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Slow Living Farm update - September 2014

This month I'm trying something new and joining many other bloggers with the Slow Living Monthly Nine, started by Christine at Slow Living Essentials and currently hosted by Linda at Greenhaven.  Its been interesting to try to write under each of the nine categories, I think it will get easier each month!



Nourish
We have been using up the beef in our freezer to prepare for our next butcher day coming up in mid-September.  This month Pete suggested that we try making jerky.  We used a kit and made it in our dehydrator from the last of our rump steak.  It came out really nice and I ate most of it.  Now I'm looking forward to having more rump and trying some new recipes!


homemade jerky

Prepare
Preparing for butcher day involves digging a hole for the waste, making sure we have enough plastic freezer bags (to bag 300 kg of meat), cleaning out the freezer, and often buying some new equipment.  This year Pete spotted a heavy duty mincer on special, and here it is, ready for mincing.

heavy duty mincer

Reduce
I wasn't sure what to write in this section, I think we reduce so much I don't really notice it anymore!  But I did want to tell you about our chickens.  We killed three roosters a few weeks ago, and used one of them to make roast chicken and stock, and froze the other two for later.  We get about 8-9 eggs from our 20 hens at the moment.  I suppose you could say that the "reduce" here is that we never buy chicken meat, eggs, or stock, because we produce all of that for ourselves.  

Chickens - reducing chicken meat and eggs

Green
I was given a big bag of lemons and limes so I juiced them and froze most of it in ice cubes (and made some ginger beer).  I used the skins to make some citrus infused vinegar, we use this for cleaning everything and don't buy any other cleaners.  (I guess this overlaps with nourish and reduce!)

lemon infused vinegar for cleaning

Grow
The rain did my garden good, I wrote about my garden on Monday here.  

Also on the subject of grow, we have finally accepted that Bella the house cow is not pregnant.  She should have had a calf by now!  She is currently looking quite fat.  Not in a pregnant way though.  Cows always have big fat bellies, and when they are pregnant, they have a bulge to the right-hand side as well.  A fat cow has fat on her ribs, a skinny cow has ribs showing.  Bella is looking in lovely condition, but very symmetrical and not at all pregnant.  Molly is looking pregnant though, so one out of two at least.  We are having a lot of trouble figuring out when Bella is on heat, so we are thinking about getting an expert in.... we have found a little bull who might be able to help us out.  

the garden harvest in August

Create
Back on to chickens, I've started a chicken tractor ebook.  I've designed the cover and written a chapter outline.  I'm hoping it doesn't take as long to write as "Our Experience with House Cows"!  If you use chicken tractors I'd love to hear from you and feature you in the ebook.  Also, if you have any chicken tractor questions, let me know so I can make sure I cover everything.

And I made my first ever crochet squares!



learning to crochet

Enhance
I sorted out all my seeds and worked out what I have in excess to swap, I'll post my seed swaps next Monday.  I love saving and swapping seeds, its a massive saving and I encourage everyone to try to save seeds too.

Seeds to swap

Discover
You can never read all the house cow books.... here's another one, it has wonderful photos, I think its going to be a great resource for new house cow owners and I've learnt a few things too.

Another house cow book to read!

Enjoy
We went up to the beach for the weekend.  It was too cold for swimming, but great for playing ball, and a nice break catching up with family.

Taz and Cheryl playing ball at the beach


A few new blogs for September

The Simple Farm
The Oasis Biodynamic Farm

How was your August?  What's coming up in September?  Join in with Slow Living Monthly Nine, its fun!

Comments

  1. Oh we've just started making our own jerky too. We don't have a dehydrator, though one is on my wishlist. Instead we made a Biltong box- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjMGvIMbMGM
    Your chicken tractor ebook looks like it will be an interesting read. As for topics that you could cover in it- making it predator proof- mesh the whole floor versus a mesh skirt; and the ideal area per chook.

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  2. You'll love joining in this series as it's great to record all those things towards slow living which means (good old fashioned hard work!!) great to document what's going on. Your ebook sounds good and I'm sure it will help lots of people. Have a good week. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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  3. I love this link up as it is really interesting to read what people all over the world have been up to. I live on the other side of the world and own a fraction of the land you do but can still live slow, it's great we can all do it in our own way :). Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Woo Hoo! Crochet!! I feel we are level pegging with our skills in this area. I'm looking forward to watching your progress. I never thought about all the preparation that goes into butchering cattle. The biggest thing we've dealt with is a chook! Glad to have you joining in.

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  5. Hi! Just found your blog for the first time and I'm excited to follow along and learn more. I love the idea of making lemon vinegar for cleaning! I'm making some apple vinegar right now from skins and cores. Always looking for way to be more sustainable!

    www.farmbrews.blogspot.com

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  6. I love reading what everyone has been doing in their simple lives. It is interesting how different our lives are, or sometimes they are very similar :)

    I found on another site the other day that you can soak the skins of your citrus in water and make a beautiful smelling fabric softener. I have made some and it smells divine, but I haven't tried it out yet. I will be the next time I wash though. I added a mix of mandarin, orange, lemon and grapefruit. Found it here after a look via Down to Earth http://spurtopia.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/home-made-citrus-softener.html

    x

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  7. Thanks for the comments everyone! See you next month!

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Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

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