One of the interesting blogs I've found recently is Slow Living Essentials. Christine, who writes it, has started a 12 month project called Slow Living Month 2012 which I've decided to join. The idea is to take some time out at the end of each month to think about what you've achieved in the month.
So using Christine's headings, here's my list for February:
Reduce: I swapped produce with the vineyard manager - strawberry plants for zucchinis - and thus reduced the need for both of us to buy stuff. I've also managed to get into a good routine of picking about the right amount of vegetables for the week and then getting around to cook and eat all of them. Unlike when we bought all our vegetables, there is basically no waste at the end of the week any more.
Prepare: M and I have been busy studying and investigating and planning for an exciting new addition to the City Garden... can't say anything yet, all will be revealed soon... let's just say that Funnychook (one of the CGCG followers) in particular will be VERY excited...!
Nourish: As noted on the Recipes page, I made pizzas to celebrate a close friend's birthday. I also made a batch of Anzac biscuits using the delicious leatherwood honey I bought in Hobart.
Green: We shopped at the local farmers markets for all the main food I haven't grown (I managed to reach 90% self sufficiency for vegies in Feb!). And we ride our bikes to the market, thereby creating a nice waste reduction and budgeting strategy that we can only buy what we can physically carry in the panniers.
Enhance: Massive working bees were undertaken at both the City and Country Gardens. I think this counts as Enhancement by Reduction!
Grow: OK, so in Feb we harvested tomatoes, corn, spring onion, potatoes, capsicum, eggplant, lettuce, rocket, herbs, fennel, cucumbers, beans, silverbeet, raspberries, beetroot...
Create: I have a favourite market shopping bag made of felt that I've used for years and many people have commented on what a great bag it is. I noticed that it was starting to get a bit worn, so I decided to make a new one, using the original as a pattern. I even gave it a little garden theming with an embroidered garden fork on it!
Discover: The Sustainable Living Fair was on in Melbourne this month. As part of it there was a tour to a couple of inner-city permaculture gardens that I went on. It was great to see how other people have created useable, productive, well managed and loved gardens in similar conditions to the City Garden. I particularly loved one garden where they had mass-planted strawberry plants along the front fence, knowing that they would tumble over onto the footpath, and therefore provide yummy snacks for locals as well as the garden owners. What a great way to meet the neighbours!
Enjoy: The real highlight of my day in the vineyard yesterday was a task that meant I got to spend time walking along the rows of vines near the edge of the vineyard. It coincided with the tractors taking a break, so there was no noise except for the sound of frogs in the creek that got louder and louder as I slowly worked my way closer to them as I prepared all the vines for removal of the bird protection netting. It was such a peaceful time in the middle of all the hard work of running behind a tractor!