waiting for a breeze


Today was a relaxation day after a busy week. I woke up to sore feet after the Open House we hosted yesterday for family and friends who hadn’t seem our home yet, and a tired brain from hosting a workshop on Thursday on the Plastic-Free Home at the Environmental Justice Convergence, and moderating a panel on Friday on Communicating Environmental Justice.

Despite relaxing for a large portion of the day, I still managed to get a few things accomplished!

I made my favourite breakfast for D. and I: a big pannekoek! It’s like making pancakes but way less time-consuming! Mix together all the ingredients, put it in a cast iron pan in the oven and 25 minutes later you have a scrumptious breakfast!


Awhile after breakfast I went out to the fields to harvest our amaranth, since it was getting heavy with seed:


I rubbed it between my hands, and then winnowed it similarly to how this woman did it. As I was nearing the end of the separation process, it seemed as though there were no more breezes to blow away the chaff, so I did what any urban homesteader would do: finished the last few passes in front of the giant fan in the kitchen. It barely made a mess, I swear! I ended up with an almost full 500g jar:


I didn’t really read all that much about amaranth before planting/harvesting it, and seeing how that blog I just linked to left their grains out until after first frost I’m glad I didn’t end up chopping off the fruits just yet as I’ll likely be able to get more seed off the plants. You’ll just have to wait and see! It’s possible when that time comes I’ll be a little, uh… pre-occupied, so I’m glad I at least got some of the grain now. And FYI, I stored it in the freezer because there were still some bugs in it.

Next up, now that canning is almost done (just getting some grapes, pears and one more half bushel of tomatoes this week!) I want to get to my pre-baby sewing goals. First up I made Dingo a dog toy since his last one disappeared. Dog toys are good to try when you haven’t sewn in a long time because it doesn’t matter what they look like so long as they’re sturdy. I messed up the sewing machine part by using the wrong thread/tension or something like that, so I ended up reinforcing with hand sewing. Dingo loved it:


Finally, I ended the day by cutting up some super-soft second hand cotton t-shirts to use as family cloth.


I’m undecided as to whether or not I’ll add fleece to the other side or finish the edges or just leave them as is since I can’t sew straight lines. Regardless, I’m looking forward to taking a break from toilet paper! What are your thoughts on family cloth, dear readers?


4 Responses to “waiting for a breeze”

  1. I am pretty new to the idea of family cloth and still wrapping my mind around it – which is largely due to cultural conditioning, I am sure. Reservations aside, I think it is a wonderful way to help cut back on the 7 000 000 + trees that are harvested for tp every year!

  2. 2 Rachel Smallhel

    Emily! I wanted to come back and tell you ages ago, but forgot! I learned how to pannekoek months ago, via this entry on your blog, and have since made it a whole bunch of times for communal-y gatherings in the house I share with a bunch of other kw’ers in Toronto! thank you for the fabulously easy/delish recipe and for your general awesomenicity!

    take care!

    Rachel (the very curlyhaired one, who misses kw dearly)

  3. 3 jessica tremaine

    I’ve been using cloths in the bathroom for about 12 years,
    its definitely the best thing ever, especially with a large family. Glad to see its catching on 🙂

  4. 4 jessica tremaine

    oh, and Ive found old towels tend to be perfect.

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