Archive for November, 2012

Miss 3’s Daycare Amazes Me!

My Little Miss 3 attends daycare three days a week as I work part-time.  She has only been attending this daycare centre since February.  The one she was attending prior was pitiful (but that’s a whole other story).  When we first went there, I noticed they had 3 chickens in a pen in the corner.  I later found out that the kids take turns in going in and feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs.  The centre provides all the food for the kids (I don’t have to send anything along.  YAY!  Makes things easier for me) and they use the eggs in their cooking.

As time went on, I began to notice more and more things the centre was doing.  A few months ago, they started a herb garden, they have heaps of plants in pots all around the place and yesterday I noticed a new dwarf orange tree.  The kids help the teachers to water the plants everyday and they absolutely love it.  I have seen arguments over who is going to help Miss Maggie water the plants today.

Yesterday all the kids in Miss 3’s class planted their own seeds in a pot.  Miss 3 was very excited to show me her pot with her name on it.  I can’t wait to see how excited she will be when her seeds sprout. Miss 3 is very into gardening as we have been doing a lot at home lately.

Yesterday when I picked up Miss 3 I also noticed a worm farm sitting in one of the gardens.  It’s in an area where the kids can’t access so no worries about little hands getting in there to play.  I’m not sure how involved the kids are with feeding the worm farm but I suspect the might be allowed to put the food in there under supervision.

I am so so happy that what I teach Miss 3 at home about environmentally friendly/self-sustainable living is also being taught at daycare.  It makes me so happy to know that she is learning all this from such a young age.  Well done daycare!.

Sweet Potatos are in

Sweet potatoes are apparently really easy to grow in a tropical climate, hence the reason that this is the first vegetable I am attempting to grow.  That and the fact that it’s one of the only vegetables you can grow in North Queensland through summer.

I’ve had a sweet potato sitting on my bench in some water for a few weeks now and it had grown some nice slips so I decided it was time to plant them in the garden.  The slips are the shoots with the leaves on them and this is what is planted in the garden.

Sweet potato with slips

The slips are removed from the sweet potato by pulling them down in the opposite direction to what they are growing.  Before planting in the ground the leaves from the lower part of the slip need to be removed (do not remove and roots that may have started growing).  Once in the ground, two or three potatoes will grow from each leaf node (the spots where the leaves have been removed)

A slip that has been removed from the sweet potato

Miss 3 digging holes for the slips

Miss 3 planting the slips

Watering the slips

In four to six months time we should be able to harvest our sweet potatoes….

The Sun is Shining

I’ve been nominated for a sunshine award……..

I was very humbled yesterday to find out that my very good friend the Rabid Little Hippy had nominated me for a Sunshine Award.  Yesterday I was feeling a little low, so to read Rabid’s latest blog post nominating me for a Sunshine Award really made my day.

Here are my answers to the questions:

1. Who is your favorite philosopher? I don’t really have one although I have been inspired by a few Mahatma Ghandi quotes

2. What is your favorite number?  definitely 7.

3. What is your favorite animal? I absolutely love dolphins.  I am amazed by their grace and the way they interact with humans.

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter? No twitter account.  Facebook is http://www.facebook.com/thetropicalhippy

5. What is your favorite time of day? Anytime of the day where I have 5 mins to myself

6. What was your favourite holiday? Would have to be the 8 weeks my husband and I spent traveling through Europe and Egypt

7. What is your favorite physical activity? I would have to say going to the gym

8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? that one is my little secret

9. What is your favorite flower? Tulips

10. What is your passion? enjoying life with my family
And now for my nominations……

Rabid Little Hippy – of course I am going to renominate my very good friend Rabid, for without her I would not have even started my journey to environmentally friendly living.  She has inspired me more than she will ever realise.

My Life with Snotface – This blogger is not only my sister-in-law, she is the most honest person I know.  Her blog is about juggling life as a fulltime working mum, with a four year old son.

The Organised Housewife – she is….well….extremely organised.  She is a mum to 3 kids and blogs to help inspire and motivate you to have an organised, clean and clutter free home.  She has definately given me the motivation to organise and declutter my home.

I really don’t follow that many blogs so I’ve picked my top three and I’m going to leave it at that.

Happy Sunshiney Days

Some things of interest

I was trolling Facebook this morning and I found some interesting things that I thought I would share because I know that some of my followers don’t have Facebook accounts.

The first is a Christmas one.  Christmas is fast approaching.  Lots of people tend to go overboard when it comes to buying kids Christmas presents.  I have never really been one to go too over the top when it comes to buying presents for my daughter and niece’s and nephew’s but there are some family members that do.  I found this pic on Facebook this morning and I think it’s an excellent philosophy to use when buying presents.  I know that most of my family have already bought presents for this Christmas but I am going to suggest that we all use ‘The Four Gift Rule’ when purchasing presents for next Christmas.

The other thing I found that I really wanted to share is this graphic on the percentage of genetically modified crops that each country produces.  Australia is down there as one of the lowest but when I saw the USA’s percentage I was shocked.  What do you think?

A Random Pawpaw

We were down in the garden the other day when hubby pointed out to me that there was a pawpaw tree growing in the garden.   This pawpaw tree was not planted by us and is in a part of the garden that has not been prepared for planting.  In fact the soil that it’s growing is actually from underneath a concrete slab that we had removed and replaced underneath our house a while back.  Actually I don’t even think it’s soil.  It looks more like clay. Once hubby pointed out this random pawpaw growing our garden, I’m instantly thinking this is excellent, we can transplant it into some better soil and we’ll be growing our own pawpaws.

Thanks to an awesome website that I frequent often, Tropical Permaculture, I was able to find out all I needed to know about growing pawpaws.  The good thing is that pawpaws are quick to grow fruit and fruit all year round.  They grow well in a frost free climate and enjoy lots of sunlight and water.  Perfect for a hot tropical climate like North Queensland.

Pawpaws can be male, female or bisexual.  Males don’t grow fruit however they are required for pollination.  So in order to actually grow pawpaws, you need a female and a male plant.  My first bit of bad news – I only have one plant.  The other thing is, they don’t transplant well, so moving it to another part of the garden is really not a good option.

I’m still puzzled as to how the pawpaw tree came to grow in my garden and as it’s not likely to grow fruit, I’m just going to enjoy watching it grow.

A random pawpaw tree in our garden

A little something about Christmas

Since Christmas is less than 2 months away, this is just a little something that I wanted to share with my fans and give you something to think about.

My first major challenge….

Recently we upgraded from a queen bed to a king bed.  Finding bed linen that is eco friendly has proven to be a major challenge.  Obviously, my first step was to jump on google and see what I could find.  I was very excited about the first website I came across. They had an Eco-friendly range.  Awesome!  This is exactly what I’m looking for.  Further investigation proves me wrong though.  Their eco-friendly range is made from bamboo, ingeo natural fibres and tencel.

Bamboo

At first bamboo seems like an excellent option.  It grows naturally without assistance from man.  It is one of the fastest growing plants in the world reaching maturity in about three to four years so it’s easily renewable.  It is also excellent for allergy suffers.  The downside is that because the fibres of bamboo are so small, they can not be naturally turned into yarn.  The only way to turn bamboo into yarn is through the use of chemicals.  So that rules out bamboo.

Ingeo natural fibres

Ingeo man-made fibres are derived from renewable materials such as corn. Ingeo can apparently be easily reproduced with little impact on the environment.  Thanks to wikipedia i found this description of how ingeo is made:

The process to create Ingeo makes use of the carbon stored in plants by photosynthesis in the form of dextrose sugar. The carbon and other elements in these sugars are then used to make a bio-polymer through a process of fermentation and separation.  The resulting resin, called ingeo biopolymer can then be extruded for use in textile applications.

Tencel

Tencel is claimed to be a new 100% organic fibre that is made from natural wood cellulose.  It is also 100% biodegradable.  To produce tencel, hardwood logs a chipped and chemically treated to create a pulp which is used to make fibres.  Not really sure how this constitutes 100% organic though.

The main problem with both Tencel and Ingeo is that they are produced by a petrochemical company.  So even if in fact they are eco friendly (which is questionable when you consider the info above), the money spent on these products goes straight to a company that produces petrochemicals, which to me defeats the purpose of buying them.

Wool

It was suggested to me by my good friend The Rabid Little Hippy to consider wool.  I wasn’t overly sure that wool would be suitable given the hot climate that I live in and the fact that even in winter the overnight temperature rarely drops below 15 degrees.  However, after some research, it appears that wool might be an option.  I have found a company called Aussie Wool Quilts who are producers of Australian made, chemical free wool bedding.  They use wool produced on their own farm and source some wool from nearby farms, but all wool used is produced organically. They also make quilts in different thicknesses to suit different climates, so I would be able to get a light weight one to suit this climate.  However, after emailing them to find out what the outer layer of the quilt is, I have discovered that it is non-organic cotton from China.  Although they did tell me that they make organic products for another company called Blessed Earth.  The fabric they use for Blessed Earth is certified bio-dynamic, but it is sourced from India.  It does however carry Fair Trade Certification.

I have discovered though that there is always a tradeoff to be made when it comes to Eco-friendliness. I’m thinking at this stage that I will be going with the Blessed Earth option because at least i know that the wool is grown in Australia under organic conditions and the cotton fabric, while sourced from India does carry a fair trade certification and is certified bio-dynamic.  I realise there are carbon miles involved in getting the products here but that is the tradeoff.  It seems near impossible to source a product that is made in Australia, is bio-dynamic and doesn’t incur carbon miles.

theroadtoserendipity

Trying to find order in all of this chaos

Rabid Little Hippy

My journey into self sustainability, eco awareness and living in country Victoria.

thetropicalhippy

A blog about going green in the tropics!

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