Sunday, 6 July 2014

Simple Living Sunday 33

As I typed the heading for this week's Simple Living Sunday it amazed me that I am up to number 33. I don't think I have missed a week, so that is 33 weekly updates recorded for all eternity...and I have managed to scrounge something for my basket every one of those weeks I think. Now that's a big start to my goal of being partially self-sufficient and wonderful to look back on week after week. It reminds me of how much I have achieved in under a year...and inspires me to keep looking forward.

That inspiration was very much needed this week after several challenges in the garden. First was a week of frosts which the pumpkin vine did not like very much. I have left the pumpkins on there for now as they are still firm and not frost-affected, but I will probably cut them all during the week...

...because it looks pretty unsightly, and I will finally be able to get in and get rid of that long grass. We have just kept mowing around the pumpkins for the past six months, and I have been so lucky to have grown so many for so no complaining haha. Wonder how many I will find?

I managed to save my young fruit trees by staking, and covering with sheets. Every afternoon after work I cover them up, and remove the sheets before I go to work. Seems to be working so far. The sheets above are frozen solid and you can see the frost on the mulch. Last year we did not get a frost and the years before we always got them later in the season, around August. With the long summer we have just had, it is so hard to predict what the next seasons will bring.

Another weather extreme...this was the fog clearing at 9.30am yesterday...just beautiful.

The girls had a nice wander out of their chook pen yesterday. I was hoping they would eat the caterpillars off my cabbages, but they liked the cabbage leaves better.

They spent the afternoon in the lemon tree garden...and now also have a taste for kale. I have pulled up most of the pest-infested cabbage and fed it to the chooks, so it's not a total waste. I do have a few pest-free broccoli so here's hoping. With the frosts and the pests, I will have to think of better winter garden strategies for next year.

This is my fruit vinegar after two weeks of fermentation. I removed the surface layer of white mould...

...drained the fruit scraps...

...and reserved the liquid into a jar covered with cheesecloth. Apparently this will ferment for another six weeks into vinegar. Looks a little bit cloudy so will see how it goes.

I made another batch of natural yoghurt today.

And brewed some more tea to make kombucha. I drink it every day, along with my kefir and I find it is amazing for my tummy problems.

Yesterday I made my first ever cake in the crockpot. As part of the $21 challenge I am using up old items in my pantry, so this cake was a combination of a packet buttercake with home made jaboticaba jam mixed in. I did not use a tin, just lined the base of the slow cooker with baking paper and let it cook on high for two hours with a tea towel under the lid to stop moisture dripping...the verdict? The cake was amazingly moist and the boys polished it off in one it's a winner. Will make one from scratch next weekend.

So, that's my weekend in a nutshell. What have you been up to?

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