What’s on the table?
Pictured above is my lunch. The salad ingredients (including the avocado, pecans) and bacon are all from our farm. We bought the powdered falafel mix a few months ago when Etienne was making fish balls with smoked carp. It’s been in the cupboard for ages so I mixed it with water and also added fresh parsley, coriandar and shallots from the garden to give it some extra flavour.
Pictured above are some veggies that I made into an Italian vegetable soup. For this meal, I also harvested some bok choi, tomato, bay leaf, a lemon and fresh oregano. I fried an onion and then added all the other ingredients plus some water. I boiled the soup for half an hour and then added lemon, salt and pepper. The only ingredients that were not from our garden were the oil, onion and salt and pepper. We all enjoyed the soup. We ate it as a chunky vegetable soup – it was really good.
This orange cake was made by boiling two oranges on top of the combustion heater for two hours. Then I blended the oranges with a stick blender and added some flour, butter (I used Izzy’s vegan butter), and sugar. It ended up being a bit dense (according to Etienne who is not a fan of my super dense cakes.) But the taste was great and Izzy and I looove that texture.
Izzy and I have porridge most mornings, especially now that it’s winter. Pictured above is breakfast with passionfruit mixed in. I have to use powdered milk for my porridge because the goats have stopped producing milk. I reckon the powdered milk will last a month because Etienne and Izzy don’t drink cow’s milk so it’s really just for my tea and porridge. Occasionally I use milk in cakes, but that annoys Izzy, because then she can’t eat it.
Etienne made a delicious salad, pictured above. He harvested lettuce, rocket, tomato, broccoli. He cooked the broccoli with some Bangalow palm heart and made the whole lot into a delicious salad. We threw in some cold rice left over from the previous dinner and I added some mung beans. It was very tasty. The bangalow palm didn’t have a lot of taste but it absorbed the flavours of the fresh salad dressing – yum.
Activities of the week
Patty has been sick. She had diarrhoea for seven days. That’s a really long time for a goat to lose all the nutrition that it consumes. When she first got sick we wormed her. Etienne said that he spilt some of the worming solution so the next day when she still had diarrhoea, I wormed her again. I made a homemade electrolyte drink which gave her a lot of strength but she still had diarrhoea. The following day, she was still sick. I called the Keen st Vet and the nurse said they needed a poo sample and she said to keep giving her the electrolyte drink. The next day, I took the sample to the vet – the results were that Patty still had some worms in her system but not many. The vet was unsure whether it was worms or something else that made her sick. He said that we could pay for another (much more expensive) round of tests or we could wait and see if she got better. The vet also said that I shouldn’t have given her the second dose of worming fluid because it is quite strong.
For the whole week, we watched and waited and worried while she got thinner and thinner and even thinner until on Sunday…. she started to improve! I’m both thankful and surprised that she has survived. She is such a darling and such a sweet natured goat.
We had a lovely social weekend with people coming and going.
Unfortunately, when Etienne and I made plans for Saturday night, I didn’t realise we would miss the Lismore Lantern Parade. Izzy went and she said she enjoyed seeing all the different lanterns. We’ve marched in the parade at different times in the past to support the Koalas or the Girl Guides or something or other. The parade has a great community atmosphere and it’s a spectacular event. Some of the lanterns are gigantic. And, my favourite part of the night is the burning of the effigy. One year, they lit a huge lantern of a bird as it was flown across the Richmond River. It was a beautiful image of fire and water, life and death.
On Sunday, I made a mutton casserole and some of our neighbours came for lunch. We filled our bellies and then had a game of bow tag where I earned the nickname “the archer” from the kids. (Ha ha I’m not that good, but I’m a lot better than kids who’ve never played before)
Sending emails to Pollies
During my working life, I’ve direct debited money to organisations that I think are working toward creating a more equal society or caring for the planet. This year, I cancelled all my direct debits except for UNHCR. I can’t afford to donate financially so instead, I write letters. I read about domestic and global issues on the internet, then look up the politicians who are in a position to act in the benefit of everyday people and the planet, and send them a little email. An easy way to email politicians is through Get-up, a left-wing lobby group – all you have to do is follow the links, type in your email and they send a generic email to the politicians on your behalf. I prefer to personalise my emails, though. This week, I heard that the Turnbull govt was proposing more English language testing for migrants. I also heard that the govt are investing more to prop up the coal industry rather than invest in renewables. I whipped off a couple of quick heart-felt emails. Here is one of them:
I am contacting you to express my deep disappointment at your proposal for an additional English language test for migrants. I feel that this testing will unfairly discriminate against people who bring much needed diversity to this country. I’d like to share with you some of my own experiences with people from diverse backgrounds.
I have first hand experience in my personal life. My husband is French and emigrated to Australia in 2001. He is a hard worker who has brought an interesting perspective to our little part of NSW. Most importantly, he has a strong sense of community spirit and he has worked hard to bring our community together. However, writing in a foreign language has been a challenge for him. So, if a white European who learned English in school, can struggle with grammar, I can’t imagine how much harder it would be for some people around the world to achieve your proposed standard of English grammar.
In my professional life, I have been employed as a tutor for young adults with disabilities who were engaged in TAFE or university studies. My students were often hard workers and fantastic people in general, but they struggled with basic literacy. It seems to me that your policy suggests that they are less valuable Australians than the general public simply due to poor grammar.
I encourage you, Minister, to examine your motives for this ‘white Australila’ policy. Consider the inherent message that this policy sends to people here in Australia and in the wider global community. Ask yourself if this policy is moving us towards a fairer and more just society?
Ok, that particular email probably isn’t the best example but there it is. It doesn’t take long to write an email and it makes me feel like I’m participating in the system. So, reader, I encourage you, if you’ve ever heard about an issue and felt powerless to do anything about it – pick up a pen or better still, grab your laptop and get clicking….
Etienne has been fruit picking local farm for the past couple of months. Unfortunately, king parrots attacked the crop and did a lot of damage so Etienne and the other picker finished work this week. It’s a bit heartbreaking for the lovely farmers who put so much time and effort into practicing sustainable farming only to lose a huge amount of fruit to king parrot damage.
We put Etienne’s fruit picking earnings into a separate savings account for next year. However, Etienne has now decided to use his earning to go to Mongolia to help a lovely man, Maha, do some construction work in an orphanage. Maha has volunteered in the orphanage before and has built relationships with the Australian nun who runs it and with the children.
Let me tell you about Maha – I first met Maha at the Bentley blockade where he was working with a team of protesters who were ‘locking on’ to cement installations that were preventing the trucks from entering a property where they planned to drill a well for coal seam gas. Etienne and I spent quite a bit of time at the blockade and it wasn’t long before I had my own chain and padlock. (I have soooo many stories about that incredible journey but for now just google ‘Bentley blockade NSW’ and click images and you’ll get a glimpse of the amazing experience that was Bentley). Maha is also the father of one of Izzy’s high school friends so he invited us all to a retreat that him and his partner, Krsna organise every year. Bee was not interested in coming but Izzy, Etienne and I started attending Spiritfest and found it to be an uplifting experience. It’s hard to find words to describe the feeling of being surrounded by people who seem to be the most humble, switched-on, compassionate human beings – but that’s Spiritfest. The whole weekend is devoted to meditation, kiirtan, yoga, discussions about spirituality, love and how to live a good life etc. It’s like a holiday from the real world. We love it.