Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Slow living farm update - February 2015

As we come into the final hot month of summer, I'm joining in the Slow Living Monthly Nine again, started by Christine at Slow Living Essentials and currently hosted by Linda at Greenhaven. How was your January?



Nourish
We roasted one of our frozen chooks (roosters from last year’s hatch) and after carving the meat, I popped the carcass into the slow cooker to make chicken stock. I just add a carrot, celery from the garden, an onion and some herbs and leave it cooking for 24 hours or more. Then I put it in the freezer in small containers to use in cooking. Real stock with lots of gelatine is healing and makes everything tasty without the need for “packets” or additives.  (More about making stock in the slow cooker here)



Prepare
We made more soap from our beef tallow, this time using some zeolite to colour it, and an essential oil mixture for scent.  We are pretty confident about using our tallow to make soap now.  And we have a lot of soap to use up after all that practicing!  We haven't bought soap for a couple of years now though, and now we have some nice bars to use as gifts.



Reduce
I wrote over a year ago that we were sick of ploughing and planting forage for our cattle, and had plans to plant perennial pasture. We have been waiting for rain, and this year it has arrived and we have started planting. This is all part of our plan to improve our property and reduce the work and diesel required to maintain it.  I will write more about what grass species we chose and how we planted.




Green
We hatched 24 chicks! This year is the first year we haven’t bought a commercial chick raising mix. We are feeding them cracked grain, supplemented with meal worms, compost worms, dry dog biscuits and mashed up hard boiled egg! They certainly need the extra protein and go crazy (eating as quickly as they can and running around chasing each other) when we put these foods in the chick brooder for them. I am hoping that this is a success because I hate buying the commercial mixes with antibiotics that we don’t need, or trying to source an organic alternative.




Grow
I wrote about my garden on Monday for the Garden Share Collective.




Create
This year I am making an effort to sew! I have my fabric stash and my pattern collection and a book to help me. This is my first effort, a little top to wear to work.  After that I sat down and mended several items (that may have been in my mending bag for over a year!).  Now I just need to maintain the momentum…



Discover
I keep hearing about Paleo and thinking I should find out more. Penguin sent me Irena Macri’s “Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook”, which is a lovely book. It hasn’t answered all my questions, but it has pointed me in the right direction to read other books. I’m going to make a few of the recipes and then I’ll write a full review, in the meantime, check it out on Amazon here: Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook.



Enhance
The other thing I’ve been working on is my chicken tractor ebook “Design and Use a Chicken Tractor”. Chicken tractors are a very popular topic on my blog, so I’m keen to share more and tell you everything I know about the topic. I’ve written about 3500 words, so I’m about quarter of the way there. I started a little blog to keep you updated on the ebook. Check it out here if you’re interested.





 Enjoy
These past few weekends we have been painting our new/old removal house. Its not particularly enjoyable at the time (although I don’t mind it, I do start to get sore shoulders when we do the ceilings!). However, the end result is fantastic. Not only does it look so much nicer than peeling dirty paint, it signifies that we are one step closer to moving, and that is a wonderful feeling.  Taz seems to enjoy helping (its been too hot for Cheryl though).


tapestry beige on the walls, still need to do the doors...
How was your January?  What are your plans for February?

5 comments:

  1. You have been busy - I love the colour you have chosen for your house interior.

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  2. How wonderful to make your own soap from your own ingredients and feed your chicks with a healthy homemade food (hope that continues to work). We are in the middle of Winter here so I am creating loads at the moment, but come the summer it will tail off as other things/projects takeover!

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  3. The walls are looking good. I am hoping to get to my soap making this weekend so will finally get to use our tallow. Looking forward to hearing more about the Paleo book.

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  4. I too like the color of the walls. The little shirt is cute and very practical. Love the idea of your soap, making it almost all from your home. What a fun read, it would have taken me less time but I followed every link and enjoyed every minute!

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  5. Great job with the top! And the mending!! I never get around to mending. I keep things tucked away to fix later, then forget all about them!

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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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