Weekend in Vavenby: One Year Anniversary Visit

A few weeks ago, I decided to make a last minute trip down to Vavenby; it was going to be a long weekend and the garden had just been weeded, so there was almost no excuse not to go. With the car packed and the dogs in tow, we said goodbye to Corbin-the-cat, and hit the road. I didn't realise until I got down there, that this weekend would be the one year anniversary of when I first visited the property. 

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The Bag of Rags AKA Box-o-Rags

You don't even know it yet, but there is something missing in your life. Look around. You won't find it. You and probably your parents have been missing this vital thing in your life and you had no idea. And no, this isn't a marketing scheme where I create a "need" for you. This is actually the opposite: I am going to undo a "need" that marketers created in your life. That's right. I am going to fix your brain. Or maybe I'll just tell you about the Bag of Rags.

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Growing Our Food - Part 3 - Hope for the Hopeless

We continue to toil away in the garden hoping to grow our as much food as we can to fill our plates and our cupboards. It was only a few weeks ago when I seriously thought all was lost in my poor city garden, as it genuinely looked like nothing would grow, then July came around and the garden started filling out as quickly as my pregnant belly. I mean it was only in June when the garden looked like it would be an absolute fail due to my poor soil quality and late starts on my seedlings, but somehow the gardening gods were smiling down on me and now the garden appears to be thriving. Sure, it isn't perfect, but we might just get a few dinners out of it and that is better than what I thought only a short while ago.

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Why Wouldn't You Make Your Own Laundry Soap

Well, I never thought the day would come would I would see the bottom of my five gallon pail of laundry soap and yesterday was that day. I had made my own liquid laundry soap a year and a half ago after reading The Green Guide that had a simple recipe in it for making your own detergent.  Now, I didn’t end up using their recipe, but it inspired me to make my own and I used a recipe from The Wellness Mama. And did it ever last. I can guarantee that each load of laundry cost less than five cents. It took less than twenty minutes to make. And I could use it in my front-loading high efficiency washing machine. It’s basically magic.

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How Plans Can Change

Try as I might to plan everything that will grow in my garden this summer, plans can change.

My winter plans were filled with sheer optimism. I had read books about gardening all winter, I ordered my seeds in February so I could start my seedlings in March, and I had my list ready for all the soil amendments I needed to add to the front garden beds so that I could have the biggest bounty of garden goodies this year. I was so excited to put these plans in to action and watch my garden grow. Now, I was prepared for some things to go wrong, and I knew I might have to reseed a few things, but I definitely wasn’t prepared for a small bump (literally) in plans at the beginning of the gardening season. And that sounds a bit misleading, so I better hurry up and get the point.

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Backyard Chickens or Backyard Quails

The other day I was talking to my best friend about making changes in my life to make it more self sufficienct, and my friend suggested quails. He says that if you can care for a hamster, than you can take care of a quail. (He is my lifestyle idol. Well one of them. Definitely top of the list.) So I am all over the google trying to learn about quails and what it takes to raise them. And after a while, I started to think, if I am thinking about having backyard birds, then maybe I should consider chickens as an option. And so that brings me to the debate, backyard chickens or backyard quails?

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