Thursday, 29 September 2011

growing veggies and keeping chickens

to those of you who have been reading the blog for a while now, it won't come as much of a surprise to you that i have a keen interest in self sufficient living. i love things from scratch, rather than quick convenience - and i've chosen a lifestyle that nurtures that passion. it allows me time to make my own butter, grow my own veggies, sprout my own alfalfa, and spy out local fresh produce at the market every week.

now that my time in Australia has come to an end, i've had time to reflect on my experience there, and some of the things i learnt.

it was a sincere joy to hang out with a young family in Armidale, who grew muc of their own food and kept their own chickens for eggs. they ate vegetarian food, had no dishwasher or microwave, lit a woodburner each day, homeschooled their kids and they even had a ceramic countertop water filter. they've spent years living this way, and so they've come to know how best to do it - it's no longer a dream way of life, it's reality.

their veggie patch was tended constantly each day, and we ate from it at most evening meals. it was winter, but in Australia that is quite a flexible term, as they were still growing chilis and tomatoes indoors, as well as herbs and leaves outside.  

chopping your own firewood is a pretty tough but rewarding thing... quite different from switching on the electric or gas central heating.

the chickens were very happy little birds, laying quite frequently, and keeping the family pretty well stocked in eggs. i'd love to own my own chickens one day, when i've got more garden space out back (or the ideal 1 acre plot - a girl can dream!)

so, we already do quite a lot of eco-friendly food shopping, growing and cooking. and i think doing a little more each day is the way forward - simply spending more time at the allotment and picking wild produce, buying and cooking in bulk, eating less meat and dairy, are all choices that we make every day. and it's often cheaper as well to do things the healthy, eco way... or it should be.

i guess for most people it's the time issue that gets in the way - it is after all far more convenient and quick to go down to the store and buy apple puree instead of picking, peeling, coring, dicing and boiling your own isn't it?

so, i wonder, what things do you do to be more sustainable and eco friendly?

do you use chemical free dishwashing solution? do you dry your clothes outside rather than in the tumble dryer? have you picked any wild produce this year? do you grow your own herbs or sprouts?

currently reading: Dr Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes - very interesting! not totally sure i agree with all he says, but he advocates a low fat vegan diet, which is brilliant! for my regular readers, you know i'm currently sort of low carb primal, sorta. well, i might just try veganism, and see how my diabetes copes... what do you think?


  1. I would love to be able to grow my own veggies! I live in a first floor flat with no real garden, but instead I do grow herbs on my window sill. I'm all about saving money right now, and for me that goes hand in hand with being eco friendly and sustainable - I love shopping at my local independent green grocers, sprouting my own seeds, using leftover juice pulp for crackers and now I'm loving making my own raw nut butters!

  2. Great post - I can't wait to have chickens someday. Thanks for checking out my blog at!

  3. I've had a garden the past two years. The first year was a total flop, this year was better- but not a complete success. I'm going to try again next year. I totally learn a little more about it each year!


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