Thursday, 28 June 2012


Honest we haven't eaten for hours.... (read: about 65 minutes since breakfast)

We'll even sing a squeely song about it........

Pavlov would be proud at how well we've conditioned our piggies to associate human with food. This is the kind of palaver we get every time we're near the fence, food or not :-)

Of course, we give in and give them a treat :-)

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

This one's for you Jason!

Jason's comment on the last post gave me the perfect opportunity to make another chart - and I didn't even pay him :-)

He asked how the 2011/12 season compared to last year - et voila! Last year we had about 261kg (of the things I counted), and this year is 189kg so far, but I did harvest at least 5 kilos of yacon on the weekend, and the oca is still in the ground. However, in spite of that I don't think we'll get too much closer to last year's harvest total. For those who are interested the 09/10 season total was 268kg (167kg accounted for by tomatoes!).

The main reasons this year's harvest is smaller, in no particular order
  • The birds ate most of the apple crop, which wasn't as abundant as last year on the main tree
  • I planted half the number of tomato plants - although interestingly they were almost as productive - I think this is due to the cages we used rather than traditional staking
  • The brambleberries had a significant haircut last year, and as they produce on last year's growth we knew we wouldn't' have many this year. Ditto redcurrants which I think were down due to over-zealous pruning
  • I was a pumpkin failure (again) this year
  • The damp summer wasn't good for the courgettes
However, the value of what we've grown this season is over $3,000 - which is a pretty satisfying saving all round!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Harvest tally update

So far at least 189kg of produce, which isn't too bad I guess. I don't count lemons, limes, herbs or leafy greens. Or eggs.

The water chestnuts were a big fail, only growing thumbnail size - very disappointing

I still have yacon, oca, cabbage, swedes, turnips, kale, collards, silverbeet, carrots, beets and cauli in the garden. Oh, and garlic - LOTS of garlic.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Getting back to the kitchen

It's been a bit of a foodie weekend here - in between my Harry Potter 1-7 marathon, which started mid week :-).

I made feta (cows milk) in between watching the prisoner of azkeban. It's a bit hard to see here in it's brine bath. I'm hoping this one turns out - the last one (goats milk) wasn't great because I forgot the calcium chloride, so it all fell apart. 

Shelling dried runner beans is the perfect activity while watching the goblet of fire.

Lunch was a mixed plate with leftover frittata (from Hugh F-W's Veg everyday book), and the start of the order of the phoenix.

Some chocolate date ricotta muffins were the perfect reward for ironing - enjoyed with  afternoon tea and the remainder of the order of the phoenix. I adapted the recipe found here - including substituting dates for the choc chips, and using a mix of Mayan chilli chocolate and green and blacks hot chocolate in place of the cocoa (I've run out). As a result I only used 100g of sugar (recipe calls for 250g). I could probably have left the sugar out altogether really as the hot chocolate mixes have sugar in them. However the chilli in the Mayan chilli chocolate gives them a nice warm kick. The Mayan mix comes from the fantastic Gewurzhaus in Melbourne (they do mail order too). If you're ever near one of their stores in Melbourne I do recommend it - it's like an Aladdin's cave, and I can easily spend half an hour or more just inhaling the aromas in each box.

I have also done various domestic and outdoor chores including vacuuming, compost making, and some pruning and weeding. I also made trips to the farmer's market, and to the gym. I don't want you to think it's all been sitting around eating and watching TV :-)

Now it's time for the half-blood prince, and perhaps some knitting? Oh, and getting the roast lamb on for dinner. Yum!

I DO like university holidays!!!!!

What have you been up to this weekend?
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