05 August 2013

Slow Living Month - July 2013

It's the end of July so time to reflect back on some of the slow living achievements of the month, and perhaps a few from June, as I somehow missed that post.  Thanks once again to Christine at Slow Living Essentials for continuing to host this lovely monthly review.  Pop over to Christine's blog to see what she and the rest of the gang have been up to in July.

July for me started out nice and slow, with a few weeks off, and time to catch up on lots of cooking and gardening.  About a week and a half ago, I had a morning at home so decided to get started on this post so that I'd actually manage to have it done for the start of August.

I looked back over the last Journal I did (May) to reflect on what I'd been doing then, and enjoyed looking at the photos of my sailing trip to Tasmania, thinking it will probably be a while until I get back down there for some more sailing, perhaps this coming Summer.  An hour later my Mum rang to say that Dad had been in a serious car accident and was on his way to hospital.  Two hours after that I was in a plane on the way down there, and have only just now got home.

To say that Dad was lucky is an understatement.  He was hit head-on by a log truck, which swerved to miss a local ute-driving hoon (whose fault it was entirely), ending up with a fractured neck and several other badly broken bits.  Amazingly, he is actually now out of hospital and will make a full recovery in time for sailing this summer, once he survives three months in a nasty neck brace - more slow living than he would possibly ever want to endure!  

Here's what else happened in July before all of that:


I've taken the opportunity to do lots of cooking this month, including regular batches of cakes, and I learnt how to make crumpets, which are delicious!
Beetroot Risotto with Walnuts and Goats Cheese
Homemade Crumpets
The start of M's yellow curry using turmeric from the
City Garden
I can't believe I've never done this before, but I bought a whole free range chicken and cut it up into portions for several meals, then made stock for soup and some for the freezer.  So many meals out of one bird!

This one always gets me...

Both of the gardens are doing their thing slowly over winter, although the Country Garden suddenly seemed to take off in the last couple of weeks, including our first ever asparagus spear!  We have managed to continue to harvest plenty from it, although not the range that Summer provides.  In the last month I've harvested silverbeet, rocket, celery, leek, radish, turnips, rhubarb, sorrel and parsley.

In the City Garden there are broad beans, purple sprouting broccoli and silverbeet growing, but only the silverbeet is at eating stage.  I harvested my first turmeric a few weeks ago, and in June planted dwarf peach and an apricot trees in pots.  The street herb garden is doing really well, enjoying lots of rain and the odd sunny day.  I've added a few more pots so it's quite full now.

Sadly my experiment with growing a tomato in a pot under a plastic bag has failed.  It seemed to be a mixture of forgetting that I needed to water it, even though it was pouring with rain outside the plastic bag, and then it got walloped by a few mornings of serious cold and frost.  

Approximately 60% of our vegetables came from the Gardens in July.

Lots of knitting.  I finished the socks I started in May, then started another pair, ditched them as I didn't like the stripes that the wool produced and am now on a bright magenta pair.  

The irony of the striped sock is that when I'd knitted one, I said jokingly: "I wish I knew someone who only needed one sock so I didn't feel that I have to knit the other one." ... Dad is now wearing one striped sock on his foot that isn't in a moon boot recovering from surgery after several bones were shattered in the accident...!

I enrolled in the Permaculture Design Certificate course which starts in August.  So lots of pre-reading to prepare for that.  I put some of my early learnings into use when I moved the chickens into the front garden so that they could help weed it.  They weren't very happy to be out of their comfort zone however, and needed to be watched so that they didn't fly out onto the street, so the end result was that they just stood around looking nervous while I weeded the garden!

I've been having discussions about ways to contribute toward building city/country connections.

In amongst the stress of Dad's accident I took a couple of hours out one sunny afternoon for a quick trip to Cygnet, including sitting quietly in the sun looking at beautiful timber boats for a bit.

Don't forget to pop over to Christine's blog to check out what else has been happening in July.


  1. I'm glad to hear that your Dad will be ok. What a scary experience.

    Good luck in your class.

    1. Thanks Kathryn. My class starts tomorrow, can't wait!

  2. Your dad's one sock is a perfect example of using what you have available. :) Amazing that he will have a full recovery in time for sailing.

    1. Let's hope so, it's looking really positive so far :)