My nitrate free and smoke free home cured bacon

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Theres something irresistible about bacon.

Crispy, salty yumminess…

It sings Sunday mornings. School holidays. Summer. Family. Happiness. Freedom.

Yet the story behind bacon is not a good one.  Sad, forelorn pigs locked in cages far from the open paddocks they long for. Unable to turn around. Unable to walk; let alone run. Never having felt the sun on their skins. Our world is seriously f&@# up!!

The heart of my 40 year old self skips a beat every time I walk down the smallgoods aisle of a supermarket. Past the meat section with its open fridges containing long lines of cheap factory farmed meat.  The image in my mind of tortured pigs in cages in dark, cold, sterile piggeries to me are not unlike the pictures from genocide camps in WW2. I cannot, and WILL NOT ever buy this meat!!! I would rather go hungry.

Lucky for me there are choices. If you look hard enough there are options. I firmly believe that by the choices we make everyday within our food stores and our farmers markets we can change the way our food is raised.  Grown.  Produced.  And the way the human race treats it’s animals.

This is why I choose to buy only free range, organic where possible, ethically raised and slaughtered, grass fed and finished meat. The way meat should naturally be.  I don’t believe this is a financial choice only some can make. We all have options.  Reduce your portion size if you need to. Buy direct from farmers at your local market and cut out the middle man. You have a choice. We all have a choice. And if you care strongly enough, like me, have the guts to stand firm on it.

My nitrate free, smoke free, ethically raised bacon

  • A square piece of ethically raised, grass fed and finished pork loin or belly roughly 16cm squared; trimmed and rind scored thinly through to the fat
  • 1/2 cup Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Panela, Rapudura or coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tspn turmeric
  • 1 dash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 dash of bourbon

Mix together the apple cider vinegar and bourbon I a bowl. Pour mix over the meat and rub in well, making sure it gets into the score marks in the rind. Then mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Cover the entire cut of pork with the dry mix, pushing it into every nook and cranny including the score marks. When you’re happy, place meat into a sealed container or glad bag. Place into the fridge for 3 days (longer for a bigger cut of meat). Toss and turn it everyday until it feels firmer to touch.

When cured, rinse the meat well under the cold tap and pat dry with absorbent paper. Place back into the fridge, uncovered and on a rack, for 24 hrs.

Roast slowly in the centre of your oven at 100 degrees Celsius for around 90 minutes. This is the time where you could also choose to smoke your bacon. (I choose not to due to the carcinogens found in wood smoke). Once cooked, chill again in fridge.

Slice and keep in fridge for a few days or freezer for a few months.  We have bought a meat slicer from eBay as it is a much easier way to slice your bacon. We have found the best results and taste with bacon sliced in 2-3mm slices. Thick slices seem to be quite firm.

Good luck!

xx

Weakness can become a strength

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So….. I can’t lie.

My husband and I do have cravings. And we have weakness. We do our best…….

We shop every week at our local farmers market. We only buy meat, eggs and dairy if the animals are ethically farmed. We grow our own veges and herbs when we seasonally can. We recycle. We try and have a conscience with every decision and purchase that we make.

I refuse a shopping bag when I shop and avoid plastic wherever I can..

Which leads me to tonight.

We had one of those once a year cravings for a McDonalds sundae. One of those cravings that you just can’t shake…

We couldn’t throw it!!!

We figured we can’t change the way the dairy is farmed, the packaging and transportation of the ingredients, not to mention the potentially harmful food additives, but the one thing we could change was the way it is served to us.

Armed with our own ceramic bowls and spoons from home, we marched into our local McDonalds. My husband was quite nervous and apprehensive. To his surprise, the young girl was really happy to serve us our sundaes in our own bowls, even congratulating us on our efforts!!!

So it was a win-win…

Not to mention that the ceramic made it taste that little bit better.

Any little step we can all take towards living “greener” in a modern world is a better step than the one before. And simple little changes can have a far greater impact than you can imagine. I urge you. Get out there and make every little step better than the last.

If you need inspiration, there’s a fabulous doco called “No Impact Man.” Watch it if you can. I’d love to hear what steps you take to walk “greener.” xx

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Rasberry Frozen Yoghurt

TLT-raspberry-froyo-HCI am not one to waste food.  So when we are going away and I see half a litre of beautiful homemade Greek yoghurt in the fridge, it is time to make some frozen yoghurt!  This little recipe is one I made up and it is soooooo easy.  Just three ingredients….

  • Greek yoghurt (I used 1/2 litre)
  • Rasberries or any kind of berries (I had half a packet left of frozen Organic berries – If not organic, make sure you rinse well as frozen berries are covered in toxic chemicals)
  • Agave Syrup to taste (I added about two tablespoons for the amount of yoghurt I had)

Now I am lucky enough to be able to add these three ingredients into an ice cream maker and then let it do it’s magic.  If you are not so lucky, mix ingredients well with a hand blender then freeze until nearly frozen.  Blend again and then put back into the freezer until you are ready to serve.  Yum!  The yoghurt freezes hard so you may need to leave on the bench for a few minutes to thaw before you serve.  Enjoy! ♥

xx

Honey Lemon Sugar Body Scrub

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  • 1 cup raw castor Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • The juice of 1 Lemon

Conbine ingredients well.   Massage the gorgeously fluffy mixture onto gently into moist skin and then rinse.  I use it in the shower.   Pat dry.  And then moisturise your skin well.  I use organic raw pressed coconut oil on my body and a beautiful organic body butter on my hands, feet and elbows.

The smell of summer.  Yum!

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Our Homegrown Tomatoes…

Tomatoes.  So easy to grow. So rewarding to grow. So fun to grow…roma_tomato_6-20-12

We are picking close to ten tomatoes every few days off the three vines we have planted in our garden.  Such a bountiful crop!  Traditionally considered a fruit, tomatoes are packed full of Vitamin C, vitamin A and Lycopene.  Lycopene is not an essential antioxidant required in the human diet but it is non-toxic and has been linked as a potential fighter in the prevention of certain cancers in the human body.  Tomatoes also help the body in fighting our harsh Australian UV rays.

Here’s a little fact.  Tomatoes have four chambers within them.  And so do our hearts.  Funny that, as it must be nature’s way of letting us know how good eating tomatoes is for the health of our hearts!P1010415

We grow Roma Tomatoes as both my family and myself are susceptible to salicylates.  Roma tomatoes contain the lowest levels of salicylates of all tomatoes.  Almost all foods contain some form of salicylate.  It’s a substance that acts as a natural preservative and insecticide.

What better way to celebrate your beautiful home-grown tomatoes than with them taking pride and place on top of your own home-made pizzas!

P1010422I will share with you soon my husband’s fabulous gluten-free pizza dough.  He is a fabulous home-taught breadmaker and his doughs, pastry and breads are divine!

xx

My Choc Mint ice cream… dairy and sugar free….and delicious!

Okay…..As promised here’s my recipe for a dairy and sugar free Choc Mint Ice Cream that is really yummy!  It has been stinking hot here again in Perth today, so I thought I’d surprise my hubby with a yummy thai chicken salad followed by Choc Mint ice cream for dessert.  What a nice cooling way to end the day……P1010430 Okay…Okay…I’ll get straight to the ice cream!  Just had to set the scene, that’s all!!

Choc Mint ice cream

  • 1 cup of coconut cream
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 hefty bunch of mint, spearmint, peppermint, choc mint…..Whatever you have in your garden
  • 1 handful of spinach leaves (minus the stalks)
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A few drops of peppermint oil to taste!
  • 200gm of dark mint chocolate

I wizzed all the ingredients except for the chocolate together in a blender until totally combined.  You want all the leaves to have disappeared into your mixture.  Then place the mix into your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. P1010428 I then crushed the chocolate into chips in my food processor and added to the ice cream mix when it was really cold but not yet frozen.  Any earlier and the choc chips will melt. 

Then, unfortunately, you need to sit back and wait for the rest to happen….

You could also make this recipe by blending, then freezing till nearly frozen, blend again, freeze and continue to mix this way until totally creamy and not icey.  My mix turned out a dirty green colour which I find quite rustic, but for a bright green I can’t think of any other way other than adding green food colouring…. something I would prefer to do without.mint-choc-chip-ice-cream2

And wha….la!!!!!!!!!!!  Done.

PS Hubby LOVED it! So will yours.  The spinach is our little secret!

x

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

chocolate-ice-cream24webSummer is here with a venegance!  Heat waves all over Australia.  Devastating bush fires in Tasmania, New South Wales and the ACT.  There seems to be no end in sight!

We are all looking for ways to cool down!

There is nothing yummier or cooler on a hot summer’s day than a beautiful big bowl of home-made ice cream.  This Chocolate Coconut ice cream was such a cinch to make.

My healthy Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

  • 2 heaped tablespoons of cacao powder (Or substitute with cocoa.  Cacao is raw, not heat treated like cocoa, and is therefore packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. Nature’s super, dooper food!)
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup (a yummy, unprocessed, low GI sweetener made from a mexican cactus.)
  • 3 cups of coconut cream (we all know the health benefits of coconut! ;))

Mix together well with beaters and then place into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions.

OMG!! Yum!!

Next I am going to try a healthy version of choc mint ice cream…. Nice and cooling on a hot day.  Will promise to share…

xx

Happy New Year!!

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As this new day dawns full of energy and life, the world is full of new beginnings.  Those fireworks signal the start of a new year. The remnants of Christmas very quickly disappear.  Another year down and regular life begins again.

Time to make time.  For you.  For your family.  For your lover.  For your life.  For life itself…

I hope your Christmas break has been truly special and I wish you and your family a wonderfully successful 2013 where dreams really do come true!

So long Christmas…….

The “living” Christmas tree has been beautiful…..  But it seems like a lot of effort for just a few weeks of Christmas cheer.  And what do you do with the (now dying) living Christmas tree?

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They are renewable; they absorb carbon dioxide and they create oxygen. So why not recycle?  Right……HOW?

SYDNEY: Every Wednesday between the 29th of Dec and the 19th Jan, the Sydney City Council is offering a free pick up of pine-Christmas trees. Once collected, these trees will be composted.

MELBOURNE: Melbournians check with your local councils.

ADELAIDE: In Adelaide there is no pick-up service but nurseries should accept used trees.

DARWIN: Take your tree down to the Shoal Bay Waste Disposal Site and there the trees will be disposed of correctly.

Unfortunately in CANBERRA, PERTH, HOBART and BRISBANE, there are no recycling programs at this time. Never fear though…

If you need help recycling yourself why not borrow a mulcher off your neighbour and make some compost of your own?  Or if you have a pond or dam?  Tossing in your Christmas tree actually helps the fish by providing shelter and nutrients.

As far as live and artificial Christmas trees compare; the pine trees are much better for the environment…  And by turning your pine tree into compost you are preventing methane from entering the atmosphere.

Next year, I have found an even better idea!  I will be going for an “ECO CHRISTMAS TREE.”  Finally an Aussie company that is renting out real, “living,” potted Christmas trees, 1.8m high, for the same price as a cut pine.  After Christmas they go on to plant your tree in a plantation.  Now THAT is a fabulous idea!

Let’s make 2013 the year of sustainability, health, tree hugging and banning everything toxic in our homes wherever we live. Cheers to the future! x

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Gift wrapping…. a la “eco Sare” style

I know we are only days away from Christmas and the vast majority of you have been super organised like always and are well and truly passed the wrapping stage in the lead up to your celebrations.  Then there are those of you that, like me, are running late in their preparations.

I believe I do have an excuse, although my husband thinks it’s only that…. An excuse!  I have been away for work for the last six weeks and I didn’t see him start the preps now did I so there you have it, in my head my excuse is valid.

I have done all my Christmas shopping online this year.  Not good for the carbon miles I know, but I am proud because I know I have bought well from quality independent retailers and small designers.  All Australian.  I can’t tell you what I’ve bought as some of the recipients could be reading….so you’ll just have to close your eyes and imagine.

Now, as my parcels are arriving in dribs and drabs on our doorstep, I am finally able to start gift wrapping!

Now the fun begins!!!

Here are some ideas….

fabric_gift_wrapI could chose to wrap my presents in the Japanese style “Furoshiki.”  Find some beautiful organic fabric, exclusive to each recipient, and totally reuseable…

gift wrap newspaper

What about using newspaper and a gorgeous ribbon?

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Or making these gorgeous newspaper rosebuds to decorate your present?

santa sacksWrapping in a santa sack or stocking like these from My Munchkin Home?

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One year, I wrapped everybody’s presents in gorgeous reuseable shopping bags from Envirosax.

425697_10151131550405826_1386458818_nOr what about using pages from that old and out of date street directory you found in your bookshelf?  My very old school friend Bronwen has done just that!  These are her presents in the image above…

2126326166_1bbeaa20e1Then there’s beautiful recycled kraft brown paper.  Make sure it’s unwaxed.

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There are gorgeous ways to make brown paper shine!

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In fact, this image below is how I’ve chosen to decorate mine this year.

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Using recycled brown paper that can be composted and some cotton Divine Twine from my own online store, my presents look beautiful and compliment our absolutely exquisite “living” Christmas tree!  Being a part-time greeting card designer, for me, it is all about the card.  I have used stunning tree-free cotton cardstock and have hand stamped my own image.  So personal and sets off the brown paper perfectly I think.

There…..Done…. Now if only the postie can get his deliveries done on time we’ll be laughing!

xx

DIY: Eco decorations for the Christmas tree

Eco Christmas

We are blessed with THE most beautiful real Christmas tree in our home this year.  The smell of pine has filled our home and created such warmth and love.  We are totally feeling the spiritual side of the Christmas season.

It is not easy to make eco conscious choices at Christmas.  A living Christmas tree in a pot is the ultimate gift you can give the earth at Christmas, but only if you have the land available to plant the tree afterwards.  A real Christmas tree, like we have this year, has given to the earth for the past three years by stopping erosion, creating homes in it’s branches for a myriad of insects and by collecting carbon as it grows.  What happens to it’s carbon now that it is cut, I am not sure.  But knowing that it will give back to the earth in it’s sacrifice as mulch at the end of Christmas has to be a plus.

Choosing a living tree is the ultimate for Christmas.

But if you already own a plastic tree do not fear.  Yes…a plastic tree is bad for the environment as it takes carbon, petrochemicals and toxins to create but you can justify keeping your already purchased plastic tree by realising that it will save the sacrifice of many trees in its lifetime.  The truly eco conscious way I can see to justify your plastic tree that you already own, is to make it last for years.  Love it for years.  And when it is finally at it’s end, choose to recycle it consciously.

As for the tree decorations, it is nearly impossible to avoid the mass consumerism and marketing that comes with Christmas decorations.  They surround you wherever you look!

I have come up with some beautiful ideas to decorate your tree in a truly unique and consumerism-free way…

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Origami is such a truly beautiful art form.  Why not have your kids make many Japanese cranes or something similar from divine Origami paper.  Join together with string and decorate your tree.  You could even make paper planes!

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Or how about reusing the decorations you already own and using ribbon as tinsel to tie the theme of your Christmas together?  Therefore the ribbon is uncut and totally re-useable…

Eco Christmas ribbon decorations

What about hanging gingerbread men, homemade iced circular cookies with a hole in the middle, cinnamon sticks, some cranberries on thread, fresh cherries on their stalks and candy canes on the tree?  You are limited only by your imagination……

My husband and I have used offcuts of ribbon to decorate our tree for many years now.  We tie the ribbon in bows at the end of each branch.  At the end of the Christmas period, we untie, flatten and then place into a box with the stunning Christmas ornaments we have collected over the years ready to be reused next year.

Eco Christmas

We have decided that by purchasing only two absolutely stunning Christmas ornaments each year made of ceramic, glass, timber or metal, we are building a tradition we hope will be passed on through future generations.  Less is more.

Merry Christmas

x

DIY: Make your own eco Christmas Wreath

I returned home a few days ago from a six week work trip.  Never before have I been soooo excited to get home and start Christmas!

Obviously after arriving home from so long away, there are endless jobs awaiting their catch up…. One of them was my overgrown garden.  After giving my rosemary bush a rather large prune, I was looking at the pile of beautiful cuttings thinking how sad it would be to have to throw all this fresh rosemary away.  That’s when I had a wonderful idea!  Make my very own Christmas Wreath!

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Firstly I started bunching the rosemary so it all ran the same way.  I staggered it a little so neither the stems or the tips are aligned.  Once it had reached my desired thickness, I wrapped a fine piece of wire around the bunch.  I secured it by twisting with pliers before tucking the ends into the bunch.  Once this was secured, I adedd more rosemary to one end of the bunch following the original principle or letting neither the stems or the tips align.  I secured it again with more wire about 10 cm along from the first piece of wire.  I continued these steps until my bunch was the required length to form the circle of my wreath.  Then I wrapped it in a circle and secured with my hand.  I tucked the stems and tips into each other to join.  Using some small cutoffs, I added around the outside of the bunch to hide the tucked in stems and tips.  Then I secured the last piece of wire around where I was holding the wreath together.  All that was left to do then was to decorate!

I chose to decorate mine with a simple red and white gingham ribbon.  You could use flowers, holly, pine cones, Christmas ornaments, raffia, hessian or what ever your heart desires.

Other beautiful ideas for a Christmas wreath would be to make it out of lavender, daisies, roses or any fragrant herb you desire.

A beautiful way to enjoy the wonderful scents of your garden whilst celebrating this special Yuletide season…

xx

 

DIY The Eco Laundry

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Washing and ironing.

They are jobs that are never done.

How is it that you can finally hear the last load of washing for the day churning on its spin cycle only to turn around and see some MORE dirty clothes that have magically appeared!!?

Well, considering we spend almost 24 hours a day wrapped in our clothing, it seems only understandable that we choose a natural, healthy product to wash our clothes in.  There are many great products out there on the market that are worthy of doing the job extremely well but are unfortunately not able to keep up with the marketing of the global super brands.  All products do the same thing.  It’s what else they do that counts!

I have some washing balls that I use in my delicate washes.  These balls work without chemicals.  They require nothing but the water in the machine.  They are anti bacterial and hypo allergenic.  They work by ionising the water, which in turn pulls out the dirt.  They are not miracle workers and are surrounded by a lot of controversy, but I like them for my delicate clothes.  The one I have has ceramic balls inside.  I used ceramic balls around the filter in our outdoor pond and had great success with the length of time before I needed to clean the filter.  And the fish were very happy.  I’m sure they were smiling 🙂

My husband is a very keen exerciser.  Whether it’s a run, cycling, kayaking, surfing or swimming, there are forever stinky clothes in our washing basket.  For these clothes I do trust the experts.  And I also add a swig of eucalyptus oil.   I am currently using laundry liquid made by NZ company, Eco Store.  It used to be hard to get but with Eco Store now being stocked by Woolworths here in Australia, well… it is just too easy to be green.  Being plant and mineral based with no toxic petrochemicals, phosphates, enzymes, brighteners, dyes or perfumes, Eco Store products are GE free and PETA cruelty free.  And they label every ingredient!

Then there is the other option, making your own laundry products.  Below are some fabulous recipes for some AWESOME old favourites!

HOMEMADE LAUNDRY LIQUID

  • 1 1/2 litres water
  • 1 cup grated soap (Try Eco Store’s soaps too! Fabulous!)
  • 1/2 cup washing soda
  • 1/2 cup borax (Can be omitted or replaced with baking soda as it can be toxic.  Please spot test on your family.  Used to make whites whiter.)

In a saucepan heat water and soap over medium heat.  Stir until dissolved.  Add washing soda and borax.  (Note: if using baking soda make sure you mix well as the baking soda can sometimes clump on your clothes.)

LAUNDRY POWDER

  •  2 cups grated laundry soap
  • 1 cup washing soda

Mix.  That’s it!

I also add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into the fabric softener compartment in the washing machine to give a bit of a disinfect and a fresh smell.

FABRIC SOFTENER

Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the final rinse.  The smell will dissipate once the clothes are dry.

I don’t iron.  My husband does.  I am LUCKY!!!

LAVENDER IRONING WATER

1 cup demineralised water

25 ml vodka (90% proof)

15 drops lavender oil (or you could try rosemary or rose)

Add essential oil and vodka to a sterilised bottle.  Stir well and leave for 24 hours.  Add water and put into a spray bottle.  Mist your clothes as you iron for a lovely smell.

Yum!!

xx

DIY The clean and healthy kitchen

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We all know the chemical cocktail that goes into our cleaning products around the home.   The vast majority of us don’t even know what we are exposing ourselves to.  From asthma to skin allergies and health troubles, a great many of these products are slowly killing us!  It seems quite ironic when cleanliness is meant to be good for our health.

Here are a few simple old fashioned recipes to make your very own -healthier- kitchen cleaners.

ALL PURPOSE CLEANER – for floors, walls, bench tops and sinks

  • 1/2 cup of washing soda
  • 2 litres of warm water

Mix together and store sealed.  You can add a few drops of lavender oil or eucalyptus oil to your mix if you are after that CLEAN smell.

STAINLESS STEEL CLEANER – good on a buffed steel finish

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 bucket warm water

Mix. Using a rag, apply to surface and then wipe dry. To a clean cloth, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil and wipe off streaks.

ALL PURPOSE SCRUB

  • 1/2 cup baking soda

Add enough dishwashing liquid to form a paste.  Using a sponge, scrub.  Great for shower and bath.  Make as you need.

WINDOW CLEANER

1/2 cup vinegar

juice of 1 lemon

1 1/2 cup hot water

Mix and add to a spray bottle. Rub into windows with newspaper.  In summer, also add lavender, lemongrass or citronella oil to deter flies.

For a nice smelling vapouring mix to rid the kitchen of left-over smells…

  • 2 pods vanilla
  • 2-3 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cloves

Crush all ingredients in a mortar and pestle or if you are lazy like me, a food processor.  Tip into a heavy bottomed frypan and slowly heat until spices start to smoke.  Your smells will be gone and the kitchen will smell gorgeous!

And one tip, don’t use lemon juice or vinegar on your beautiful stone topped benches.  Always test the cleaners in an inconspicuous place before using…
As for dishwashing liquid, I don’t believe you can make a quality one.  I use Ecostore Dishwashing Liquid.  A NZ company dedicated to changing the products we use in our homes.  It is much safer on the environment and does a fabulous job with your dishes!!  You can find it at Woolies here in Australia.

In my next post we will look at healthier homemade laundry powder and liquid.
xx

Healthy soil DIY… As easy as 1,2,3!!

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There is nothing more satisfying than picking your own home-grown fruit and vegetables or filling your home with beautiful home-grown flowers.  Achieving this in any sized garden is so much easier than most people imagine.  Gardening is not a big chore if it is tended to regularly and with love.  It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3!

Whether you are planting your garden on one acre, in a few pots in your courtyard or on your apartment balcony the principles are the same.  The only difference is the space you have.  Obviously, in a smaller space you will need to farm intensively and feed your soil more regularly.

The most important ingredient in successful gardening and vegetable growing is the quality of your soil.  Good soil is the foundation for a successful garden.  The time you give to your soil in the early stages saves so much time and heartache later.  Organic gardeners know that the key to a successful garden is not feeding the plants but the soil itself.  Think of a rainforest and then think of the underlayer of composting material.  Healthy soil is brimming with life.

So you have your soil.  What else do you need that is just as important?

  • Organic compost

Organic Compost comes in the form of chook poo, manure, worm castings, broken down vegetables and plants.  Artificial fertilisers may feed your plants quickly now but they strip the soil of nutrients depleting its quality in the long run.  Always go natural.  Dig it under the soil if the smell gets to you.  As for me, I LOVE the smell of chook poo as I know how fabulously it is feeding my garden!!  It makes me feel good!!

  • Seaweed and if required, soil conditioners

Healthy soil holds water longer and provides conditions that the plants are better able to survive without water for longer.  The best vitamin fix you can give your plants is the occasional spraying with seaweed topical sprays and worm juice sprays.  So easy to use they are like lathering ourselves in moisturiser.  Your plants will LOVE it!!  Soil conditioners are used if there is a PH imbalance in your soil.

  • Mulch

Mulch suppresses weeds, feeds the soil with nitrogen and important bacteria and fungi, reduces erosion and protects your soil by keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in winter.  Mulch encourages worms, that in turn aerate the soil and provide nutritious worm castings.  I find it best to alternate between soft mulches and hard mulches.  Soft mulch like sugarcane breaks down and feeds the soil.  Hard mulches like tea-tree and coconut husk provide important fungi and bacteria. If you want to decorate your pots with stones make sure you mulch beneath them.  Stones etc may look good but they provide nothing to the soil.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!!!

Now you are ready to plant your veges and sit back and reap the rewards of your efforts!!

xx

Kale…The super food

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I have recently discovered Kale.  This superfood is amazing!!

my-new-roots-kaleKale contains amazing levels of Vitamin A,  Vitamin B9 (folate), Vitamin K, alpha-lipoic acid and lutein.  Therefore, it’s an important food in the fight against stroke, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and depression.  It fights infections and regulates blood clotting.  In fact, research conducted by the Angiogenesis Foundation in Massachusetts suggests that kale may be effective in blocking angiogenesis, making it much harder for cancer cells to grow and multiply in the body.

Therefore, why wouldn’t we all include kale in our daily diets!!!

Here are two recipes for a breakfast smoothie that are just divine!!

Blueberry Banana Punch

1 banana

A handful of frozen blueberries

Half an apple

A small handful of kale

200mls of biodynamic apple juice

Teaspoon of chia seeds

Ice.

Whizz in blender.

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Monster Juice

A decent handful of Kale

1 cheek of frozen organic mango

1 banana

200ml of biodynamic apple juice (if you can’t find, the Nudie nothing but apples is good)

dash of coconut water water (100mls ish)

squeeze of lemon (this releases maximum iron from the kale)

A handful of ice.

Whizz!!

YUM!!!!!

xx