Saturday, December 18, 2010

Treasure Boxes

Last year, I made a goodies box for Miss H filled with little things. The sort of thing that you could pop in a christmas stocking. I'm doing it again this year for both girls, but with a slight twist.
This years boxes have been decorated and prettied up with scrapbooking paper, glue and glitter. I hope they will serve as a treasure box of sorts, especially on the day.

They'll be carried with us during the day on our family visit, so I'll pop in some goodies that will sustain an active toddler on a restricted diet through the day.
I love that Miss H will be excited by a small piece of organic white chocolate, almonds, an organic lollipop, homemade oat bikkies, fruit and chamomile tea bags!
I've thrown in a special set of beanbags and a pack of cards from Spiral Garden just for Miss H. Add a couple hair accessories and sticker sheets and the day's kit is ready to go.
Baby M's has some crayons, hair accessories and fruit along with a set of lavender beanbags of her own

Making The Beanbags
In keeping with my hand making christmas gifts, I decided to try some beanbags.
I've read a few different blogs that talked about beanbags and beanbag games.
After deciding I'd have a go at making some too, I checked a few more blogs and tutorials to see the different ways to make bean bags and decided on a way to make mine.After deciding on a size and making a template pattern (12cmx12cm square), I picked out a handful of scrap pieces of fabric and cut away.I placed the beanbag faces right side in to each other and stitched 3 sides up, trimmed the corners and turned out. Then I filled them and stitched them closed. I filled these with rice as it was a cheaper option for us, but will restuff them with beans next year. Being bigger, beans won't soak up water as fast so will be more water fun friendly.
I made a whole bunch of colourful and patterned beanbags before embarking on individual sets for each girls box.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our Shopping List

I've found that food and my shopping have come into a few conversations in the last couple months, so I thought I'd share with you what we buy and why.

Let's start with the basics... Fruit and Veg!
I won't list what we buy individually because it'll take a WHOLE post to write it out.
What we can't grow we supplement by buying what is in season and grown local. The closer it is grown to home, the less chemicals it has encountered on it's travels to our table. As soon as something crosses the border to get into our state it is sprayed with quarantine nasties... iikkk!
Luckily the fruit and veg man who supplies our small supermarket mostly supplies food grown within a few hundred kilometres.
ONCE I have bought two kiwi fruits and 3 times I have bought pineapple, that's as far as our out of state fresh produce buying goes.

Dairy.
At the moment we buy our dairy but plan to get it from our own animals soon with cows on their way and plans for goats soon too.

We buy Harvey Fresh milk because it is a local product from the Harvey region a few hours drive from us.
Sadly it gets pumped with preservatives just the same as any store bought milk and comes from steroid, hormone and antibiotic fed cows so we limit our use of it.

We buy Capel cheese because it is again a localish product, being from a region a few hours drive away. It's ingredients are milk, salt, cultures and rennet (enzyme)

We WERE buying Capel butter but our supermarket doesn't get it in and we settle on the only other west aussie butter we know... Watsonia. It's ingredients are cream, water and salt.

We buy either Brownes or Harvey fresh cream depending on availability, but we prefer the Harvey Fresh.

We buy Mundella yoghurt. It is a localish pot set yoghurt that contains milk and cultures. We have been experimenting with making our own yoghurt with using this as a starter and had some success. Soon I will be taking this on as a fulltime homemade item with our own raw milk. Until then I will perfect my method to our liking.

Staples.
These are the items we buy as our pantry staples and buy in bulk when on sale or have that little extra money. I find that by doing this we have gotten through the tough times without resorting to unhealthy frozen or canned veg. We haven't had a canned item in our home for over 2 years now.

Brown rice and dried beans, legumes and grains. These can include red kidney beans, borlotti beans, lentils or barley.

Wholemeal flour. As this feeds our sourdough, makes our bread, biscuits and yummy treats, flour is an essential in our pantry. I hope to start buying bulk amounts of wheat from a biodynamic farmer a couple hours from us for our chooks and ourselves. O plan to soak it, dry it and grind it to make our flour. Soon I plan to be making our own pasta, noodles and crackers too.

Wholemeal pasta and Tomato Paste.
At the moment we buy our organic tomato paste as we use it a lot and have lost our last few tomato crops to Tobacco Mosaic Virus. Hopefully we're more successful this year and can jar enough paste to get us through the most of the next year.

Salt, bicarb, vinegar, occasionally gelatin, herbs and spices. Sugar, we buy brown sugar for baking, raw sugar for general use and jams and golden syrup for the occasional buiscit or pudding treat. I'd like to change over fully to our own bee's honey and Stevia only. One change at a time.

Olive oil, how could I forget olive oil!!
We buy a 2 litre box of Jingilli extra virgin olive oil. This makes the price around $10 per litre as opposed to buying the small botle which costs $10 for just 500ml! Now THAT'S a saving!
I use oil in place of butter in cakes, in cooking and to deep fry with.
By buying a locally grown olive oil such as Jingilli I can be certain there is no chance of it being a GM product. The GM ban was only just lifted here in WA and these crops were planted YEARS ago.
Not to mention that Jingilli are up the top of the consumers choice list of EV olive oils tested for 'extra virginity'. Jingilli made it in 4th place!

That's basically all we buy. We choose basics and make our meals from scratch. We avoid processed foods that contain colours, flavours, preservatives , emulsifiers and GM ingredients.

We source our meat from the local abbotoir and will soon eat our own animals that have lived their days chemical free, roaming 90 acres of organically cared for land.
They will know love through their lives and will die painlessly and suddenly without knowing what hit them.

How much more pure can it get?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sew Simple!


I am very excited to have successfully finished this project.
A little while ago I fell in love with the idea of cloth books and as soon as I saw this genuine vintage reprint cloth book panel on The Oz Material Girls Facebook page, I knew I just HAD TO HAVE IT! I have fallen deeply in love with it now that it's finished.


With christmas looming closer and having a tight budget and natural, handmade and WAHP leanings I decided to sew up some pressies and stocking fillers for our beautiful girls. What shows more love than a well thought gift made with loving hands? This book is just one of the many projects I am attempting to have done in time.

I must say that this was one of the EASIEST things I have ever sewn. As a beginners project it can teach some simple but very useful skills. From straight stitching, corners and turning out to applying interfacing or batting and topstitching.


This book took me only 24 hours to create and that was with limited spurts of time in between soothing a very unsettle sick baby.
So if you're looking for something quick, simple and absolutely beautiful to sew up in time for christmas, you can find the panel HERE.
Please leave just one little panel for me to buy in the new year as a gift for a dear friend of mine... please.

It may be a tad too late for West Aussies to have one delivered in time for christmas as it seems Australia Post are on a bit of delay for us westerners, but one can only try. I have no doubt that Eastern staters not affected by flooding can get a hold of one with plenty of time to spare!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Poultry Life

Poultry bring such joy into life. They provide yummy eggs and meat, composting and many hours of pleasure for adults and children alike. They really are a resourceful animal. If you can only keep one type of animal, then poultry are the best possible choice you could make.
If you're not sure having poultry is for your family, you can give it a trial run by hiring some chooks. That's right you can HIRE chooks!

First thing you'll need to do is contact your local council and find out what restrictions they have on keeping poultry.
Some don't allow any poultry, some allow a small number with restrictions to pen placement and some allow as mony chooks as you like given you don't have a rooster to reduce noise.

Second is to consider the space you have available for poultry keeping. This can even affect the type of poultry you want.
Next you want to consider how many chooks or ducks you want to keep, this will affect the size yard you want. A good hen will lay an egg every day or two in optimum conditions. I'm not sure about ducks as I'm still new to the lovely quackers.

When you've decided what type of poultry you want, the amount you want and space you have you can start contemplating the building materials .

If you have small yard, you can opt for a chook tractor or dome.
Chickens tractors look like huge rabbit hutches and can be moved around the yard to give the chooks contained new grazing grounds each day. You can find tractors that will accomodate between 4 and 12 hens. A commercially made one can be quite pricey, so if you have a welder in the family you can cut costs by sourcing the required steel from a salvage yard and having one built.
Chicken domes are a small enclosed dome built with bamboo sticks or whatever you can find to suit the purpose. They fit well in a permaculture garden where circular beds are encouraged. Just lift and move along to the next bed when it's time.

For a larger yard, a small garden shed and fenced off area can make for a nice cheap pen. Once again visit your salvage yard, tip or check through the local paper for supplies.
Garden sheds can be found rather cheap and often free in your local paper if you're willing to dismantle, pick up and transport it home to be erected again.
A simple fence can be built with star pickets or copper logs (treated pine) and some chook wire. Depending on where you live you may want to add some tin around the bottom to deter snakes, rabbits, dogs and foxes climbing or digging around the fence.

If you have a large amount of space like our 90 acres, there are no limits to your pen other than your imagination.
We decided on a chook run of 25 by 20 metres to ensure plenty of space in the case that we can't let the poultry out for any amount of time. The poultry yard opens into the fruit orchard so that they may roam free and clean up any fallen fruit or insects and pests, while at the same time manuring our orchard.
The fence is built from new and recycled star pickets, chicken wire and recycled tin for fow protection. The house was built with recycled wood and tin, creating a house that is 5 by 5 metres. Both entry doors were recycled flyscreen frames, one still to be attached onto the house.

Other ideas for chook houses are recycle water tank halves, straw bale shelters and chook wire and burlap sack built shelters, such as is explained in John Seymour's "Complete Book of Self Sufficiency"

It's a good idea to check out some poultry books and online forums to decide on which types you want to choose. This will depend on your purpose for having poultry, your family needs and your yardage or fencing availabilities.
We like to go for heritage breeds of old so have decided on Wyandotte chooks for their meat and egg qualities, Orpington chooks for their winter laying habit and Muscovy ducks for their meat and eggs.
Having ducks, I feel it is important to provide water in the way of a small pond or baby bath. Some say this is not necessary, but I feel that nature did not intend for ducks to go without a larger water source.

A nice shady tree is important in a poultry run for our hot dry summers, as poultry do suffer heat stress quite easily. If a tree is not an option then a shade cloth is an acceptable alternative. Make sure you provide PLENTY of cool fresh water for your poultry. We have set up a 1000 litre water container to an automatic self watering system that keeps the poultry water tub full. I'd like to set a tap in the tub so that I may empty and scrub the tub ocassionally.

Some people feed their poultry laying pellets, but we choose not to as we don't want steroids or hormones in our own meat and eggs. We feed soaked wheat instead and provide plenty of scraps and free ranging time for weeds and bug munching.
In winter you can add some barley to the soaked wheat as it encourages poultry's internal body temperature to raise, keeping them warmer. For this same reason it is important to NOT feed barley through the summer months.
Ducks are great at polishing off insects, snails and slugs from your garden without destroying it in the way a chook would. Some ducks do love the odd leafy scraps but in my experience so far, they're not keen on other kitchen scraps like chooks are.

It honestly is a pleasure to look out the kitchen window and see chooks foraging around the fruit orchard or sit on the verandah listening to the chatter of ducks.
You will never find a guard dog as alert as our guard goose, who helps to keep foxes away and protects our ducks during the day and guards the whole poultry run at night.
we hope to one day add turkeys, peacocks and guineafowl to our poultry run... all in good time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mummy's turn for a time out!

Sorry for disappearing for a few days, I went on a time out.
With EADaddy working away, a cranky toddler, teething baby and water worries on my mind I decided I needed a mummy break. Not in the sense of no kids, free time mummy break but rather a kid intensive, playing and eating mummy break.

We spent 3 days in the garden planting seeds, collaging our own garden in our unschooling activity, cooking and eating lots of different food.
I refused to look at dishes, laundry or any other form of cleaning as much as I wanted to do it. I had to face the fact that without water... you just can't do them.

Before I went on my time out we reached over 300 fans on our Facebook page!!! WOW
I never expected to see this many people in one place looking to improve our lives, environment and earth.

I've been thinking about how to say thankyou and as I know a majority of our readers are hard working mums I wanted to give one lucky mummy a little something to spoil herself. Something I would love to spoil myself with if I ever had the time or chance.

At the end of the month I will randomly draw a winner from those that comment on this blog post and will work with that person to tailor the items that make up the prize to pamper feet, face, body and lips from Pure Earth Noosa!

I might just add a little tasty extra something from Echo Way too...


Every mummy needs a break once in a while, please put yourself up for a chance to be spoiled.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spring Has Arrived!!


Spring has arrived!!
With it, comes the perfect gardening weather. With perfect gardening weather come the bugs to enjoy your garden you put your effort, heart and soul into.

So today, I want to share with you some of the tips for organic pest control.

First and formost, soil is the key!
Pests generally only stop and live on unhealthy plants. With healthy soil, you will have healthy plants.

Secondly, good seedstock is vital.
Seed from pest resistant plants will contain the same properties of the parent plants that the pests didn't enjoy, thus creating more pest resistant seed for future use. Forget the conventional seed packs from your local garden store, source out small seed companies that provide open pollinated heirloom varieties of seed. This seed has been grown in real conditions, mostly without pesticides and built up it's own immunity to pests that the seed now carry. They also are NOT owned by evil Monsanto like the conventional lines.

Thirdly, bugs are not your enemy.
They all belong here but balance is the key. Not all bugs are bad, in fact there are many bugs that will eat the pesty bugs. Planting beneficial insect attracting plants and flowers will go a great deal of a way to helping your organic gardens stay pest free. Ladybugs, crickets and stick insects eat some of the pests like aphids etc.

Build a frog pond, frogs and toads eat many different bugs that you don't want in huge proportions.

Now, to the most common annoying pests. If I miss any you want to know about, let me know and I'll add them in here as you request.

Ants:
Ants aren't a terrible thing in your garden, they can even be your friends! Ants will turn and aerate your compost pile for you and lead you to any possible scale infestations. Ants farm scale so that they may milk them of their sweet sticky exudant.
If there are ants bothering your children in their play area, you can deter them by planting Tansy and Mint around. Ant's don't like either and will go out of their way to avoid them.

Aphids:
Aphids are little bugs that suck the life sap out of your plants. Planting nasturtiams with your plants will help keep the aphid numbers down on your food. Aphids are attracted to orange nasturtiams and reppeled by yellow nasturtiams you will provide an attractive home for the aphids that is NOT your food and provide a repelling agent. If they do bother your plants you can wash them off with warm soapy water and use Eco Oil, which is made up of essential oils and certified organic.

Earwigs:
Place open match boxes in your garden and earwigs will find them a lovely place to hide. Close up the box and feed the litlle critters to your birds or poultry. Alternatively, you can use a log or rock to attract them.

Slater bugs:
Place halved citrus shells upside down in your garden and collect up the hiding slaters in the morning for your poultry to gorge on.

White Cabbage Moth:
These moths are those beautiful white 'butterflies' you see fluttering around eyeing of your brassicas. The actual moth is not your culprit, but their eggs resulting catterpillers are. The White Cabbage Moth hates strong smelling herbs such as dill, coriander and rosemary. Planting a border of very smelly herbs around your garden will deter the moth from llaying her brood on your food.

Catterpillers:
If you fail to deter the mummy moth or butterfly, you will not enjoy the company of catterpillers in your gardens. They can literally eat your plants overnight. The only way I know of to rid your garden of them is a game.
A couple hours after dark give each child or person a bucket and torch. The object of the game is to catch as many catterpillers as possible. Look under leaves and along stems in particular. Feed the catch to the birds or poultry.

Slugs and Snails:
There are a couple ways to rid your garden of these slimeys. One is to save your eggshells in the kitchen. When you have enough, crush them and sprinkle around the soil of your garden beds. The slimeys really dont like the feeling of having their tummies cut open so avoid them.
You can also set a trap to catch them, a dreamy drunken happy trap. Place a small bowl, cup or jar in the soil with beer in the bottom. Snails and slugs are attracted to the yeasty vit B drink and will drown in most happy circumstances.

Scale:
Scale are an annoying pest that can drain the life out of a plant and cause some real damage. The tell tale sign is ants trailing up and down your trees continuously.
They are mostly partial to citrus fruit trees but will take whatever they can get.
I have successfully used Eco Oil to rid my trees of this pest.

Snakes:
There are lizards and birds that eat snakes, so by providing homes for them you can deter snakes in your garden.
Logs and rocks make perfect homes for lizards and native flowering shrubs and trees will attract bug and snake eating birds.

Happy Gardening

Thursday, August 19, 2010

WAHM introduction... Ayana Organics

I was very lucky recently to have won a prize from Ayana Organics. I was fortunate to be able to sample a baby wash, face creme and bath salts.
It was heavenly to lather the wash on my baby and the creme on my face. Our skin was left so soft and silky and the smell.... DEVINE!!!
I found Sam to be a lovely woman who was easy to talk to about our needs and custom made products for my family. I will visit Sam's website as a paying customer any day I need some more skin pampering.
If you like organic products, if you like to support west aussie WAHP's then go no further than Ayana Organics...

Here is more of Sam's story in her own words:

My name is Sam Crosby and I am the fortunate mother of 2 sons, Zac Ellis and Asher Raine.
Through the experience of pregnancy and parenting, I became conscious of what kind of products were on the market for babies in particular and for women in general.

Having been following an organic lifestlye in terms of food for some time, I was keen to look more into skin care. I quickly made the discovery that the vast majority of skin care products, including those we use on our newborn babies, contain a multitude of chemicals.

Armed with qualifications in pregnancy and baby massage, a love of aromatherapy, a passion for animals and the enviroment (and now a burning desire to make a contrubiton to the current skin care ranges available for babies) I founded Ayana Organics.
The philiosophy behind Ayana is simple: to provide chemcial free, vegan, cruelty free, natural and organic products that are kind to the environment and genuinely safe to use.

The benefits of running my own businesses (I also have another home based business) are numerous. I love working for myself rather than someone else, especially with products I am so proud of.
Ayana enables me to stay at home with my children and be around for all the milestones and kindy drop offs and future sports days and assemblies. To me that is something very precious and I feel very fortunate to be able to do it.

My pregnant customers always favour the 'Big Belly Butter' scented with vanilla and orange, but if I have to choose it would be the Avocado and Rosehip eye creme from my women's range (Black and White Organics, which is another arm of the Ayana range).

Sam :)

You can find Ayana Organics here
and Black and White Organics here

Friday, July 30, 2010

WAHM introduction

I only had two returns of stories for our WAHM week planned months ago so I have decided to post these two at least for you all. I love to support WAHP's as much as I can and this is the story of one mum I just love to shop with! One of the most fave toys in our toy room is one of these sets pictured to the right. It still gets lovingly played with constantly.
I have had many great rewarding shopping experiences with The Natural Newborn and what better timing to introduce you to her than just before the big Facebook sale tonight?!
May I introduce to you, Jo from The Natural Newborn in Western Australia....



My name is Jo and I'm Mummy to 2 gorgeous girls, Emma and Ruby, wife to my fantastic husband, Todd and owner/founder of The Natural Newborn.

I started The Natural Newborn after a series of events. The first was my first daughter Emma had a bad reaction to disposable nappies. After using every bum balm on the market (none of which worked) I changed her to modern cloth nappies and haven't looked back since. They completely cleared up the rash she had and I quickly became obsessed with MCN's and was hanging by the letterbox for my "fluffy mail"! The transition to cloth nappies made me start to look at other areas in my life and how to change them to become more eco-friendly and natural. Then after Ruby was born I was looking for some biodegradable flushable liners for her cloth nappies and after going to my supermarket, health food shop and chemist I went home and said to Todd that if I couldn't find them then I was going to do something about it. So, it was that day that I decided to open an online store selling natural & organic baby & kids products.

Working from home on the business fits in well with my family. I mostly work at nights after the girls are asleep so I'm not cutting into time with them. I have considered opening a bricks & mortar shop time and time again but it always comes down to not wanting to tie myself down to working 6 days a week away from home. The kids are only little for a short time and I want to be able to go to school carnivals or help out at kindy which I couldn't do if I did open a shop. It does mean I work late nights and am tired a lot from trying to keep on top of everything though!

The Natural Newborn is an online shop that sells natural & organic products for mum, bub and kids. I stock everything from bum wipes to organic cot mattresses (and recently organic single bed mattresses for the big kids!). I try to stock products that are made in Australia but if I can't find them then I will go overseas to find a more natural alternative than that offered in mainstream baby shops.
Providing eco-friendly and natural products for babies and kids is definitely a passion of mine. I attend markets and expos in Perth as I have found that many parents really don't know that these products are available and how much better these products are for their children.

Some of my favourites are the wooden toys. I love the simple wooden rattles and the pretend play toys such as the birthday cake and fruit & vegie set. I also love the Hug a Bub carriers...it is the one product I sell that really makes me want another baby! Just looking at gorgeous little newborns all snuggled up in a Hug a Bub makes me all clucky!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Vax Detox Methods

Well, this was a slightly hard subject to find info on. I ended up consulting a friend who runs the Vaccine Resistance Movement website for a little information.

With such little info available I thought I would take a different angle with this post. After giving you a few ideas of what you can try I will tell you how to grow two of the plants listed.

Detoxing vaccinations can do only one thing, remove the heavy metals injected with the virus. As far as I know you can't take the virus away, that job is up to your immune system.
Your body will have fought that virus and will now have an memory of it for the next 5 to 7 years, hence the argument that vaxes do not make you immune and why you need boosters every 5 years.

One option you have is activated charcoal. This works in by binding heavy metals and is available from your doctor. Somehow I think it may be hard to get a doctor to agree that vaccinations are poisonous and you or your child are in need of activated charcoal.

Some more info on activated charcoal

There are a few food plants that have properties that will bind the heavy metals and toxins from vaxes to expel from your body. They contain Phytonutrients which boost your immune system and help to fight disease, free radicals and toxins. Try to eat a serve of them at least 4 times a week.

What are Phytonutrients?
Wickipedia Definition of Phytochemicals

Plants containing great ammounts of these properties include the Brassica family and Cilantro, also known as Coriander. Tumeric also contains properties useful in the detoxification of heavy metals.

So, off to the garden we go to grow.... Kale and Coriander! Both can be grown together as they are companion plants to each other.
At Martin Farm both of these foods are primarily a winter crop, but they can be grown all year around where there is a cooler summer.

Kale is a wonderful food. While for this specific purpose it is best eaten raw, there are plenty of recipes that can use Kale. Use it in place of Cabbage or Spinach. We love our young Kale leaves in salads and hamburgers.

Kale likes to be started in seedling pots. In autumn or spring plant 2 or 3 Kale seeds per pot or tube in a good seedling mix or compost. Pick out the weaker seedlings as they grow bigger. Plant out into your rich sunny garden bed when they have 4 to 6 true leaves.
Water daily for strong growth. Feed with seaweed solution every couple weeks, this will help it to grow more leaves and be resistant to frost and pest attacks.

Interplant with any of the companion plants that do well with Brassica's. Try Onions, Potatoes, Dill, Beetroot, Beans or Celery. Avoid Rue, Strawberries and Tomatoes.

Coriander (Cilantro) is a wonderful herb that tastes lovely in potato salad and thai meals. It also attracts bees and ladybugs when in flower, it has such a refreshing scent.

Coriander can be started in pots or directly sewn in the garden. You can even plant it where you want it to self seed and have a great patch of Coriander pop up every year in the same spot.
Coriander likes a sunny spot in good soil. Water regularly.

While they are good companions don't plant with Dill if you plan to keep the seed for future growth as they are so closely related they will crossbreed when the bees come to pollinate them. Avoid planting near Fennel as the two detest each other with a vengance and neither will thrive well while in company of each other.

I dont seem to have many pests attacking my Coriander, but the main pests that I find attack my Brassica's are cabbage moth caterpillers and aphids.
You can plant aromatic herbs in a border that will deter the cabbage moth from settling to lay eggs on your Brassiaca's. Dill, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Coriander will help keep those pests away.

Aphids are annoying little buggers that suck the life sap out of your plants. When they hit, they seem to hit in plague proportions.
Our neighbouring farmers all spray their crops to kill and deter aphids so our chemical free property seems to be a safe haven for them much to our dismay. However, the upside is where there are aphids you are certain to find ladybugs not far behind. Aphids are a favourite meal of ladybugs.

While you're waiting for the ladybugs to rock up to the feast you can deter aphids with Nasturtiams. Funnily enough orange nasturtiams repel aphids and yellow nasturtiams attract them. Both can be helpful as anything that attracts aphids from your plants are true blessings. If you find you still have some of those little sap suckers invading your plants, wash them off with warm soapy water. This will kill them I believe, by blocking their pores and suffocating them.

Get out into your garden and plant some late crops of Kale and Coriander. Both of which you can find the seeds at Diggers Garden Club

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Strawberry Sensations

Strawberries. Those wonderful sweet, juicy, red berries that we just don't seem to get enough of... especially with kids around! Ok, so I know I'm not describing supermarket bought strawberries, but that's why I bring you this post today. A home grown strawberry will win your heart and save your pocket. You'll never want to spend money on a shop strawberry again.

Here at Martin Farm it is time to plant out strawberries. Old plants have recently sent out new shoots and avid gardeners have pulled them out and potted them up for lucky buyers like you and I.

When I see someone at Bunnings looking at those horrid little rootbound pots of strawberries for $3.50 or more, I lean in and tell them to go to their local flea markets or carboot markets, whatever you want to call them.
At these markets you will most certainly find at least one gardener who grows and sells strawberries. In most cases they are organic gardeners who don't spray their plants with toxins. This means the plants have come from stock that has naturally built up a resistance to pests and diseases. I ususally ask just to check.

The added bonus is that most people sell them for just $2 a pot and if you get there early enough you can occasionally find a few pots with two strawberry crowns. I like to bargain them and offer something like $10 for six pots, that's half the price I would pay at Bunnings and I get much healthier plants with a higher chance of surviving transplant and providing better fruits.

So how many plants DO you need? That really depends on how many people you are providing for, how much you love strawberries and what you want to do with them.
I like to make jams and strawberry jam is a simple beautiful recipe that uses up lots of strawberries. One kilogram of strawberries makes around four jars of jam. I want to freeze some when I grow enough, to use for baking.
Then there's the simple pleasure of picking a fresh berry and chowing down on it while garden foraging. This is something H likes to do A LOT.
The general opinion is that 20 plants will provide plenty of fruit for a small family. This leads me to the conclusion that I will need at least 60 plants just for us!

Strawberries like good rich soil, I planted mine into well rotted cow manure. You can also use well cooked compost or worm castings. They like to be fed a weak seaweed treatment every two to four weeks until around flowering season, this is when you back off and only provide water.
If you provide too much nutrients, specifically nitrogen at this stage you will get very leafy plants and no flowers. No flowers mean no fruit. No fruit means no strawberry jam! What fruits you may get will bruise easily with too much nitrogen.

To see a guide for depth of transplanting look here.

A good deep mulch is vital to moisture retainment of the soil and to keep weeds at bay. I like to use straw as it's cheap and provides nutrients back to the soil after it has broken down. If growing in pots I like to use stripped newspaper as it mats up when wet providing a no flying mulch.You can also use grass clippings, wood shavings, sawdust or compost.

There are many things that grow well with strawberries, these include lettuce, sage and spinach.
Pyrethrum daisies will keep many pests away with its aroma. Borage is a wonderful herb that when planted close by help strawberry plants fight disease and encourage large tasty berries. I have chosen to plant Borage in my patch this year and Pyrethrum close by.

If birds are a problem for your fruits you can try building a scarecrow with the kids with old CD's and tinsel hanging from his arms. The sunlight reflecting from these will scare the birds away for a time. This practise is used on fruit trees to avoid the use of netting. The other options are to place a small cage of bird wire over the plants or a toy snake in the berry patch.

Now for that yummy strawberry jam I was telling you about....have a look at EAM's Facebook page.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Beauty and Simplicity in Such an Element


Who doesn't love a good campfire?

I have fond memories of sitting in front of the fire during my childhood. Dad used to take us camping on the school holidays and I had the most wonderful times of my life..
I'm not talking 'recreational' camping in caravans and campers amongst numerous other camping families with electricity and toilet facilties.
I mean real raw camping at camping spots you had to find with a 4WD, something that is very rare these days sadly. With a tent and fire, a shovel for a toilet and nothing around but bushland to explore and rivers to canoe, splash and fish in.

It's something I continued to do as I grew older... until I had children.
We haven't had a chance to take our girls camping with our journey to self sufficiency taking all our spare money and time. I dream of the days my girls can fish in the river with a paper clip and fishing line on stick as I did.

Lately I have been fondly reminiscing over the memories and wishing I could just get away once more to sit in front of the campfire.
Upon the realisation that yet again we can't possibly afford the chance, I decided to ask EAdaddy to get the newly acquired firepit up from the storage area and we started up our own little campfire to cook our dinner on next to the verandah. It is quite funny watching a novice trying to light a fire, but with patience and plenty of time EADaddy finally got a nice little fire going. In the meantime I started our tinfoiled potatoes in the oven and got the meat ready for cooking.

Needless to say the fire mesmerised all of us for a time as we sat there in the warm glow of the flames. An upset tired baby was hypnotised by the flames and after a feed quietly sat there staring into the beauty of it all.
When the fire had burned down to embers I popped the potatoes in for the smokey flavour while the meat cooked.

We had some icecream I had made the previous night so I decided to try an idea for desert. We had caremelised spicy pear halves with our honey sweetened icecream. It was so delicious, I decided I just had to share.

Here's how I did it:
Cut Pears in half and cut out the seed section, place on a piece of tin foil (shiny side in)
Sprinkle your choice of nutmeg, cinnamon or both on the pear.
Sprinkle with organic or raw sugar. I used about a third of a cup to ensure it caremalised well.
Top with poppy seeds and wrap up. Rewrap in another piece of alfoil to avoid leaks.
Place in hot embers of fire pit for about 10 minutes.

One thing to remember when fire cooking is to not place food in the fire, but rather the embers so that you cook and don't burn your food.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's Too Hard!! Really??

This is something I've had in the works for a little while now and after having a few comments and questions these past couple weeks decided it was time to finish and publish.

When people express their longing desire to me about changing to natural or organic living, I usually ask why they haven't yet taken the step. Do you know what the most common answer I get is? "It's too expensive" or "It's too hard"

My personal reply is "no, it's not". As someone who has taken steps to make the change myself I have to admit it's not about money or ease... It's about knowledge.
If you know how, you can do it.
So here are my tips on how I do things, both pricey and cheap.

First off let me start by stating that the change doesn't have to be made in huge leaps and bounds. One or two things each shopping trip can have you living chemical free within a year.
Secondly, when I say pricey I must admit that these options for us have still worked out to be the same price or less in the long run than their chemical counterparts. Mostly due to the fact that you don't need to use as much product for a better outcome.

General Household Cleaning
I cannot say enough about soapnuts, this is a change that we are personally going to make in ALL areas of our home. Soapnuts can cost between $4.70 for 50gms and $113 for 3kgs. The more you buy, the less it costs. You can get family members or friends to split the cost and share the nuts if it's hard to save up the cash needed for a bulk purchase. Have a look for yourself here.

After first publishing this it was brought to my attention that cheap vinegar is most likely made with petroleum byproducts. I was quick to google this and found the given information to be true. So this is now edited and republished.
I suggest you purchase bulk amounts of apple cider vinegar or ensure you are purchasing vinegar distilled from grain derived spirits. These of course will be a litle more expensive than the cheap toxic brands, but still a cheaper option than pricey organic products.
In true cheap style I also found a page with instructions to make your own vinegar here

There truly is no need for bleach and other toxins in the home. Coupled with a microfibre cleaning cloth there is nothing vinegar cannot do.

Did you know that vinegar is an antibacterial and antifungal cleaner? This is because it is fermented alcohol.
Boost it with pure essential oils such as lavender, lime, mandarin eucalyptus, tea tree or tangerine for an antiseptic, antibiotic, antifungal and antibacterial cleaner. The added bonus is less vinegar smell and an aromatherapuetic cleaning session.
What more could you want?

Essential oils suitable for cleaning usually hit below the $10 mark per bottle for PURE essential oil. I personally prefer a West Australian brand called Tinderbox which you can find at any good health shop or here.

Just pop some water, vinegar and chosen oils into a spray bottle for a spray and wipe solution to use anywhere in your home. Do be careful not to get citrus oils on your skin if you plan to spend time in the sun afterwards because they increase photosensitivity.

For mopping floors, add a half cup of vinegar to a bucket of hot water and mop away.

FOOD
We cannot afford to buy organic food. We grow what we can and supplement with food grown as close to home as possible. This means less chemical sprayed food due to less state borders being crossed.
We buy very little processd food. The most processed is bread, pasta, brown rice and the likes. All of which we buy wholemeal.
We are striving to achieve food sufficiency at home. Making sauces, jams and preserves at home with our own grown foods as well as bought food.

KITCHEN
We started out by buying dish and laundrey liquid off the supermarket shelves, only to find that these choices are not really chemical free despite their "earth friendly" name and label.

Pricey choice: Organic options can usually be found online at not too bad a price. We pay $10/litre for Pure Earth dishwashing liquid. This lasts us up to 6 months, making our total at around $20 a year.

Cheap choice: Soapnuts!!

For a grimy oven you can use a paste made with bicarb soda to scrub and clean after with a vinegar solution adding eucalyptus and orange oils which cut through grease and grime.

LAUNDRY
Pricey choice: We've been purchasing Pure Earth laundry liquid for $45 for 10 litres of laundry liquid. This lasts us around 6 months. The equivalent ammount of supermarket "earth friendly" choice costs us over $6 for 750ml. You do the math!

Cheap choice: Once again, Soapnuts!! These are brilliant and held up to dirty nappies, kids clothes and even Earth Angel Daddy's grubby and greasy work clothes.

For a laundry booster, whitener or soaking agent Bicarb Soda is cheap and simple. We buy ours at the stockfeeds for $24 for 20kgs. It is animal grade, but still works the same in laundry, cleaning and cooking.

PERSONAL
Pricey choice: We use Pure Earth personal products for ourselves and our children in the way of toiletries.

Cheap choice: You guessed it... Soapnuts!!! gee, these guys are wonderous little buggers.

An even cheaper option is oats, that's righ folks... OATS.
Tie up some oats in a piece of muslin or cheesecloth, add some chamomile, peppermint or green tea if you like and you have a natural cleansweer to replace soap with. Change oats every couple days.

We use a body crystal for deodorant.

Soon we'll be changing to our own homemade soapnut products and homemade goat soap aswell as homemade skincare products (blog post of the future I think). I suggest you have a look at Feeding Your Skin by Carla Oates for kitchen recipes for your skin

BABY
Now I'll keep this brief and simple because this is a whole other blog post and debate.
You cannot get any cheaper than cloth nappies, breastfeeding and homemade meals.

Instead of using baby powder, which mind you is 98% genetically the same as asbestos and linked to cancer and cysts on the ovary, you can use cornflour or a wonderful thing called nappy free time.
If there is need for a nappy rash cream you can buy or make calendula ointment or even better, Aloe Vera gel straight from the leaf. I like to gift new mums with an Aloe Vera plant from my own garden.

HEALING
We opt for herbal, homeopathic and aromatherpy solutions in our household. A healthy natural diet, good hygiene and a stress free home leads to less illness and less need for healing.

Now, there's so much more I can cover but I think this may be enough to get you started for now. Maybe I can cover each area more extensively over time.
If you have any specific queries or feel I forgot to mention something feel free to ask in the comment section below.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Over 100 FB Likers!!

The other day I was pleasantly surprised to find EAM's Facebook page has reached over 100 'likers'!
I never would have dreamed there were so many people out there who are similarly minded. I am happy to know I am not the only one with my train of thoughts in life, that there are so many more earth angels out there growing up in such an environment as my girls.

To celebrate I thought I might run a little competition to give a little gift to one lucky follower.
Sadly due to postage costs I must make this competition availabe to Australian residents only this time.

What's up for grabs?? I have organised a little something for you through Mumma Rocks Baby Safe Products for the Modern Mumma. To have a look at what you can win go to http://mummarocks.com/item_136/Calm-Ocean.htm
*please note: I have organised an elasticated bracelet with silver spacers to accomodate for the ease of use if you may want to use it as a BFing bracelet.

Of course such a prize must come at a price.
So here's the deal. In order to enter I want you to....
1. Be a liker of my Facebook page
2. A follower of this blog through google connect or networked blog links supplied to the left.
3. Comment below that you are a liker and follower along with an answer to these questions:
Which blog post written so far is your favourite and why?
What would you like to see written about in the future?

Competition closes midnight Wednesday 30th June and the winner will be drawn as soon as my children permit after that.

I can't wait to hear your comments and find a winner.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How Did We Get Here?

When we had our first baby things changed. Everything changed for the better. We changed our living habits and our diets to something closer to nature. I suppose as a keen gardener it was just a natural progression in our life spurred on by that precious little bundle of ours.
Of course with our change came the revival of our shared life long dream of acerage ownership. I had always dreamed of being a homestead mum and Earth Angel Daddy had always longed to return to the land after being dragged to the city to live out his adolescence.

We looked around for 3 months before finding the 'perfect' property for us. A 90 acre property in a fairly rural area. Just enough for us and our dreams. A complete blank canvas for us to start with, no power or water supplied just bare land with 30 acres of natural bush on it and 150 acres nature reserve next door.

After organising a builder and purchasing the property we packed all our belongings and spent our last $700 on a 15ft derilect caravan.
Just after H's first birthday we started our journey to self sufficiency.

We arrived to find our storage shed had not been delivered as promised and our furniture sat outside our caravan exposed to the 10 year record rains that bucketed down for a week straight. Needless to say we lost pretty much everything we owned. Oh well, another blank canvas to start with. What couldn't be recycled or op shop salvaged went to the tip.

The first weeks we cooked on fire in the rain and blistering wind. I built a little oven from spare bricks we had brought with us to recycle. Every morning I rugged up in 2 pairs of tracky pants, 2 jumpers and a big warm jacket, went out and stoked up a little fire to cook brekky with. 2 years later and that jacket still smells of fire smoke. Eventually we were able to fill a borrowed gas bottle for $30 while we saved the $90 needed to buy a 40kg gas bottle.

When our water tank arrived and was filled by truck, it was such a blessing to only have to carry water up the hill a couple hundred metres instead of collecting only 50lt water from family and town visits. We still didn't have a bathroom, but now had enough water to share a bucket wash in the evenings. When our house was finished I was so thankful to have a real bathroom and kitchen.

After a few months we made friends with neighbours 20km down the road who lent us a generator, which we glady used when we could afford the extra petrol. The generator would run just long enough to watch a dvd and read a book in the caravan lights. This also meant that on the odd occassion I could cook dinner later at night without worrying about being able to see.
After 6 months western power built a power line to our property border and we had power! Such a blessing we seem to take for granted until we lose it.

In 2 years we have had a simple shed house built by completely incompetant builders, filled it with free or extremely cheap furniture, built 3 raised garden beds and many low level garden beds. We have built a chook pen, planted a fruit orchard, many native trees and shrubs and started building a fenced paddock intended for dairy cows. Just the other day we finally installed a real kitchen that we bought secondhand. No more internal door on legs as my kitchen bench! I now have a real benchtop and cupboard space... WOOHOO!! *Doing Hayley's Happy Dance*

Our plans include raising crops, chooks, cows, goats, pigs, sheep, bees, rabbits and ducks for our food, meat, dairy and clothing or bartering needs. We dream to be as self sufficient as is possible here. What we can't grow or make we hope to barter with our excess goods.

It doesn't feel like much has been done but when we look back over the photos we realise that with no money and hardly any free time at home beween kids and EADaddy's work.... WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED SO MUCH and we wouldn't have it any other way.

This journey has taught us many lessons and given us the opportunity to appreciate every aspect of our lives. There is so muchmore to be done and I can't wait to see what lessons are in store for our family.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Amber Jewellery

*Photo supplied is a picture of an Amber necklace courtesy of Mumma Rocks

I write this generally about Genuine Baltic Amber as it is Baltic Amber that contains a higher ammount of succinic acid. When looking for Amber jewellery for healing properties, make sure you are buying quality Genuine Baltic Amber.

Baltic Amber was created when vascular tissues of trees secreted through cuts of trees and set into a dried resin millions of years ago. The natural processes and chemical rections of fossilisation that the resin has gone through in this time has created the healing Amber we know of now.

Baltic Amber has been used for centuries to heal many ailments. Dominican philosopher Albert the Great noted that Amber properties were the most effective of six common medicines of his time. He was born in 1193.
During times of plague Amber wearers did not succumb to the plague. They did not die from the atrocious diseases their fellow citizens did.

Baltic Amber has calming and healing properties that benefit many wearers. Succinic acid is released into the body through contact with the skin as warmth is created.
Succinic acid is an antibiotic and an antioxidant.

Baltic Amber has successfully been used for teething, urinary illnesses, pains, blood circulation, allergy relief, as an immunity booster and to fight infections and illnesses among MANY other things.

To care for your Amber jewellery do not expose it to chemicals such as general household cleaners, toiletries or perfumes. Do not expose it to long periods of extreme heat and strong sun. Do not wear it in a chlorine pool or during shower or baths if you have chlorinated water.

Every now and then you can give it a rub with a soft cloth and pure olive oil.
To Purify, give it a light wash or soak in salty water before laying it out under the full moon overnight.

You can find Amber jewellery through these links:
http://www.mummarocks.com/
http://www.selkiedesigns.com.au

http://www.baltikamber.com/



I have found my info through these links:
http://www.baltikamber.com/index.aspx?pageid=323180 http://www.baltikamber.com/index.aspx?pageid=323181 http://www.baltikamber.com/storepage311304.aspx http://www.amberman.com/care.php http://www.amberjewelry.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=89 http://www.chamberofcommerce.pl/natural_medicines/ http://www.masterpage.com.pl/amber/aroma-therapy-amber.html

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Birthday H

Wow... Time really DOES fly!!
3 years ago I was saying goodbye to my visiting sister and settling in for my first night as a mother. Today H turned 3 and is now a big sister to her 3 month old sister M.

I decided that rather than overwhelming H with all her presents in one go, I would give them to her over the day one by one to give time to appreciate each one.
For me it was important to impart upon my daughter that it's not a day to celebrate presents as many had suggested to her. She did get spoiled with many new toys to play and use her imagination with, but we didn't make these the focus if the day.
Today we spent the day together as a family and celebrated H's birth and placement in our family. We truly are blessed with her presence.
This year I have focused on clearing out most plastic toys from H's playroom and introducing wooden toys with safe paints and treatments.

After sneaking into our bed for a sleep in next to her baby sister between us, we all got up together and gave H her birthday card and first present, an amber necklace of her own.
We started the day with banana and yoghurt pancakes, hot cocoa for H and hot coffee for Earth Angel Mummy and Earth Angel Daddy.

After brekky we all went together to feed the chickens and collect eggs only to find they had "laid" a present for H instead of any eggs. Appropriatley it was a wooden cake that says Happy Birthday!

This wooden cake kept H occupied for hours on end so that I was able to get some gardening done.

Later in the evening a wooden fruit and veg set came out that come with a wooden knife and can be "cut" in half and reattached with the ingenuity of velcro. This set kept H occupied until bedtime and wasn't even put down at cake time.
Cake was chocolate cupcakes with lemon cinnamon icing.... YUM YUM!

Now I start to think to christmas and what lessons I want to teach my children, what I want to contribute to the playroom before I plan M's first birthday and consider how much time has passed and how quick my children grow.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Books That Have Inspired My Garden


Upon thinking of what I may write to help inspire or encourage people to get out and stick their hands in the earth, I became lost for words. I decided instead to share with you some of the many books that have inspired me over the past few years to make the choices I have in gardening.

Our relationship with food is what got me out in to the garden. I wanted to ensure my family eats healthy nutritious, organically homegrown food as much as possible. To know where our food had come from and that we had raised it ourselves.


Reading these books made me think more and inspired my persistance for gardening when I felt like a failure and wanted to throw the trowel in.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbera Kingsolver
This book is the journey of an American mum and her family to endeavour on a year of seaonal locavore eating. It includes recipes at the end of each month using the vegetables they were able to source or grow that month.

A year of Slow Food by David and Gerda Foster
This an Australian story very similar to Barbera Kingsolvers book. It also contains recipes for seasonal eating. What inspires me most is Davids cow and bee keeping. A joy I have yet to experience myself.


For beginners that are confused on where to start in the basics of gardening I always say the key to success is reasearch, learning and SOIL and COMPOST
For great reads on soil and compost have a look at:

Soil Food-1372 ways to add fertility to your soil by Jackie French
This is a great book that details the dynamics of soil, how it works and ways to feed it for maximum potential. There is a section that tells how to treat soil for specific food crops.

The Compost Book by David and Yvonne Taylor
This book is a very detailed book compared to others I have read. It tells of what compost is, how to make compost and even has an alphabetised list of all the different things you can put in compost nad how they benefit it.
Did you know you can use Yarrow and Yoghurt to accelerate composting? We throw these down our composting toilet instead of having to buy the accelerator from the company we bought the toilet through.


When it comes to actual planting I like to keep these books on hand and refer to them constantly

The Seedsavers' Handbook by Michel and Jude Fanton of the Seedsavers Network in Byron Bay
This book tells of how to propogate, grow, select, save and store seeds from your garden ensuring good stock of open pollinated plants. It even includes plants that you may not have heard of before such as Aramanth, Kale, Celeriac and Celtuce.

Companion Planting in Australia by Brenda Little
Companion planting is a process of planting certain plants together that compliment one or boths growth by the output of root excretions or leaf exudates.
These plants can benefit each other by repelling isects and providing nutrients to each other, such as beans providing nitrogen interplanted with potatoes which use that nitrogen.
In the same way plants can be harmful to each other, like tomato roots excreting toxins that only herbs like basil and parsley can tolerate. These herbs also ward off insects and benefit the growth of tomatoes.


And for those with chickens or thinking of having backyard chickens you really can't go past...

Backyard Poultry-Naturally by Alanna Moore.
This is a book to be read to believe how fantastic it is. It includes breeds of chickens and ducks, generous pen ideas, chook medicianl herb listings and even natural ways to rid chooks of illness and disease.


With the use of good organic open pollinated seed, healthy soil, great compost and companion planting I have been able to reduce the ammount of pest problems my gardens encounter, increasing the output of produce for us to eat.

I hope these help you to feel inspired and head outside with bare hands, pick up that manure, soil or compost and take in a great deep breath of it's true beauty and feel it's potential to feed your family.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

This is me....

This whole blog thing is new to me, but I want in on the fun!
So here I am, bringing to you the story of my life, my family and the way we live.
I will discuss our family beliefs, our practices and just generally what we do. This will cover our beliefs in parenting and child/baby care, organic living, gardening, sewing, cooking and whatever I feel like discussing with you all.

I am not your "average" social sheep mum. I'm quite different to MOST mums you'll meet on the street (thank goodness for that!)
If you don't believe what I do then it's highly likely you probably wont like what I have to say, but that's ok because I'm not targeting you as an audience. I am here to try to inspire, help and support mums like me in the same way I have felt inspired, helped and supported by many out there like I.

I am rather quite truthful and I will say it how I see it. If you have a problem with what I write about feel free to avert your eyes.
I don't mean to come across as hostile if that's the vibe you're getting, I mean only to warn you that I just don't care if you have a problem with me or the way my family and I live.
So there's no need to leave any nasty comments about the way I live, just get on with your day and I will with mine.

I am a young 24 year old mum to 2 beautiful Earth Angels. Shall we call them 'H' and 'M'. You can call me Tessa.

H will be turning 3 very soon, she was the start of our life change. My pregnancy, birth and initial parenting with her were what I now consider to be very unnatural.
The whole lot was flooded with meds, supplements and ill advice which I blindly followed without investigating.
The change came about when H was prescribed antibiotics and steroid cream for dermatitis at only 8 weeks old!

M will turn 3 months on H's birthday. Things with M have been completely different. I had a very natural pregnancy, close to natural birth and a whole new perspective on the way we parent our children. Things are feeling much more natural this time around. I feel confident in the way we live and how our girls are raised and cared for, a feeling I didn't have with H.

I research every choice I consider and I make an 'informed decision'. I don't follow behind society blindly, I dont trust what the medical society or government tell us is right or true. I find the truth for myself. This is my right and this is my duty as a mother to make sure I am doing the best I possibly can for my children

I am quite proudly a hippy mum. I want to raise my children with awareness of the real world around them. I want them to eat, breathe and live naturally. I do my best to teach them about the life around them.

I breastfeed. I do it in public and I don't care what others feel on the subject because my breasts are not sexual play toys, they are my babies "Boobies". They are her sustenance and I keep her alive and healthy with these babies! I am proud I can. I gave up with H, a choice I sincerely regret. Knowing what I exposed her body to unnecessarily really makes me angry at myself for not knowing better. A mistake I am not willing to make again.

We cosleep, my daughter sleeps in our bed next to me against the warmth of my chest. We wouldn't have it any other way. We don't even own a cot and most likely wont. H slept with us fulltime when we realised the benefits of cosleeping and recently moved into her own bed at 2 and a half.

I wear my baby. I carry her in a sling, not all day every day but most certainly every time we go out and when she want closeness for the day and I need to get things done. Other times, she is sitting in her pram wherever I may be watching me do my thing and soon she will join her big sister on the ground helping me or playing.

My girls wear cloth nappies, a recent change I must admit. Something I will touch on another day.

We eat as natural as we can possibly afford. We grow what we can and supplement with fruit and veg from the supermarket.

We heal our bodies with herbs, homeopathic remedies, aromatherapy and healthy diets before we opt for a prescription of toxins.

We do not vax any more, another mistake I made on H without trusting my instinct and doing proper research. Needless to say I wont be finishing her vax schedule. In fact, I will be endeavouring to try and detox her body from the harm I have already allowed.

I garden organically, growing food and herbs. It is one of my passions. We own 90 acres and plan to make it an organic self sufficient homestead to raise our family on and pass to our future generations.

I love to cook. My favourite thing is to make jams and preserving foods in other ways. There very many things I want to learn to cook and make myself.

I sew. I love to sew. I love to create clothing and other items for my family and friends. When I get a chance to I must admit.

I am human, I try my best to ensure the health and safety of my children. I try to ensure their minds aren't flooded with the poisons of society.
You wont find scantily clad music clips or magazines in our home. You won't find our children filling their body with toxic food that is considered completely normal or earth forbid "healthy"

Most likely you will find them running around our property playing, foraging food from the garden or even watching playschool or sesame street for quiet time while drawing, painting or reading. I am human, we do have a television, dvd player, set top box and computer with internet connection.

That is a little about me now. In the future you may learn more about my past and more about what I do and believe. Feel free to follow me on my blog journey, feel free to positively discuss if you wish to and similarly feel free to pass on to another blog if this is not your cup of tea.
I love to meet and communicate with families that believe the same as me and are in the parenting minority I am in. C'mon admit it, there aren't too many of us "crunchies" out there... we are a parenting minority IMO.

Hippy Mums Unite!

Tessa