Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Garden !


Seem to have come along this year, we had been getting 6 or so macadamias at most but we cleared the base of grass (again) but instead of using mulch which the chooks destroy, we used hessian weighted down with rocks and made sure to give them plenty of nitrogen via a homemade chook poo "tea".

The harvest

Husks removed
Just waiting for them to cure so the nut kernel comes away from the shell.  The husk went into the compost to be reused.


Strawberries are starting to come through

Peas n' Beans

Winter has seen the gardens bounty reduce but the peas 'n beans are coming along nicely. with a little TLC of course
Shelling Peas and Beans with trellises ready

TLC on the snow peas

Resting the garden beds

A couple beds are rested, so horse manure is heaped onto the bed and the worms come up through the soil and do the hard work.  Gardening is similar to mining, the plants extracting all the minerals from the soil, so those minerals need to be replaced. 

Horse manure heaped onto the bed and spread

weeds are keep under control with a layer of recycled newspaper (we collect it from the newsagent, we don't buy the Newspaper at all) 

Newspaper laid over the spread horse manure

and mulch we make using a lawnmower and fallen leaves raked up and then mowed into the mowers catcher

Home made mulch
Finished bed, resting while the worms go to work

Still plenty of vegetable producing: beetroot, onions, carrots, broccoli, spinach etc but winter slows things down

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

cuisine and cookin'

Well, Toni has been cooking up a storm.


She recently (for her birthday) was gifted a beginners cheese-making set to which she has taken too with enthusiasm, making her own Feta and Ricotta, very tasty to I must say.
Making the Feta
Decanting to a cheesecloth
Draining for a few hours, to separate the Whey
The Whey is then used to make Whey based Ricotta

Finished Feta
Finished Ricotta

Jams, Marmalade and Cordial

The citrus trees are heavy with fruit, and the marmalade had recently run out, so time to make some more !  Once again the Sally Wise book "Year in a Bottle" is used:

Passion fruit Cordial

and away we go, adding some of the frozen passion fruit collected earlier.
Passionfruit Cordial

Marmalade on the wood heater at night, no gas used !

Marmalade simmering away

and we had some left over blackberries in the refrigerator, so why not some more Blackberry Jam !  Why not indeed

Blackberry Jam