Slow living farm update - April 2015

Apr 01 2015 0 Comments Tags: update

March is over and its time for another slow living update already.  Once again I'm joining in the Slow Living Monthly Nine, started by Christine at Slow Living Essentials and currently hosted by Linda at Greenhaven. How was your March?




Nourish
I wanted to try to make some "Paleo" crackers, something tasty using nuts and seeds in the dehydrator.  I used this recipe and I was surprised how well they held together. I added macadamia nuts, garlic, seaweed powder, chia seeds and hemp seeds and they were delicious.  Relatively easy to make too, just blend everything and spread it out in the dehydrator.



Prepare
As you know, I grow lots of herbs, I cut them regularly and dry the excess.  I keep some to use as dried herbs, but I also make herbal teas.  Rosella and ginger is a favourite.  I actually started growing rosella just because I wanted to make tea from it!  Previous years I haven't had a decent harvest, but this year I've done something right and I have plenty of rosellas.  I also use the dehydrator to dry the rosellas (and other herbs).



Reduce

The ultimate in recycling is our secondhand house!  We have been spending a few hours every weekend slowing working on sanding, cleaning, gap-filling and, finally, painting.  As we sand through the paint layers we are reminded of the people who have worked on these walls in the past.  Its hard work, but I'd rather have VJs than plasterboard any day.


Green
I regularly check the chickens for mites using a sophisticated spot check system - if I can ever catch a chicken, I check it for mites.  The last chicken I picked up had mites all over her.  All I can say is at least we noticed before chickens started dropping dead, this has happened in the past.  That time, we bought a nice strong chemical (Maldison I think) and dunked all the chickens in the foul smelling liquid (even with gloves and safety glasses, I think we got plenty all over ourselves too).  I was not comfortable eating the eggs for several days, and even then probably ate them too soon.  This time I was determined to use a more natural solution, and I think we have found another use for neem oil.  I hope it has worked.  We made up a 5% solution with some detergent and dunked all the chickens from the tractor with mites.  The poor bedraggled chickens did not appreciate my efforts to use a natural pesticide, but so far it seems to have killed the mites.  We also used diatomaceous earth in their nest boxes.




Grow
I'll post my garden share next Monday.  I can share that we have a ridiculous amount of chokos, rosellas and celery.  And the hydroponic tomatoes are growing well, but yet to ripen.


Create
I have been sewing.  I made a skirt, its a pattern I've used before, but I just couldn't get it right.  It took three evenings to cut out and sew up, and half that time was spent unpicking and adjusting.  I have been doing some research about fitting and I am going to make a "sloper" to help me fit patterns.  I hope that will cut down on the time I spend stuffing around trying to get the fit right, because at the moment I'm reluctant to cut into any more good fabric until I have a better understanding of fitting.



Discover
I got some primal books from the library so I can catch up on the science behind the paleo lifestyle since I reviewed the Eat Drink Paleo cookbook.  Its all very interesting, and much of it I already knew from reading other books (such as CookedWhole Larder LoveNutritionismToxic OilOne Magic SquareFrugavore and Nourishing Traditions), but I'm learning more about grains and sugar digestion.  No massive changes yet, but plenty to think about.



Enhance
We have joined our local beekeeping group and went to our first meeting.  We both got bee jackets and gloves (Pete declined a photo in his) and we got to see a hive opened and split up.  We are looking forward to learning more from this group as we set up our own bee hives.



Enjoy
Poor old Cheryl is 13 years old and has just recently lost her sight through cataracts.  I'm guessing its from diabetes, although we haven't had her formerly diagnosed, it just doesn't seem worth the stress at her age.  All this reading about paleo and grains is making me question the contents of commercial dog biscuits, which are full of grain, hardly natural for dogs and an obvious cause of diabetes.   Pete and I have been discussing other options for feeding them.  We know we might not have much longer with the old girl, so we are trying to give her lots of cuddles.  Even with no sight, she seems happy enough and can still get up and down the stairs, and still woofs at Pete if he's too slow to bring out her breakfast (he soaks the dog biscuits for her as she can't crunch them up anymore).  She even still tries to play tug-of-war with Taz.




Here's a few posts I enjoyed reading this month:

Reducing Plastic in the Bathroom Part 2 | Treading My Own Path


Australian-grown hard to find, but do consumers really want it?


If Industrial Agriculture Empties Farms of Farmers, Who Will Care For the Land?


Vermicomposting Q&A with Homestead Chronicles | Homestead Lady


Inside the food industry: the surprising truth about what you eat


Why a Top Bar Hive?


5 Simple Ways to Get A Weird Look In Public - The Greening of Gavin


Bunya nut bounty: How to process and cook Australian native bunya nuts
dusty country road: How To Live A Simple Country Life


Reclaiming the Future - Dr Vandana Shiva in Sydney (Video) - milkwood.net

Microbes Will Feed the World, or Why Real Farmers Grow Soil, Not Crops - Modern Farmer


How was your March?  What are your plans for April?  

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