Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sometimes I wish I had My Camera With Me

Today was rather warm in Central Victoria. Late this afternoon we decided to take the puppies down to the dam for a swim to cool off. It looked so nice we decided to throw ourselves in, as well. All of the splashing around caught the attention of my horses who came over for a sticky beak.

I wish I had my camera on hand to take a photo of my appaloosa horse picking up my skirt, swinging it around and then throwing it in the dam.

I wish I had my camera on hand to take a photo of my appaloosa picking up my husbands freshly discarded jocks and attempting to the same with them.

Readers, you can thank me for not having a camera on hand to capture a happy snap of a wet, naked husband attempting to shoo off a very cheeky appaloosa armed with nothing more than foul language and a hat.

I am still laughing.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

The champions of my tomato crop this year thus far has the random cherry and cherry roma tomatoes.

EVERYONE else has bumper harvests happening and I have a garden of non-performers, no shows, non RSVPers, and general slackers in the tomato department.

However these little babies, top level achievers and dux´s of the garden on a trajectory of brillance have outdone themselves. I applaud you.

p.s. thanks for breakfast my little champs.

A Task for Sunday

The task for today is something that I have been putting off for no other reason than I am in a little bit of a lazy funk.

I really need to repot my cardamom, which since I bought it has sprouted at least 7 pups. Now, that is slack!!!!, I also need to repot my mint. I love my mint, but refuse to plant it inground due to its invasive tendencies. I have a couple of pots lines up to receive these two lovely plants of mine.

Seeing as it will be a scorcher today, I must getting cracking on this task for today before both plants and I melt in the heat of the sun.

For the Strawbale Junkies ...

Hey, Handy Hubby here.

Since there seems to be quite a bit of interest our Straw Bale House I'll post a tad more info on it. Firstly, here are the plans.

Here's the 3D diagram of it.

We're building the house in two stages. The first is perilously close to being finished. Only another two or three years to go. That is if we ever finish it.

Daffodil and I spent a lot of time working out what sort of house to build. We looked at all of the alternative building materials and finally decided that Strawbale were for us. For an owner builder, it's pretty forgiving. You can fix a lot of stuff ups with yet another coat of render. So far this summer we've really enjoyed the insulative qualities of strawbales. It's going to be 40 degrees tomorrow and the house will remain quite cool. We just have a ceiling fan to move a bit of air around and it's more than comfy.

I read 4 books and a saw few DVDs about Straw Bale House building before I worked out which of the brazillian methods we would use. I eventually decided that this bloke Brian Hodge from Heathcote in Victoria made the most sense, so I chose his building method. Checkout his website for more info.

There are so many decisions to be made when building a house and doubly so when you are building your own. The first major one we did after deciding to do strawbale was to put the house on stumps instead of a concrete slab. Our reasoning was three fold, firstly slabs are really expensive, $25k+. The floor frame cost us about $5k. Secondly, the embedded energy in concrete and the associated C02 emissions are just obscene. Thirdly, concrete is such a crappy surface to live on. It's bad for your feet and back.

Here is a picture of the stumps as we put them in.

Let me warn you that while stumps are cheaper than concrete if you do it yourself, you will get yourself a great set of abs from doing stumps. There are 120 stumps, that need holes dug, cleaned out, concrete chucked in, stumps lined up, filled back in and the soil compressed with a crowbar. I had abs of steel for at least three weeks after that was finished. Lucky for you I don't have any pictures of that.

Here's the floor frame finished or at least almost finished. Nothing is ever quite finished.

I'll find a few more pictures and post them along with some more of trials and tribulations of owner buildering soonish.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Our Straw Bale House

HandyHubby and I are in the homestretch of building our own straw bale house. Being owner builders has given us the opportunity to build a house that is reflective of us. Everywhere you look there is something either eBay-ed, demolition yarded, or donated by friends whether that be a light fitting or a days labour in return for meal and a couple of beers at the end of the day. Even now, when friends come over they will look at a wall and say, I helped render that wall, and will step back and admire their handiwork. Alot of friendship has gone into building this house!

From the stumps to the roof, HandyHubby and I have built as much of this place as we are allowed. Of course, we enlisted a plumber and an electrician. It has taken a long time, but it has cost us a fraction of what a professional builder would have. This really is our home and we love it. I am not the technical writer that HandyHubby is, but I will endeavour to write many posts concerning our house within this blog, so bear me with straw bale enthusiasts! Ideally we would have posted information and photos DURING the build, but that requires planning and thought, and with the duration of the build thus far, many readers would have died of boredom....or old age!!

Saturday Vintage

Another little piece of vintage kitchenalia is an old butter churn. I picked this up a few years ago as an eBay purchase when I was in fully gung-ho the world is doomed and I will have to produce my own butter without the assistance of a mixmaster.

I have toned things down a little bit, and while I am a closet doomer, I keep the soap box in the shipping container where it is harder to access.

So, I picked up this butter churn in Ballarat, completely blew my eco-footprint out of the water in the process, but it was so worth it. When I removed the lid, a waft of buttery creamery goodness erupted from within this little treasure and for a fleeting second I could see myself churning cream into butter, turning the handle over and over again, feeling the texture thicken as the cream complied with laws of physics. Imagining the wooden insides becoming even more conditioned as the cream fat rolled over it again, and again on its way to becoming butter. This is how butter has been made in the past, it can be done again.

I just need a jersey cow and it will be on for young and old.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


There was a little surprise in the orchard awaiting us today. Two little ripe Greengage plums on our second year tree. Suffice to say we ate the evidence before we could get a photo of them, but they were SOOOOOOO delicious. there is nothing like picking fruit straight from the tree and chowing down on its sunwarmed deliciousness. Divine. We are looking to plum tree number two for another mini harvest with drooling anticipation....and I know it is another year off, but maybe some home made plum jam from the next harvest.

I can´t wait!!!!

Next task is start googling to find out if we can propogate from the stone and get a true to parent offspring.

...Hello? Tomatoes? Can you Hear Me?

Yes, our tomatoes are spending more time dragging their feet and not enough time ripening up so they can be turned into bruscehtta topping, or passasta, or featuring as the top and tasty layer of an open faced sandwich.

I am reading other peoples blogs who have have tomatoes overflowing from their gardens. Us? Nope. Nothing. Nada. Nix. I keep telling my tomatoes that it is not easy being green, but they obviously beg to differ on this point. My tomatoes are developmentally challenged. They are running a different course to everyone else´s and developmental milestones are not applicable to them.

Enough, I say. Tomatoes, get your act together! Post haste!!!! I demand some blushing in the garden. I want to be able to post pics of your sun ripened beauty and bountiful deliciousness....I want to be able to taste your summery tang, but no. You just keep teasing me with the occasional cherry tomato, but you fail to come up with the goods. AGAIN. Show me some of the love...Please?????

Who knows, at this rate we will be eating ripened tomatoes in July. Yeah. Right.

Rant over.

Fried Green Tomatoes, anyone?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Keeping Pigs In...or Out

One of the most important aspects of keeping pigs is fencing. Do not skimp on fencing lest your newly acquire piggies quickly become someone else´s as they barrel their way through your inadequate fencing. And barrel they will. Think of little piggie cannonballs as they simply run forwards at full pelt.

Having heavily researched successfully incarcerating pigs we opted for an initial small training run of heavy duty chicken wire with three strands of electric fencing. The first is a double strand of sight wire and plain fencing wire set at 130mm off the ground. The second is set at about 220mm of the ground and is a single strand of sight wire. The gate has been set so that it cannot be lifted off of its hinges and it opens inwards, so there can be no barrelling through it. We thought about running a stand of electric fencing across the bottom of the gate but it is easier to move the piggies through it as they have not been ¨bitten¨ by it.

Once your piggies are used to electric fencing you can then move them out into a bigger area that is, of course, also electric fenced.

Our gate was an eBay purchase that was going to be the gate to our orchard. I know it is far too pretty to be the entrance to a piggery, but that is now it´s lot in life.

The trick to keeping the piggies in is to check your electric fence unit OFTEN. We check daily and walk the fences to ensure that grass growth is not shorting it out. We have a voltmeter to check the patency of the fence, and I sometimes have a HH who will sometimes just grin and bear it as he plays human voltmeter. Sick puppy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mondays Pig

Being born in October 1971, I fall under the Chinese Horoscope sign of the pig, so I collect pigs. I have been doing so for almost 20 years. Most of them are lovely, some of them are down right tasteless, and some will never, ever appear in pictorial form on this blog.

This is Mondays pig. A little silver pig from a little market stall in Bangkok, Thailand, circa 1992. He is a little storage pig, maybe he is a pillbox pig. Not that I have ever stored anything in him. Right now he is sitting in bathroom in all of his porcine loneliness as we have not yet officially (legally) moved into our house. He was simply found wrapped up safely in a box of glasses that we used for Christmas Day. He was the only pig in the box. So now he is the only pig in the straw bale house.

He is pretty cute in a mass produced souvenir kind of way.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Those Vegies at the Bottom of the Fridge.

It is so tempting just to throw those less than ideal old vegetables that accumulate at the bottom of the fridge. We have plenty of animals who could chow down on them, the chooks, the ducks, the pigs or the worm farms. However, for tonights menu, those leftover bits will make Le Fond du Boeuf Bourgogne de Réfrigérateur, which Babel Fish translated for me from Bottom of the Fridge Beef Burgundy.

What goes into it?

400g Gravy beef that was hiding out in the back of the freezer along with 3 rashers of middle bacon.
A whole heap of mushrooms that were looking a little ordinary.
3 cloves of homegrown garlic
One sad zucchini in 1cm half rounds
4 potatoes that have seen younger days cut into large chunks
1/4 of a cauliflower that had lost its will to live cut into small florets
Half a bottle of red wine that had been sitting around waiting for me to finish my long stint of night shifts.
I small can of tomato paste
Fresh herbs harvested from the garden.

Fry off the garlic and bacon in a small amount of butter. Cube the gravy beef and seal in a frying pan. Add to the bacon and garlic. Turn the heat right down. Add the red wine and tomato paste and let simmer for 1 or two hours. Add the potato chunks and add water or stock to just cover then cook for another hour or until soft. Add the zucchini and cauliflower. Cook for another 30-40 minutes. You can thicken the gravy if you like. I just threw in 1/2 cup of uncooked rice to soak up the juicy bits. Just before serving, add a handful of fresh herbs.


I would have taken a photo, but as HH said, it just looks like a brown stew. He is right, BUT, it is delish.

I Feel Like Slipper Tonight, Like Slipper Tonight...

...faced with the prospect of a tired Daffodil, who had one Japanese slipper under her belt, dinner was a very modest affair tonight. The vegie patches were raided of their lettuce, tomatoes and a cucumber. The freezer was violated for some frozen pancetta and chicken thighs. The grog cupboard offered up some brandy and the fridge surrendered some seeded mustard, olives and anchovies.

So Drunken Daffodils Drunken Chicken was had and enjoyed by all.

Take some pancetta and quickly fry off with 2 anchovy fillets, 2 cloves of garlic and 2 shallots. Add the chooky thighs and sear, turn the heat down and add about 90mls of brandy, 1 tablespoon of seeded mustard, 2 bay leaves and gently saute. If the mix becomes to dry add another splash of brandy, if the cook becomes too dry, add another Japanese Slipper.

Right before serving, add a handful of mixed herbs. Tonights mix was Golden Marjoram, Greek Oregano, Basil, a small sprig of Thyme, and some Sage.

Plate up a salad of fancy-pants lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumber, carrots and olives. Dress as desired. Tonights was simply a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Get HH to take a photo, and then tuck in.

Have another Japanese slipper, and then plead drunkeness to avoid dishpan hands.

It worked a treat. I am blogging, and he is dishwashing.

Does it get any better than that?

Daffodils Japanese Slipper recipe is a standard. One part fresh lemon juice, one part Cointreau, one part Midori, sloshed into a cocktail shaker with ice, shake furiously, slosh into a cocktail glass, and then slosh into self.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mission Accomplished!!!

I had reached a road block after sorting my seed packets out....what to do with the little critters? I toyed with the idea of breaking out the sewing machine and sewing little seed bags for each separate category of seeds....but with my sewing skills, there was much laughter from HH..Thanks mate.

So I procured a whole heap of little plastic bags to keep my seed types together and they are now stored in their previous plastic box prison. It is nowhere near as pretty as little sewn baggies, but at least they are safely organised, and I can see exactly what is in each bag.

One day, sewn, just practical.

A Task for Sunday

My seed collection is an embarrassment. Total chaos reigns. No organisation, seed packets just shoved into a plastic box that groans like an overpacked suitcase that you just dread opening. I am not even thinking about expiry dates here. I just want to tame the beast so that I am prepared for the next planting effort.

Sometimes my enthusiasm gets me into trouble. In my haste to complete things I completely forget about returning things to way that I found them.

My seed storage box is a classic example. Apparently alphabetical order was not an option when returning seed packets to it, and now I am paying the price. This afternoon will be spent sorting, alphabetising and even throwing out empty seed packets that are now doubt in there with the others.

life is all about completing cycles to maintain order. Open the box, take things out, return them to their alloted order. Simple stuff in practice.

My job for today is to restore order. I will update this post later when I have surfaced after completing a long stint of night shifts.

It is now 2:40pm and I have just turned the seed packet collection out onto the table....I am so wishing that I hadn´t.

It is now 3:20pm and I have my seed packets sorted into genus. Now what to store them in so they don´t end up as the feral mess that they were existing in.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vintage Saturday

I love anything vintage, kitchenalia, linen, manchester, crystal, furniture, cookbooks, clothing, you name it, I can fall in love with it. As such, I am an avid op-shopper. Give me a rainy day and I will happily drive around the countryside (blowing my carbon credits and putting on at least two shoe sizes on my eco-footprint) frequenting my favourite little op-shop haunts in hopes of finding a little vintage something for my home.

This weeks featured find is a GORGEOUS vintage mixing bowl and an old ¨Swift Whip¨ hand mixer. My grandmother swore by these little hand mixers for making the perfect cake. According to her, you have much better control over the consistency of your whipped ingredients over today electric beaters and mixmasters. They can be hard work if you have no hand mixing fitness, and I have almost none as we discovered when making little hazelnut and dark chocolate mini cakes for Christmas last year! (recipe to come, they seriously are to die for and I WISH I had have photographed them!!!!!) As for the beautiful little mixing bowl, I have no idea of it´s make only that it is ¨British Made¨ I found both items together in a gorgeous little op shop somewhere in Central Victoria.

The hand mixer, especially, bought home a rush of memories of my grandmother whipping up a baking storm resulting in a kitchen filled with the aroma of baking cakes that wrapped you up in the warmth knowledge that you were loved. I learnt alot about baking from my grandmother, I may not do it often, but when I do, I can still see her and hear her baking tips in the back of my mind. And that brings a smile to my face.

There is no way that I could leave these two little items behind in the op shop. Just bringing them into my home took me back to my childhood one.

My Little Piece of the Mediterranean.

HandyHubby built this smaller raised bed to house a variety of classic Mediterranean herbs and one tomato plant. We crammed the herbs in and as a consequence it is now overflowing. I love brushing past this raised bed in the late summer afternoons and having the heady aromas of southern Europe erupt around me as I water. The silly thing is, that this little garden bed is hooked up for watering with its own mini irrigation system, yet I can still be found lovingly watering by hand. I know I use more water this way, but there is something about watching an arc of water cleanse and hydrate your own produce and watching for those little signs of growth and progress (and pests and weeds).

This bed contains:

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Oregano, Greek Oregano, Marjoram, Basil, Red Basil, Chervil, Dill, Limelight Basil, French Tarragon and Winter Savoury. My little corner of southern Europe delights me. I harvest often and add delicious freshness to salad dressings, casseroles, pasta sauces and roasted anything. Most herbs are easily grown by novice gardeners. You don´t even need a raised garden bed, you can use an old wheelbarrow, laundry tub or a half wine barrel. Set it up close to the kitchen so you are motivated to access it rain, hail or shine.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Queensland and Victorian Flooding

The floods have been devastating. Not having a television, we have been keeping up to date through the internet and through the newspaper, which I read at work (then bring home to start re-mulching the fruit trees in the orchard)

Once again, I am reminded that Mother Nature is not a force to be reckoned with. She is random and can be unforgiving, as we are seeing. What do you do when a wall of water is heading your way? Are you situated high enough that you don´t get flooded out? Can you even get out if you choose to? Do you have enough provisions to eat for a couple of days if you are flooded in? Can you live without power? What about your animals? If you own horses, are they well enough float trained that you can get them out quickly and safely? And where would you take them? What about your dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, cows or sheep? Do they have high enough ground to move to? Would you cut your fences or leave gates open for your stock?

If you had 30 minutes notice to evacuate what would you take, and more importantly where would you go? I do not know of one person who keeps a car packed with provisions that would enable them to evacuate their property that they can just up and leave and not worry about the next couple of days food and water supplies. Let alone important documentation. My own level of preparedness extends to two dogs leads and one rope halter and lead rein for a horse kept in the car. That is it. Pretty pathetic, really. However, the halter and lead rein have come in handy on more than one occasion for horses who have escaped their paddocks and are wandering along the roadsides.

My heart goes out to those who have been through and are going through the flooding disasters. Those who have lost loved ones, stock, pets and livelihoods. These disasters have saddened a nation, but as always, in times of need and adversity has bought neighbours, communities, states and a nation together as a combined helping hand. Onya.

A Paddock of My Treasures

My three horses are all horses that someone else threw away.

My riding horse, Cash, is a standardbred. The majority of these horses will find themselves destined for the horses sales and a certain death that is found in a can of pet food. They are bred, broken to harness and when too slow to race are then duly disposed of. On the whole, the standardbred horse is easy to work with, tries their heart out for you, are level headed, can tolerate almost anything being done to them and are a dime a dozen. It is that last point that I feel is the biggest hurdle for the breed. They are purchased by beginner horse rider/owners who are after a cheap horse and do not have the knowledge or experience to re-train them to saddle. Both the horses and riders come unstuck, the horse gets confused, the rider loses confidence and the breed has a reputation of being difficult to retrain into a riding horse with an established trot and canter.

However in the right hands, with a good riding instructor who does understand how to retrain standardbreds, the horse, a general rule, can become a good safe riding horse. As a standardbred owner, I have no grandiose delusions of EVER riding for Australia on my ¨throwaway¨ horse. To me, Cash is a legend. He is smart....sometimes too smart for my own good, has been a dream to train, will tolerate the beginner rider and riders of all ages. I know he doesn´t mind being ridden as he can be found waiting at the gate for me every afternoon at about 5:30pm, which is what time I set aside for our training/riding sessions. He is not pretty but he does walk, trot and canter....he is not a standardbred to me, he is my horse.

Throwaway horse number two is a very cheeky monkey. He is an appaloosa cross clydesdale, a gorgeous chocolate brown with a spotted blanket. This horse is into EVERYTHING. If you have anything in your back pocket, it will end up in his mouth. He fears nothing. Stand in the paddock for 30 seconds and he will be there next to you, taking off with your bucket, wheelbarrow or other horse that you are trying to lead out of the paddock. He was sent to the horse sales as a very young horse....he still smelt of his mother´s milk; that warm milky coffee smell, we think he was barely 5 months. He is Mr. Personality Plus.

The third throwaway horse also came from the horse sales. He is a paint clydesdale cross, all of only 14hh tall...and at least 14hh wide!!!! Again, young when he was sent to face an uncertain future. He came from the same seller as the cheeky monkey. This boy is a very gentle, sensitive horse. He is the one who will come trotting up to you in the paddock and place his soft white nose in your hand and just stand there with you. There is no hassling, there is no making off with what you have got. For a very shy, unsettled horse that many would have classified as being a dangerous horse to handle, he is an absolute gem. But, it has been a very long and slow training process, and for some of it, a specialist horse trainer to come on board and make serious breakthroughs with this horse. That trainer is John Chatterton, and he deserves his own post, which I fully intend to write.

Two Little Pigs

Yes, I know, there should be three to go with the house of straw. However we are challenged by available freezer real estate and geography, so two there are. Both little male wessex saddle back crosses destined for a future of pork bellies and roasts. Some out there may cringe at the thought of raising animals to slaughter, but at least we know exactly what our pigs have been eating and their living arrangements. These are happy little pigs. Unlike the majority of pork that lines the meat case at supermarkets and butcher shops raised in hellish conditions.

Those pigs are fed a whole lot of crap at the cheapest possible price to bring about the maximum possible growth rates to ensure the greatest amount of profit at every stage from their birth, to caging, to transporting, to slaughtering, to butchering and to packaging as pork, not pig, but pork. So that the consumer does not associate cute little piggies and Babe with the bacon they fry in their pan for breakfast and can eat without thinking about how these animals existed to supply them with a meal that will last all of 15 minutes. Boycott supermarket pork, people. Rant over.

As for my little pigs, Don (Is Don. Is Good) the little pig and Hamelot the bigger pig, they are living the slow life. They root around in their run, eating grasses, vegetables, fruits and their special pig mix. They feel the dirt on their trotters and the sun on their backs. They sleep in the long grasses during the day and in their custom made Pig Ark at night. They have yet to make a wallow, but with the mild weather thus far, since owning them, they obviously haven't needed it.

Destined for the table they are, but they will have one hell of a good time on the way there.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Little Patches of Green

My little patches of green are constructed of leftovers stumps and corrugated iron from our house construction. Why haul these things off to the tip when you can reassign their duty into relieving my back pain and growing the lovely vegetables that you can no longer find at the supermarket?

They are far from pretty and many would turn their noses up at their el rustica, but I love them. We filled them with left over hay fed through the mulcher with a variety of animal manures (cow, horse and chicken), dried grass clippings and a small amount of soil both from our property and of the imported variety. I like to think we have a taken a permaculture spin on the plantings, but if the truth is to be known, the name of the game has been pure randomness. Growing trellis' have been reappropriated from various sources, a children's rope climbing ladder now encourages our snow peas verticality. Likewise, some leftover galvanized mesh. A lovely section of wrought iron screen door is the new sky scraping home for green peas.

Our plantings for this year have been small as we are just starting out gardening again. We have:

Tomatoes - 10 different varieties
Snow Peas
Green Peas
Drumhead Cabbages
Wombok Cabbages
Pumpkins - at least 5 different varieties
Apple and Lebanese Cucumbers
Kipfler, King Edward and Dutch Cream Potatoes
Purple Carrots
Mustard Greens
Various Lettuce breeds
Jerusalem Artichokes
Brussel Sprouts

I think every gardener waits with anticipation for their tomatoes to ripen...we are no different. They are bountiful in numbers, but still lacking their fully ripened colour which indicates that evenings spent watering the garden beds means snacking on summery tomatoey-ness has not arrived yet. Thank goodness the green peas are up for some summer munching/watering.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A New Feathery Order

Our rooster, Duncan, has retired from active duty. When you have a fantastic rooster you have flock harmony, a rooster who finds tasty morsels and calls the girls to him so they can have it. He crows, he watches out for predators, he has his wicked way with willing girls and he treats those other roosters who attempt the feathery sexy time fairly by telling them off but not killing them. When the door to their coop has blown shut, Duncan could be found with all of the girls huddled up against it and him guarding the rear of the feathery pile. Not to mention, roosters are a gorgeous colourful display in the garden....

.....but no more. Duncan quietly retired himself. He turned into a loner, he ate without waiting for the girls to finish and one of young cockerals took him on, and won. After almost 4 years of faithful service, the reign of Duncan has ended, and that is sad. A great rooster can be hard to find. So we created a retirement run for Duncan equipped with the gentle Emily and her daughter Phoebe. He is separate from the other roosters and he can kingpin in the safety of the oldie run.

Which leaves a vacancy at the top. Nature abhors a vacuum and there is a gaping hole in the feathery order and the flock is uneasy about it. There is unrest as they wait for someone to step up and call the shots. They may be waiting for a while. Floyd, Duncan's understudy is not fit for the role. As a true Autocrat, Duncan did little to prepare Floyd for the top job, so Floyd has spent his days sneaking sexy time with the girls, crowing rarely, forget about predator watch and gobbling the tasty stuff for himself while still looking like a pretty piece of eye candy. Floyd does not tick many boxes.

The new head honcho may actually be one of the young'ens that beat Duncan up. We will see how good he is at it. If he fails, and he has very big chicken feet to fill and an unsympathetic judge in me, he may yet become dog food.

Retire in Peace, Duncan. You have been one hell of a rooster.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My Own Little Piece of Green..... located in central Victoria, with a small strawbale house on it constructed with our own bare hands, and the help of friends and alot of input from eBay. There are some raised garden beds constructed out of left over building materials, overflowing with an abundance of edible plants that are patrolled by two ducks rehomed from high school science experiments. There are rainwater tanks that harvest water from our roof, a chook run that has been furnished from eBay and populated with feathered friends that have been willingly purchased, carefully hatched, or happily adopted.

Three horse faces graze safely in our paddocks, either saved from the horse sales and certain doom, or recycled from the racetrack. Two dogs languish at our feet at night, one purchased from a breeder (never again) and the other picked up from the RSPCA.

Two little piglets fossick about in their run, munching on windfall apricots and, although destined for the freezer, still exist in a happy, slow, free-range life.

We are not hard core peak-oil doomers, we are not fanatical about living a life without mod-cons, but we do have an interest in growing as much of our own food and knowing the conditions under which it has been grown, fed, harvested and produced. We are more interested in produce than products. We still own a car and a motorbike. We also have a tractor for the bigger labor intensive farm stuff, and a horse float for moving my riding horse around.

We are still consumers of todays world but are less consumed by it. We are reusers, fre/recyclers and repurposers. I am an avid op-shop junkie and eBay tragic. Take me to a demolition yard and I can lose myself in there oohing and aahing over what some person disposed of as trash and I can relabel and reuse as my treasure....and I am not the only one out there doing that.

Hence this blog.