Did My Garden Survive?

It was good to be home after three and a bit weeks away.  Arriving back late in the evening, I couldn’t wait till the morning to view my garden.  I had been wondering how the garden would cope without my attention for almost a month.

In the early morning light, I grabbed my camera phone to capture the first glimpses of the ‘reunion’.

Well as you can see the garden not only survived but perhaps thrived in my  absence (I like that I need my garden more than it needs me).

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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.

Optional Suffering

Lately I have had some friends and acquaintances entrust their ‘stories’ with me. Harrowing yet boldly brave in the face of adversity.  I listened with humbled respect.

These people and stories were a strong reminder that in life, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.

Suffering manifests suffering – compounding in our own lives, others and also our environment.  It is poison but it doesn’t need to be.

It is my choice, it is your choice.  It will always be our choice.

Not having a photograph to accompany today’s post was intentional – let these words permeate through your vision and linger in your conscious.

Humbled that Australia’s Prominent Sustainability Blogger, Interviewed Me

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Last night Gavin from the ‘Greening of Gavin’ interviewed me for his blog cast – episode 111.

Gavin is Australia’s most prominent sustainability blogger and in my humble opinion, an Australian National treasure – with his years of dedication to not only living a sustainable life but educating others how they can too.

Gavin also interviewed me back in 2011, way back at episode 14.

At the end of last night’s interview I thought it would be fun to take a screen shot of my mobile phone screen (to accompany this post). Hmmmm I should of taken others – not my best look.

As soon as Gavin uploads the blog cast to his website, I’ll add the link here, so you can listen in.

Thankyou Gav!

Wood Firing Pottery Workshops in the Southern Highlands

I feel blessed to belong to a local community of creative and sustainable people.

Yesterday I was invited to Steve Harrison and Janine King’s home for morning tea.  Regular readers will recall my previous visit to their sustainable home, inspirational property and expansive pottery sheds.

I know many of my readers are local to me (Wollondilly & Southern Highlands NSW of Australia) therefore I wanted to share a link to find details of their wood firing pottery workshops.   Evidently many attendees travel long distances to attend.

All my potter friends have told me, any chance to learn wood firing from Steve and Janine, is an opportunity not to be missed.  As potters, Steve and Janine are renowned in Australia and Internationally.

As I am not a potter, I just feel blessed to know Steve and Janine as friends – kindred creative and sustainable spirits!

Photos from Steve and Janine’s expansive pottery shed:

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Janie King, My Little One and My Mum

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Fun pottery 'okay' hand on top of a kiln

DIY Bean and Peas Climbing Trellis

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This post is not a ‘how to build’ instructional guide on building your own trellis.  I am no expert.

This was my first attempt of building a climbing frame from tree branches that had blown down in storms. I just decided to give it a go. The string is unbleached and organic so hence will break down in time in the garden.

Is it toddler proof? Not really up to a grade 4 or 5 toddler destruction storm but should be OK for the winds we regularly get around here.

Underneath my home made trellis, our Little One and I planted more snow peas.

Thinking it may become a statuette feature in the garden when covered in snow peas.  I’ll post photos in a couple of weeks.

Happy gardening 🙂

Australia’s Southern Highlands Pottery and Sustainable Farm Visit

On Saturday,  my Seed Savers friends and I visited Steve Harrison and Janine King’s property. Their place is only a ten minute drive from our home.

Both Steve and Janine are very well known Australian potters. They moved to the Southern Highlands 40 years ago to live a sustainable lifestyle.

We all were given a glorious guided tour of their expansive gardens, pottery sheds and produce storage preserves. Everyone brought home made goodies to share for lunch afterwards – a chance to discuss sustainable living ideas.

Steve and Janine thankyou for your warm hospitality.  I (and our Little One) had a wonderful day.

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