Sneaky Sip and Save the Planet

It was warm enough yesterday for Poppy to take all her piglets oout into their backyard.  The babies will come out with her for a while then scamper back under their warm light. Poppy has collected some sticky weed seeds in her tail again, I must deal with that today.
piglets drinking

See that cheeky piglet having a quick sip on the way past.


piglets and sow99

I think today is forecast to be even warmer – so I am going to clean the floors of the West Barn and prepare the big room for the tweeny piglets to move into when it gets cold.


Also today I hope to shift Aunty Anna to the bull and the two steers to the fields on  the West side – their early winter feed is waiting over there.  Although it looks like being warm (warm being above freezing) for a while yet we are beginning to move into the winter groups.

My autumn garden is doing amazingly well though – soon I will  be picking baby beets and turnips and  baby carrots and already we are eating the new kale and lettuce.  Yesterday I picked tomatoes!

The forecast for today is 78F/25C – in October. I am afraid that when winter hits it will hit us hard after such a long mild autumn .

Save the Planet. I heard an interesting and very short podcast yesterday about the rising use of the available resources that sustain life on our planet and what we can do to decrease our energy use and husband our resources. Stop wasting food he said. 1 in 3 calories produced using our precious resources of water, soil and fertiliser is wasted. That means a third of our water and a third of our soil and a third of our hard won organic fertilisers is wasted by the consumer.  Plus remember the consumer demands  of the planet are growing fast but soil and fossil fuels and water are finite resources. And in some areas very limited.

Lucky for me that I have pigs and chickens because I am the worst offender – I always cook too much. I grew up cooking for a family of eight, then had five children on my own and you know what my summers  are like – to go down to cooking for only two (even counting the portion for John’s lunch the next day)  is a very big challenge for me.

We all need a personal crusade, a code of living, a belief, a motto and this one is mine – “to grow and live and eat in a manner that sustains my body, my family. and the environment that my family will inherit”. This is written on the blackboard. It is not easy, it is a silent revolution. Usually unsupported. There is no fitbit around the wrist of my home to cheer me on when I manage a day without waste. So it is hard. But take heart because our contribution is important, each one of us can contribute to the health of our wonderful planet. Ourselves and in our groups if you are lucky enough to have a family or community group who will work with you.

Here are a few more things I took from this talk. It is all so very simple really.


  1. Cut down on wasted food. Set up a well managed pantry.
  2. Turn the taps off – do not waste water. EVER.
  3. Use less fossil fuels – this includes that product made from fossil fuels-plastic.
  4. Educate ourselves on how to obtain sustainably managed fish –  or our grand children will not be eating wild fish, ever.
  5. Plant trees every year or donate to the groups who do plant trees every year – the deforestation of this planet is terrifying.

I bet all of you, the readers of thekitchensgarden, do one or more of these things already.

I am planting trees for you –  I have plenty of room for our trees. It occurs to me (just this second) that maybe in the spring or fall you can send me trees if you want them planted for you? What do you think about that? The internet delivers?  I have a favourite site for native trees – Shall we think about the pros and cons of that?  (Or if you are close by come on down and plant your trees – we could have a tree planting day). Let’s think about that too.  For the spring.

I know I swing back to this every once and a while but I would like to personally encourage you: that every individual person counts when it comes to keeping our planet healthy. You CAN make a difference. It is  global but it is also individual. Just you all by yourself, join me in my silent revolution to eat and live with planet health and personal health in your mind. You can call it house health or backyard health if that makes it easier.

And please add to my list if you have any other simple ideas.

OK – enough talk – now to work.

I hope you have a lovely day.




42 Comments on “Sneaky Sip and Save the Planet

  1. Great post. I have been trying for the past while to cut down, on the garbage our house produces, especially food. Also have been reading a lot about plastic free and zero waste. I don’t think I will ever meet those standards but borrowing from them, it is hard. But some changes were so easy. I think if a lot of people made a lot of small changes that would be a lot of change, simple math right!

  2. I could not agree more. We try not to not waste anything. It is a challenge but a good one to work towards.

  3. Waste not want not! I agree with your thoughts and actions. Hopefully, slowfood and local food will become the norm. A lot of the food in grocery stores though tasty carry large carbon footprints. I do what I can and am inspired to find ways to do more.

  4. I would like to add: mend things. Even if that pair of jeans only cost $9, patch the hole in the backside, or fix the frayed hem. Darn holes in socks and underwear. Glue or screw a chair back together. That stuff.
    I’m lucky that so much of our household power is solar, that my mother taught me to be a frugal housekeeper, and that things grow very well here, so planting trees, bushes or flowers produces very quick results. I also choose to eat food that is locally produced as much as possible, and again, living where I do, I am very lucky to be able to access so much wonderful produce. Thank you for making us all think some more about preserving this planet, our home, and its resources.

    • YES. mend. i don’t know who said it first, but …when we say we’ll “throw it away”, we need to stop and
      think…..there is no Away.

  5. Do not litter, clean up your own rubbish at the park or beach. I have been known to make other people pick up their trash they drop. Laura

  6. Plastic is nearly impossible at a consumer level. It’s so prevalent in everything I have and use. Most of it made to be thrown away.

  7. Through community programs we have seen our waste go down considerably over the years, what with encouragement to recycle so many items. I still struggle with food buying, even going from cooking for two now down to one, which wouldn’t seem too hard. I am a vegetable person, don’t really have the means to grow my own so it is tough to balance using up veggies before they go bad with having to go to a store (my garden!) every few days for more. Lots of salads and roasted veggies here. Those I know I can get through fairly quickly.

    • The interesting thing about recycling is it just goes off somewhere else – and a Lot of it still ends up in the landfill anyway – the only efficient one to recycle is aluminium. And many of these recycling trucks go to the dump as well. i am not convinced. I wish i could melt down my own glass bottles and make them into bowls – wouldn’t that be great! c

  8. You’ve hit upon the environmentalist’s credo, Celi: “Think globally, act locally.” If we all take care of our own backyards, the effects will impact the world.
    Just got back from the farmers market. Cannot believe I was there in a t-shirt and shorts at the END of October. I saw an article last night talking about a polar vortex affecting our winter and spring. I didn’t read the article. Talk about too much information! I’ll make sure the snowblower is operational and hope for the best. For now, I’m going to enjoy my morning coffee in the backyard one more time. Yay!!!

  9. That little pig can hardly reach the teat – I admire the determination. I can’t help noticing that a lot of them seem to have pointy ears – perhaps you have a new breed of elfin pigs.
    I can’t imagine that they mean people like you when it comes to food waste. Yours all gets eaten. By food waste they mean people who over buy and throw lots of it away – leading to compostable food in landfill 🙂

  10. It’s always good to start at home, and I agree with Mad Dog: I can’t believe that you waste a thing, Celi! We try very hard, but it ticks me off so badly that in most stores we cannot choose to buy smaller amounts of greens and arugula, etc., and they all come in plastic boxes now! It’s very difficult but we have a local coop that helps, and there are some winter farmer’s markets around as well which is nice.

  11. At least when you have pigs and chickens and dogs, not many scraps go to waste. My mother also brought us up to be frugal, having lived through the German occupation and real hunger. Plastics and flights are harder. I do plant trees though.

    • I agree about the plastics and flights – it is almost impossible to avoid – but like you I plant the trees to cover some of the massive energy used in flying about visiting my families.. c

  12. Very thoughtful post C….thank-you for reminding everyone…that “every little bit matters” in our quest to conserve, recycle and reuse. I’m not sure if I ever mentioned it but there is a free downloadable…is that a word? quide from the Monterey Bay Aquarium that lets us know which seafoods we should choose and or avoid, depending on what region we live in. They will also mail out the free, small guides. They are incredibly helpful and small enough to tuck in one’s purse or pocket for traveling or eating out, as well. Our oceans are becoming depleted due to overfishing, pollution, etc. and it horrifies me that some species of marine mammals, fish may go extinct in our lifetime. It is the way some species are harvested too that harm many other creatures in the sea…called “by-catch”. These guides address all these issues. If we are going to eat seafood, we must try and only buy sustainably caught as well as those species not in decline already.
    Speaking of traveling…we always take a few of our cloth shopping bags, so as not use “plastic or paper” bags in other places, just as we do at home! And we always use our towels, sheets, etc. more than once in hotels. “Every little bit Matters”
    PS. Darling Elfin piglets! 🙂

  13. I made my husband get up and come in here to see those pictures of the darling piglets. You can’t help smiling at the sight of them.
    We have two bins in our alley–one for garbage and the other for recyclables. Our recyclable bin is about 2/3 full at the end of the week and our garbage not even 1/3 full. This is because we are only 2 and my husband is diabetic. We are at the produce dept at least twice a week because he makes an enormous salad for dinner–lettuce, mushrooms, cuke, red onion, red peppers, goat cheese, radishes, cauliflower, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, black olives, tofu, egg (white only), carrots. I buy as much organic as I can.

    We microwave one grilled chicken breast each from the deli and add that to the salad. And that’s it. For him. I can’t eat half that stuff–I’d be in the bathroom the entire evening.
    Sadly, however, we are pretty much forced to bag these products in plastic. Sometimes I’ll put red peppers, cukes, red onion all in same bag but then the checker has to differentiate them which isn’t fair. We do bring our own cloth bags though–including the six-pack for wine.

  14. Darling photos of darling piglets, especially because they have those pointy Star Trek ears.

  15. We still tend to cook for an army, as we had three adults (and sometimes more visiting) and five kids. Now we freeze the extra and don’t have to cook as often. I try to look for plastic containers which I can reuse around the house as some of them are very sturdy and have tight fitting lids or are a good shape for holding household items. I did see the “recycling” here and it’s nothing but a different truck taking it to the landfill, there isn’t any recycling really going on. If the cardboard from food containers is clean and failry sturdy I will make things with it (book covers, backing boards etc). I know it could be shredded and put on a compost heap but we can’t have one in the temporary quarters we’re in at present. The squirrels got the corn I had planted in the big pot, they didn’t get much, mostly a dozen of so kernels on each ear. It was fun though seeing that it grew and produced something. Those are fine sturdy little piglets. I do have another place to get fruit and nut trees, they’ve been in business for 200 years – quite a record ( and the plants are mostly hardy much further north that the area you’re in.

      • I only wish I had a place to plant, nothing but concrete and ashphalt where I’m at presently. I did have a couple mulberry trees from Stark Brothers which had wonder fruit, large and juicy, started sort of white then almost black when ripe.

        • Can you have pots? I know it’s not the same but I grew in pots and composted in one, too, for a couple of years.

          • I had a big pot with Indian corn, didn’t get much, but it was fun. I’m in temporary quarters, we were supposed to be in permanent ones by now, but now I’m hearing maybe in spring. I thought about pots, but I also thought about getting someone to help me move them, I suspect I better wait till we’re actually in a more permanent residence before I start planting anything.

  16. If Celi will allow me: from today onwards everyone will be able to watch Leonardo di Caprio’s roughly one-hour-long highly regarded documentary ‘Before the Flood’, easiest perchance of YouTube but available for free on all social media outlets. Please don’t laugh at the source: LdC’s work over a year is highly regarded and I just hope my local transmission holds out this afternoon. Celi’s five comments: take them seriously – if already you do not, why not . . . what every single one of us does counts . . .

  17. I go perking along with my own endeavors to save the planet, while family and acquaintances poke fun and tell me I’m over the top about the measures I take. It is disheartening to hear – especially from young people – that it is a waste of time. It’s even worse that so many folks engaged in big agriculture profess that herbicides, pesticides and GMO’s are necessary. I get overwhelmed by it all. I feel like one wee little person fighting to make a difference.

    • The good thing is that ALL the young people who come here over the summer think like us and they are movers and shakers they will make a difference I am sure of it. And luckily there are many of us – wee little persons – and when you look at the rest of the world there are heaps of countries making a real difference though they are small, smaller than many american States – America is just so big.. However you and I and many of the Fellowship are winning in our own backyards and that is the most important thing – our Silent Revolution is from the ground up..

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