Friday, 13 January 2012

Wonderful World

Our wet, wet garden captured from our bedroom window,
note the pair of doves on the washing line.

What a wonderful world!
I love being on holiday.  I love it even more when the rain stops.  Even more when the sun shines!!  Today the sun shone early in the morning, so I knew it would be a good day!  I bounced downstairs in my cut-off denim shorts and skimpy bikini-style top.  I wasn’t going to miss one minute of that precious sunshine!  So at 8am, I was sitting outside on our daybed, book in one hand, organic coffee in the other, lapping up the sunrays like a solar panel!  After 20 minutes of that, I leisurely surveyed my diary to see what I had planned for the day.  First off: a walk.  Off I set, with my sunglasses, hat and a plastic bag.  One has to travel incognito in a small town, otherwise you are bound to limit your mileage as you meet all sorts of contacts on the way.

“Be the change you want to see in the world” is a great motto.  On my walk yesterday, I noticed that there was quite a lot of litter on the roadside, so today I came armed with a bag and a mission.  I would gladly break my stride, in order to collect the roadside refuse and that’s just what I did.  The plastic bag was bulging on my return approach to home.  The contents included a few aluminium cans, a glass bottle, a few pieces of glass, plastic lids and wrappers, paper, plastic straws and even 2 rubber car parts (think they were mirror surrounds).  So all in all, I felt quite pleased that I not only increased my heart rate (Lord knows I need cardio-workout) as well as tidied up my “backyard”.  Then about 50m from my driveway, I noticed a council roadside refuse bin – which I gratefully dumped the bulging plastic bag into. 
A quick bite to eat, another cuppa coffee and I set about the other diarised tasks – sowing wildflower seeds on a small patch of soil that I had weeded yesterday, and making “poor man’s capers”.  Last night I went around the garden, collecting the fat little seeds of nasturtium flowers that carpet many of the areas under my fruit trees.  Nasturtium seeds are edible, a wonderful source of Vitamin C and make an outstanding cheaper version of true capers.  They make a fine addition to pizza! The recipe is as follows:

Poor Man’s Capers
Boil, then cool mixture comprising
·         1 cup white wine vinegar (I use Apple Cider Vinegar)
·         1 smallish tspn salt
·         1 small onion, thinly sliced
·         ½ lemon, thinly sliced
·         ½ tspn pickling spice
·         1 clove garlic, crushed
·         4-6 peppercorns
·         ½ tspn celery seed
Allow mixture to cool.  Put nasturtium seeds into small jar.  Pour cooled liquid over, seal and keep in fridge.  Ready to use in 3-4 weeks.  Or check out this website for an even easier version:

Rinsed nasturtium seeds

Poor Man's Capers, ready to lie in refrigerated
marinating for a few weeks before using
  I used my time in the sunshine today to also collect basil leaves and chamomile flowers which I dried in the dehydrator.  Done and dusted!  As I sat in the lovely warmth of the beautiful sun, I marveled at how time-consuming chamomile collection is – I don’t think I ever appreciated my cuppa chamomile tea as I will now that I am growing my own!
Time-consuming chamomile flower collection

Basil leaves in dehydrator - takes approx. half hour to dry
  I spent a bit of time sewing during the first part of the week, making extra lunar pads to get me through the moon phase, having made half a dozen a few months back and loving the feeling of not contributing to the masses of landfill waste, I decided to make a pair of heavy duty over-nighters, as well as a few lighter flow ones.  I hope this does not offend any readers out there, the topic of being “sustainable” however, covers many different areas of the house and garden!!  Anyhow, seeing as the sewing machine had been left out, I quickly zipped up a small bag today and a few patches on my gardening shorts (never knew that I wipe my hands so often on the “bum zone” that I had actually started to wear the fabric thin!!).  Then I printed them, for good measure.  Check out the results……………………
Ex -trouser leg bag with fringe benefits
Printed patches ensure longer life for gardening shorts
Take one unused pajama top
Cut out several inserts from cotton fleece
and towelette fabric, include one waterproof liner
Pin several layers of inserts to pad outer

Shanti likes to interfere with projects!  

End result, wacky little aeroplane-shaped lunar pads!!

Every possible moment I had today was spent within the rays of the sun – I never strayed too far!  I have suffered under the weather clouds for the last few weeks and this sunshine was like an energy boost that I desperately needed to restore my sense of sanity.  What can I say?  When others fan themselves and declare that it is too hot, I feel that my rocket is about to be launched into full steam ahead.  I am definitely a sun-lover!

Mike has bought a huge 10kg bag of carrots to kick-start our juice fast.  Every year, we try to do a juice fast to clean out the pipes in the body, kinda like a spring-clean.  Think about it: our bodies are spending 80% of it’s energy on digesting food, so when we juice fast, the nutrients are available at a cellular level, within 15 mins of ingesting, so the body can then focus on cleaning out and healing any “dis-ease”.nnWe follow Don Tolman’s juice recipe and boy, is it delicious!!  The key to success is to sip constantly throughout the day, so the body is always processing all the nutrients, which negates the feelings of hunger.   One can juice fast exclusively for 2 weeks for a healing process if sick or unwell, however, this time, we will simply be juicing for 2-3 days for a little clean out and may even add fruit to eat.  We prefer to do this a few times through the year, rather than an extended fast, which requires a HUGE dose of discipline.  This is the recipe for one person and is the MINIMUM amount per person per day and can be doubled if necessary:

Cabala Juice
2.5kg Carrots
2 x red Apples
1/3 fist-sized Beetroot
2 x green Apples
1 Lemon, skin and juice
2x yellow Apples
The colour of the apples targets the different emotions one goes through during the fast but is not crucial.  Yellow apples are hard to find and include varieties like Freyburg.  Note the highlighted letters spell out Cabala, a good tip for remembering the ingredients.

Our trusty old Oscar juicer, one of our best investments in health care
Liquid gold Cabala juice
I also managed to pick a large quantity of produce from the garden (the sun really does charge my batteries), mostly beans.  As I already have 2 bags of purple beans waiting to be eaten in the fridge, I processed this lot for freezing.  3 bags full to see us through autumn/winter.   The joys of self-sufficiency.  The birds are getting to our figs before we can - mental note, prune severely end of summer, so that next fruit crop is within human reach!!  We are still collecting heaps of berries - had berries with ice-cream for a decadent breakfast yesterday - yum!

1 comment:

  1. So lovely now that I can literally picture you pottering around in the sun doing your thing Giz! You sure have a lot of energy and imagination! KB xxx