Friday, 29 June 2007
Here is part of a label from some French cheese I bought at the market this morning. I usually refuse to buy any but Australian cheeses however, our gourmet son Hugh has told me there is something - je ne sais quois - about French cheese that puts some of them in another league. When you are 18 you know everything so I thought I would follow his advice, before he grows up and realises that he hardly knows anything. At 'Smelly Cheese' they were offering samples of several and I chose to taste one oozy white one. Lovely.......until a few seconds later when it became.....je ne sais quois ! Is it the unpasteurised milk they use or the hundreds of years of experience ? It is not strong but the ripe, white mold and the texture are totally unique. There are many great cheese in SA and the rest of Australia too. Here are my favourites (so far !):
Woodside goats' curd (a fresh,almost lemony, spreadable cheese), very ripe Edith's cheese (very strong goats cheese) , King Island smoked cheddar ( the only cheese I know of that is truly smoked and not impregnated with smoke flavour !Tastes like a campfire smells), Adelaide Blue (a good blue with a nice texture - easy to cut), St Clair (a Tasmanian Swiss style), Tasmanian Edam (melts really well in a croissant!), Island Pure fetta (sheep fetta from KI) and several that I buy by sight at the market but can't remember their names.
A small piece of beautiful cheese is worth so much more than a block of packaged stuff. I never, EVER buy processed or reduced fat cheeses as the processing plays havoc with your health. Just like with the rest of our diet we should eat only food as close to natural as we can get. If you say but you can't afford lots of pure cheeses, then I say that more is not always better. Buy tiny bits and sit and savour them with someone who will appreciate the new tastes and textures with you and it will bring a slightly naughty smile to your faces. Guaranteed. (Just like the customers in 'Chocolat' when they first had Vian's special hot chocolate!)
Thursday, 28 June 2007
Sow it, grow it and taste it …
Once upon a time there was a lesson in taste education in the city of Adelaide. Primary school children visited Carrick Hill and worked alongside gardeners sowing and growing vegetables.
Come harvest time there were new flavours discovered and lots of fun was had in the making and cooking of produce.
Now the children know about fresh seasonal produce, understand the importance of healthy eating and, they have absolutely no trouble eating up their greens.
Visit Mr. McGregor’s garden at Carrick Hill to view the work in progress and admire the scarecrows…….you might just spy Peter rabbit.
This programme will enable students to be involved with a group project from beginning to end thus developing their collaborative skills. In the process they will broaden their awareness of fresh seasonal produce, where it comes from and how to prepare it for eating.
Themes such as gardening/ horticulture, hygiene, safety, nutrition, cooking and sharing are integral to the experience.
This fun activity will also expand student’s knowledge and appreciation of healthy eating and enable the children to discover new flavours. Taste education at its best.
Carrick Hill Trust Adelaide Hills Slow Food Convivium
Supported by: Children’s Food Education Foundation.
Tasting Australia 2007 (associated event)
Eat up your greens commenced this term when Adelaide Hills Slow Food members went along to Crafers Primary and got the class 2,4/5 classes planting a range of seeds including radish ,various lettuce, peas, board beans, spinach & rainbow chard. The children also have some advanced seedlings to look after.
In Week 4 of the term the children visited Carrick Hill to plant out the seedlings & learn a little about Carrick Hill & Mr. McGregor’s garden.
They then returned this week to harvest some vegetables & participate in a vegetable taste education programme. They got to taste:
- Sensational salad after seeing the progress in the garden & collecting some salad greens & herbs they tasted a range of greens.
- Eat a rainbow. They prepared a cream cheese dip by adding herbs. Then tasted it with a mix of fresh vegetables.
- Mr McGregors's Favourite Soup. After tasting the soup they had to guess the ingredients .
During the term they can visit the garden with their families.
Next week Heathfield Primary will start planting their seeds.
EAT UP YOUR GREENS is a joint programme to promote the experience from garden to plate. This programe uses public gardens & staff (Carrick Hill) & volunteers from Carrick Hill & Adelaide Hills Slow Food. At this stage we have funded these ourselves & its up to the schools to get the children to Carrick Hill. It is planned this program will continue with one school per term participating. Heathfield Primary School will commence in 3rd term. Eat up your greens is available to any primary school in Adelaide or the Hills
There is also an good article on allotment plots in Japan.
Wednesday I went to The Cape Floral Region talk at the Adelaide botanic gardens.
It was a fascinating presentation.
Lets go to Wittunga gardens.In Spring they have a free guided tours on Tuesdays at 10:30. The tour lasts for 1 1/2 hours.
Sept, Oct, and Nov.
Ericas, Leucadendron, Proteas.
Saturday is full moon.
Sunday is July 1 which brings us to a new set of Monthly events.
Check out Regular Happenings and the calender.
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
For dessert ? Left over red currant tart with King Island cream. If you ever come across red currants you must make this tart (see 'recipes' link).
In the late 20th century, Cuba embraced industrial agriculture: it had plenty of cheap Soviet supplied oil. Cuban farmers used more chemical fertilisers and pesticides than even the USA. When the Soviet Empire folded in the 1980s, Cuba lost its oil overnight. It took a decade to transform society. Today food is grown organically by necessity, not by choice. Public parks and open spaces have become permaculture community gardens, and domestic gardens grow productive, not just pretty, plants. Cuban organic productivity now equals that of
industrial farming but farmers are now some of their best-paid citizens. So far Cuba is the only industrialised nation to have made it to a post-oil economy.
Australian cities are located on our most fertile, most reliably watered soils - we live in garden cities. Food production at home, in community gardens and community-supported local agriculture adjoining major population centres offers one avenue for food security. With water shortages hitting our major food-growing regions, some of our politicians expect we can import food to make up the shortfall. But experts warn that this may not be possible with global shortages appearing already. What might be needed is for our leaders to insist that neglected farmland in fertile and more water-abundant regions be put to use to grow food and fodder.
Tuesday, 26 June 2007
· sharp tools reduce stresses and strains on wrists, elbows, etc.,
· sharp powertools reduce fuel consumption and engine wear,
· correctly serviced machines reduce swearing,
· always use a filter funnel when adding fuel,
· keep your 2 stroke and 4 stroke fuel in strikingly different and labelled containers
· try to drain fuel (or allow to run out) from 2 stroke engines (much easier to start next time),
· always turn off the fuel tap if there is one.
· hard working engines will use oil; check oil every time you add fuel.
Quentin Jones has been running ‘Quentune Engineering’ for over 30 years, starting off building, tuning and racing motorcycles. This experience has made it easy to adapt to the many small engines that are available today to help with garden and small farm maintenance. WELL SERVICED, TUNED and SHARPENED EQUIPMENT makes the job easy. Poorly serviced and blunt tools often put well meaning gardeners off which can allow things to get out of hand. This can cause stress and create fire hazards and weed problems.
Standard service-clean/replace air filter, clean/replace fuel filters (did you know there are 2 fuel filters on most chainsaws and brushcutters?), clean water traps, clean air-cooling fins/galleries ( ah, the joys of compressed air!), check/clean/replace spark plug,. Start, test, tune engine. Check engine and gearbox oils, change oils as necessary. PRICE $35 plus parts
Sharpening service-saw chains from $9 (you can double that if the chain is really mangled)
-secateurs from $8.50 (stripped, cleaned, sharpened)
-hedge clippers from $8.50 (stripped, cleaned, sharpened)
-household scissors, knives, etc.
Chainsaw bar straightening and dressing
-is your chainsaw cutting in a big curve? $9 will fix that
General repairs -valve grinds (more compression-more power-easier starts)
-engine rebuilds (using too much oil? fouling spark plugs?)
Call-out service -can’t bring the job to me? Maybe it can be fixed on the spot.
Ride-on mowers, waterpumps, firepumps. Give me a call.
Call-out fee $25 (first 20 minutes including travel)
Pick-up and delivery service based on the call-out fee but no minimum charge.(there’s no such thing as a free lunch)
Machinery bought and sold. machinery sold on consignment.
Quentune Engineering (part of NIRVANA Farm)
184 Longwood Rd., Heathfield. Ph. 83392519
Sufficient for the day, to live in the moment.To eat seasonally and whatever is fresh in the garden today. The indigenous people of all lands new this.
So today as I look at our small vege patch and decide what to prepare I am mindful and grateful that there is more than enough.
The cold and frosty mornings have not damaged our greens.
Today we shall be having a large green salad (mixed lettuce leaves, rocket, mibuna, mitzuma,baby beet leaves, spring onions and mixed chicory leaves).Served with Flavia's healthy salad dressing(olive oil,balsamic vinegar,garlic, chopped parsley and fresh herbs)
We have lots of Andrew or Kate's pale spinach, plenty to make a frittata , Greek spinach pie or Lebanese vegetabe fritters .Serve this with some yogurt flavoured with garlic , coriander and mint. What a feast!.
Saturday, 23 June 2007
Provenance Nursery is open Sundays and the do sell some native food plants.
Julie Way presents an evening lecture this Friday. Check her website.
Pattie from Food Shed has an excellant book review on The secret life of bees by Sue Monk Kidd. Click on to Kitchen Gardeners International and look under blogs for Food Shed.
" lifting a persons heart now thats what matter." This is a quote from the above review.
This very cold weather we are having is making life a lot harder for the elderly in our community. Could I suggest that there are many ways we could lift the spirits of all those around us.
Remember the bees and think ahead by making sure we have lots of flowers in our gardens. My Mums lavender has masses of bees at the moment. I did not prune mine so I have no bees.
Have a great day
I think they liked the drought because this year they are so tall and strong and dense. A few weeks ago, in late May, I decided to slash them to the ground because, even after cutting them daily for the chooks, for 2 months, there seem to be just as many as before and they were shading the areas I wanted to use for broad beans and a green manure crop. Now there is plenty of other greenery for the chooks to forage on they don't need so much arrowroot so I thought it would be so clever of me to slash it, put it throught the mulcher and begin a new compost heap together with some of the horse and cow manure we collected on Mothers' Day.
Plant Cultivation :
Rhizome producing perennial that grows much like ornamental canna species. Herbaceous perennial, usually to 3-6ft. It is tender to hard frosts, but can be grown practically anywhere if its rhizomes are dug up during winter. (not necessary here). Plants commonly die back during cold months, only to leaf out and bloom during warmer months. Plants enjoy regular water during the warm months. Plant in full sun, part sun, or shade. They can be grown in pretty much any type of soil. Propagation: By seed, or by rhizomes.
Thursday, 21 June 2007
Wednesday, 20 June 2007
Things are a bit slow on the blog but it is a fun thing to do when it is dark or too wet to garden !
I hope you and Claudia are having a good time and collecting lots of stories to write about on your return.
Monday, 18 June 2007
Sunday, 17 June 2007
Provenance Indigenous Plants Nursery Only open Sundays 10 am to 4pm
27 Circuit Dr Hendon 8345 0300
www.provenance.net.au most pots $2
We met these folk at the eco fair. There is a list of what they sell on their website
Permaculture has a comunity Garden Gathering 12 to 4pm at Hillcrest
Go to the permaculture website for details
The new Winter program for the Botanical Gardens is on the website
I recommend the Aboriginal Food and Plant Trail 11am today bookings 8222 9311 repeated in July and August .
Check this guide for some great events
Gamble Cottage House and Garden
Open 3rd Sunday of each month
2 to 4pm
296 Main Rd Blackwood
Free entry Garden is always open to the public
Enquiries Mitcham Council
Saturday, 16 June 2007
In the kitchen there is also my big bread-making bowl filled with olives soaking (see recipe link), and a pile of pumpkin seeds drying off before being stored. Next to the stove is a little glass jar holding about 10 black bean seeds with a note reminding me to think about what the hell they were from !!
Last night I sat in the lounge and sorted out all my various bean seeds into containers, now they are all dry (I hope). They are still there because the laundry - where I try to keep seeds - is full of other seeds all doing their thing. Even the dining room table has succumbed to the disease as that is where the seedpods are that I assembled to take those photos of the development of a 'Butterfly Bush' seedpod (see photos link). I can't bare to throw them away, they are so gorgeous with their silky beards, still held in the bird-like pods. Does anyone want some ?
In the spare bedroom are all the pumpkins that I didn't sell to Wilson's - it is very cold in there and I hope they will keep well. Over the bath in the main bathroom hang all the garlic I grew and harvested last December - very handy as all the mess falls in the bath and no-one ever has a bath here anyway.
I apologised to Barb about the state of my house the other day but she kindly said it is a home and shows that people live here. (Not many people do live here actually - there is much more plant life.)
On top of the built- in -oven is a shelf which gets some light from a high window and is nice and warm and there I keep my Curry Tree, in winter. I am thinking of putting my newly- acquired Fish Herb there too as it is not looking that happy in the lounge, by the window. Three pots of lemongrass are attempting to overwinter by another window - god, I need a glasshouse. I have drawn up a plan for one - I just need a husband with time !............
It is almost too much. I feel, on the one hand, elated at the connection I have with the earth but, for the first time ever, that maybe I really have gone completely insane !
Researchers at McMaster University have found that plants get fiercely competitive when forced to share their pot with strangers of the same species, but they’re accommodating when potted with their siblings.
“The ability to recognize and favour kin is common in animals, but this is the first time it has been shown in plants” Susan Dudley, associate professor of biology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, said. “When plants share their pots, they get competitive and start growing more roots, which allows them to grab water and mineral nutrients before their neighbours get them. It appears, though, that they only do this when sharing a pot with unrelated plants; when they share a pot with family they don’t increase their root growth. Because differences between groups of strangers and groups of siblings only occurred when they shared a pot, the root interactions may provide a cue for kin recognition.”
Though they lack cognition and memory, the study shows plants are capable of complex social behaviours such as altruism towards relatives, says Dudley. Like humans, the most interesting behaviours occur beneath the surface.
Dudley and her student, Amanda File, observed the behavior in sea rocket (Cakile edentula), a member of the mustard family native to beaches throughout North America, including the Great Lakes.
So should gardeners arrange their plants like they would plan the seating at a dinner party?
“Gardeners have known for a long time that some pairs of species get along better than others, and scientists are starting to catch up with why that happens,” says Dudley. “What I’ve found is that plants from the same mother may be more compatible with each other than with plants of the same species that had different mothers. The more we know about plants, the more complex their interactions seem to be, so it may be as hard to predict the outcome as when you mix different people at a party.”
Saturday, 9 June 2007
One cold, wet evening, when the compost bucket was full to overflowing, the kitchen gardener had had enough of the garden filling up the kitchen and just wanted somewhere to throw the remains of a lovely celery given to her by a friend earlier in the week. It was a big lump of a thing, with roots attached from which all the edible bits had been removed and put in the fridge. I walked out onto the verandah and dropped it over into the dark soil behind a row of plectranthus. Done..........
This afternoon, several weeks later, I took my coffee out onto said verandah and, standing there marvelling at the lovely, sunny day, I spied a clump of green just over the edge. I abandoned my coffee and, with a quiet 'bloody hell what's that' type of exclamation I discovered that the celery had grown leaves, where once there were none ! I leapt down the steps, pushed aside the plectranthus and delved in and sure enough, the roots were lying there on the surface but masses of tiny hair roots had snuggled down into the moist soil. In the complete shade the brilliant green of the leaves and stems had, amazingly, flourished. So I transplanted it to the veg garden where I took this photo. Now I have perpetual celery; I wonder how long I can keep this one plant going.
Thursday, 7 June 2007
Tuesday, 5 June 2007
Saturday, 2 June 2007
8.30am – 4.30pm $95
One day course to introduce the practical concepts of the biodynamic methods to farmers & gardeners. The biodynamic method is a modern organic approach that creates a holistic approach to building healthy soil, plants, animals & humans. Includes notes, biodynamic preparations, lunch & teas.
Nirvana Organic Farm184 Longwood RoadHeathfield 5153
For further enquires: email Deborah
Thanks Deb. This sounds like a great idea. See you there.