Friday, 25 March 2011

Garden Beginings

The ultimate dream has always been to have a beautiful organic veggie garden that is able to supply us with food all year round. The reality is a rented house on a small suburban block with some grass for the kids and landscaped edges. So there was only one thing we could do...turn some of our 'landscaped edges' into veggie producing raised garden beds!

So out came the bark chips, hard dirt and builders rubble, and in went the beautiful organic loam from a local landscape suppler.

It was slow beginnings with some flat leaf parsley and a slowly dying tomato plant we were desperate to save. We later discovered that the tomato plant had wilt disease, but not before it spread to all our other tomatoes!

We added a rosemary bush and a little owl to watch over our plants.

We also had some potted plants of mint, curled parsley, basil and garlic chives. And little Boo to help with the watering!

This was the beginning of our journey to a sustainable food source. We are most definitely in the category of amateur gardeners but with this, as with any part of the journey, it is all about the process. We learn along the way. Hopefully, one day, our dream of growing all our vegetables will become a reality.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Ten Tips for a more Eco-friendly Life

  1. Un-plug! – Turn your lights off when you’re not in the room, unplug appliances from the wall, watch less television, don’t leave your phone charger plugged in all night!

  1. Compost! – Buy or make a composting system to use up those food scraps, or check if your local council has a green waste system!

  1. Build a Veggie garden! – This saves money and the environment, not to mention is better for your health! Heirloom or organic seeds can be brought from places like Diggers or Eden seeds.

  1. Use Natural cleaning products! – swapping your chemical cleaners for vinegar and bi-carb, or plant based brands like eco-store, will ensure no nasty chemicals are leaching into our waterways.

  1. Op-shop! – Need something new? Check to see if you can find it in your local opportunity shops first! Reusing or Repurposing is a great way to save money and reduce waste.

  1. Eco-bottles! – Buy a stainless steel water bottle and refill it instead of buying plastic water bottles that just end up in landfill or our oceans.

  1. Buy Local! – Where ever possible, buy products that were made or grown within your local area. Transporting goods creates tonnes of unnecessary greenhouse gas.

  1. Grey water! – Use your (chemical free) grey water from the washing machine to water your garden.

  1. Cloth it up! – Change all your personal care items to cloth! Cloth menstrual pads, cloth breast pads and cloth nappies are easy to use, chemical free and won’t sit in landfill for a few thousand years!

  1. Leave the Car at home! – When ever possible, forget the car and walk, ride or use public transport! You’ll be reducing pollution and getting fit too!

These are the ten top things we are trying our hand at. All of these ten tips we either do, have or are trying to incorporate into our household. Start small, Aim big!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Everyday Learning...

We’re pretty new to this whole Natural Learning business. At first I wondered how a child could possibly learn everything they need to know from just experiencing the world around them. Then just a few days ago I had an “Ah-ha!” moment. A moment in which I finally understood the beauty and simplicity of letting a child learn naturally.
I was putting a load of clothes in the washing machine when Boo came over and asked if he could help. He dragged his little step over so he could see what was going on, and the learning started. Boo mentioned how heavy the clothes were, so we talked about weight. We got the powder out and counted two tablespoons. We turned the washing machine on and talked about why we put it on the ‘Eco’ setting. Then we lifted the lid and had a look at the water flowing in. “Where does the water go Mum?” asked Boo. So a conversation about drains, water ways, pollution and the ocean followed.
In just a few minutes of doing an everyday task, my child had had a Maths, English, and Environment Lesson. Not to mention a boost in his self esteem from helping Mum. I think I’m going to like this Natural Learning thing :)    

Friday, 4 March 2011

What is a Gentle Life?

I thought it might be appropriate to start my blog with what I mean by a 'Gentle Life'.
For me personally, it means taking care of my self, so that I am able to care for those around me. Nourishig myself physicaly, mentally and spiritally. Taking time to grow and explore the person I am and the person I am becoming.
For my family it means Attachment Parenting and Natural Learning. Exploring ways to help my children grow and reach their potential, without stifiling their unique creativity and personalities.
For our environment it means eco awareness, responsible living and sustainability. Learning to be gentle to this planet we live on and perhaps even leaving it in a better state then we found it.

The most important thing I am trying to remember is that this is a journey. I am learning to do these things slowly. Yes i will make mistakes. But the beauty of mistakes is that you can learn from them.

So welcome to my journey!