When taking on the challenge to stop shopping at the supermarket this year we thought we were prepared for any bad times.
We prepared for bad weather and pests, proofed our gardens and stored rainwater and food in the cupboards.
We thought we were ready for anything.
What we didn't cater for was what would happen if one of us was struck by illness.
On June 7 that's exactly what we began facing.
On collecting my son from the school gates that day I fell unconscious and suffered back-to-back seizures that saw me in hospital for a week and handed a neurological diagnosis of an aggressive form of epilepsy.
I'd never had a seizure in my life up till that point, but just like that my license was suspended and what would be a bumpy road of recovery and management of my seizures began.
It took me four days following the seizures to register what had happened to me and five days before I was able to walk again.
Since returning home from hospital I’ve once again witnessed the power and love of our local community.
Our friends have rallied around with meals, doing my housework, gardening and child minding.
They’ve made sure we haven’t gone without and have even bought me a new set of wheels in the form of a bike so I can get around.
Since my diagnosis of epilepsy, I have been asked if I still think this lifestyle is manageable.
My answer is that I believe it is more essential than ever for me now.
While I have been forced to slow down, both the kitchen and my garden have become essential spaces for healing.
Now more than ever I realise how much this project has become a part of me and what makes me happy.
I'm determined more than ever to keep up this challenge despite these unexpected bumps in the road.
Because this is more than a challenge - it's a new way of life for me and my family.
From Lydia's Garden: Winter Fruit Crumble
5 large sliced green apples
5 stalks of top and tailed rhubarb cut into chunks
Seasonal fruit and a jar of bottled or canned fruit with the juice such as
tamarillo, fejoa, berries
2 cups of coconut (or standard flour)
1/2 cup of coconut or brown sugar
4 tablespoons of liquid coconut oil or butter
2 teaspoons of mixed spice
In a large pot bring to boil the apples and rhubarb. Once soft drain out the liquid and pop into a large pie dish. Then add the seasonal fruit. Once combined, top the mixture with a fine crumble.
Bake in the oven at 180 for half an hour before serving with your favourite cream or yoghurt.