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2 August 2013

Weekend reading

During the week, Dawn, a very generous reader, sent me a copy of a New Zealand magazine called Good. 

The undeniable fact that I have the most obliging and interested readers hit home for me again this week. The petition we all signed about SPC Ardmona struggling to keep Australian grown, tinned fruit and tomatoes on our supermarket shelves has gained almost 1400 signatures. I sent the petition link to our prime minister, our Productivity Commission and to SPC Ardmona managing director Peter Kelly. Peter was pleased with the support and he made our email available to the SPC Ardmona staff. I hope it helps keep our Australian farmers producing some of the best fruit in the world. If you haven't already signed the petition, it's not too late.

I'm at the Maroochydore library today talking about my favourite subject, The Simple Life. If you're over there, please introduce yourself. I've had a few questions about bread during my talks and it seems to still be giving some folk trouble. So next week I'll write about one of the favourite subjects here - bread. I'll do another beginners loaf and see if we can get the new bakers on the road to trouble-free wholesome bread. Another subject for next week - Perfection. It seems like a good thing but it's not what it seems.

I started writing my new ebook for Penguin earlier this week and it looks like it might be out this year. And good news, this one is for international release! So I'll be busy writing most of the weekend but I hope you have a beautiful time with those you love.  Thank you for your comments this week. As ever, I, and many others, appreciate your input here.

= = = ♥  = = =

And just to remind me, yet again, that my readers are not only interesting and obliging but also generous, Dawn sent me a copy of a magazine previously unknown to me - Good magazine. What a beauty it is!   It's full of great articles about slowing down, crafts, ethical clothing, good food and much, much more. Thanks Dawn! Here's a sample - What's success for you? 
The murmuring cottage
To follow up on the Jack Monroe link last week - the ten pound weekly menu
An inspirational woman  
Joe Blow next to King Richard?
I love this post about abundance and generosity from Not Quite Amish. What do you think?
Tweeting death
Our beautiful wildlife

From the comments here this week
Greg from Our Simple Lives
Fran at Francis Lee Studios
DC at Frugal in Norfolk


  1. Hi Rhonda,
    Thanks for raising our awareness about the SPC Ardmona plight. It really stuck with me all week and I have blogged about it today and put the link to the petition on it.

    You inspired me to do some research of my own and if you care to have a read it is

    Warm regards

    1. I read your post Jan, and commented. Keep up the good work.

  2. Yes, thanks for letting us know about the petition during the week. I have put it on my blog too and sent out a request to my friends to sign it so I hope they have as well. The more signatures the better. I hope you have a restful weekend after your busy week, Rhonda. Is Hanno feeling better again now as I imagine he would have been feeling a bit weak after the blood loss recently?

    1. Thanks Chel. Yes, Hanno is feeling better now although he's still a bit weak. He's taking it slow. Thanks for asking.

  3. Oh, Rhonda - now you've gotten me hooked on that Murmuring Cottage - I'm in raptures!!

  4. Thank you for the talk you gave on Frugal and Simple Living at Beerwah library on Wednesday. You made it all so interesting. I follow you blog each day and find I learn lots, but it gave me a real boost to actually sit there and listen. I now have my daughter-in-law bringing over some empty plastic milk bottles at the weekend to hold the laundry liquid I'll be making. I've already used your Blanching and Freezing Guide on the back page of the booklet, I sautéed some mushrooms as I had a bag of them from the mushroom farm - more than I could eat in one go. I bought some local produce on the drive back to Brisbane and blanched them for the freezer.
    Thank you again Rhonda. Most enjoyable and informative talk on a subject near to my heart.

  5. My weekend reading will finally be your book Down To Earth as I received it from a beautiful friend for my birthday on Wednesday!! :) It's hard to put down! Thanks again for this fabulous community!

  6. It was my pleasure Rhonda. I had a feeling you hadn't seen it before and I'm so glad you like it.

    Dawn x

  7. I can't wait for your ebook. Down To Earth is not available on Kindle in US right now :(

  8. Good on you Rhonda for your getting that petition and letters out there. It greatly saddens me to see the fruit trees (some quite old) being bulldozed and it just feels so wrong doesn't it? Our food supply should be so valuable to us as a country and I worry about the future food security. I've started buying oranges in bulk online direct from the farmer and they are so fresh and delicious. ps - got my mum to sign it too :)

  9. Your blog is always so inspiring, Rhonda! Hooray, I'm delighted that the new book with be published for international release. I can't wait!

    I'm glad Hanno is feeling better too.

  10. Hi Rhonda,
    Just had to say that 'the murmuring cottage' is absolutely beautiful. Love it. Thank you =)
    Buying local here is a struggle. Produce that used to be commonly grown has been replaced in my adult life by foreign goods. It used to be that apples, grapes and pears were only seen at Christmas when the groceries imported them in crates. Now they are abundant throughout the year even at stalls in the countryside =( It is cheaper to buy kiwis than our own local and delicious sugar apple or custard apple. Very depressing. I guess because so few people actually grow our local fruit and veggies these items are scarce and therefore overpriced.
    Most items or ingredients are also simply brought in in bulk and re-packaged here so you can be easily fooled into believing that it is our own from start to finish. Our food import bill is immense and the government only bring up the topic at election time and make half-hearted promises about helping local farmers.
    We have lost much of our traditional ways and goods because of the richness of our oil. Easy money. Easy food.
    Interestingly up to the 1950s there was a flourishing barter system in our sister isle of Tobago. There was a collapse of the West India Bank around 1840s (Even up to the 1897 there was still no bank). No credit from the bank meant no hard cash in the island so a barter system developed. Women from the windward villages would lug provisions on their heads to Plymouth to exchange for fish, which the Plymouth fishermen were glad of since the poor soils around the village were unproductive. Similarly, the the corn, peas, and coconut oil of the leeward areas was taken to Scarborough Market to be traded for ground provisions , meat, fish and manufactured goods. It was often such that after walking 10 miles or more with a 150lb. load of provisions on her head, a woman to market in the town would be able to exchange her produce for other foods, but sell very little for cash. The little currency she received would be used to purchase salt, lard , soap and matches at the shops, which did not permit barter. An interesting facet of the barter economy of Tobago in the 19th and early 20th centuries was that there was no money value on goods traded. A piece of beef was just that and not valued at any monetary cost and would be traded for dasheen or coconut oil regardless of the scarcity of the former and the commonality of the latter. There was no fixed rate of change. If I had something and you had another thing, they could be equally swopped with both sides being satisfied.

    Big hug for Hanno and another for you!

    Trinidad & Tobago

  11. Oh My goodness, Rhonda. The pictures from Murmuring Cottage are breathtaking. I want to go back and study them whenever I have more time. There are hundreds of them and I didn't see even one that I didn't absolutely love.

    Thank you so much for providing that link.

    Diane in North Carolina

  12. So glad you listed the Murmuring Cottage. I have been loving the photos for months now. So nice to see so many capturing the beauty that is this big world.

    About your petition. I find it a bit odd that a country like Australia that I believe has a climate similar to my home of
    Southern California, and Florida would want or NEED to import fruits. Seems to me someone may be getting kickbacks for importing. At least that is the way it sadly turns out here is America sometimes.

    blessings, jill

  13. So Murmuring Cottage is just an endless supply of photos from heaven? I love it!

    As for the 10 pound weekly menu, that is $17AU. Love? The simplicity yet range of the menus using many fewer ingredients than we habitually use for a week's meals. Gorgeous organization and efficiency. Hate? Tinned goods. Where are the vegetables? There were 6 apples on the table. Hubby and I eat an apple per day each. Our bananas alone cost $8 this week. But I am intrigued by the simplicity and am going back for more of his recipes and will try to translate his efficiency to fresh goods.

    Lots of good reading here, thanks!

  14. Thanks for posting 'Joe Blow next to Rechard III'. This all happened about a mile away from where we live and we have really enjoyed following the whole discovery!

  15. Hi Rhonda,
    Thank you for bringing the life of Doctor Elisabeth Svendsen to the attention of so many! When I first started reading blogs about 4 years, yours was one of the first I came across and it encouraged me to take my first steps to living a more simple life. It therefore made my day to see you thought my post about this inspirational woman was worthy of a mention.
    Sarah x

  16. Hi Rhonda,
    I wanted to email you direct, but couldn't find a link, so I'm posting a comment here instead. I just picked up this week's junk mail out of the letterbox, and lo and behold on page 14 was a full page advertisment for SPC Ardmona products! On a back ground of the Aussie flag, with the words "Support Australian Grown" in capital letters!! Do you think they've seen your petition and are trying to get into the good graces of consumers? I can email you a pic of the page if you wish to see it.
    Gina in Melbourne


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