Green building design, urban homesteading, sewing and food!
Well! Lax with updating again! I have to get back into this, I really enjoy it.
Firstly, if you haven’t already; read my blog on how to find low energy (or “eco” or “green” or “sustainable” whatever your favourite word for it is this week) homes inamongst the regular housing stock. Its amazing how different one house can be from another. The article has been featured on OffbeatHome.com and also over at HerCanberra.com.au which is pretty awesome. I need to write some more, namely based around this information. And also one about Earthships in Australia. A topic I have written on here in the past but really really want to get into more professionally and soon!
I also attended the first Urban Homesteader’s group meeting in Canberra which was organised on Facebook and actually really lovely. Its nice to mention things like ‘peak oil’ and not be greeted with a blank stare but rather discuss my lack of optimism about the whole situation (and have others agree! Thanks ladies!). Its also nice to be mixing with women that aren’t… 21 and alcoholic. I feel like I’m halfway between one stage of life and the next. I am looking forward to the upcoming seed swap because I am inundated with pea seeds from last spring… but not much else. And I don’t eat peas. Because my space is so confined in this house I really just want to try one of everything and see how it goes. Probably not the best idea. The strata gardener came around and whippersnippered half our mint plants to the ground before Tristan stopped him. Since when did gardeners become jackasses with power tools and herbicides and basically no knowledge of plants?! We stopped him before he got to the carrots. And asked him not to spray anything growing along the side of our house because we’ll be planting it all up with veggies in a few weeks. He was very apologetic. Our compost is rotting away and I am so excited for spring. Just today, I noticed a lot of the trees around have their blossoms on!
I have two scion wood pieces from a plum tree in Cooma that have been sitting in the fridge for weeks and I need to graft them onto my (ornamental) plum tomorrow. I doubt they will take; the pieces are far too small, but its still fun to try! I have learnt everything I know about grafting and fruit growing from this fellow on youtube. The internet is wonderful for this sort of thing.
My new dress form arrived and I’ve already gotten to work with some fabric! I just can’t help myself. I am going to try and have it all sewn up by this time tomorrow. Its going to be a simple top and hopefully quite pretty. My wardrobe has a lot of space to fill since I packed all my clothes away. I figure I’m allowed to have as many clothes that I have made for myself from remnant/salvaged/gift fabrics that I like.
I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to be able to use the dress form because I ordered it in ‘small’ and according to the measurements on ebay, the dress form was only sliiightly smaller than me on its tightest setting. Luckily I am still a few inches bigger than she is so even if I lose a few more kilos I should be ok. I am still a strict adherent to the Paleolithic Diet (although I do permit dairy in my variation because
I’m piss-ant I don’t react to it) and it has been doing me wonders. Down to a size 10 and probably the leanest I have been since I was 16 or so. I feel great, have loads of energy, don’t sleep as long… everything that I read about has happened. I’ve also basically emptied my pantry of all bad foods. I still have some oats and some sugar for when I get visitors that want breakfast/cuppatea and I haven’t been able to persuade Tristan to give up his treasured fancypants breakfast cereal (although he hasn’t eaten any in over a month).
Here’s my favourite meal of the week: banana split with berries, chocolate syrup (pure cocoa powder and maple syrup mixed together) and crushed up nuts. Omnomnom!
If you’re interested in reading about Paleo beyond the basic google search, my favourite blogs at the moment are Mark’s Daily Apple and the Healthy Home Economist. Both blogs are very pro-fat, pro-cholesterol and I am still a bit nervous about toeing that line too much. All this fear mongering about heart attacks has me nervous about it even though apparently the latest medical findings are that people with high cholesterol live longer (its essential for brain function and cell repair, after all) and there isn’t really a link between cholesterol levels and heart attacks (its apparently all to do with inflammation). But yes, I am not cooking in lard just yet. But at the same time, I am not avoiding eggs or drinking skim milk so I think I am satisfying both conventional wisdom and this new info. But yes, as I was saying, Mark’s blog is Paleo whereas Sarah’s home economist blog is actually more Weston A Price Foundation-based which is very valuable. I am loving reading her blogs on lactofermentation, raw milk, making your own stock and Pâtés. Although she eats grains and legumes.
Reading about Weston Price’s findings, especially amongst Australian Aboriginals and un-modernised Gaelic and Swiss people really changed my perception on what is going on with human health. When I walk around the city and look at people, there are a lot of funny looking faces. Uneven features, spotty, greasy, fat, tired-looking, cut-of-the-hunger, glasses (I’m guilty on that one), braces (that too), lanky, short… These sort of oddities don’t happen when you’re getting the right food. You don’t see penguins or kangaroos with these sort of almost-deformities. And yet they are common amongst pidgeons and domestic dogs who are being fed bad stuff by us. Walking through the supermarket, nothing on the shelves is food. Merely food products in shiny bright packaging. The milk has been pasteurised (ie: boiled-the-crap-out-of), the meat has been coated in nitrates so that it doesn’t go bad, and don’t get me started on what they’ve done to chocolate! Its very frustrating.
And this is getting long. I’ll leave it at that for now. Have a good one!