Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sustainable Living in August: Hand-dipped Beeswax Candles

 A short introduction to making candles with beeswax a few years back was an inspiration enough to dabble with my own candle dipping project on a hot August day. Honey harvest of the season is in progress, with some coming in July, and the final collection in mid August after which point bees will be left to rest and get ready for winter. Mid August in cold climate is the time when most blossoms will be finished and despite balmy weather, with few feeding options left for the bees to explore. With each honey harvest there will be beeswax (that is if using topbar hives - more on them later), a substance important to the bees but often discarded by the busy beekeepers.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Washing Clothing by Hand

Inspired by my recent stay at Sustainable Settings Ranch in Colorado (a ranch, farm and educational center all folded into one vibrant and inspirational setting) I am returning home to begin doing what was on my mind for a while now - washing most of my clothing by hand. With a toddler in tow, I know how often the easiest way to clean a child's room is to toss everything in a clothes' hamper; or how an item may only feature a small spot of food or dirt, yet the whole thing gets washed.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Early Fruit Compote - Green Apples, Tart Plums and Unripe Peaches Medley!

This compote is very timely for in late July when gardens are overflowing with fruit, some it still unripe. Birds are beginning to peck at peaches before they are ready and tasty; racoons are raiding trees for the ripest fruit; plums are showering on the ground - some fleshy and sweet, others still tart and hard. Apples are nowhere near being palatable, yet trees are so heavy with fruit that fruit thinning is needed badly to avoid overproduction. All that fruit and not much to do with it! In permaculture this is called "The Problem is The Solution" - so here is one way to use all the unripe bounty - Fruit Compote for a tasty summer  drink.