"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 9 September 2017

Not just honey...

We have all been aghast at the recent monsoons which have affected some many people in the east.  And the horrific hurricanes currently pounding the Caribbean / USA.

So much (excess) water elsewhere, and our extreme drought is ongoing.  

Are there still any climate change / global warming deniers out there...?

Thankfully, even though we are seeing higher than normal Spring temperatures, the heat of summer is not yet belting down on my seedlings.  We'll be collecting another few loads of wood mulch this coming week - the beds are in need of a top up.

I belong to a Facebook group called Water Shedding Western Cape.  Some other members of the group - and the membership is diversified - are all trying to afford rain water tanks to help them mitigate the effects of the water restrictions which have been imposed on the City of Cape Town.  Level 5, is, I believe, the highest level, and that state was declared a couple of weeks ago.  Level 5 equates to 87 ltrs of water / person / day.  87 ltrs = 22.9 gallons.  Consider 87 ltrs per day and then think of :

1  showering (no bathing allowed)
2  flushing toilets
3  washing hands after going to the bathroom
4  washing clothing / bedding
5  brushing teeth
6  cooking
7  washing up dishes
8  washing the floor

The members of that Facebook group are becoming very inventive on how to "recycle" their water - via standing in buckets to capture their shower water for toilet flushing, capturing the wash cycle water from their washing machines in order to, again, flush toilets, capturing the water from washing their hands - again to flush toilets.  And catching as much of the reduced rainwater that falls in whatever containers they can lay their hands on - be that pots and pans, buckets or rain water tanks - ranging in size from 500lt to 5 000 lt.  Those that are lucky have pools - they're either covering them with as inexpensive a cover as possible to prevent evapouration, and / or they're attaching flexible plastic "tubes" to the gutter downpipes in order to steer any rainwater to the pool.  We all know that an empty pool is difficult to circulate and the water will, in no time at all, turn green / breed mosquito's if left standing.  Plus, a pool can be used as a massive rainwater tank - to flush the loo / do the washing - if necessary.

But, it's not only people who are affected by the drought.  Never mind the grain / produce farmers, cows, sheep, goats - they all feel the effects of the drought when their local watering holes dry up.

And, the most important workers on this planet are affected too.
Thirsty bees will try and find the smallest
 drop of water they can during a drought

They will fly for miles to find a drop of water.

And, by way of thanks for the important tasks they fulfil - for us - on a daily basis, all we have to do is put out some water for them.
A simple sugar water bird
 feeder will not only quench
 the birds thirst, but the
 bees will drink from it too
They are not fussy and demanding, and will happily help themselves to some sugar water from the bird feeder bottles.
Clever - a simple piece of netting in order to save the bees from drowning
The suppliers of these recycled bottle bird feeders now provide a small piece of net to place between the drinking spout and the stopper in order to prevent the bees from entering the bottle and drowning.
Small enough to prevent bees from getting through, but big enough
 to allow the sugar water to freely flow
If you can't afford to purchase a bird feeder bottle, a simple bowl of water, placed in a shady spot in your garden, will suffice.
A simple bowl of water, filled with rocks to allow the bees safe
 access to the water, and placed in the shade.  It is that easy to
 say thanks to the bees who work so hard for us.
On Thursday, during our weekly trip to town, we stopped off at our local honey supplier.  Waiting for the honey to be decanted into our recycled jars, I took a browse, and came across this which was for sale:

Being of an age where any, and all assistance is gratefully received in my quest to assist my skin to retain some level of moisture / slow down (further) wrinkle production, I bought myself a small bottle.  After my shower I applied a few drops to my face and got on with my day.  Horrors - the propolis / beeswax / honey content must've been enough to trigger a signal, for 8 bees decided that the inside of our house was worth investigating.  I reckon I better save this tissue oil for nighttime use only.  I don't want the bees coming indoors fruitlessly looking for a non-existent source of bee food...

I recently came across a advert for a movie which is due for release in November.  
There is a short preview of the movie on the link I gave under the pic.  I can't wait until it is, hopefully, available to the general public...

I suggest you set yourselves a reminder for November 😉


  1. These horrific storms are being called things like "once in a thousand years" or "unprecedented" or "never seen before". That all tells me that obviously something is different. Now Miami FL is being inundated with a storm surge that is made worse by a higher sea level now than the last time they had a major storm.

    You asked if there was any climate change deniers out there, sadly our entire administration. Trump has put in place, in every position in government, people who don't believe it. They aren't even allowed to use the words "climate change" in interviews and papers. The new head of NASA (NASA of all places!!) doesn't believe in climate change. Until things change here, the rest of the world will have to step up to lead by example.

    Bees are SO important to SO many things. Can't wait to see the movie. Thanks for the heads up!

    p.s. Wish we could send you some water.

    1. 1st Man - I expressed a personal view on your President a while ago, and seemed to loose followers, so I've learned my lesson ;) Shocking to hear that the head of NASA is a denier though...

      Oh, please - send us some of your water.

  2. I am back on the internet!!!!!!

    I think I need to look into this tissue oil. I am awful with hand washing. I cant stand the feeling of something on my hands. it really stresses me and I am anxious till I can clean it off. I have rubber gloves to paint with now as I have to keep stopping and I get no where. It has got worse as I have got older. People wonder why I have so many pairs of mittens and gloves. When I lived in London, in the winter I had clean gloves every morning. If I had used the tube a lot I would have a 2nd pair for the PM. I know it seems silly to some. But people are disgusting and I need to stay healthy.

    Our water now comes from a water table near by. We are going to the meeting soon about it, there is one every 3 months. They raise money and supply the pre-school and primary school with water and electric made from the panels on top of the land. Pretty amazing for what was waste ground, above and below ground working in harmony. Many think people in Devon and Cornwall are a bit thick because of how we talk. (think Doc Martin TV show). But from what I can see, people seem to be looking to the future. I am learning about our ground source heat source and about the rain water capture system (*I think it is a little too homemade and have my brother coming to look at it. it involves dye in the water in the guttering and to see what appears in the tanks and through the irrigation system for the gardens. plus the marine pumps need over hauling to raise the water to the bottom garden. Some one put a lot of thought into the watering of the gardens here.)

    1. Sol - Welcome back :D

      I, too, can't stand the feeling of "grubby" hands and am constantly rinsing them... :(

      The community spirit / foresight and water / solar set up sounds excellent, and will certainly stand them in good stead going forward. Oooooh, you're so lucky to have a usable water table. The water where we stay is brack. Why not do a blog post on your water situation / redemial work...?

    2. I will do. I need lots of advice about the plants, they all seem terribly exotic and I think I am going to have to go to Eden and the lost gardens of heligan and just show people pictures. apparently not only do I have lots of tree ferns I also have a flame tree or fire tree. everyone keeps telling me about it. The garden here used to be opened in some garden scheme previously. alot of plants have died of neglect over the 3 years it has been empty. We are so close to the sea like my parent house, they have problems with a lot of plants due to the wind and salt that is generally about. The fruit cage is full of brambles but one of the neighbours said it used to be full of all soft fruit that she used to give away. I am hoping, once I am up and running to have a little honesty box out the front and raise money for a charity with my surplus goods.

      I am liking that people in the area (although I am sure it is out of curiosity and being nosey) are coming to tell me about the plants in my front garden as I dont know what any of them are.

      I am especially worried I will accidentally kill the tree ferns. They are over 7 feet to the top of the furry bit (dont know the name of that), and then it is the fern frondy bit at the top of that.

      I can send you pears and apples. They are all over the place, the wind has been so bad. I keep putting the wind falls out the front in buckets. They seem to be going so people must like them! Hopefully I will get them used to seeing bits out there and then next year they will donate some money towards the charity when taking my veggies?

    3. Sol - The only advice I can give you is your tree ferns may need covering in winter as the ones we have here in SA don't like the frost.

      Love the idea of an honesty box :D


Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day and removes the "loneliness' of sitting at my screen blogging supposedly to myself ;) I try and reply as quickly as possible so please forgive me if sometimes my response is delayed.