Playing in the Sun for Work

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My Mum and good friend Ian, chat while enjoying the view. Laguna lookout at Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

One week remaining before Little One and I travel home – back South of the boarder again.

Amongst the work that brought me up here to Queensland, we have been playing in the sun, sand and surf (gentle toddler friendly beaches).  The highlight for me has been catching up with good friends who live on the Sunshine Coast and spending time with family.

Perhaps escaping the end of Winter, may become an annual pilgrimage.

Community Gardens Valuable to Property Developers?

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A traditional scare crow man in a brand new housing estate, community garden

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Putting money into the donation box to support the community garden

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Beautifully designed raised garden beds in a community garden

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A community garden sign to encourage envolvement with the garden - my kind of sign

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A shared raised garden plot in the community garden

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Community garden local business supporters

Little One and I, are still in the sunshine state of Australia (Queensland).  I have been here for work (while poor Daddy has been home the majority of time for work).

As my Mum and family live here, Little One and I have been having lots of fun in the sunshine – work, play and family time. We have been staying with family in their brand new home in a brand new estate. 

The brand new housing estate (where we are staying) has a community garden which appears to be installed by the developers – to help build the ‘community’ and hence sell the houses.  Just think about that last statement for a moment. Could growing your own food and community interaction, now be a ‘value add’ by developers?

Never thought I would see the day that property developers would see value in a community garden.  This is probably more from their acknowledgment of the buyers wants and needs rather than their change of values – if you know what I mean.

Still I sense it is a positive direction.

Work Holiday on the Sunshine Coast of Australia

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It’s lovely when you can mix business with pleasure.  Escaping Winter on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland has been an enjoyable ‘fringe benefit’ of work.

Little One and I will be staying a little longer in the sun with my family.

Soon I will share photos of a community garden which is around the corner from where we are staying – it is very cool.

Flowering Broccolini at 4am

Currently it is 4am in the morning.  I have been awake since 2.30am. Getting out of bed to do something productive is not my preferred option – it is just too cold and may wake the sleeping family.

So now I am hiding under the covers so the illuminated light from my mobile phone doesn’t awake my husband.

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Sharing a photograph of flowering broccolini at 4am just feels appropriate (not sure why).

I have allowed one full bed of brocollini to flower this season because it attracts the bees and because it also attracts me to the garden too – as very little is currently flowering.  Don’t worry there is plenty of brocollini to eat.

I’m feeling a little sleepy now….

Learn How to Build Wicking Raised Garden Beds

We have built the frame of two raised garden beds, at Buxton Community Garden (Buxton is part of Wollondilly Council, at the base of the Southern Highlands – an hour South of Sydney, Australia).

Buxton Community Garden will now be building wicking (water reservoirs) inside the raised garden frames.  The purpose of this is to save water and help with watering – like a self watering system.

The date to build the wicking water reservoirs is September the 27th.  Everyone is welcome to come along and learn while getting involved (or welcome to just watch). This is a FREE event.  Children are welcomed and encouraged to get involved too.

For all the details check out our event listing.

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The raised garden bed frames, will soon have an inbuilt water reservoir, soil and plants.

Organic, Child Friendly Pesticide

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While gardening with our Little One this week, I was struck by the absurdity of my teaching “spray the pesticide on just the weeds”.

Children using pesticides, sounds totally irresponsible for a parent to ordain. Right??

No sooner than the words left my mouth, I immediately sensed the need to verbalise an explaintation.

There is no need to stress, as the ‘pesticide’ was an organic, home made recipe – totally safe for little ones to give a helping hand.

One a side note, according to biology, a weed is just a plant that someone doesn’t want.  It is quite possible for one person’s weed to be another’s valued plant.

Also according to permaculture, a weed is just a plant we have yet to find a meaningful use for – our knowledge being the problem and not the weed.

This week I was killing my weeds organically and environmentally responsibly.  Tomorrow I might be actually growing weeds or at least allowing them to live, for a greater purpose.

Living Sustainably Helped With the Property Investor Credit Crunch

This is a blog topic I thought would never be covered on my sustainability ‘GreenerMe’ blog.

However last week it happened – the correlation between living sustainably and a property investing benefit.

The media has been so focused on the Sydney property boom that little is reported about the current property investor credit crunch.  Combank, NAB, ANZ and Bankwest have announced that they are tightening lending criteria for property investors and raising interest rates on variable investment loans (new and existing).  AMP have even announced that they will stop lending to all property investors indefinitely. 

This post is not about why this is happening but about our own experience with the restrictions in seeking a loan. 

One way lenders are tightening their  lending criteria, is by asking investors to prove their monthly, personal spending.

We were given a budget form, to fill out what we spend on food, clothing and household items etc. We filled the form accurately however once completed we were concerned. My husband stated what we were both thinking “they are going to question the small amount we spend in these areas”.  Therefore after discussion we decided we would add notes on the form explaining that we value sustainable practices i.e. buying 2nd hand, recycling, reusing and restoring.  These practises not only save the Earth’s resoures but also our savings.

Having a public blog of my sustainable living journey since 2008, certainly backed up our personal spending claims.

Despite the credit crunch our loan was approved and I am sure our sustainable living helped – even if just a little.

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Organic home grown mandarins - the joys of sustainable living.