Friday, May 27, 2011

Orange Mushrooms

I have these gorgeous mushrooms growing out on my front driveway. It is such a lovely time of year. The Autumn colour is splendiferous! Topped up my potato barrels today with some more soil condtioner. They are doing well. Sadly, Glen's don't seem to have moved at all. I guess I'm winning...
Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 16, 2011

Potato Progress

Here are the results of the potatoes a few weeks on. Those are mine on the left and Glen's on the right!
Glen's were going moldy because of all the pea straw on top of them I guess, so he made the decision to tip the whole lot out and replant them.
I don't think they liked that much as they are struggling now. Just a few stray shoots wondering which way is up...

I love the look of large shoots surfacing. The energy it takes to break through the earth and emerge towards the sun. Especially, when as you can see, the soil I used isn't anywhere like potting mix. It has quite large chunks of wood in it.

Glen was handy to have around when he discovered 'white ants' were moving in on our wine barrels! He sprayed the ground beneath them with some low toxic insecticide (is there such a thing?) and put the barrels up on bricks.

It still isn't really raining here yet - so I just keep watering.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Eating lots of Leaves!

The greenery is going OFF! Have absolutely heaps of salad happening at the mo. I just love the kale which feels like its doing you good as you eat it! I have it raw, shredded in salad and thrown into stir-fry or use where I would normally use spinach or silverbeet. I pick bits off along with beans and just eat them while I'm gardening. The cos in the other bed is most productive and I have started to give it away, but here you can see those French raddish in the forground and behind them the beetroots (Golden and Striped) I planted weeks ago. They are doing well and I have been thinning them as I go.

Last weekend I had another go with carrot seeds -- mixed variety from Cornucopia Seeds. Along with some Spring Onion seed tape sown into the last 'laying box'. I finally put the borax on all the beetroot so I'm expecting big, bulbous beets.


Now that it's finally raining and feeling more like Autumn, I have been lighting my kitchen woodstove (1962 Australian Everhot) and that means BREAD! So I dug around in the freezer and found my sourdough starter from April last year and tried to get it going again. It seemed to be going OK. It was origianlly a Rye starter from a sourdough class I did so I kept on with adding Rye and filtered water. Meanwhile I got a Spelt one going just in case.
I made a loaf using the rye starter and method I was taught by Yoke Mardweni . I made a mistake putting it in a loaf tin at the final stage, then changing my mind and tipping in onto the baking stone. It mustn't have liked this and the extreme heat of the wood oven becuase it came out like a rock.
So seeing that the Spelt starter was frothing a treat, I used that to make a sourdough recipe I found online that required NO Kneading. I've heard of this before so I gave it a go. You mix your cup starter, cup of water, 3 cups flour (I used Organic white bakers flour) and 2 tsp salt. Then wack it into a covered bowl (ceramic with a plate on top) into an oven you have preheated for 3 mins.
I went out for the day and then got talking on the phone so it was in too long and had dried out on top by 8 o'clock when it went in at 7am. But you then just tip it out onto a well floured bench and fold each 4 sides into the middle. Turn it over (raw edges down) and into an ovenproof preheated pot (I used an enamelled cast iron one) and cook for 20 mins with the lid on and without lid for 20 mins at about 225c.

You must preheat your oven up to 250c for 20mins or so to really get your pot and lid      HOT !       be fore hand.  Then turn it down to whatever is your usual oven bread cooking temp in my case 225c. I reckon it could have been cooked another 5-10mins.
I'm anxious to try again when I am home so I can keep an eye on the prooving by turning the oven on every now and then. Original recipe says to leave it overnight 8-12 hours but surely that depends on the ambient temp. It's getting cold here now so I think the idea of having it in a warm oven or near wood stove is great.
Posted by Picasa