What’s on the menu?
Breakfast is usually fruit – mango, tamarillo, figs, blueberries, grapes, grapes and more grapes.
Lunch is a salad that consists of mostly of veggies from the garden: cucumber (a lot), tomato (a lot), rocket or mizuna, some edible weeds, beans and beetroot. Veggies are mixed with eggs, rice and dressing. We make a dressing of oil, and vinegar (or sometimes soy sauce) and salt – simple, delicious and no preservatives. At the moment, I’m in the process of making red wine vinegar with raw organic apple cider vinegar and home-made red wine.
We have an abundance of cucumbers so at the moment, they comprise about 50% of our lunch. Cucumber are from the gourd family, they are 95 percent water, contain anti inflammatory flavonol, are low in calories and high in fibre.
Dinners mostly consist of stir-fry of veggies and rice, or occasionally meat, lamb or pork, and veggies roasted or boiled. Tonight we had a curry of garden veggies: choko, beans, squash, silverbeet, and ginger (which grows really easily here) cooked with a very small quantity of onion, garlic and Indian spices and served with rice. I didn’t make a coconut cream or tomato base and it was still delicious. If I had to choose one spice for the year it would be cumin.
We did our first shop of the year on 12th January. It was a bit disappointing because I was hoping that I would not have to buy any vegetables but the diet of rice and vegetables was too much to bare so we succumbed to the desire for roast potato. Our goal this year is to buy Aussie products only, and as local as possible, so at Farmer Charlie’s we bought – onions, potatoes, carrots and dark choc almonds. At Bulk Foods we bought – pecans (from Leycester, 2480), raw peanuts, peanut butter, raw chickpeas. The total cost was $52.
We have meat in the freezer that we eat a couple of times a week but most of our protein comes for the chicken eggs which we eat every day in our salad. I’m lavishing lots of attention on the chooks so that they keep laying. Otherwise we might be looking for alternate sources of protein. For those of you who know Etienne, you are aware that he is a bit of a survivalist and would eat anything, really anything at all. A friend told me this week that scientists have discovered a type of cockroach that has highly nutritious milk (don’t ask me how you would milk a cockroach!) My instant response was “don’t you dare tell Etienne.”
What’s in the garden?
We’re planting cucumber, a variety of beans, beetroot, carrot and spring onions. We’re planting every few days. Unfortunately, we’re struggling to grow lettuce this summer due to the huge slug population in the nursery. I’ve been successfully drowning the little buggers in beer traps but as soon as I let my guard down, they move in and slobber the lettuce seedlings to death.
Week Two activities
Our daily activities include– milking the goats, cleaning the goat shelter, pulling weeds, raking mulch, planting seeds in the seedling tray, and shovelling shit. I started using seedlings trays in the new nursery.
Other activities this week included making goat cheese, pickles, chutney, and bread. I made a pencil case (birthday present for a young friend), did yoga with my neighbour, went to a 50’s party, did a weed day on our community and had some visitor over for a swim.
Moments in time
Old habits die and new ones are born. I’ve noticed that every time I open my laptop, I log into my bank account and frown nervously at the balance (which changes very little due to the fact that we are living on our savings and don’t have any income so we don’t go to town and don’t spend any money). I don’t know why I have this strange compulsion to look at my account especially since it only brings me pain to watch my bank balance go down with no means to come up again. I guess in our society our financial situation affects our feelings of safety and security.
It’s great to have both of our girls home for the holidays. We’ve been playing bow-tag against each other and sometimes against the neighbours (it’s like paintball but with bow and arrow), swimming in the pool, painting, sewing, talking…
On Tuesday, Etienne cut my hair with one snip of the scissors – it’s way too hot for long hair. In general, Etienne and I are excited about this year. We have the same values and goals and enjoy planning things together. But for a long time Etienne has done the bulk of the farm work on his own and was free to organise things how they suited him while I just said “yes love, whatever suits you.” Now we need to negotiate EVERYTHING together so it’s a bit of a relationship shock for both of us.
Today I was thinking how it’s lovely to have so much time on my hands. But sometimes I feel driven to achieve things and I put pressure on myself , even on the farm I can get caught up in what needs to be done, what needs to be planted, what needs to be mended, what needs to be cleaned etc? It’s good to feel a sense of purpose because it keeps me focused and energised. I would like to hold onto that sense of purpose but also I’d like to slow down and really be present in the moment and not caught up in thinking about what I should be doing next. It’s simple: I want peace and happiness in a ‘slow’ life. This is complicated at the moment because my hormones are dancing out of tune (ladies over forty, you know what I’m talking about). Sometimes I have to find a way to be positive when positivity just ain’t coming from within. It seems to me that the easiest way to do this is to a) think about how lucky I am to have had this privileged life and b) to STOP THINKING, get out of my head and be present in the beautiful place where I live.