What’s in the garden?
Bad news….. The bees haven’t produced enough honey for Etienne to extract and we’re on our last jar! The chickens are only laying one egg a day! And, the goats are only producing a cup of milk a day now! In the famous accent of Jon Snow “Winter is coming…..”
On the upside, due to our semi-sustainable lifestyle, I can only tolerate small amounts of sugar now so I don’t have the kinds of cravings for sweet things that I had in the past. But on the downside, we NEED dairy and honey in our diet! And, I love baking! It would be dreadful if I couldn’t make a mango smoothie or a cake when I felt like it. No honey in our tea or porridge, no honey on toast, no delicious goat cheese infused with fresh herbs in our lunch salad. This is disastrous!
I’m going to milk the goats twice a day to build their supply. I’m also giving the chooks more scraps so that they have more variety in their diet to see if that helps.
Pictured below is the start of the new greenhouse.
The ripped pool lining is being recycled as a weed mat for the pathways of the new greenhouse. We pulled it down and cut it into strips that we’ll cover in gravel. Having two greenhouses is going to be great.
What’s on the menu?
This week we had: rich vegetable curries cooked in coconut milk using a tin of coconut milk that Bee left behind when she went to Melbourne; spicy pumpkin soup made with home-grown pumpkin and home grown ginger (Izzy loved it); roast vegetable quiche; and finally a risotto flavoured with our home grown basil and goat cheese – it was lovely but I think that using goat stock as well as goat cheese made the goat flavour a bit strong. It was nice, but next time I’d use veggie stock instead.
Vegetable curry with Izzy, Bee and Josh pictured above.
Lunches haven’t changed: green salad (lettuce, avocado, pecan, capsicum, tomato – all from the garden; bean salad (beans, tomato, carrot and capsicum – all home grown; and goat cheese infused with herbs and salt, covered with a thin layer of oil. With the salads we usually have boiled eggs, or buckwheat pancakes or bread. The bread pictured above spread out on the pan so it came out flat like a big pancake.
I decided that if I was going to use the oven that I would fill it up so that I could make the maximum use of it while it was turned on. I made a bread, a passionfruit cake and I roasted some vegetables in rosemary, oil and salt. Lastly, I then mixed the vegetables into a quiche which was the last thing to go in the oven. So for about two hours I was popping things in and out.
The results were great. The roast vegetable quiche was ‘really good’ in the words of Bee, who doesn’t usually like quiche. The bread rose up nice and plump. Best of all was the cake. I used the same recipe that I was using when I made the five finger fruit upside down cake and I just substituted passionfruit instead of fivefinger fruit in the sauce.
On the lasts night that Bee and Josh were here, we cooked rice from a packet of brown rice that had been stored in the silky oak cabinet for a few months. Unfortunately, it had cupboard moth caterpillars in it. Some of us chose to push the rice aside and just eat the vegetable curry, but others stoically picked them out and ate their dinner without reservation (well done, I say, although I was an abstainer). The rest of the rice is now pig food so nothing is wasted.
Activities of the week
We’ve filled the wood shed at the house with cut wood for the combustion stove. Etienne traded some farm work for the stove nine years ago from our neighbours (who no longer wanted a wood fire stove). It’s a great little stove.
Bee is home for the week so we’ve been playing card games, including the contentious Cards Against Humanity (which Bee loves but I have very mixed feelings about!!)
Did some mending with Izzy.
Sunday – Some local people organised a Lismore Council funded event for the Living out of Town website launch. It was lovely. There was a free sausage sizzle (with yummy vegetable patties and fresh coleslaw), music, school choirs, raffles, jumping castle and market stalls. There was a good crowd from about midday until 2.30pm. I sold one of Etienne’s baskets to a lady called Renita. I told her the basket was priced at $45 but she insisted on paying $50 and said it was worth more than that – thanks Renita. The highlight of the day for me was listening to Bart Stenhouse (look him up) and his friend, Dominic, who was on violin. Unfortunately, they were rostered to start at 2.30 and most of the crowd had left by then. At one stage, Etienne and I were the only people sitting with our hands on each other’s laps and our eyes closed and listening to an amazing live performance. It was like a world class gypsy-jazz concert just for us – unbelievably wonderful!
I reread my post from last week. Mmmmmm….. There’s a distinct hippy vibe to the whole thing, but I think it captures my post festival euphoria pretty accurately.
Australians, do you feel apathetic about politics? Do you think that you, on your own, can’t make a jot of bloody difference? Well, if you haven’t heard of Get-up, get your butt into gear, join Get-up, and sign some damn petitions. Put your tiny little voice alongside a million other passionate Aussies and become part of a huge choir, singing for justice and fairness for all Australians. Minimal effort, maximum result! Love it!
Ok, Get-up isn’t perfect. They wrote an email to their members in which they basically claimed credit for the killing of the TTP from Australia when actually Trump was the key factor in Australia’s hesitation to sign. I wrote to Get-up and explained that it didn’t help their cause to send propaganda to their membership, most of whom follow politics at some level and were therefore aware of the situation. They wrote back stating that they’d had numerous complaints and the campaign team were addressing all the collated feedback immediately. Good on them.
Now I need to go for a walk to harvest some avocados. Walking clears my mind and fills me with positivity. The dogs love it. Plus, we get avocados. Tick, tick, tick.