Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Monthly Nine - February 2015

Here we are already two months 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.
When I look back at the month I noticed that there are a lot of food posts so it is easy to fell confident in the category.  

Home made refried beans

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.  This month I have added a whole lot of mango cheeks and now I have to come up with ways to use them.  I have also added a few frozen meals from when I have made extras and this will help us have easy meals on hand for when we are selling and do not want to create extra work for ourselves.

Reduce - Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing.
We have continued to send things off to the op shop for someone else to enjoy. I have also done some repairs to items from our linen cupboard that have been waiting to be mended for ages.  There was a flannelette sheet that had gotten threadbare and a hole had formed.  A bit of iron on mender (my go to fix for items that need a quick basic fix) and we will get a few more uses out of it.  The whole thing is getting threadbare so we will probably only get this winter out of it but that is ok.

And then there was a cotton blanket that was fraying as the binding had split.

I just used some cotton that I had to make up a binding, it does the job and will mean we get a few more years out of the blanket.

I also made some chicken saddles out of an old pair of jeans.

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.
 This month I used some of our beef fat to make soap.  I have just started using the first block and it seems really good.  It still needs to dry out a bit more which has been difficult with all the wet humid weather we have been having.

Grow plant/harvest. What's growing this month? What's being eaten from the garden?
The garden is producing lots of herbs,  the latest round of cucumbers are coming on, there are spring onions, capsicum, eggplant beans and I have just started planting out for the cooler weather.  I have got some peas in as well as lettuce and silverbeet.

Create - To fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others.
Discover Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests.
Last month I read The Name Of The Wind by Partick Rothfus which was lent to me by a friend and it is a beautifully written book.  This month I have been reading the sequel.

Enhance Community
Nothing happening on this front.

Enjoy - Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment.
I managed to catch up with an old work colleague for dinner and we had a really great time and have vowed to make more time to do it again soon.

What have you been up to?


  1. What a lovely reflection of your month Fiona. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    1. Thanks Kathy I really like being able to look back on all the little things that made up the month.

  2. The soap looks great Fiona...how did you use the animal fat?...also love your wall art.... I also have some of those lovely eggplants growing. Sounds like a busy month for you.

    1. Suzie I just rendered (melted) the fat and strained it to get rid of the meaty bits then used it with the caustic soda and water using my normal method and that's it. Soap making is not hard but you need to be careful and precise.

  3. Clever use of denim for the chickens, I think the strangest thing I ever saw was the rose colored glasses for chickens. Apparently the pink lenses kept the chickens from noticing blood on each other and kept them from pecking and pulling at each other. They look like little prince nez glasses. It may work a charm but it makes your flock look a little odd. Love that you are making soap with your own animal fat - do you find that it is a lot different than other fats people use? Interesting post, fun to read!

    1. Glasses for chickens now that is one I have not come across. I have just started using the soap and I find that it lathers well but not too much and the block is much harder than the olive oil soap I made so I hope that means it lasts longer too. I will be doing a follow up post in a week or so.

  4. Haha! Love the saddle! I'd not heard of that idea. I make saop with a friend's lard. It makes good soap but has a slight odour compared to vegetable oils. Feels good to using a natural ingredient that would otherwise go to waste!

  5. What a great idea to use up the leftover fat to make soap. Your aubergine/eggplant are amazing, I wish I could grow them but it's too cold here. A lovely reflection.

  6. Oh my!! Chicken saddles?!?! My daughter will love this! I'm stopping by rather late for the Monthly 9 but I'm always inspired after reading about other peoples great incentives!


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