Slow living in July

Even after walking 2 miles to get to the market, a child will still have fun in the gardens

Here it is the beginning of another month and time to review how I have done this past month in my slow living journey.  I am following the example set by Christine at Slow Living Essentials. There are still plenty of areas I need to do better, but a few I seem to have down pretty well.

Nourish:  I have been opting for mostly raw foods this month.  It’s just simpler when the heat index drives me outdoors for the shady areas.  I have been shopping the farmer’s market and love helping neighboring farmers rather than giving my money to the supermarket.  Plus it’s just plain cheaper.   My fridge is currently filled with cucumbers, zucchini, salad greens, 6 peaches, watermelon (okay that didn’t fit in my tiny fridge), wax beans, celery, broccoli, radishes, and carrots.  The total cost of my produce came t0 $12.25 for this week.  Of course I had to splurge on a treat for the four of us by purchasing a bag of Maple Sugar Cotton candy.  Living in Maple tree country we are accustomed to having maple products available year round. (total cost $2.50 extra)

I shared a recipe from my grandmother for what to do with all those green tomatoes you may have from your gardens in her Tomato Mince Pie.

Our Farmer’s Market is on a beautiful piece of property so we have to wander around and enjoy the atmosphere each time as well.

place for the children at the farmer’s market

Prepare: Here is where I do pretty poorly.  I haven’t put much food up for winter.  The only thing I succeeded in storing are two organic pineapples I dehydrated this month. I did uncover a section of blackberry vines which should produce some delicious fruit next summer now that they can find the sun.

Reduce: I have very little household waste, which has been a goal of mine for a few years.  But now I am helping to reduce other  people’s waste as well. See out with the desk, in with the nightstand , and  Of course the biggest project I worked on this month was a kitchen remodel, with zero waste in Christmas in July, what better than re-using everything to have an updated look?

In saving the landfill from other peoples trash I’ve acquired a small outdoor table in free finds and what were you thinking, and I haven’t had a chance to tell you about the box of yarn and plastic canvas I saved. While I’m not a fan of plastic canvas projects, it sure does work well to entertain the children while letting them express themselves freely.

Most of this will be saved for those rainy and wintery days yet to come.

Green up our lives: Here things are doing well, I have zero chemical cleaners in my home. My basic cleaners have been and continue to be baking soda and vinegar.  My  beauty products are still simple (aloe and water).  I am almost out of the last bottle of shampoo I made and am considering trying the baking soda to wash my hair as well.  Check out how to use baking soda on your hair here.  I should be able to add that to my list next month.

Grow:  We harvested our first crop of potatoes from the community garden, are still finding 2-3 strawberries daily to savor (whoever said you can’t find enjoyment in just one bite? They are so wrong) and have taken out 2 heads of cabbage so far.  The rest look like they will be ready all at the same time so I will be filled with cabbage soon. I solved the problem of having worms eating my cabbage plants by adding lime on them.  No more nibbling they are all going to be mine now!

Check out the healthy cabbages in the background

Create: The community garden is getting even more attention with more neighbors offering to help.  Little additions continue to pop up in surprising ways.  A project I did with my grandson was also added to the seating area in the back. It was so hot we found a shady seat under the sumac and painted a birdhouse.

Paint and birdhouse were going to be tossed by a neighbor who purchased them several years ago. Instead we had fun with it.

Discover:  I found time to read one rainy day having found several books that I had wanted to peruse at the library.  Most were disappointing and I’m glad I hadn’t purchased them!  I very much enjoyed Soul Spaces which shares the same opinion I do, that our homes should be a place we feel most comfortable in yet not needing to spend a lot of money to get the result.

Enhance:  I would have to say that this area overlaps with the gardening as my community involvement really began with the clearing and beginning of the field we now use, and using the farmer’s market to purchase my foods from the local people.  While there is nothing new to report here, I am satisfied with the progress I’ve made and the difference in my life the newly formed friendships I now have as a result.

Enjoy Life: This one is easy.  To enjoy life I spend a lot of time with family and friends.  One such experience was sharing my grand-daughter’s first fishing trip. We also celebrated quietly the 4th of July this month.

Father-daughter moment

How was your month? In what areas have you accomplished more than you had expected?

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8 comments

    • I absolutely love strawberries, I had a patch as a child and again when my boys were growing up. My youngest claimed the job of picking the berries each morning before we could have breakfast. My plants are doing well, but I lost a lot of the berries and flowers to the wildlife before I covered them with netting so all we have are a few daily to snack on, nothing to save for winter.

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    • Thank you. I originally began to repurpose things as a single mother trying to make ends meet many years ago. Then it became a way of life and something I enjoy doing. And yes the community garden is satisfying. I moved here last May and looked out from my patio area and remarked that I would love to do something with the almost half an acre piece of land that was growing wild. I mentioned putting in a garden and a place to go to get away from the building itself. From there the neighbor I mentioned it to called the management office, the manager drove right over and asked what I had in mind, and approved the idea. When spring came early this year I was so excited I began weeding in early March to clear the land, from there others joined in.

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  1. Like Heidi – I reckon you are doing very well!
    Love to hear about your shampoo experiments. I’ve been no poo for a while and no one has noticed (or commented) but I havent tried the baking soda – just home made soap and rosemary rinse when I need it.
    Your garden looks great! I dont get much out of mine so Im very envious of your cabbages! Looking forward to your next installmet! – Kara

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    • Thank you Kara. We had a slow start but then things took off. We are learning as we go, for instance we have tomatoes and cantaloupe which have tried to take over the entire plots in some areas, but at least we are fortunate enough to have had enough rain to get something out of it unlike so many parts of the country.

      I will check out your home made soap as well. I’ve been making my own for a while but I’m just not real happy with it thanks for the link.

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