Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Garlic Woes

My garlic wants to grow! Braids of growing garlic. Boohoo...

In a desperate attempt to save at least some cloves of garlic, I threw the best ones on a baking tray and roasted them until soft.

Put them into clean jars, then top with olive oil until they are fully covered.

Roast garlic is wonderful by itself, or spread on a slice of bread, or as a finishing touch for stews, soups, sauces, etc.

Now I'll have to be very stingy with the remaining cloves. At least there are 3 big beds of garlic growing in the garden. Aaahhh.... :)

Friday, 25 September 2009

Happy Birthday Mother Gnome

Happy Birthday Mother Gnome
Have a great day
Hope Old Gnome spoils you rotten

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Just a note...

...to say that the gnomes are a bit busy at the moment. We have a few posts lined up, but life (and work) keeps getting in the way.

We are well, but busy. Life is good. We are having fun. :)

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Cherry flowers

Dare we hope for our own cherries this year?

We pruned the trees last weekend, so that we can put a polypipe structure over them. This will make it a lot easier to net them.

The trees are flowering beautifully and we should have quite a harvest, if all goes well. *Fingers crossed*

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Crazy about salads

The salad bed is looking good at the moment. Plenty of lovely lettuces. Amish Deer Tongue, Red Oakleaf, Green Oakleaf, Lamb's Lettuce, Wild Rocket, Salad Burnet.A bed of lettuce leaves tossed with favourite dressing (lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, salt & pepper, in my case). Various toppings, such as quartered hard-boiled egg(s), sliced avocado, chunks of cheese, etc.

Monday, 14 September 2009

The babies are enjoying the view

Germination of the tomato seeds has been good so far. There are always a few stragglers, but that's okay. There is no hurry. Yet.

Here they are. All safe in their box on the window sill.
Stretching towards the sun.
Feed me! Feed me!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Spring colours

Spring is always amazing! The sudden abundance of flowers, bees and sunshine. It never ceases to fill me with joy and hope.Here is one of our plum trees, flowering madly. Also the pink rosemary and yellow wallflower.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Not for human consumption

Raw milk, that is.

You know what? I grew up with/on raw milk. Drank it until we moved to town, away from our farming neighbours with ready access to fresh, raw milk. When I had my first sip of shop bought milk I hated the taste so much, I stopped drinking milk there and then.

Three decades later I tasted real milk again. Fresh from the cow. Unadulterated. I like it.

So, now we are drinking milk that is illegal. It's full of good stuff, not messed with, healthy, free of antibiotics, pesticides, etc. No middleman was able to earn anything on it. It's direct from the farmer. The cows are grazing out on the lush, green paddock. They look healthy and happy. Nothing mass-produced. All this can only be good for you, the cows, the farmer, the environment. That's why it's illegal. The big corporations are not earning any money. Not from pesticides, antibiotics, fertilizers, not from messing with the milk. Oh, and I forgot! It's in GLASS bottles! I love it. No wasted packaging. Rinse, return, reuse.

For good measure we got a tub of cream, too. We happened to have some apple cake at home. Perfect with cream.

We might have to go underground. Join the underground food movement. :) I am sure we will not be alone there.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Tomato Madness & Methi Chicken

Finally, the seeds are sown! 31 varieties of tomatoes are sitting nicely in their little pots. The capsicums and eggplants are snuggling up to them, too. Now there are 'only' the chillies, etc. to be sown. This year I put them straight on to the window sill. The previous years they sat closer to the fire first up, but I reckon as it is coming up to warmer weather, they should be just fine on the window sill.There is a bit of pressure for a good crop this season, as we are slowly running out of preserved tomatoes. By summer we will need to replenish the rapidly dwindling stock. Wish me luck!

(The two jars contain lemon pickles that are sun-cooking. 2 different recipes, hence the difference in colour.)

On Saturday we visited Maggie & Bob's garden where the fenugreek was trying to take over their garden bed. Maggie very generously cut us a heap of fenugreek and while she was doing that I was already looking forward to Methi (fenugreek) Chicken. Over at Cosmic's place, I had bookmarked this recipe and was itching to try it. Perfect opportunity.

It is a ripper of a recipe! We loved it. Thanks, Cosmic, for this recipe. We will make this again very soon.

The fenugreek turned translucent after being quickly fried. Fascinating stuff.
Served with naan and raita. Absolutely delicious!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day Old Gnome

Hope you have a wonderful gnomey day

Friday, 4 September 2009

Where is my Sauerkraut?!

The seedlings went in a bit late, but they grew really well and looked promising.

Then some warm days hit our place. And BAM! the buggers bolted. ARRRGGGHHHH!

Yes, it looks very pretty.

But I wanted to make Sauerkraut from our very own cabbage. *sigh*

This one might do for a small meal. A side dish, maybe.
Ah well, must try again next season. I am not giving up.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Sunny spells...

... and we are producing power.
Even this morning when it was foggy and drizzly, we were producing power. Not much, of course, but still some. It is absolutely amazing!

Some figures off the inverter as at 3pm:

There are clouds hanging about and we are 'only' producing 875W. When there is very clear sky (seldom at the moment) it has reached up to 2700W.
The total output for today (as of 3pm) is: 10.3kW
The total output in 23 operating hours: 20.3kW

I love every single cell of these panels. :)

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

We are producing power!

This morning at 8am the solar people knocked at our door to install the solar panels.

What a long wait it has been! Here is the roof at lunchtime.And here it is in the early afternoon. All done. We are already producing power. It is very exciting. I have already zipped out into the backyard a few times to look at the panels. Beautiful!
The inverter is just outside the front door and shows how much energy we are producing. Neat!

It is a 3kW installation and should cover quite a bit of our needs. As we are on rainwater, the electric pump kicks in every time you turn on the tap or flush the toilet, to pump the water from the rainwater tank into the house. So this alone uses quite a bit of power. The home office is set up for 2 businesses and needs a bit of power, too. But we have also implemented quite a few measures to save energy.

Anyway, gotta dash, must have another look at the panels and the inverter. :)