Slow Living :: August 2014

I’ve seen monthly round-ups on various blogs for a while, so thought I’d have a go at taking part (lax on the blogging front as I have often been) and breaking things down (roughly) into the categories I use on this blog.

COOK:

We do a lot of home cooking here.  Pretty much every baked good in this house has been baked here, we buy very little in the way of pre-canned goods (save for coconut milk and tomato puree, plus occasionally mustard) and no ready meals or ‘breakfast cereals’ at all.  So, save for foods such as yoghurt and cheese (although I have made a version of both) we either grow or buy basic foods.

We keep chickens, but they’ve not particularly been in the laying way since we moved house: one went broody and two just haven’t settled into any sort of routine – so essentially we’ve been only getting one egg a day since rehoming our 5th hen (who had been brutally attacking one of the others to the point where we had to step in and rescue a bleeding hen).  We did get a lovely double-yolker in this month, though (we’ve had a few, but bearing in mind the paucity of eggs of late, this one was particularly welcome!)

There’s been plenty of berries to cook and Nin has been experimenting with various berry-inspired puddings – a particular favourite being the tart below.

August is the beginning of a busy few months as the garden (and hedgerows) really come into their own.

pod_peas

There are peas to pod (perfect for little hands)

And many, many berries to make into jams, jellies, vinegars and syrups (I’ve been drying elderberries for the first time this year as well).  In addition I’ve been drying some herbs, including calendula,  for use in making various things later in the year.

CRAFT:

I haven’t done much in the way of crafting recently, save for sporadic crochet motifs (in a light cotton) with a vague notion of sewing them together at some point in the future.  I did, however, make new batch of home-made deodorant  - this time peppermint-scented – for my own use (as I’ve not used conventional deodorant products for a while).  The recipe I now use works very well (and I found out that my brother uses a very similar recipe and also has good things to say about it – and bearing in mind he’s a runner and generally all round sporty type, that points towards the deodorant working really well!)

GROW: 

August is a busy time in the garden, although not as busy had it might’ve been, bearing in mind we moved in in June.  Still, we brought 26 tomatoes, 15 peas, 3 courgettes and 6 runner bean plants (plus various soft fruit and other plants) in pots, so we’ve still had some reasonable caring to do.  It’s the first time we’ve grown butternut squash and a few have germinated and we now have baby butternut squash swelling (fingers crossed they ripen!)

After the various difficulties we encountered at the last house, we have some lovely plans for this garden, but first we need to get past this main growing season so we can start work proper on overhauling the space we have outside (plus we now have a conservatory full of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers – so very exciting!)

LEARN: 

We’ve moved a few minutes walk from the Yorkshire Wildlife Park and have annual passes which means that we try to go at least weekly – it’s a wonderful place and we’re all really enjoying being able to visit so easily.  Particular favourites with the children are the lemurs and the wallabies (you can walk through both of their enclosures).  My favourite is Dora, the White Faced Scops Owl (pictured above) and I visit her every time we go.

Another village highlight was the Auckley Show, which I think was in its 30th year this year.  The children enjoyed some archery and stroking a skunk (although I was very sad to learn that they are fairly popular exotic pets, having had their scent glands removed and further saddened to learn about the market for meerkats, likely caused by the popular compare site adverts on TV).  We also met William, the blind hedgehog rescued by the Hedgehog Preservation Society, who do fantastic work helping support hedgehogs across the UK, and learnt a little bit more about hedgehogs.

LOVE:

nin_head

Not that we’re short on the ‘love’ front, but maybe a bit short of specific photos? It seems an odd title as I write here, but I use it as a category for more ‘personal’ family moments.  However, there is one photo from the month that was pure fun (Nin wanted to have some fun posing in front of the camera!)

And on the silliness front: the fun of reviewing the fab Ayni chocolate moustaches! (Which also come under Enjoy – which is my category for recommending things that I, or we, enjoy).

CELEBRATE:

rainbow

More a month of ‘little celebrations’ – those every day things that you might take for granted if you didn’t look around and realise how wonderful the world can be.  We saw a double rainbow (the second one is above the very clear one, but is very hazy in the photo).  You can see how grey the sky was, so a beautiful bow of colour to brighten the day!

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52 Weeks of Nature :: August 2014

Not many photos from August – it’s been so very busy and I’ve had little time (or headspace) for blogging.  Nevertheless, we did get out and about in August and here are a few photos from that (if you mouseover, there may be more information about the photo).

sweetcorn

The maize is now far taller than the children (and me!)

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