Sunday, July 8, 2012

Welcome to our Simple and Meaningful Life

Welcome to a new blog I've started which I intend to use to document the simpler things in life that are meaningful to us.  A few years ago I came across a blog called "Down to Earth" via the Burke's Backyard Magazine.  I was on holidays in Melbourne with family and I was reading all their gardening magazines, Burke's Backyard Magazines and enjoying fresh food from Nanny & Pops veggie garden.
I read about chickens and thought it would be great to have fresh eggs every day although I didn't know the first things about chickens and to be honest, I felt a bit intimidated by them.  How to you pick them up, chase them around the yard etc.  I knew I would love to grow fresh veggies but didn't feel confident about what to plant, when to plant etc.  I've gardened before in previous houses but didn't really grow food to eat.  It sounded so wonderful to eat the food that you grow.  Apart from the health benefits of growing food without chemicals, the food tastes so much better so straight from the garden to the table.  What could be better than than for your family.

I would read Rhonda's "Down to Earth" blog daily and as she lived on the Sunshine Coast it was relative to our climate.  She wrote about home grown food, baking bread, green cleaners and so much more.  I have been reading her blog for a few years now and she has a "Weekend Reading" post on Fridays with links to other interesting and inspiring blogs about simplifying your life and going "back to basics".  In today's society there is so much modern technology and gadgets that we all rely on like mobile phones, the Internet, ipad, computers etc.  Where would we be without the Internet where you can type anything in and find information out in a nano second.  You can link up with other like minded people and read blogs about anything that you are interested in.  If you need a recipe you don't actually need a cookbook, you can just "google" it and have a variety of recipes to choose from.  That being said, I have dozens of cookbooks as most women do, and flicking through a good cookbook is still something I enjoy doing.

All that aside, and given that I'm not a greenie or vegetarian, these days people are catching onto the idea of "simple living".  I like that simple living means different things to different people and you should live your life to what you would like "simple" to mean.  For me, I want to grow healthy food, eat fresh organic eggs, cooking from scratch, green cleaners, enjoying home made pasta and so much more.  I don't want to buy packet mix cakes when I can make a better one from ingredients in the pantry.  I do indulge in buying "Betty Crockers" Reduced Fat Brownie's packet mix only when they are on special usually half price.  This mix is delicious and can be sliced and frozen for a little afternoon treat.  I'm sure I could come up with the same thing from scratch and it's just lazy buying it in a box and added water, oil or eggs.   I just need to take five more minutes weighing and measuring and I'll have a cheaper, better product.

My simple living started with the veggie garden back in 2010 at Easter time when we set up two wooden veggie boxes which I bought from Bunnings (1.2m x 1.2m) and we planted our first lot of veggies.  It was exciting to start planting the veggies and the kids were very keen to start growing food as well.  We had huge success with these two little plots and I photographed our home grown produce and put together a little photo book of our growing success.  More on that in a later post.

In the September we bought our two chickens called "Fluffy" (Sienna's chicken) and "Coco" (James chicken) and started to get fresh eggs every day.  Coco and Fluffy were our first family pets and very useful as well.  Coco was a bit stand-off-ish in the beginning and didn't like to be handled but that soon changed and have been great pets.  Coco has a little plastic orange ring around her leg and Fluffy has a pink one so we could tell them apart.  They are both Isa Brown chickens which we purchased from Ingrid at "City Chicks".

June 2011 we moved house including the veggie gardens and chickens.  Whilst the veggie gardens were set up at our new house and I did plant out a few things life was busy and I didn't attend to the garden like I had wanted to.  Last week with the help of Nanny we planted out our two veggie boxes and a few other tubs all ready to go.  I feel great about it and I have missed the availability of fresh food that I used to pop out to the garden and collect.  Buying lettuce, tomatoes and herbs seems so wrong when they are so easy to grow.  Most recipes require a couple of tablespoons of herbs and to buy fresh or dried herbs you are looking at around $3 a bunch or bottle.  It is so much nicer cutting rosemary off the bush to put on home made focaccia.

This blog is going to be our memory keeping for focusing on some simple yet wonderful things in our lives. So welcome to our continued journey. Kathy, James and Sienna

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