Guest blog from The Tropical Hippy

I was very humbled when my very good friend in the both the blogging world and the real world, the Rabid Little Hippy asked me to write a guest post for her blog.

Belinda blog photo 1My journey to eco-friendliness and self-sustainability is a very new one.  It’s only been a few months since I seriously started changing my habits.  My decision to start this journey is very much influenced by the Rabid Little Hippy (hereon in referred to as Rabid).  I had been following Rabid’s journey via her blog and it really got me thinking about MY carbon footprint.  I had always wanted to grow my own herbs.  In fact the raised garden bed for my herbs had been sitting there empty for about 6 months.  It was just one of those things I never got around to doing.  I started out small. In about August this year, I finally planted out the raised garden bed with herbs, chillies and strawberries.

As I continued to follow Rabid’s blog, I was astounded and in awe of her commitment to her journey to self-sustainability and eco-friendliness, in particular though, her commitment to finding the most environmentally friendly way to renovate her new house in country Victoria.  The more I read Rabid’s blog, the more inspired I was to change my way of life.  My husband has been nagging me for years to move from our small 600sqm block onto acreage and I’ve always been against it.  Since following Rabid’s blog, I yearn for the day when we can afford to sell up and move to acreage.  To have my own chickens, the ability to grow all my own produce and the space and tranquility that acreage provides is now a dream that I intend to make reality.

I decided to start blogging my eco journey because I live in climate that is traditionally very difficult to grow anything in.  Most of the blogs and websites I had come across talked about growing produce through the summer in temperate and cool mountain areas.  It has been very difficult to find information about going eco in tropical climates.  Everyone has always said that you can’t grow much in North Queensland and what you can grow has to be grown in winter.  We have 30 degree plus temperatures from about the end of September through to March/early April.  I decided there must be something I can grow.  So research I did and it turns out that there are plants that love hot weather.  I also decided I was going to challenge traditional beliefs and try and grow some things though the summer that most people normally wouldn’t grow.

Belinda blog photo 6The first to go in was my sweet potatoes who absolutely love 30 to 40 degree heat.  Since planting them about 3 weeks ago, they have tripled in size.  The great thing about sweet potatoes is they only take about 4 months to mature so in early March next year, we should have our first harvest.

Belinda blog photo 2Our chillies have been growing great guns.  We have four types, cayenne, jalapenos, Anaheim chillies and Siam chillies.  The cayennes and jalapenos have yielded the most chillies which we have been using a lot in our cooking.  My husband is the chilli fan.  He’s had jalapenos on his homemade pizza’s and even made chilli spaghetti one night.

We have an abundance of herbs that have been going into our cooking and I have also used some to make my own vegetable stock.  The celery, strawberries and garlic have failed to yield anything much yet but they are still small so I expect over the coming months we will be using these in our cooking too.

Belinda blog photo 5We’ve also started making changes to our personal care products such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash and the likes.  We are fortunate enough in Townsville to have a shop called Plant Essentials, which makes all their own natural products, most of them sold in glass bottles instead of plastic and you can take in your old bottles and have them refilled for a discount.

I have discovered that this journey to eco-friendliness and self-sustainability is a continuous learning curve.  Every day, I come across things that need to be changed to a more eco-friendly option, or some situation that really challenges my thoughts and beliefs but I know that every little thing that I do is a contribution towards making this world a better place to live.   I want to say a massive thank you to the Rabid Little Hippy for she has challenged my thoughts and changed my life for the better.  I would love for you to come on over and visit my blog The Tropical Hippy.

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15 thoughts on “Guest blog from The Tropical Hippy

  1. Great post. One thing, though; it doesn’t clearly state who has written it, or where they usually write. For people that can’t work it out, it’s written by The Tropical Hippy @ thetropicalhippy.wordpress.com/

  2. Oops, it does state who it’s by in the title. Didn’t see that. #fail

  3. narf77 says:

    I have had the exact opposite experience where absolutely EVERYTHING that I have been able to find has been about permaculture applications in tropical situations! Maybe we should swap our literature ;). A wonderful guest post and a wonderful ethos. There is something thoroughly contageous about getting your skin close to the earth and realising that your own efforts can change the world, albeit a very small part of the world. It makes those back breaking hours spent out in the garden absolutely worth it and once you get those permaculture cycles up and running they should start becoming relatively self perpetuating with minimal input. I look forward to reading more of your wonderful posts in the future 🙂

    • Yeah, I had trouble finding cold climate – temperate was fine, and of course all the funky plants I want to grow are all tropical – vanilla, banana, pepper, turmeric, ginger, galangal, and the list goes on. Still and all, that’s why hothouses were invented right?
      And you’re dead right, mucking in and getting dirt under the nails is soul cleansing. I actually enjoyed weeding the other day 😮 as it was my baby I was looking after.

      • narf77 says:

        I have 2 cardamom plants growing great guns in my glasshouse. I picked them up at a little nursery further up north where it is frosty for most of the year for $2 a pot. I also bought 2 pots of hops for $2 a pot as well… I am planning a revisit with my new horticulturally aware eyes on 😉

        • Bet Steve is eagerly awaiting the hops for beer making. 😀
          Love finding those wonderful kids of nurseries. I found a brilliant one today where I bought my 2 Tagasaste trees from – $1 each! I will be going back to get all our poplar replacements from there. 😀

          • narf77 says:

            Excellent! We have broom weeds that I swore were tagasaste like we used to have them as weeds in W.A. but they have yellow flowers, not white and they smell amazing! Like grandads old hair oil ;). I dare say that they would be good nitrogen fixers as they are also legumes. If I manage to come to the mainland I will put a pot of cardamom under an enormous sombrero and will bring some over for you…”Moi Mr customs inspector? No, my dear, I am merely a Tasmanian eccentric artiste!” (Must remember to wear the dark glasses with it and something free and flowing to carry it all off 😉 )

            • I wonder how that will work for our Tagasaste, the nitrogen fixing that is. They will be growing inside the actual chook pen, in raised tyre beds fenced off until the trees are established. But chook poo is very high in nitrogen and I know you don’t feed nitrogen fertilisers to legumes that fix nitrogen to the soil. Could be interesting hey.

              • narf77 says:

                I reacon tagasaste would grow in my armpit it’s that hardy ;). I remember it being stinking hot in W.A. in summer and seeing nothing but dead grass on that long trip up to Perth from Albany and the only living things were tagasaste that had seeded from somewhere growing in the gutters…I think they have a GOOD chance at surviving a nuclear holocaust let alone your chook pen 😉

                • Not sure if that says more about your armpits or the tree. 😉 I figured it was pretty hardy from what I’d read (although not THAT hardy) but I’m guessing as a nitrogen fixing plant it won’t thrive in the high nitrogen soil as much as it would somewhere else. It also won’t get the arid conditions it loves so much but hey, I’m all for pushing planting boundaries. Just like my peas and beans all planted late and close together. 🙂

                  • narf77 says:

                    Ditto! No mealy mouthed horticulturalists we hippies eh? Rabid and Tropical and Narf7 all on the horticultural edge… rebels without a clue! 😉 I don’t think you will have problems if your soil is too nitrogenous, the tagasaste will just grow exponentially and will get very green and as for not liking your conditions, I think you are going to get the tagasaste equivalent of an explosion so it’s lucky that it’s great fodder and a really good foundation plant 😉

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