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.
Our holiday to Tasmania was very nourishing! We sought out delicious food and wine as well as a spot of fishing and foraging. I wrote about it all here.
The pantry is stocked with many jars of jam (starting with delicious Raspberry Jam in Tasmania during our holiday, then topped up with Apricot Jam when we got home just before the end of the apricot season) and chutney (Blackberry and then a batch with Zucchini to use up an overlooked zucchini that had grown to mammoth proportions).
The freezer has several batches of tomato sauce and basil pesto, and I hope to get a few more made before the end of the tomato and basil season.
My efforts to reduce power consumption took a step forward in January when we bought a new and more efficient fridge. However several long periods of extreme hot weather saw power consumption rise again as we battled with inadequate fans against the hopeless lack of insulation and poor build quality of the City Garden house. I've started looking at how best to improve those issues.
After a slightly slow start to summer, the Country Garden produced around 85% of our vegetables in January, and I think I can confidently say that it's just hit 100% for the first time in February!
Despite the crazy up and down weather this summer, the Country Garden is looking so lush and is probably at its peak production for the year at the moment.
We are currently harvesting rocket, lettuce, sorrel, silverbeet, beetroot, potatoes, onions, carrots, kohl rabi, eggplant, cucumber, green and purple beans, capsicum, zucchini, spaghetti squash, rhubarb, raspberries (which are being treated as a snack bar in the middle of the garden!), tomatoes, basil, sage, parsley, chives and a few other herbs.
Pumpkins have been planted and are just starting to look promising, as is the corn (apart from a small patch of it) along with our one and only very first watermelon, which is slowly but surely growing larger! The autumn/ winter planting is just starting, with some beetroot, purple-sprouting broccoli and turnip seeds having been planted out, but we are now waiting on some bed space to be freed up before anything else can be planted.
We happened across a Ukelele-making workshop while in Tasmania, so popped in to have a look at what everyone was making. M played one that had recently been completed and was excited by the quality and sound, so I think a ukelele has been added to the list of things for me to make...!
I went to an amazing permaculture food forest garden set up on a small urban block a couple of weeks ago as part of an Open-Garden Scheme day. It was fascinating to see how dense and productive a small space can be, and it was a great example of "beautiful permaculture", something that is important to me in the pursuit of permaculture design.
I led a workshop in the kitchen garden at work, which included harvesting tomatoes, cleaning up the beds and planting more seedlings. The tomatoes have been prolific and eagerly snapped up when we deliver bowlfuls to the staff kitchen.
Our adventures around Tasmania and the chance to do lots of boating stuff, including getting my little boat Polly out on the water again, going out sailing with Dad for his first time since he had the car accident last year, seeing the Sydney to Hobart yachts come in (OK, that was late December!) and admiring the progress on the beautiful big timber yacht that friends are building, were all part of a great start to the year.
And back to the very first photo in this post, many many years ago I was given a succulent in a small pot by a friend. It has survived in various pots and locations over the years, and had bits chopped off it to give to other friends and to bulk up my other succulent beds and pots. This summer, for the very first time it suddenly and unexpectedly burst into the most beautiful and delicate star-shaped flowers that I have been enjoying very much!
Don't forget to check out Slow Living Essentials to read about what Christine and the gang have been doing.