Dear Yogis,

I am concerned about all the different covid “after effects” I am seeing.  The government is unlikely to make any changes in an election month, but whichever government is in, things may be in the wind later on. I am told that staff and drivers are being effected by covid and as a result I do know that costs are rising sharply – the “Lettuce Effect”.  The lettuce in our Coles is $5 for one watery example. That’s right $5, and all the greens are rising in cost sharply, although the greens in our little local grocer are considerably less, but these could be sourced more directly.

The weather isn’t exactly lettuce weather and you can get free dock, cress, dandelion greens and other greens everywhere (maybe even in your garden).  This is what I am doing, plus I have herbs growing alongside them in pots.  I can buy the lettuce or not and I can tell you that a $5 lettuce is a bridge too far.

Last night in our herb class we looked again at dock, plantago, violet greens, and mullein (which is an acceptable toilet paper replacement).

Dive into dehydrating food:

If you’ve never dehydrated food before, you can start right where you are, right now, this year.  Don’t wait any longer. Nearly any fruit or vegetable can be dehydrated. You can buy in a glut and save for later – even things like kale and pumpkin and of course zucchinis.  Dehydration is one of the most accessible methods of food preservation and I have been doing it for years.  In fact I have some citrus in the cupboard I dehydrated about 20 years ago.  It still smells as citrus as it did the day I put it in the jar.    No fancy equipment required although a dehydrator is handy.  You can buy one for under $100 and they will save you hundreds of dollars over the years.  A real kitchen investment.  Actually you don’t even need a dehydrator to get started. I even dehydrate cat food. You can use glass storage, ceramic and even plastic bags and boxes as long as the food is placed in a cool dark place… there is a process.

Keep watching my posts in the newsletters and you will learn the basics of how dehydrating works, and the essential tips and tools you need to get started with your dehydrator, discovering how to properly dehydrate fruits and veggies, meat and fish, and even herbs and spices.  I will also let you know my tips on food preparation, rehydration, and using your dehydrated food to boost flavor and nutrition.

My advice.  Start drying your own food today.

 

NOTES FROM A RETRO HOMESTEADER – USING WOOD ASH from your wood fire.

We are all encouraged to use split-systems and move away from wood heating – I am moving towards it and away from the gas and electricity that you can see in the photo, but I still want to see a flame.  It makes me feel good.  The heat from a wood fire, and the look of the flames is very special, and ashes aren’t useless waste, they are rich in potassium and carbon.  I get offered wood ash during the winter and accept what I can get, but once my new wood fire is installed I will be generating my own wood ash.  Can’t wait.  My garden (and the insects)  will so love what I will be doing.  

Wood Ash can Sweeten the “long-drop”.  If you have an out-house, or as we say in Australia a Dunny,  you can sweeten the “muck” and encourage healthy decomposition with wood ash.  If you have an outhouse, keep a bucket of ashes by the door so that a layer can be flung on top of the “business”. We had a dunny when I was a child, that is all there was – no septic, no sewerage back then.  This prepared me for life in monasteries, and those that cared about such things always had a bucket of sawdust or ash near the toilet door so that the odours did not become overpowering.

Use wood ash as a fertiliser.  Dig into your soil before planting root vegetables especially.  Don’t just fling it around the garden and then get angry because nothing much is happening.  You need love and care and to make friends with your garden fork – use it often.

Chicken love to dust bath. I am sure you have noticed that your chickens love to fuss and preen their feathers.  Ash has many uses in the chook yard – it helps them preen their feathers, keeps mites and lice away, and keeps your chickens healthy and parasite free. To make use of this valuable resource, find box  box about 30cms square about 10cms deep.  Fill it half full of fine ashes and dry soil in a 50/50 blend.  Put it in the chook yard in a sheltered dry spot, away from chicken droppings.  Don’t tuck it under the roost or any place with lots of chicken droppings as this box of ash is to help them to clean themselves, not dirty themselves.   Your chickens will use it all winter when rain and wind (and snow) prevents their normal dust bathing outside.

Use ash as a slug deterrent. The wetter it gets, the more slugs are around, and in my garden I have the giant leopard slugs – not even Ravens will eat them. Slugs thrive in wet, acid environments as they breathe through their exoskeletons. You can make things difficult for them by spreading ash in the garden…. Ashes gum up the works and irritate slugs, who will not want to cross an ash barrier.  Protect your cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower transplants with a 10cm ring of ashes. The extra potassium that the ashes add to the soil will encourage the vegetable head formation and flower formation, too. You have to do this almost daily in the wet weather as the ash decomposes into the ground quickly.

CURRENT SCHEDULE: (Studio Yoga – Mondays and Wednesdays at 1pm are Full)

WEKLY STUDIO/ZOOM SCHEDULE  (PLEASE BOOK AHEAD – NO DROP-INS, sorry)

ZOOM: Mon. 6.30 Gita, Tues. Herb workshop 7.30, Friday 6.45 Tarot starting again this friday. $50 for 4 Friday classes.
STUDIO:Mon. 1pm (full), Wed. 1pm Restorative (full), Friday 1pm Hatha,  SATURDAY 1PM RESTORATIVE YOGA (can be seated  exercises).

NEW CLASSES.  I am starting a new gentle hatha class from Monday 16th May at 2pm

MONTHLY LUNCHEON:  Thursday 26th May at 12noon at “The Vic” in Woodend (If you are running a bit late, relax, it’s OK – drop in for dessert).

CONSULTATIONS: Tarot/Bach/Bowen or a combo – by appointment only.  $85 including remedy (including postage if zooming)  Past-Life (QHHT taught by Dolores Cannon) $250 via email or in the studio.  The reading includes Time, date, place of the prior life. To discuss,  email  yogafirst@netcon.net.au

(TANTRIC) HERBS – HERB BAGS.  $53.50 for 7.  Each bag will last at least 2 days steeping.  This includes a Bach Flower Essence given to complement the tea.  This is not a usual tea, it is a Herbal remedy taken as tea in a tea bag – I cannot emphasise enough how essential I believe these are for your well being.  I take them myself EVERY DAY, and feel fabulous.  I think over time we will all get some form of covid, but I believe my herbs will help me through.  If I send them to you add $6 for postage.

Most popular “SMOKING HERBS”.  If you want an alternative to cigarettes, or want to really relax, chill, then this could be for you.  All natural, all gentle, no chemicals.  You will find them on www.myyogabooks.etsy.com

Please make a zoom consult ($85 for the zoom including your tea).  I would prefer to see you so we can be sure the teas will suit you and help you on your road to wellness. You can email if you don’t like zoom… and  YOU CAN ALWAYS DROP IN FOR HERBS TO ADD TO YOUR COLLECTION – DRIED, FRESH OR TO GROW…. A studio consult may include PPT MASSAGE or BOWEN, the herbs, tarot counselling… whatever is needed.  Email me for your next step yogafirst@netcon.net.au.

I HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE MAT, OR IN THE STUDIO, EMAIL ME!

NAMASTE – JAHNE