Top 13 Eco friendly Gift Ideas

Top 13 Eco Friendly Gift Ideas || cityhippyfarmgirl

1. Fermenters Starter Pack- scoby’s, sourdough starters etc. Bundle a bunch of your favourite fermented goodies together and some written ‘how to’ instructions.

2. Get baking. Put together a little hand made hamper. Jam’s, biscuits, brownie, cake, pesto, bread, Iced VoVo Cupcakes- the options are endless. If you team that up with a little second hand basket, (always nicer than a gifted pair of synthetic, made in China, novelty boxer shorts…promise.) A little hamper like this is sure to win over your loved ones.

3. A succulent in a vintage teacup I still say is a visual winner. Get creative.

4. Assistent Original- now this is a pricey gift for Christmas, but if you are serious about a kitchen investment that is going to cater for every kitchen whim you have- it’s a worthy investment, as cooking from scratch is a commitment and you want to make it as easy as possible. (For bread baking nerds, look no further… 5 kilos of dough she can handle.)

5. Sign a loved one up for a Milkwood Permaculture course, (or a locally grown Permaculture course in your area.) They will be brimming with inspiration afterwards, and that…is always a good thing.

6. Subscription to your locally based farmer friendly organic fruit and vegetable box.

Bliss honey- south coast NSW || cityhippyfarmgirl

7. A big jar of local honey. Honey can be used as a face wash and natural exfoliant, stirred into your morning chai, or drizzled over toast. Make a list for the recipient of all the things they can do with their sticky prized jar. It really is a sweet idea!

8. Still sweet talking. What about the ultimate gift of a hive of native bees. Your recipient will be beeeside themselves with happiness.

how-to-make-gift-labels || cityhippyfarmgirl

9. Have a peek over at Ecolosophy. They have some wonderful eco friendly, handmade and fairtrade goodies, perfect for all ages.

anzac-biscuits || cityhippyfarmgirl

10. Or you could try… a simple plate, dish or second hand tin from your local op-shop/thrift shop/charity shop. Beautiful one off antique ones can bought for usually just a couple of dollars. Fill the plate with your favourite biscuits and the recipe printed out on the back of the card.

11. Digital Subscription to an inspiring magazine- someone will be jumping up and down with excitement. (Earth Garden Magazine, Great Ocean Quarterly, PiP Magazine, Green Magazine, Slow, Dumbo Feather- they are all wonderful!)

french-breakfast-tea-cityhippyfarmgirl

12. For the tea drinker- love chai, love tea and little ginger bread bites for dunking in. A simple present that is 673 times better than buying something bland in a generic department store.

enamelware || cityhippyfarmgirl

13. For the baker, drinker, eater…errr anything really- enamelware. You can’t go wrong, really you can’t.

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What are some of your eco friendly gift ideas?

 

 

 

 

Lemon Berry Meringue (the party in a pie)

berry lemon meringue pie || cityhippyfarmgirl

Let’s cut to the chase with this.

Lemon Meringue Pie is the best dessert in the world.

The end.

Well, perhaps just a touch more. It has to be lemony, and tarty (and just quietly, a generous serving.)

I’ve been slowly building on my lemon meringue pies over the years and have accepted the fact that come birthday time, it’s a little meringue something that is to be made for the celebratory affair.

As the day in question was going to be a day that fell in the middle of the week with rather a lot of ‘normal’ things going on around it, I took it upon myself to create my own party in a pie shell.

As I’ve said before, I love, making my own birthday cake (or pie) as it happens. It means I get to make whatever I want and however I want. That is indeed a wonderful thing when I usually make things to cater for other people’s taste buds all year long.

This year there was no tweaking of last years recipe except for creating more “bling” up top in the form of flowers and berries. Sometimes it can just be ridiculously fun to, well, play with your food. (Even when your Italian Meringue doesn’t behave as it should and becomes the smooth oozy type. Yep, you just roll with it… keep playing.)

italian meringue || cityhippyfarmgirl

berry lemon meringue pie || cityhippyfarmgirl

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Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe can be found here.

A garden to die for AND a giveaway

foxglove patch- Ecolosophy

Today I would like to introduce you to Tanya from Ecolosophy. I haven’t met Tanya, as she lives on the opposite side of the country. If I did meet her though, I’d probably give her a feet lifting off the ground kinda hug, deposit some sourdough on her bench top and then run through her kitchen, (being careful not to slam the back door of course) scurry down the back steps and then face plant into her garden.

Have you seen her garden? If you have, you’ll know that it’s face plant worthy. This is the kind of garden that gets featured in magazines. This is the kind of garden that dreams are fuelled on, (inclusive of mine!) This is…ok, you get the picture. I’m in love with her garden and before I share anymore of my love for it. I thought I would share a little Q+A that we had.

Salmon Beach- Ecolosophy

1/ Tell me about your garden and what you have growing at the moment. I’ve seen snippits in Earth Garden and there is a little garden envy on my part!

Ha! Well bear in mind, I only take pictures of the pretty bits! Our block is 10 acres and rented. Mostly we aim to keep it maintained so it’s not too snaky but we do have some lovely bushy bits where we hunt for wildflowers and orchids. The garden you’ve seen in Earth Garden is our vegie patch. We shower and wash in salty bore water so we can give this area all our fresh rainwater. We have built raised garden beds from whatever we could salvage locally and filled them with manure and pea hay and compost.

I do the herbs, my partner does the vegetables (except tomatoes, they’re my thing) and we often lock horns over real estate in the patch. Luckily herbs are tough and a little bit sneaky so slowly and quietly, they’ve inserted themselves into any available crevice. As time goes by I’ve noticed that more are left to do their thing and less are getting evicted. My eldest son has also started infiltrating the patch with his love of flowers, so the patch, which began as a rigid, productive, straight row kind of vegetable garden, has evolved into a crazy and haphazard explosion of colour, a bee paradise, a worm farm, a science lab, a classroom and a grocery store, an open air gym for both vigorous workouts and low impact yoga, an oasis of peace and an avenue for artistic expression. 

2/ You’re going on family picnic on the weekend, what food will you take?

Our weekend picnics generally involve the beach and the boys bring lemon, flour, salt, pepper and grand plans to catch our food and live off the land. Now, I don’t like to show a lack of confidence, but I also don’t like to go hungry, so I usually slip in a few chicken and vegie quesadillas… just on the off chance, y’know?

Bailer + Fish- Ecolosophy

3/ Ecolosophy is an online store you run with your business partner Rose. Can you tell me a bit about your background and why you started it. 

Well my background is in horticulture, herbal medicine and retail, Rose comes from urban design and sustainability. We’ve long been friends but a couple of years ago we started day-dreaming together about our ideal enterprise. Ecolosophy evolved from that. We wanted to create a business that could not only sustain us but also makes the world a better place. We selected our range in the Ecolosophy shop adhering to an eco criteria and our blog is a multifaceted exploration into green living. Although we currently live in a small town and grow a lot of our own food and keep chooks, we’ve also lived in built up urban environments and faced all the challenges of being eco in the city. We’re actively involved in our local community and as the business grows we hope to engage in more social enterprise as well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

4/ If you are putting together a package for someone that wanted to reduce their environmental footprint, what would you put in there to kick start their efforts.

Here’s my five eco things that I wouldn’t be without now.

  1. My jute string shopping bag, just like your nanna used. It’s lightweight, strong and expands to fit heaps in. It lives in my handbag and I use it at every shopping expedition.
  2. My Keep Leaf Produce bags, because really, why do we need to keep wrapping our vegetables and loose bulk goods in those stoopid little plastic bags?
  3. My bamboo toothbrush. The more I learn about plastic, the less of it I want to own…and I definitely don’t want any in my mouth.
  4. I can proudly say it’s been two years since I gave up cling film… how so you ask? These beeswax and hemp food wraps are awesome and have helped bridge the fridge gap with food covering.
  5. Who Gives a Crap… I can’t go on enough about this loo roll so excuse the shameless sales pitch…it’s good for your bum, great for the world! The lovely guys at WGAC have created the cutest, 3 ply toilet paper that is 100% recycled with no chlorine, inks, dyes or scents. They donate 50% of their profits to the charity Wateraid which means that every roll you buy is helping to build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world. If all that isn’t awesome enough, these rolls are so pretty, you’ll be itching to display them in the smallest room in the house. You’ll be hooked -check out their website whogivesacrap.org to organise a subscription to get these super cute rolls delivered to your door.

Ocean Toes- Ecolosophy

5/ Last meal on earth. What are you eating, who is there and where are you?

It’ll be just my boys and I, camping with the bush at our back and the beach in front of us. A crackling fire will warm our sandy toes and the night sky above us will be sprinkled with stars… experience tells me we’ll probably be eating quesadillas!

cityhippyfarmgirl giveaway- Ecolosphy

Now the lovely ladies at Ecolosophy have put together an eco-hamper giveaway for one lucky duck reader to crank up their eco-journey. Ecolosophy is offering a hamper containing their top five, favourite eco-products for one lucky subscriber. All you need to do is enter the code-word cityhippyfarmgirl into the special instructions box in the shopping cart when making a purchase at the Ecolosophy shop during 2014, for a chance to win.

(And now coming back to my running face plant back in to that magnificent garden… anyone else want to join me?)

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Visit the Ecolosophy website for more info including terms and conditions

Jump on over to more of their eco goodness on the Ecolosophy blog or social pages Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

Trickster Bread Tips #1

Trickster Bread Tips #1 || cityhippyfarmgirl

This is a fancy bread demystifying post. Got some bread dough? Got scissors?

Ok, lets make fancy pants trickster bread.

cinnamon roll dough || cityhippyfarmgirl

For this first one, I had made up a cinnamon bun dough. Easy to do and recipe can be found here.

First up, on your tray roll up the dough.  The cinnamon sugar butter mixture is rolled up within it. Now get your scissors and cut equal parts along. (Depending on what type of bread you are using, you might like to do it on baking paper so it’s easy to move around or to catch extra drippy bits like the sugar butter here).

With the scissors, cutting three quarters through the log, so the bottom is still attached.

Next, on one side cut through a little of the attached bottom. Alternate rolls, push to the side. And that’s it. Too easy right?

trickster bread tips #1 || cityhippyfarmgirl

trickster bread tips #1 || cityhippyfarmgirlTaste test at earliest availability, and then try again with the same technique in a slightly different way. It looks fancy, but really is dead easy.

Trickster Bread Tips #1 || cityhippyfarmgirl

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See here for how to make Fancy Pants Flower Bread.

 

where food and photography meet

cityhippyfarmgirl

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

An invitation from Olympus for an afternoon of food and photography….it could never ever (ever ever) go wrong now could it.

Where…The School

Who… Megan Morton, Delicious Magazine, Olympus

Food… Kitchen by Mike

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

cityhippyfarmgirl.com …and now I get to practise all that I learnt. cityhippyfarmgirl.com

 What have you been up to lately?

Changes

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

There has been a few changes round these bloggy pages of late. Some are obvious and some not so obvious. After nearly five years of cityhippyfarmgirl stories, recipes, simple living tips and general waffle, it’s this year that has been a big one for me. Opportunities have jumped up, friendships have been cemented, and some things I’ve had to cut loose.

When I first started blogging, I didn’t do instagram and didn’t do facebook. While I’ll always be a little unsure on the merits of FB, Instagram I’ve loved every inch of. With the addition of both of these social media avenues, along with “everything else”. My posts have been slowly cut to two a week. Gone are the days when I posted every second day. I simply couldn’t keep up. The blogging environment has changed as well, I’ve noticed a massive shift even in the time since I first started. (See this post here, if you are interested from another bloggers perspective.)

So with posts, getting less so, social media time divided, what else am I doing?

earth garden || cityhippyfarmgirl

Well along with ‘other real life stuff’, I was tickled pink to be asked to join the Earth Garden team. I’m now very humbly a regular story contributor to a magazine that I hold in the highest of regards.

EARTH GARDEN is Australia’s original journal of sustainable living for householders seeking a more eco-conscious lifestyle. For more than 40 years the supportive network of Earth Gardeners has been guiding and reflecting the movement away from high- consumption lifestyles. 

If you are a long time reader of cityhippyfarmgirl, you’ll probably guess at how excited I am to be a part of this.

This year, you might have also seen me in Organic Gardener Magazine. This was a one-off, but a really happy one off to be even asked.

Recently you might have seen my name pop up over on the (forever wonderful) Milkwood blog, (excuse me a minute while I squeal with joy) and it might even pop up a few more times!

MILKWOOD We’re dedicated to awesome homesteading skills for city & country – keeping life simple, organic and deliciously real…

Some truly wonderful opportunities indeed, and something I’ve worked really hard for. Writing round these parts is mostly done in snippets, and quite often with a sleeping toddler in my lap. Photographs are taken on the run and emails are returned with an eye on a cooking pot and baking oven. This is how I get things done at the moment, and amazingly… it all seems to work in an odd patchwork kind of work process way.

One thing that remains the same of this tiny corner of the blogging world is you guys, the readers. The people that I have connected with over time, the people who taken the time to comment, and the people who have been so unfailingly supportive. At times I’ve felt like my heart is going to explode with how blown away I’ve felt with your generosity of time, words and incredible kindness. Those connections are gold.

That’s what makes blogging. Right there. Community.

It’s an online community that differs from a real life one, but on so many occasions it’s trickled through to being much more than that. Real life connections, and damn, I’ve loved that.

So thank you for hanging around for the changes and as always, you guys rock- and I’m incredibly thankful for that.

afternoon light || cityhippyfarmgirl