Wednesday, 29 February 2012


Making your homemade tomato sauce is remarkably easy, very satisfying and hard to go wrong with. Actually, in most cases, we don't stick to one particular recipe. The way we make it generally depends on how we feel like or what herbs we have in the garden at the time.

Here is the instructions for our basic homemade tomato sauce for you.

Firstly, wash your tomatoes. We don't always peel off the skin. However, if you prefer yours to be skinless, then boil whole tomatoes only for a minute or so and then put them in ice or iced water. This procedure will be quite helpful in skinning your tomatoes.

Some people may prefer to take the seeds and the excessive water off tomatoes but I definitely don't enjoy the idea of taking all that goodness out of it. I prefer mine to include it all. If you want your sauce to be seedless, then cut the tomatoes at this stage and scrape out the seeds and the water. Draining the water will help you in making a thick sauce (but even this doesn't convince me to do so). You may also try to use the drained off tomato juice for your other meals so that you do not waste it.

Now, all you need to do is to boil your tomatoes and simmer it as long as you like. If you want it to be thicker, then simmer it longer so that more water evaporates. If you prefer it runny, then you don't have to cook it as much. Also at this stage, add some herbs to this mixture. We often use 'Italian herbs' or a mixture of basil, rosemary, a small amount of sage and some thyme. We grow a few types of herbs in our garden and therefore we have the luxury of using them fresh. However, if you don't have fresh herbs, then just use dried herbs.

We mostly use our tomato sauce fresh. However, it is possible to make a big batch and store it for later use. The best way to store them is that after your sauce is cooked, put them in sterilised glass jars. To prepare the jars, you need to wash your jars and their lids thoroughly. Then boil them for some time (approximately 10 minutes is appropriate) (if you have a water bath canner, you can use it). After removing the jars from the hot water, they are ready to be filled in with your delicious homemade tomato sauce. Allow them to cool down at room temperature before placing them in your refrigerator.

Tomato sauce recipe

Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Even though my title states that I am writing about a 'language activity' today, this activity is not only about language improvement. This is one easy and fun activity that helps with language, confidence, imagination skills and more. This game suits kids that are preschool aged and above the most.

What you need for this activity is;
  • a jar
  • words cut out of magazines, newspapers, flyers etc (or hand written)
You or your children (or together) decide which words go into the 'word jar' first. Then cut them out of magazines or write them by hand and put them in the jar. You can add more words or change them as you go. Your children/students take out one word at a time (possibly one word a day would work well) and then using that word they make sentences. It is a very open ended activity and you can adjust it to your needs or like. Your child can be asked to make up a story using that word, prepare a 'show&tell' presentation, use it in an arts&crafts activity, use it in writing and so forth. Another idea is that you start a little made-up story and ask your children/students to complete your story somehow using that particular word in it. Another possible use of this game is that your children take out two words at a time and somehow use those two words in the same logical sentence or story depending on how much challenge is welcome and can be handled. The options are endless and as long as it is made fun, it will be very beneficial and enjoyable.

This is an activity that a friend of mine used to play with her two daughters when they were much younger. I am looking forward to playing this game with Mr. Junior sometime soon but I may add some pictures associated with words as he is not able to read words yet even though he has recently started to recognise a few simple words.

Note: This activity can be used by adults learners of languages. All you need to do is that you put some written words in a language that you are trying to learn into the jar and take them out one by one whenever you get a chance and try to remember the meaning of the word. You can also go a bit further and make sentences or stories with them if you are at that stage. This activity will enhance your vocabulary as well as your comprehension and grammar skills orally and/or written.

Please take the time to share your variation, experience or tips of games and activities that can be used for language learning here with us. Alternatively, you can e-mail me ( You may even be able to feature here with your activity/game idea.

Enjoy learning something new today!

Monday, 27 February 2012


button craft
If you are like me, who love colourful buttons and have a lot of them at home for various projects, and also like doing something simple yet fun and skill building with your children, you are sure to love this activity. You can of course adapt it to your taste or a particular theme or the materials you have at home.

What you need for this craft activity is a set of buttons (a single colour or a set of colours) and a dark green pipe cleaner which you can easily find at most art supplies section of big supermarkets, hardware stores or craft shops. You can either use some small goggly eyes or just skip them and use a piece of round shaped paper as face and just draw eyes etc on it instead. This can be completed with or by your children and then can be used as a decorative purposes unless gifted or used as a figure to accompany a story while reading a book on a  relevant topic.

Have a colourful day!

Sunday, 26 February 2012


ribbon bow
Copied pictures

The pictures above say it all.

Enjoy a picture perfect day today!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

DID YOU KNOW ...? (14)

It is claimed that the word 'dictionary' was not included in the first dictionary. (Isn't that funny?)

Friday, 24 February 2012


fresh mint
Mint from our garden

There are different types of mint. The most commonly used ones especially in kitchens are spearmint and peppermint.

Mint is rich in Vitamins A and C. It also contains some Vitamin B2. The essential minerals mint contains are manganese, copper, iron, potassium and calcium.

Mint is well known to help with digestion (homemade peppermint tea is strongly recommended. To make this tea, you just need to boil some water and put some fresh mint leaves in it and wait for 5-10 minutes before drinking).

Mint's medicinal properties aren't limited to its aid in digestion. It

  • has anti-cancer properties both in preventing and healing and are good antioxidants (antioxidants are good for protecting against cancer). 
  • helps opening up respiratory passages and airways, 
  • is good for relieving cold and flu symptoms. 
  • has proven itself in some muscle relaxation and is calming.
  • is used as a mild sedative (no wonder why mint is often used in aromatherapy such as massage oils). 
  • is proven to help bad breath problems and 
  • crushed mint leaves help whitening teeth (most toothpastes include mint in them). 
  • is a very good cleanser for the blood.

Mint is sold both dried and fresh at almost every supermarket these days (if you want to know how to make ground mint at home, click here). Fresh mint can stay for upto a week when put in water and the water is changed regularly. However, I really like it when they are 'really fresh'.

We grow some mint in the garden and I can easily claim that they are one of the easiest herbs to grow in a pot or on a garden bed. If interested, let me know and I can write about how to grow mint in the future. Also, let us know how you consume mint. You can either e-mail me (, or just click 'comments' below and write there.

Thursday, 23 February 2012


small garden ideas

By now, all my readers here would know how much I appreciate and enjoy recycling ideas and recycled products for various reasons. In the (copied) picture above, there is another recycling idea for us all. The recycled pots on the wall in the picture are very useful, practical, stylish and easy-to-do.

The list of what you need for this project is below:
  • some containers (Eg. large tomato sauce tins) that you want to recycle 
  • something to hold them up with (the safest would be the use of nails or you can even make little individual shelves with wood to place them on if you have the materials and the time for it). 
  • A drill (or a nail and a hammer) to make a hole in each container for drainage. 
You can use the clean containers as they are or alternatively, you can paint or decorate the containers to your taste or to match the theme you have in your garden. Put some soil in each container and it is ready for plantation!

You can grow flowers or other pot plants in them but I really like growing things that can be eaten and I think they would be wonderful for some herbs such as parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano, mint, basil, chives, coriander and so on. They won't take space in the garden, will look very nice and neat and will add a character to your garden without spending any money! You will also be pleased to know that you have achieved something meaningful and useful.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


easy recycled paper bow tutorial

There is no doubt that most of us -if not all- exchange gifts with people at times. In my opinion, most of the time, what your gift is not as important as why you give it or how you present it to people. It is all about love and thought. It is all about the value that it shows. When the person or the occasion is very important, we pay even more attention to what and how we gift. I really like some personal touch and the warmth that I can feel that is somehow accompanied with the present that I receive when I am given one.

Above is a visual step-by-step tutorial that I have found on the internet. It is a great way of decorating gift boxes or bags. 

Below is a video of another tutorial on the same type of paper bows with a few differences. 

Enjoy something special today!

Monday, 20 February 2012


I am a believer that kids don't need a lot of money to be happy. All they need is some love and care. If only you could spend some time with your children doing something very simple together like a stamp just like you see in the picture below, I am sure he or she will be over the moon for some time. Actually, in most cases, all they want from you is some attention and then they are likely to get in their own world and enjoy the activity that you have provided them for a while. Set it up with them, perhaps show them and then let them enjoy it by themselves!

Materials needed: Some paint (most people with kids would have some simple art supplies in hand), a toilet paper roll (in the picture below, it is shaped like a love heart) and some paper for your junior artist to put his/her masterpiece on.
recycling ideas

Sunday, 19 February 2012


shoe re-do

This is yet another easy-to-do project and as you can see in the (copied) pictures above, it makes such a big difference in the end result. It is incredibly unique, stylish and inspirational. A project like this can be done only with some glue and embellishments. That easy and hassle-free! It shouldn't have taken more than 10 minutes of the this crafty person's time for the whole project and walla! Look at the stunning result!

I would definitely consider this idea when if I have some bold and boring shoes that I don't really enjoy using, when some parts of my shoes have scratches or somehow imperfect, or when I need something to wear with a particular dress on a special day. If you ever come up with a shoe re-do, please share with us. You can e-mail it to me ( and I will publish it with the name that you provide me with.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

DID YOU KNOW ... ? (13)

largest cat

The lynx is Europe's largest cat. Its prey includes wild boar.

Friday, 17 February 2012


apple cinnamon air freshener
copied picture

Who would have ever thought making your air-freshener could be so easy and chemical free? It will spread a sweet cinnamon smell in the air and I don't know many people who wouldn't enjoy that particular smell. It also looks very interesting and in my opinion, it would look great on benches, dining tables or on display shelves.

Here is what you need to do:

Cut up the top of an apple and empty out the inside of it leaving the outside as is. It should look like a cup.  Then, put a cinnamon stick in it and fill it up with hot water. The water helps to get the cinnamon smell. This is a no-waste type of a project. Don't waste the inside of the apple when you carve it out. Eat it or use it in desserts or juices. When you are done with the air freshener, you can still consume the remaining too (as long as it is in good conditions). A brilliant idea!

Thursday, 16 February 2012


healthy cakes

This wonderful cake was made by one of this blog's regular readers, T. E. She has made this cake recently and has been kind enough to share it with us here too. Thank you T.E., your input is well appreciated. It looks stunning!

Now, lets move onto the recipe that she has provided us with. First, the ingredients:
  • Canned corn (she has used puree for this particular one but she normally prefers corn kernels)
  • Mashed potato
  • Red cabbage (put through blender)
  • Grated carrot
  • Salt, lemon juice and olive oil for seasoning
  • Parsley and tomato peel for decorative purposes
You can prepare your potato mash the night before and leave it in the refrigerator. The rest is all raw. You can use the seasoning for each layer or pour it on top. T.E. prefers it in each layer. You need to use potato mash in between each layer for it to hold well together. Also, another important detail is that the red cabbage should not be bulky at all so that it will not pose an issue when cutting and serving the cake. 

When you make this cake, you need to think of what you see in the picture above upside down. You will need to put a clear wrap in a baking tray or a round medium size bowl. The first layer will be the corn. After that, put the mashed potato, red cabbage, potato mash, carrot and potato mash respectively. Leave it in the fridge for a few hours and when you take it out, turn it upside down on a serving plate and then pour your seasoning on it if you haven't done it before. Make sure that your layers are not loose when you place them. Press them down firmly as you make your layers. To decorate, put some fresh parsley leaves and a tomato peel in the shape of a rose. 

This recipe is sure to please people and is definitely very impressive. It may also make your kids more excited about vegetables. It is so fresh, healthy, and attractive that it is sure to be the heart of attention when served to others. I loved the idea and the presentation of it. 

Have something healthy and delicious today!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


This activity is very simple, yet extremely fun and educational for your children. I have copied the pictures from another site.

Here is what you do: Put 6 containers/bowls together. Put about a large spoonful of yoghurt (if you want to learn about how to make yoghurt at home, click here) in every second bowl leaving the ones in between empty. Add some food colouring into each bowl with yoghurt and then stir it until the yoghurt takes the colour of the food colouring. After that, in the empty bowls, make mixtures. So, it goes like this: In the empty bowl between the red and the green, you (or your child) should mix a bit of red and a bit of blue yoghurt and so forth. Then, let your child stir the two colours together and see what colours they make.

Depending on your child's age, your child may only need your supervision from the beginning to the end for this activity. The rest, she may be able to do all by herself! You just sit back and enjoy the amused face of your precious one.

making colours

science at home

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


corekotuThere are many words attributed to these seeds but scientifically, they are called nigella sativa seeds. These seeds have a somehow bitter taste and are used as a spice particularly in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines.

They are used in many types of foods; from buns and breads in Turkey to some certain cheeses in the Middle East just to name a few. They are often cooked with food/dough but we consume the dry seeds raw in salads as a family (we often mix it with some linseed and sprinkle them over our mediterranean salads).

Medicinal properties of nigella seeds that are realised medium to long term if taken regularly, seem to be so attractive that we make some conscious effort to consume them. It is stated by some sources that in Islam, there is a hadith stating that 'it can cure all diseases except death". It is reported that, in the first century AD, the Greek physician called Dioscorides, recommended nigella sativa. Romans used it as a digestive aid at the time. 

It is claimed that nigella sativa contains over 100 valuable components. It is a significant source of protein, essential fatty acids (the type that our bodies can't produce), and many vitamins namely, A, B, B2, C & niacin. Minerals include calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium.

Below is a list of some of its claimed health benefits. It is good for:
  • asthma
  • bronchitis
  • rheumatism
  • milk production
  • digestion
  • to fight parasitic infections
  • (its oil is used for) skin conditions such as eczema and boil
  • cold symptoms
  • cancer
Here is an interesting piece of factual information for you: Ancient Egyptians believed medicinal plants play a part in the afterlife of their pharaohs. Nigella sativa has been found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen.

Monday, 13 February 2012


Here is a great activity for the crafty ones. The instructions aren't written in English but there are so many clear accompanying pictures that you don't really need to read it to be able to understand it. Just click here for the original page with pictures.

Have a fun and a productive day!

a handmade horse

handmade horse pattern

Sunday, 12 February 2012

DID YOU KNOW ...? (12)

an Australian animal

Jumping kangaroos can reach speeds of up to 50km/h.

Saturday, 11 February 2012


a craft idea for the organised

What a lovely idea here! This is a must for me as I have a huge number of those really boring hanging files. The original files are so boring that everytime I go next to them, I feel like just leaving them open so that I don't have to see that bold all-the-same looking cover when I look at them. This craft idea is awesome and adds some fun to those folders.

You can alter the type of paper you use but for the ones in the picture above, the maker has used wall-paper scraps and she has used spray adhesive to stuck them on folders.

Check out this for the rest of the tutorial.

Have a fun weekend!

Friday, 10 February 2012


Another craft idea from another skillful blogger! This would make a wonderful craft project for the weekend and by the next week, you may have a different look in your room altogether!

You can find her written and visual instructions for this project here. This particular project has no zip at all. She has used iron-on interfacing at the back of the ribbons. For further details and materials used, just visit her site. I leave you with a few of pictures.

DIY cushion tutorial

Have a crafty day!

Thursday, 9 February 2012


Here are a few homemade hand sanitizer recipes for you:

Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer Recipe


  • 1 cup PURE aloe vera gel (not the green stuff)
  • 1-4 teaspoons of Witch Hazel (amount depends on desired consistency)                                             5-10 drops of essential oil (tea tree and peppermint also have natural antibacterial properties) properties
After stirring the aloe vera in a bowl for a bit, slowly start adding the witch hazel (or alcohol) until it forms the consistency level you would like to have. Then, add your essential oils in the amount you desire. 

Another Alcohol-Free Recipe

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup pure  aloe vera gel
  • 1-2 teaspoons of witch hazel (add until the desired consistency is reached)
  • 1/4 tsp (or 25 drops) tea tree oil (or increased amounts of other essential oils)

Hand Sanitizer with Alcohol

  • 1/4 c. aloe vera gel (as pure as you can get)
  • 3/4 c. rubbing alcohol (at least 91%)
  • 1/8 c. vegetable glycerin (optional) (if omitted, use an extra 1/8 c. aloe vera gel)
  • 10 drops essential oil (cinnamon and sweet orange are only two examples) (optional)
Pour everything into your food processor or blender and let it go on high for a minute or two. Bottle and use as you would any hand sanitizer. Keeps for 6 months or more.

Hand Sanitizer with Soap

  • Ingredients:
    1. some small soap pieces
    2. water
    3. a few drops of perfume, essential oils, rose water or a little honey

    Add simmering water to the small soap pieces or directly immersed in distilled water after shaking a few days. Add the oils or whatever you want to add to this mixture. Pour it all into a suction pressure type of a container. 

    This sanitizer should be able to stay for a few months.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Jack in the can is quite fun for many kids. However, prior to the age of 8 or 10 months, it may still be scary for most babies. This shouldn't disappoint you. You can make one baby friendly version at home using the materials you have around the house. A homemade version will be much more enjoyable for babies before the age of 10-12 months!

This game not only aims to entertain your baby but is also great for object permanence skills which they need to acquire. If your baby has an older sister or a brother, let her/him get involved too both in making it and in playing. It is another great way to make them two siblings enjoy something together and have a bond.

A handmade baby toyNow, you can use your imagination and materials that you already have at home. What I will list here is only to give you some examples.

Materials needed:
  • A little tub (yoghurt/icecream/individual sized cereal), a little box, a can or a large paper cup
  • A stick, chopstick or a pencil
  • A finger puppet or some sort of a small object (preferably colourful) or a toy
  • Glue or tape
 As you might have guessed by now, all you need to do is to make a little hole in the middle of the bottom of the can/tub/cup and insert the stick. Glue or tape the little puppet/toy on top of it and have fun using your hand-operated pop-up toy by pulling the stick up and down. When the stick goes down, the object disappears (or so the baby thinks) and then when you quickly push it up, it is there again!

You may use your by-now-well practiced skills to make some funny noise to accompany the game or the puppet can greet the baby. You may have one made for your older child as well and in front of the baby, the two jack-in-the-can toys can interact if you like. Just go crazy with your imagination and use it the way you like. After all, it is all about what makes you and your baby happy. Any variation that works for you is great!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


DIY storage basket

What a lovely project! It is made out of felt and it has a lining made from some floral fabric. I found the tutorial here . The website has a lot of clear pictures as well as written instructions. The original writer of the tutorial has made it sound so easy that I cannot wait to find a chance to give it a go. I am not sure if you feel the same way but at home, I never have enough storage. This would make a lovely unique personalised storage space for me and I would always have a story to tell about it. I love handmade items!

Easy basket tutorial

Monday, 6 February 2012


This is a nice little project that is sure to please your baby! I found it online and fell in love with it. It is so easy that even kids can do it. The instructions in the video are extremely easy to follow. The only thing I am uncomfortable with is the decoration of them as I am concerned with the idea of using especially beads for baby products especially if they are only stuck using glue. They can pose a choking hazard! I can imagine Miss Junior getting excited about the stars and the beads and start exploring them as soon as she gets her hands on them. She would try pulling them and I wouldn't be surprised if she can successfully remove them after some attempts and she is extremely likely to put them in her mouth right away. I believe that these particular decorative materials aren't suitable for babies even though they do look awesome. I strongly recommend finding other types of decorative ideas (using colourful fabric strips perhaps?) for this project.

In my opinion, this project is great because;
  • handmade
  • very easy to make
  • not costly 
  • made with recycled materials
  • unique
  • even older siblings can do it or if you don't have a baby, your child can do it and can gift it to a baby or can use it for her own entertainment (making music?)
  • if the older sibling is involved in making it, it may help with the bonding between the younger sibling and him/her
  • improves creativity and imagination skills
  • stimulates baby visually and audibly

Sunday, 5 February 2012


There are many things that can be done with or without children in the city of Melbourne.

Lets start with one of our favourites: Melbourne Museum. It has so many attractions on offer for everyone. Adults can enjoy the main section and the kids' section is great fun for babies, preschoolers and school aged kids. Not many people are aware of this part of the museum indeed but we really like that section as a family. When you enter the museum, just walk toward left and at the end of the corridor, you will find it or alternatively, you can ask the staff members  there or check out their website. There are educational activities and resources too. Melbourne Museum's current fees are as follows: Adult $10, Concession* and Child (3–16 years) free entry.

Melbourne AustraliaAnother activity that is quite fun to do is to hop on the Number 35 City Circle tram which is totally free of charge. No ticket is required. It is really fun especially if you have children. Take the time to take them there. You are all very likely to enjoy it. Visit here for the timetable of the tram.

You can download maps and information on walks through the city here. Whenever I get a chance, which is unfortunately not very often, personally, I especially enjoy the Princes Walk quite a bit.

Have you been to The Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne yet? It is definitely another favourite for us. I would highly recommend a picnic there. Picnic is only one of the things that you can do there.

You can go to the State Library of Victoria, which is located at 328 Swanston Street. It often has a good variety of free activities and events for kids. It also has story times and 'baby bounce' sessions. You can visit their website for further details.

If you are after an open-air market, then definitely Queen Victoria market is the one to go to. It has an organics section too where you can also access to some biodynamically grown produces as well as organics. It is also a great place for free fun and affordable shopping in most cases. It is also known for its souvenir selling stalls too. 

Above are only a few of the many places and activities that Melbourne city has to offer.

You can visit for further information on activities and things to do in Melbourne.

Have an enjoyable Sunday!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

DID YOU KNOW ...? (11)

The Golden Retriever is a very intelligent, playful dog.

Friday, 3 February 2012


Handmade bowtie

Here in Australia, it is summer and therefore is the party season (yayy!). I am sure we are not the only people who have many occasions to keep up with these days.

Party means fun for most people, a lot of fun, but it also means dressing up too. If you are looking for some easy to make, inexpensive, and stylish ideas; I would suggest, first decide what you want and then go online and look for tutorials that can help you achieve something similar to what you have in mind at home.
Easy bowtie tutorial

For kids, by using a different accessory, say a bow tie, you can actually achieve a different look while using the same pieces of main clothing each time. For instance, for boys, use the same trousers, shoes and the shirt over and over as long as you make a few changes in the accessories such as bow ties, ties, suspenders, vest (if you are into it), different flowers on the shirt, and/or belts.

Fabric bow tie for kids
The pictures are from here. Go to the original site for step by step instructions and more pictures. It is a very easy and fun project. You can experiment with different sizes and materials such as ribbons and various fabric types. You can also use a simple soft elastic for the neck piece as opposed to making a fabric tube with velcro on it.

Handmade bow ties won't only save you money, but they will also please you better and you can easily make a matching bow tie according to the theme, the colours of the occasion or the clothes that are being worn.

The materials needed for this particular project are written on one of the pictures above or you can find them in the video below. It is all about few little stitches in right spots and then putting them together properly. The video below has very clear audiovisual instructions in it too.

Have fun!

Thursday, 2 February 2012


Both of these terms refer to a sustainable agricultural system. However, biodynamic goes one step further than organic practice. It is a holistic practice where all things are considered living inter-related systems - animals, plants, and the solar system. Below is some useful information on organics and biodynamics for you.


The term organic is described as "a system of agriculture able to balance productivity with low vulnerability to problems such as pest infestation and environmental degradation, while maintaining the quality of the land for future generations" by some sources.

Organic farmers do not use synthetic chemicals and they only use natural breeding processes for plant propagation and seed development. They also aim to achieve a balance with nature by using methods and materials that have a low impact on the overall environment.

In practice this involves a system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators, livestock feed additives and other harmful or potentially harmful substances. It includes the use of technologies such as crop rotations, mechanical cultivation and biological pest control; and such materials as legumes, crop residues, animal manures, green manures, compost, other organic wastes and mineral bearing rocks. The intention is to encourage natural biological systems." (Standards for Organic Agricultural Production, NASAA, 1993.)

Bio-dynamic farming is based on the work of Austrian scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925). You may remember his name from Steiner Schools which run in many places including Melbourne, Australia. If you would like to read more about Steiner Education and its philosophy, this is one of many informative websites for you.

In regards to biodynamics as an agricultural term, this is what it refers to: 'an enhanced organic method and it is about a recognition that the whole earth is a single, self-regulating, multi-dimensional ecosystem'.

Biodynamic practitioners seek to understand and work with the life processes as well as increase their understanding of the mineral processes used in conventional agriculture.

They seek to enhance soil structure and nutrient cycles resulting in maximised plant growth and development, with the use of specific preparations that are made from farm-sourced materials.

The observation of nature's natural rhythm such as moon cycles is very important to biodynamics producers.

Biodynamic farming aims to achieve “self sufficiency” by generating fertilizers for crops and food for animals through natural processes that regenerate the farm system. 

The aim is to "redeem dead soils and make farms viable without the use of water-soluble fertilisers and chemicals." (Bio-dynamic Movement in Australia - Agriculture, Standards, Certification and Marketing.)

Biodynamic farming uses different principles that add vitality to the plant, soil and/or livestock, whereas traditional farming typically deteriorates the soil.

According to a source, biodynamics provides tools to make organics easier by:

  • organising the nutrient cycles with the farm or garden,
  • activating the soil food web, which creates humus,
  • creating resilience in plants and animals against stress and extreme weather events,
  • balancing the atmosphere around plants, and
  • optimising growth cycles using lunar and cosmic rhythms.
For further reading, you can check information provided by The Organic Federation of Australia (OFA), DEMETER Bio-Dynamic Agriculture in Australia, or The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


Red hot chilly
Freshly picked chillies from our garden

Recently, we have made our first homemade hot chilli sauce and it has been a real success. Here is our recipe for you:


Hot chillies (Preferably homegrown)(about 15 of them but it depends on the size of your chillies and the heat level that you are after)
Red capsicum (2 large capsicums)
Vinegar (1/2 cup)
Oil (we've used olive oil)
Garlic (optional) (add to taste)

Roast the capsicum in the oven. If your chillies are large, then roast them too. If the chillies aren't very large, then you don't necessarily need to roast them. This gives it sweeter taste. Then, peel the skin of them as much as you can once they are cool enough for you to touch them. Remove the seeds and/or the white membrane that holds the seeds if you prefer it to be mild. However, if you want it to be hot, then leave them all in. After this stage, put all the roasted or raw chillies, the capsicum and the garlic into a blender and blend them all. Put some oil and finely crushed garlic into a saucepan and pour the chilli mixture on top of it as well as your vinegar and salt. Bring it to boil, then simmer it until it forms a desired sauce texture.

Homemade sauce recipe
Our homemade chilli sauce
Tips: Once your sauce is cold enough, store it in a glass jar in your refrigerator. Also, sterilize your glass bowl by boiling it approximately 5 minutes before use. As the jar is still hot, pour in your homemade chilli sauce, a thick layer of olive oil over it and then close the lid. (Be generous with your oil since it also serves as a preservative for this sauce.) Allow some time for it to cool down and then store in your refrigerator when ready. Last but not least, use of some gloves is highly recommended if your chilli is very hot.