Monthly Archives: June 2016


For a fire starter, I take a few leaves, fold them over and wrap them around to form a tights bundle. It’s excellent kindling. [Another reader uses the dried stalks from the flax flower as kindling. It’s light like balsa wood and very easy to burn. – Oily Rag Ed’]

Ruth, Pahiatua.

I often use Lemonade/Coke bottles as hot-water bottles. They are made to stay sealed under high pressure so are safe as long as the lid is screwed on tightly and it is easy to regulate the heat you put into them. My children often had 2 or 3 in their beds at a time and […]


One of our favourite ways to cook is a whole chicken cooked in a cast iron pot. The slow cooking makes it nice and tender. We add some tinned tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers, and whatever else is available towards the end. And we serve it with greens picked from our garden and fresh buns hot […]

Fred, Northland.

I have a birthday coming up so I redeemed $250 worth of credit card reward points for Farmers vouchers. I used some of those to buy clothing, which I have now given to my family to give to me so they don’t have to stress about presents (and I get to choose the gifts that […]