Monday, April 1, 2013

Slow Living 2013 - March

Welcome to Slow Living 2013 - March. Join me as I take a look back over the past month, reflecting on different areas of our lives in which we are trying to slow down and document the achievements that have been made along the way.

Feel like doing the same? Just leave a link to your blog post written in this style at the bottom of the page and enjoy hopping over to see what others have been up to, hopefully gaining some new ideas and inspiration.  For a detailed description of each category, click here.  



March 2013
A lot to pack in to this post after sitting on the sidelines last month. We are enjoying the end of the hot weather and even some chilly days with the fire on. Autumn is my favourite season and I am so looking forward to April and all that she will bring..

{Nourish}
Tomatoes have been THE focus here lately. They were coming thick and fast there for a little while, however we managed to keep on top of things and cooked them as quickly as they were brought inside. Tomatoes blended and added to sauces and stews, curries, bolognaise, bruschetta and chilli dinners. The pressure cooker that was picked up recently at our local flea market has also been an unbelievable time saver in the kitchen. No longer do I have to plan to make a hearty pot of something or other in the middle of the afternoon, nope, preparation can wait until the late afternoon (sometimes even early evening!) and we still have an authentic pot of well simmered heartiness for our meal. Love, love, love it to bits!


{Prepare}
Ooh, now this is exciting! Aside from blanching and freezing LOADS of homegrown french beans, I have been experimenting with the dehydrator that was recently gifted to me. Level upon level of tomatoes drying into tasty morsels to then be marinated in olive oil, this is just too much fun! Full report soon..

{Green}
Feeling a little guilty as we seem to have fallen off the wagon when it comes to homemade laundry cleaner. I have however, been totally impressed by using straight vinegar in a spray bottle for general household cleaning with a few drops of essential oil added. Homemade soap is regularly being used for shampoo and diluted vinegar w/essential oil for conditioning rinses. Bicarb is the constant allrounder and I am a total convert when it comes to using it straight up for toothpaste! Have you tried it? It's seriously good but does take a little getting used to.

{Grow}
Growth in the garden for the season has hit it's peak and is slowly declining. We are harvesting a variety of pumpkins and tomatoes, beans, potatoes, squash, eggplant (lebanese), corn (at last!) and the odd cucumber. In the garden, the brassicas are coming along nicely by putting on good growth before the cold weather arrives and the seeds planted in one of the hugelkultur beds have started to come up..

{Reduce}
This month, hubby has made a start on some paving for our front and side steps using some pavers that we bought used from the owner of a suburban house block. He no longer needed them and we certainly did so it was a pleasing match.

Op shopping has also been happening here lately with many good finds that filled our needs. Clothing is a big one that comes to mind..especially jeans that are actually made like jeans..not the pitiful excuses for jeans that are offered in the shops more often than not. Disposable clothing is the term that keeps coming to mind..

{Create}
Things are a little quiet on the creative front, although I am working on a knitting project using handspun yarn which is pulled out of the basket in the evenings. I seem to be in research mode in other areas, either spending hours trawling through books, magazines or the internet for the patterns/directions/information that I'm searching for..

{Discover}
My huge discovery this month is that there are some beautiful people out there with the most generous souls imaginable. I was completely taken aback when a reader gifted me her no longer used treasures recently for which I'm extremely grateful for. It really made me stop and think how I could do something similar for someone I might not necessarily  know and enrich their lives in the process.. along with my own for giving in such a way..

{Enhance}
Community activities have resumed and are in full swing. Spinning group is always a favourite and I try to get there at least once a fortnight. Camera club is slowly becoming more comfortable to attend (I sometimes feel like a fish out of water there but I do want to persist!) and the daughters' netball season and the community spirit it encompasses is back again for the next few months. Our Friday veggie gardening group is still going (growing?) strong and it has been great to catch up with everyone and see how there gardens are fairing with the abundant summer harvests.

Meeting a blog reader and enjoying chatting with her over coffee was icing on the cake! Connecting with likeminded people through this blog is something that was completely unexpected when I first started writing here but something I have experienced a few times now and just love to do!

{Enjoy}
Ahh, Autumn, I am so glad you are here! We have been enjoying your slow arrival and the milder weather that you bring. Trips to the beach and catching up with friends were enjoyed over the last month, along with a couple of extended family members' birthdays. Allowing ourselves to be fully immersed in the rhythm of 2013 and the hope of good things to come has been soothing and stimulating at the same time.  

How about you? How was YOUR month? 

21 comments:

  1. Just a comment on 'gifting'. Isn't there an equivalent site in Australia to the UK's 'Freegle'? A countrywide website with local pages for folk to advertise unwanted items for free? The receiver just has to collect, and the giver pays nothing to advertise. People also advertise for things they need - I've got rid of an amazing amount of stuff that I no longer need and feel good about passing things on.

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  2. Try www.freecycle.org Regards Lynda

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    1. Thanks, Lynda.

      Yes, Penny, good point, we do have freecycle here and you've just reminded me that we have given a couple of items away on it. :)

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  3. Love the shot of your growing girls. Wondering what you're doing with those yellow tomatoes.

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    1. They are growing up too fast. And the yellows..tarte tatin. ;)

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  4. Christine, I'm going to comment on the girls, too - they have really GROWN!!!!! Your older 2 are young ladies now... *sigh* where does the time go?

    Love your report - I'm always so inspired by your blog. I fully agree about the pressure cooker - WELL DONE finding that! I use mine daily (sometimes both sizes) and find that they save so much time and energy. No more pots simmering all day and as you said it frees the mind as it's a snap to put on a meal last minute.

    I'm jealous about the tomato harvest. We are down to the last few packages of frozen homemade sauce from 2012... Eek! We have many long months to wait for a fresh tomato, but patience makes them taste that much better, right?

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  5. I'm looking forward to our tomato harvest this year too - we are using up the last of last years efforts right now.

    And now I am off to write down everything (or nothing at all) that we've been up to this month.

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  6. Christine when did your girls get so big?!!! I suspect they are also looking a whole lot like their mama too.

    Lots of beautiful colours in your photos. The end of summer garden produce seems to cough up the most lovely of lovely colours. How could you not want to just eat everything.

    (Sorry, no time this month, but hopefully next one I can do a link up.)

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  7. Oh yes Christine! Isn't the Autumn welcome this year! I don't know how you squash everything into a month though. You have lots happening outside the home as well as in the garden. Sounds like a great month.

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  8. I finally did a slow living March post ...I am sure I missed Feb though!Loved reading about your March month . What a great tomato haul . Your tweens are growing up just like mine (Little G is 15 this year and not so little but tall like a willow and JB is 13 this year ) . Loved the colours in your harvest basket too - purple king is my favourite bean.

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  9. Your camera club sounds like fun... I've been enjoying my new camera, but know that a little guidance would take me a long way. The club sounds like a good idea.

    I loved your post about the hugelkultur. I'm taking some inspiration from that for part of my new garden... and thanks to your post I now know what those huge mounds are at a nearby house. ;-)

    I still have to look up "brassicas" almost every month.... Darn English-to-English translations... or perhaps it's a slow mind on this side. ;-)

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  10. Thank you for this beautiful post, you are very inspiring!

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  11. So much harvest!!??? Such good looking harvest! I'm so impressed! Your pictures are lovely! And I know what you mean about a bit of guidance and fish out of water. When I go to my quilting class and watch some of them whip up a quilt in two weeks flat and I'm still struggling with the top three months later, I feel like a fish, definitely out of water! I got a personalised one hour lesson on how to use my own machine this week - what an eye opener! Just a small amount of guidence!
    Wonderful month! - K xx

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  12. Wow, a dehydrator! *adds to list of must-have kitchen gadgets*

    Great garden harvest too :)

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  13. Also love loving Autumn.An inspiring month as usual. Loving that gate.

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  14. Beautiful harvest....wonderful post!

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  15. Those late summer colours in your harvest basket are beautiful Christine. Do you have similar things planted in the hugelkultur bed as other beds? It would be interesting to compare the output.

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  16. Ooh I envy your dehydrator Christine :-) That's on my wish list for Christmas this year.

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  17. Loving early Autumn too! My post is finally up - better late than never! ;)

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  18. Over here (other side of earth) it is just becoming spring - yea. Have you ever hot canned your dried veggies? They keep almost forever and don't take up freezer space - or go bad in power outages.
    Smiles,
    JoeyLea

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  19. Hi Christine, I have finally got my blogging groove happening and used your Slow Living idea to inspire me!!! So although it's rather late this month, it is done and posted!
    Thanks again for the chance to share with you here.... xx

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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