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Showing posts from January, 2017

Pack your own lunch recipes - January 2017

We take our own lunch to work every day because the only other option is the work canteen which is a) expensive and b) junk.  We usually cook up a big batch of something like a casserole, stir fry, curry or roast, and make up individual servings to take to work each day (in glass containers).  We eat the same lunch every day all week, and something different for dinner.  This doesn't bother me, but you might prefer to freeze some of the portions so you can mix it up.







I decided this year to share photos and recipes from our lunches so that you might be inspired to pack your own lunch too.  Here's what we took for lunch in January.  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'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 bee…

How I use herbs: Winter Savory

There are two types of savory - summer savory (Satureja hortensis) is an annual and winter savory (Satureja montana) is perennial.  Creeping and lemon, mint and thyme-scented species are also available.  I think I have plain old winter savory, although it came from a market simply labeled as "savory".


How to grow winter savory Savory grows similar to thyme and rosemary, it grows well in full sun with well-drained soil.  It is propagated by root division or cuttings.  
How to use winter savory To me it tastes similar to thyme, and I have been using it as I use thyme and rosemary - to flavour casseroles and roasts.  I have cut some to dry, and I also use it fresh.  
Medicinally, I haven't found much information about winter savory.  It seems to be quite similar to thyme and rosemary - good for respiratory conditions, antiseptic and digestion.   


Do you grow winter savory?  How do you use it?

How I use herbs - Mint, Peppermint and Spearmint

How I use herbs - Aloe Vera

How I use h…

One straw revolutionary - translating the translation

In 1974, an American, Larry Korn arrived at Masanobu Fukuoka's farm in Shikoku Japan, to begin an informal internship that culminated in him translating into English Fukuoka-san's book The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming (affiliate link).  The book was published in 1978 and Larry then hosted Fukuoka-san in the US and started his own business teaching natural farming techniques.  Now Larry has published his own book, One-Straw Revolutionary: The Philosophy and Work of Masanobu Fukuoka (affiliate link). which is the tale of how "The One Straw Revolution" came to be.   I first heard about this book on the Root Simple Podcast here.

I reviewed "The One Straw Revolution" back here and I have been strongly influenced by the idea of "doing nothing" and observing nature.  I know several people who have read "One Straw Revolution" and really struggled with it.  I had to read it three times myself before I came close to unde…

Living in regional Australia - pros and cons

Pete and I live in the South Burnett region of Queensland.  We are about two hours drive from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Dalby and Toowoomba in each direction, which are all much larger towns and cities.  Its not exactly the middle of nowhere, its more like nowhere in the middle of everywhere else.



Only about 10% of Australians live in rural areas (although I'm not sure how they defined rural).  In fact, 25% live in Sydney, so there's more people in Sydney than living in rural areas.  This made me think that many of my readers have little experience with rural and regional Australia, but given that you're reading this blog, maybe you're interested in moving away from the city and into a regional or rural (or remote!) area at some stage.  And maybe you're wondering what its really like out here.

We've had a few trips to Brisbane lately (and of course Pete grew up there and I've lived there on and off a few times), which has helped me to contrast our quiet…

Secondhand house update: aren't you finished yet?

If it feels like its taking us a LONG time to finish our house, it is.  We first saw the house in December 2012.  It was moved to our property on the back of a truck in July 2013 (full tour with BEFORE photos here).  We got council approval for it in July 2014.  Then we replaced the roof, and started working on stripping back each room (including removing floor coverings, asbestos, all fittings from the kitchen and bathroom) and gradually painting and renovating.  The bathroom was fitted out about in the middle of last year, but it took us ages to get back to painting it as we had other rooms to work on first.  We painted the outside of the house with the help of my parents early last year (there is still a bit left to do, but its looks so much better).

A few months ago we had the new hardwood ironbark floor installed.  Now we are just waiting for the cabinet maker to build the kitchen (and then the plumber to plumb it, the electrician to the power points and the tiler to do the splas…

Beekeeping - boom and bust

We got our first little nuc of bees back in July 2015.  Since then we have been slowly building up numbers, we bought another nuc and three full hives that were already on our property, and we've made several more nucs and hives from splitting those first hives and catching swarms.  Over the last 18 months we've become hyper-observant of all the flowering plants on our property because bees increase their numbers when they have access to plenty of nectar to make into honey.  Suddenly Pete is interested in all the flowers that I've been pointing out for years!  We are also observing our bees and their response to different flowers.


Since we got the first nuc we have seen hives fill with honey and bees to the point where they are too full and the hive will swarm (a group of bees will fly away with a new queen to start another colony), at other times we have seen them eat all their honey stores, lose numbers and get over-run with the dreaded small hive beetle.  As beekeepers,…

Farm update - January 2017

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you had some time off to relax.  We had a few days at the beach and then we got back into house reno work.  I'll have an update on that for you next week.  We had really hot and dry weather until last week, when we finally started to see some of the monsoon rains, so the season hasn't been too bad so far.  When I say hot and dry, I mean I left an egg outside and when Pete cracked it into the dog dish, it was half cooked!  We have been running the aircon in the bedroom and I'm so glad we got that installed.  I can handle the heat until I need to sleep and then its just really hard without aircon.  The dogs LOVED the beach, and then LOVED taking a dip in the dam to cool off while we were working.




Food and cooking
Its mango season here and I got a nice tray of mangoes for only $25, it came all the way from Bowen QLD.  I'm looking forward to planting our own as soon as we get the water organised for our orchard.  I find that one or two trays…