This week I have been participating in a harvest merry-go-round. I worked in my friend Sandra's garden and she gave me lemons and figs from her trees. Mum brought me beautiful Cox's Orange Pippins from her apple tree and I gave her figs. I took lemons to my neighbour and he gave me eggs. I worked in my friend Monique's garden and she gave me lemongrass stems to plant. I identified one of her unknown plants as a tomatillo, and she gave me a bucketful for my American tomatillo-loving friends Karlin and Ed, who have been hunting for a tomatillo plant. Karlin and Ed were able to give tomatillo recipe instructions to Monique, which I will deliver with some beetroot and parsnip seeds.. this is the gift economy in action, an eternal, life-giving round of sharing excess, which helps to foster bonds of friendship and the realisation that we are all knit together in community. Plus, no food miles. Everyone wins.
Elsewhere in green and thrifty news I made another batch of passata last weekend. Paul turned up just in time to help with the bottling.
I ran out of odd bottles of left-over cleaning spray, so I am experimenting with making my own. This is the recipe I am currently trialling. It seems to be perfectly acceptable. I am also using it as pre-wash stain removal, which it seems to be holding its own with as well.
I have been foraging for walnuts this week as I have been walking the dog, and have been doing it on just the right week. Look at my walnut harvest! There is more since I took this photo. The nuts are so fresh they are still milky, so I will keep them a few weeks until they harden up before I gobble them down.
I made all our bread this week. Ok, I made one loaf which is all our bread this week! Also cooked all our meals, well, except for the ones the girls cooked, and sent a packed lunch off to school with the girls each day. Some of which they ate..
When I moved into this house, almost two years ago now, there was a large hole in the top of our wheelie bin. It looked like the previous owners had dropped a heavy chunk of concrete on it from a height. It is very annoying as it lets rainwater into the bin and I keep having to drain it. I could have ordered a new bin but I would be charged for it. Also, what happens to old bins? Are they recycled? No idea. So I did nothing except stick a terracotta plant pot saucer over the hole and complain when it didn't work. Today I had a sudden brainwave, and made a patch out of an old ice-cream container lid and duct tape. I am amazed and impressed with myself, and rather surprised that it took me two years to think of this..
Baby lettuce plants!
Eating from the garden this week: potatoes, tomatoes, lemons, capsicum, rhubarb, parsley, tarragon, rosemary.
Tired, but determinedly cheerful mother of four. One grown up son (The Boy), one grown up daughter (The Girl), two girls at home, Rosy (17) and Posy (13). Trying to buy a little less, make a little more, live a little lighter, not mess up the children too much.. and now extra frugal adventures with Partner Paul..