Being Frugal with Fermented Vegetable Scraps!

I haven’t got very far with culturing vegetables yet (though right now I have cabbage and carrots fermenting, my first batch of water kefir on its second ferment and second batch on its first, and yoghurt – which I’m making every other day right now – just finished and setting in the fridge), but this seems like a great frugal tip:

A jar of shredded cabbage with scattered grated carrot, fermenting in brineOne more tip that some people don’t think of is to save those vegetable peelings and scraps. Carrots, zucchini, parsnips, celery, broccoli and cauliflower stalks and more can be washed well and cultured.

To do so simply set aside your vegetable scraps for a few days in the refrigerator until you have enough. Then wash them really well since they are the roughest parts of the vegetables. Then chop into small chunks and throw into a jar. Make a brine with a water to salt ratio of 1 quart to 3 tablespoons. Pour the brine over and allow to culture. Makes a great multi-colored condiment for your plate.

Like in many aspects of kitchen work, culturing can be done frugally and sustainably with only a small amount of extra effort. Waste not, want not.

From Cultures for Health: Getting Frugal with Cultured Foods.

(PS I haven’t actually decided to revive this blog as such, but this seemed too long to put on the Sustainable Suburbia Facebook Page – which was my original plan – but not quite right for Sustainable Suburbia itself. So here it is. Maybe there’ll be more, maybe there won’t :) )

Sustainable Living Blogs Linky Lists

Sustainable Suburbia Sustainable Living Blogs List screenshotI’ve been playing with the idea of setting up a Linky List of Sustainable/Simple/Slow/Self-Sufficient Living Blogs* for a while now. I haven’t seen such a list anywhere (although I’ve found short lists here and there that individual bloggers have published). I think the idea of community is essential to the sustainable lifestyle, and while ideally this will include some ‘in real life’ community, online community can be of huge value also.

It’s taken me a while to figure out just how to structure this list. What I’ve done, is created a bunch of Linky Lists with different specialities, all under this one Sustainability theme. SOLE food, homesteading, crafty hand made and so on. I thought about doing it by country or limiting it to Australia (I would also love a list of Australian blogs – maybe I should add an extra one for Southern Hemisphere?), but there are too many awesome Northern Hemisphere blogs to exclude them. I also thought about making it slightly more complicated, where each blog gets its own page which can be categorised as many times as you like (eg, Australian, SOLE food, urban homesteader, sustainable parenting), but that seemed too complicated and much work for me.

So Linky Lists it is.I have added a few blogs already, but if you find yourself there and a) you don’t want to be there or think you should be categorised differently (plenty of blogs will fit into more than one category), or b) you want a different picture or title, then please just add yourself they way you’d like to be, and send me a message and I’ll delete the original listing.

Please do go add yourself if you think your blog could fit into any of the categories below. I would also love it if you would promote (or at least mention) this on your own blog, to get the ball rolling!

Instructions

  • Please choose no more than two, or at most three categories, that you fit most comfortably under (one is also fine). You should only choose three, if you fit comfortably under one of the general topics (urban or out-of-town homesteaders or parent-blogger), but also focus closely on more than one of the specific categories. Some bloggers may fit a little into all these categories, but many have a particular focus to their blog – those are the ones that should be in those particular categories.
  • Type your name (if you like) and blog title into the title field – if you list yourself twice, please use the same title both times.
  • Join the Sustainable Blogs linky listsIn the usual Linky List ettiquete, please create a link back to the list page or the Sustainable Suburbia home page from your blog. Thanks. Feel free to use the button to the right, or just use a text link.
  • I’d also love it if you would promote this list in a post, so we can get as many bloggers represented here as possible.
  • If you have any suggestions for how this could work better, do please get in touch.

Categories

If you have a website that isn’t really a blog, but is a resource that you think should be here, add it under the last list. If there are a lot of them, I’ll start a separate ‘resources’ Linky List.

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*I could add in eco-friendly or green lifestyle, but they don’t start with S now do they?

The first Canberra Urban Homesteader’s Group meeting and whatnot

Today I attended the first ever Canberra (& surrounds) Urban Homesteaders meeting, and it was really awesome. We had about nine people attend, interestingly eight women and one man. I’m not sure what they means!

There were a whole lot of different skills and variations on the homesteading theme, with probably the one common feature being the desire, and/or plans, to do more.

Nigerian Dwarf Goat, Photo by 'Just Chaos' (flckr)Conversation veered from chicken house designs to garden plans, discussions about food preservation to hunting feral goats. Or raising cute little Nigerian Dwarf goats for milk. Bee keeping came up to, though none of us currently do it. I learned that you can only harvest native bees’ honey in the warmer climates where there is plenty of pollen for them year ’round – down here in chilly Canberra they can only produce just enough honey to see themselves through the winter. There’s none to spare for hungry humans. Oh, and there were a couple of architects there who design sustainable houses! Maybe one day we will be able to afford to have them design us an extension to our house :)

We each introduced ourselves with a bit of our homesteading story, but typically I didn’t feel I did a very good job, covering our currently defunct vegie garden, but failing to talk at all about our fabulous solar system, our focus on energy efficiency, our somewhat nebulous plans to collect rainwater, or my current sort-of-focus on learning to be just a little bit more handy – though I did finish the rib section of the hat I am knitting for Eliane, while I was there.

A while ago (probably several years in fact), Rhonda from Down to Earth had a meme going asking people to write a little about where they are on their journey. I never got around to it, but maybe I will do it now!

In other news, we still have not go our solar system turned on, but supposedly the inspection will happen before the end of this month, and then we will finally be self-sufficient in electricity at least!

Where I got my yoghurt information

This post is just by way of an acknowledgement, because I’ve written a few posts about my yoghurt making experiments, but could never figure out just where it was that I got the milk powder tip… well it was from Christine at Slow Living Essentials. She has a great two part post about making yogurt. It’s also in the comments on that post that I first read about using UHT milk to avoid the heating and cooling step – which I think I had attributed to my mother (but she says she doesn’t do that).

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