Not sure where it went, but somehow another month has gone by and it's time to link up again with Christine at Slow Living Essentials for the Slow Living Project, where a group of us are looking back at our achievements at the end of every month.
After saying in April or May that we were going to cut down on our meat intake, M and I definitely overindulged on high quality rare-breed free range organic pork this month! We've been regularly buying great pork from our local farmers markets, in particular loving Bundarra Berkshires, King Valley Free Range Pork and Pacdon Park's traditional English sausages and pork pies, and then on the long weekend on a drive through the country we came across the McIvor Farm shop selling their own pork, so couldn't really just drive past...! I think we realised we were in trouble when last weekend we were having lunch at a brewery and ordered two tasting paddles of beer, a cheese pizza AND pork scratchings!! Frankly I'm amazed that we're both still here to tell the tale and not in the cardiac unit of the nearest hospital...
With three more large garden beds on their way in a couple of weeks I've been busy with Planting Plans spread out across the table to work out how to integrate them into the current rotation system. I'm still working on it, and will post my Plan when I finish, but we will be focussing on quantity over variety I think, rather than the first year when we just gave everything a go.
We've continued to focus on composting to reduce scraps in our houses and with the chicken's straw going into the Country Garden compost heap now, we are able to take the restaurant scraps without getting overwhelmed with too much wet compost. I'm planning to get a worm farm for the City Garden as it's hard to generate enough of a mix of wet and dry here. More on composting in an upcoming post...
We're still eating most of our vegies from the garden (about 75% in June) and in reality could be eating exclusively from there, except that I missed a week in the Country Garden last week as we went away for a long weekend, so needed to buy some supplies. And there are still things that we aren't producing in quantities to keep us going through the off-seasons. With three more of the large garden beds ordered however, hopefully we'll get even closer to 100% next year.
I transplanted some seedlings, planted out some onion and radish seeds, and tried to encourage everything in the garden along during the cold weather.
I wandered into the fabulous Morris and Sons shop a couple of weeks ago, without a pattern in mind, but fell in love with some of their wool and on a whim decided to buy 10 balls of it. Didn't really think about the fact that it was too much for something quick like a beanie or tea cosy, but not enough for a jumper, just had to buy the beautiful balls in two different tones of red. I decided to start crocheting my first proper item, and am on my way with a Granny Blanket. But my, how slow am I at crocheting?! So far I'm only onto the third ball. I keep thinking about how quickly I can knit up a ball of wool, but I'm just not that practiced at crocheting yet. I try to do it in front of the TV, but have to really concentrate or I make mistakes. Quite relaxing though, just don't look too closely at the photo, it's far from perfect!!
I've been having a bit of a River Cottage fest from the library, with cook books and DVDs galore. I'm excited that there is still another DVD set waiting there for me at the moment. I'm also reading "Permaculture Pioneers" which was mentioned by Mrs B in May's Slow Living Project. It's a really interesting history of the movement and a look back at what people think has and hasn't worked, what the highlights have been etc. I've put my name down to do the Permaculture Design Certificate next year with a local organisation, and have also booked in to do a couple of farm tours in a few months time, including one at the amazing Taranaki Farm with Joel Salatin - so now I need to read up some more on his work.
My friend A and I continue to catch up for our "Inspiration Sessions", but the interesting thing is that the ideas are morphing and we're now planning to combine thoughts and work on a project together. We've set ourselves a deadline of the end of July for some action, so I'm aiming to report in for the next Slow Living Project update.
My online community continues to grow as well, and I was surprised with two blog awards in the same week! Thanks so much to Sarah at Gladys in the Garden for her "Sunshine Award" and also to Barbara at The New Good Life for her "One Lovely Blog Award". I can recommend checking out their lovely blogs if you haven't already.
M and I planned to go away for a few days over the long weekend, but our proposed destination was flooded out in the week before, and it looked a bit dicey as to whether we'd be able to get there, so we did a quick rethink, packed overnight bags and just started driving - in the opposite direction! Without planning it we ended up at the Murray River at Echuca, and managed to find one of the last available hotel rooms in town. It reminded me of holidays we used to do years ago, before I spent days trawling the internet for the best deals on places, which always takes the mystery and excitement out of holidays these days I think. The next day there was a parade of paddle-steamers on the river, which was great, and again, completely unexpected.