About Me

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I am happily married and have two very rough and tumble boys. I have ideals of self sufficiency and low impact. My favourite passtime is growing veggies, reading books on all kinds of topics, finding out about how things impact earth and your body.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our New Additions!

First one - Its our Vege Table - and how wonderful does it look. Not the most ideal location - backing up against the water tanks - but it is the flattest bit of land we have anywhere near my veggie patch. It is also shaded by a lovely big gum tree in the hottest part of the day - which we will more than welcome in the summer time. We picked it up from the Trash n Treasure Market (the Tip Shop) on Friday! We are stoked.

Vege Table
And we loved it so much we had to have our BBQ lunch down there and celebrate with a beer and a lovely glass of red.  Hats off and into it. (Before you call the authorites - my kids had water - twas only hubby and I that enjoyed a glass).

Our first lunch - including the dog waiting for the chop bones!
But we didn't slacken off. We had had such a busy morning preparing a spot to grow some clucker tucker (hoping to get a bit more variety into our ladies diets)

First planting of clucker tucker
while I planted about another 30 bean seeds, 5 cucumber and about 5 zucchini seeds. I am really looking forward to summer pickings and I hope my followers are too. I already have 9 beans germinated 2 cucumbers and 3 zucchinis so fingers crossed they will be producing in a couple of months well enough to go on the for sale list.
Here is a seedling of one of the Dragon tongue bean varieties. We are trying something different - putting them straight into some pretty rough ground/mulch so we will see how they go - the pH was ok!

Dragon Tongue bean seedling - Sept 11, 2011
Now the other things we got up to was I dug up my first few potatoes which we are over the moon about - but hoping the rest will produce a few more than this!

Sebago spuds lifted Sept 11, 2011
And hubby made me "Ned" the composter. We called him this as he kinda resembles an Aussie bush outlaw gangster baddy that we all seems to love! and we are hoping we love our Ned just as much. Now to find some materials to put into him coz by the size of him - he is very hungry!

Ned the compost bin

All in all we have had a fantastic day in our patch. I have so many other things popping up - about 25 corn, 4-5 spaghetti squash and a watermelon or two - but my pride and joy is this whopper pumpkin picked a day or so ago - WE BREED THEM BIG IN QUEENSLAND. (its a Gramma variety)

our biggest pumpkin to date

Till next time - Bye for now

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I am so far behind.....I think I am first!

on this homesteading/self sufficiency path I have chosen for me and my family.

I have been reading a few blogs lately and so many other like minded people have been on this same or similar path for years. This makes me feel so inadequate to even share my stories and excitement over a 25 corn seedlings germinating!. I must seem so amateurish compared to some homesteaders. But I will continue coz I love it and you know - I can learn from them I am sure!

But...  then I question "Are we really making a difference"?

I often think that about my own journey - is what I do honestly making a difference to the whole grand picture. For those that know me I am a 'one drop in the bucket each and soon the bucket is full' kind of girl and take pride if I change one persons life or someone is inspired by what I do and also start doing it, but I often wonder to the big food companies and supermarket chains we are merely a pebble on the road.

Are we self sufficient homesteading community gardeners etc making a difference to the vege/canned food lines they stock? It never looks like it when I meander down the aisles gawking at the 40,000 lines they have on offer. The shelves are never empty (unless there is panic buying due to a natural disaster), the fruit and vege never seem to wane - so are we really just a drop in the ocean?

Then I ask - well does it matter - and I take a walk thru my garden spot something new ....

Our first of many sunflowers 2011

and always come back to "No of course it doesn't. Your life is what you want it to be" - So today is the day I say "YIPPEE to me and my beginnings! I and we will make a difference and not only to the pockets of the big food companies! to our hearts, souls, tummies and health".

A dollar spent today on good organic wholesome food - as close to its natural state as possible - is better than at dollar spent on medication later on down the track.

No GMO's, no artificial pesticides, no herbicides, - the way nature intended it to be.

What do you think? Are the urban gardeners/local organic farmers/CSA's/homesteaders making a difference?
So while you ponder that question and formulate your response I will leave you with your thoughts.

Bye for now

Sunday, September 4, 2011

To cube or paste it!

So while most will run the the local supermarket to buy a packet of stock cubes to 'add flavour' to their dinner tonight - I just wanted to share my vegetable stock paste I made up from scratch and have preserved it so I always have some in my cupboard.

To me, its one step closer to being self sustaining (and yes I have a long long way to go), but also, I know exactly what is in it and by jingos it tastes sensational.

Basically it is a way of using up some veggies that are 'on the verge' you might say! Not good enough to do anything else with - except maybe feed to the chickens. Well they aren't rotten but not good enough for selling or puting into your childrens lunch boxes.

I used any amount of veggies you may have just in your fridge including but not limited to carrots, silverbeet, capsicum, zucchini, celery, mushies, tomatoes, onion, garlic, rosemary, basil, thyme, and processed them until they are very small or even paste like to begin with. Put into a large pot a dollop of olive oil and begin the cooking process. Add to this (its a bit of personal taste and largely dependent upon the quantity of vegetables you have in the pot) but about 1/4 to 1/2 bottle of white wine and upto 200g salt.

My first batch I only put 1/4 bottle of wine and 130g of salt and it was fine, but my second one I had twice the vege and would have put twice the wine (so 1/2 bottle) and twice the salt (so roughly 250g). Lets face it - I don't have a recipe and each time I make it it will taste different and to be honest - it tastes and smells divine. (It is salty if you just have a spoonful but in a casserole/stew etc it lifts it way better than a normal stock cube)

Thirdly keep it cooking so that it does form a paste and cooks up the vege a bit.

Once it is paste like I gather some glass jars. Make sure they are clean and sterilised (you can find out how to do this via google!), and after re-processing the paste so that it is a tad finer, start popping it into the jars, seal them and boil them (to vaccum seal them) for approx 5 mins.

Pop a label on them with the date and leave to cool before storing them in your pantry. Incase you are wondering - 1-2 tablespoons is equivalent to 1 stock cube.

Here is today's batch (yes I know I haven't labelled it!)

Veggie stock paste - Sept 4 2011
So that is pretty much it from Longancis yard today
Bye for now