|Baset of crabapples and granny smiths|
|Draining the pulp|
For some time now we have been collecting up all our metal and aluminium cans as part of our street recycling of glass & metal, and today saw the end of this project for the time being.
Pat, Peter & Denis, got stuck in and sorted out the huge woolsack into metal and aluminium, loaded all into the trailer and deposited with Nationwide Scrap Metal Recyclers in Levin.
The result was 35 kgs of tin cans, and 27 kgs of aluminium cans, a grand total of 62 kgs. We were paid $71.70 in all, which will go into our “street kitty” to help defray costs of the projects the street has been involved with.
The result of our recycling of glass and metal has meant that these items have not been collected by the KCDC, we have disposed of them ourselves.
I have finally made some kawakawa ointment. With an enormous amount of kawakawa plants growing on our property, and knowing of the healing properties in the leaves, I decided to google the web for a suitable recipe for making an ointment. This is what I found:-
A large hand full of kawakawa leaves, as many as can be crushed into the palm of hand. These should be the leaves with the holes in them, as the bugs know which ones have the goodies in them.
250 mls of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
250 grams of Beeswax (approx)
Soak the leaves in the oil for 24 hours, then heat the oil to a very low temperature, (just warm), then stir and crush the leaves, do this for about 20 minutes.
Then remove the leaves, and raise the temperature slightly, but not bubbly, and add the beeswax in small amounts, stirring, until desired consistency. I would suggest testing a small amount like one would do with jam until you are satisfied you have the right consistency.
Take off heat then put into small jars to set.
Mine turned out a bit firm as I had put a bit too much beeswax in. Oh well the next batch should be spot on. Hence I call it Kawakawa Salve.
I have asked my daughter to try this on my granddaughter's eczema as it is supposed to be very good for healing eczema, especially children. I have been using it on my dry lips, and it certainly is great for that, as at this time of year I find my lips get very dry and crack. It should be great for any dry skin areas.
Puha, also known as sow thistle, is a green plant often found growing as a weed in your backyard or for sale at your local community or farmers market. This lot was picked on Bobby and David’s property and took 5 minutes to gather. Have a look and see if you have Puha growing on your properties, before you pull it out or weed eat over it, consider picking and cooking it. If you do pick it, serve it with pork bones for a delicious meal for the family. It can be a FREE healthy meal for the family.
If gathering from your backyard, PLEASE make sure that what you're picking is indeed puha - check the photo at the start of the post, take a look online or ask a someone from the iwi. You'll need a large fistful per person. Cut off the heads, any flowers and the bottom of the stems. The stem contains a milky coloured sap; eaten raw, the stem and leaves have a bitter taste.
Cooking your puha
Key Medicinal Uses – from http://www.digherbs.com/puha.html
Internally – Puha has been used as a blood purifier. It is also used for hemorrhage, constipation and cervical abnormalities. In Traditional Chinese medicine, it is known to clear heat and toxin from the body, invigorate the blood and stop bleeding, clear damp heat and to cool the blood. In western herbalism, the herb has been used as an abortifacient, to treat cancer, diarrhea and infections.
It is anti-inflammatory and calms the nerves. It is said to be a cure for opium addiction. It is good for the liver and to promote milk production in nursing mothers. It is also a mild laxative and narcotic. The herb has also been used as a gynecological aid, to promote menstruation and to treat fevers. It has sedative qualities. It may also have anti-cancer qualities. This herb has been used as a tonic to support the systems of the body.
Externally – Puha is used for boils and carbuncles. It can stop bleeding and has been used as a poultice (made from the leaves) and as a remedy for toothache. The latex sap can be used to treat warts.
Other Uses – Puha is eaten raw or cooked in salads or other dishes. The milky sap was used as chewing gum by the Maori people of
We now have our ceiling insulated with the sustainable Knauf Insulation's EarthWool. (see previous blog dated 8th May).
This insulation is unlike Batts as the insulation arrives in a long roll and is unrolled in the ceiling like you would roll out a carpet. This completely covers all the joists, creating a nice snug fit.
In the short time since it has been installed we have noticed that the house is much warmer, and we haven't needed to put the heater on in the morning at all, which is something we usually have to do, as everyone knows we are now finding it a bit on the nippy side night and mornings now.
We do thoroughly recommend other people in the street consider having it installed in their homes, if theirs is getting a bit old, or they don't have any installed, and of course it is made easier with the Government's excellent subsidy off the cost.
All in all we are more than satisfied that we had made the right choice on this insulation, and we should find that we save on electricity also.
Finally Peter has replaced all the old filament light bulbs in our house with eco ones. The first attempt at a photo shoot ending up with Peter falling off the ladder and taking a lot of skin off, but now fully mended was reluctantly allowed to venture up the ladder again.
Hopefully these bulbs will last a lot longer than the old ones as we always seemed to be replacing them. So, perhaps cost-wise, having to replace the old ones quite often, and the eco ones not very often, it would probably cost the same price in the long run.
This gives us an 80% power saving on lighting.
This day saw the final distribution of the Native seedlings we have been collecting, potting, and labeling over the last 3/4 months.
All of the varieties that we have gathered have come from our own gardens and woodlands in Te Roto Road. We had already given away approximately 50 or so to folk at the "Sustainable Home & Garden Show".
So, today we delivered 14 or so different species of natives, total of approximately 350 trees to the Nursery of the "Friends of the Otaki River", at Riverbank Road.
The varieties included; Totara, Karo, Kohekohe, Pittosporum, Cabbage Tree, Five Finger, Lancewood, Kawakawa, Taupata, Pohutukawa, Lemonwood, Karaka.
Denis Harnett, (on left), Peter Campbell & Campbell Andrews, (on right), from Te Roto Road, were assisted in the unloading of a trailer and small truck by Mr. & Mrs. Eric Matthews, and one other lady, all of the friends of the river group, who over the years have planted thousands of trees from Crystalls Bend down to the river estuary.
Most of the seedlings donated will be held for the Wellington Regional Council, and the group headed by Mr. Graham Campbell, and it is proposed that they be planted around the stopbanks and the areas where the Recreational Lake is being developed.
We have just recently completed our first prototype of a Solar Oven Box.
We were very interested in the display of these at the "Sustainable Home and Garden Show", and took aboard some ideas from Geoff & Clyde and decided to go ahead and give it a go We will be paying a visit to see Geoff and look at some of his other types, and we may then proceed with one or two other designs.
We are currently conducting some tests with our first effort, and when we get a real good day we will have our first "cook-up.