Monday, 31 October 2016

Our Weekend

We get lots of calls from folks who have a swarm of bees in their garden, and these are easy to collect and relocate into one of our boxes.
There are also lots of calls from people who have bees that have made their way into a cavity in the wall of their home or shed, or have made a home in the chimney. These bees are very difficult, if not impossible to remove, unless we take the chimney or wall apart, and we don't attempt that.
Last week, Brian made a gadget that would enable us to suction the bees from some of those inaccessible places, into a box.
You can see the box that is positioned so the bees are suctioned into it rather than into the vacuum cleaner bag. The box has a plate of mesh at the vacuum cleaner end, and it's a very gentle way of removing the bees.
Last Friday after work we got to try it out, and all of the bees survived.

Saturday was our first day with temperatures in the high twenties, so we visited all of the rented hives across the Barossa.
Here's Dan, recovering from a knee replacement, unable to put boots on, but still keen to get suited up.   No he didn't get stung!

Sheralee and her daughter Callie share a passion for learning all they can during this year of renting a hive. It's great to spend time with such enthusiastic beginner apiarists.
This hive is doing much better than all of the others in different areas. Surrounded by farmland, some weedy paddocks, and lots of flowering trees, the bees are getting plenty of pollen and nectar.
We plan to extract honey from this one in another week or two, if we get enough warm days.

A beautiful old butler's sink has been in the chicken yard as a water container for years. What a waste! So, I hatched a plan, and together we decided where it would look best and be most practical for the use I had in mind.
It was a big job that took up most of Sunday. Brian sourced some old pieces of Jarrah timber, that he made into a bench that attached onto the side of the deck. Then he found an old tap that he plumbed into the timber above the sink.
It's the perfect place to wash and trim the freshly picked vegetables before taking them into the kitchen.

Meanwhile, I made this loaf and I can't tell you the sense of achievement this simple loaf has brought me.
How many years have I been struggling to make the perfect sourdough?  Five, six years?
Look at those holes. Oh the texture is perfect and the taste is even better.... with lashings of home made butter.
Thanks to Celia and her wonderful blog  Fig Jam and Lime Cordial I attempted this higher hydration loaf, following it word for word, measuring exactly.
I halved the recipe though because if it was going to fail I didn't want to waste so much ingredient.
I had been baking this loaf following Celia's blog for the past year, but it was time to graduate, and Oh wow, it's a winner.
If you are struggling with your sourdough, go over and have a look, but allow yourself plenty of time because you won't want to leave. Her blog is packed full of the most amazing recipes with wonderful tutorials to help you achieve the perfect result every time.
That was our weekend, how was yours?


  1. Im impressed by your bee catching system. Im so glad they come out unharmed! That Brian isa nifty fellow isn't he? ;)

    I need to re-start my sourdough starter now Im on uni holidays I think. I have a couple of months to potter about and learn the basics. I gave up last time but little Angus is complaining of a sore tummy so I need to have a good look over at our diet and think about adding more fermented foods I think, more bone broth etc. Poor love.


    1. Emma, we are both blessed to have very clever men in our lives. ;) I've got plenty of sourdough starter to give you when you feel the time is right to start up again. It's the only bread I'll ever eat now, much kinder on my tummy and I know there are no additives.

  2. Love the idea of the sink outside, the water and then go to the flower beds or veges. Hope you don't mind, but I intend to use it when we have our new place. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration. Guida

    1. Yes Guida, he plumbed it so the water runs onto the plants under the peach tree. I feel no guilt about wasting water and it's so nice to have the veges cleaned before they get to the kitchen, and dirty up my mostly cluttered sink.

  3. How kind of you! Thank you so much, Sally! I'm so glad to hear the tutorial worked well for you - your loaf looks fantastic! :)

    1. Do you get my drift Celia, about how excited I am to to have mastered those holes?? At long last...!!! All thanks back at you my friend in sourdough. :)


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