Sustainable Living – Food

It was back to school today for a one and a half hour session at the WEA on Sustainable Living. I did my morning chores and some gardening, had a lunch of tomatoes and lettuce from the garden, took a photo of Dora and Popcorn sitting neatly on their perch (a re-purposed curtain rail), and walked (sustainably – I hope) to the WEA in Gloucester Street.

There were 10 people in the class and we got to know each other by discussing two sustainable things we do now and two things we would like to learn more about. Everyone in the class is already very aware of many issues and practise aspects of sustainable living. Probably not as much as our tutor, however, who dries apples and elderberries on her roof and sea weed on her clothes line – all of which we sampled, forages for seasonal food, and uses the seed exchange – among other things, as I’m sure we’ll discover in the remaining five sessions.

We were asked how we would prioritise the following when selecting food: is it healthy, is it convenient, is it local, is it good value/cheap, is it fair-trade, is it non-GM, is it organic?

Then, we were given a variety of information showing aspects of food production, such as how much water is used producing it, which fish to buy and which to avoid, which foods use palm-oil – and the many names which disguise it on labels, the use of pesticides, emissions used in production, and so on. Then we looked at our prioritised lists again with much discussion.

Some of my efforts to live sustainably

A documentary about bees, Queen of the Sun, was recommended. I’m pleased to see it is on Kanopy which I can access with my library card. Also, this website about future living skills shows local activities and events.

I made my walk home more sustainable by visiting the Frances Hodgkins European Journeys exhibition briefly. I plan to visit it again after reading the book of the same name. Then I had a delicious organic ice cream at Rollickin Gelato in the Arts Centre and watched passersby and trams while I enjoyed it. On the way home, I called in at Turanga and climbed the four floors to the fiction section where I took out a couple of books. Home to the chooks running to meet me at the gate. I gave them watermelon which they love.

Sweet peas, honeysuckle and caterpillars

Every two or three days I pick sweet peas. I have two varieties, and the one with the thicker stems and more flowers has performed best, lasting well when picked.

The vase of sweet peas on the left was picked some days ago.

They smell gorgeous and look pretty amazing too.

More recently, the honeysuckle has begun to flower and the bumble bees seem to like it.

On a smaller scale, tiny caterpillars are beginning to appear on the swan plants. I put two more plants in as the wee critters look as if they need fattening up. This one looks large enough in the photo, but is only about one centimetre long.

In Alice in Wonderland the Caterpillar asks Alice, “What size do you want to be?”