Friday, November 20, 2009

Like the Arabian Nights, my 301 st. Post!

Michelle of Rambling Woods has bestowed this
beautiful award on a number of us who care about
our planet with the proviso of posting on how we
make a difference.

I have just surpassed 300 posts so on this milestone
it is only right and proper that I tell you a little of why,
where and how we live.

We live on a 500 acre farm and keep breeding cattle and
sheep and grow some timber. We set aside a portion of
land to plant to trees every year as well.

All animals are pasture or hay fed and have the bare minimum
of vaccines or chemicals. The sheep need a vaccine annually but
our cattle are healthy without intervention.

We grow our own food as far as weather conditions allow.
One yearI cropped a hundred weight of strawberries from one
strawberry bed and we had raspberries by the bucket load.

Last year, at the end of our 6 year drought, I lost each
and every atrawberry and raspberry plant as well as
all our currant and blueberry bushes.

I do not mind a few grubs on the outer layers of my
vegetables and only use companion planting and natural
pest deterrents. Onions amongst the roses confuse aphids
so they do not breed, any that do, are taken care of by the
lady bugs.

Needless to say, fertillizers are supplied by sheep. cattle
and horses, What better source could there be? The
vegetables have supplements from the poultry run.

All our water comes directly from God and we store it
in many very large concrete tanks with lids. This year
we added two large tanks, an extra 32,000 gallons.
We now have sufficient stored water to be able to be
stretched over 2 years for our two households.
One can, after all, never know what the future holds.
We have lived off our own water supply now for 38 years.

In good years we have given masses of fruit and vegetables
away. We keep a small orchard of various fruits as well as
just over a dozen citrus trees, oranges, mandarines, blood
oranges, ruby grapefruit, pomelos, limes, both for gins and
tonics and Kaffir limes for their aromatic leaves, as well as
cumquots for marmelade.

Our air-conditioning is provided by curtesy of the grapevine
and rose covered pergolas the length of both sides of our
long and thin house. We only heat the one room we live in
and sleep with open windows all year round.

We buy as little as possible from supermarkets and augment
our food supply from the farmers' market insead.
Our daughter is a fibre artist and natural dye maker.
Her dyes have no toxic elements to be disposed of. They
are truly natural and any residue goes on the compost heap
as she uses the metal of the dye pot as a mordant.
Her book ECO COLOUR by India Flint is being reprinted
in the USA next year. Here it is already in its second edition.

Both these ec0-prints are from her last exhibition.
Needless to say , her two daughters are also conversant
with her methods and are given to designing and making
their own clothes mainly from recycled preloved clothing
from op-shops.
Each garment and each piece of dyed cloth is unique and
a piece of art in its own right.
We also prefer to wear natural fibres, wool, silk, hemp, jute
and cotton although cotton uses chemicals in its production
which we do not like at all.

You may have noticed that I am not a shopaholic
except perhaps where oldfashioned roses are concerned.

To sum up, we have to date improved the degraded barren
land we bought 17 years ago and have native animals like
kangaroos breeding here where there were none before.

Finally, I would like to pass on this lovely award to the
following bloggers, all of whom I admire. You all deserve it
and are in random order.


Kathie of Kathiesbirds
Celeste of Celestial Ramblings

Weaver of Weaver of Grass

Nina of Nature Remains

Carol of Photo Phase

Gaelyn of Geogypsy

Montanagirl of Montanagirl

Mary of Faith Fabric and Photos

Tammie of Spirithelpers

Tom of Wiggers World

Isabel of A Room of One's Own
Please keep on making the world a better, cleaner place.


  1. This is wonderful Arija! My goodness I had no idea of your busy life, and you truely are a preserver of our great land.
    Thanks for this delightful insight to your life and family.

  2. Congratulations for the award and I am so thrilled to see the bounty from your land. truly remarkable. You are a remarkable woman Arija!

  3. I think you are the most deserving of this award.

    Yours is a life of example, and I read your post and realize how you have touched my life- you make me want to be better, more conscious about the world and my place in it.

    Your wise ways teach me how to make mine a positive presence in the cycle of life. I have yet a lot to learn, but my heart is open and willing.

    Our friendship is very dear to my heart.


  4. Becky
    thank you, As one changes oneself, so the world changes around one.

    not so remarkable, once you have lived through a famine, you learn to manage.

    we all have a lot to learn. The positive changes happen, as you know, once we realise that we most of all need to change ourselves.
    You, my dear know and understand so much of life that I am in awe of your perspicacity.

  5. This was fascinating.I would love to visit your farm,but alas,distance and our lack of traveling will cause a problem.I am glad I can visit via the blog.

  6. do really live natually and I thank you for helping save the planet! Thank you for thinking of me, but I don't think I deserve this award...I don't even grow a garden! It's pretty pathetic to say I care about the planet and recycle next to this list! Living through all those years of famine must have been very hard. You are a "survivor" for sure!

  7. Congrats on the award and what a wonderful retrospective of what you have accomplished on your land! I must admit, it takes a hearty soul to do what you have done, and it is a lifestyle committment to be proud of.
    And much the way my grandparents lived.....which I miss. Commercialism doesn't hold a lot of interest for me; I like nature and think it should have respect and more protection.
    Bravo Arija!


  8. What a great photo story of your farm. I truly admire the natural living that you do ~
    Thank you for the tip on the onions and roses!
    You truly live in God's Grace & Blessings ~~~

  9. Arija, I am so impressed with how you live so green and have passed along these wonderful values to your daughter. Your crops all sound so delish. And you even grow limes for you gin and tonics. ;-) I know this all must be a real challenge with your drought conditions yet you meet the challenges and move on. Your Mother taught you well and the Mother Earth continues to teach you as well. Happy to know you have more water storage space.
    Congrats, you deserve this award!
    Thank you for passing it along, I picked it up from Michelle and will post something soon.
    So glad I'm getting to know you better every day. Hugs!

  10. Oh, Arija, a very deserving award and even more awards! Congratulations on your post. I cannot imagine the vast property you live in and the ways and methods of how to use each avenue to make use of nature. You are a family of artists. I have visited India's link.
    I have enjoyed seeing your bountiful crops!

  11. Thank you so much Arija.
    Sorry about your losing those plants - but that's farming for you isn't it. We have to take the rough with the smooth as they say.

  12. Ruth
    I too would love to see how and where you live but not only distance but an inability to use air traffis makes it mpossible.

    it is not how much or how little we do that is important as long as we do the best we can. We still drive cars and tractors.

    I too miss the life of days of yore and the old respect for the soil yet would not wish to give up my washing machine. We are still connected to the power grid and telephone and I would dearly love to be free of the outside electricity supply. Maybe one day.

    chives make very pretty borders as well. I also grow leek 'all amongst the roses'.

    I also enjoy getting to know you. I find mother earth an excellent teacher.

    we have moved up to this size over many years, one gets not only used to it but craves the space insulating. The proximity of civilization was too loud for us on our three acres, so we got this place.

  13. What beautiful photos! And you are now recovering from a six year drought. How awful for you--but what a blessing that drought has been broken.

    Congratz on the award, too.

    It is great to read about your life and how it is for you.

  14. Thank you very much my friend....

  15. Congrats on the award, and great selection of bloggers to be forwarding it on to. Wonderful post full of the goings on at the farm.

  16. Vielen Dank für den sehr interessanten und auch faszinierenden Bericht!


  17. A lovely post. Wonderful to see how all you produce on your farm and with natural techniques. Nice to hear about your daughter's fibre work.

  18. Oh goodness, Arija! First of all, congratulations on your 301st and this wonderful award, which seems to have been made just for you. I had no idea where or how you lived, and now that I know, I bow down to you and kiss your feet. In fact, Al Gore should kiss your feet. Ces and I are at bitter odds about Mr. Gore, but I think we would both agree that you reign supreme. You and your family are inspiring, and I am in complete awe.

  19. I'm amazed and impressed.
    This is the Lifestyle hubby and I are looking for to live in a few years.
    How long did it take you to learn all the necessary things, especially about the animals?

  20. Arija congratulations.

    You are so wonderful and you live by your actions. I knew that already though. I just knew it.

    I love you.

    Renee xoxo

  21. Oh.. thank you so much for accepting the 'green thinker' award and for writing such a lovely post. I had no idea as to everything you had done and have to do for your own survival. You must be so proud of you daughter. I will have to get the book. Will you post when it is available in the US?.... dear friend, You are such a nature lover and you have passed that on.. Michelle

  22. I lost my comment.. I wanted to thank you for accepting the award because I know how you feel about awards, but you wrote such a lovely post. I had no idea how much of a struggle it has been just to keep your farm going. You are truly a green thinker and a nature lover and have passed that down to your daughter. Will you post when India's book is available in the US? I will buy a copy... Michelle

  23. Congrats! So good to see where food comes from!

  24. Thank you so much for the lovely award. All your home grown produce looks so delicious, not to mention extremely photogenic :)

  25. What an inspiring post, Arija, I have read it several times. The award was tailor made for you. You are a remarkable woman and I wish I had known someone like you when I was seeking a mentor. Thank you for thinking of me, although I know I don't deserve the award. Truth be told, I haven't even done the best I could. You do possess extraordinary wisdom, and I believe you have lived an uncommon life. Thank you for sharing parts of yourself in your blog.

  26. Arija,
    I loved reading about your lifestyle! How honorable you live, share and care for the land and critters on it! That must have been sad when your berry plants died! You absolutely deserve this award and I bow to you! Thank you for including me in the list of people, I feel honored and you have touched my heart.

  27. I loved reading about your farm, Arija. The photos are wonderful, too. What a great way to live. I didn't realize the weather was that mild there.
    Your daughter's work is interesting. How did she get started in that? This was just a beautiful post.


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