Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wind, wind, more wind....and an "A and P Show"

Well, since the big wind which felled our 19 windbreak trees we have been busy chopping, chainsawing, and splitting...then on Saturday, ANOTHER wind!  As we worked with a hired woodsplitter the wind picked up until it was dangerous to be out there by the trees.

Sure enough, 5 or so more trees down.  I must admit it was pretty disheartening to look back at the boundaries we had already cleared to find that there were more trees down over the fence.

All the garden is looking very windburnt.  Maples have edges of their leaves browned off, irises have snapped, delphinium flowers are snapped off, and all the pears have come off our pear tree.

We also lost a few panes of glass in our brandnew glasshouse.

On the plus side, Pam has been busy planting more roses and what have you in preparation for the Broomfield School Garden Tour, because my garden is going to be a feature garden.  Wow!

The Amberley A&P show is on this Saturday and I am submitting roses on stems, Belgium Biscuits, An article of Quilting (my latest quilt) and 3 herbs (most of these are looking pretty wind-sad too).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 did the Boilup go?

Surprisingly well.  In fact, I really liked it, and so did Montana-Rose.  It wasn't such a hit with Mark, and Albie just tolerated it.

Here's what I did:

2 large packs of pork bones (pork ribs would do also, you need a bit of meat on the bones)

Put them in a large stockpot and cover with water.  Added 2t salt, some pepper, 2 dried mushrooms finely chopped and 2t dried chicken stock.  Then I simmered them for about 2 hours.

I actually let it cool off, as I had prepared it in the morning, and were eating for evening meal.

So then, about an hour before we were to eat I added
4 large carrots, chopped into about 2cm wide lengths
6 potatoes, peeled and sliced in half lengthways

Then I simmered for another 15mins, before adding
5 leaves of silverbeet, shredded
about 2cups of watercress
some chopped kale
and Doughboys (dumplings made from 2c flour, 1t BP, and some milk to mix)

This all got simmered for 15 mins more...Then we ate it.

Surprisingly, not slimy (as I thought it might be).  The potatoes were gorgeous and had taken on a lot of pork flavour.
Here is a child's portion

The day will always go well with a song in your heart

Attempting a "Maori Boilup"

While we were on holiday in Geraldine we watched a group of shearers making a "Boilup" complete with doughboys.   I always thought the sound of it was gross, but the smell and the look on the plate has changed my mind!  it was mouthwateringly goodlooking and smelling....

We have lots of pork bones, they came with the pig carcasses from the butcher when our piggies came to their timely end, and until now we have only fed them to the dog.

But today I have got two lots of bones out and am going to give it a go..I've looked at a couple of recipes, like this one to get the general idea.

Pictures and recipe, and whether it was successful or not I will publish later :-)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

5metre Glasshouse - DONE

In May this year I received a 5m glasshouse for Mothers Day.  A wonderful present, but with a  bit of a wait to get sorted.

I was so eager to get on with it, yet first we had to:
- Have a builder set it out on the piece of garden it was destined for...midwinter....check (Thanks, Mark W)
- Have an budding apprentice dig the foundations and lay the concrete ...midwinter....check (Thanks, Aaron)
- Put up the frames....Mark and I over 3 days (The last few weekends)......check (Thanks, Honey)
- Put in the glass....Mark and I yesterday and today....check

Result...One amazing glasshouse just waiting to be planted out.

While putting the glass in both Mark and I got ripped up hands, and the glass cut us as we moved it about.  Also the little sprung glass holders were a complete b*st*rd to fit and cut our hands as we put them in.

Now I look and hope that I don't have to clean the glass very often, as it will be a terribly difficult job.

The instruction booklet that came with the glasshouse said that any amateur could put it up.  However, if I had been on my own there is no way I could ever have managed it.  The instructions were sparse, the assembly complicated, and you needed a second person to help with most tasks.  Thank goodness for husbands!

Now.....what to plant?
In other news, this is what I picked from our garden today, quite a haul

Friday, October 4, 2013

Setting up the Glasshouse

With the brickie finally having put down the blockwork for the base of our glasshouse, Mark put the wooden tops onto the blocks, ready to start putting up the frame.

I have been thinking about how to fill it with nutritious soil.

Firstly, I put a thick layer of the cowpoo/straw/mud mixture that I have previously raved about.  It meant a quick lesson in how to drive the tractor, which was very exciting and nervewracking.  Then I poured over 3kg of lime.  Mark said that the cowpoo mix was very acidic and needed to be sweetened up (made more alkaline).  I have no idea if this is true or not, but I have followed his instructions.

Then I tipped on bucket of ashes from our fire onto it, and mixed the whole lot up.

Now I have started sieving the soil to go in.  We have plenty of soil, and it has a good nutrient value, but it is soooooo stoney!  I have been sieving it through one of the bird nets that I bought.  I havent used this one yet, so it seemed as good a chore for it as any....

Nice soft soil, and it is looking good