Sunday, April 1, 2012

Slow Living: March 2012

Today I share my second installment for the Slow Living Project.  :-)

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch overpackaged, overprocessed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead. Share favourite links/recipes/tips from the month here.

Aside from the regular meal preparation, we roasted our first turkey since Thanksgiving (November 24th).  I had plans for turning the turkey into some new and interesting dishes, but since it had been so long we simply enjoyed it in several sandwiches, quesadillas, omelets and lettuce wraps.

I also continued my new yoga practice.

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. Freeze extra meals or excess garden/market produce. Bottle/can, dehydrate or pickle foods to enjoy when they are not in season. Aim to reduce dependency on store bought items especially those known to contain BPA and other suspect additives. Stocking up on dry goods when prices are low counts too.

With shearing season approaching, I have started to make sure everything is ready to go.  The used combs and cutters have been cleaned and sent out for sharpening, tools have been checked and the go-bag inventoried.  I have my largest client booked and am scheduling a few volunteers for our own shearing day at the end of April.

I need a better storage method for my used combs and cutters

I also bought our very first locker lamb and picked it up from the butcher this earlier week.  I'm so excited.  Lamb is one of my favorite meats, and it's ridiculously expensive at the grocery store.  I'm thrilled to be able to buy it directly from the farmer.

Finally, I have been buying wood pellets.  Now that winter is over, people aren't using them to heat their houses so the price goes way down.  We use the Wood Pellets along with Diatomaceous Earth on the manure piles after mucking.  It helps to keep both the flies and aroma in check during the summer.

100% compressed sawdust.  No wax so it's safe for the garden.

REDUCE: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing. A ladder into a strawberry planter? A sheet into a dress? Share ideas and project links here, allowing others to be inspired.

Different dog bowls means we're buying less dog food and I found a few things that are way better than new.  :-)

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies. The options are endless, the savings huge and the health benefits enormous.

At some point over the last year we got out of the habit of bringing our reusable shopping bags to the store.  We now have a box stuffed with plastic grocery sacks.  I use them to collect dog poo, but that does not keep them out of the landfill.  So I put a few reusable bags in each of our cars and plan to ensure they stay there.

I need to think more about the Dog Loo/Composter that I wrote about last year.

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month? What's being eaten from the garden? Herbs in a pot, sprouts on a windowsill or and entire fruit/vegetable garden -opt for what fits space and time constraints. Don't have a backyard? Ask a friendly neighbour or relative for a small patch of theirs in return for some home grown produce, they may surprise you!

The grass has turned mostly green in the last few weeks and the trees have started to leaf out ... including our pears!  Yay Spring!

Our vet came out and performed ultra-sounds on our "pregnant" alpacas... he confirmed that three are pregnant.  Which means we will have cria in early October.  WooHoo!

Alpacamundo's Apple is not pregnant, but she's way too pretty not to share.

I have barely started to prepare our garden for spring planting.  It's time to start digging in manure, if I could just find the time.  ;-)

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others. Create something as simple as a handmade gift tag or something as extravagant as a fine knit shawl. Share project details and any new skills learnt here.

While I have been knitting, spinning and writing a little,  I've only been posting about thinkingfrogging and collecting.

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests. Trawl libraries, second hand shops or local book shops to find titles that fill the need. Share titles/authors of what is being read this month.

I discovered (again) that life lines really are an important tool for use in complex knitting projects. :-/

Hubba and I had a night on the town and found a local book store and new-to-us restaurant.

I also learned that my small town has both a Luthier and a Harp shop.  Too bad I don't play any stringed instruments.

ENHANCE: community: Possibilities include supporting local growers and producers, help out at a local school/kindergarten, barter or foodswap, joining a playgroup or forming a walking or craft group. Car pooling where possible and biking/walking instead of driving. Even start up a blog if you haven't already - online communities count too! Or maybe just help out someone trying to cross the street! The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.


Fiber Arts Friday is one of my favorite online communities.  I've been participating for a couple years now and have made a few friends, I think.  :-)  I first joined up in July 2009, and have been posting weekly since January 2010.  It's definitely one of my favorite parts of each week.

We also signed a petition to put a neighborhood road improvement project on the ballot for November elections.

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment. Share a moment to be remembered from the month here.

March means we are celebrating birthdays and one year with two Livestock Guardian Dogs.

Noodle and Wonton posing for photos

It's spring now!  So really, what's not to enjoy about days that look like this?


Voie de Vie said...

Whew! That's a lot to post about. :) I must admit, most of it (in one form or another) I've incorporated into my life over the last three years or so. I guess I'm just not into writing about all of it. :)

I have yet to try the turkey-out-of-season making, but I do exactly as you do with chicken - I'll roast one a week and make sandwiches or other things with it. Then I'll take the bones and innerds and make soup stock.

And while I have bag full of reusable bags (which I use all the time, there's virtually no plastic bag use in this house), I'm in the process of devising some patterns for reusable, washable bags. Most of my reusables can't be washed, and using them for groceries = some nasty bag bottoms. :)

And I think you've made some friends in Fiber Arts Fridays. :) I hope I have too.

dixiebelle said...

Great work! That last photo is so serene and beautiful!

Linda said...

Hello, Sounds like you have lots going on. On the bag front, when I was training myself to remember the bags I was hopeless. Now I always remember, but hubby struggles. I got to the point that I decided if I had no bags I had to punish myself and buy reusables, not take plastic. I did it many, many times but eventually the frustration of the money I was wasting got through to my forgetful brain and now I grab the bags as I walk out the door!

Christine said...

Shearing day, eh? Now this would be fun!! Lovely to have you joining in again this month. :)

Wendy said...

Your Alpaca is beautiful.

Wendy said...

thanks for visiting me, lovely to stop by and see what you are up to too!

city garden country garden said...

Shearing time must be really exciting on your farm. I've seen sheep sheared (shorn??) but I can't imagine what it must be like to shear an alpaca - all those long legs and neck! Would love to see some photos on your blog from the big day!

city garden country garden said...

Thanks for the link to the pics Kathryn, can't wait to see the video!

Practical Frog said...

If that's a simple life - I don't want to know what you got up to when life was complex!!!! You are certainly one busy lady! My Mom has a couple of Alpacha's in NZ and she loves them too. I had a plastic bag tally last year to see how many I could stop collecting - its hard because of the social pressure to take one. Have you tried to give one back?? Ooo the young shop attendants don't know what to do when you take the stuff out and give them back the bag. Half the time they throw it in the bin - thus defeating the objective of giving it back... Good luck and Happy Easter! - Kara

Something lubely said...

I love Alpacas. They have some at a small farm where my kids go to playgroup. I'm hoping to learn more about carding the fleece from some ladies out there sometime. The wool is so lovely and soft !

Juggler said...

The names of your dogs just cracks me up! Noodle and Wonton! Also Apple is so cute with such a great hairdo!

Natalie said...

This is a great gives me a lot to think about and if you don't mind I might do something similar in little pieces on my blog (I will link to you to give you credit).