Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Potatoes and pots

Well, it's that time of year again - I've kept the seed potatoes as long as possible in a cool dark place, but it was time to chit them and then plant them out. This year I'm growing Kipfler, Bintje, Ruby Lou, Spunta, King Edward, Dutch Cream and Toolangi Delights. Yummo!

I'm planting in a few places. Last weekend we made a new 'hybrid' potato bed - it has about 20cm of chook litter & soil, mushroom compost and soil - gave it a good water, then planted the potatoes in. Then we laid weeping hose on top of the soil, and covered with a thick layer of pea straw (it's still frosty here for the next few weeks).

We kept the bed together with star posts, corrugated iron (from the tip), and straw bales - then a layer of square garden fencing to stop the chooks flying in and making a mess!

I still have 24 tubers to plant, but these will be going in a full no-dig bed in the main vege patch.

When we went on our usual Saturday afternoon outing to the tip (Jerry takes me to all the best places!) we found someone had thrown out a worm farm base, 5 seedling trays, 4 punnet trays, and about 40 forestry tubes, and another 20 or so assorted small seedling pots. So of course we rescued them (along with some corrugated iron and colourbond that will go on the new coop and will make garden edging and beds, and some trays from an old fridge that will be converted to seedling punnets). Result!

Monday, 22 September 2008

Mushrooms again

Over the weekend I made up my substrate (growing medium) for the mushies. (for more details see Forest Fungi's website). But it was pretty straightforward. I mixed up some soaked oats, wheat and coir with some tea and coffee grounds and some gypsum, then put this into jars and number 5 plastic containers and used my pressure canner to sterilise.

Then put the grain spawn I received into each container and covered. Now I just have to wait for the mushies to start to appear - might take up to 8 weeks depending on how they like the climate in my house!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Gonna grow me some mushies!

Thanks to Will over at Forest Fungi, I'm embarking on a mushroom growing adventure. Not the tasteless white cup variety either, but lovely Oyster mushies. YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM

It might just look like a bag of grains now, but stay tuned for the step-by-step transformation to lovely king Oyster mushrooms!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

It's cheeeeese Grommit, but not as you know it

I discovered a very tasty Labna cheese (cheese made from yoghurt) at our local deli. However at $14 a jar, it was too expensive to buy often. So after scouring the 'net I found some recipes, realised how easy it was, and haven't looked back since then.

First step, get a kilo of greek yoghurt - I make mine with my easi-yo, but you could buy it from the store or make your own using another yoghurt making technique. It needs to be greek or thick yoghurt though.

To the yoghurt I add a splosh (that's a technical cooking term!) of olive oil, the zest & juice of a lemon, and some thyme. Give this a good stir.

Next step is to line a seive with cheesecloth, muslin or a clean chux, and pour the yoghurt in. At this stage you can cover the yoghurt with the cloth then put a plate with a weight on it (eg a can) on top to press down on the yoghurt. You want to force the liquid our of the yoghurt. If it's warm where you are pop this in the fridge for a day or so.

I tie my cloth up into a ball and then hang it in the pantry as it's nice and cool there at the moment.

After a couple of days you just scrape the cheese from the cloth, roll into balls and store in olive oil. Sometimes I don't bother with this step and just scrape the cheese into a container and pop it into the fridge. It never lasts long as it's so yummy!

I add the liquid to the mash for my chooks so nothing is wasted.
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