Dear friends

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Rose passed away at 2am January 10th 2017. She had been fighting advanced breast cancer that had spread to her bones and lungs. The last few weeks were spent in great pain. Her palliative care team put her into a semi-coma some days ago to block out the pain She died peacefully with me at her side.

Rose greatly enjoyed interacting with her blog friends and the “family” at Down to Earth Forum.

Please remember her fondly and continue to be inspired by her words.

I am not sure exactly how blogs work but I will try to keep it open for a few months then shut the blog down.

Good Bye from Rose.


Tony (her husband)

Simple Home Year: Food preserving and storage — a preserving calendar

Sally Wise taken by Veronica Youd

We grow sufficient leafy vegetables, tomatoes, herbs to supplement our purchases from markets and greengrocers. Space restrictions limit the amount of fruit we grow to some lemons, the occasional strawberry although we do have some new plants in.

Subsequently I tend not to be aware of when some crops are at their most bountiful so it may only be when a friend kindly hands me a bucket of fruit or I pass a box of discounted tomatoes in a shop that I become aware it’s a good time to preserve. Having a job outside the home also limits my time so I’ve decided to be more proactive about preserving.

This year I am reading the delightful Sally Wise‘s A Year on the Farm. I like that the book is linear in its exposition — month by month and, within that, week by week we learn what is ready to eat on the Tasmanian farm accompanied by many great do-able recipes from Sally.

Of course where Ms Wise lives in Tasmania is considerably south of where I live but there are also great harvest ideas at The Seasonal Food Guide and at My Green Australia

I decided that the best thing to do was bring all of these together so I’m now in the process of combining all of these into a Seasonal Preserving Calendar that will be tailor-made for our needs and food preferences. By combining Sally’s recipes and harvests with Rhonda’s recipes, with what is happening locally and considering what we like best to eat and give as gifts I hope to end up with a custom-made Calendar. I’ll share it with you when it’s done.

It would be interesting to know if you have a solid system for managing your preserving?



Mind games #3: The addiction that passed me by

2016 is the thirtieth anniversary of my computer use. As I was barely 30 when I started using these things I well recall the newness and excitement of personal computers, the learning curve to use a mouse, type an email, work through the text block of the early Internet.

I’m old enough to remember the excitement of not only colour television but colour Internet with pictures and clickable links. The stuff I taught in high school Computing Studies is now ancient history even though it was a solid foundation for understanding that a computer is simply a binary device.

My senior students (hello Year 12 1988-2000) would recall algorithms which are a process or set of rules to be followed in computer and other operations. It was part of my role to teach the kids to write algorithms in pseudocode and as flowcharts, then they’d write their computer programs.

In the years little has changed except for the sophistication of algorithms and of coding. And now, of course, Facebook and other social media algorithms are written with the intention of making us addicted to their platforms.

Continue reading “Mind games #3: The addiction that passed me by”

Finding my tribe #Brydie at Cityhippyfarmgirl

If anyone espouses the philosophy of “bloom where you are planted” it’s Brydie of who, until very recently, lived with her family — Mr Chocolate and the Three Monkeys — in a two bedroom unit in the city.

Continue reading “Finding my tribe #Brydie at Cityhippyfarmgirl”