Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Friday, September 2, 2011

On my mind...Community Gardens and Freecycle

Many thanks to Rhonda at Down to Earth for this concept.

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. To take part, post a photo on your own blog, write a short caption explaining it, and link it back to here from your blog by saying you're part of "On my mind". Please write a new post, don't link to an older one. When you've done that, come back here and add a comment below, with  a link to your blog.   

Community gardens are popping up all over the place. I encourage you to search for one in your local area, or even start one up. .......I have visited a few around here....and one I have recently become more involved in is rather close to where I live...

It is called the Barrack Heights Community Garden. I became interested a while back, and met some lovely ladies while I was there; But on returning to my car (Up the hill) I became very cautious of my steps in the longer grass; after stepping into an unseen divot........ If you know me, you will know that I have a few health issues involving my hips, a recently badly broken ankle and leg, and now Osteoporosis.  With all this, I need to be careful of my footing and had decided to make my visits to the community garden on intermittent occasions, just making the occasional visit........

Aileen rang me the other day, telling me that another workshop was scheduled...The last meeting that I was to attend had to be cancelled, so; as I was to attend that meeting....Aileen rang wondering if I was still interested. She made me most welcome and I was told that no-one expects anyone to do tasks that they can't handle. So I thought I would give it another go...and go along to meet the rest of the gang. 

I stayed almost until stumps...I was enjoying the company of others who had the same interests so much....and that's never a bad thing. I came home with plants of Comfrey, Banna Grass & Yarrow....

On my suggestion after seeing they were down to their last bag of fertiliser...I offered my services as a driver to go gather some bags of Horse Manure from the stables close by.....so I will be meeting up with Cliff today and off to the stables we will go....I have the trailer, and he has the muscle.....the Community Garden will have plenty of free horse manure....and I will feel good knowing I have helped them...after being gifted all those plants, how could I not offer? That's just the way I think.

Community Garden

Community Garden 

I went along; bearing gifts of a bag of lemons to share out....
which I was recently gifted from Illawarra Freecycle Group. 

Freecycle is a world wide organisation that allows everyday people like myself to share and recycle unwanted goods to other people who are looking for listed goods. No money must change hands and no alcohol or animals can be listed.....I'm sure there are other rules. I have offered to freecycle many Aloe Vera plants, along with unwanted kitchen items, linen, a bike, and other items which I cannot remember right now...
I have also been gifted many items through friendly freecyclers like...... 
and even linen and now lemons and cumquats.

Like I said; No money changes hands...but I can't help but want to give an offering of thanks in some way, usually in preserves or baking of some kind....Of-course the freecycler doesn't know in advance that I am offering them something in return, as that would be against the rules.....It sure is a nice surprise for them though when I turn up with something little to say Thanks. "Thanks for picking my request for your item that you are wanting to recycle, I appreciate your generosity".

Do you know about Freecycle? ......Have you used it before? 
Would it be something you would use in the future?


  1. That's a lovely story about the Community Garden. We have been involved in a couple of Community Gardens as Mark ran them first as a TAFE outreach programme and the 2nd one as a Work for the Dole supervisor, but of course it was for the whole community , and attracted a diverse crowd which is so exciting. There is something for everybody as you said.I haven't used free cycle yet but have visited the website. I think I'll give it another go- thanks for the reminder.

  2. I've used freecycle several times (Massachusetts, USA), on both the giving and receiving ends, and love it. In fact, this very day I arranged for my office manager to offer "leftover" bookcases, etc. on freecycle, as we've just moved to a smaller space. Someone will have some nice quality office furniture at the "right price" :)

  3. I haven't had access to anything like these programmes (yet) but don't they sound wonderful?
    Good on you for getting involved and this is simply a great post.
    Mine's vegies too ;)

  4. Oh I wish there was something like that near me. I would so love to be part of a sharing community. Well done for getting involved. Take care in the rough terrain. Maybe you could get someone to craft you a sturdy recycle stick of some kind to support you at the garden. But that's not always everyone's cup of tea. It would suit me, I would use it to poke at things. TFS

  5. I use free-cycle here. It is an OK group. I am glad yours is such a benefit to you. Best of luck looking forward to seeing what you do next.....

  6. We have freecycle here and it has been great to give and receive.

  7. What a blessing about the manure! Although we have a wonderful supply of sheep and poultry manure, I also gladly take my neighbors horse manure. He likes the deal too!!

    I am like you whenever I get something from freecycle. I try and take a crocheted dish cloth as a thank you... as the items they provide are things I can use.

    I came from D2E but I have been anonymously following you for a good while!!

  8. You're truly amazing NellyMary! I love following your blog and am always motivated to bigger and better things when I read what you've been up to despite your mobility challenges. Can't wait to read your next exciting instalment! Also love Friday on my mind from D2E
    Greenie x

  9. Purplepear: What a wonderful job for your Mark to be involved in. Pat him on the back for me.

    Quinn: Bookcases are always a valued item here on Freecycle. Good for you that you suggested it to your boss. Well done.

    Sue: It is a great thing when one can donate your unwanted goods to a person who really needs it....I often wonder about who gets 'first dibs' when donating something to a larger 'charity shop'. I love what you have done with your asparagus...I have an asparagus bed too...but it is early days yet...next year I shall harvest.

    Chris: You could always start one up in your area...I'm pretty sure the instructions are on the website....It's actually not a bad idea to have a sturdy stick to walk around with, but knowing me I would leave it everywhere and never find it...lol When I was on a walking stick a few years ago, I never lost it, but back then I couldn't walk without it....Now; I'd keep putting it down to do something, and keep losing it. I'd forget my head if it wasn't screwed on.

    Kids and Canning Jars: Who knows what is next...That's the exciting thing about blogging...There's always something good happening somewhere.

    Mel: It's always good to hear of another freecycle member....Good for you.

    Humblewife: Hi Jennifer, I was wondering who that was...sneakin' around the back yard..lol...Welcome to my blog, I'm glad you made yourself visible. Hope it's going to stay that way...looking forward to many more comments from you I hope....Oh, and I do love free manure.

    Greenie: Thanks, I do have a few challenges, but I never let them stop me, until I can't go any further...lol...That's my problem I suppose...never stopping....lol....thanks for popping in from D2E.

  10. Oops, I just wanted to thank everyone for such a great response to this post.....Hope everyone has a great weekend and the weather is nice for you all.

  11. I love love Freecycle, lent out my dehydrator, gave away a futon bed and a fridge, have received lemons and just today received some vacola jars and earth garden magazines - will pick them up tomorrow. I quite like answering requests - its surprising what some people are after. Love the sharing. I am part of a vegie group that visits each others gardens - as we all have the space for one - wonderful sense of community and sharing - feels like how things are meant to be done.

  12. Kirsty, that is a lovely thing you did, lending out your dehydrator...I have also received Vacola Jars through freecycle. I would love to be part of a veg group visiting other gardens...I enjoy seeing others sharing in the same interests too.

  13. Sadly neither of these are available in our area :(

    I think we live on the wrong side of Australia!

  14. I love Freecycle today I picked a compost bin, sure its a bit old and a little cracked, but who goes around judging compost bins. I have given away heaps of stuff that we no longer need or have use for and in exchange I been on the receiving end of gardening magazines, and heaps of glass jars. It's a truly wonderful concept.

  15. Tania: that's a shame, maybe you could start one up...there is great instruction on their web page...

    Juggler: Freecycle sure is great, I recently put out a request for a Kafir Lime cutting, so I don't have to pay the nursery price....and I got one.


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