December 14th, 2008 AndrewD
Well we had so much planned for this weekend, I would make big headway into the construction our deck and pergola, garden duties and christmas duties.
Due to the wind and continual drizzle over the weekend I did not construct my deck/pergola (4.5m x 4.7m). This weekend was blustery, cool and wet, 51m of rain Fri – Sun and temperatures were around the 15C mark. On the flip side it is a perfect day today Monday, little breeze and the sun is out (but it is not too hot) but I have to be logged in doing the paid work. Oh well next weekend now. Hopefully I will have it almost done before Christmas.
We have a great nursery here in Yass called Dan and Dan (also where our fruit trees come from) and they have a small pine farm which you can call up each year and reserve your tree. You specify the size and arrange a pick up date. So we went down on the Sat and picked up our tree. Apparently it was only cut that morning and it had that very sweet pine smell about it. So Sat nite was decorating nite in which Lee-Ann and Alyssa decorated the tree.
Sunday as we had not bought the concrete for our deck we purchased 5 ‘Red Devil’ Photinia as we do need a wind break for our vege patch. I planeted them in approx 15 meters further down from where the last vege patch is (I will be building some more vege patches to take up the space) Lee-Ann has nicknamed this the Devils Break.
December 12th, 2008 AndrewD
Well the good news is that everything has had a great drenching over the past 24+ hours, tanks are full and over flowing.
Rain map from BOM
While in the image it appears light, it has been constant since 3am today
The bad news is that we had been noticing that somethng had been making our pear leaf (on Big Red) “skelotonised”. Found the culprite today PEAR SLUG…. so tomorrow off to the nursery and to pick up pyrethrum and clemsel. Mixed with water and repeated over a few weeks it should kill the buggers off
December 6th, 2008 AndrewD
Well this weekend we decidedd to harvest the garlic. We dug up one and to our surprice it looked and smelled like garlic, so as Sat was a warm dry day, I thought that was as good as any day to harvest the garlic. So taking my garden fork to the vege bed I extracted them all.
And what a haul, 42 garlic bulbs and a few more in the rose bed which will be harvested in a few weeks. Definately planting more next year as I want to keep 10 bulbs for planting out next year.
Garlic first picked
Onve we had it all collected we brushed them down and gave them a bit of a hair cut (we cut off most of the roots). Now comes the curing as garlic needs to hang in a dry airy place out of direct sunlight. It will sty there a few weeks before being stored in a nice cool, dark place.
December 6th, 2008 AndrewD
Well the house is relatively quiet as Lynsey has gone on holiday, my mum has taken her on a cruise for two weeks, she does not get back until the 20th Dec, the day after my birthday. Anyway she left Friday and they visit Melbourne (Vic) and Davenport (Tas) before sailing up the South Island of New Zealand, and finally ending up in Aukland before they fly back to Sydney on the 20th.
December 6th, 2008 AndrewD
It has been a few weeks so this is a bit of a catch up, have harvested radishes (French Breakfast – Diggers) probably planted too many as the only place I know to use it is in salads. So from now on only 4 of these at any one time. But they are quick and ready to harvest in under a month. Also we have harvested our first Beetroot (Mini Gormet – Diggers). These taste sooo sweet. I am ashamed to have said that the only other beetroot I had ever had was Golden Circle. So with the few that we had we also looked for a pickling recipe.
The recipe we ended up using came from the ABC cookbook “A Year in a Bottle”
1-2 cups sugar
4 cups white vinegar
1 teaspoon grd cinnamon
1 teaspoon grd allspice
12 black pepercorns
Cook beetroot in boiling water unitil tender, peel and slice and pack into sterilised jars.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, remove from heat. Cover and allow to stand for 20 minutes to allow vinegar to cool a little and flavours to infuse. Strain and pour over beetroot (make sure they are covered). Seal and store in a cool, dry dark place for upto 1 year.
We have had our first jar of pickled beetroot and it was fantastic – highly recommend it. So I have now planted bulk beetroot so we will have plenty to pickle. Hopefull enough to last until next summer.
We are now harvesting the onions we planted 6 months ago, they are not all ready, so we are just harvesting as required. There are a few smaller ones that will stay in the ground for a few weeks. There won’t be enough onions to last the year, knowing how much to plant of anything is a learning curve. We will have approx 20-30 onions in the end. Next onion planting will at least be double the amount.
Some of the first Beetroot
December 1st, 2008 AndrewD
Every two weeks we usually have a roast. While a good leg is not cheap we always manage to get two meals out of it (and the dog a few bones). I am not talking about the roast but our second meal. The Shepherd’s Pie. The recipe we use always turns out tasting great and is easy to make (plus the kids love it). The other benefit is that you can vary the amounts of meat and veges in it.
Left over roast, meat cut up into pieces
1-2 carrots diced
some Peas or any other vege you have around – we are using the frozen broad beans from this years harvest. But we have also used broccoli.
1 garlic clove
1/2 glass red wine
2tablespoon tomato sauce (as in the sauce you put on your sausages)
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1-2 cups stock
For the topping
Put oven on at 200C
Chop up meat, onion, carrot, garlic (and any other veges you have)
Saute onion, carrots in oil (for approx 4-5 minutes), add the garlic and the other veges
Throw in the meat, wine, tomato sauce and worcestershire sauce. Now add stock till it covers the mixture – season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile boil potatoes and make mash.
Now put the meat mixture in a pie dish/pot, cover with mash, get kids to make designs with fork in mash.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Also we always put some foil below as some of the mixture always boils over. Remove when mash is brown on top. Done
Now there are always many varieties, what is your favourite?