Friday, 4 April 2014

Slow Living Monthly Link Up March 2014

Linking up with Christine again this month and this month seems to have been quite busy.

Nourish -Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead.
All of our meals were cooked from scratch this month and I also did some cooking for my brother in law and sister in law who just had their first baby.  While it was nothing fancy it as wholesome and nourishing food and I know they appreciated it.

Self Crusting Quiche

Banana Berry Bread

Prepare - Stockpile and preserve. Freeze extra meals or excess garden/market produce. Bottle/can, dehydrate or pickle foods to enjoy when they are not in season.
Dumplings have been a bit of a hit at our place recently and they also freeze really well so it is worth making them in large batches and freezing them so you have a very quick meal to call on.  From frozen they only take 12 minutes in boiling water and when you have had a long day they are ideal.

Reduce - Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing.

One of our local  churches had a garage sale to raise money for a local charity so we were able to get rid of a heap of things and we later heard some of the items had sold straight away.

Green Start (or continue!) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies. The options are endless, the savings huge and the health benefits enormous.

Just the usual happening on this front.

Grow plant/harvest. What's growing this month? What's being eaten from the garden?
The garden is pretty bare at the moment but I have managed to get some seeds planted and garlic in.  The ground was hard like concrete but when I heard there was rain coming I got out there and loosened it as best I could then added lots of compost.  Thankfully the weather forecast was correct and we ended up with over 200 mm.  This made the soil lovely and loose so I dug in the compost and got the seeds in the ground.  I still have another garden bed to waiting to be planted out but I feel good that at least there is something in the ground.

Create - To fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others.
I have picked up the crochet needle again and am finally learning to read a pattern.  My first attempt was to make a set of baby booties for my new nephew by by the time I had finished the first one it was big enough for a four year old.  Oh well practice makes perfect.  Sorry no photos as I am currently away from home without a camera.

Discover Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests.
I have been reading lots of fictional books this month.  I sorted out my book shelf the other day and put all of the books that I had not read on one shelf so now I am just working my way through them and then passing them on tho the Op Shop.

Enhance Community
Planning for this years Classic Car Show is well under way again and will be keeping me busy for many months to come. Other than this I have taken a step back this year as I have other things I need to dedicate my time to.

Enjoy - Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment.
My bother in law and sister in law have had their first baby and he is lovely (not that I am biased). It is such a lovely thing to have a new baby in the family.

Hubby and our Nephew

What have you been up to?

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Allan Savory: Green deserts and reverse climate change

Allan Savory is one of those people in life who makes me want to see more happening to heal our planet.
He makes me want to tell anyone who will listen about the work he is doing and leaves me wondering why his methods are not more widely used or discussed since they seem to have such profound impacts.
You can learn more about him, the work he is doing and the institute he created here.

Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert. And terrifyingly, it's happening to about two-thirds of the world's grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes - and his work so far shows - that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.

If you would like to see a really interesting TED Talk about the work he is doing then take a look at this.
He received a standing ovation for this talk from the audience.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Celebrating Earth Hour

Tonight between 8.30pm and 9.30pm it is time to turn off the lights.  For more information or ideas on celebrating earth hour click here.

Will you be participating?
How will you be celebrating?

On March 31 2007, WWF-Australia inspired more than 2.2 million individuals and 2,000 businesses to turn their lights out for one hour in the first Earth Hour event – kicking off the world's largest voluntary action for the environment.
This year, Earth Hour Australia is turning Earth Hour on its axis, using the power of Earth Hour to shine a light on one of the world’s most loved – and vulnerable – places: The Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but it’s future is uncertain. Climate change is raising ocean temperatures and making seawater more acidic, threatening the survival of the coral and the animals that call it home. And to make it even worse, the Queensland and Australian Governments are fast-tracking mega port developments, including the world’s biggest coal port at Abbot Point.
The Earth Hour community is taking action to tell Australia’s Prime Minister that if we don’t act now, the effects of climate change on our reef will be irreversible in just sixteen years.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Rain Glorious Rain

Rain oh how we missed you.

We have had no rain to speak of for the last 4 - 5 months.  A few mls here or there but barely enough to reach the ground where there was mulch.  But oh how things can change.
We have now had nearly 250mls of rain in the last 3 days which is more than we have had in the last 8 months combined.
Much of the grass had died off and you can see some of the brown patches in the photo below.  These will take a while to recover but that green in the photo was not there a week ago, it was a field of brown.  Grass is amazing resilient stuff.

We know that for us the lack of grass is nothing compared to what our outback farmers have been going through and hope that many of them have also benefited from this rain.
All around our community bridges have flooded and are being cleared of debris and a few people are cut off until their bridges are cleared, but none the less we are grateful.

I hope that where ever you are the weather has been in your favour.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Enough Is Enough The Film

Enough is Enough is a book by Rob Dietz and Dan O'Neill that presents an alternative to the idea of continued economic growth.  They link back to the fact that we are overusing our earths finite resources and that we should have an economy that is focused on enough not more.

I watched this video which gives a brief overview of some of the topics covered in the book.  I found it to be fascinating and inspirational and I was left thinking about how the ideas presented are much more in line with the life I lead compared to our current system.  It also made me wonder how we can get governments around the world to adopt this type of economy.

Anyway check it out and let me know what you think.  Is this the type of economy you would like to see in place?

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

First Aid for Chickens

If you own chickens there is a good chance that at some stage you will need to administer some sort of first aid and it is good to know that you are somewhat prepared to deal with issues that arise.

Chicken Saddle in action
Before you read any further please note that I am not a vet and have no medical training.  These are just things that I have personally found helpful and I would suggest doing your own research.

There are a few things that I would say to new chicken owners about dealing with health issues and injuries:
  • No matter how bad things look there is always hope.  Chickens are tough little creatures and they have the ability to endure quite significant injuries and behave like nothing at all has happened.
  • Use the internet to look for answers.  I had never come across chicken pox before but by searching "white lumps on a chickens comb" I was able to use the images to diagnose what was going on.  I always look at a number of sites to see if I find the same solution being presented by a number of people.
  • Stay calm.  If you can stay calm then you will have a much greater chance of success. 
  • Keep the chicken calm too.  Wrapping them in a towel and covering their head loosely so they are in the dark will help with this.
  • Have somewhere you can isolate an individual chicken.  A pet carry cage is ideal but a seperate chicken tractor or pen will also work.  The benefit of the carry cage is that you can keep an injured chicken inside where it is warm and free of drafts if necessary and they are also a little less mobile so will not stress themselves out.
  • Finally - Keep some basic first aid supplies in the house that are suitable for using on chickens.  In my kit I keep chlorhexidine solution (often found in home first aid kits as you flushing or wound washing liquid.  It is far more gentle than hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol.  A good antibiotic cream.  Non stick sterile pads, bandages, steri strips and tape.  Latex gloves.  Water based lubricant in case you have to deal with prolapse or egg bound birds.  Plastic syringes in case a bird gets crop bound and you need to get olive oil into them and massage their crop. Cotton buds and cotton balls, tweezers, scissors and nail clippers also come in handy.  Also a rather recent addition to our kit is a chicken saddle which is now being used on a second chicken and has been worth the $5 it cost.
What tips do you have for providing first aid for chickens?
Do you have a chicken first aid kit?  If so what is in yours?