Monday, April 2, 2012

Slow Living in March

Two special ladies, Wendy and Wendy, have written beautiful posts motivated by Slow Living Essentials and have inspired me to record my March month. As the days slip through my scrabbling fingers, a pause to look back on tasks accomplished will hopefully reassure me of time well used.

Muffins, pancakes, porridges and baked goods are standard breakfast items here. Soups and stews are slowly replacing salads. Brinjal moussaka, venison stew, homemade pizza and pasta bring comfort as our evenings turn cooler. Bean and lentil dishes have made their appearance too as I have been working my way through the pantry. Here is a delicious salad I made - potato, bean, walnut, rocket, sun dried tomato and chunks of my first gouda in a sun dried tomato vinaigrette.

We have bottled apples and pears, dried cherry tomatoes and filled the freezer with many bags of cherry tomatoes just waiting so be popped into winter stews.

Reduce and Reuse
I have reduced my food budget considerably and am attempting to eat from what we have as much as possible. I converted a pretty pink T-shirt that had stretched out of proportion into a shopping bag and baby's bib. My daughter and I are reusing second hand books to create surprise gifts.

All our lights were out for green hour because I was already sleeping soundly on my pillow, falling into bed just after sunset. Early nights under a warm duvet do a lot to save in terms of light and heating.

We have started a new compost heap with another one ready for digging into the garden and another maturing. Horse, chicken and cow manure all do their bit to nourish my garden. Our little worm farm produces buckets of 'worm tea' for the garden and our smelly comfrey tea also helps to nourish our vegetables.

We are coming to the end of our enormous marrow and tomato harvests. We still have lazy housewife beans, green peppers, brinjals and broad beans coming in. We have planted bok choi, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beetroot, red carrots, parsnips, garlic, onions, radishes and turnips for autumn and winter. There are plenty of bright orange pumpkins lying around in the garden waiting for the first hard frosts to mature them before I pick them. Our vine on the verandah has produced copious amounts of grapes, lovely for snacking on. I was delighted with many small watermelons springing up in the garden, but I have a sinking feeling that they are actually tsamma melons - for fodder... and my cows don't like them.
The unborn calf, long awaited continues to grow in Rosie's belly.

I am creating order in my study, sorting fabrics that have been boxed for many years. Seeing their inviting colors has stimulated my creative juices. I made a pair of urgently needed pot holders and I have many more ideas for all that lovely material. My challenge to myself is to create as many items as possible using what I have without shopping. I am still working on my daughter's stripy crocheted blanket. I am 75% of the way there. I hope to complete it before winter. I have also started knitting a cosy gift for my smallest nephew.

I was given the privilege of sprinkling pretty pearly sparkling powder over the exquisite wedding cakes that my sister-in-law made.

The sunflowers that enhanced our entrance and back garden were splendid in their full blown glory. They fed the wild birds a bit, and we have collected the heavy heads for our chickens too.

My husband's family history has been researched and very carefully presented to us in charts and on disc by his generous aunt in New Zealand. It has been fascinating to discover his roots stretching way back to the 1600's.

We spent ten days of this month in Cape Town enjoying time with our extended family. It was my brother-in-law's wedding. Family time is always precious, and treasured even more now that we live so far apart.

The autumn cosmos lining the farm roads is breathtakingly pretty.


  1. My precious precious friend, you are so talented and created and you can stretch your resources like no-one else I know. You are such an isnpiration.

    1. Thank you, have a wonderful time with your boy. xx

  2. Wow, that cake is amazing! I had click on the photo to make sure it was a cake, because it looks like a fancy jewelry display.

    I also love the last photo of the country road. Just lovely.

    That salad sounds delicious, though I have no idea what rocket is. I'm off to look that up. :-)

    1. Thanks for popping by Kathryn

      My sister-in-law makes the most exquisite cakes that I have ever seen. Each one is so original and her attention to detail is incredible.

      That country road leads to our home. I feel so blessed to live in such a lovely place.

      Rocket is a peppery salad leaf. My favourite.

  3. Lovely post. Sunflowers make my day, every time !

    1. Thank you Carol. We live in a good sunflower farming area and are privileged to drive past fields of their happy faces.

  4. I had to do a double take the other day when I saw two Wendy's from SA! It's really lovely to have you joining in, Cath. Your salad looks amazing - I bet it was delicious! Your crochet blanky is so sweet and how wonderful to have your husbands family history traced back to the 1600's!! :)

    1. Thank you Christine and thank you for the inspiration.