Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sustainable living


It took 10 coconuts to make the 2
bottles of VCO. The one bottle
was full but I had to use some
to cook with!
We have been on the farm now, not quite 6 months and I've been noticing how many coconuts we have around the place. First I started using the coconut milk to make various curries from around the world as well as coconut based deserts and also, I've found the coconut cream is delicious in coffee as well.

I have been reading of the benefits of Virgin Coconut oil and bought a few bottles to use in cooking. So it was a natural progression for me to do some research on how to make your own VCO. Having read up on the internet, it didn't look too awfully difficult, especially when you have a helper who can climb those trees and grate the coconuts!

Coconuts from our trees.
Recently I have also been using the VCO on my face and body after a shower and it makes my skin glow, although I have to admit, I'm not overly fond of the coconut smell on body, but it does dissipate so that eventually I don't notice it.

The process of course does create some by products and not wanting to waste any part of the coconut we have used the coconut husks to plant my orchids in and the coconut shells themselves are are making into various and sundry items like bowls or scoops.  The grated and pressed coconut from making the milk goes either to feed the chickens, as a soil conditioner or lightly roasted with sugar to put over ice cream or the native desert suman, as steamed sticky rice.
I cant even begin to tell you how rewarding it feels to make use of what the land has offered us.

Instead of tossing these into a landfill, we are using them
to grow herbs and veggies. They are just now
sprouting.
Having a plethora of plastic bottles was troubling me so recently, after having seen a photo on Facebook of a hanging garden made from them, I put up the same thing here and there are seedlings sprouting already. It seems a better way to use the bottles than tossing then into a landfill, which at the rate Puerto Princesa is growing, we will be able to make a huge vessel of them!
A skiff made of recycled soda bottles.
Click to enlarge any photo.
Speaking of vessels, I saw this photo on Facebook of a little skiff made of plastic bottles as well as life vests...very clever I say!

Living so far from "civilization", or at least far enough to make it inconvenient if you want something, it makes sense for us to grow our own veggies and also, since we live on an island, to recycle.

We have started to harvest the rain during rainy season to preserve the well water table. We use this water for dishes and washing clothes in, and even for showers.

Our electric motorbikes are charged with the sun.
We use solar panels to charge batteries and so we have solar lights at night even during the frequest electrical brownouts. Dave  even charges his electric motorbikes with solar panels.


We have a few chickens which we allow to free range. The eggs they lay cannot even compare to store bought eggs from commercial egg farms. The yolks are deep orange, and the whites hold their shapes and don't run all over the pan and they taste so much better than store bought.

Playset, slide, swing and sandbox
of bamboo from our groves.
There are 5 bamboo groves on the property so Dave had a playset made for our 4 year old daughter. It's a swing set, slide, sand box and a covered raised area where she likes to play as well. This is her favorite place to play.  When she gets bored with the sand box, which actually keeps her amused for hours, she can swing or slide or day dream on the upper deck.


Check out my other blog on sustainability for more details.






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Blog of Diana J. Limjoco of the Clan Limjoco