28 March 2014

The Possum Dilemma

Several people have commented to me recently about how much damage possums are doing to their gardens.  I'm not sure if there are more possums around this year than previously, but it certainly feels like it! A detailed article in The Age a few weeks ago showed just how widespread the issue has become.

22 March 2014

Reducing Electricity Usage - update

I have been slowly working through ways to reduce our electricity usage.  So far this has included buying a new fridge, replacing some of our low-voltage light fittings, installing an automatic standby cut-off switch and generally trying to be more aware and consciously turn off lights and appliances.  But it's been a hot summer and we have run our fans quite a lot to try to make the house a bit more bearable.  

So I was completely unprepared for the fantastic result when our summer power bill arrived this week:  we've gone from a daily average the same time last year of 17.95kWh (yes I know that is terrible!) down to 6.23kWh on this bill!  

To me that is still far too high for summer, and there are more tasks that need to be undertaken to reduce it further, but I was so happy to see the impact of what we have done so far.  It's great incentive to continue to work on reducing our usage and it shows that all the little steps are helping.

Trust in Community Gardening

I've been a big supporter of community gardening for ages and love the interactions that it can bring.  But last week my views and trust were challenged in an unexpected way.

09 March 2014

Preserving Summer

The beetroots from the Country Garden have been delicious this summer, and I've been generally eating them raw and roasted in salads or simply preserved in pickles.  

Today after making a batch of Basil Pesto I thought I'd take the same recipe (Maggie Beer's from Maggie's Harvest) and adapt it to make Roast Beetroot and Walnut Pesto.  Sensational, and what an amazing colour!

(I wrote about Maggie's pesto recipe last year when I adapted it for Sorrel Pesto, and you can find my Simple Beetroot Pickle recipe on the Recipes tab.)

This Week in the Country Garden

A delicious box of vegies this week from the Country Garden, even if most of it was hidden under the pile of basil!

  • Basil
  • Rocket
  • Silverbeet
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Banana capsicum
  • Green, yellow and purple beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplants
  • Cucumber
  • Corn
  • Rhubarb
  • Raspberries

01 March 2014

Slow Living Journal - January and February 2014

I'm so glad Christine has decided to continue with her monthly Slow Living diary this year.  It's a great way to look back on the month's achievements and connect with other people doing fabulous things. Having said that, I didn't actually manage to do a Journal for January, so here's my combined Jan/Feb effort.