Sunday, 19 May 2019


 Last Sunday I was listening to snippets of the talk-back gardening program on our local ABC Radio with Sophie Thompson.  A listener called in to ask about pickling his home grown  olives, but neither Sophie or the other presenter had ever pickled olives and didn't know of any recipes.
I sent a text to suggest their listeners could look at my blog post about olive pickling that I wrote a couple of years ago. I wasn't really expecting them to read out my text on the radio, but they did..!

When I heard it, I jumped, and immediately sat at my laptop to write a short introduction, with links to the recipes, for anyone who might actually go to my blog.

So just in case you were wondering, no I wasn't on the radio.

 I'm feeling refreshed after a week's holiday in Victoria. The first couple of days spent with friends at their large cattle property where I had the pleasure of being absolutely in the thick of all things Angus beef cows.
How blissful it was to wake up surrounded by bird song and the gentle lowing of fat cows waiting for their morning feed.

There was a tinge of green in the paddocks which was a pleasant change from our dry and dusty conditions that I had left behind me at home. Their gardens were a magnificent oasis of green, with their access to good quality bore water.

Just two hours further south from Casterton, Victoria, is the beautiful coastal village of Port Fairy, near Warnambool.

I had booked this airbnb accomodation for myself. Three nights in a delightful, cheap and cheerful granny flat at the rear of a family home just a few minutes walk from the town and marina.

I did lots of walking. I didn't know that Muffin Birds are also known as Shearwaters.
Sadly, there is a severe fox problem there and I counted more than a dozen dead birds on the track as I walked the three kilometres around the island.  Fox bait 1080 signs were displayed clearly and dogs are prohibited on the island.

After years of communicating to each other, I finally met up with Heather, who lives in Warnambool. We had lunch and spent  the afternoon chatting like old friends.
Long time reader of this blog and Instagram inspirational gardener, Heather Ryan can be found on @heathers_potager   on Instagram.
I found another interesting piece written about Heather here when I googled her to add these links.
She is a mine of information and a delightful person, so it was little wonder that four hours would pass so quickly at our first ever meeting.

The last thermos cuppa and lunch stop before returning home.

I always carry my own food and thermos when I'm on the road.  Peaceful country stops with a walk to stretch the legs are far more pleasant to me than perching indoors on a cafe stool drinking a lukewarm beverage and eating overpriced and over rated food.  But I'm a bit of an odd fish I know.

The break was just what I needed to refresh and reinvigorate after our long hot summer, and although we have had a little bit of rain, we need some now to germinate the crops. 
The paddocks are turning green, the cows and sheep are eating less hay and more grass, my broad beans and kale are up, so all seems as right as can be within my world.

Thanks for dropping in,
Sally XX

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Pickling Olives


Hello to the ABC listeners who have come over here from Sophie and Peter's gardening program this morning.
Here is the link to Pickling Olives

I hope you will enjoy the process, and the taste, as much as we do.
Don't forget to keep them for six months before testing for taste and readiness.

And please leave a comment if you want to.

** Edit post - Last year I tried making a couple of jars of dry salted olives that I found on Laura's wonderful blog They are ready to eat much sooner and kept us going with olives until the other jars were ready to eat. Six months is a long time to wait and I usually make enough jars to keep us going all year until the next batch are ready, but I gave too many away which left us olive-less!!.
The dry salted method produces wrinkly and rather salty olives, but they were perfect for our home made pizzas and I made some tapenade from them too.

Cheers from Sally
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