Monday, October 1, 2012

Slow Living: September 2012

It's definitely fall now.  The Cottonwoods have started dropping their leaves and the other trees are changing colors.  The nights are into the 50's and sometimes lower.  The days are still warm, but not nearly as hot.  I've started foregoing my flip-flops and shorts for long pants, socks and shoes.

I love the change to fall, almost as much as I love the change to spring.  :-)

So on to September's installment for the Slow Living Project.

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

We continue to eat primarily from the Farmer's Market and our garden.  We also roasted the last of our Turkeys.  Our Turkey Farmer will be bringing his birds to butcher in the next month or so and we had to make room for a few in the freezer.  ;-)

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.

Canning season has continued... I've crossed the half-way mark with my apple tree by making a batch of applesauce pretty much every weekend, then the Mother-lode of apples when my Momma came for a visit.

I opened the last few bags of wood pellets that I bought at the end of last winter.  We use them on the alpacas' manure piles to soak up extra moisture.  It helps to keep the flies and aroma down during the summer.

We are almost finished with our Cria Watch.  I've made sure that we have plenty of clean, dry, old towels at the ready along with fresh checklists for each of the expected cria and a few other supplies in the event that they were needed...

Holly was born on Friday.  It was a bit scary as I had to intervene, twice,  and her momma wasn't super interested after that.  But they have everything worked out now and are both doing well.

Alpacamundo's Holly with Apple and Wonton.
Her momma, Frieda, is in the background

Then Pearl was a big surprise and born on Saturday.

Alpacamundo's Pearl with her momma Kocoa.  Daisy is looking on.

The dogs are learning how to be gentle with the cria.  This is only their second experience with cria and it's challenging not to be too excited.  ;-)

Wonton is ~100lbs and Holly is ~14lbs

Clementine (last year's cria) who last week still seemed small, is quite big next to the new babies.

Pearl and Clementine saying Hello while
Momma Kocoa and Auntie Daisy  supervise.

Only one more cria to go.  :-)

REDUCE/Reuse/Re-purpose/Repair: 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.

Hubba has started replacing door thresholds and weather stripping and fixed the-door-that-doesn't-always-close with a few wood screws from the-jar-of-old-screws-and-nails.

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.

I don't think we did anything that fits in this category over the last month.  :-/

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!

This month zucchini, tomatoes, onions, watermelons, okra, red bell peppers and apples have all made it to our table.  We have finished off the beets and cucumbers.  I'm losing confidence in my chiles... I've had lots of blossoms, but very little fruit so far. :-(

Still  in progress... are spaghetti squash, pumpkins, acorn squash, butternut squash, 
rutabaga, okra, and apples.  :-)

We've also had some rain over the last week or more.  Everything is starting to green-up again... as the leaves are changing.  ;-)

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.

A little knitting and a whole lot of canning.  I had another apple pectin/jelly experiment that didn't go so well.  It jelled this time, but way too much so we made apple candy instead.  ;-)

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 am planning to store some of our winter squash.  I haven't tried that before, so I continue to spend time with these two books.

We also spent a lot of time watching both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  I can't say that I really enjoyed them because I do get tired of the political rhetoric, but we feel it's important to listen to both sides.

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.

We donated a pair of over-stuffed sofas.

Hubba bought them from a friend soon after we moved into our house thinking he wanted them in his Man Room.  But the truth is, they were not our style, he never used them and they were in great shape.  Someone will be thrilled to find them at Goodwill, I'm certain.

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.

The Paralympic coverage was big for us this month.  We enjoyed seeing amazing performance after amazing performance and seeing some of our friends do well.  We was very disappointed that they did not have live coverage of the Marathons, since that is our favorite event.  It was quite a bummer to wake up at 4:15 on the morning of the races and find that there was no coverage anywhere.  Of course we were delighted to see that Shirley Rilley from the US won Gold.  :-)

We also spent several days hanging out at the Farmer's Market.  Truth be told, we've been doing a lot of this over the entire summer, not just in September.  But one day this month we spent so much time hanging out and talking with people that we completely missed out on buying any produce. lol.

Lastly my Momma spent a weekend with us and we peeled and canned apples and chatted.  I love hanging out with my Momma.  She also went to the gun range with Hubba.  It was the first time she had fired her gun since before she retired from the Sheriff's Department about four years ago.  They had a "blast."  :-)


Anonymous said...

ooo, arent those little babies cute!. what an interesting month you have had.

Anonymous said...

Canning applesauce is on my list for this weekend. We have a long weekend coming up for Canadian thanksgiving - so I'm looking forward to the house smelling like turkey and applesauce.

The babies are adorable!

MarmePurl said...

Love this. Quite inspirational.

Urban Homestead South Africa said...

Oh my your Holly and Pearl are too gorgeous!

Cath said...

I always look forward to reading your Slow Living updates. Lovely.

Wendy Meijer said...

Love the little ones!

Linda said...

Your garden is doing so well! I'm pleased to hear your are looking in to the politics because it's so important to our future. So many people just vote the same way they always have without thinking about it. What a waste. And I had to laugh about you at the market because I spend most of my time at our farmer's market gasbagging. I'm curious though, it sounds as though yours are held often. Ours are only once a month.

city garden country garden said...

I love the photo of Wonton and Holly, she looks so delicate. What a great outcome for you on the farm this month!