Thursday, April 9, 2009

Of bees & farmer markets :)

I am due more than a few blog posts! :)

After lots of ranting & frustration last week, things seemed better the next day already.

'Don't think I'll eat no _plastic sausages_ later on too,' Sis said, 'for the Zero Waste week' - (magical words!) 'so be it - but later on, no.' She paused. 'Unless you cook me supper every day.'

Hmm.. point taken!
My dear sister seems to lack supper initiatives & resorts to _plastic sausages_ - I've given the matter some thought, & realized we need more zero waste alternatives for supper (& I MAY even cook some suppers! oy!)

Then, Mum & I visited the FARMERS MARKET - finally!! Pure bliss!! Naked food everywhere!! :)

I felt so... happy!!

I had really started to feel guilty for eating anything non-zero-waste recently, so seeing huge tons of zero waste food (even goat dairy products - cheese & yogurt! & meat!!) I was really thrilled!!

The organic products aren't cheapest, but at least one CAN buy zero waste AND organic!! :)
/okay, goat milk & meats aren't organic, but at least they are naked!/

I also got the schedule for the organic health food store, & so on Tuesday a miracle happened:

I was soo happy!! :))

I also met an amazing shop assistant, & we chattered about zero waste alternatives & soapnuts (she suggested trying vinegar on the stains!) & other fun things!!
Best of all, she also shops with her own bags & had the low-down on some shops! (where you can buy the produce this way, & where you get kicked out! /sigh/)

So on Saturday I bought some yummy vegan sunflower mayonnaise and another spread (in glass jars!), zero waste pumpkinseeds (yeah!!) - a bunch in a paper bag & a 'starter set' for my own 'naked' pumpkinseeds from a tiny old lady who wrapped it into a piece of an old magazine! lol!!

I was asked if I am a journalist since I keenly scribbled all the zero-waste options (and prices!) into my trusty old notebook..!!
(How else am I to remember everything?)
So now I was even offered media contacts - WOW!! :)

I explained about the zero waste week & some people were interested - a guy selling organic stuff even asked what would be a better solution to cellophane, I said no idea since I'm still learning.. Hopefully something will be figured out..

In the meantime, it seems I'll have to make my own pasta!! (& am dreading it!!:)
Also, we still haven't sourced any naked butter, so we'll have to make that too! (but Dad keeps eating the cream!!)

When I look at the bin - it looks somewhat disheartening - there is still quite a lot of stuff in it, & some of it smells a bit! /sigh!/
It is pre-holiday & 'spring cleaning' time, so I'm hoping that's at least partly the reason!

When I look at the cabinets, raisins & some previously bought amaranth, millet puffs (& rice noodles - don't ask!) seem in iffy packaging, other stuff is mostly in paper..

Alas, Mom *did* buy store-bought yogurts again (at least some of them are organic so we can test them!:), & quark.. & heavily wrapped store-bought chicken! /sigh/
(She said, 'I forgot to bring the container for it, I had no intention to buy it!' - as if that is an excuse, hmm?! )
& butter & yeast-in-unrecyclable-wrappings.. (I didn't dare to buy yeast-in-a-jar in the health food store, it was in iffy-looking tiny balls-?! & well, we don't wanna risk the potica..)

She did get the cheese with the reusable container, and 2 naked avocados! And *she beamed proudly*: hankies in cardboard! lol!
/It was a huge thing for her, as she previously got 'em in plastics! often in small-10-hankies-a-piece-plastics within the outer plastics!/

(Apparently, compared to what the girl I met told me, my family still seems to have some potential! :) She's fished out recyclables out of the bin in front of the house!! & her brother was shocked: 'What will the neighbours say?' We both agreed they might even learn something!;)

On a happier note, a neighbour is willing to give me beeswax for my zero-waste-candle project, and mentor me about the bees!!
Uncle did give permission to renovate an old beehive & keep experimental trial of bees there!! :) YAY!! (Both he & Dad are scared of the bees, but Mom & Aunt & Cousin support me whole-heartedly, lol!)
(and to rummage the attic!! YAY!! apparently there's even some old linnen pre-yarn & a repairable spindle!)
We even found an old Grandpa's diary/notebook/notes about the production of the farm & the crops & payments & debts & such in the old beehive.. I was really touched..

Uncle said he was going to fully demolish the tiny hut one of these days - so I came just in the knick of time to save it! /not sure if it's worth saving, though Dad said it could last a year more, for my experimental bees!/

I talked to Aunt about maybe having a reuse station locally.. She thought she could mention it to the council..

Another Aunt offered some sources for more local meat directly from farmers... (not organic yet, so still looking a bit.. at least there are options..)

Also, a not-for-profit internet TV has approached me to do stuff for their studio?! /a bit bedazzled about this, & not sure how it could fit into my bee-keeping schedule etc?!!)

So many projects & only 1.. me!! :)

Alas, the way to my sister's and my dad's heart as well seems to be doing the dishes!! /sigh/
& yes I did wash the windows with water & vinegar today! :)

Mum still can't be fully trusted on the purchases (got some organic cookies in cellophane from the Farmers Market!) so I guess I'll have to do those for Zero Waste Week myself! (And we'll visit the Farmers Market again!)

Anyway, life seems pretty exciting, & even if I do not fully make it for the zero waste week, we've learnt a lot through this!
(We've avoided the farmers market before as it's 30+km away & at a most inconvenient time-Saturday morning, but it's worth it to go at least 1x a month!! and visit Granny at the same time..)

Also, why we are surrounded by tons of farms & still have to buy most things wrapped in plastics in shops, flown in from across the planet, totally evades me!!
(maybe stuff for future projects, lol!!)

And how was your week? :)

must dash to make some zero waste carrot-beetroots-apple juice! yum!


  1. Layla - what a real positive and upbeat post. That's fabulous. By the way do you get microfibre cleaning cloths in your neck of the woods (e.g. ecloths)? I use one for cleaning our windows and they're great. They don't even need vinegar. Just wash with a wet one and dry with a dry one. Only problem is they are often sold in hard plastic packaging. Otherwise they are great :-D

  2. what an amazing week you have had, Layla and so many zero waste options for you! You're doing brilliantly and remember - it's not JUST YOU. It's all of us, cheering you on, supporting you and knowing you can achieve this.

    So proud of you :)

  3. Aww, thank you both so much!! :)

    Mrs A, yes we do have microfibre cloths.. (I agree about packaging & not sure about their end-of-cycle either) but they do the job.. I added a splash of vinegar cause some of the dirt seemed tricky.. & I just recently read about it lol (well, that's the case with triple glazings sometimes, especially if the 3rd glass panel is nailed on & not open-able)

    we're still doing some of the cleaning today so must dash-

  4. I missed this wonderful post...
    I am very happy that you have found many solutions for your Zero Waste purchases! I'd like so much to have here a Farmers' Market, but it happens only rarely that someone organize it. Usually I go to the market of the district, where I buy fruit and vegetables without packaging, naked or in paper bags... Or we do our purchases from the local exchange community, but there are still so many things wrapped in packaging, although the committee has set up a group that studies how to reduce them! We really hope!

  5. Thank you for your lovely comment! & glad to 'see' you again!! :)
    We don't have a Farmers' Market here, there's a Market 1x a month, the local Tourist Information Office organizes it. (maybe yours could too?)
    Alas, it's mostly clothes and only very little food..
    The Farmers Market I described here is 30 km away, in Granny's town.. Better than nothing, especially if you combine with visiting Granny!
    What is the local exchange community? sounds interesting!!