Wednesday, 17 February 2016

My Week

The days have been much milder lately, thankfully, because there has been more fruit picking going on.
The last of the plums, that haven't been sold in the Farm-gate stall, have been added to some peaches, apples and onions, with vinegar, sugar and a concoction of spices, to make fruit chutney.

Lots of jars, plenty for us and some for the Farm-gate stall. I love having fruit chutney. It's so useful in many ways.

This is how I slice the pears for dehydrating. Long ago I used to slice them neatly, but I like the rustic appeal of leaving the core in. The little bits on the very edge, what I call the cheeks, are the only part I throw into the chook bucket, because they don't dry evenly in the dehydrator. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning.

The Farm-gate stall has been going gang busters lately with all of the fresh fruit on offer at a reasonable price. We have a local site on Facebook where we can advertise anything we have to sell, or things we are looking to buy etc. It's incredible, and business is booming after advertising small lots of fruit. The honesty system seems to be working well and I'm ever thankful for the wonderful community spirit we experience here.

We have a hen who is eating eggs. I was suspicious after getting fourteen eggs one day and then two eggs the next day. Of course the big black crow that was caught by Brian in the hen house last week was eating more than his fair share too.
I'm now checking and collecting the eggs during the mornings at hourly intervals, to prevent the egg eating hen from over indulging. I've spotted her with egg on her beak, but she looks so much like three of the other hens, I can never tell which one she is when I get a chance to catch her. Her days are numbered though.
A small detour on the way back from the hens filled my bowl nicely.

A sneak peek into the glass house. Lettuce, capsicum, silver beet, beetroot, and along one side are pineapples that Brian planted from the tops that were rescued from the scrap bucket collected from a local restaurant for the pigs.  After more than a year taking up space they are yet to fruit, but he's determined to grow pineapple.
Basil and parsley grow in the planter on the shelf at the back.

 Basil Pesto for the freezer.

Brian cleaned the solar panels last weekend after I suggested we get someone in to clean them for us. "No way" he said, "Just because I got a new hip, I can still climb onto the roof."
There's no point arguing, just white knuckles for me until the job is finished and he's down on the ground again.

Brunch on the run. Homemade everything! Yes, I like butter.

 I took Saturday afternoon off and dragged out the sewing machine.
Last week I was in a local store buying things for work, when I spotted some colorful cushions that I loved the look of. The price tag was $75 each!

Fabrics in my stash, from many previous incarnations have been given a new life. I enjoyed the process so much......

I made another one on Sunday night.

A very early morning walk with the dogs to open up another paddock for the cows. They smelled a fox but it was long gone.

We drove the pigs to the local abattoir on Monday evening. I'll collect the carcasses tomorrow and hang them in our cool room for a few more days before cutting into chops and roasts, and making bacon. We put ear tags in their ears to be sure we get our own pigs back.
Because we sell some of this meat, we are required, by law, to have them butchered at a registered abattoir. Ridiculous rules. I would much prefer our pigs to end their lives here where there is no stress at all and no risk of any cross contamination of disease from other pigs. Consequently, the butchers have to wash the carcasses with anti-bacterials.
But this is the way all commercial meats are processed and there is no way of getting around these rules. Our regular customers are waiting for their annual pork packs and although we could sell more than triple the quantity that we can produce, we prefer to keep it the way it is.  I've told a few folks that they will have to wait for someone to die before they can get onto our pork list!
This is the best pork around and our customers place their orders years in advance. Yes, I guess you could say that I'm unashamedly proud of our quality pork.

More hot weather is on the way, but hopefully that will be the end of this hot summer. The nights and mornings lately have a real autumn feel about them which is energising and sets me to thinking of plans for the garden after the breaking rains arrive.
I wish there were so many more hours in each day, don't you?


  1. Sally, I love your cushions. Very creative. We have another hot day here on the Darling Downs and then hopefully that will be the end of it as I can't cope with the heat. Thankfully other than a few hot spells our summer has been mild. Our solar panels have been waiting to be cleaned for a year and we have a high set house but my hubby says he will clean them...some time ;-)

  2. Perhaps you could try my tactic and offer to get someone in to clean them Nana Chel. ;) Our summer has been horrible, but I shouldn't complain as we here in Aust have all the modern conveniences for the climate, unlike some parts of the world I have lived. It doesn't make it any easier to bear though does it. Autumn is just around the corner thankfully.

  3. The fruit chutney looks super. Do you have a specific recipe or do you just wing it? I like recipes that make use of all the bits and bobs of produce hanging around. Your cushions are so colourful and practical to.

    1. Yvonne, I did just wing the recipe for the first batch and thankfully I wrote it down. I needed to increase the sugar, so now I'm happy with it. I'll put it up here in the next blog. We "frugavores" need to know how to make use of all the bits and bobs hanging around. Waste is a dirty word! :)

  4. So much beautiful produce...the bread, jam and butter had my mouth watering!

    1. We need another five people in our family to eat it all. Truly, I'm wondering how I'm going to fit the dozen young roosters that are ready for processing, into the freezer. Would you believe we have three large chest freezers all turned on and full?

  5. Wow what a productive week you had Sally!

    I love all the produce you are getting and all the lovely things you are making from them.

    I love the sound of your peach, nectarine and plum jam. And your cushions are way too cute!


    1. Hello Tania, there's never a dull moment around here, but I think I wouldn't want it any other way. However, I admit to getting a little tired of the constant fruit continuing to arrive on the kitchen table, waiting to be made into something. Today is another tomato sauce day. :)


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