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.

 

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rolling weekend

  

rolling weekend
slow mornings
start
bubbling ideas of making and creating
for me and also
Monkey craft projects
that bring a smile
that centres and stills
listening to rain
drop
on little plants growing
simple food delights
remembering to breathe
dipping hands in dough
preserving the season
giggles with hide and seek
a kids party
causing
tired little feet
which brings on
afternoon snuggly siestas
holding that moment
and
dreaming

********

* Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment on my reconnecting with nature, city style post. Every comment was truly appreciated, thank you for taking that time. Some reminded me of things, some inspired me and some just prompted me to do more.

reconnecting with nature…city style

How much of a part of being human, is it to want to reconnect with nature in some way?

Is that reconnection slowly being bumped off and ignored for noisier, flashier city lifestyle options?

These questions have been rolling around my head for a while now, and I don’t think they have rolled to a conclusion. More rolled on, created conversations and sat still on pondered thoughts.

It seems rather funny to be typing this post at the moment as all I can hear from outside my apartment windows, is the sound of a revved up chainsaw, slowly but surely taking down a well established tree in the back of a neighbour’s yard… Fitting.

This reconnection that I’m thinking of, could be as simple as having an indoor plant in your kitchen, while living in a 40 story city apartment building. A tiny corner of green that requires very little attention, but is there in the background in all it’s greenness.

For someone else, it could be growing your own vegetables in the back yard. Bushwalking, or swimming in the sea…

I’m still working out how exactly I fit in with this one and how I like to reconnect with nature. I know I feel better for it when I do. Calmer, more at peace, and a lot less likely for worry about the smaller things to take hold. I also know I would like to do more, and am aiming for that down the track. While I love living where I do, and think there are some truly wonderful benefits to living where I do. I also want my children to know more of the different aspects of nature there can be. To not feel totally engulfed by a consumeristic-lights flashing, plastic driven kind of lifestyle. I don’t want to feel I have a boxed in life, without any aspects of greenery around me. Those moments of reconnecting with nature make me feel more grounded.

Is that faster, fluorescent lighting lifestyle in some ways just inevitable to living in a large city?…Or does everyone in some way, still yearn for that tiny piece of nature that reconnects them? Maybe they are not even aware of it?

Sitting under a tree in the park…. cooking up freshly plucked homegrown fruit.

A trying afternoon recently, and all I wanted to do was go out to my backyard and lay on the grass looking up at the night sky. I needed to feel the earth beneath me, reconnect. Breathe in, breathe out… 5 minutes later and I could have righted myself. However I didn’t have that back yard, and I didn’t have that grass. So I sat on the kitchen floor… I invited Mr Chocolate to take a seat too. We talked, I felt a bit better, but it wasn’t a backyard with grass beneath me and I can’t help but wonder whether it would have helped a bit more if it had been.

How many people would say they have no connection with nature what so ever and have no desire to? I wonder, I really do… Is this a number that will keep on growing?

I was excited for a friend once, to find that her newly bought tiny apartment was directly opposite a community garden. She was disgusted at the thought of sticking her fingers in dirt, so no, she wouldn’t be signing up for a small patch. Instead, her down time was to spend hours upon hours window shopping in the city at any given opportunity. I would rather fork my eyeballs then spend a whole day doing that.

Restoring weekends away out of the city used to help keep the balance. These seem to be getting less and less as time goes by and various family members take on more weekly commitments. When we are out of the city though, time slows down. My breathing becomes deeper. Mind more focussed… or is that simply less distractions. Less need to multi task, and fit 100 things in to the day?

As the noisy chainsaw continues I’m musing here, and I’m curious…

If you live in the city do you feel a need to reconnect with nature in some way? Do you feel better for it?

I would think it would be slightly unlikely someone who felt no need what so ever to feel drawn to some aspects of living with nature to be reading cityhippyfarmgirl, but on the off chance there is or you know someone who is like that. I would love to know your thoughts.

If you don’t live in an urban area what are your favourite things to do? Tease me.

upcycling to gift tags

Gift tags are such a simple thing to make. You can upcycle so many things to make instant eye catching tags that re-cycle something, look pretty good and don’t cost anything. Scissors, a hole punch and imagination are all that’s needed.

Christmas cards are a great thing to chop up, (thanks to Tricia for the point in the right direction with this one). Just make sure there is no writing on the other side.

Gift to match: Anything Christmassy.

Cereal boxes. I know that sounds a bit odd, and it would depend on what cereal you buy maybe… but with the right gift, I think it works.

Gift to match: Jar of muesli/granola, box of muffins.

Chocolate wrappings. Ok, this isn’t going to work if it’s a mars bar. But if you are buying some tip top chocolate once in awhile, it seems a shame to spend all that money on some delicious chocolate, for it not to get a second go doesn’t it? (See this post, on how to make wrapping paper and cards from chocolate wrappers.)

Gift to match: Anything, it looks a bit different.

Biscuit/Cookie boxes. Again, maybe not for any old box, but given the right one and it can look rather interesting I think. I was given these as a gift and loved the box so much it just sat there empty for a few months on a shelf. The Monkeys had been told to keep their little mits off it until I had decided what to do with it.

Gift to match: Something lovely.

So many things can be turned into a gift tag, or used as a small card. Perfume boxes, old calendars, pasta boxes… lots and lots of things to have fun with and give a new life to.