"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

Saturday, 8 April 2017

What a week...

...or two it has been!!
Our President stated that his political party - the ANC - comes before
 the country.   Nope -SOUTH AFRICA COMES FIRST JACOB!!!
Our government - or more specifically our President - threw his toys out of the cot, and removed two of the most hard-working, excellent and ethical ministers from their top positions in Cabinet (namely the Minister and Deputy Minister of Finance) for what is generally seen as: 

1) a way of installing unaffordable nuclear power for the benefit of his cronies who own uranium mines;
2) earning the "cut" the Russians have apparently promised;
3) plunging this country into a debt so large that it will take until 2100 to start recovering from;

- basically, the firing of Mr Gordan and Mr Jonas is a blatant act of capturing the next helping of illicit income he can take from the people of this country.

This willful, illogical action has resulted in South Africa being downgraded by two ratings agencies (Standard & Poor and Fitch - with Moody's reserving judgment - for now) - to JUNK status.  Good job, Jacob!!!

So, RMan and I responded to the call to action and took part in a nationwide (peaceful) protest yesterday.

The government states only 60 000 people took part, but those who called the protest place the number who took part above 220 000.  The fear of violence kept many people away, I reckon.  Thankfully there were only 4 - 5 incidents of intimidation in the entire country - and those incidents were nothing major.  it could've been much, much worse!

From the sounds of it, there'll be more action next week - and I'm THERE!!!  And, hopefully, now that the "fear" of intimidation/ counter reaction has been removed, more people will respond to the call to action.

But, back to more mundane matters...

The mulch we put down certainly helped in the veggie patches.

Harvesting and preserving has been going on at a steady pace.
 Piquanté Peppers are bountiful this year and have been both pickled and dried in the Foothills DryAway.
The dried ones have been turned into Piquanté Pepper powder - for sprinkling on top of scrambled eggs, omelettes, roast chickens, pizza's, etc.
Jars of pickled peppers for RSon, Natasha and us.  The next
 batch will be for gifts...
Tomatoes, also, were brilliant.  They were coming out of my ears at one stage ;)

I love heirloom tomatoes :D

Again, some tomatoes were dehydrated and I now have sun-dried tomatoes residing in my fridge for those grey winter's days when one needs sight and reminder of brighter days.
Homegrown heirloom tomatoes - drying in the
 Foothills DryAway
Although tomatoes take more time to dry than other vegetables, the end product is well worth the effort.
Perfectly dried sundried tomatoes
  The majority, though, were boiled / simmered in their own juice until they...
Sweat the entire (skins, seeds and flesh) tomatoes slowly
 until they produce enough  liquid to simmer in order to reduce
 the mixture down before  blitzing
 ... reduced down to become...
Blitz the reduced tomato mixture (skins, seeds and all) until
 you have a smooth tomato mush which is slowly reduced
 until thick enough.
...containers and ice trays full of tomato concentrate.  Plain tomato concentrate with not a single chemical additive.  These are also waiting in my freezer.
Finally, to help counter the cost of keeping them, I also managed to successfully grow sunflowers this year.
The easiest way to remove the sunflowers seeds is with the
 assistance of a fork.  Much kinder on the hands ;)
Getting the seeds out of the flowerhead isn't the easiest, but when you see the amount you've harvested it's well worth the effort.
Gorgeous sunflower seeds - for the chickens and for us :D
The chickens will love them over the winter months.
It's a messy business removing the sunflower
 seeds from the dried flowerhead
Be warned though, getting the sunflower seeds from the flower heads is a messy job, and best done outside :)

For info on how you can obtain your own Foothills DryAway solar / wind food dehydrator please click the link.


Sue said...

Hey-I'd give you Trump if you want him. Hahhahahhaha. Not funny, I know. But humor is the only thing keeping me grounded right now.

Love all the bounty you are putting up. I'm getting so excited to begin garden season. We've really cleaned out the freezers this year. Keeping fingers crossed it will be a good growing season.

Enjoy your stash. It's beautiful!==especially those pickled peppers.

possumqueensa said...

Well done to all those little towns and dorpies for turning out for this important cause. The less said about my own sad vertraagte dorp the better. Investigating how to remove my lovely house from it's moorings and drive it to some place that has a bit more heart.

Dani said...

Sue - No thanks - don;t want him ;)

The pickled peppers are so dead easy to make, and are delicious. Hope your season is bountiful :D

Dani said...

pqsa - RMan and I were the only ones who participated from our little "community". Thankfully some in Swellendam stepped up to the challenge. The importance of this "protest" to South Africa going forward is indescribable...

possumqueensa said...

I should have got in my car and gone to Swellendam, but the point was a spontaneous protest in our own community. People asked if the church couldn't be opened for an hour so people could pray, but eh... no. No wonder that huge building echoes with emptiness every Sunday. Sorry for the rant, I'm a bit fed up.

Dani said...

pq - That's appalling. People were asked to pray together if they couldn't get to a protest. Pity you didn't make it - we could've stood together :D Will let you know if / when there's a repeat in Swellies - think they're asking for the 18th (the day of the parliamentary decision on the vote of no confidence.)

I understand your fedup-ness - if I had been unable to "express" my anger / frustration / objection to the P's shenanigans via standing together with other like minded souls I think I would've exploded. Have to say, the motorists / truck drivers who passed by joined in / showed their support through hooting like mad - was a completely uplifting experience :D

Leigh said...

Over here, politics has devolved into nothing more than one big king-of-the-hill game. It's disgusting. Nobody is on the side of the people.

Anyway, I love seeing all your fall preservation projects. Your pantry shelves will have many jewels in its crown. :)

Dani said...

Leigh - I always hesitate blogging about politics as that is not the purpose of my blog. However, with that said, I am so disturbed / appalled / /horrified by the happenings in this country that I couldn't help myself...

That's a lovely way of describing the contents of my pantry - thank you. I'll remember that :)

Harry Flashman said...

Be careful. Things get out of hand fast in some environments. They tell me Australia is nice.....

Harry Flashman said...

I'll take him! Oops! Already got him. Thank God. :-)

Dani said...

Harry - Been quiet about this "president" for too long. Time to stand up and be counted...