June 24th, 2009 AndrewD
Flying out on Tiger from Canberra to Adelaide this arvo (24th) and will be in SA to Monday when we fly back. While down there a few days in the Barossa, Swan v Adelaide on Sat nite, drive around Sunday. My mun is looking after the tin lids, good luck
June 22nd, 2009 AndrewD
We get fog, and no this is not a new discovery. But when we have it, it is usually a pea souper. The other thing about our fog is that they usually do not lift until 12-1pm.
The reason for this is that our place is not at the bottom of the valley. The main street and township of Yass is at the bottom, but we are approx 2km from the GPO and up the ‘hill’. So as I type this at 10.39 am the fog is infact getting thicker as it raises from the town. So sometime around lunch (or soon after) we will see the sky.
June 22nd, 2009 AndrewD
After a long layoff it is back to some fruit plantings. Last year we planted approx 12-13 fruit tree’s this year not as many. The plan for this year is mainly for plum & cherry (and a few others). So what has arrived so far, and what we have named them (remembering we name all the fruit trees).
- Presidents Plum (Obama)
- Angelina Burdett Plum (Angie)
- Nottingham Medlar (Un-named)
Now as the medlar is unnamed, any suggestions out there. The medlar is a fruit you only eat when rotten, also it has been referred to as a dogs arse amongst other names due to the look of it.
“In the 16th and 17th centuries, medlars were also bawdily called “open-arses” because of the shape of the fruits, inspiring the presence of boisterously or humorously indecent puns in many Elizabethan and Jacobean plays.”
From Romeo and Juliet
Now will he sit under a medlar tree,
And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit
As maids call medlars, when they laugh alone.
O Romeo, that she were, O that she were
An open-arse and thou a poperin pear!
I am still planning another apple, a sloe plum and a few more nut trees, but more on those when they arrive.
June 14th, 2009 AndrewD
One of the trees we are planting is the Silver Birch (Betula pendula). Now if you had been reading this blog you would know that most plants here do have a reason for being planted. Well The silver birch is an amazing tree. It produces a sap which, like Maple Trees can be boiled down to produce a syrup (not as good as maple but a sweet syrup). You can produce a Silver Birch wine or beer and there is a ton of other things you can do with it. Anyway in a few years (I am hoping approx 5) I can start tapping them in spring.
I have 4 of them so far and I expect to buy another two. I think I should get a decent quantity of sap out of them and I will tap 3 per year. Wikipedia states “A small birch (trunk diameter about 15 cm) can produce up to 5 liters of sap per day, a larger tree (diameter 30 cm) up to 15 liters per day.”
As stated above you can either use the sap to make a dry white wine or a beer, in fact Queen Victoria’s Prince Albert made it his favourite drink when in residence at Balmoral.
And an old English recipe states “To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr’d together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm’d. When it is sufficiently boil’d, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work…and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up.
Anyway some other uses are
- Inner bark – cooked or dried and ground into a meal
- A tea is made from the leaves
- The bark is diuretic and laxative
And a bunch more.
June 10th, 2009 Lee-Ann
well today is the first big frost of the season – everything is covered in frost - buckets with water in them have frozen over, broccoli have collapsed with frost, haybales all have a covering of frost. I should have brought the lemon tree up closer to the house although I think it is ok, but I guess I better start paying more attention to weather patterns around here to protect the more frost tender plants. It is a beautiful morning sight to see. I should take a photo but the sun is coming up and my hands are freezing and a bunch of other reasons why I don’t want to go outside again.