Sunday, March 29, 2009

How to use up 9 litres of milk

We came away from meeting Clover with 9 litres of milk so this is how we used it up...

Milk Tarts 2 litres

Yoghurt 4 litres
Bring the milk to the boil. Do not allow the bottom to catch. Remove from heat and cool until you can hold your baby finger in it for 10 sec. Then stir in 1 small container organic yoghurt with live cultures. Pour into sterilized jars.

Place in a cooler box and cover with a warm blanket. Leave over night in sealed box.

Cream Cheese 2 litre

Take the youghurt and hang in a fine weave clothe for the whey to drip off.

Voila - cream cheese - divine for cheese cake or dips. Mix with some avo or spring onions or pepperdews on toast!

Cheese sauce 500ml

Pancakes 500ml
(next day for lunch!)

Potatoes bakes (not photographed)

My youngest helped me with the stirring!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mootiful day

Today we spent sometime at a friend's home where our odlest daughter rides. They have a new addition to their little farm in the city - Clover...

Her little bottom jaw is so sweet...

And that purple tongue....

Allowed herself to be petted....

And then had her tea :-)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Inspirational Visit

Yesterday I visited with a long time gardener and food grower in Claremont.

Brigid lives right alongside a busy traffic intersection and opposite her is a field of about acres. In 1993 she approached the City Council to rent the land. At that stage it was inhabited by squatters and was overgrown and home to all sorts of vices.

Eventually in 2002 she was granted permission and so began the Arniston Elemental Organic Garden.

Her garden uses no pesticides, she proudly states that she kills nothing. Everything (all the elements) works together in balance.

A lot of the area is uncultivated but her plans are inspirational - hoping to plant a fruit orchard, olive trees and other large projects are all ready to happen with just a little bit of funding.

She has created this little haven pretty much on her own with the help of one labourer. So come take a short tour with me:

Because the garden is self funded, she grows what she can to resell to put more back into the garden. Growing a patch of buffalo, amd selling it, has brought in some funding.

Basil was also sold to friends. There is a large amount of lavender which she is distilling in her garage.

As a self acknowledged "garden-pack-rat" she throws nothing away but grows cuttings of all sorts.

She has two large wormeries made in old baths, they are producing juice and lovely looking compost.

She makes use of companion planting to promote good growth. Below is mustard and wild garlic.

My son was enchanted with the black chillies and even managed to wangle one to bring home for Daddy!

Brigid's husband made a bee-hive and baited it for 6 months before they appeared.

This is part of the uncultivated section she plans to use for olives.

A lovely section looking from the right of the entrance up to Table Mountain.

The children found a shady spot and chatted. This is looking from the top of the frist section down towards the gate, basil and buffalo.

What I didn't photgraph was the little dam they have built which fills in Winter. They also have a borehole powered by a wind turbine that Brigid's husband created.

It was a grea, insiprational morning!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pumpkin Cook-a-Thon

Even though our pumpkin and other squashes got hit hard with mildew we still got some great fruits.

We used two of the smaller ones tonight in a marathon cooking session while the supper was going too...saves electricty to bake while something else is in the oven.

Here is one of our pumpkins:

The seeds got roasted and added to the roast vegetable couscous:

The flesh was cooked and added to muffins:

And pumpkin bread.

While this was happening I also used some overripe bananas to make some banana muffins to freeze for snacks or breakfast sometime.

After all this cooking there was very little waste...most goes to the chickens and compost and wormery.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Update on our second area

I figure I haven't spent much time showing what is going on in the second area we cleared late last here goes:

We started by planting corn, sweet potatoes, potatoes, berries and patty pans.

Our corn has done well despite the chickens trampling it as young shoots.

Our sweet potatoes are quite invasive spreading everywhere, and their leaves have been "laced" by a bug or sorts - better find out what it is!

Our patty pans were attacked with mildew as well - by the way...a solution of vinegar, water and dishwashing liquid solves mildew - (250ml vinegar, 5l water and a squirt of DW liquid sprayed in a fine mist over the leaves and soil around the plants a few days in a row).

Berries will probably only flower next year.

Our potatoes plants are doing what they must do - dying and looking really scraggly, but when they are all brown we should have some great spuds for winter harvest!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Creating waste

One of the things that have been a concern to me is how much plastic I throw away to end up in a landfill and pollute the earth for years to come.

We have done so much to reduce our waste from an overflowing bin on bin collection day to now throwing away one bag a week.

Tonight I went into my veggie garden to see what was ready to eat, this is what I found:

So I made what I could with it...we had carrots to snack on while cooking, salsa using the tomatoes, chillies and coriander. Hamburger patties (we have an organic butcher) with the celery in it, corn on the cob and for pudding my favorite - Jamie Oliver's Crème Brule with rhubarb. Delicious.

And besides for one small plstic bag that the mince came in there was NO other waste besides the biodegradable waste for my compost heap:

I suppose this is what you call ethical eating - LoL! Either way it was great to eat from my garden again.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Compost - rethink what we have!

My compost heap has been getting very untidy and is not breaking down fast enough. Partly its cos the weather is so dry but also I am not layering properly. So yesterday I went to the garden centre to price a compost bin...but at R700 - R1100 I was going to make another plan.

We recently rehoused our chickens to a much larger permanent coup so we have the first movable one just hanging around. My son suggested a small modification to it and then we can contain the compost.

Transferring the compost was a huge horrible job, but here it is - and it cost me nothing!

Strawberry propagation

Our strawberries have finished their fruiting and the mommy plants are sending out babies. So here is how you get more strawberry plants for next year.

Fill pots with potting soil and plac the baby plant (still attached) in the soil. It will take root.

When it is rooted (a week or so) cut it off from the mom and allow to grow til next year. We have about 20 plants in varying stages of readiness.