Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Up for a bit of fun, I'm joining in with Evi from Sister Sun and her colour themed post for this week on you guessed it...the colour Pink!
It's also nice to dig deep into those forgotten picture folders on the computer for pics taken with the intention of posting them on the blog but never happened for whatever reason and actually doing so!

A few thoughts on the colour pink:

When my girls were small they wore a LOT of pink. To do the washing I would separate whites from darks and then have a separate load altogether for pinks. I do not lie!

Pink reminds me of fairy floss and cupcake icing. In nature, my favourite pinks come from cyclamens, tulips and  fruit tree blossom. My most treasured toy when I was a youngster was a pink teddy bear aptly named 'Rosie'. I think my mum may still have it! (?) My nana was forever taking Rosie in for operations to sew her up..she was hugged until she was falling apart at the seams!

These days my girls don't wear pink so much, although I do see it occasionally sneaking into hairclips and *gasp* shall I say it...make up!

Thanks for this link up, Evi, here are my pinky contributions:

Monday, May 28, 2012

From the weekend..

An extra long weekend for us with no school on Friday for the younger two. Plus a whole lot of miserable weather, it was a perfect inside day. It managed to clear up a little over the next couple of days though - enough for us to venture outside briefly to play with our new pom-pom pets. A bit of spinning and a bit of knitting were what kept calling me, -  this, and short sightings of Eurovision as the middle one immersed herself in the unique viewing experience over the weekend. Go Sweden! 

Garlic was planted using cloves leftover from last year's harvest.
Baking took place..
Cinnamon buns {recipe here}
Have you tried knitting 'two at a time' on a circular needle? The clever spinners showed me how and it's a lot of fun - for both socks and mittens! When it's time to cast off, it  really is time to cast off..none of this turning around and knitting another identical sock/mitt business!
At the moment I'm muddling my way through creating a pair of mittens for the youngest..knitting them to fit as I go. I suppose I should really follow a pattern - it would no doubt be a whole lot easier! Quirky thumbs kind of appeal to me though..

Throw in a short sighting of sunshine and it was enough for a quick picnic on the go. Nothing beats coming home though to a warm fire, a hot cup of tea and a piece of cake (and a basket of knitting!) when you've been out all day. This is what makes my heart sing.

How was your weekend?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The week..

It's been nice to immerse myself again in a little domesticity this week after spending the majority of last week working on the hutch.

Time to get back into the swing of the garden..

..and moving the chook dome. I'm planning on putting garlic in the vacated bed (soon, very soon! Must get onto that!)

Why, hello!

A couple more dyeing experiments..more gum leaves and below the yellow has been made with turmeric.
(Fibre is alpaca).
Onions - red and brown. I need to prick out those cauliflower seedlings..maybe tomorrow!

Modest harvests but still appreciated..(and used)

We have loads more wood to stack near the house. It's so convenient though being able to step just outside the front door for a log. Plus it's under cover here thanks to the verandah, which makes for better (and warmer!) burning..

..and it's such fun to sneakily re-locate a few logs to within the vicinity of the bambino wood oven. Stoking the fire while gardening is a great diversion between jobs!

And cooking dinner in it is a bonus!

What have you been up to during the week? 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Plan

A surprising amount of interesting comments were generated in discussion to my last post and made for great reading and pondering. Thanks for adding your thoughts! Top marks go to Farmer Liz though, who hit the nail on the head with what we are up to!

*Once again, vegetarians proceed with caution*

Indeed, I have had enough of buying chicken with two many questions attached and am keen to try raising our own meat. It just seems like the natural progression, we have the space, we grow veggies and fruit, so why not meat?

Traditional breeds are what I have been looking into..Wyandottes, Rhode Island Reds, Sussex and Faverolles that can be kept (real!) free range until around 16-20 weeks and then taken to a localish poultry processing establishment. My plan is to keep a couple of silkies for hatching eggs and raising the chicks. The eggs, I can purchase to start off with already fertilized from a local supplier. I am hoping to try this crazy scheme in the most natural way possible. Perhaps one day we will have a rooster of our own but for now, I would like to try a couple of breeds out first to gain an idea as to what suits us (and our tastes and appetites..and if we can indeed stomach it!).

This is a HUGE leap!

But one I believe I am SO ready for. Hubby is supportive and so are the kids.

First though had to come some appropriate broody housing..

...and a substantial dip into my tip scrounged pile of materials had to take place..(*gulp* it's nearly diminished!)

I built the hutch over a week or so.The lower half was already lurking around, having been used in the past to house some ducks and guinea pigs.  I confess to getting very excited with the prospect of an 'upstairs' though. Hinges also managed to tempt me beyond recognition..and a new appreciation for Hubby's cordless drill..

(The shutters close for night time, the lid lifts up and there are hatches and latches aplenty)
It's far from perfect and completely out of square, but if it holds up to the elements I'll be a happy woman.

After the completion of the broody housing, much to the relief of my chapped and scratched hands, there had to come: Stage Two of The Plan..

The arrival of some Hatchy Mamas:

Two, twelve week old silkies purchased from Little Hen (who also happen to stock the fertilized eggs I am interested in). Apparently they make great mothers..and love to sit.

I'm hoping they will settle in over winter and start showing signs of broodiness in the spring..

'Snowflake' and 'Schwarzy' ('Blacky' in German). These  pom-pom divas are purposeful pets, so it's ok to name them!

I'm so excited about this next stage in our lives. It fills me with joy that we are on our way to having another sustainable achievement under our belts.

And in the meantime we can have loads of fun with our new feathered friends. I am looking forward to making them a little tractor to move around the fruit trees in, so they can still indulge in natural chooky behaviour whilst not in the broody cycle.

Do you think I've gone completely and utterly mad? 

(Hints, tips and advice from meat growers gratefully appreciated)

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Facts

(on chicken and our eating of it)

These facts relate to our own family's consumption of chicken. YOUR facts might well be (most likely be) completely different. *Vegetarians proceed with caution.*

1. We are a meat eating family and as a result, include chicken in our diets.

2. We eat chicken on average, about once a week. Roast chicken is about once a month.

3. Buying chicken, packaged, wrapped and neatly labelled in the supermarket does not make my heart sing.

4. I wonder when buying such chicken, upon looking at the free-range label picturing grassy fields..just where are those free range birds? Are they behind the photographer, stuck back up in the barn, aimlessly searching for the 'free range exit door' to those tempting grassy fields?

5. I consistently make a whole chicken last for three meals to feed a family of five. Meal one - roast with vegetables, meal two - a pie or casserole with the leftover meat/veggies plus extra vegetables added, if needed. Meal three - a soup made with the stock from the saved bones.

6. When buying chicken from the supermarket in portion form, I wonder what has happened to the rest of the bird. Thighs and breast do not a chicken make!

7. The enormous size of chicken breasts concerns and often alarms me. Sometimes I have to cut them in three (always at least twice) just to get a thin enough piece for a schnitzel. Was this always the case?

8. We are eating less chicken now than two or three years ago, due to my concerns about how they have been raised/fed. This saddens me as we really do enjoy it (or did) as a meal, plus it is so very versatile and a very kid friendly 'meat'.

9. Relating back to my thoughts on food security, along with concerns about buying chicken in an ethical way and a desire to be more connected to my food, I have been spending the past week working on a hair brained scheme. Perhaps my most hairiest brained scheme of all to date! And that my friend, Is an Absolute Fact!