Quirky detail in concrete outside our door.
Opp Shopping and Garage Sale-ing
Opportunity shops.  My favourite kinda store.  I love the idea of buying pre-loved goods.  Giving new life to old goods.  That age old saying of “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”.  I get a thrill out of browsing through piles of discarded goods, finding a treasures and taking it home to give it a new life.  It is like adopting.  Giving something a home.  And the money spent, goes to charitable causes.  A win/win for everyone.  Yesterday, we found a few bowls for  our son who leaves home shortly on a grand flatting adventure (living in an apartment with 3 other young adults).  He was absolutely stoked to find himself a stainless steel Russell Hobbs coffee maker for $5 a couple of weeks ago.  He has been making coffee every morning ever since, it is the highlight of waking for him!  Most all of my clothes are opp shop bargains, or donated from kind friends!
Our scarecrow, Josephine, with her new body
upgrade, made with recycled cedar offcuts.
Waste not, Want not.
Last night we happened to watch a movie screening on TV, whilst channel surfing (something we hardly ever do).  It was called Dive!  http://www.divethefilm.com/eat-trash.aspx It's a movie about the enormous wastage of food that happens in the States (and obviously, all around the globe) within our supermarket systems.  It highlights how many people go hungry and live beneath the bread line and how some people have wisened up to how much perfectly good food is dumped by supermarkets each night.  These people “dive” into supermarket dumpsters and collect all the sealed packages of food, which may contain one or two rotten apples, whilst the rest of the bag are all good!  Meat packages that are a day off of Best Before dates (that’s a contentious one) and other perfectly good fruits and vegetables.  In one night, these dumpster divers collect anything up to 140kg of edible food whilst hundreds (or thousands) starve within the country.
I enjoyed the movie and it highlighted how precious a commodity food really is.  We only truly appreciate it if we don’t have it and every waking moment is then spent wondering where we will get the next meal from.  My family and I feel blessed each meal we sit down to, knowing where and how it was grown.  We know the truevalue of food, and how much work it takes to grow and tend it.  We hardly ever waste food, and any that does go to waste, goes to the compost bin, the worm farm or the chooks, so it never reaches the garbage bin at all!

Our Hopi corn

Yesterday I harvested a veritable bounty of wonderful colourful nutritious food from the garden.  At the moment we have beans, beans and more beans.  I have begun to freeze all the dwarf beans and today, I plan to preserve the purple runner beans (the wonder of google and the world wide web of shared information).  We are also collecting heaps of tomatoes too now, but some of my tomato bushes are already spent (too much rain early on in the season caused fungal rot in the stems).  Still collecting a big bowl of strawberries (very late this year) and blueberries every second or third day, as well as zucchini.  There are Hopi corn pickings every 3rd day, and my sweetcorn crop is maturing in the far side of the garden.  I deliberately planted the 2 different corn seeds a month apart, for harvesting to extend over a longer period, as well as to guard against cross pollination.  There was much excitement when I managed to pick the first of our delicious Black Doris plums for each member of the family (6 – we had 2 extra family members from Belgium).  We have had so much food that feed our 2 lovely helpers, Jan and Jasmijn from Belgium, was no problem at all.

Plenty to share.

Jan and Jasmijn stayed with us for 2 weeks, becoming an integral part of the family, working hard and sharing in the daily harvest.  They painted our main bedroom upstairs (something I had started 5 years ago and never finished) with a crazy sporadic brush stroke red (Indian theme) and I embellished the edges with Eastern-inspired shapes and gold splashes.  It was so exciting to see our room finally coming to fruition that I painted the last remaining wall an adobe coloured wash.  This colour was mixed from little bits I had collected (test pots, old commercial paint gifted to me and sieved through an old sock to get out all the hard gritty bits, then blended till I was happy with the result).  I love waking up surrounded by all this colour!  Our friends also composted, weeded, cooked, cleaned, baked, sanded, painted and did a myriad of chores around the place.  The joy of sharing.  We share our home and food, they share their energy and enthusiasm for helping around the home and garden.  What a wonderful collaboration!
Our sanctuary upstairs............

A while back, my husband and I listened to an audio book by John Robbins, called the New Good Life.  He expounds all the principles we strive for – living better, for less.  Less consumerism, less waste, less greed, less carbon footprint etc. equals more quality of life.   It is a good listen, or read, though we did skip the money chapter, which he ranted on and on about the different money archetypes and it was, yawn, a little boring.

On the garden front, it is time to plant winter veggies (all the brassicas – caulis, cabbages, brocs, kale etc.) and protect them from the ravages of the white butterfly caterpillars!  I drape the bed with bird netting (some butterflies do get through if they persist but it keeps most out) for protection.  I also need to plant tomatoes in the hothouse to extend the growing season, and start to clean up the spent veg plants and flowers.  Oh, and dehydrate some herbs for winter use.  Best get to it!

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