Here is a little of what has been going on around the homestead recently as I link up at Christine's Slow Living Essentials.
January ended with my 44th birthday being celebrated in our traditional way far from the maddening crowds. We treated ourselves to lunch at Mariana's in Stanford which was superb. They grow all their own veggies, source local cured meats and cheeses and wines. Really good eating.
February started with our 23rd wedding anniversary while away and was an amazing time where we could really connect again away from the hustle and bustle of our very busy lives. This being said, in my quiet moments I know that this busy season will pass one day and we will again live the slow life we enjoyed.
Food eaten this month was cooked from three sources - my children's free range meat business, our garden and Earth Fair Market Tokai pickings. Seeing that I am there every Saturday morning to set them up to sell their meats I just do a quick spin around the market and chat to the sellers and buy what I can. Fresh breads from the baker, organic veggies I can't grow from Shaun, other veggies from Michelle, smoked mackerel from the fishmonger, smoked Chorizo from Rudi...20 minutes and my shopping for the week is done.
This month saw me making granadilla butter as a friend kindly gave me 4 shopping bags full of fruit!
My sons made 8 batches to sell at the market. A jar sells for R25 and can be used on ice-cream, in tarts, on scones or muffins...we enjoy it by the teaspoon too :)
I also made fig preserve from our figs. This tree was transplanted from the front garden two years ago & is happy in its sunny spot.
Dill and coriander seeds were harvested, lemon verbena dried for tea and curry leaves from our small tree dried and stored.
Pumpkin vines were removed and the 30 butternut and 5 pumpkins stored in the pantry.
We decided it was time to fix up our chicken coop. Our coop was long but not high and now that the kids are all big we needed to make something that they could walk into upright and clean easily. We broke down the previous two we had made over the last 5 years and reused the wood to make this one below. We also moved the Wendy House to be their overnight roosting space. This shed has been in our family for 17years and has been variety of things from a little girl's playhouse to a garden shed and now a chicken house.
I have for a long time desired more hands in the garden. With my eldest working three jobs, my son busy with his GED and my daughter busy with her Gr 9 and a big workload I new the the work would be too much for me and my littlest. An answer to prayer came in the form of Sam, a young Malawian man. Sam is a well spoken experienced gardener who I can trust to work carefully in the vegetable garden. He cleaned out all the summer plants that were spent, dug and raked over the beds and sowed the following: beets, red onions, brown onions, carrots, turnips and beet.
I also designed and made my herb garden that I have been planning for a long time. I hope to blog about it soon.
While on our recent holiday to just outside Gansbaai in the Western Cape we stumbled onto a desperate situation that we couldn’t ignore. This old chap arrived on our chalet doorstep the first night and then spent the next week with us, and we brought him home for medical care and have made him part of our family along with another teen kitten.
While there we cared for him as best we could as he had gooey eyes, battle wounds and was very thin. We contacted the resort manager to find out if there were vets in the area that we could get aid from and he told us that his wife had been fighting an ongoing battle for 5 years for the 250 feral cats that live at the resort.
With no help from the local community she has tried to raise funds for sterilization and for a feeding scheme but to no avail. She cares for 19 cats directly who feed at her home each day, have their babies in her back garden which now houses a kitten nursery and self medicates then after fights or other illness.
We have now teamed up to come up with a proper solution to the problem and I have an appeal to all who read this blog. We need to sterilise all 250 cats. Animal Rescue Organisation will do the cats for R250 per cat. This involves spending a week there, trapping, sterilising, giving rabies injections and releasing.
We need to set up a feeding scheme where any funds left over or collected after the sterilisation campaign can be allocated for food. Permanent residents around the resort will be given the food to feed to the cats that are already eating scraps at their homes.
Any further funds collected will go into a separate budget for medical needs. Many of these cats have FIV, Chlamydia and Snuffles. Besides for this, there are territory wars between male cats. And sadly some uncaring people trap and hurt the cats.
Even readers in other countries can help out by depositing funds either into our account or via Thundafund here: https://www.thundafund.com/franskraalferals
Donate directly into our bank account: Capitec Bank 1373312554 Branch Code: 470010 Account name: Frans Ferals Savings Account
I know there are so many causes that are greater and nobler than this, but this is the one that is before us now. You can follow the happenings with this community endeavour here on Facebook. You can also help drive traffic to the crowd funding page by putting this code in your side bar for the next 42 days until the deadline arrives:
So that is the month that was! Hope to be back here blogging regularly soon.