Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Slow Living January 2015

Wow here we are already one month into the year and already reflecting on our progress, challenges and celebrations of our slow living lives.

Linking up with Linda who is now our gracious host having taken over from Christine in hosting the Slow Living Nine.  I love joining in each month and reflecting on what I have achieved, it is also great to hear what everyone is up to and share in their achievements.

Nourish -Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead.
We are still drowning in and eggs so they have made it into many meals lately, I have traded some for some lovely home made soaps and I used 2 dozen in so home made pasta.
I also made another big batch of Orange and Almond Biscotti because it keeps so well and Hubby really likes it.

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.
With our two freezers full of beef there is not really any room to add to the stockpile anything but I still seem to find room for a few things.  One of the few things that have been added to the pantry stockpile is some Wine Jelly.  You serve it like you would quince paste as part of a cheese platter or can use it to glaze meats.  I will post the recipe over the next week because it makes a great gift for anyone who loves their wine and cheese.

Reduce - Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing.
The clothing reduction continues and I am still sending them off to the op shop for someone else to enjoy.  This week I also had a look through my book case and managed to get rid of about 15 books but there are a lot more that probably need to go in our quest to down size before moving.

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.
I have testing some herbal/natural insect repellents and the first one I have tried is 'Bug Another'. I purchased this from my local health food store and it is certified organic, made in Australia and contains a wide range of essential oils to keep those pesky biting insects away.  It sprays onto the skin in a nice mist which you can then rub a bit to distribute and does not leave your skin sticky or feeling like you are wearing anything at all.  The smell is lovely and I have used it on my face with no reaction what so ever. Like many natural products it does not stay on the skin after swimming so you need to reapply and you need to reapply about every 2 hours based on my testing when we took it camping.  

Grow plant/harvest. What's growing this month? What's being eaten from the garden?
The garden is producing lots of herbs,  the cucumbers are coming on, there are spring onions, tomatoes, capsicum, water melon and eggplant.  The water melon I grow are the golden midget variety.  These are a much easier size to manage in a household of 2.  The other thing that is goo about them is that they turn yellow when they are ripe and the leaves around them turn yellow too.  If you would like some seeds please let me know as I have heaps, so just send me an email.

Create - To fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others.
January was a bit quite on this front and I feel like I need to get this part of my life back in balance.

Discover Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests.
After attending the Lifeline BookFest where I picked up a few great books I have already read a couple of them.  One was 'Warm House Cool' House by Nick Hollo and the Other was Bill Molisons 'Introduction to Permaculture'.  For any one starting out in Permaculture this book is a great place to start and even though I have know quite a bit about premaculture and we try to use the principles in the way we live this book still offered up tips and examples that are not included in the mach more complex book 'The Permaculture Designers Manual'

I also found time to read The Name Of The Wind by Partick Rothfus which was lent to me by a friend and it is a beautifully written book and I am looking forward to reading the sequel.

Enhance Community
This year I have really cut back on the time I dedicate to community activities and while we are in the final stages of wrapping up last years classic car show I am not taking on any new work.  It has been a hard decision but the right one.

Enjoy - Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment.
January was spent recovering from Christmas and Hubby and I just took some time out for ourselves so it has been a bit quite on this front.

What have you been up to?


  1. Those little watermelons look awesome, but I think I dont even have room for one of those, unless they grow vertically! Your biscotti looks great.

    1. AA I think you would need to grow them on the ground I am afraid.

  2. Mmmm! That biscotti looks yummy! I have never heard of that kind of watermelon before but it looks good too. Always fun in the middle of winter here to watch the gardens 'down under'! I am a reader of fantasy novels and have seen the Rothfuss novel on Amazon but haven't read it yet, may have to now! Thanks for the review! Have a great February!

    1. Kathy I am about to get the second book from my friend and m very much looking forward to the next installment.

  3. Biscotti don't last long in this how when they get made, they get eaten before they have a chance to go off! We are in the middle of winter so I am creating loads at the moment, but I also find this tails off in the summer too, there is just too many other things to do!

    1. Sustainable Mum you are so right about weather impacting the creativity. But normally I do more in the summer as our weather is lovely in the winter and super hot in the summer.

  4. Lucky you Fiona to have loads of eggs...the biscotti looks great and also your pasta from previous blog looked fantastic. I've never seen those little watermelons either...great size. Looks like January has been a good month for you.

    1. Suzie they are a great size watermelon if you want some seeds let me know.

  5. Your garden sounds great Fiona! Love the little watermelons! I should try and find the introduction to permaculture book. I haven't read it.

    1. Thanks Linda. If you can find the permaculture book it is worth reading, It contains all the basics without getting too bogged down.

  6. The eggplants and watermelon look luscious and how convenient to have little watermelons that make it quite clear when they are ripe. Very sensible. We have a little house that we need to make more energy efficient so that "warm house, cool house" looks like it could have some answers.


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