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Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

7.22.2014

Photo by Patrice de Villiers
The French grocery chain called "Intermarch√©" has come out with a solution to ugly vegetables and fruit which are usually thrown away. In order to avoid waste the grocery chain has launched a campaign called "Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables" whereupon they sell these ugly fruit and vegetables for 30% less than their pretty counterparts. They also set up a booth selling products made from these ugly ducklings to entice people to buy them. So far it has been a great success and I am hoping that this campaign will soon be brought to Montreal. 

I think that this idea is an amazing way of reducing waste and educating people that just because a fruit or vegetable isn't perfect, it doesn't mean that it isn't good. Check out this video to meet the five ugly stars of the campaign.


Alpacas, Lavender and a beautiful day in the country

7.20.2014


Some of you may know that I am learning how to knit (see my first knitting post here). Well I guess a more correct declaration would be that I am re-learning how to knit. I first learned how to knit when I was a kid and promptly decided that it was a lot of work and took up needlepoint instead. All that back and forth - knit and purl - was not my cup of tea. Fast forward what seems like a hundred years and Tracey (me) has fallen in love with all things woolly. This includes gorgeous wool blankets, cushions, chunky scarves and floor cushions made out of felt. I can't get enough of it. So I decide to take knitting classes. Then I fall in love with alpaca wool. Then I decide that I have to meet the ones who produce this soft and luxurious wool so off I go to Alpagas des Hauts Vents to meet the alpacas.

The beautiful female alpaca that you see above and below is called Shablis and she is not only soft to the touch but incredibly mild mannered. I rubbed her cheeks and patted her head while she stood there and took it all in, quite content with all the attention. 



I learned a great deal about alpacas today thanks to our host Sara. Did you know that Alpaca's are from the camel family and they have no top teeth so they cannot eat anything hard? The female alpacas also have no "heat cycle" so they can breed at any time. The gestation period is 11 months and the babies - called cria - are usually able to stand and nurse within an hour. 







Each grown Alpaca eats approx. one bale of hay per month and their poop is one of the richest organic fertilizers you'll ever find (for those of you who like to garden). 


 

Alpaca wool is hypoallergenic and doesn't contain lanolin like sheep's wool so you can spin it straight off the animal. Although Sara doesn't spin the wool herself (she has enough to do between taking care of the alpacas, goats, chickens, dogs, cats and kids) she has an on-site boutique that sells her alpaca wool as well as some pretty awesome local creations made using her wool. 



I couldn't leave without picking up a few items such as this beautiful scarf (bottom right with the white) and I can't wait for Winter so that I can wear it!

I can't say enough good things about Alpaga des Hauts Vents. So if you're ever in Havelock or on your way to Parc Safari I would highly recommend taking a small detour to visit the farm. Sara and her husband Jean-Yves will be more than happy to introduce their alpacas to you and your little ones. 

I like to buy locally but if you can't make it to the farm you can always buy on-line. Here is the link to her shop.

If you're ever in Monteal and you feel like taking a drive in the country I would recommend taking the "Circuit du paysan" which will bring you to many local farms, including this one, and other attractions such as a lavender farm called "Lavandou" that I will post about soon.

All photos ©Tracey MacKenzie

Happy Weekend!

7.18.2014

I don't know about you guys but I am soooo happy the weekend has finally arrived!! Time to chill!!

A Renovated Pool House with many faces

7.16.2014


I love this renovated pool house not only for it's contemporary decor but for it's versatility. The house can be used as an office, guest house, meeting room, party area or pool house. Once a mid-century stone clad mess, +TongTong has transformed this previously dated structure into a timeless beauty. And how about all that outdoor lighting. Soooo sexy!!







Edible Flower Fairy Cakes

7.14.2014


I have a sweet tooth. I admit it. And my favorite sweet is a little cake called a "petit four". The cake is pretty plain but the fondant that covers the cake is what makes it awesome. You can't have more than one without feeling like a 4 year old on a sugar high but they are my favorite cakes to have with a cup of tea. They are also very pretty to look at. 

These almond fairy cakes are very similar to my lovely "petit fours" but I would assume, a little less sweet given that the fondant doesn't cover the entire cake. I can appreciate that. I can also appreciate the candied edible borage flowers that Lindsay has put on top. I'm a big fan of using edible flowers on cakes and in salads so finding a simpler version of my favorite cake decorated with an edible flower made me very happy. Please visit love and olive oil for the complete recipe and many more lovely photos. 

DIY: Recycled Bottle Cap Light

7.13.2014


This is a pretty simple and fun DIY. All you have to do is save your bottle caps, glue them together with a glue gun, add a light fixture and presto - a light is born. 

Instructions:

Line up your bottle caps to form 6 panels with one panel containing a hole for your light fixture. 
Glue the bottle caps together using a glue gun. 
Once the glue has dried, glue 4 sides and the bottom together (5 panels total) 
Add your light fixture with a bulb and then glue down the final panel. 
Keep in mind that the light bulb has to be the same size as your light fixture in order for you to be able to change the light (think Christmas light bulbs - oval shaped).  If you prefer to have access to the light bulb you can simply rest the top panel on the sides for easy access. 


Recyled plastic made into shoes

7.12.2014


Being an animal lover and avid recycler nothing breaks my heart more than to see pictures of birds who have swallowed plastic or sea turtles that are stuck in drink wrappers. Try as we might to reduce plastic, it is still turning up on the shores of many beaches. As such, three friends, Charles DuffyWilliam Gubbins, and Billy Turvey, got together to come up with a way of communicating the link between waste and consumerism, “and the disposability of contemporary products” in a project they call “Everything You Buy Is Rubbish”. Using plastic waste they found along UK shores the three friends made a pair of shoes out of the rubbish they found. Check out the video on design milk to see how they did it.


photos courtesy design milk
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