Sunday, 9 February 2014

Simple Living Sunday 16

Well, it's the end of another busy week here at Tandur Farm. Without the cherry tomatoes my basket would be looking a little depressing but I am so pleased that I have managed to post a photograph of my produce every week for the past sixteen weeks. Considering it was my first full-on effort with vegie gardening I am really chuffed. If you are thinking about getting started I urge you to do so. In my part of the world the best growing season is coming up apparently. I need to get organised for planting in March, to harvest before winter. Yay, more planning and planting....and digging :)

I am pleased that the pollinating I did when I got back from my holiday has paid off. This one is the size of a cricket ball...

...and so is this. That's another two pumpkins on their way. I have left the other big one on the vine as I may have picked a little early. I was reading on Down to Earth this week about growing pumpkins and Rhonda advises to leave them on the vine until it starts to whither and then to dry the pumpkins in the sun for two weeks to harden the skin. This way they should last for several months.

I made another batch of yoghurt this morning, which should be ready tomorrow. I have decided I will do this once a fortnight to keep the supply going. This time I used my own yoghurt as a starter, so it will be interesting to see if it turns out any different.

I made bircher muesli this week. We really enjoyed it on the cruise and this is my own take on it using grated apple, coconut, cinnamon, goji berries and chia seeds. I then added skim milk and stored in the fridge overnight. This is a nescafe jar and lasted both of us for four servings. Yum!

I decided I had enough Cherry Tomato Relish so this week I made Cherry Tomato and Chilli Jam. It is lovely and spicy and will go really well with most meats and savoury dishes. I will post a recipe in due course.

I was given some more mangoes, a different variety this time. I think these are called Banana Mangoes. They are not as nice to eat as other mangoes but cooked up really well.

The flesh is not as orange as other mangoes but they are very juicy.

I made some mango jam which was just mangoes, sugar and lime juice stewed for an hour. I did add a little pectin as well to ensure the jelly sets. I made this to mix in with the yoghurt for the kids.

I had so many mangoes that I also made another jar of mango chutney. We have enough of this to last a year now I think? :)

I was inspired by Alicia from One Mother Hen to make her Plum Applesauce which is so yummy!

Plums and apples are only $3 a kilo at the moment so for $6 I ended up with two large jars of sauce.

Hmm I then had to re-think my storage space for all of these preserves. Another shelf was needed...

So I bought a couple from one of our discount stores. They do the job nicely...and there is still room for more jars...yay!

I have been monitoring the temperature in my cheese cave with my new hygrometer. It also measures humidity. During the really hot weather the temperature was too high but it now sits at around 10-12 degrees which is perfect for cheese making. You can alter the humidity by putting a bowl of water in the fridge. I think I am just about ready to make some matured cheeses. You beauty!

I also read on Down to Earth about washing out seedling trays before planting seeds. I have never done this before. I keep all of my old trays so I set about giving them a good soapy wash!

I also got my seed box out and bought some seed raising mix. I did not get around to planting any seeds today but will look at doing this during the week. If I want to be ready to plant out in March I need to work out what to grow as seedlings and what to plant direct. More research for this gardening novice.

Lastly, this is my recycling shelf. Anything that can be re-used gets rinsed out and stored here for later use. When it gets full I remove the jars and soak them to get labels off etc, and then I store them in my preserving drawer. I keep all sorts of bottles, coffee jars, egg cartons etc on these shelves which are located on my upstairs patio, just outside the kitchen door.

So, what have you been up to this week? Do you have a recyling station?
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