Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just a quick update on our veggies...the other night we were able to eat a meal almost exclusively from our garden...but with the increase in veggie growth there is also an icrease in weed growth :-(( so the work is set for spring and summer. It is truly suc a joy though to eat from our garden, even if only in part.

Our broccoli heads are forming

Strawberries ripening

And beans growing

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Morning inspiration

I love getting my newletter from Pathway to's re-energizers me n my garden...take a look!

Urban Homesteading - Tour from David Spancer on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Today my younger daughter and I made lemonade...with a twist.

Take the juice and skin of 10 lemons (or like we like it 5 lemons and 5 oranges):

Add to this 500ml sugar, 1 tablespoon of Epsom Salts and 1 Tablespoon of Tartaric Acid and 2 litres of boiling water. Stir til sugar is dissolved.

Allow the concentrate to cool and then strain into 2 large jugs. Pour a little over ice or pour cold water into it 1:1. Nothing to beat this flavour and with ice after a hot day in the garden...mmmmh!

Potatoes again

It is such a kick to be growing my own food. Each day I stand and look at my veggies as they grow while I drink my morning cuppa...

Anyway...on Friday night I dug out some potatoes which were washed, chopped and added to the stew. This was really a process that took 20 minutes...what a high! We also pulled some baby carrots to add.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Surrogate mom at her best!

Last week we decided that one of our chickens was ill. She didn't want to leave the coup and just sat in the sand in the little dent she had made.

We were desperate...but we soon noticed that if she had an egg she would stay, but if we removed the egg she would go off with the others for her morning ramble.

This got us thinking...and then a further clue! We noticed lots of downy feathers where she had been sitting. was where we read up about a "broody hen" and this is what dear Quick Silver is - not ill...just broody!

The feathers are from her chest area where she has been plucking out to make a "brood patch" so that her skin is in direct contact with the eggs to keep them warm.

So now I feel just rotten as I have been stealing her eggs when she has been hording them to make a clutch. She was even sitting on her friends eggs!

We have spoken to a friend who has some fertilized eggs and tomorrow we will get 4 and mark them and let dear one sit to her hearts content...hopefully we will get some chicks soon. I doubt we'll keep them, but it will be a fun experience to let them hatch, then return them to my friend.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Peas, corn and wraps

Today we spent 2 hours working in the veggie garden. Most of that time we were weeding..the chickens got a nice bucketful to pick through! We also sowed carrots and planted out our cucumber and squash seedlings.

We picked some of the delicious English Spinach that went into our wraps at lunch time.

David picked our peas that were filling out their pods (he ate more than finally landed in the wraps).

And we tenderly weeded our first baby corn seedlings. I am so excited about growing my own corn - somehow this has always seemed like a big farm crop.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Superb Gnocchi

Part of the Path to Freedom lifestyle is their 100 ft challenge. The aim is to eat foods that have been produced no further than 100ft. While our garden is still in infancy stage we are able toe at a portion of each meal within this radius.

My spinach has done so well, even through winter, that I am always looking for ways to include it in our meals. Of course the eggs from our chickens also feature here. So last night I made gnocchi using our eggs and spinach in the sauce. Here's the recipe:

Mix together equal quantities of cooked mash potato and plain flour. Add two beaten eggs, salt and pepper. Mix until you have a smooth dough. Roll into sausages.

Cut off little squares (1cm) and then place on a dry dish clothe. Boil a large pot of water, add salt. Place gnocchi in the water until they float. Remove and drain.

The sauce

Steam a bunch of spinach. Grate a onion and fry in some butter with a little garlic.
Add the spinach and toss. Pour in 500ml cream. Allow to reduce slightly. Put gnocchi in the sauce and gently stir to cover the dumplings.

Serve with a generous topping of Parmesan cheese.

The whole family licked their bowls - so I know it was a winner!