...prepare for me Autumn is about preserving, preparing my home and kitchen for the cooler months to come. I have been busy with Rosehip Syrup, freezing fruit picked from the garden and foraging, Dill Pickles and making fruit leather. I am going to write another preserving post this autumn so watch this space!
...reduce in April our washing machine died after a sterling service for fourteen years of use we kept various parts of it to reuse and sell on. It had two large springs amongst its parts which
...green I have not used bought shampoo or conditioner for nearly three years now, I was forced to give them up due to the ingredients effecting my skin. I have been using bicarbonate of soda and cider vinegar during that time varying the quantities to find what worked for me. I get my hair cut about every six months and have to have a fair bit cut off each time as the ends are very dry. I could of course blame the bicarb and vinegar but I knew it wasn't that. I take the children swimming every week, I get in the pool with them and my hair gets wet in the pool absorbing all the pool chemicals which are really difficult to wash out. Over the summer we use our village pool which uses very little in the way of chemicals and my hair is totally different as a result. I decided I needed to do something about the destruction that the pool chemicals were having to my hair. I found a few methods that you could use and have tried one of them at the end of this month. All the advice suggested wetting your hair before getting in the pool which apparently inhibits the absorption of the chemicals into your hair and washing it before it dries, both of which I did. The crucial bit tho' is that I took some Vitamin C powder, yes you did read that correctly, to use as a rinse after getting out of the pool. I dissolved a teaspoon of powder in a pint of water and poured and rubbed this into my hair to get rid of the smell. After one attempt it does seem to have worked, my hair feels as it did in the summer it remains to be seen as to whether it works in the long term, I do hope so.
I mentioned making my own toothpaste last month several of you asked about it. I am using eggshells as I have a constant supply, I also thought I was going to need to make some more this month but I have it seems to go further than I would have expected. I guess you can't see into a tube of toothpaste to know exactly how much is left!
...grow despite the autumn encroaching my garden continues to produce food for us to eat. We are still harvesting potatoes, courgettes, cucumber, salad leaves and herbs. The french beans have pretty much finished and the broad beans probably have one meal left on them. I harvested a good crop of garlic, this surprised me as it was sown into the wettest, soggiest soil back in January and honestly thought they would mostly rot. I just need to get them dried now. I also harvested my onions, they were the best crop ever, in that they all grew but most were the size of a golf ball or smaller. I think perhaps I didn't water them enough. I am going to pickle the smallest ones, I know that you are meant to use pickling onions for this but I don't fancy peeling and chopping a dozen onions each time I need some for a meal!
...create I have been knitting quite a bit this month as I had a week away which gave me lots of time. I have knitted up two pairs of slippers, a hat for my youngest, the shawl I started last month, and I am slowly working my way down the sleeves of my shalom. I am now ready to cast on the pattern that I mentioned in 'discover' last month, it could be some time before that happens as it is way down the queue. I cut out some pieces for some sewing up a month or so ago which have sat where they are for weeks, I have been working on our weekly rhythms this month but haven't worked out where sewing fits into that as yet. I also have two other projects that I have bought material for that need time spending on them too, Christmas will soon be on us so I need to fit it all in somehow.
...discover earlier in the year I spent quite a bit of time finding out the dates of various festivals and celebrations from different cultures and religions as thought it would be interesting to try and include some of them into our learning. This hasn't happened much this year as I have not been focused enough on them, but this autumn we have observed a few already. The Autumn Equinox was at the end of September and it was interesting to read up and learn about this festival and how it has been celebrated in the past. We have put our own stamp on it with music, dancing, and enjoying food, always a good combination.
...enhance despite needing to take a step back from this for a while I managed to fit in a weekend for a local guide group assessing a duke of edinburgh expedition for them. It is always a pleasure and often gives me a few hours to myself something I don't get very often.
...enjoy we spent a week visiting my parents this month. They live far enough away that it is not possible to visit for the day and a weekend feels so short. We travelled on the train this time, the children are old enough for me to do this on my own now as they can carry some luggage and get on and off the trains unaided. I still felt like a donkey with all the luggage I did need to carry up and down the stairs to get to our platforms. The children thought it was a great adventure. We travel a fair bit by train but not usually that far. We had a lovely week away, it is always a good rest for me, the only holiday when I don't have to think about food, but I still help with the cooking of course!