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, October 29, 2012

Quick trip up to the farm ... weekend news

Good day Everyone, hope you had a lovely weekend. Well our weekend was just flat out busy, trying to get as much done as possible. First thing Saturday George went off to purchase the weekly 2 or 3 bails of lucerne for the sheep. A bit of a spoil for them but in the long run to our benefit too. An article in The Land confirmed what we already knew sheep that eat lucerne are way more tasty and even have a little more meat on them. Our South African sheep in the Karoo eat salt bush and that is just lovely tasting meat too. Salt bush is something I would love to try grow from seed/cuttings. While I finished bottling curry beans, just over 3 kgs of cut green beans and diced onion, yelding 5 good sized jars. Finish dehydrating the second batch of 4kgs of sweet potatoe, the bottle is busting at the seams:))) Done the shopping after having some red curry from the luch time special at the mail, that saved time. George washed both cars while I finished the packing, loaded the trailer and ute. While he had a cat nap in front of the TV I got ready to for the neighbour Paul's 60th Elvis party. What a blast caterers to do the spit roast, salads, dancing, even an Elvis impersonator, huge success. We left about 9.30 and making sure all the cats had enough food until we got back, we hit the road. Arrived just after 4am, just as the roosters started crowing we hit the sack for a well earned rest. Had brekkie just after 9am and started the off loading process, wood 2x4's for the bathroom, roofing for half of rose cottage, storage barrels with 25kg sugar, rice, empty preserving bottles, just to name a few things. By 11am we were ready to start the trip back to Sydney. Got home just in time to watch Dooms Day Preppersafter doing the animal feed run and making burgers for dinner. We were planning on taking the ewes and lambs up to the farm for the 6 weeks we will be gone over Dec/Jan but there just has'ent been any rain. Making our region dry and brittle just ready for that bush fire. One good thing the rural fire has set up camp in the village which just gives us a little peace of mind our place should be okay. the river is right down too and you can just feel the grass crunch under you feet as you walk. Next weekend we plan on pumping water from the river into the cube and soak the garden and the bed of potatoes. And pump the rain water from the cube over to the water tank. The next load will be treated sleepers with will be used for the floor joists,bathroom and verandas and retaining wall. George promised to leave work early today so we could go pick them up this afternoon. more to come ... with pics of the party.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chooks news ...

Yesterday 2 more 5 week old chicks joined the lonely chookie after her mates move out to the west wing of the chook palace. Where a 9 month old white silky rooster joined them. Named him Clyde after his predeceasor, and my he is quite a handsome little boy. Clyde has not wasted anytime crowing either.
Only the young white silky pullet does not thinks so yet, esp as he chased her into a corner. "I am still a baby leave me alone". Not to sure about the little grey silky, here's hoping it a little hen.In this enclosure are 4 young barter brown (isa brown?) and one young orpington X Now that brings the new arrivals at 15 hens 1 rooster. sure is better than having just 6 hens and Mr Harry. grand total 23 chooks

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More dehydrating and garden plans ...

This year I have decided to not have a very big veggie garden, crazy I hear you say, maybe. But we are expecting a very hot summer and not much rain meaning my garden will probably suffer during the month we will be at the farm anyway. Rather spend my time preparing and dehydrating or canning vegetables such as egg plant, onions, sweet potatoes which are cheap as chips ATM. I had no idea you could even do them until I found a video on Youtube.Paula's tip dehydrating sweet potatoes Todays mission will be sweet potatoes.A trip to the big produce market on saturday, could net me a few bargains, we haven't been there for a while.(Maybe not the next 3 week as we will definitely be going to the farm)
Going to plant some bought Tomato seedling which I will pick up today from the new nursery on the way to Penrith. I do have a bed open for red aztec corn that I would like to save more seeds from for milling into Corn/maize meal.Pumpkins and squashes are on my list too. The rasberry bush has sprung "LOTS" of shoots and maybe now is the time to dig some of them up and pot them ready to be planted at the farm. The last lot I planted the possums made a meal of them.Talking about the farm we bought "Lots" of chicken manure and that is still laying bagged ready to be spread on garden. That is not a one day job as the patch is in desperate need of weeding. Maybe now is the time to organize a week at the farm by myself.
Another lot of eggplant is dehyrating, this time I bought 6 nice sized eggplant, that makes it 9 so far to fill the jar. that is probably half the amount I would purchase through out the year. Mostly I would use eggplant for Greek dishes but could used it in potato, eggplant and pea Indian veggie curry. Or baked in oil with a chilli bite batter. Do you have a favorite recipe for eggplant you would like to share?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Zombies are coming ...

A while ago I got chatting to a woman (40ish) at a BBQ at friends Nick & Adele. some how we got onto the subject of stockpiling. Adele mentioned they could join us at the farm one day cause I have a good supply of everything. Well I wish!!! That brings me on too the subject for today and my question to you is, How much are you doing to survive when the Zombies come. What a ridicules notion/word Zombies, rather say when your neighbour or the man down the road runs out of food and your's looks inviting. The same people that laughed at you cause you have a veggie garden, or your keeping chooks or you bake your own bread. But it's not just about stocking up on toilet paper, matches & candles, soap and tinned foods, flour. pasta, doffee and sugar.
Granted that is the first thing you think about "FOOD" but Yeah we need to eat too survive, protecting that food you have will be just as important as your food supply. Everyone has a list of what would be important for them. What skills have you got to help you, could you barter your labour or skill to benefit your family/colony. Do you have a bug out plan? I had been watching Dooms Day Preppers and it's great to see how dedicated some preppers are and how much thought has gone into their plan. I can only wish my plan was as good as some. A sudden move with all my animals is a major mission, but they are my fresh food on four legs or two drumsticks for the chooks. Getting them to the farm would be first on my list, along with all the food in my pantry. Housing/fencing to keep them in, food such as scratch mix and cracked corn and chicken starter/grower if I had small chooks. After Mr Fox wiped out half my chooks, I had replaced the slaughtered chooks with more egg layers, that I have nursed into pretty mixed breed pullets just about ready to start laying. This winter I raised 16 meat chooks for my freezer and decided that will be enough for this summer. In the near future we will be breaking down the chookie barn and will take it up to the farm in panels, ready to erect and use as storage. As for the wire fencing and pavers I bought it too has to go up asap. Slowly but surely we are moving up to the farm.
This "beauty" needs to be repaired and be taken up as well, she will be the centre of attraction in the outdoor kitchen, another project which we hope to tackle over the December holidays Sometimes I wish the farm was closer but that is really the point of it being so rural, making it more difficult for strangers to find when the time comes. I do feel that there is not that much time left to prepare, we need to get as much belongings and equipment there as possible. Time is running out! In the meantime filling bottles with produce, dehydrating veggies which saves space ... bonus, stockpiling and decluttering and cleaning up the house and yard making just such a move easier. more on a new skill in the next post ....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to make your own "Smell of fall" ...

Any tips and tricks on how to get your home to smell like fall... mmmmmm love this time of the year. Love the smell of Fall then here's how to creat that smell in your home. Simmer water with cinnamon sticks , orange slices and vanilla extract, whatever else you like. When the water gets a bit low just add more. Smells so good! Any other tips would be welcome

My date/apple/nut balls rolled in coconut update

A plate full of dried fruit balls I just made the balls bite size even added a little mixed peel for fruit cakes, you know the stuff I am talking about, cause the raisian jar was a little empty. actually it is quite nice like that. But what stops you from adding your own choice of dried fruit. I would still use dates to help bind it all together. Be brave give it a go. Original recipe and pic was Caro's, just 2 posts back :)))

Monday, October 15, 2012

So what has She been up to the last week or so ... well Grandson Cobi and his Mum have left for overseas on the 25th September, the house felt like a funeral parlour. We went out for dinner that evening just so we did not have to face it. Holidays are never going to be the same anymore without him. Africa is so far away.
Then (2 days later)our Smelly cat got bitten by a snake, we found him under the diningroom table all limp like a rag doll, bunged him into a cat carrier while The blond one grabbed her car keys and took off with her slippers and all. I called ahead to our vet but at the top of our road he had stopped breathing, so she opted for the local vet. They were wonderful and had him on a ventilator within seconds. did tests to see which snake it was Red belly black or the more deadly brown. Our thoughts are it was not a direct hit but Mr Snake got mouthfull of fur instead, which Smelly licked and digested as he was bathing himself. That is what had happened the year before when a R/B Black got him. So this was a brown snake. Normally within minutes it is over.The anti-venom costs a fortune but then that was the last thing on our minds. Somehow Smelly made it through with the excellent care he received and is now enjoying being with all the other puddycats, under house arrest until winter is here again. It's going to be a very long summer .....
Hubby and Myself took a trip up to the property for the long weekend, we were on a mission to empty the hired container. But to do that we had to clean up our own container first, so everything had to be removed and then sorted out. Must say it was well overdue. Heaps of red cedar and bits and bits were thrown on to the burning pile. Burning season is over so it will have to wait for the next season. That freed up so much space, with shelves neatly against the wall we might actually be able to find things again. On the way back we stopped off at Richardo's and bought 10kgs of beautiful winegrown tomatoes. We had beautiful Greek salads with olives and feta cheese for the next few days. Off cause I had to preserve some summer goodness and made a few jars of tomatoe jam. And a few jars of tomato and red capscuim chutney from a new book I had bought recently, yet to try the chutney.
Got very inspired reading Kari and Tim's blog the other day, they had put some egg plant in to dehydrate, which I had thought grilling and preserving in oil was the only way but snce I have gone onto Youtube and found a few more ways to preserve egg plant. Well I had to give it a go. And while I busy thought aI would give banana chips a go too. I do have some other news about two new venture I started but that can keep for another time Have a wonderful day and thanks for joining me Rina

Friday, October 12, 2012

My date/apple/nut balls rolled in coconut Ingredients: 3/4 cups of dried apples 3/4 cups of pitted dates (about 18) 1/2 cup of raisins (sultanas) ...1/2 cup of walnuts 1 1/2 – 2 tsp of ground cinnamon Preparation: In a food processor combine the apples, dates, raisins and cinnamon and blend for a couple of minutes until a ball is formed. Add the walnuts and blend until the walnuts are chopped to desired sized. Press firmly onto a piece of parchment paper forming a large rectangle about 1/2 inch wide. Cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Cut into desired shape Got this from a friend and thought I would give it a try Thanks Caro