Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bush to Beach and back again

We've just had a lovely couple of days at the beach for a friends 40th. It was lovely to get away and just relax and do nothing. We only had the one ocean swim - crazy but we were just too tired to make the effort!

There was a bit of seaweed on the beach so I collected that up and tomorrow I'll make a liquid manure with it, but I'll add some cow manure, comfrey, egg shells and whatever else I can think of. Maybe some aloe vera and a few weeds. I'll leave it for a few weeks and then dilute and water the garden with it. The plants will think its delicious! I also picked up a few cuttlefish for the chooks. I should've collected some sea water to put into the liquid manure as it's full of lovely sea minerals.

What was delicious was our dinner tonight! We thought we'd treat the backpackers and so we brought some prawns, oysters and calamari.  The calamari I cut into rings and marinated in garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and some chilli and lime salt that is made by a lovely lady from Agnes Waters.   I then tossed it in seasoned flour and deep fried.  I served this with a vegetable rice dish - a cross between a paella and a risotto. And we just had the prawns and oysters alongside.

I picked an eggplant, a yellow zucchini, some capsicum and some chillies from the garden, but also used some veggies from the fridge. I added in some chunky bacon and some cooked it in some homemade fish stock from the freezer.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Change of focus

I started this blog several years ago because I wanted to "educate" people about ecological farming. While this is still going to be a thread throughout my posts, I really want to focus more on a homegrown, sustainable lifestyle. My main passion is food - the growing, preparing and eating it. It has to be healthy and if I can grow it even better.

Every where I look, I see fat people! I don't really mean this in an insulting way, but we as a society have become so used to being over weight that it's normal to be fat! People, it's not normal, the human body is an amazing machine and we can be fat and sick and still function quite okay. My vision is to make people realise that it's not that hard to produce some of your own food, or prepare food from raw product to a healthy balanced meal. If we ate less rubbish and just ate real food, we would become slimmer, we would be healthier and we would live a lot longer. I'm not skinny, but I'm not overweight - I eat real food, real fat and (unfortunately) I don't exercise much. We need exercise for good health, but not necessarily for weight loss. Weight loss starts when you start eating real food, made from scratch. Give up on the packaged carbs and only eat grains if you prepare them yourself. Plan your diet around meat and vegies! Think traditional food, food that our ancestors ate!

I am an extremely busy person. We run a pig farm and cattle property, market our own free range pork (retail and wholesale selling), I feed anywhere from 5 to 8 people three proper meals a day, 7 days a week! If I can find time to grow some vegies, serve up a cooked breakfast, meat and salads and home made bread for lunch and a "restaurant" quality meal every night, anyone can. Okay so you live in an apartment - well you can have a jar of sprouts on the bench (and find a community garden) Most people though have access to some ground - plant some veg alongside the shrubs, or some herbs, fruit trees, a couple of chooks!
If you don't know how to cook, hopefully I'll give you some inspiration to have a go. It's not really rocket science. I do cook some "fancier" type food, but I usually cook basic, tasty meals and as time is often limited, they are quick! I often don't come inside until 6 or later now that it's summer, and we can still be eating by 7-7.30.  This also requires planning - be prepared, and use the oven or slow cooker to make things easier.

I find time to make kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, bread (sourdough and normal yeast bread), I milk cows, make my own cheese (mostly feta) separate to make cream, make icecream, we kill our own meat and I have some fresh greens and herbs in the garden.

I will try and post at least weekly, focusing on what I'm growing or cooking or eating and if I can inspire people to have a go, that's great. Please comment and let me know what you want to learn/know about. If you want a particular recipe for something, please comment and I'll post it.