Slow Living Essentials to review the past month of slow living successes. Pop over to Christine's blog to check out what everyone's been up to this month, and perhaps you might like to join in as well.
A few days of cooler weather convinced me it was time to start using the oven again, so I got back into lots of baking, including some bread, Hot Cross Buns (via my mate Trish's The Pink Leopard blog) and the most delicious Flourless Chocolate Cake imaginable from Matthew Evans' The Real Food Companion. I can't find a link to his recipe but it's worth seeking out a copy of his book and having a go at it.
The oven was also used to sterilise lots of jars to make Apricot Jam, Golden Squash Pickles and Sambal Oelek (using Liz from Suburban Tomato's recipe here). I also made more pesto and tomato sauce for the freezer. Freezing pesto was a bit of an experiment. Even though I'd read that it would work I was a bit sceptical. But I used the first of it this week and it worked perfectly! I also tried freezing some basil leaves, but they take up much more room in the freezer, turned very dark and have broken into little pieces as they get pushed around the (very small) freezer, so i think making up pesto and freezing it is definitely the way to go.
|The colours of Autumn|
Last weekend I blitzed the shed in the City Garden and managed to turn it back into something approaching a useable studio. This revealed lots of bits and pieces I'd been throwing in there for a future garage sale that my neighbour and I have been talking about for months. Now that I've found all the stuff it's time to organise the sale!
The Country Garden provided about 95% of vegetables for March for two households, as well as salad ingredients and herbs for the restaurant.
The transition from Summer to Autumn/ Winter in the garden has begun. I have started to implement the Planting Plan in the Country Garden, although slowly due to the unseasonably hot weather that keeps popping up unexpectedly.
In the Country Garden I harvested tomatoes, capsicum, squash, zucchini, lettuce, rocket, basil, potatoes, silverbeet, celery, corn, beans, sorrel, eggplant, rhubarb, cucumber and various herbs. Broccoli, radish, fennel and lettuce were planted, and several beds prepared for planting over the next couple of weeks.
In the City Garden I dug over the garden beds and then took away the fences and let the chickens in to help prepare the ground. I've now planted broccoli, silverbeet and broad beans, as well as replacing my bay tree that died over Summer, a Kaffir Lime and Blood Orange tree. Three fruit trees to replace the apple trees that also died will be planted in a couple of months.
|Baby Bay Tree with anti-chook-scratching devices!|
The Granny blanket... still on the Granny Blanket...! I've also been trawling Ravelry looking for the perfect jumper to knit for Winter, but now have so many items in my queue that I can't decide! I don't know how to link to Ravelry but if you can find me on it ("citygarden") perhaps you can give me your opinion?
Turning the shed back into a studio has inspired me though, so with a bit more cleaning up I hope to get into some more creative stuff in there this year...
I've helped out at vintage in the vineyard for many years, but after having spent some time last year working in the vineyard (yes my time as a farmer is officially over for now), it was great this year to understand much more the process and steps that had been taken to get the fruit to ripeness, and the winemaking process itself. I've said it before: whatever you pay for a good bottle of wine, it is an absolute bargain compared to the work that goes into producing it!!
I participated in my first Seed Swap with Farmer Liz of Eight Acres.
After all the time away in the first couple of months of the year it was great to spend some time at home, including doing lots of work in the City Garden to repair the damage from the extreme heat of Summer and prepare it for the rest of the year.