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Pack your own lunch recipes - April 2017

More lunches to share with you.  We always cook in bulk in the weekend and make all our lunches for the following week.  These are ideas for lunch or just bulk cooking.  You can find more recipes in my January postFebruary post and March post. I also share them on Instagram each Sunday or Monday night (you will also see them on the Facebook page).  I hope these posts are inspiring you to cook from scratch and take your own lunch to work - both to save money and eat better.

I'm not great at following recipes, and I'm also not good at writing them, because I tend to just use up what we have in the fridge/pantry/garden, things that are on special or we've been given at our local produce share.  I'll tell you what I made, but I'm not saying you should follow exactly, just use it as a rough guide and use up whatever you have handy too.
Week 1: Beef stir fry
There was a pack of rump in the freezer, so perfect for a stir fry.  I sliced the meat thinly and marinated all …

Preserving the harvest

Here's a post originally from 2012.  It is interesting to read this again now, as I've lately been finding that I can grow a productive and varied vege garden for most of the year, so a lot of the veges that I had preserved were not getting used up anyway.  I prefer to use things up while they are fresh, but there are advantages to fermenting food and few things that I do want to use year-round, such as herbs, chilli and garlic, are easily dried.  

The first year in our new garden we had so many zucchinis and beans, we were giving them away to everyone.  But we hadn't got to know when we would have gluts and famines, so we didn't keep any for ourselves.  Of course through winter, we had to buy veges again as I hadn't kept any.  A few years on, now I'm starting to learn how to preserve some of our veges so that we will have a supply through winter.  I have been drying herbs and greens, freezing zucchinis and beans, fermenting pickling cucumbers and reading about…

We moved house!

Can you believe it!?  After owning our 258 acre property Cheslyn Rise at Kumbia for about five years and working on the house here for nearly four years, we had a week off work before Easter to get things ready and we finally moved in!  We have no couches (order is coming in to the shop any day now) and there are boxes everywhere, but we are loving it here.



We built a yard to keep the dogs on the property (and not wandering away to round up other people's cattle), we moved all the chickens and the chicken tractors on the car trailer and we have nearly everything we need here.  Except for internet.  We are just using mobile data at the moment, so I might not blog much until we get that sorted again.  The NBN are "updating their website" as our property does not come up in the fixed wireless zone, but when I checked the map our house is in the zone, just not the entire property, so they said they can change that, but I don't know how long it will take and then we will…

Growing snake beans

One of the really fun things about our sub-tropical climate is the weird veges that we can grow.  I've written about a few them before (rosella, warrigal greens and sweet potato), and other posts about chokos and trombonchino.  Here's one more that I like to grow: the snake bean.





Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis also known as yardlong bean,long-podded cowpea, asparagus bean, pea bean, or Chinese long bean.  You might have guessed from that, it is a LONG bean, up to 30cm in my experience.  Apparently sequipedalis means "one and a half feet", so it must get even longer in some conditions. It is a different genus to the common bean and more closely related to cow peas and mung beans.
Snake beans grow on vines and seem to prefer hot and wet weather, but will tolerate dry better than common beans, and will certainly produce better in the heat.  Like common beans, they do not survive frost and start to die back when overnight temperatures cool off.  The plant produce…

Frogs in the toilet - the realities of living in the bush

Here's a recycled post from 2011, its funny to reflect on the relative luxuries of our house at Eight Acres, as we prepare to move to our secondhand house at Cheslyn Rise... we also have frogs in the toilet there!

One of the unfortunate realities of "living in the bush" is finding frogs in your toilet.  Our last house was an old Queenslander, which was obviously built prior to the invention of indoor toilets.  A toilet had been added in the 80s when the house was moved, it must have been a cheap option to put the toilet out on the porch, which was not pleasant on cold nights, a quick dash through the back door and into the loo, brrrr!  Anyway, being an outside toilet, with the door frequently left open, it was not surprising to find a frog or two peering up at you when you lifted the lid. My husband didn't mind just weeing on them, however I didn't fancy the idea of sitting down with the frog underneath me and likely to jump up at any time.  I ended up fishing th…

Minimalism, decluttering and moving house

We are nearly ready to move house, actually we are in a constant process of moving things from one house to the other, and more correctly, we are nearly ready to permanently live in our secondhand house at Cheslyn Rise.




Too things have sparked my interest in minimalism and decluttering recently:

1) we have lived here at Eight Acres for eight years now and have accumulated a lot of stuff.  Our last move from the Lockyer Valley was paid for by my company and so a team of people came to the house and packed everything.  I remember unpacking the boxes and thinking "why did we bother to move this!?".  Some of it was just silly, but as the move was paid for, we didn't rationalise what we moved.  This time we are moving ourselves, with no moving truck or people to help, just loading stuff on the ute and car trailer, so I don't want to waste effort moving anything that we are not going to use. 2) our house at Eight Acres is small.  It is two bedrooms, one bathroom and open …

Beginner beekeeper: where should I start??

We've had bees for just over two years and it feels like we have learnt so much about bees, but at the same time we are realising that there so much more to know about these amazing creatures.  I was asked a question on one of my Instagram posts:
Where would we start when we decide to have our own bees? So much info out there. We are on 2 acres on the Sunny Coast and have a great bushy spot to keep the hives, just unsure what system etc we start researching? We love our Bee Pollen, is this another process entirely? Thanks :-)


I was not going to try to tap our a reply to that on my smart phone!  As you can see from my post, that is a big question, and perfect for a blog post.  Here's where I think you should start with bees, in no particular order you should do as many of these things as you can BEFORE you get your own bees.

Join a beekeeping club - we joined our local Barambah Bees.Find a beekeeper (hobby or commercial) who will let you look inside a hive or two a few times (we…

Farm update - April 2017

March was surprisingly wet and very pleasantly cool.  I do enjoy autumn and spring the most, we get cool nights because we're at a relatively high elevation here in the South Burnett.  It actually rained on and off for about a week, about 50 mm at each property in total and we had to mow the grass for only the third time this season.  And then we had a visit from ex-tropical cyclone Debbie, with about 100mm over a couple of day (I hope any readers in North QLD are ok, I feel for those faced with a big clean up job).  Gus is keen on swimming, alternating between sunbathing, swimming and coming to find humans and drip dirty water everywhere.






A post shared by farmer liz 🐶 🐓🐔🐮🐃🌳🌱 (@eight_acres_liz) on Mar 29, 2017 at 11:15pm PDT

Food and cooking
Lately we have been eating a lot of veges.  When I was trying to grow all our veges, we actually starting eating less veges, because it was hard to grow enough.  Now that I have admitted that we just have to buy some to supplement what we…

Pack your own lunch recipes - March 2017

This is my third post sharing our lunch recipes (you don't have to use them for lunch, they are just recipes that are easy to cook in bulk).  You can find more recipes in my January post and my February post. I also share them on Instagram each Sunday night (you will also see them on the Facebook page).  And I'll post the recipes at the end of the month.  I hope these posts are inspiring you to cook from scratch and take your own lunch to work - both to save money and eat better.  I haven't had any comments so far, so please let me know if you find these posts useful!

I'm not great at following recipes, and I'm also not good at writing them, because I tend to just use up what we have in the fridge/pantry/garden, things that are on special or we've been given at our local produce share.  I'll tell you what I made, but I'm not saying you should follow exactly, just use it as a rough guide and use up whatever you have handy too.

Week 1:  Roast Pork
I've…