Monday, July 15, 2013

Slow Living in June

Considering it's all about slow living, maybe a late post for June is perfectly acceptable. I am travelling in the slow lane for sure this month. Our late frosts hit hard in June, even destroying my pretty flowering pot plants deep under the verandah. Come and meander with me as I attempt to remember the highs of June, following along with Slow Living Essentials 

In spite of the chilly winter weather, invigorating salads still feature regularly on our table. We eat what is available seasonally as much as possible. So there are no iceberg lettuces or summer cucumbers, rather more robust, even bitter flavours. We make our salads from a selection of just picked chicory leaves, rocket, oak leaf lettuce, baby spinach, bok choi, mizuna, chinese cabbage and beetroot leaves which have a fresh earthy flavour. Then I add in the flavour families to suit the salad, either picked from our vegetable tunnel, or taken from the pantry.

For example:
 pickled peppers, sundried tomatoes, our own feta, sliced spring onions and olives if we're lucky
walnuts, chopped bottled apples and sliced celery tossed with yoghurt, lemon juice and olive oil
boiled eggs, pickled peppers, toasted sunflower seeds, sundried tomatoes, bits of crispy bacon in a vinaigrette
chickpeas, garlic, onion, sesame seeds, sundried tomatoes and pepperdews

 I also did Patrick Holford's 9 Day Liver Detox which was wonderful, clearing my brain fog and energising me. 
Another regular feature on our table was leek pie. It's a popular favourite. I will post the recipe separately.

Rather than put up food from the harvest, this is my resting season where I get to enjoy the hard work from summer. I am loving the smoothies and crumbles made from frozen fruit chunks; the honey and bottled fruit on porridge and flapjacks; jams and jellies on toast; and all the frozen veggies in soups and stews. 

Oh, but I did make some wild melon preserve, I couldn't help myself - Use it ... Don't Lose it

I am collecting up our candle stubs for a mammoth candle making session. I keep all tiny containers for seed storage as well as those little silica sachets that come with vitamins. They will keep the stored seeds dry too. 

Epsom salts in solution made an excellent ant deterrent in my veggie tunnel. Crushed egg shells kept the slugs off my baby broad beans too. 

Our winter tunnel looks so barren, but if you look, there is still so much to harvest - the greens that I mentioned already, leeks galore, onions, beetroot, turnips on their way, black radish, celery, spring onions, broccoli, kale, a few carrots, herbs and some tiny brassica seedlings.

After the first hard frost I cut off the tops of some leaf chicory and planted the roots in a pot, covered it and put it in a dark place. The plan was to force the chicory to make endives. In their dark spot, I promptly forgot about them. The last time I checked, they could have made endives, but they look a bit too mature. I don't have a final pic to show you. 

We planted alfalfa and mustard spinach as green manure. There is also a fair bit of farm manure going into next seasons potato beds. Heavy frosts sadly killed the carrots that had just germinated. 

We have another new hanslammetjie that we are growing, So now we have Baby Lamb and Fat Lamb. Rosie's belly and udder continued to grow larger and larger through the month of June, full of promise of a calf. 

My husband spent quite some time away from our home creating wooden beauty in a faraway friend's home. 

I read the Michael Pollan book, Omnivore's Dilemma. This book is a must read for everyone who eats meat. I found it extremely challenging. I went on to watch some inspiring YouTube videos on Joal Salatin at Polyface
farm. I want to make so many changes here as a result of these discoveries, however, most of those changes will need the help of a very busy husband, so for now they are merely dreams. The book and video clips are however well worth an online search.

Does hosting different groups of family and friends during the school holidays count? I am sure we enhanced their holidays. 

The best of June was connecting with visiting family and friends. We had Grant's cousin and her children from America and his aunt,

my sister-in-law and my 2 year old nephew, 

my namesake and bff from school that I haven't seen for over 6 years with her family, 

my eldest sister and to top it all, my mum. 
Sadly I was so busy enjoying my mum's company that I forgot to photograph her.

Some of their visits overlapped, but it was a crazy wonderful time filled with excursions to a frozen stream to play on and with the ice; 
as well as cow milking sessions; bottle-feeding the lambs; horse rides;

 walks up the koppie; heart-to-heart connections; laughter and reminiscing and plenty of good food. 


  1. Wonderful! I am sure you did enrich your visitors lives xxx

  2. I can confirm you definetly did enrich our lives, Rory and Sean loved milking Faith and feeding the lambs their bottles and of course the ice smashing at the frozen river. I came away feeling wonderfully relaxed and rejuvenated.

  3. Thanks Rory, glad you enjoyed your time here.

  4. Hi there, glad you managed to catch up with Slow Living essentials. I grew up in South Africa, but now live in Australia, so will be following along. I am also a big fan of Michael Pollan and Joel Salatin - wish I had a farm....