"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Thursday 31 May 2012

Can anyone please advise me...?

I was stupid - very, very stupid.  When we were at the farm over the Easter weekend, some of my tomato plants still had green orbs hanging on them.  I, unwisely, left those plants in situ - figuring that we would be back in 3 - 4 weeks and I could harvest the ripe fruit.
Unexpected tomato harvest
Two lovely aubergines - the big one is 25cms long
It was over two months until we returned...

That was my surprise.  One of our neighbours had taken a gander at the veggie patch and had told RMan that I had tomatoes and aubergines ready for harvesting.  I was so excited.  Yum!  An unexpected harvest bonus - sort of l'été indien of the veggie patch LOL  My tomato plants in Cape Town had long since ceased to produce anything, so I automatically thought the same would occur on the farm.  And then the added aubergines - two luscious aubergines - wow!

Well, it appears I did my shade cloth veggie patch a disservice.  All I did was encourage a pest to take up residence...

White fly!
The first sign I got 
On closer inspection I saw that one of the plants was covered...!
White fly on my tomato plants...!
Naturally, I immediately ripped the plants out of the beds, and disposed of them.  Sadly, I didn't know to burn them...

Then I discovered that some of my broad beans had aphids.  Even though I could spot the occasional ladybird, I reckoned that the infestation was too big for even this valiant little insect.  I read that if one chops up 2 cups of tomato leaves, and allows them  to seep in 2 cups of water overnight, the spray would eradicate the aphids.  So I did just that.
Two cups of chopped tomato leaves -
 soaking in two cups of water
It becomes a foul brown looking solution, but if it works...
A clearer picture of the solution
I sprayed the plants with this solution four times before we left, with no noticeable difference to the infestation...

So now I am left with the request that if anyone knows of an organic solution for these two pests, please could you let me know.  Something that I can concoct myself - for your brand name products will not be available here.  Does chilli, garlic and water work?

Finally, when we left at the beginning of April I had left a couple of green tomatoes on a shelf in the kitchen - to ripen.  So... warts and all this is what greeted me inside the house.
Some rotten, some good
The yellow tomatoes definitely weren't happy with being allowed to ripen off the plant.  But, with all the green tomatoes I just harvested, I decided that I would do the same.  My latest batch of green tomatoes was laid out on every available shelf and even the Dover stove.
Some of the surfaces covered with green tomatoes
I didn't want to bring them back to Cape Town with me, and add to the packing confusion there.  Plus we should be back on the farm within the next week or, latest, two - so I will be able to monitor them carefully.

The very last surprise I had was that two of my pumpkin plants are still muddling through, looking superbly green and healthy, with quite a few flowers, but with no signs of fruit.
A pumpkin plant outliving it's lifespan...?
Should I remove them.  Am I encouraging more pests...?

Note: Due to the large amount of spam I am receiving on this blog posting I have now closed comments.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Soul Time

Firstly, my apologies for the tardy response to comments over the weekend.  I have had to use RMan's phone as a modem and that system is not quick, reliable, nor cheap...  A special little modem with a long aerial will hopefully sort that out once we are there permanently.

We managed to slip away to the farm early on Friday - and once we were there - we decided to stay on till Monday LOL

We have started to move a few things and thus we took along a few boxes - mainly books - which we have started piling up in a corner of the lounge area.  RMan had had a cover made for the trailer, and that was wise - it was pouring with rain when we left and, by the time we arrived, the boxes and the books would've been sodden.
You can see from the level in the dam that we've had quite a bit of welcome rain, and judging from the sounds of the bullfrogs, last years massacre hasn't harmed the population too badly. 
The only one who is not that happy is Blockhead - his stomach is definitely slipping down with the weight of the rotting, wet straw - come to think of it, that happens to us as well, doesn't it?  There is a definite "overhang" happening, not to mention the sideways slant to his majestic-ness LOL Hmmm, I wonder what lurks within his rottenness...?
Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny - I do so love the quiet, crisp freshness of mornings on the farm in winter.  One feels completely in touch with nature there.  Actually, it's not only nature - there is a calmness, a peacefulness and an uplifting that occurs - definite time for the soul - and a place to leave the self behind.

John Gray's "Seat of the Soul" always comes to mind on the farm.  In that book Mr Gray talks about emotions - to summarize: 'greed, envy, impatience, offence, anger, fear, hatred, vengeance, sorrow, shame, regret, indifference, frustration, cynicism, loneliness, judgement, manipulation and exploitation - being all the negative emotions that have come to characterize human existence and which are the property of the personality or the ego.  Only the personality pursues external power.  And, although the personality can also be loving, compassionate, and wise in its relations with others, love, peace within, compassion, and wisdom do not come from the personality. They are experiences of the soul.'

I know exactly what you mean, Mr Gray :)
I was delighted to see that all my favourite grasses are back in flower.  The contrasting mass of pink and white flower heads was spectacular!
It is definitely the simple things in life which bring immense pleasure, wouldn't you agree?

Not so sure that RMan agrees with me though - it will soon be time for him to schelp out the mower again...

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Welcome / Bienvenue

Please join me in welcoming two new followers to Eco Footprint - South Africa.  Please  - pop over to their blogs and take a gander at what they are up to.

Firstly, welcome to Athalia from http://athaliadreams.blogspot.com of the United Kingdom.  Athalia says she is a child of the 90's who has recently left home and is living with the love of her life.

Secondly, welcome to Joyful from http://www.snapthatpenny.blogspot.com/

It would appear that Joyful lives in Canada, is retired, and, in her own words, she is : "trying to do my part to live simply and frugally.  The more I can do this, the more I can donate to the mission field in Kenya, East Africa.  I especially like to help widows and orphans and I do that mainly through the Missions of Hope.  (She sponsors three young lads in Africa.) 

Now that I am retired I also try to experiment with things I never previously had time for. I've learned to make liquid laundry soap, bake bread and do a lot more cooking. I've learned how to knit, how to blog and even do a little blog design or template modification. I've learned new computer skills as a way of assisting villagers in Kenya to network with the world and be able to help themselves. Last, but not least, I'm also trying to learn to swim." Just shows, one is never to old to learn something new - but I know that LOL

Thank you, Athalia and Joyful, for hitting the follow button.  I reply to all comments (even those placed on old postings), but given the size of this wonderful planet, and the different time zones, it may not be today by your time, but will certainly be by tomorrow.  And, once we are on the farm, and given our slow internet connection, it may take a little longer...LOL

Friday 25 May 2012

Recycling concrete

RMan and I have a problem.  Our current home is 210 mtrs2.  Our little farmhouse  is currently only 48mtrs2.

Even with de-cluttering, squashing the boxes and the balance of the furniture into 48mtrs2 is going to be tight.  So, once we get the finance from our (town) house sale we need to build our garage as quickly as possible. Continuing with the locally produced clay bricks is my only option for the balance of the farmhouse, but we have found a solution for the garage which will enable us to build a secure and waterproof storage area quickly.

We found a company in Cape Town who have partnered with a demolition company to re-use the concrete from demolished buildings in the process of making their concrete blocks.
Recycled concrete blocks
As a result, their concrete blocks contain 70% recycled content.  In fact, the company goes through 70 000 tons of recycled aggregate a year.  I like that :)

As far as the transport from Cape Town is concerned, during our trips to the farm RMan and I have noticed that a lot of trucks are travelling to, or from, Cape Town, empty.  We have managed to find a trucking company which has a one way empty trip, and they are prepared to take the bricks to the farm, so that reduces the transport footprint.
Strong - if not stronger than normal concrete blocks :)
Using these blocks, even with the foundations which still have to be dug, and the foundation walls which still have to be built, and even allowing for the foundations and floor slab to dry out, should result in our having an enclosed garage in 6 weeks.  I can live with (all the piled up boxes and furniture in the house) that!

So, we're off to the farm later today to provide access to the property for the digger loader - so that we can get the foundations dug... 

...and, apparently there is a surprise waiting for me on the farm.  I wonder what it is?  See you next week :) 

Wednesday 23 May 2012

I bartered my way...

...during the time prior to DD and WGuy's wedding, as things were tight.  Very tight.

Not a nice situation to be in as the parents, and specifically, not nice as the mother of the bride, who wanted to do something special for her only daughter on her wedding day.  So I scratched my head.  And scratched it some more. And paced the house - thinking, thinking, thinking...

And I came up with one small solution.

A light bulb moment happened when I realized that over the past 34 years since we met, I had been sent quite a few bouquets of flowers by RMan, and a lot of those bouquets had arrived in vases to the extent that I had been left with a whole ruddy cupboard full of them.

Could I - would I - be able to barter these vases for a wedding bouquet?
Some of the vases thoroughly cleaned
and looking like new :)
I carefully packed the clean vases (thank you bi-carb :) ) into a box, and, with a certain amount of trepidation, I went to visit one of our local florists.

I explained that shortly we were going to be relocating to a smallholding in the country, where precious water would be reserved for edible crops only. Therefore having fancy vases for non-existent cut flowers seemed illogical. Would she be interested in bartering my vases (here, I pulled them out of the box and carefully placed them on her counter) in exchange for a wedding bouquet?  A simple wedding bouquet?  Then I showed her an image of what I was looking for.

Happily the florist agreed!

And this is what she created and carefully packed so that I could transport it on the plane with me to Johannesburg.
A wedding bouquet of orchids in
a tube of water for transport and
with clever clip attached to
the back... 
The florists attention to the packing detail ensured that it survived the trip perfectly and DD was ecstatic - as I had planned this as a complete surprise. It even came with a special clip so that it could be attached to the cover of my late mother's Prayer Book (which had been given to her by her Godfather on her Confirmation at the age of 16) - "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed..." sorted :)

Viewing the situation from a different angle and the solution presented itself. De-cluttering, recycling and bartering simultaneously - what could be better and more satisfying?

Monday 21 May 2012

Re-using old cooking oil

Did you know that you should only re-use cooking oil a few times.  Did you also know that you should store used oil in the fridge, between uses?  If it changes colour, starts to smell different when you heat it up again or has burnt food particles in it, it is past it's time to ditch it as the oil has changed composition and it's molecules have deteriorated.  

But, does anyone have the same problem that I had when it comes to what to do with the old past-it's-prime cooking oil?  You can't just chuck it down the drain - it will clog up the pipes.  And on the farm, especially, I can't chuck it down the drain - it'll land in my grey water reed bed.  Nope - definitely not a good idea!

What I tend to do is use an old 20lt bucket, which I fill with sand.  The old oil gets sieved into this bucket, and I keep my garden tools in it.  The oil in the sand helps to prevent the tools going rusty, especially in our wet winters.

But, prior to chucking the oil into the sand I use the oil to remove sticky labels from re-usable glass jars after we have consumed their contents.
Perfectly good glass jars which are suitable for
re-using - but I hate the labels...
Firstly, make sure your jar is clean.  I pour water into the jars (to weigh them down), place them in a suitable container and then surround them with the old oil.
Submerge the label part of the jar in an oil filled container
If you leave them submerged overnight, removing the labels the the next morning is a breeze.
Pop the now label-less jars through a dishwasher cycle and there you have it - jars waiting patiently for new lids and your preserved goods :)

We only deep fry food (mainly delicious hot chip / fries LOL) about once or twice a month and the amount of used oil we produce doesn't warrant investing in the necessary equipment, nor do we have anything which runs on bio-diesel.  I also am not aware of an oil recycling facility in this country.  So, for me, this method of re-using / disposing of the oil, is the best solution.

What do you do with your old oil?

Saturday 19 May 2012

Welcome / Bienvenue

Please join me in welcoming kymber of Framboismanor in Canada.

framboise manor's blog is shared between her and her beloved husband, jambaloney - and a very entertaining, loving couple they are too.  kymber is a chef, gardener and is ex-Canadian military.  jambaloney loves cooking, is a wonderful handiman and delights in rescuing items which are destined for landfill - a man after my own heart!

Both of them have enormous hearts, and a more genuinely positive couple I have yet to find online.

Thank you, kymber and jambaloney, for hitting the follow button.  I reply to all comments (even those placed on old postings), but given the size of this wonderful planet, and the different time zones, it may not be today by your time, but will certainly be by tomorrow.  And, once we are on the farm, and given our slow internet connection, it may take a little longer...LOL

Friday 18 May 2012

Keeping busy

Hmmm - I mean keeping busy once we are on the farm :)

Until then I still have lots of packing to do LOL

But - once we are there, I need to have loads to fill my days - apart from building phase 2 of our home, unpacking the loads of boxes, and re-arranging the furniture and planting trees or tending to the veggie patch.

Obviously I am not going to be mixing lime and cement and laying bricks, nor will I be applying a high lime render.  And I will not be clambering up a half-finished building to assist with the installation of the roof beans or recycled resin roof tiles.  But, I will be helping RMan to paint the walls both inside and out with an eco-friendlier low VOC paint :)

So - I can foresee quite a bit of hurry up and wait time.  And I can't start planting seeds until August, with the majority going into the seed trays / ground in September.

Providing the sun shines, to fill my time I have my solar oven.  If it doesn't, I have my pewter work.  And, thanks to a lesson from DD, I now have a new hobby...

... mosaic-ing.  Perfect!

I came across some numbers which would be perfect for such a beginners project.  And they will provide easy future identification and location of our property.  To try out this new past time, I purchased the tile cutter, relevant numbers and some special mosaic tiles.

The parts required
After deciding on my pattern, I got to work.
Progress shot
A bit of grout, and - Voilà!  We have our property number all ready to be installed on the soon to be purchased farm gate.
Complete, and all ready to place on our
soon-to-be new farm gate
But - that gave me an idea.  We were given a trolley - many, many years ago - as a wedding present.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with the trolley, apart from a broken tray.
Surely this is salvageable
Why could I not join the broken pieces with some mosaics - as long as I don't load that tray too heavily, or remove it from the trolley, it should work perfectly...?
A bit of glue should do the trick...
So - that is what I am going to do.  Why discard a perfectly serviceable item when we can probably still get a good few years use out of it?  And it will function perfectly as a side table on our patio.
The broken tray can go on the lower section :)
Want not, waste not.  After 18-odd years of living in the same home, and completing loads of renovation projects, we have plenty of leftover "spare tiles".  They will be perfect as mosaic tiles.  I'm even considering how to use the glass from RMan's beer bottles...

I have plenty of ideas - and all of them are eco-friendly and involve recycling :)  Bloody marvellous mate :)

As I progress I'll share my finished items with you all - if you'd like to see?

Now - to convince RMan that left over tiles are valuable (to me) and should be schlepped along with us on the move.

"Clutter, clutter, clutter", I can hear him mutter...


Please join me in welcoming Lindsey who lives on a 1/4 acre in the south of Seattle, Washington with her Husband (H), her Daughter (The Tot) and her menagerie of animals.
She is a marriage and family therapist by trade, and she vegetable gardens, makes soap, occasionally knits, cooks and bakes religiously in her spare time. She am devoted to living simply, living frugally, and living well. Partly out of necessity and also because like us, she feels it's the right thing to do.

Lindsey has two blogs: http://www.nwbackyardveggies.com/ and http://www.wholetthebearout.com/ which is her soap making blog.  Like me, Lindsey makes cold pressed soaps - too beautiful they are too :)  I have a long way to go before mine look as good as yours...

Thank you, Lindsey, for hitting the follow button.  I reply to all comments (even those placed on old postings), but given the size of this wonderful planet, and the different time zones, it may not be today by your time, but will certainly be by tomorrow.  And, once we are on the farm, and given our slow internet connection, it may take a little longer...LOL

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Eco friendly washing

It was a beautiful wedding and our daughter looked absolutely breathtakingly exquisite!  The love which was evident between DD and WGuy, and warmth, happiness and enjoyment that was shared by all, was absolutely wonderful to be part of.  A truly memorable day!  MKid was beside himself with excitement and said that he's "luckier than other kids 'cos he got to be part of the wedding, not an arrival after the event" :)

Whilst we were in Johannesburg for DD and WGuys wedding RMan, MKid and I nipped past a large shopping centre in the neighbourhood - our local village shop doesn't stock the type of item I was looking for.
It is an Icon (or Biowash) washing ball.  Safe for use with all fabrics, eco-friendly, chemical free and it eliminates germs and bacteria whilst reducing the risk of allergic reactions due to the use of chemical detergents.

It works via "friction on the Cermatech beads which causes the Ph level of the water to rise - effortlessly unlocking dirt and grime from any fabric….quickly and effectively". 

All you do is pop it in your machine instead of washing powder and the little ceramic balls inside do all the work.  It's just what I need for the laundry on the farm, as it will produce water which will not be harmful for the biological and ecological composition in our grey water reed bed. 
Prior to using it for the first time, one has to "flush out" the washing machine to remove any trace of remaining soap suds by adding a cup of vinegar and allowing the empty machine to run through two full "hot" cycles.  Finally, rinse out the machine and it's ready to use with your washing ball.

Any heavy stains should be pre-treated prior to placing your washing in the machine.

It can also be used with a commercial fabric softener, or with using vinegar as your softener.

After the washing cycle is finished the ball must be removed and allowed to dry (naturally) before using it again.  It should last for up to 1000 washes - a good couple of years - using it two or three times a week.

I still have a couple of loads of washing powder left which I need to use up before I can use the washing ball.  I will therefore, as always, report back on the effectiveness of the washing ball once I have had a chance to access it's performance.

Yay - I DO NOT do handwashing - not on a general laundry scale!  My electric washing machine is definitely coming with us.  Now I can use it with a clear conscience :)

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Howzit :)

I have corrected today's original blog posting due to an error on my part.  So now, won't you please join me in welcoming Crystal from Durban in South Africa.  

Crystal's blog can be found at: http://path-to-sustainability.blogspot.com/  She is using her blog to record her family's path toward being more self-sustainable. 

I love the snacks you made for your son to take to school :)  And the wood from the leopard tree which you cut down has a beautiful bark - I'd also have fun using it as garden decor.

Thank you, Crystal, for hitting the follow button.  I reply to all comments (even those placed on old postings), but given the size of this wonderful planet, and the different time zones, it may not be today by your time, but will certainly be by tomorrow.  And, once we are on the farm, and given our slow internet connection, it may take a little longer...LOL

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Now I understand

I have fracked racked my brain as to why fracking could be considered as a method to obtain a source of energy in South Africa?  Why our government would possibly endanger the immense historical archaeological wealth of the Karoo?  Why would they willingly want to pollute our precious ground water?  Why they would even consider wasting our dwindling potable water?  Why they would want to further damage the Earth's mantle?

Have they learnt no lessons from the acid mine water which is currently flooding the Gauteng area?

ALL is finally revealed.


Please - if you haven't signed the two anti-fracking petitions on the right hand side of my blog, won't you do so now?
Can we look forward to this change of
scenery in the Karoo?  The power to
prevent it is in your hands...
Out of possible 50+ million South African's, and 7+ billion people worldwide, only 16 338 and 3 020 respectively have signed either petition.

Fracking is NOT and CANNOT be an option in this country.

Neither as a means of polluting our precious ground water, destroying priceless historical data and fossils, nor as a conniving source of income for the main political party.

It is NOT an option.

Full stop.

Welcome Cat

Please won't you join me in welcoming (I'm guessing her full name is) Catherine from Cat's Ceramics in Sussex, England. 
Cat, I too share a love of pottery - many years ago I took classes and enjoyed every minute.  And I, too, never got to master the wheel, but preferred to make everything with coils, slabbing, etc.

Welcome - we're a friendly bunch here.   Thank you for hitting the follow button.  I reply to all comments (even those placed on old postings), but given the size of this wonderful planet, and the different time zones, it may not be today by your time, but will certainly be by tomorrow.  And, once we are on the farm, and given our slow internet connection, it may take a little longer...LOL

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Square metre gardening - a book giveaway

A blog I follow gave a link to a giveaway of a book called, One Magic Square, written by Lolo Hobein.  Always on the lookout for valuable expert information on growing my veggies successfully, I was intrigued.
I reckon this square foot metre system could produce literally loads of mini food forests on our plot - in both our current shadecloth veggie patch as well as in the new ones we have planned.
Image source:
The giveaway is on Costa's blog, which you can find here.  Costa is the host of an Australian TV series "Gardening Australia".

But, it turns out that all is not what it seems.  As I was composing this blog entry, I received an e-mail.  It would appear that Costa has copied the give-away, which is actually being hosted and offered on Sustainable Suburbia's website!  (Kirsten let me know in her comment on my previous blog entry).  But, not only has Costa done that, it would appear that he has also copied Kirsten's posting in entirety - work-for-word!  Strange, strange behaviour...!  And the only acknowledgement he has given is a really tiny mention (with no link) of Sustainable Suburbia before the main body of the article and at the bottom as part of Kirsten's original content.  
As the give-away is not only restricted to Australians, but is open to anyone, anywhere in the world, I have entered the competition :)

I'll be back in blogland next week - very early on Thursday morning RMan and I are <help!!> flying up to Johannesburg to attend our DD's marriage to WGuy.  See you then... :)

Sunday 6 May 2012

Welkom and Welcome

Please, won't you join me in welcoming Little eco footprint from Wijchen in Holland.  She is a 33 year old lady, who is happily married and has two children. Her profile states that she is a entrepreneur,book keeper, receptionist, family manager, writer, gardener puree (LOL well that's what the translation says), dreamer and animal lover, and that she is enterprising, mischievious, determined, honest, helpful, frank and often stubborn.  Her blog is written in dutch (I used the Google Chrome Translate facility to read her blog) through my limited Afrikaans also helps me to understand 50% of what she has written :)  Afrikaans evolved from the language the Dutch settlers spoke when they arrived in this country many years ago...
When she wrote her first entry on her new blog she explained: "I will mainly write about finding ecological alternatives to the everyday, ordinary things. Alternatives that are better for ourselves, because there is less mess, better for the environment because they are less onerous and preferably better for your wallet, because they are cheaper."

Little eco footprint - I love your profile pic :) and look forward to following your blog, via the translate button.

Secondly, please also welcome DFW - she is a 50-something female from the south eastern US of A who has just started her blog which is has called Count in the Day.

DFW - is aiming to retire from her city house to her country house, and her blog is a chronicle of that journey, and the preparations that she is making for that time in her life.  Sounds familiar, doesn't it :)

Thank you both for hitting the follow button.  I reply to all comments (even those placed on old postings), but given the size of this wonderful planet, and the different time zones, it may not be today by your time, but will certainly be by tomorrow.  And, once we are on the farm, and given our slow internet connection, it may take a little longer...LOL

Friday 4 May 2012

We're finally moving on...

Just over a week-and-a-half ago, our home was finally sold.  Today, the deposit was been paid and transfer is in progress.
I love it!  Instead of giving us cut flowers
the estate agent gave us a bunch of helium
filled balloons :)  Not madly eco-friendly,
but I prefer flowers to remain in soil -
either in the garden, or in a pot :)
 Transfer, and occupation, will be effected at the end of July.
Party time :)  A bunch of colour to lift our spirits
at an emotional time
Which means we will be on the farm to plant the first seeds of this years spring / summer crop... :)

So much to do - a house and business to pack up and move to two different locations - one for living and one for the business.  20-odd years of family stuff since we last moved home to sort through, some to ditch and the rest to be packed.
Our 40-odd year old record collection - when music was music :)
Some of the items will be sorely missed - such as our turntable and our 100+ vinyl record collection - so many memories locked up in those vinyls, but, as RMan says, how often have we listened to them recently...?  All my Beatles, Bassey, Streisand, Diana Ross and Readers Digest 9 LP collection called Million Dollar Memories released in the late 60's.  It contains songs going back to the 40's - way before my time LOL, but I have listened to them so many times over the years, that they feel like old friends.

All RMan's Al Jarreau, Grover Washington Jnr, Louis Armstrong, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Vias con Dias, Sergio Mendes, Bill Withers, George Benson, Dionne Warwick, Dire Straits, Foreplay...  just too many to mention.

Some sacrifices will have to be made - not only are we going to be living in a much smaller house but our (solar) power generated energy storage has to be reserved for the necessities, at least until we find out what excess, if any, we have to play with. And we still have all our CD's and the 12volt car radio to play them on, so we won't be music-less.  But, oh, the memories that those long playing records hold.  I bought my first one when I was 16.
A few of the many boxes we are recycling with
the help of our local supermarket
We've talked the talk, now we're going to walk the walk LOL   Our 100% eco-friendly life starts now!  Completely off-grid, we're hoping to be as close as possible to 94% self-sustainable (and I want my food forest, Mr H J ), finally getting our fascias and gutters up in order to harvest and store all that precious rain-water, phase 2 (the bedrooms) of the farmhouse to build and so much more...  I've also sourced a recycling facility close enough by so that is our recycling sorted.  And, finally, the move affords RMan and I the opportunity to spend some quality time together.  We've raised our family to the very best of our ability, owned two businesses, and paid our dues and taxes.

Life begins again.

A major step in the preparation for our future has just been achieved.  We're both so excited, and, truthfully, a little daunted at the enormity of the task ahead.  But, we can't wait... J
I've got boxes everywhere....
So last week I toddled down to our local supermarket and relieved them of some loads of boxes which I am recycling as moving boxes together with a few rolls of buff tape.  I have to de-clutter, be tough on useless, but familiar items, and pack everything that is left?

De-cluttering is therapeutic, but I also wonder how on earth we are going to leave behind treasured memories of our existence to the members of our future generations.  Inheriting doesn't seem to be in fashion these days... unless it's a financial inheritance.  So my personal (physical) legacy will probably consist of things like my spice / coffee grinders, etc.  Priceless reminders of how things worked before we polluted the earth with our demand for grid power and the electrical appliances we had to use...

I'm aiming on sorting out one room a week - that way it will be manageable. That will hopefully give me the time to sever the ties to a few precious items which we won't have space for, and which we have to recycle / pass onto someone else.  And, Tami, I know you're always on the hunt for cardboard, come help me unpack and they're yours :)  Actually, hold that thought - I'm keeping them - they'll come in very handy for my new veggie patches... J

So, now for the emotional roller coaster as I start to sort out more than 34-odd years of memories in total.  But it's ultimately all for the good - nothing like making breathing space to properly clear the path ahead.

Thursday 3 May 2012

60 years

Have you heard of the Anthropocene?

Please watch the video here - and share the link - please.

60 years is all it's taken.  60 years.

The original source of this short film can be view here.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Welcome / howdy / nice to meetcha

Firstly, welcome to Lynette Stephenson.  Lynette doesn't seem to have a blog, so I can't tell you where in the world she is, nor give you a link to find out what interests her.  Lynette, thank you for following my blog.  We're a friendly bunch, and your comments are very welcome - nothing nicer than a lively discussion :)  
Secondly, please also welcome Modern Day Redneck. MDR is from Texas.  I love all the info he shares regarding his projects - especially the solar ones :)  And I happen to know that he is a very kind, thoughtful and gentle soul.  Wish there were more people on this planet who were as kind to total strangers.

Lastly, won't you also welcome Hilltop Homestead.  Hilltop Homestead is also in Texas and is relatively new to the blogging scene :)  She has a couple of blogs and the one in the last link is devoted to their rearing goats :)

Just love "meeting" and connecting with like minded folk via blogging!

Lynette, MDR and HH -  I reply to all comments (even those placed on old postings), but given the size of this wonderful planet, and the different time zones, it may not be today by your time, but will certainly be by tomorrow.  And, if I am on the farm, and given my slow internet connection, it may take a little longer...LOL