gardening · health and wellbeing

Space

It seems each time you glance at the calendar another week has passed by. Someone is saying, ‘is it that time already?’ or ‘was that really three years ago, it feels like yesterday!’ Our perception of time has evolved this way because our days are so oversubscribed. We constantly move from task to task with minds locked into what is ahead, what needs to be dealt with next. As we continue to operate this way, there is very little space to process what is. A sachet of seeds will remedy this.

Whatever the season, it is time to plant something. Your task is simply to determine what that happens to be in your location right now. Gather some seed raising mix, a container with drainage and your seed package. Once your container is filled with the mix, water it well and allow it to fully drain. Plant your seeds individually, following the spacing and depth specifications on your pack. Cover your container with a clear lid or clingwrap and place it near a sunny window. For a more detailed explanation this Youtube clip will take you through the process.

While you are setting your seeds up this way, life space is created and all you are really considering is how the seeds are. From then on each day you will visit them and look and think about them. As they emerge you will marvel at this and look and think about this. When the adult leaves develop from the two baby leaves you will plan their next potting, while you are looking and thinking. When you introduce your young seedlings to the outdoors you will be a mother duck, watching and thinking. Each day they live in the garden soil you will watch the weather and plan for its impact on your plantings. And finally, one morning when you visit your crop a flower will be there.

And that is when you will really know why you planted your package of seeds.

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PS After the joy of the blooms has wilted and dried, you can then gather the seed and create the space once again.

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health and wellbeing · recipes

Oats

While families tend to sit down to dinner and share a common meal, breakfast is usually quite an individual affair. Yours may be a slice of toast between your teeth as you reach behind you to close the front door, whilst for others it has to be the full shebang of eggs, bacon and so forth.

For me, nothing other than oats will do and I have my reasons.

Oats are hearty and hot and once downed with a cup of tea chaser, I really don’t need anything other than a piece of fruit until lunchtime.  In terms of nutrition they are a natural, complex carbohydrate that provides the perfect foundation for building your day (as well as a fruit/seed monument) upon. Honey and sugar however, can quickly unravel all the good work that oat-eating does, so I find by adding a handful of raspberries to the mix, their sweetness keep things in check. Fresh raspberries are prohibitively expensive and have such short seasonal windows, so I resort to the frozen variety and keep my freezer stocked all year.
Topping your oats with a sprinkling of pumpkin kernels and sunflower seeds, ensures you’re placed well on the fibre moral highground. I buy these seeds in bulk and store them in lovely recycled jars, within easy reach.
To your bowl of steaming oats add:
a handful of frozen raspberries
pumpkin kernels and sunflower seeds to your liking
top with skim milk
If you have a lovely oats breakfast combo, I would love to hear about it – I’m very happy to extend my repertoire.
Post script: If cooking a saucepan of oats is overly time consuming for working mornings, 90 second instant oat sachets are a reasonable standby.