The brand new fiancial year, means the commencement of a period of being ‘out of balance’.
Complaining isn’t helpful so I focus on just getting the job done – completing our tax returns for our businesses. If I had a full day or two the task would be relatively easy however this is the season for juggling multitasks.
There is a slight saving grace this tax period – our veggie garden. For over two weeks we have been totally eating out our pantry after totally eating out the fridge. However having fresh produce in our garden meant it didn’t matter that we hadn’t got to the grocery store in weeks. We ate well and have now got to the grocery store but I still need to finish my tax return.
Spinach grows all year, in our Australian temperate zoned garden. Therefore spinach accompanied the sustainable fish we cook last night for dinner.
Here is my easy recipe for spinanch and other seasonal vegetables, that I cook regularly. It is a surprisingly enjoyable recipe that even our toddler will eat.
Thinly chop a clove of garlic and lightly fry. Add the spinanch, some green string beans, cherry tomatoes, saltanas and pine nuts.
To ensure my body is able to absorb as much iron from the spinanch, I use Nuttelex dairy free butter for frying as dairy decreases iron absorbtion. Being dairy intolerant is an advantage when it comes to iron absorbtion.
Adding cherry tomatoes not only adds a tangy flavour to the vegetables but also adds vitamin C to your meal. Vitamin C helps with the absorbtion of iron.
I add other vegetables at different times of the year but the spinanch is always a constant.
Days ago I gave our ‘wattle like’ bush a massive trim, to allow more light onto the far top vegetable patch. As I previously mentioned, I used to place the trimed branches of this tree bush in the green recycle bin.
It only recently dawned on me what a waste of resource this was and hence I needed to start getting creative, with the trimmed branches.
Long straight branches, to be used as garden trellis - for peas, beans and tomatoes etc.
Branches used as fence stakes - allowing light through but not toddlers or small white fluffy dogs.
Long skinny and flexible branches to be used for weaving - baskets and fences
Leaves and small branches used as mulch in an area we need to rejuvenate the top soil.
From an early age, many have learnt to fear silence. At the very least we are uncomfortable with stillness.
Lurking in the quietness are our regrets, pain and big questions regarding meaning and purpose.
Very quickly we learnt to avoid moments of stillness, quietness and especially silence. Instead of self reflection to heal and advance, we use distraction to ‘cope’.
Majority of the world are living a life of distraction. Ever moving, ever busy, ever buying, ever using, ever consuming – ever distracting themselves from important truths and lessons that can only be found being still, quiet and silent.
This perhaps is the reason many environmentally minded souls I have met, are also deeply spiritual, self reflecting and self aware. In the pursuit of caring about their environmental impact, distraction is reduced – giving the opportunity to finally answer those questions and face those demons.
Humanity’s hunger and need for distraction is not sustainable – for individuals, humanity or our environment.
The girl who returns from the garden is never the same girl who entered the garden – my stress is always swapped for tranquility.
If I have even a spare 20 minutes, it isn’t unusual to find me in the garden.
Here is what I got up to yesterday with a spare 20 minutes and any some space in our garden. I love to pop into the soil single stakes to plant purple peas and sugar snap peas (or beans during summer). Sometimes joining the stakes at the top to form a tepee but often just leaving the stake to stand alone (like a sad country western song).
My simple gardening philosophy is, if I continually and regularly plant seeds, then I will always have food to harvest from the garden.
Even just 20 minutes in the garden benefits my mind and body – growing good food and eating good food.
A conversation with a friend, some months back is still on my mind. It intrigued me.
My friend was adopted by a lovely family when she was little, however they never really shared her interests for growing food and sustainability. What struck me as fascinating, was her biological father, whom she recently tracked down, was in fact a farmer.
Immediately I started to wonder if more is passed through our DNA than what we think. It is again a debate of nature verus nurture. When it came to sustainable pursuits, I believed it was all nurture – all we come into contact with and influenced by, after the womb.
I know many of my readers share my fascination with psychology and in particular how it affects our natural environment – our green psychology. Up until my conversation with my friend, I have believed our psychology was 100% responsible for our response to the environment. What if however our genes, passed on from our parents, have a little part to play too.
The photograph above is of St Nicholas Street in Aberdeen, Scotland. My Ancestors the Fyfe’s, owned the haberdashery store on the corner.
I have always found it interesting that there is a long line of direct female decedents from the Fyfe’s that were and are exceptional seamstresses – all would have been frequent customers of that haberdashery store. I have always believed that this was due to purely nurture – mother’s teaching their skills onto their daughters. Now I wonder if maybe mothers passed more onto their daughters – naturally through their DNA?
There is a point in time when you realise ‘I might not have enough beds’ for visiting family. That point for me was a week before family were due to arrive.
Here is an insight into my ‘sustainable’ thought process when I realised we needed to acquire another bed:
1) Can I burrow a bed from a friend?
2) Can I purchase a bed, second hand from Gumtree, Ebay or a second hand store?
3) What can I purchase new that would be best for the environment and sustainability?
With this bed needing situation, we proceeded to number 3) – needing to buy something new, when I failed to borrow a bed from others or source one second hand.
I jumped on Google to search ‘environmental air beds’ and discovered The Green Mom Review blog. Don’t you love sustainable Mummy bloggers!
Anyway I purchased ‘the original Pakmat AeroBed’ because it’s PVC and phthalate free, hence making it more environmentally friendly (and non toxic). I liked that it came with a manual hand pump and that reviews were favourable to it’s comfort level.
When you have to buy brand new, think of your money as a vote – voting for the best sustainable, kinder and environmentally friendly option available.