03 March 2013

Slow Living Month - February 2013

It's time once again to join Christine and friends for a wrap up of slow living achievements in February.  You can find the other posts over at Slow Living Essentials, where once again this year, Christine is generously hosting this lovely monthly review.

February was supposed to be about getting back to "real life" after having been on holidays for all of January.  And there was a bit of that.  I mean, I went back to work for a week before I went on another holiday!  It was time to enjoy summer and all the bountiful harvest that brings in the garden.

After being away in January and eating a bit haphazardly, as you do when on holidays, it's been great to get back to the middle of the busiest season in the Country Garden and eat lots of home-cooked meals with fresh vegies.  

With so much tomato, capsicum and basil being harvested I've been making tomato and capsicum sauce and lots of pesto.
There have been some articles recently about the appalling amount of food that is wasted in Australia and across the world.  Apparently the average Australian throws out between 150-200kg of food each. I've been aware that we do waste a bit of food in our house, so I've been trying to reduce the wastage by being better at planning meals and not getting over-excited when we go shopping.  My other challenge is to not be too generous in my harvest in the vegie garden.  So I've tried hard this month to make sure that everything I pick gets eaten or preserved for eating later.  I'm doing pretty well, although there has been a zucchini or two found lurking in the bottom of the fridge just when I thought I'd managed to use everything...!

The Country Garden produced about 95% of vegies for two households in February, as well as herbs and salad leaves for the restaurant.

I know the pictures I've been posting of produce recently have all been really similar, and here's another one!  The Country Garden has been producing masses of tomatoes, basil, capsicum, squash, a reasonable amount of zucchini, corn, beans, rocket, silverbeet, kale, lettuce, various herbs and radish.

And also growing in it are potatoes, onions, leek, rhubarb, sorrel, and celery.  

I finally got around to doing the Planting Plan for Autumn/ Winter, now I just need to get in there and put it into action!

I finally picked up my granny blanket crocheting project again one day last week when the weather got a bit cooler for a couple of days, it's really been way too hot to be working on it generally.  Now I'm trying to decide what sort of border to put on it, which will involve learning another crochet stitch, because so far I only know how to crochet granny squares!

Does working out how to plait garlic count as a creative endeavour?  I've tried to do it before, but didn't think I was doing it right, so I am very appreciative of the lovely garlic farmer at my local farmers market who kindly showed me how to do it as he was sitting at his stall.  It's not perfect, but vaguely in the right direction.

Hmmm, not sure about this category this month...

My little neighbourhood herb garden at the City Garden is coming along well.

Nothing to do with gardening, but I'm about to start helping out with some of the planning for a wooden boat festival that is being held later this year, which I'm looking forward to being part of.

And so finally to that beautiful scene in the first photo on this post: I spent a week in Tasmania, first doing a two-day sail with my dad on his gorgeous wooden yacht to get to Hobart for the Wooden Boat Festival, then five days staying on the yacht in the middle of Hobart at the Festival, which was like having my own perfect little  floating cubby house/ city apartment. It was a most fabulous week, surrounded by amazing boats of all kinds (as long as they were wooden), meeting lots of new friends and hanging out with family.  

One thing that really struck me were the number of people I met who are living their lives in ways that are perhaps outside the "norm".  Many people were long-term sailors, spending many years sailing around and living onboard, earning livings in creative ways that can be adapted to that lifestyle.  Others are involved in huge boat-building projects, dedicating many years of their lives to build their dream boat.  Given the theme of the week, most people were connected to boating in some way, but it was the deliberateness of their planning on how to achieve their goals and live their lives as they wanted that really resonated with me.
Rafted up next to my uncle's boat (and with another friend's boat
on the other side out of the photo) to have a swim and dinner before
spending the night in this beautiful little bay on the way up to Hobart
My "city apartment" is third from the left!


  1. Yes I think plaiting garlic does count as creative - well its about as creative as I get so from my perspective yes. There may be people who scoff though, but they are just too talented for words...

    1. Some garlic plaits you see are definitely a work of art, but I'm not sure that my effort really makes it into the Creative basket!

  2. Your first photo from the boat is just magical... wish I was there too! :)
    Your rainbow harvest of tomatoes is also rather lovely!

    1. Yes I wish I was sitting on the front of the boat right now... actually if I was there I'd be jumping off the front of the boat for a swim, it's so hot here!

      I was really happy that all the tomatoes seem to have ripened at the same time this year, it enables lots of colourful salads.