Friday, 31 August 2012

Slow Living - August

I'll be joining up with Slow Living Essentials with this month's slow living post.  It's a very interesting series if anyone wants to come along for the ride.

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

I always try to make as much from scratch as possible.  This month, I have to say, I have not had the heart to bake bread at all.  I did some baking for our vacation, though, and a few muffins and granola bars, but mostly it has been about cooking from the garden.

  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.

I am sharing the picture below, but you have to promise not to laugh.  I have been reading some of your lovely ladies who are managing to put up 30 cans of green beans in one day, or all of your crushed tomatoes for the year.  I salute you!  This is where I am at so far for the entire summer...
I have to say this is actually the most I have ever canned...well, at least the biggest variety.  I started out with a jar a day when the harvest was small.  This week, I have managed 16 jars.  And when I think about it, the picture above isn't actually accurate as we have already eaten some of it before I took this picture.  I still have lots of tomatoes growing to can, and the freezer has lots of berries in it that are waiting for me to make them into jam.  And, I am quite proud that it is all from my garden.  I had planned on putting up lots of green beans from the farmer's market, but it just didn't happen.

 Reduce:  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.
Green: 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 am putting these two together this month.  I am constantly trying to reduce clutter, reduce waste, reduce "stuff", and also constantly trying to green up our lives.  Nothing new to report here this month, except that I have joined a group of local women that have started a kind of perpetual yard sale over the internet where you can buy and sell gently used items.  I have continued with it this month and plan on using it in the fall as well to reduce more.  The less we buy new, the better, right?

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.  

I doesn't appear that I have been taking very many pictures of the harvest.  There are hardly any on my camera.  I must be overwhelmed with the sheer volume :)

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.

Always a work in progress.  There has been knitting and sewing going on as usual, but mostly all works in progress that I have already shared, or given away without taking a picture.

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.

On our vacation, we stopped into a book store and we each chose a book to start off our week.  I chose this book:  
You can't really click to look inside like the picture says, but if you follow the link you can.

I look forward to many projects from this book.

Enhance:  Community: Possibilities include supporting local growers & producers, help out at a local school/kindergarten, barter or foodswap, joining a playgroup or forming a walking or craft group.

I finally finished the scarf for the "Street Kids of Toronto" campaign.  I turned it in at the craft store this week to be turned in with the others.  I have shared the information throughout the past couple of months, but since the deadline is tomorrow, I don't figure you can still use it.

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.

Oh, so much to enjoy this month.  We celebrated a 13th birthday, a 15th wedding anniversary, had an outing with extended family, went on vacation, and most of all....the big secret...I was so very honoured to be asked to be a witness at my sister's wedding.  It was just her and her new husband.  Myself with my husband and kids, and the groom's brother with his family.  It was intimate.  It was amazing.  It was so very very hard to keep secret.  (I work with my brother and father, and brother in law and see them every day---and I had to keep it secret for 4 months).
My sister is married!  I would love to share pictures, seeing as how they are definitely the most stylish couple I know, but I forgot to ask permission.  Maybe that will be another post.

In the meantime, have a great month everybody.


  1. Your canning is amazing!! I love seeing jars of different coloured veggies and jams etc all lined up! Are they visible in your kitchen?
    I'm totally new to canning and don't really have a clue what I'm doing! I'm never quite sure if I have sterilized the finished product properly or if things in hot vinegar actually need to be sterilized at all?
    Hope this comment works as I tried leaving one a few days ago and it kept disappearing!
    How is your t-shirt yarn rug coming along?

  2. That is some awesome canning. They look so lovely all lined up on the shelves. Definitely something I will have to try factor into my planting for next year...!

  3. I am very impressed with your shelves of home-grown produce. :-)

  4. Wow, impressive harvest and impressive bottled harvest. Inspiring.

  5. Your canning is great!! I hope to get to somewhere like that this year :-)

    And I love the look of that sock knitting book. It's a skill I'd really like to learn.

  6. Agree with the others, your canning is a great achievement. I think it's wonderful that you have a selection of things to choose from, rather than 52 jars of straight tomatoes, say for arguments sake. Definitely gaze-worthy material here! :)

  7. Your canning is very impressive.
    I love the look of the knitting book. I hope you do a post on finished projects.
    I love an intimate wedding.

  8. I think you should be very proud of your canning progress, it's far more impressive than mine! Your harvest photos great too.

    Good on you for knitting for the homeless, my sister does a similar thing here in Melbourne.

    And WOW, keeping that secret for so long must have been excruciatingly hard. But the tiny intimate ceremony sounds beautiful!

  9. I love all the preserving you've done. I want to get more organised with putting food aside for another season but for now i'm happy with eating from the garden. The book looks great. Hand knitted socks are the best! And I agree with Barbara - that must have been a very difficult secret!