Diane Greenwood

Thinking about…

It has been way too long …

… WARNING THIS IS A LONG POST …  here is a quick run down of what has been happening in the Greenwood’s life for the last couple of months. Will post more spiritual, words and stories when I am on track with a few things. 

- Sandy and Kath (our South African cousins) have been and gone :( too quickly!

- I am officially on annual leave from work

- Raised $445 for Cancer Council, in honour of my mum :)

What is “Girl’s Night In”?

Yarn and Darn – Girls Crafting Night

Sandy and Kath Mini Cupcakes were a hit! Thanks so much!

- We had a hens night for Neva, my sister

 Kelly, Neva and I

- Then Neva got married :) We got to catch up with heaps of our family from all of the place! 

More photo’s on the mobile me gallery here! Isn’t she beautiful. Just simply the most loving day I have been a part of for a very long time. xxx

- We had two Aussie Rules Football Grand Finals matches

For AFL this was a stunner, but for Russell (Collingwood) and I (St.Kilda) it proved to be high fun flying days! Well for one of us in the end. 

A Grand Pickle!

Grand Final Breakfast – “Take 1”

- We’ve also had a baby shower

It was the best opportunity to get friends and family together while everyone was here for Neva and Daniel’s Wedding. 

Russell’s Mum and our niece Gemma

Neil on the BBQ – thanks also to Age!

- Sandy and Kath came with us for a quick trip down to Barwon Heads and the Great Ocean Road.

Bells Beach

Thank you to a very kind friend at work who let us stay in her gorgeous house in Barwon Heads while our car got fixed in Geelong. We took Sandy and Kath with us and drove some of the Great Ocean Road in the BMW we were given for the weekend. What a great weekend. 

- Then my parents moved house…

Leaving a house that we have been in for about 20 years, this is a big moment in all our lives. Change for the better though, I have not seen them so happy for a long time.

New house!

Mum mowing in sunset last night!

- And then, as if all of this wasn’t enough! We bought a house

It is finally official – and I have been waiting for this to all be official before I posted everything, but Russell and I have just bought a house. Currently our plans for our land are on hold, but by early November we will have our new bundle of joy and also new digs for her. 

- And last, but definitely not not least, I am officially full term and the OB wants me to bring on labour!

 

So there are lots of tales about how to do this. But I am not trying anything to extreme to begin with. OB says by next Friday we can step up the game, so until then, I am settling for Raspberry Leaf Tea, lots of walking and swimming, and some acupuncture!

Raspberry Leaf Tea

Natural Ways to Bring on Labuor

I will post more from now on, as I am doing some interesting things around the house getting ready for bubs and also getting ready to move. Will not leave things so long. 

The Corporation

While we were away with some friends we watched this movie and there were some questions that I was researching and I found the ‘official website’ and it had some discussion questions that I thought got me thinking well. So I thought I would share. Enjoy!

Discussion Questions:

1. In what context can this film have the maximum impact?
a. Does the film have a polarizing effect?
b. Can it affect legislation and government regulations of business? How?

2. In a poll on our website, a majority of people suggest that the film convinces
them that corporate charters need to be revoked and the system rebuilt. Is
this plausible?
a. Can individuals within an organization overcome its inherent flaws?
b. Do you envision a return to earlier forms of business ownership and
management, or something entirely new?

3. Can capitalism and democracy co-exist?
a. How has the internet reshaped our democracy? How can it?
b. How can corporations be obliged to have a stake in the sharing of their
power, and in the social quality of their services?

4. In the film, the town of Arcata, CA (pop. 15,000) holds a forum on corporate
influence in their community, and they vote to keep all new chain restaurants
out. Can this happen in a major city?
a. What sacrifices does this action force the town to make?
b. What does it mean when a town votes not to recognize a corporation
as a “legal person”, and what are the implications of this vote?

5. The film depicts advertising companies focusing on efficient ways to
manipulate children into nagging their parents into buying their products, in a
study called “the nag factor”. How can parents shield their children from this
manipulation?
a. What are the potential dangers of a tv-free household?

Apple Pollination

So who knew apple pollination could be so involved. Firstly I was not aware of how many apple species there were. You only see the commercial stuff sitting on our produce shelves – Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Red Delicious!

Sometimes I love to remember and talk about “taking the apple” from the tree in Genesis, and maybe how we are given choices each day about temptations. How many of us take the ‘fruit’ each day?

Apples appear in many religious traditions, often as a mystical or forbidden fruit. One of the problems identifying apples in religion, mythology and folktales is that the word “apple” was used as a generic term for all (foreign) fruit, other than berries, but including nuts, as late as the 17th century.[11] 

Well, there is a lot more to the apple world and this is only a very small introduction to it. So the basics are that apples pollinate each other. They cannot pollinate themselves! Some species can pollinate to others and some can’t. Usually in a small environment i.e, the suburbs have enough trees between them that if you had an apple tree it could be pollinated by a neighbours one (who loves community?) The main source of this pollination are our little friends called bees (more about bees later). Some places introduce a pollinator if there are not enough bees present.

This explanation of pollination groups is the easiest to understand:

There are four to seven pollination groups in apples, depending on climate:

  • Group A – Early flowering, May 1 to 3 in England (Gravenstein, Red Astrachan)
  • Group B – May 4 to 7 (Idared, McIntosh)
  • Group C – Mid-season flowering, May 8 to 11 (Granny Smith, Cox’s Orange Pippin)
  • Group D – Mid/late season flowering, May 12 to 15 (Golden Delicious, Calville blanc d’hiver)
  • Group E – Late flowering, May 16 to 18 (Braeburn, Reinette d’Orléans)
  • Group F – May 19 to 23 (Suntan)
  • Group H – May 24 to 28 (Court-Pendu Gris) (also called Court-Pendu plat)

There are always heaps more information on the internet and in good books at the library. It is just good to know that the everything has a reason and a purpose, creation was designed to support itself, and how clever is that? Some of us are too busy with other man made problems to miss the beauty of natural design. Well done creator!

Robin Hood Tax

Age from Morepraxis.org.au

Robin Hood Tax

Write to Kevin Rudd and tell him you think that this is an anwesome concept and he should help MAKE IT HAPPEN!

What is it?

The Robin Hood Tax is a tiny tax on financial speculation by investment banks, hedge funds and other finance institutions that would raise billions to tackle poverty and climate change, at home and abroad.

It can start as low as 0.005 per cent – and average 0.05 per cent. But when levied on the billions of dollars moving round the global finance system daily through transactions like as foreign exchange, derivatives  and share deals, it could raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

Some photo’s from the action taken at State Youth Games on the Queens Birthday long weekend.

Tessa, Adrian, Bethany and Kelly

North Ringwood Uniting Church – and Drew!

Doncaster East Uniting Church

Plots and Square Metre Planting

Illustration by Cecilia Macaulay

There are many places on the net, in books and in practice that use methods for growing and harvesting your own fruit and vegetables. In particular the following places focus on supplying enough food for particular needs and size requirements. This is just a very small touch on some places to get your juices flowing for growing your own things.

Diggers Club

These people have many methods, but two that can get you started on seasonal harvesting and correct sizing for plots. If you want to check out their gardens visit the website and see their locations.

Growing your own vegetables is the single most
important step to a sustainable, healthy life. When
vegetables are grown at home they are fresh and free
of chemicals, eliminating food miles and cutting CO²
emissions by up to 30%. It takes a few hours of work
a week.

Mini Plot Harvest – pdf

The concept of the Mini Plot Harvest is that in 40 square metres you can grow up to 472kgs of vegetables, which is enough to serve 4 people for the year. It is based in 4 garden beds and has a yielding calendar with rotations and suggestions for planting.

Square Metre Gardening – pdf

This method is used in the mini plot garden, but it goes into the development of the matrix sewing system and the advantages that can be gained through yielding by this method.

 

Very Edible Gardens

These people sell great kits to get you started, and can also be really useful for people renting. They either have options for just the edging/container, or to fill it as well with the weed matting and organic soil, and then also get you started with the optional VEG irrigation system, then fill it up with seasonal organic produce.

Take a look here for options and lots of choices.

 

The Permaculture Home Garden

This is a book that I just love and am hoping to base a lot of my new place on these methods. There is a great website that does a review on the book. The first sentence of the book is:

“This is a book about saving the planet and living to be a hundred, while throwing very impressive dinner parties and organising other creatures to do most of the work. It is a book about a very different style of growing food.”

So you can imagine this book is filled with great ideas and planting styles. The best things about the book is that it eliminates most of the permaculture language and is really easy to read with out knowing everything about the topic to begin with.

 

Other methods:

There are of course methods for you to create your own harvesting pattern according to your families likes and dislikes, location and seasonal produce. Other web sites that I have found some great tips on include:

- Send me Seeds Pip - which I have not joined but I think that I plan to when I get my new place up and running. There are planting tips and seasonal calendars, and really nice recipes (for seasonal produce). You can subscribe and they will send you seeds to plant at certain times of the year so that you are always growing to best potential for your harvesting.

- Gardenate - another website that sends you monthly emails to remind you what to plant and also what to get ready for the next month.

- Permaculture Institute – don’t forget you could always get intimate with Permaculture principles and work it out for your specific location and needs.

 

There are always great places overseas that are also doing these sorts of things to help developing countries:

Seed International

Food Gardens Foundation in South Africa

Permaculture Relief

Permaculture Weekend Away

So, last week end was the relax, retreat and restore. To be honest I feel drained, but not tired and I think that is because I just have so so so much inspiration from the weekend. On a personal level I think that it was a good place for me to start talking about my experience as I have not really been in a place to share some of these thoughts yet.

On reflection one of the biggest bonus’ of the weekend is that I feel that I am going to be able to write more and link more to my story and my teachings. There were many questions that I too did not know and that I will be aiming to get back to everyone with some more direction and answers. One of the most challenging questions for me was: “If our faith is calling us to care for people and live with ethics, fair trade and care for the earth, how can we too live in solidarity with the poor?” Given that ethical and fair trade means are a more expensive option, how does this make us view our choices and options. This question I will explore more as I develop a deeper understanding of the connection of Permaculture and my Christianity.

Friday night we could class as relaxing as we were running a little late and we just ended up sharing a bit about the principles of Permaculture and what it was.

Saturday morning was a nice sleep-in and then shared breakfast of fresh bread and cereal together. We sat around and delved into a very brief session around ethics and fair trade. Particular interest was around the carrying capacity of the earth and the 100 mile food diet.

Working out the carrying capacity of 160km’s around Melbourne for the population of melbourne. I will post on this separately.

Carrying Capacity I = P * A * T

After this discussion we made a few things for our house and our garden. We chose a common all purpose cleaner and also a soap spray for the garden.

Ken and Hannah making all purpose household cleaner

Maria grating the soap for the garden spray

Paul making all purpose household cleaner

Rose stirring the boiling soap

Saturday afternoon was all about relaxing and restoring, we had people sewing, cross stiching, reading, playing games, some went for a walk during the on and off rain, and there was of course a lot of chatter as well.

In the evening, more people arrived and we made a great dinner (great apple crumble!). After dinner there was many a discussion and then a video (The Corporation). Afterwards more chatter and discussion.

Eating wonderful dinner together

Sunday morning started much the same. Great breakfast together, then we packed the house and made our way to Hearonswood Edible Garden. Before we left we spoke a little about peak states of the earth and Bill Mollison and David Holgrens view of the earths peak oil problems. We spoke about care for the earth and how we can live a better for the earth that was loaned to us. 

The Vegetable Parterre – Inspired by the medieval potager gardens, it is an ornamental and a productive garden 

The Mini Plot – Shows how to grow a years supply of vegetables in just 20m2 for two people using the Diggers seeds.

Crazy Pink Echnechea

Sunday lunch we gathered with some great fish and chips on the Dromana Beach front and ate together. Ethical choices of course! Download your free pocket fish guide here.

Sunday afternoon most of us headed back to Glen Waverley, but a few of us ventured onto Michele and Andy’s place where they had the most scrumptious apple and rhubarb tea cake. Yum! Then we visited their big swail and also they spoke about their tea composting system they are using. I am excited to try this out.

After that we headed home to see our little dog. We then headed onto Church for the evening. What a great weekend. Thanks to everyone who came, and asked questions and just had a good time. 

If anyone is up for some more reading this blog seems to post some great words and advice. With lots and lots of links.

Some more post to come about:

  • All purpose household cleaner and garden soap spray
  • Carrying Capacity of Melbourne as we worked out
  • Ethics of living in solidarity with the poor while still living ethically … ??
  • 100 Mile Food Trail Diet – we are going to give it a try in September
  • Apple Pollination
  • The Corporation Discussion Questions
  • Care for the Earth
  • Care for People 
  • Fair Trade and Ethics
  • The Diggers Club and Mini Plot

If there are more questions that people want answered please feel free to contact me and I will add them to my list. 

Hope you enjoy reading.

Ethical Dog Treats?

 

So, you know Russ and I use the ethical shopping guide to complete our shops. It is a little sad as we wonder the aisles with our iphones checking out the most ethical product – we often joke about the irony of the situation and deem that what we are doing is what we can at the moment. 

The more we talk about these things the more I realise, if anything, buying what you need and what is as ethical as it can be (cause nothing is ‘ethical’ in the Western world really!) is more about self control than anything. Take dog food and dog biscuits, our local supermarket doesn’t stock anything that is in the book as ethical. Most things are tested on animals :( 

So I did some looking on the internet and found some great recipes for dog biscuits that I can make – buying products from the local shop that were on the ethical list! The best thing is this one can go in the bread maker and it is SO EASY.

I did adjust the recipe a little as I have heard that garlic is not good for dogs, so here is my version:

Bread Machine Dog Biscuits

3/4 cup - Beef, chicken or vegetable-broth (I used chicken!)
1 - Egg 
3 tb - Oil 
1 cup - Plain flour 
1 cup - Whole-wheat flour 
1/3 cup - Oats
1/3 cup - Wheat germ 
1/3 cup - Bran 
1/4 cup - Low fat milk powder  
1 1/2 ts Yeast

Place ingredient in bread maker according to manufacturer’s directions and press “Dough” cycle. 
When machine beeps, remove dough to lightly floured countertop and with a rolling pin, roll dough out to 2 cm thickness. 
Using a dog bone cookie cutter (or any small seasonal cookie cutters), cut out dog biscuits and place on a lightly greased tray or one sprinkled with cornmeal. 
Re-roll scraps and repeat till all dough is used up. 
Place in a warm location and let rise 30 minutes. 
Bake at 160 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and no longer soft.
Place on a rack to cool. 
Store in an airtight container.

Viola! Just over 100 ethical dog treats.

 

Relax, Retreat and Restore

What to bring

Clothes, Bed linen (sheets and blanket, doona, sleeping bags), towels, pillows, tea towels, and anything that each person wants to bring to entertain themselves. 

 

The Idea behind the Retreat

The idea of the weekend is to get away/relax/wonder/ponder and just be. At the same time explore a little about permaculture principles and what it means when we are already linked with a strong faith background. Three main principles form the basis of Permaculture: Care for People, Fair-trade/ethics and Care for the Earth. If these three things are so intrigant in our faith as well, why don’t we bring them together and see if there are areas to strengthen our faith, our community and the world together.  

I believe that Permaculture is the answer to a lot of things :)

 

Program

Friday – Care for People

(no dinner provided) Supper + Chat provided!

Documentary/Films

 

Saturday – Exploring FairTrade and Ethics

Breakfast

Morning – Sour Dough Bread making / making ethical home products

Lunch

Afternoon – Free time/relax/chill/knit/sew/read – sewing machine will be there

Dinner

Night – Movie / documentary / games / with supper!

 

Sunday – Care for the Earth

Breakfast

Morning – site visit Diggers, Heronswood Garden 105 Latrobe Parade, Dromana

Lunch – either at Heronswood Café – From Garden Fork to Kitchen Fork – or back at house.

Afternoon Activity – you can choose to come and get active in a permaculture garden with some friends (explore their compost system, cardboard mulch the fruit trees etc)

Afternoon – go home when you like!

 

We would love to have you join us. Let Helen know if you are coming. See you there.

Soy Crayons and loads more

So today I was pointed in the direction of this cool website with soy crayons.

Also Eco Dough GLUTEN FREE … have you ever?

And Jesse, either you or Thomas should purchase this… The Shield of Wings!

The website seems to have heaps of cool things, loads to look at and may keep you entertained on these cold lunch times.

Look… a stork!

 

Ah there is so much to write. Today is Mother’s Day so it is only appropriate for me to announce that the stork will be visiting Russell and I. We have been blessed with the beginnings of a growing little baby (Kim I know you will excited about this post!). I have been asked by a few people why I have not posted this yet and to be honest I have been doing so much reading and sleeping that this has been the last thing on my mind, but here it goes … everything I can think of at the moment.

Today Russ and I are 13 weeks and 3 days with our little baby.

So far … 

It has been such a learning experience for me (as a mother to be), for Russell (as a father to be) and for both of us as we make changes and choices for our new family. 

As suggested by many people I am currently reading “Up the Duff – Kaz Coleman”, also about to read “Having a Baby, Naturally (Mothering Magazine)”. 

I found a “New Baby Checklist” from a link on Kim’s blog and it seems like a REALLY good place to start thinking about things. I will tackle this list in another post. 

At the moment I have only signed up to one baby website (thanks Heather) – who knew that there were so so many of them: http://www.babycenter.com.au/.

Everyday since I told my family my sister Neva sends me name suggestions – thank you I love getting them. 

I have been overwhelmed with wishes and gifts and prayers and I thank each and everyone of you for the continued support that Russ and I have already received. Thanks to both of my families, mums and dads, sisters and brothers and also Helen and Dave for all the support and questions, and advice. Only a big adventure from here on in, together. 

Today I was spoilt and was given a few things for being an almost mother! My nephews gave me a flower each, and I also got a great gift from Bec and Neil, a Muslin Baby Wrap :) thank you so much.

I will try and keep this up to date a little more as I enter into my second trimester. All I can think of to write now is WHOO! We are very excited.