Friday, November 12, 2010

Producing our own food

One of our commitments to the sustainability program was to produce our own food. Naturally this meant just some of our food. We get eggs from our chooks (chickens for those none Australian’s), grow vegetables and fruit. We also avoid a lot of processed food in favour of home cooking. This partially came about from Liam reacting to colours, flavours and additives but also because home cooked food tastes better.  

Meet our fabulous feathery friends the chooks. They lay gorgeous eggs and create great compost for the garden. I love the sounds they make and the entertainment they give the kids. Did you know a chook can jump on the trampoline? I’m at war with them when they dig up the strawberry patch or poo on my washing. Generally they earn their keep in our quest to produce our own food. Sol built the pen from second hand materials obtained from Coasties shed at Corrimal. Eggs mean omelettes, pavlova, lemon meringue pie, ice-cream, soufflĂ© and so much more. We just need some pigs to create the bacon Yum Yum

Vege Garden
We tried to grow vegies with limited success. There was too much shade so we moved into the neighbour’s yard. They have eight large garden beds in lovely sunshine that they can no longer walk to. We now have spinach, lettuce, broccoli and lots of seasonal vegies. The weeds do take over but in-between we find our food. The snails seem to score much of our produce but we just wash them off or feed them to the chooks. Parsley is now a weed which is great for casseroles, seasoning and tabouli. Gardening is great exercise and the kids love being outside climbing trees or helping us plant. Of course we need to ban the Wii to get them outside…

Heirloom Tomatoes
The local deer ate our first vege crop which was so sad. Thanks to a home-made floppy fence they are leaving us in peace now. What was very sad was our lovely neighbour gave us his heirloom tomato seeds he had been growing for about 40 years. He brought them out with him from England but recently became too ill to grow them. Alas the deer ate all the seedlings and we didn’t save any of the seeds. I felt terrible, a huge failure.

Fruit trees
We planted a lime tree as part of the challenge. Yumbo kaffir lime leaves for thai curries. We also planted an orange tree but it has suffered with the deer. Now the fence is up there is growth on the tree. Hopefully it will fruit in the future. The banana tree has given us no fruit yet but the lemon tree is a winner.

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