Monday, December 2, 2013

Slow living November

I can’t believe the year is almost done. 3 days left of formal learning; 13 days left of work, 30 days left of 2013…it really flew by for me! Here's my month summed up as part of Slow Living 2013

NOURISH: It’s been an interesting nourishing month. I have been trying to use up pantry, freezer and garden goods and not give into a whim to buy something to cook a meal but rather stick to what I already have. I always cook from scratch but sometimes I just want something different to what I had planned on my week’s menu. This meant that this month we ate lots of kale, marrow, spinach, eggs, blueberries in muffins and things, fresh herbs instead of buying dried, globe artichokes, our small red onions & garlic heads, strawberries from the plant (while watering) and the last of the asparagus for the season.

PREPARE: Being strawberry season it was time to make jam. I bought in strawberries nice and cheap and made a lovely pot of jam using a recipe from the book “salt, sugar, smoke”. Excess marrows were grated and frozen for later use. Water will become an issue soon so buckets will reappear in the showers to catch water drips. We use these to water the pots around the front door.

REDUCE: Last month I made a weird cucumber climber from left over materials around the place and I am glad to say its working well.

GREEN: One of my precious, but rather silly children thought they were immune to sunburn even after repeated requests to make sure they are well covered when having a day at the beach with friends. Mmmmh…thankfully we have loads of bulbinella which has been applied liberally to a rather swollen forehead and cheekbones. It has brought immediate relief and the swelling has reduced.

GROW: The summer garden is growing beautifully except the corn. It got hip high and stopped and then began to produce tassels. I am not sure why but have a suspicion that the seed is not acclimatized to our South African soil. 

My elder daughter also planted up pots for the back yard with pretty flowers. I planted the last tomatoes out and eggplant and chillies. Next month I must think about sowing seed for a later summer garden.

CREATE: I create food…no time for knitting, sewing or anything else. However both my daughters “created” new businesses…my younger one has began selling spice mix jars and my elder homemade natural soaps.

DISCOVER: I discovered Feverfew this month. I was looking for a headache cure and happened on this article. And I have Feverfew growing in my garden – happy days.

ENHANCE: My son is now selling his free-range chicken and pork at the local Earth Fair market. He has asked his sister to join him in the business as it has simply become too much for him to handle alone and I need to step away and focus on my own business and younger children’s homeschooling more this coming year. To help them get their feet at the market I have done a few Saturdays there with them and have really loved chatting to likeminded people who are also passionate about eating the right food.

ENJOY: I always battle with this category thinking that I need to have something really special to share. I am actually a simple person and enjoy simple things. Every now and again there is something that is a real zinger, but for the most part I love our busy days, good meals with my family around the table, walks in the forest with dog & friend, the occasional breakfast out with Superman and working in the garden of the cool of the morning or evening.

I enjoy the way my kitties always come looking for me when I go into the veggie gardens and flop down purring wanting a scratch.

This month also held my annual trip to Johannesburg with my friend and business partner to the homeschool convention where we display our homegrown South African curriculum. It’s always a lovely time to catch up as we live about 2 hours away from each other and our normal conversations are business related but this weekend away gives us loads of time to chat and catch up with personal lives.
Tiffany says warm compost heap = perfect nap spot

That’s all for November! How was your month?


Cath said...

Lovely reading your news. Looking forward to seeing you.

EMMA said...

Great post. How wonderful that your children have their own business ventures - they sound very successful. The soaps and spice jars look amazing.

Kathy said...

It is always so much fun to see how the 'other half' live meaning the other half of the world! Thank you for sharing!

Christine said...

It's always lovely to visit here, Wendy! Your kids sound like they are doing an amazing job with their businesses - and I agree with Emma, those products look absolutely amazing. :)