01 June 2013

Slow Living Month - May 2013

It's the first day of Winter, and for once I'm determined to actually finish my Slow Living Journal for the month on time!  So here's what I got up to in May.  

Pop over to Christine's fabulous blog "Slow Living Essentials" to see what she and the gang have been doing to incorporate slow living into their lives.

With it getting colder I seem to have radiated to comfort food, including several batches of cakes.  This was my first ever (not sure what took me so long!) go at Carrot Cake.
I spent a weekend in Tassie sailing with my parents.  We stopped for lunch in a beautiful sheltered bay. We put out a couple of fishing lines.  I caught two flathead.  We ate them (as an entree!) for dinner.  In front of the fire.  With a Tasmanian riesling.  Now that's nourishing!!
(c) my mum!
The basil crop has finally finished, so no more mammoth pesto-making sessions, but it's been nice to pull a couple of tubs out of the freezer for quick meals.  Not much else in the way of preparation.

Hmmm gotta get better with this one, although I'm usually pretty good at not "increasing" if that helps?

All the autumn/ winter crops are planted in the City Garden and the Country Garden and the seedlings are covered up against the cold nights.  I'm experimenting with growing a tomato in a "greenhouse" (plastic bag!) over winter.  Apparently it should be possible if it is protected against the cold as tomatoes don't rely on length of day to mature.

We are harvesting silverbeet, sorrel, radishes, rocket, celery, lettuce, the last few capsicum, rhubarb, beans and some herbs.
I harvested approximately 70% of our vegetable supply this month, as I was somewhat of an absent gardener in the Country Garden, missing a couple of days, but if I'd been there to harvest it would have still been up around 85%.

I was talking with a lovely friend who is a great knitter about attempting to knit some socks, but not knowing where to start.  A few days later a package arrived from her with several photocopied patterns, a book and a DVD!  No excuses now!  I bought some gorgeous sock wool and am now slowly working my way through my first sock.  Thanks K!
As part of the package when I was given my fabulous DSLR camera for my birthday last year, there was a lesson included.  It's taken a while to find time to book in for it, but I finally did the class last week.  It was so informative.  I have to admit to using my camera on automatic pretty much all the time before, but now I feel confident about playing with different settings and controlling it rather than it controlling itself!  I also bought a connector piece so that the zoom lens from my old SLR will fit it.  I've been having lots of fun playing around with it this week.  

I read a bizarre article a couple of weeks ago about the tricks and techniques that food stylists use to make their food look good.  Most of their accessories were from the chemist or hardware store.  How insane!  What has happened to us all that we cannot accept pictures of food that is actually just cooked and neatly presented?!  It did make me think about the photos I take for this blog of dishes I've cooked though, and learning to better use light and table settings to create more than just snapshots.  But no nail polish and denture glue I promise!

sometimes a simple macro shot works for me I must admit!
In May I took part in my first crowd-funding project.  I helped to support Jonai Farms to raise funds to build an on-farm butchery as part of their business to farm rare breed pork.  Their initial target was met, which is fantastic, and they are hoping to raise some extra for a curing room as well.  The Pozible account is open for about another week if you're interested in contributing.

At the start of May an article was printed about the two Gardens in Your Vegie Patch. Thanks Sandra!

Sailing on the Huon River in Tasmania.  Perfect still, sunny autumn days that didn't lead to any high performance sailing (I've never tacked a sailing dinghy while drinking a cup of tea and eating a lamington before!) but just wonderful for meandering up and down the river, and for taking perfect reflection photos.  The essence of slow living!

How was your May?


  1. Very jealous of the Tasmanian sojourn. If it helps I absolutely think 'not increasing' counts. It is the 'growth' at all costs imperative that is one of our biggest issues after all.

    1. Yes it always amazes me how infinite so many people seem to think our resources are, and how many people get their entertainment kicks out of just buying new stuff. Really depressing and short sighted.

  2. I love the sailing photos - that is definitely slow living. Beautiful.

  3. I know what you mean about the food photos. Some blogs do them better than others--but I'd always rather see the real thing than those hyper perfect advert food pictures.

  4. Those sailing photos are amazing... especially the last one.

    Yay for sock knitting!

  5. Wow, I'm loving your Tassie pics, absolutely stunning!

    I'm with Kathryn, hooray for sock knitting! (and camera play!!)

    1. Thanks Kathryn and Christine, it was such perfect weather when I was down there. And I can report a successful first sock! Onto the next one... :)

  6. I'd love to know how your tomatoes go! I keep dreaming of a greenhouse but don't want to go to the expense to discover there's not much benefit.

    Well done on the proportion of veggies you're growing yourself!

    1. Yes a greenhouse would be fantastic, but I'm hoping that in our climate it should be possible to make do with a simpler version. The issue with the plastic bag solution will be what to do if the tomato actually grows to the size that I'm hoping, but perhaps by then it will be past the coldest part of winter and can be just kept in a sunny sheltered spot. The other problem is remembering to water it!

  7. Love the photos sailing the blue colour looks stunning. Glad you did your DSLR lesson you can have more control over how you want your photos to end up looking...every day you will keep improving and it's so much fun learning.
    Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia


    1. It is fun. I studied photography...well actually quite a long time ago now (!)... and had become a bit lazy in recent years, but I've been out almost every day since the course trying out new things.

  8. I love your sock yarn, I too am knitting my first sock ever. My fingers get tangled in the four needles. Your cosy dinner looks very inviting.

    1. Yes it took me ages to get going with the 5 needles that I'm using too, and really easy to drop stitches! It seems easier once there is a weight of knitting to hold them all in place.