Answers to questions and better barter

Last week a reader asked if anyone has ideas for fun, no or low-cost activities for a child’s party. Maureen from Glenfield has this tip. “Get hold of a roll of butcher paper or similar. Get each kid to lie down and trace their outline. Then they get to draw and colour their shape in.”

Michelle from Invercargill has these ideas for a kid’s party on a budget:

• Treasure hunt using items you already have. For small children, keep it simple “Something Red”. Bigger children can have more complex clues or actual items.

• Balloon games are always popular. There are tons of ideas on the internet but a favourite has been the popping game with a balloon tied to one leg with string. The longer the string, the harder it is.

• Decorate muffins or biscuits or make marshmallow and fruit sculptures.

• Pin the tail (or scarf) on a favourite character. You can download and print a picture of almost anything from the internet.

• Musical chairs or cushions.

Daniel from Whangarei writes, “We had great fun at a party recently playing Twister with the kids – most were young, but one was 50+! We also bought some long balloons and made all sorts of shapes, which looked nothing like the ones in the instructions, but nevertheless became hats or swords and lots of other imaginary things.”

Lo from Auckland has asked this question. “Can anyone recommend a good biodegradable bathroom cleaner, that is cheap and doesn’t require too much elbow grease!”

Michelle from Invercargill has this tip for Lo. “For cheap, biodegradable cleaners: Baking soda and white vinegar. Or grated, melted Castile soap with water. I use Castile soap (you can buy it as a bar or liquid soap online) as a liquid laundry detergent, liquid hand wash, spray and wipe, dishwashing liquid and use the soap in the shower. We do not buy any cleaning products anymore, which has substantially reduced our grocery bill.”

PAL from Christchurch is asking for help. “Many years ago I recall a mixture I made up and wiped over clean windows. This helped prevent condensation from forming on them. I have asked several friends and they seem to think I may have dreamed it. But not at all. I recall making this mixture up and I’m wondering if it could have had glycerine in it.” Let us know if you can help PAL recall this formula – but not one using nitro glycerine!

Declan from Christchurch has this question. “I keep hearing about how barter is a great way of doing things. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to barter on Facebook barter groups. Admittedly, they do seem to have very low memberships. How do other people go about bartering?”

That’s a good question. If you can help Declan barter better then please let us know. There are a number of barter exchanges for those in businesses, but we are particularly interested in successful community-based barter groups.

The issue of barter is also one that recreational hunters need to be aware of. Basically, the rule is that there is no problem with hunters sharing their catch with others, providing they are not profiting from it. Only certified commercial hunters are able to sell their catch, and only after abiding by certain rules to make sure the food is safe. The bartering of home-kill or any recreational catch is specifically prohibited.

Recreational hunters are not even able to donate or raffle their catch. They can however, sell or trade those parts that are not to be consumed by humans or animals – things like the hides, horns and antlers.

Lifestyle block owners also need to be aware of the rules regarding home-kill meat. Home-kill may only be consumed by the animal owner, their direct family, or farm employees and their family. Like a recreational catch, home-kill meat cannot be sold or traded or used as a prize or for fundraising.

It is also prohibited to use home kill or a recreational catch in meals for paying guests, even though you may not charge for the meal separately. Paying guests includes tourist packages, home-stays, marae visits, tourist barbeques, those who pay board, or other forms of payment as part of an accommodation package.

In other words, be careful! If the meat is for your own use, then generally there will not be a problem. The problem comes when commercial gain is involved.