Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Harvesting potatoes

We plant and harvest potatoes all year round. There are always some potatoes chitting somewhere, to be planted next. Or the next lot is ready for harvesting. This ensures a good supply of fresh, very tasty, organically grown potatoes.

Berry Gnome does not only enjoy growing berries, but also a variety of potatoes. Here is the 'miscellaneous' bed. Mainly Kennebec and some Pontiac.The chooks are eagerly watching - there might be a tasty treat for them somewhere.
The containers are overflowing with big potatoes.
A very happy Berry Gnome bandicooting underneath a potato plant that is still producing heavily.That should keep us going for a while. :)

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Red currants

They are late this year (as is nearly everything in the garden and orchard).
But we've already picked a heap of red currants and made 3 jars of jelly (with chilli and cinnamon). I might make another batch, then we should be right for the next year or three.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Berry season!

The strawberries, raspberries, silvanberries and tayberries are starting to ripen up. We are now getting quite a haul every day.
Any berry that does not make it into our breakfast bowl or is otherwise eaten during the day, goes straight into the freezer.
We put one layer of berries on a tray, freeze them, then store them in containers. This way they don't clump together and it is easy to take out the required amount of berries in winter.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Home-made ice-cream ...

...with rapadura sugar. The rapadura gives a lovely caramel flavour.

The best thing about home-made ice-cream - it is super delicious, very easy to make and you determine which ingredients go into the mixture.
So, freshly laid eggs from our free-ranging chooks. Raw cream from a place just around the corner. Plus the not so local, but organic rapadura sugar.

No need for anything else, really.

3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks (next time I will use 4 whole eggs and no extra yolks)
3/4 cup rapadura sugar (or 1 cup, if you like it sweeter)
420 ml cream

Put eggs and sugar into a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan with simmering water.
Whisk eggs until the mixture is heated through.
Take off the saucepan, then whisk until the mixture is very frothy and thick-ish.

Whip cream until soft peaks form.
Fold the egg/sugar mixture gently into cream.
Pour into a container of your choice. Lick spoon. Lick bowl.
Cover container. Freeze. Eat.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Kiwi flowers

This is the first year that my female kiwi plant is flowering. They are absolutely gorgeous flowers!
The flower buds are rather intriguing, too.Unfortunately, the male kiwi plant is not flowering. It is still rather small and not doing much. So, unless kiwis can experience an immaculate conception, we won't get any kiwi fruit.

I shall go out and have a word with the male kiwi plant. Maybe next year?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Harvesting garlic...

... must be one of the most satisfying jobs this time of the year.

The weeding, sowing, planting, pruning, shredding and mulching seems to be never-ending. There is still so much more to do. Luckily, there is the garlic we planted in March, and the foliage is finally starting to dry up a bit.

Ahhh... not even half-way through the first garlic bed and it is looking very good.
Lovely! Let's dry them a little bit - while you have a cup of tea, or so.

All bundled up and drying on a rack.

There are some real rippers in the bunches!

These will be stored in a safe spot, to be planted next season. It does seem a shame to plant out the biggest heads (and not eat them!), but you will be rewarded with tons of big cloves.
There are a few small heads of garlic (Not taking a picture of them!), as I planted them a bit close together at one end of the bed. Lesson learned! Space them apart, so that all of them can grow big and fat.

The secret to a bumper crop? Good soil (I usually plant into a garden bed where we had potatoes the previous season), plant the fattest cloves of garlic you can find, space them well apart, water them well the first few weeks after planting. Then sit back and relax. :)

Monday, 6 December 2010

Long lingering local lamb lunch... Lenswood.

Take a bunch of lovely gardeners and sit them down at a table for a long lingering local lunch. What do you get? Not a lot of pictures!
But lots of laughter, good conversation, good food, good cheer.

The theme was local. Preferably from the garden or just around the corner.

The leg of lamb came from a friend's place (just around the corner), so did the shiraz (same place). Herbs, garlic, potatoes, berries from our garden.

For starters we had a selection of savoury bits & pieces - home-made, local, etc.
This is the last picture of the whole lingering lunch. After that we were too busy eating, chatting, laughing, drinking, eating...

I won't torture you by mentioning the rest of the menu. Everything was a hit! :)

Everyone contributed to the lunch by bringing something from the garden, local, home-made....

Thanks, folks! We had a wonderful time. Thank you for your company and your contribution to the lunch. :)