of the time and there was a business trip in between.

But this week our potatoes we planted 3 months ago were ready to be harvested. My book said that when the leaves start to yellow its time, so....

And while my children's expectations were huge (judged by the size of the container they brought for all the potatoes :-)) mine were more modest as I know things don't grow that well in winter. But when we saw the first one we were most excited!

There were about 20 in all but some badly chewed by something small and wriggly!!
But the ones that we were able to harvest made their way into a great Irish Stew served on a bed of polenta - and we all swore that they tasted MUCH better than shop bought ones!

The next day we decided to try out our carrots...and to our delight we got a great offering, some were twisted which is a sign of over rich soil but they looked so good and tasted so sweet my son ate almost all of them before we used them for anything else!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Simple Living Quote

I thought this was one to ponder:

"Living simply is not about giving things up, forsaking them, fruaglity, denial, stinginess, deprivation or lack. It's about taking things up: self-determination, freedom, autonomy and abundant living." Linda Cockburn.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Aaaaw sweet~

I thought I would just share these pictures that I took at my friends small holding on Monday. They have 27 chicks there at the moment - spring must be on the way!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

An orchard in my back yard!

When we started out three months ago I planned and planted vegetables to grow in old wine barrels. But alot of the veggies didn't like this situation. So we have moved them to the maian veggie garden.

Now I had all these big beautiful barrels....Plan A didn't work - so Plan B went into action yesterday! Food producting trees....




Around the base of the trees we will still grown the lettuce that liked the barrel and in spring we will add some edible flowers.

I also ordered my berry canes yesterday for the end of the month!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Waste not, want not!

Ok, I am sad to admit that up until a few months ago I was very wasteful with food. You know throwing away the stalk of the brocoli instead of steaming it too...or forgetting about the leftovers inside the Tupperware container at the back of the fridge....

But I am happy to admit that I have amended my ways :-) and do not waste any food anymore. This is a change over 3 months, in case you would like to know.

So there are a few things we do:

1. Recycle What we can i.t.o. plastic, glass and paper. (Not food I know but still is waste)
2. My wormery takes all my carrot pith from our juicer and other soft fruit peels.
3. Our compost takes the things they cannot eat.
4. Our chickens now are eating up our weeds, other scraps, cleaned crushed egg shells and they even got some cooked oatmeal yesterday.
5. All overripe fruit is converted into something - bananas to banana bread for e.g.
6. Left over dinners are eaten the next day for someones lunch.

So I feel pretty good about that!

This morning I saw that we had 10 passion fruit about to go to the bin so I took out the centres and turned it into Passion Fruit Butter. I got this delicious recipe from my current favourite book by Linda Cockburn: Living the Good Life.

1 cup passionfruit juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs beaten
50g butter

Melt the butter in double boiler.
Add sugar and juice, stir til sugar is melted.
Add eggs and stir til thick.

She says to use it as ice cream sauce, I could just eat it by the spoonful!

And then for lunch today we had the sum total of 5 eggs from our we had pancakes to celebrate - yes, using the eggs!