Monday, 27 March 2017

A Peek at Permaculture 1

Over the weekend, I spent my days immersed in an introductory Permaculture course within the surrounds of an inspiring and abundant city farm

A city farm statue 
(with wicking bed, chicken house, fruiting tree in the background)

Permaculture's emphasis on Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share resonates profoundly with me so learning more is something that I have been looking forward to for a long time. I have been reading books, articles and blogs, viewing online videos and talking with staff at the city farm nursery whenever I visit to buy garden supplies, seeds or seedlings. For me though, reading and talking can't take the place of practical, hands-on experience and, while I'll write more about what I learned from the introductory course later in the week, I thought first that I would show you why I found the city farm the perfect place to learn:

An abundance of food growing in a raised bed.

 Passionfruit growing up a trellis on the side of a building provides food and shade.

 Fiery orange marigolds deter pests with their distinctive scent.

 Pigeon pea is one of the many important & useful perrenial species.

The blossoms of the Carambola tree offer up the promise of Star Fruit.

One of the much-valued city farm residents.

 A chicken house for the city farm's chooks.

 A "motel" too for the solitary bees.

 Recycling waste to return goodness to the soil.

 A heavily laden lime tree.

 One of many juicy, fragrant limes.

 One of several different types of spinach varieties called Ceylon Spinach.

 The tall, mulit-purpose & spectacular Canna Lily.

One of the No-Dig Garden beds that we helped to build and plant out.

The city farm, with its people, plants, animals, Sunday market, little nursery and community atmosphere, allows one to see a practical application of permaculture. While there learning, I could see, touch, smell, taste, reach and experience real examples of what I was learning about. I left with an enriched understanding, a desire to learn even more, ideas and more ideas and an impatient "itch" to apply what I learned.

Happy Monday to you. I hope your weekend was as inspiring as mine.


Monday, 20 March 2017

Mini Quiches

Filled with the goodness of fresh eggs, grated or leftover veggies, tasty bacon or ham and a little flavoursome cheese, mini quiches are a great bite-sized lunchbox, picnic or weekend-at-home snack. I make them often!

A batch of mini quiches ... bacon and zucchini OR leftover roasted pumpkin. Yum!

These little quiches are quick, easy and versatile.  To the eggy filling you can add, in any combination you like, some grated zucchini, kernels of corn, diced capsicum, chunks of leftover roasted vegetables, thin slices of tangy tomato, some cubes of bacon or a little ham and/or a scattering of chives or some spring onion. A sharp, tasty cheese like Parmesan, grated and sprinkled on top, gives them an inviting golden topping too.

Just out of the oven ... 

Little Mini Quiches

2 sheets ready-made Puff Pasty 
4 large eggs
2-3 Tablespoons pouring cream
a selection of some fresh or leftover veggies, as suggested above, grated or diced/chopped 
2 rashers bacon or 2 slices ham, chopped to small size
a twist or two of black pepper
grated tasty or Parmesan cheese 

1.  Preheat oven to temperature recommended on puff pastry packaging.

2.  Defrost puff pastry sheets and cut each one into 9 smaller squares.

3.  Line each muffin hole, in non-stick silicone muffin pans, with a square of pastry.  
     (Alternately, you can place each pastry square on a slightly larger square of non-stick
     baking paper, and then line each muffin hole.)
4.  Beat eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the cream until combined.

5.  Mixed in your choice of grated, chopped fillings except for the cheese.

6.  Transfer eggy mixture to a large pouring jug and 3/4 fill each pastry-lined muffin hole.

7.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top of each little unbaked quiche.

8.  Carry carefully to the oven (I place my silicone muffin pans on baking trays before I fill
     them otherwise I find I can't move the pans without the eggy mixture spilling over.)

9.   Bake until the egg is cooked through and the cheese is golden on top.

10. Allow to cool a little before devouring! 

A homemade and scrumptious snack.

These scrumptious little snacks quickly become lunch or dinner with the addition of a simple salad and some fresh bread. Enjoy!


Monday, 13 March 2017

Here & Now 10

My week days here have been busy of late but now, come the weekend, I've relaxed back into the happy patterns of home. It's so lovely to slip into the comforts and corners of one's own home after spending some days working. Even when that work is fulfilling and joyful, it is still wonderful to come home.

A beautifully stitched project bag that inspired me to make one of my own.

So many good reads from my local library.

Refreshing, invigorating and simple Foot Scrub.

Loving //  Leisurely reading through all the wonderful books I have borrowed from my local library.
Eating //  Small slices of this lovely, simple Lemon Crumble Slice. (Sorry, no photo, we ate it all!)
Drinking //  Fresh, clean, filtered water 
Feeling //  Inspired by the tiny, botanical stitchings of Melissa Wastney
Making //  Minty and invigorating Magnesium Foot Scrubs for friends.
Thinking //  Of all I'm going to learn when I do an Introduction to Permaculture course in a couple 
                         of weeks time. (Hooray!)
Dreaming //  Of all the abundance I hope to grow in my Autumn veggie patch.
                          (That's if Autumn ever arrives as it's 32C again here today!)

I love the simple and happy rhythms of our home that create a here & now that is like a soothing balm, a warm hug and a refreshing reminder of what matters most. You can share your own simple pleasures and projects, with Sarah and all of us, over at Say, Little Hen.