The trouble with simple living is that, though it can be joyful, rich, and creative, it isn't simple. ~Doris Janzen Longacre

The best way to bring a sustainable change in the world around me is by bringing the change in myself

Monday, May 28, 2012

Wow the morning has flown by, been busy the the last lot of persimmons that where finally ripe enough to preserve. Only got 4 little bottles which I am going to give to my Japanese girlfriend Pina. She tasted some of the first batch and loved it. ATM she is in Japan for 3 weeks visiting her elderly parents, Her Mom is not well at all and now has to sort out their little unit. Never an easy task <3
Adele and Nick came over yesterday to help cut wood and get some wood for their use as well. Here we are cutting/cleaning up the neighbour's fallen tree. They don't have a wood fireplace and don't have any need for the wood, but we do. Free wood why not. Why's Adele was hanging on to the end, I could not tell you :))
Now on too something different, Saturday Hubby and I got chatting about the meat chooks and having to take them in to be processed. Then he got this brainwave about making a chicken plucker, mind you I had done research on the internet a while back mentioning it could be a handy thing. But now it's His Idea and next project. What is amazing is he ask if we don't have an old washing machine he could use. He is a throw away man, so no spare old washing machine sorry, just checking. Anyway we popped out to get mower fuel and there by the side of the road stands this lovely big washing mashine for the taking, the motor or pump must have packed up. Needless to say he now has a washing machine to strip and convert to a chicken plucker

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mr Fox left his calling card ....

White silky feathers scattered in the backyard as evidence Bonny and Clyde were not so lucky Mr Fox was here and had himself a feast some managed to get away hiding scared and shock up And the morning brings light Maybe the last 4 unaccounted survived the night:(((
I did not close them in cause we left at 1.30 in the afternoon to go hand in forms in Parramatta, went to Cosco for shopping then straight from there we meet Tanya after her shift, got back just before 9pm ... too late;((( ... Only one lonely black chook survived the night outside ... What a sorry sight Big Harry has 4 black hens, 1 red and 5 white hens. But all is not lost there are eggs in the incubator and I saved some black hen's eggs to put in the incubator again. Success rate has never been so good:( ... no eggs for sale until further notice!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Revisiting old goals ...

This post as the title suggest is about revisiting old goals, bloghopping I found a post wondering why we have gone all quite about our attempts at prepping. And that got me thinking again about my goals and the progress we have made in the last few months. Maybe not enough progress at the farm, but being a 6 hour drive it does make it hard. Here in Sydney we are faring much better.
Preserves by Mayhew, Maggie ATKINSON, CATHERINE Preserves is a comprehensive guide to the art of preserving - from jam and jelly making to preserving with salt, sugar, vinegar and alcohol. 150 recipes with fabulous Photos 256 pages (bound to be a few good ones in there) Having set smaller goals for myself, i have found I am able to get things done. Preserving has been on top of my list of skills, as you might have noticed in the last few posts. Getting the right equipment, tongs, bottles and armed with a new preserving book which is still to reach my mailbox. The process of making pection yourself from fresh apples and lemons found in old cookbooks and some old favorites recipes have been copied and saved for future reference.
The old woodstove we bought last year, will be dragged out and refurbished to a working order within the next few weeks. And she is not light to cart around either. Decisions need to be made where the new outdoor kitchen will go and a concrete floor will have to be poured. A framework and roof will need to go up, before we could even think of taking this old beauty up to the farm.6 months and we should have it ready, with a little luck. Wood to run her is plentifull around the property. Watch out I am on a mission with that stove. Dear Husband has killed his first sheep and chopped off so many chicken heads this last year, that I feel he has come along way. A few years ago he was squimish about cutting up meat for making beef jerky. We invested in a electric meat saw and a few good meat knives. Strange how it works out too, cause just the following weekend we decided to process a young mixed breed lamb that was not really growing to well. I cooked her up for the dogs and they had a feast. My freezer was still full from the previous kill.
This years first meat chooks are going real well, the first batch of 25 birds are due to be processed within the next week or so. Once again I will have them done. A few have been sold so that pays for part of the feed they gobbled up. Got them on the 21at of March I like to drag them out to 12 weeks and get huge birds weighing about 4kg dressed. I have no problem processing them myself but it works great when you got a whole process line going with a few helpers. Folders have been set up with copies made of useful informations, ideas, patterns and recipes. just incase there woun't be an internet with all this wonderful information to reference too. and in the meantime I am stockpiling. There is more but that could be left for another post Have a wonderful and productive day Rina

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Long overdue Paperwork and filing ...

One of my weak points is stashing accounts and papers in draws and when the draw is full, I would just move on too the next draw. But now Rina has no more excuses and needs to declutter her life and those draws. I spent a few days just going through 18 years worth of paperwork, the task just to big for one sitting. Over the years I have made a few attempts at this, finding only the last few years needed a lot of clearing. How long are you suppose to keep records??? 5 years I hear you say ...
Over the last fortnight, I got my dear husband to pull out a 4 draw steel filing cabinet that was given to us. Only the colour was so disgusting, brown with yellow draws, and dirty. With a little elbow grease we took off all the old stickers, wiped it down with thinners and dusted it good. And then we headed off to the hardware shop for some Wattyl Killrust in woodlands grey. George sprayed the whole cabinet and the draws, not a sign of yellow anywhere. A lick of paint can spruce anything up. Then the big task started sorting it all out, tossing old statements and then burning it in the fire place that night. No shredder available and definately not going in the recycle bin. The task is 95% done, just taking a breather,then I get right back to it. Friday I headed off to get more purple folders thingies at officeworks and started on the rest of the paperwork. .
All this was going on between the jam making, feeding the chooks and the general housework that always needs doing. Tomorrow the blond one gets back from Darwin where she has been working the last two or more months. Daddy has been missing her more than I have but I think Merlin the magician (burmese cat) will be very excited to have his mommy back

Friday, May 18, 2012

Quince Jam ...

How easy was that, just followed the recipe I found on the internet. prepare the fruit, add to the pot, carefully following the instructions and there you go ... TA DA
Reminder to myself ... Just next time don't buy that many Quince at one time 4 will definately do the job if they big. Well I better getback to the kitchen, roll up the sleves and start again ... Have a great day and thanks for popping in Rina

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More Mother's Day Pics ...

I trust everyone had a lovely mother's Day with the family. My kids are not local but they did call to wish me a good day. Now what would Mother's Day Trip be without bringing something back to preserve.We wil be back to buy some cherries from this farmer. His apples were so tasty and juicy
What a lovely old tractor, 1958 model, just like me ... wish I had one of those. Farmer's not to bad either and he's single by the looks of it
Pink Lady apples are in season ATM, these are so juicy yummm
Just look what I can home with, Sonday .... Mother's Day I sat in the sun peeling and chopping ripe fruit. Still got enough persimmons left to make another 2 batches of jam and some for baking a loaf. The box cost $10 what a bargain ...
Preparing to cook a batch of persimmons for jam
Yummy Jars of Kiwi fruit and persimmon Jam. Thanks for visiting today Rina

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day ...

We choose to spend Saturday celebrating Mother's Day, yip a good excuse for a day trip up the Mountains Just me and the Old Man ... only expecting the kids to call cause they all far away ... The boys are in Brisbane and the Blond One is working in Darwin ATM.
Images of changing seasons
Then on to the next spot just up the road ...
Proteas for Mother's Day, reminds me of the proteas and pincushions growing near Knysna
Beautifull images from the Botanical Gardens, had a little lunch under a pergola of westeria, (pity it was not in flower) overlooking beautifull view of the Blue Mountains. A very enjoyable trip up the Mountain.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Just posted on my new blog, thought you might want to go have a little look at the scarves that I knitted over the weekend. Generally this week has been all about tidying up and cleaning around here. Not the normal housework but the carport which is crammed full of stuff. Then on to the sewing/craft cupboard, sorting out the magazines which my husband threatens to throw away. How could he they are all full of ideas and patterns, you know the how to make a quilt, knit a sweater and make a tote bag. They are dear enough as is ... there is no way I would let him touch my Homespun and Country Thread magazines. Then sorting out the stash ... Well you better follow the link and check out the scarves Have a wonderful day Rina

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Seed saving ... Red Aztec Corn

Good day to Everyone, Another fine day here in Sydney, the sun's out warming up a lovely cool morning, not quite winter here. That comes soon enough, nothing like some American Girls experience, you know the white stuff, OH Just one white winter would be lovely them you can have it back:))
To get back to my original subject for the day "Red corn" that what I planted this year as an experiment and also to harvest the dried corn for my stockpiling. It dates back to the 18th Century so is a Heirloom seed which I managed to find on Ebay. I was interested in finding a grain to plant for milling to make flour and then spotted this, bought a few packets but only planted 1 packet. and it grew into a tall healthy plants. And then I went to South Africa to visit Mom.
The corn and the rest of the garden had grown well in that time cause we had a far bit of rain that month. The cobs had grown well and had started to dry out which was just what I had wanted. Removed the cobs when they looked good and ready, peeled back the outside leaved and shelved them to dry on a rack.
Just look at the yeild from just a few cobs. Spent 1/2 hr shelling them thinking this would be a lovely activity to do, sitting down with the family around the kitchen table at night in the old days. A corn seller would make the job a lot easier, no sure fingers. Now they can get saved from planting next year.
My husband recalled a memory of his childhood vacation, spent with his uncle who farmed with cattle and pigs, some 50 yrs ago. He used to plant Red Corn for his pigs to eat with excess milk from the dairy cows. Those years the cream was skimmed off the milk for selling and a lot of the milk was kept for personal use. His Aunt made her own butter