We believe that the urban garden is one of the solutions in the face of rising cost of living. By applying permaculture principles in the design and lifestyle, we seek to maximize onsite resources to meet most of our needs with minimal impact on the land.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Bicycle Energy

Just imagine- bike for an hour and power the house lights for a week! This is a reality for a man who found a solution to stay fit and solve a power crisis.

Check out the free plans to design bicycle energy systems for your home. You may be able to save some money this winter.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Milk Tonic for good health

Tiger’s Milk, an old naturopathic convalescent tonic for a perfect breakfast. A convalescent tonic was traditionally used to build people back up after an illness or stress, including childbirth.

Per person
2 x raw egg yolks (from free range eggs
½ - ¾ cup of milk, yoghurt or kefir
2-3 tablespoons of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

First blend the yoghurt and berries until smooth, then add the egg yolks and coconut oil and blend until combined. It’s important to not over process the egg yolks so always add them last.

If you or a family member is allergic to dairy, you can replace the milk with almond milk or rice milk. To make either of these even more nutritious, culture them using Kefir grains or culture first. A less ideal option is to replace the milk with fresh or frozen orange juice – this works best as an afternoon snack rather than breakfast. You can also add some frozen banana for children (or fussy adults).

Matt and I love it. We find that the coconut flavor stands out the most. The shake has a beautiful purplish color, so quite appealing. We can hardly tastes the yolk. The natural yogurt and kefir give a tarty taste. If you like it a bit sweeter, adding some banana will do the trick, and I can imagine it going very well with the coconut flavor.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Making Friands

A good lemony muffin recipe by Pat Churchill to use up the excess egg whites and lemon rinds. Nothing goes wasted.

Lemon Friands
180g Butter
200g icing sugar
50g plain flour
pinch salt
1/2 tsp lemon essence
120g ground almonds
zest of 2 lemons
5 egg whites
extra icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease muffin tins.
Melt the butter, then set it aside to cool.
Place butter, ground almonds, zest, essence, sifted icing sugar and flour into a mixing bowl.
Lightly beat the eggs whites till frothy and stir into the other ingredients till combined - don't over mix.
Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for 25-30 minutes till a toothpick inserted in clean when removed. Allow to stand for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
To serve, dust with icing sugar and accompany with whipped cream ans seasonal fruit.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

It's Snowing in Palmy!

Oops, I mean it's hailing down like dogs and cats. I was so exciting that I rushed out barefooted with my camera!! The next thing, I felt my feet hurting - it felt like I was walking on ice (which I was!!) I simply couldn't contain my excitement. Next thing I knew, I ran to my neighbor's place, and invited her out to play in the ice with me. Oh oh, I could see my footprints. I felt like a child jumping up and down in joy after receiving a most precious present!!

Back to School....

Not quite. But I love blogging so much that I have enrolled to learn about web design and writing for the web with the Open Polytechnics. A bit radical, you might say. Firstly, I feel strongly that my writing has tonnes of room for improvement and secondly I like to have more control over the template (the control-freak part of me is emerging here). And I really can't believe that there is JUST THE COURSE for me!! So, why wait??

Both papers (web design & writing) are online papers, work out quite well as I do enjoy sitting long hours infront of the screen especially in winter. If everything goes as per planned, I should graduate this coming November.

On top of that, the one year Plant Propagation Course is also starting this week. So, I'll be just a tat busy the next 6 months.

These activities should be enough to keep my out of winter blues!!

Lacto Fermentation-The Microbial Family

After months of research and personal success with the experiment, I've come to the conclusion that we should include a lot more lacto fermented foods in our diet. Now, I keep a microbial family going at home. The members include Water Kefir, Milk Kefir, cultured yogurt, Kombucha and other lacto-fermented veges especially cabbages.

For years, I suffered from severe constipation. Once I was packed for 8 weeks. Believe me not, it was nasty. I thought I was dying. In a nutshell that was the beginning of my health journey in search of a cure for my constipation. It then took me another 6 years before I stumbled over the answer (Thanks to Tara who introduced Nourishing Traditions to me). From juicing to consuming tonnes of fiber, taking probiotic tablets, and herbal laxatives, the answer for me is finally found in lacto fermented foods.

It has been six months, and I hardly needed the usually herbal laxative to get things moving. Since, I've also found a few things that are especially hard on my digestive system. Too much carbohydrates will pack me up too. At the moment, I'm experimenting with sourdough recipes as I would like to enjoy carb without the side effects.

We're planning for a family, and I'm confident these lacto fermented foods will
help with easing constipation during pregnancy. Yes, these lacto fermented foods are safe to consume during pregnancy.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Community Gardens...

Every town should have a few active Community gardens going. In my opinion, community gardens are more than just growing veges; it's about connecting with people, taking control of food production, getting in touch with nature which also allows one to get in touch with oneself...

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Never too old!!

We hosted 2007 Christmas lunch. Matt’s parents, his Nana and auntie and uncle gathered at our place for the occasion. My best effort for the day was a leg of ham, soft buns, salad and a pavlova from the supermarket. In any case the food went down surprising well.

For afternoon tea, I served up the zucchini pickle that I made the previous summer. It went down like a treat. Matt’s Nana loved it so much that she requested the recipe. The thought of the efforts I put into preserving it and how much harder it would be for her, I brushed off her request. Instead, she was supplied with a bigger bottle of pickle. A week later, a snail-mail came for me. It was from Nana. She thanked us for lunch but more importantly, she wanted the zucchini recipe. Sensing her determination, I wrote the recipe and snail-mailed it back to her. Later that week, there was a phone message from Nana. She had just made the zucchini pickle and was very pleased with it! Bless her cotton socks!! We celebrated her 90th birthday in May 2008!!