Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Simple Quotes

“Understanding engenders care.” -Natalie Goldberg
“Most people stop looking when they find the proverbial needle in the haystack. I would continue looking to see if there were other needles.” -Albert Einstein

Friday, March 23, 2012

How to make a difference on World Water Day

22 March 2012

How To Make a Difference on World Water Day

Today is World Water Day, celebrated for the 19th time. I wonder how much more we have polluted the world ocean since that first World Water Day in 1993. Ironically, the frequency and vigor with which more and more people around the world work for the environment do not correspond to the increasing pollution. 

As stated on the page of World Water Day, currently there are 7 billion people to feed on the planet. According to the statistics, each of us drinks from 2 to 4 liters of water every day, but most of it is embedded in the food we eat: 

1 kilo of beef consumes 15,000 liters of water.
1 kilo of wheat ’drinks up’ 1,500 liters.

We all need water to live, but the usage of water varies greatly from country to country. For example, people in Central Africa each use only 2% of the water used by people in the US.
To mark World Water Day, my husband shot a video of the North Sea this morning, which I am thrilled to show you. You can watch our beach in high definition, see the sun and the islands in the distance, listen to the waves and the singing birds. Think of that video as your 20 minutes of relaxation today and imagine you are there on the beach with us. Maybe, if we all join forces we can make a difference!

Here is a list of actions I suggested on Green Living Ideas last week, that I believe you can take too:
  1. A thing we have been doing in my household for years is to designate a glass for drinking water for each of us every day, or refill a water bottle. This action drastically cuts down the number of glasses to wash.
  2. Instead of thawing food under running water We defrost it in the fridge which not only conserves water but also ensures healthier food. This, of course, means that you have to plan your meals the day before, to allow the food to defrost fully in the fridge.
  3. Always run your washing machine and dishwasher only when they are full. By doing this you can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  4. It has long become a habit of mine to wash dark clothes in cold water. This action saves water and energy while and is beneficial for your clothes because they keep the color longer.
  5. If you accidentally drop ice cubes when filling your glass from the freezer, don’t throw them in the sink. Drop them in a house plant instead.
  6. Instead of running the tap to get cold drinking water, keep a glass bottle of water in the fridge.
  7. To minimize evaporation, water your lawn and garden when the temperatures are cooler, i.e. early in the morning or in the evening, after sunset.
  8. Turn off the water while you wash your hair to save up to 150 gallons a month.
  9. Collect the water after rinsing fruits and vegetables to then reuse it to water house or garden plants.
  10. Use the nutrient-rich water from cleaning your fish tank to water to your plants.
  11. Collect rain water from your roof to water your garden.
  12. Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
  13. Reduce the amount of flush water by inserting a displacement device (f.ex. a plastic bottle filled with water) in the tank of your toilet.

Let's make a difference this year and let this World Water Day mark the beginning of a more deliberate relationship with water! All changes are up to us, after all!
What are your ways of conserving water?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don't believe anyone that says..........

I don't have space and time to grow any of my own food!

This little pot of cress was ready for cutting this morning; I had extra eggs to use up, so boiled up a few, made egg mayonnaise and cut the cress into it - enough for a good few days' sandwiches there.
The little tray is the bottom of an Ecover washing up liquid bottle that I turned into seed labels last week; inside is a folded piece of paper towel - I use the blue dairy wipes, half a sheet, folded to fit, soak well in cold water and sow the cress seed thickly on top. Keep watered and cool, and 6 days later, you will get this result. I used Sutton cress seed, £1.45, and there's enough in there for at least 6 little trays like this I reckon.  When cut and used, the rooty stalk ends go into the compost bucket along with the paper, and the tray is re-sown immediately to give a constant supply. Minimal time, minimal space - maximum flavour and freshness, not to mention satisfaction :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Do We Every Listen !

“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy--sun, wind and tide. I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
Thomas A. Edison (1931)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Forgotten Skills Maybe we could form a FS circle

I finished reading this book this afternoon; thoroughly recommend it for anyone interested in self-suficiency/reliance. Some great authentic historical facts, recipes, etc, plus quite a few new to me ideas for food storage/preserving which I'm looking forward to having a go at this year. A really nice book to read, inspiring and colourful pictures. I bought mine from Amazon.

Also today, got a good bit more done on my newest crochet project, a zig zag blanket:

It's being done in acrylic for easy washing etc, and to use up some bits and bobs in the stash; the main colour is a lovely shade of apple green which I love. Crocheted in the car, bit tricky around the corners when the hook slipped out..................  lol

Out was a tip trip, but again, no treasures, but plenty to see on the way home on such a beautiful spring day - celandines in their thousands, first of the primroses and last of the snowdrops hanging on under a very sheltered hedge, took five minutes to watch a buzzard enjoying himself in the thermals, lots of paragliders out on top of Bulbarrow Hill, stunning view right across the Vale from up there (youc an see my cottage!), daffodils, horses, pony and trap, dog walkers, sheep............... I'm glad spring is here at  last :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Neat simple way to make a seed tapes

How I Make Seed Tapes

I REALLY REALLY don’t like to cull seedlings… I also don’t want our gardens to be full of overcrowded plants… so I have found that seed tapes are the perfect solution for those small seeds that are so difficult to “sow thinly.” I have also found that purchased seed tapes are expensive, and that they aren’t available for some of the more unusual or heirloom varieties I like to grow.
That’s why I make my own.
I can make my own seed tapes using any seeds and for any planting distance. I can add extra seeds if the seeds are old or if I know germination for a particular seed is not as good. I can make seed tapes to exactly fit the size of the raised beds they will be growing in… and I can make any seed tape for practically just the cost of the seeds.
I make my seed tapes from four-foot long strips of toilet paper that I fold together on the perforations and cut in half lengthwise. One strip will make two tapes. Some people use paper towels, thin brown paper bags, or newspaper, but I prefer the toilet paper because it disintegrates more quickly. (I also don’t use newspaper because it is printed with soy ink.) I make a flour paste starting with a tablespoon each of water and flour and adding more water as necessary… I want the paste to be thick enough so it does not drip, but not “globby.” Next I spread out the paper strip and using a ruler and a non-toxic pen I make a small dot to mark out the recommended planting distance. (This information is usually on the back of the seed packet.)
Most instructions I have seen advise putting a glob of paste on the paper strip and pressing each seed into the center of the glob. I have a somewhat different method. I use a Q-tip to make a small paste circle outline, then use tweezers to put the tiny seed in the center of the circle. When the strip of paper is folded over and pressed together, the open paste circles will hold each seed firmly in place. I have found that the seeds will germinate much more quickly if they are not covered with paste.
Once the seeds are encased in the folded-over paper strips, I roll each strip in a very loose coil to allow the paste to dry. Once the paste is completely dry, I re-roll the tapes into a tighter coil and label each tape with a paper band. I store the tapes in a small plastic box in the freezer until planting time.