Saturday, 27 June 2009

shows the potato plot, with moat. Chookhouse all that is left to do is fill the gaps, oil and put a little gutter on. Fence and find some chooks! So we are almost done. I am so proud of my DH he is so clever and the chooks will have a lovely safe and dry home.

I really do like rain, do the slugs and snails

I really have wanted to get out in the garden, it is just so wet underfoot, and even though I managed to plant some peas under my broad beans, I pulled a few weeds, it was just to mushy. The potato bed has its own moat thankfully I had piled up where the potatoes are a bit, seems to be keeping the animals that have been nibbling the leaves at bay. I am unable to get out their and kill off all the slugs and snails that are eating all the leafy plants. Even my comfrey, and other flowering plants that have never been attacked are under savage leaf eating attack at present. I did try some beer baits but they have all flooded as the rain has been intense. I have visions of no a leafy green left if we dont get some dry days for a week or so to allow me to decimate the slug snail population. Has anyone any ideas? Snail bait washed away, dusting with vacuum dust washed away, I am going crazy! There are so many I cant even hand pick them all! ARRRGH!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The longest day has passed

The longest day has passed and for a change this year I did not leave it to put my garlic in on this day as I have in the past. I include a photo here of my garlic, which seems to be growing well. I have had to put some wire over it to try to stop the wallabies and the dog from laying on it. The chookhouse is nearing completion, it is going to be pretty spectacular. We have to oil it yet. It will be oiled with Maddison oil to blend in with the house. Fencing is the next big thing to create the run for the girls, as much as I would love them to be able to wander all over the garden, I have seen how much damage they can reek with my neighbours garden. They will have a large run and will be popped into other areas to dig and weed at times. Does this mean they are not free range, maybe but they will have plenty of space to wander. I just cannot believe how hard it is to find where to buy either sexed chickens or point of lay hens down here. I have put out word, checked email and surfed the net, rung a couple of places that had chooks. All I have left are the people who produce eggs large scale to see if they can direct me. Who would have thought it would be so difficult. My brassicas are growing but no little heads as yet. We are eating greens from the garden for salads, mesculan mix, corn salad, miners lettuce, turnip green(young leaves, parsley, bokchoy, mustard, garlic shallots, young beetroot and silver beet leaves. Yummy. On the deck I have planted in polystyrene boxes some more mesculan mix and baby cos lettuce, white onions, spring onions and spinache. I also have planted sugar snap peas garlic and other things in polystyrene boxes putting them along the edge of the house. I am moving the two lilac trees as they have never done anything much where they have been. My darling man chopped down a eucalyptus tree that was growing too close to the house today, and I will plant both the lilacs here. I have to plant out the fig which is going into the chook run, grapes to grow over the deck pergola, kiwi fruit, and passionfruit perhaps along the chooks fence. I may also have to move the apricot. I have to laugh at myself, as I have decided that I am not buying anymore fruit trees this season, well maybe one nectarine..and a second lemon as the one I have just has never produced a lemon ..yet I do live in hope. Making more bread today, linseed and soy. I will also make a great sponge cake from the Australian Woman's Weekly Cake Cook book, Simple sponge, light and fluffy I have never had a failure with it. I put cream and passionfruit in the middle with a cream passionfruit icing on top. I was thinking of putting raspberries on it, as mine are still fruiting and producing large berries. It has just begun to drizzle, I would love it to continue this light drizzle rain over night and for tomorrow, watering the vegies for me. I did put some worm juice and worm castings about the vegetable garden and in the new boxes on the deck. I have also covered the seeds with bubble wrap which was an idea of the Simple savings site. it helps speed up germination and protect the seeds from birds and bugs. Fingers crossed it will have great success for me! Does anyone else love this time of year, actually I think I love most seasons, they all have something truly unique. I hear some cockatoos and our local parrots calling to each other, as I sit here typing this. Earlier this morning I was watching a family of blue wrens at the bird bath, and a pair of scarlet breasted robins on the feed table. The frost on the cobwebbs and the dew as it drips off the trees it is all quite perfect. Especially as I am sitting inside with the fire going, the yeasty smell of bread rising and a sponge cooking in the oven. A mug of tea by my side and the dog smelling a touch damp, (imagine damp wool) laying at my feet, low cloud and drizzle..soon a glass of gluwein I think..oh hard life here at home.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Bread Making as I can't get into the garden much!

Just wanted to share my bread success with you. It is really delicious, and so easy. It is a white bread or roll recipe from the Family Circle Favourite Bakery Recipes Book It makes 1 loaf or 10 bread rolls. 3 cups plain flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1x7gm dry yeast sachet (I used 2 teaspoons of loose yeast from lowan which I store in fridge) 1 cup of hot water 2 teaspoons of oil or melted butter. (I used olive oil) I added several tablespoons of mixed seeds I have. Pumpkin, sunflower, and linseed whole seeds. 1 Mix dry ingrediants including yeast in a large bowl. Combine oil with water. Add to dry ingrediants and beat well. Mix by hand to form soft dough. 2. Turn dough on to a lightly floured board, knead for 10minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl(I don't do this, I just put into a glass bowl). Brush top with warm water (I forgot to do this) cover with greased plastic film. (I just put a plate over the bowl or a lid if I have one that fits) Leave in a warm place until dough doubles in size approximately 35 mins. 3 Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead for 1 minute. 4 Shape dough into a loaf and place in a greased loaf tin 23X10X8 cm deep pan.(I just shape the bread and place on a baking tray). 5. Brush the top of the dough with warm water, ( I forgot to do this) and leave to rise in a warm place for another 35 minutes. 6 Bake in a very hot oven, ( I put my fan forced gas oven to the highest setting pre-heat. Iput the bread into the oven and spray cool water on the sides (not a lot but most bakers ovens have moisture controls and since I have been doing this my bread is so much better. I let it cook for a few minutes and then I spray the sides of the oven again, creating steam. I then let the bread cook. Recipe says for 30 minutes. To test whether the loaf is baked, turn out of tin, The sides and base should be golden brown and sound hallow when tapped. To make rolls follow directions 1-4 than divide into 10 pieces shape each into a ball place 5cm apart on grease baking tray. Leave to rise for 20 minutes. Bake in very hot 15-20 minutes. I am eating mine with lovely honey as I type! I would love to hear feed back on how your bread goes and what you have added to it. I am thinking of doing some feta and sundried tomato rolls with herbs. It is going to snow down to 400meter mark tonight, 3 to 9 is our temp range tommorow with gale winds.. so I am so glad we are snug with the fire warming us!