Lightfoot Eco Store

We recently took granddaughter Ruby to see the training tall ship The One and All at the Port Adelaide docks.

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Whilst in Port Adelaide we visited the Lightfoot Eco Store at 257 St Vincent St.

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Run by Jo Seater with help from husband Mark, the store has been open since February this year providing people friendly and planet friendly homewares and lifestyle products to aid in reducing the footprint we leave on our planet.

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There is an amazing range of eco-friendly, sustainable and reusable goods in the store from silicone and bamboo lunchboxes to reusable straws in glass, steel or bamboo. There were so many reusable water bottles for sale I just had to get another to add to our collection. We got the one on the top right.

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The store also stocks natural products to use instead of commercially made plastic gear.

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We were most impressed with the sustainable and ethical goods made from sugar cane fibre waste including kitchen towels, facial tissues and toilet paper. Bamboo toothbrushes and facial wipes, natural sponges, and cornstarch, bamboo and palm leaf disposable party gear. We plan to return to buy some of the gorgeous beeswax reusable food wraps – a great alternative to cling wrap.

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There are some truly stunning bamboo products such as thick fluffy towels, ethical clothing, and beautiful bowls.

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There is also a great range of ethically made tote bags and beauty products.

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Lightfoot Eco Store also collects products normally considered non-recyclable waste. They have a collection depot for oral care products including plastic toothbrushes and toothbrush packaging, toothpaste tubes, dental floss containers etc; Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee pods; and cleaning and beauty product packaging including spray pump triggers, push pumps, beauty product tubes and face wipes packaging. 

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We came away with some terrific products, including a silicone ‘lily-pad’ to use on bowls rather than cling wrap.

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Ruby thoroughly enjoyed helping us shop at the Lightfoot Eco Store.

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We are not affiliated with the store in any way, we just like to promote stores that sell sustainable goods to help us reduce the footprints we leave on the planet. I did, however, borrow a couple of their photos from their facebook page as we had trouble with light on the day we were there, but I am sure Jo won’t mind.

 

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Spinach!

The time in between one harvest and the next is always difficult; the last of the summer veg are gone and the winter crop is still to reach maturity. It is during this time that spinach comes into its own. We have a patch out the front that is currently filled with  perennial spinach and rainbow chard – both heirloom varieties.

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Next to them we have some new plantings of Bloomsdale spinach.

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Given the wet weather, snails and slugs are an issue so the baby plants are currently cloched under plastic bottles with the bottoms cut off – a great way to reuse and they can still be recycled once their usefulness is over.

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We used the last of the Lebanese fingerling eggplants with the spinach in an amazing Vindaloo.

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First, I sauteed and onion before adding a couple of spoonfuls of a bought Vindaloo curry paste (sometimes cheating is just easier!). To that, I added a can of tomatoes, the diced eggplants and a mountain of spinach. I left the curry to saute for a good 30 minutes or so and then served it on a bed of rice, with yoghurt and coriander on top. Delicious!

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Another easy curry we all love Saag Paneer, but recently we purchased some free range lamb and so I used that to make a fabulous aromatic Lamb Saag. Firstly, I finely chopped an onion and a red chilli. In a pan with some olive oil, I gently sauteed the onion and chilli with some mustard and cumin seeds, then added the meat and quickly browned it all over before adding a can of tomatoes and a spoonful of turmeric. I let that simmer as I put 6 green chillies, 2 cloves of garlic and as much spinach as I could fit in the food processor and whizzed until smooth.

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Once the meat has simmered for 40 minutes or so I added the spinach mix.

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The colours are glorious!

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The green soon overpowered the red.

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I let the curry simmer for a further ten minutes or so and then served on a mix of rice and quinoa, with the obligatory blob of yoghurt.

Other meals we have had recently using our spinach and rainbow chard have come from my “go to” recipe source: Taste. I am adding their photographs below with links to the recipes.

We had a fantastic Herb and Spinach Penne using the spinach, chard and herbs from the garden.

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Smashed Chickpeas with Spinach is a favourite, not the least because it is so quick and easy to make.

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These Spinach and Ricotta Triangles take time but are so worth the effort.

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And finally, pizza! Our favourite is this Green Pizza but I deviate from the recipe by using a spinach and garlic pesto rather than the suggested basil.

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The same pesto is also great on a pizza with sliced potatoes, mozzarella and a handful of rocket.

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If you choose to make any of these recipes make sure you let me know how they turned out. You can also find more of my favourite recipes on my Pinterest.

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Who Gives a Crap?

Here at A Kailyard in Adelaide we are on a never-ending quest to avoid the big chain supermarkets, be sustainable, and give back to the community. Therefore we were thrilled to discover Who Gives a Crap last year, a company that ticks all three boxes for us. Who Gives a Crap delivers their toilet paper, tissues and paper towels right to your door – so no more supermarkets! (At least for loo paper.)

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The toilet paper is made from 100% recycled post-consumer waste and is totally biodegradable; it is also soft and thick, the rolls last for ages. Their products are chlorine, ink, dye, and perfume free. This means they have saved thousands of trees and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Who Gives a Crap is based in Victoria with warehouses in most capital cities in Australia and while the product itself is made in China, they ship directly to their warehouses so the transport emissions are about the same as they would be if they trucked it all over our huge country – so sustainable!

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Best of all 50% of their profits go to Wateraid  to fund sanitation projects in developing countries. Poor sanitation and the water crisis is the second biggest killer of children under 5 worldwide, so giving to Wateraid ensures people who need it have access to safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation. Basically, toilets are totally awesome as they save so many lives – so giving back!

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This graphic from their website shows exactly how great their impact is – I hope they don’t mind me “borrowing” their image but it is so powerful I had to use it!

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We received our first box of 48 in September last year, got a 24 box in January and have just bought another box of 48. As our household has three adults plus sundry visiting friends and family that is pretty impressive; I guarantee the toilet paper we used to buy never lasted that long! We have also purchased their bamboo tissues and plan to get some paper towels in the near future. Delivery is free if you spend over $30 and quick, our last box arrived the day after I ordered it. In fact we are so impressed with the product we gave a number of boxes away as Christmas gifts, the opening of which created much hilarity.

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So, if like us, you are striving to avoid giving your money to conglomerates, want to be sustainable, and want to help others then Who Gives a Crap is the company for you!

This post has been written as a way to share some of the ways we lead a more sustainable life. While we regularly shop at Who Gives a Crap we are in no way affiliated with it, nor were we paid in anyway for writing this post.

 

 

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Guerilla Gardening in Shanghai

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I have been rather neglectful of the blog this year as both Jamie and myself have had an increased workload, this has meant some things have had to slide a little to make room. One of the things that has taken up a lot of my time was my recent trip to China as part of an educational fellowship I undertook with two colleagues.

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On our first full day in China we took a wrong turn while walking to the Subway and ended up seeing some of Shanghai’s residential areas.

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The people of Shanghai are fighting the increase in pollution by greening up every available space.

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This includes lining major arterial roads with planter boxes.

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And filling indoor spaces with air-purifying plants.

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Given that space is a premium I was amazed to discover evidence of guerilla gardening. For the uninitiated, guerilla gardening is the act of gardening on land that the gardeners do not have the legal right to use. The land is usually abandoned or neglected and is used  by guerilla gardeners to raise plants, either for food or to beautify the area.

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After crossing one of Shanghai’s many waterways I happened to look down over the bridge and discovered a tiny urban farm next to the river and in front of a construction area.

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As the days went on I saw many more people growing food underneath two or three tiered roadways, along the highway to the airport, in between high rise buildings and along waterways – most of which I could not photograph as I was in a moving car.

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I will share more gardening stories from China soon.

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Natural Air Fresheners

A while back I posted a link on our A Kailyard in Adelaide facebook site to a blog post about using citrus seedlings to create natural air fresheners. Unfortunately, the link appears to have expired but I was pretty sure I remembered how to go about it so one day last summer I experimented with growing lemon seeds inside.

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First I collected the seeds from a lemon.

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Then I organised my pot – I used a leaky teapot – I first covered the bottom with pebbles for extra drainage, then filled it with potting soil, popped the seeds on top, added a few more millimetres of soil, watered it and put it on my kitchen windowsill.

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A week later the first signs of shoots were starting to appear.

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Three weeks later the seedlings were tall and vibrant.

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After 6 weeks the growth is lush and gorgeous. There is a faint scent of lemon in the air so it is clearly working; however, if you lightly touch the plants the glorious fragrance fills the room.

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After 8 weeks I have a little forest growing in a teapot and the smell is fantastic.  My only problem now is what to do with them when they outgrow the teapot!

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Back to Tickle Tank

We first visited Irene Stone-Pearce’s amazing home, Tickle Tank, in May of last year.

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We returned a few weeks ago, along with other members of the Happy Patch Community Garden, to learn the art of mosaics. The group is planning to mosaic the Happy Patch Wood Oven later this year.

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Irene taught us the basics introducing us to the tools of the trade and giving us easy steps to follow.

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Cutting the tiles was not nearly as easy as Irene as made it seem.

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We spent the morning making patterns from tiles which we were able to take home to eventually add to the wood oven.

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We also had ample opportunity to wander around the beautiful garden. Irene has introduced lots of new features since our last visit.

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An old tree trunk has been transformed into a “tree house”.

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There were also new additions to the interior.

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The children’s area on the mezzanine floor has a wonderful new wooden balustrade. The Happy Patch children had a wonderful time designing intricate paper planes and seeing whose flew the furthest.

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It was a grey and cloudy day on our last visit, but this time it was bright and sunny so we were able to capture some of the beautiful play of light Irene’s glass works create.

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Ruby had a wonderful time playing in Irene’s cubby house made from an old rainwater tank…

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…and eating gorgeous home-made hot cross buns.

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She and friend Abbey loved making their own art works.

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Hopefully we will be able to return to Tickle Tank for another visit soon.

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Community Garden Update and GSC!

It’s been a while since I posted about the Happy Patch Community Garden and given this Saturday was our monthly Working Bee and Produce Swap I thought today was the ideal time to do so.

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There was lots to do in both our own patches and the garden itself. One big job undertaken was the removal of a Callistemon that shadowed the shared community plots (I am pretty sure that is the right name for the tree, please correct me if I am wrong).

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People were kept busy weeding, watering, cutting up green waste for the compost heap, and organising for this year’s Spring Fair. After helping to remove the giant Sunflowers from one of our plots I wandered around admiring the wide variety of produce growing in the other 26 plots.

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The orchard is growing well.

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And there are plenty of herbs growing as well as the fruit and veg.

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There are also lots of flowers for the bees.

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One of our members experimented with  bits and pieces to make a mini insect hotel, a terrific idea!

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Our plots have not been as successful as in previous seasons mainly due to the neglect they suffered due to a very busy 2015 for us both. But we do have three Moon and Star watermelons.

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In our second plot we have the last of the tomatoes – an ‘ugly’ and an Amish – both heirloom varieties from Diggers, both very prolific; during the past two weeks we have picked over 2 kilos of these tomatoes.

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We also have a very small zucchini and a capsicum, I am not sure we will get much from either of them.

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The swap table is always well received. We added a bowl of tomatoes and some Lebanese eggplants and came away with some succulents, a chocolate mint cutting and a piece of shade-cloth.

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It was a beautiful day to be out in the garden.

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Ruby had a lovely time playing with the other children at the working bee.

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And as it is Garden Share Collective time and the theme is Preserve I will also share pics of the goodies I have made in the kitchen this past month.

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Apricot jam.

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Pasta sauce – made with the uglies and Amish tomatoes from the Patch.

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Plum and Port jam.

I will share recipes in future posts!

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