Guilding the garden.

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by mischief, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Eco,
    haha,we dont have foxes around here.
    I figure I should be reasonably safe unless the neighbours have reason to be annoyed.
    I'm going to have to figure out a better system for summer though cos I leave for work really early on the weekend and wont be able to put him out at 5am.

    More and more I'm thinking that I need to have a 'setaside area' for the chooks out of the garden.
    In winter, the soil is pugging terribly even with them on a spot for less than a week.
    My contemplations so far are leading me to eyeball hubby's side in the back corner where the pumpkins were last year.
    I'm thinking that fenceline would be a good spot to build a sound proof roosting house.
    Puppies dads' garage would block any noise to them and their back neighbour and it would put the chooks as far as I can from the ears of the neighbours on the other side.
    I might be able to bribe one with fertile eggs or hatched chicks to replace their hens when they get too old.

    Hi Grahame,
    I am looking forward to learning more of Roostertalk,be interesting to see how it differs from hentalk.

    Do you know how long fertilised eggs can be kept before they become unuseable for putting under a broody hen?
    I had heard that they could be kept til you have enough for a clutch but cant remember how long that is.
    So far we have two laying everyday, which is fantastic for the middle of winter.

    Hi Shawburn,
    Good haul!
    My advise is to make sure you pick up every single one or you will have the same problem I had this year-way to many plants and everyone getting absolutely sick of them.
    Chokos (despite what some say) are great to cook with.
    I prefer to leave them in a basket-not plastic for afew weeks somewhere cool so they dry out little and arent so mushy.

    They take on the flavour of other things they are cooked with.
    My favourite for them is still peeled, sliced and steamed then placed on a big puddle of really cheesey sauce with salt and pepper.
    When they are allowed to dry out before cooking they have a nice delicate beany flavour.

    ------

    I found another use for frost clothe.
    I became wary of using the old sail bit as a cover cos I was having to tie it To the dome and with the really strong winds we have had got worried that this woud continue to blow over the yard.
    With the frost clothe, it has 4 corners compared to the 3 on the old sail.
    I found if I tie a knot in each corner and then ease the prong of a electric fence standard through it; it stays in place and I dont have to worry that it will catch the wind and take the dome with it.
    I blocks the wind as well as the rain.
    Its been on for a week so far and handled some ferocious winds we had on monday.

    My son in law told me that the company he works for had to throw out heaps of pavers after they finished a large job.
    I was really shocked that they would just dump these and told him if this happened again could ge ask his boss if I could buy them left overs from them.
    As it turned out they still had a pallet and a half that hadnt gone to the dump so he was able to save these for me.
    I also got another large book case and some reinforcing mesh to use for more trellises.

    The bookcase went into the office and is full of hubby's books leaving more room in one bookcase for me to get more books.
    Now I need to let my dad know I'm up for more books and give him a list of things I want.
    He loves going garagesaling and secondhand bookstore hunting and was disappointed when I had to tell him we had no more room for any.

    I dont know if we have enough pavers to do the courtyard yet but I dont think we will need to get too much more to pave it properly.
    I am so looking forward to this being done, hopefully we wont have anymore weed problems with these down.
    The pavers are the proper driveway sort which means they wont get damaged with the car being driven over them.

    I think with all the mesh we have now, we may be able to do the outer edge of the garden and I'm hoping that when they are covered in beans or whatever, that they will help break the winds we get while still letting good airflow in.

    I'm not happy with the french pumpkins we grew.
    The Musee de provence turned out to be really mushy which is okay for pumpkin soup but not nice for roast pumpkins.
    Both that and the Galaeux d'eseyne pumpkin seem to be prone to rotting.
    The musee... have started rotting from around the stalks in both the huge ones And the smaller 5 kg ones I gave to friend.
    The chooks love them like this but I didnt grow these for them.
    I dont think I will grow these again.
    I have never had problems like this with pumpkins before and it wasnt due to holding them by their stalks-I didnt do that.
     
  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    A common use of the horrible thing when i was a kid.
    It does not taste like choko, but apple, which is a good thing. Apples must have been expensive?
    IMD everyone had a choko vine growing in the backyard usually over the out house ( no sewage in Sydney subs. until PM Whitlam!) in the backyard (everyone had a big one of those too!)
    A recent HSC (final tear public High school Exam in NSW; marks are used to get matriculation) English exam was a comprehension(?) piece which was an essay about chokos growing over the outhouse. Anyway the Australian demographic has changed and we are probably now one of the most multi-cultural of nations. It seems about 70% (?) of students had no idea what a chocko was and the whole question had to be abandoned!

    Nowadays a common body of knowledge like fairy stories/ Biblical stories/ Historical memes cannot be assumed ("Cindrerella complex" was one a friend had to explain in an English class)
     
  3. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I just collected the mail from my mailbox and was surprised to find(and maybe alittle horrified) one envelope had an 'ID RECORDED' sticker on it.
    Bloody hell am I being watched now!!!

    I couldnt find Koji culture to make real miso with and the only thing I could find was from a saki Homebrew place, so I ordered a small amount of this.

    I have been reading a book called Japanese foods that heal and this explains for me how miso is made amongst other things and what the name of the culture was.
    It mentioned that the same culture is used in a number of different ways, including that of Saki making so....now I have Koji but I have no soy beans to make miso with cos I only have alittle for seed.
    I cant wait for these to grow me more beans, so my next step is going to be finding soy beans to make my very first lot.
    I dont actually want to make saki, it makes you legless and you dont realise it til you try to get up and walk away, not a good look.

    I dont like the idea that I have drawn attention to myself.
    Not because I am doing anything wrong, I am not, but still it is unnerving to get such a thing in the mail and think somebody might think I am.

    This week was supposed to be a time of contemplation after working all winter before working all summer- I have no idea how the hell I am going to get everything done but it just has to be this way this year so I have to be much more organised than I have been with my time management.

    I need to wash down the kitchen,utensils and fridge to try to get rid of the blue vein mold that is obviously floating around-if the last gouda was anything to judge by.
    and Kings seeds are running late with their catalogue, so no breakfast in bed dribbling over the catalogue.

    Through a friend, I found somebody who can teach me how to spin wool.
    I have my grandmothers old spinning wheel and a fleece to practise on.
    This friends' friend decided to have a craft day when I couldnt be there, so I sent the fleece over to see if it was any good for spinning.
    Unfortunately, not only is it not good, it was apparently riddled with noxious mites and unuseable for anything except compost and was quietly disposed of for me, much to the embarrassment of my friend.
    I had told her if it wasnt any good for spinning then maybe she could use it to learn to make felt, so we were both disappointed.

    The upside was that she came back with a Kefir grain starter for me.
    I thought she was going to get a trusted sourdough starter and have no idea of what to do with this.
    I did find the suggested website to learn more about this new and strange thing and did manage to find out how to freshen it.
    This was supposed to take 2-3 days so I figured I had some time to do my research.
    When I came home from work yesterday, it was already solidified and I have had to pop it in the fridge to slow it down.

    One thing that made me sit up and pay attention when I was reading the webiste, was that kefir grains can be used to make a milk vinegar!!!
    Aha.
    I can see that this could be a very good thing.
    I like pickles, my friend is much better a making them than I am,(I am much better at growing things than she is),she prefers to use milk vinegar to any other even though it is more expensive.
    If I can make the vinegar and grow what we need for NICE pickles and she makes them that would be fantastic.
     
  4. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Great to see things progressing Mischief. Kate too has taken to spinning and knitting/ We have two more grand kids now and they grow so fast that the winter is too long for just one cardy. P love what you attempt with ferment as I am keen for it too but other things seem to get my time. Good luck in your adventure.
     
  5. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I've been visiting your website, I have it on my favourites.
    I am hopeless at knitting so I was suitably impressed with Kates' work.
    I can crochet up a storm tho and was looking forward to using my own spun wool-soon.

    I saw your Oat flaker, I didnt know there was such a thing and know from the stories my grandmother told us that fresh porridge taste so much better than the bought stuff.
    So far the one you have is the best I was able to find so I have asked my son in Brisbane to buy me one and ship it over.
    I do know where to get Oats so thats next on the list.

    Choice for breakfast-porridge with fresh milk or fresh eggs on kefir sourdough toast,yum.

    Tonight I made our first kefir sourdough loaf.
    Just a little 2 person thing and I could have let it rise alittle more or maybe cooked it alittle bit more, but i was pleased with the texture and the taste.
    And the fact that I only got the grains on saturday, had to split it because it was needing that,got a dough to rise and bake.

    I was so tired saturday night my eyes were almost crossing and then trying to find out how to use this thing I had vaguely heard about but had no idea really.
    Thats another Aussie website= user.sa.chariot.net.au (from memory so I hope its right).
    Its abit differcult reading 'bouncy style' writing when your tired and just want short sharp and to the point facts so I have this bookmarked as well so I can keep going back to it.

    With the miso, I have had no luck finding a bulk supplier for the soy beans, I even asked roosters' dad to help and all he could find was soy meal.
    Thats abit frustrating, I was expecting to have to use the more oily type soy assuming that this is what the farmers feed out to their cows but so far only found the meal which I think would be fine for cattle but not fresh enough for miso.
    Actually I was hoping the oily one was what we found as I had this idea that as it fermented, the oil and tamari would rise to the top and act as a seal, and perhaps making the mix alittle on the sloppy side to encourage this.
    The search will continue or I will have to grow enough to make it....or perhaps I could have a go with a different sort of bean while I wait.

    With the last lot of milk I got in Autumn, I decided to do alittle experiment with the last few litres.
    I kept it in the bucket with the lid sealed shut for the last 3 months.
    I wanted to see if it was true that milk does not grow bacteria if it is clean and in a sterile container.
    When I opened this today, the cream had risen to the top as usual and looked alittle puffy but definitely that cream goldy yellow colour.
    I did try to pour it through a sieve to get the whey out but it fell into the stock pot along with the whey, so that bit didnt work out so well.
    I had thought that perhaps I would have our first lot of milk vinegar, but not this time.

    The whey was clear and the curds at the bottom were a pale milky white.
    Not one spot of bacteria of any colour that I could see anywhere through it.

    I did have a taste of the cream, whey and curd and found them to be very sour and not particularly pleasant but not off tasting at all.

    Because it is almost spring, I gave rooster's dad my copy of the herbal handbook for farm and stable so he would have time to read it and maybe order any seed that he wanted to add to his pastures in time for the start of the growing season.
    I've told him that he really needs to look at getting afew more types of animals on his property and suggested a couple of Nubian goats and Frisian milk sheep.
    Unfortunately he saw through my ploy saying neither he nor his wife had time to milk animals for my cheese.
    Drat.
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Sounds like your dad didn't come down in the last shower....
     
  7. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    No.He was alittle more succinct than that too.

    Today, I dug up and transplanted the nectarine seedling that was growing in the wrong spot in the garden.
    I had hoped that it would go dormant for me to do this as all the other deciduous tree had, but it didnt.When I saw that the end of the shoots were starting to sprout I thought it best to move it.
    In Autumn, I had cut the roots off all around the-wretched them, I think is the term.
    I knew roughly where abouts that was done so dug maybe a spade width out from that so I could remove the top layer of soil just out from that.
    This enabled me to dig the seedling out more easily.
    I knew there were actually two seedlings growing together and had intended to re plant both of them, but when I saw that the secondary one had roots only in 2 quandrants I didnt bother.
    From working at the nursery, I learnt that the best root formation after a tap root was for the seedling to have a major root sticking out in 4 different directions.Three evenly spaced is okay, but this had no roots for 50% of the diametre of the potential root ball which means that it would have an unstable root structure.
    Its now mulch.

    I have been doing alot of walking around,alittle weed pulling and alot of reading and thinking.

    I am not happy, feeling that I have an information overload and visual explosion of inedible greens going on and I still havent found any soy beans to make my miso.The chooks of course are in paradise and they tell me so in alot of different ways.

    I have alot of decisions to make,
    Asparagus.
    Where do I plant out all those asparagus babies?Do I really need to dig such a deep trench for them?Would they really bury themselves so deep if they had simply dropped as a seed and started to grow?Why do they say to do that then?Should I give some to my brother,I know he wants me to...
    Strawberries.
    My first clover experiment...did it work?I have no idea,I cant see many strawberry plants in the bed cos alot of other things have moved in too.
    Strawberry pups are growing in the path,should I dig them out and put them back in the bed or did they grow out their because they dont like the bed?Do I just step over them?
    Onions.
    Why the hell do the chooks suddenly decide to completely scratch up where I just planted my pearl drop onions, not once or twice but three times.
    I had resorted to protecting the last two (all I could find out of nine), with the cut of top of a 20 litre container.(with a rock on top of it).
    Rhubarb between the Avo's.
    I expected to see them all to be growing really well, they were the last time I looked afew months back but now there is only one.
    This was supposed to be a dual purpose plus thing, with them suppressing the weeds between the Avo's whilst providing that little extra acidity, marrying beautifully in with the strawberries(which so far do look good there at the moment)and the granny's bonnets, which havent come up yet.
    Paths.
    I've been here before...why do we have paths?Should I just splash out and buy that barkmulch and put it down over weed mat so I never have to worry about it again?Should I do away with the compost bin and just chop and drop everything, and use all the lawn clippings just on the paths?

    I just about started to say.on the plus side like I normally do, but I'm not sure all that was actually a negative.

    S o far two of the hens have started laying their eggs under the ferns in the courtyard and a third jumped in to have alook but hasnt decided yet whether or not its a good spot.
    I really should find that plastic egg to stash in their so it picks up their scent so I can remove that old one thats been there for weeks and must be getting nasty by now.
    I cant take them all out of their or they go hide them somewhere else.

    Houdini has taught the other smaller bantam type hens how to get out so now I have 3 roamers and little miss red is looking more and more like stock every week.
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Red Rooster! (Do you have that in NZ?)
    Geoff Lawton (I think it was him anyway) says permaculture is 100 hours of thinking for 1 hour of action - sounds like you are on the right path!
     
  9. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    haha really? I wish it looked that way then.
    The rooster is a barnevelder, the little red hen is I dont know what yet.
    She doesnt seem to be the broody type so far- if she is laying eggs, they would be fertile and she should have afew by now but hasnt gone into hiding yet.

    On the Koji culture experiment,I am getting some barley so I can have a go at making the sweet syrup mentioned in the book.While I have managed to keep one stevia plant alive in the bathroom over winter, if this syrup turns out like in the book, it would have more uses than the stevia.
    The sugar beets turned out to be very labour intensive and hard to deal with so I have only a couple ticking over to keep seed going, just in case I come across someone who wants them.
     
  10. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I thought I had killed my kefir grains.
    When I checked them this morning, there didnt appear to be that froth or fizzyness I had read about and when I stirred my hand through the milk, there didnt seem to be many globs..ooh.
    I did swish air through the milk thinking that cos I had the lid on the bucket that maybe it hadnt been getting enough air.
    This evening, I checked it again and Voila la! frothy top and thick globbyness.
    They must have needed that extra stir and seem to have come to life.
    I have the lid slighty off the bucket now.
    I was little bit worried that They might get infected with blue vein mold cos I still havent sterilised the kitchen yet.

    This stuff does taste quite odd in a refreshing sort of way.
    I havent had another go at sour dough yet and I do need to find another suitable container before friday when I go get our milk.

    We have been pigging out on cottage cheese and cream cheese this week.
    For the start of the new milk season, I decided to start at the beginning of my cheese making book with the fresh type products.
    Yogurt is always made straight after the drinking milk is taken out and gets popped in recycled bought yogurt containers to share with my family.
    I do pasturise this before I make it as it is sitting in the hot water cupboard all night.
    Once the culture has been added and I m sure that it has dissolved all through the milk it gets portioned out between everyones containers and they all sit ontop of the hot water cylinder til morning.

    (It would be nice to get completely away from plastics and one day we may be able to do this, meanwhile we just recycle what we have to hand and as they are food grade plastics, I think they are probably our safest choice for now.)

    I then leave the milk overnight so the cream can rise to the top and skim this off and put it in the fridge.This at least goes in a glass jar.
    Hubby devised an ingenious solution for this- an old metal keg that had been cut in half arrived in my kitchen and frozen ice cubes placed around the milk bucket insured that it stayed at low temperatures over night.
    I was churning the cream in an antique glass butter churn that hubby found in his wanderings, but it does take alot of time which I just dont have right now.
    My mum loves it in her coffee and it tastes wonderful on our breakfast.
    Cream was something that used to get bought for special occasions like birthdays or Christmas and I feel very spoilt now that I can just go to the fridge and help myself to some whenever I want.

    The first cottage cheese, I made in autumn was completely by mistake and some knowledgeble friend said it tasted like a really good ricotta and offered to buy a regular supply off me.
    I didnt tell her it was supposed to have been a gouda.( but the curds wouldnt firm up properly)
    This week I made another cottage cheese that was almost as good as that first one.
    The cream cheese was even better.
    I thought cream cheese would be really hard to make because it tastes so lovely and rich. It wasnt,it was dead easy.

    I had lunch with a friend and took some of this cream cheese with me which we had on crackers with her homemade chutney.
    I left her a little bit for tomorrow and she gave me a whole jar of the best chutney I have ever tasted and I have placed an order for a years supply of this.

    So.... now we have 2 types of cheese that Have to be made every week as well as the cream, as well as the yogurt.
    I'm not too sure if there will be enough milk left to make a decent sized hard cheese when I get to that part of my book.
    We may have to collect our milk twice a week.

    In the garden, I have been lazy and not done much apart from wandering around trying to remember where I planted out all those hard to find herbs I got off trademe last year.

    I couldnt figure out how a 'parsnip' got to where it was-the chooks had scratched out the soil from around some of it and it wasnt til I noticed a label on the ground near it, that said Elecampane, that I even remembered that I had infact planted one there.
    It should flower this year.

    I was surprised and pleased to see that the flat leaf parsley had regrown in the exact same spot it was the year before last.
    It had gone to seed and I gayly strewed them all over the section,only to find that none of them grew, so we only had the curly leaf parsley last summer.
    I think the flat leaf sort has a nicer flavour so I was really pleased to see it and have been harvesting it for the last couple of weeks even though its only 4 inches high.
    I dont understand why it didnt grow last year.

    From my readings this winter, I discovered that the wound wort I had got was also known as betony.
    When I told a friend that we had this,she got so excited and asked if she could have a cutting.

    The Angelica has sprouted up again and looks much better than it has for ages and I have even found what I think are seedlings of others.
    I was so annoyed last year that I only got two seedlings to grow in the trays, that I madly sprinkled the rest of the seeds everywhere, not really expecting them to grow.

    One thing I dont understand about this herb is that all the books I have read say that this decreases the need to sugar in jams and preserves etc..., but when I tasted the leaves (which are suppposed to be Nice in teas), they taste flat like celery leaves.
    I'm wondering if any of those authors had actually tasted/used this herb, or did they all merely copy each other.
    I also wonder if what they are actually talking about is the preserved stalks put in said jams etc.
    But....to make these crystalised gems, you need to use lots of sugar as well as extra effort.
    I remember how much time and effort it took for my grandmother to make all those delicious candied peels from the lemons and oranges and cant see how using crystalized angelica would be any better than just adding the normal amount of sugar to their jams.

    One concerning thing I discovered this week, is what I think is the entrance to a rats nest in hubby's side of the yard.
    It cant be a rabbit hole-we dont have any and I am sure I would have noticed one of those in the yard.
    I stood all over the soil above this and felt quite queasy when my feet started to sink into the dirt.
    What do I do here?
    Do rats have a place in my yard- thats not really the sort of diversity I had in mind.
     
  11. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    I had a rat anomaly. Just one, regular visitor. He would steal things, mostly worm food and then jump out at me. My wife would retell the anecdote that he shouted "Daddy" as he jumped at me. I assumed that if he met a girl, I would be in trouble.

    I had to drown him, just in case. I'm still not happy about it, but it had to be done.
     
  12. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I do understand that Rats are carriers of disease and this is why it is unacceptable to allow them to exist when you find them in your space.
    It obviously is not living in our house, which I would simply not put up with, but do they have any redeeming qualities?
    Rats are not native to our country and all types were brought over here with people.
    The Maori dealt with them by feeding them in specific places so they would not invade the food stores, and supposedly also used Them as a food source.
    I will not be eating rat unless I am starved to near death and am not even considering seeing them as this sort of resource.
    I think I should trap it and kill it just because they present a real danger to our native bird life, but then I should be doing away with our cats and dogs and hedgehogs and rabbits and.....
    where does it end?

    I find myself questioning my right to kill things because thats what should be done.
    I dont want the competition for the walnuts that drop from my neighbours tree, or my eggs that the rat maybe finding before I do-mixed feelings and perhaps thats not being very rational.

    I have friends who keep these animals as pets! and love them telling me that they are very intelligent and trainable.
    I read a story about a man in a cottage who also had a rat friend that ate out of his hand.
    He didnt suffer from this interaction.

    Conflict.
     
  13. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    They make a good supplement to my cat's diet...
     
  14. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    LMAO.
    It would be nice if they ate the whole thing though, instead of leaving bits behind....and if they did so OUTSIDE.
     
  15. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I've ALMOST trained the cat not to sit under the bed in the guest room and leave the spleen behind. ALMOST....
     
  16. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    I know how you feel Mischief. Had a bit of a rat problem here a while back. I heard a noise in the dining room. I had taken down some pictures from the wall in preparation for painting. I looked behind the paintings and there was this rat dragging a steak bone and the bloody thing just looked at me as if to say, "Well you didn't want it so it's mine go away". Yes that brazen! Now I'm not scared of much but I have a fear of mice and rats so I was beside myself and the rat finally ran off downstairs. It was a brown rat and not a native one. No ferals allowed. Bush rats don't come inside.

    I hate killing anything. I got one of those traps that catch the rat and doesn't hurt them, thinking I could catch it and go for a drive into the bush and let it out. However, they are far too smart to be caught in one of those things.

    I read up about rats in the Australian context. We have native rats and mice but also illegal immigrants. They don't have good eyesight but their hearing is super and they are very intelligent. You can teach them to come when their name is called etc. PETA advises not to kill them as others will just move in to take their place. So learn to live with them. I DON'T THINK SO!!! Sorry can't have rats in the house. If they were outside I would probably leave them. I found a dead one down near the dam. Don't know if next door neighbours are poisoning or not.

    So had to go for the traps that go snap. No poison. I caught two rats downstairs in the trap. No more now for weeks but I leave the trap set just in case. When they went off, I had to get a pair of long tongs and carefully pick it up and take outside (scary stuff). The currawongs swoop and take the tasty treat away.

    So traps may be the way to go but it is awful.

    I always think of that movie Willard, where the friendly rats turn homocidal. eeeeeeeekkkkkkk!

    The trials of living in the bush! Good luck Mischief.
     
  17. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    This week, I fossicked through all the goodies SIL had left in the garden shed for me.Lots of weedmat that was going to be thrown out after their contract finished.
    I spent quite abit of time cutting this into slices to go down the path, making sure it was wide enough for the edges to get tucked in under the timber edges.
    I hadnt realised that he had scored so much of it.It defintiely has been used cos I kept finding sharp bits of wire tied to it with long spikey ends.So far the main path between the garden that runs along the boundary hedge and middle bed has been covered.I found that I could tuck the ends into the soil to secure them by using the garden trowel.I poked the edge downwards and alittle towards the rest of the mat-back onto its self.Then the next run gets poked in back towards where its going to go, so far they have stayed put even though I havent got the bark mulch yet to go ontop.

    After doing the main path, I used the leftover bit of that run to make temp. paths in the hedgeside bed.
    I wanted to see how many 4 foot wide beds were actually there if the whole thing was done out like this.We will get 7 along here.I doubt they will all stay that size all the time, like when its time to do potatoes or corn there.
    These arent made with single lengths and I have found I can do the same tuckin trick on the ends here too.
    Its not perfect as 3 of them did need something to hold the down when it got windy.
    These now have long bits of sunflower stalks lying down the middle of them.
    I'm sure that when I mulch the beds with clippings, that will be enough to keep them in place.

    Last week, I made the cream cheese with some yogurt that had not thickened properly-pasturised it first just in case.That was lovely.
    This week, I took out our drinking milk, skimmed the milk before making our yogurt and cottage cheeses made without the cream and when it came to make the cream cheese, I put most of the cream back in...simply divine.
    We use this on our bread instead of butter, big globs of it.
    I still havent been able to make milk vinegar,I must figure it out at some point and hopefully this ill be before my friend needs it for our pickles and chutneys.

    Afew days ago, I was telling my mum that I needed to buy bread cos it looked like I may have somehow killed the kefir grains and couldnt make any bread.
    Later,when I went out to feed the chooks, I found a loaf of bread on the bench by the back door.
    I think it as from puppies' mum.(I had left them some eggs by their backdoor last week).I think this is so cool-did she hear us talking?It was still frozen, so I popped it in the freezer so it didnt go off.We dont eat alot of bread and found the last little bit would be bad before it got eaten.We just take out however many slices we want and if we're using butter, it spread much easier without ripping the bread, or let it thaw and spread it with the cream cheese.

    I finally found a source for soy beans but was horrified, when they told me it was going to be $12/kg and that they could drop that to $10 if I bough a sack of it.....going to have to find a friendly farmer with abit of land whose willing to let me use a small plot to grow our own.This year, we will just have to see how much we can grow per square metre and take note of how much seed gets used to be able to work out how much space it would take to grow enough to make a years supply of miso.
    I didnt know that this is also used to make traditional Japanese pickled vegetable til I read that in my 'Japanese foods that heal' book

    The frost clothe tied to the bottom of the driveway gate looks....unusual, but it is keeping the hens in the backyard.I found that if I wrapped the edge of the clothe around the board that holds it down, that it doesnt come loose and allow gaps for them to hop through.

    The area on hubby's side where I planted the hazels,mulberry and pomegranate got cleared of choko bits,grass and as much convovulus and blackberry.
    I had afew hoops covered with frost clothe and sprinkled some wheat are the entrance and inside to encourage some of the hens to go in.When three did, I closed it shut and left them in there for afew hours for them to clean that area for me...worked a treat.
    I will be mulching this area and will see if I can get some climbing type plants to grow in here, havent decided exactly what yet.
    I dont know whether to put the hops plant here or on the fenceline on the other side of the parking area.
    Those neighbours like a drop of homebrew so they might like to share some hops.I'm sure it will grow enough for the both of us...will have to ask them, just in case they dont and it goes wild on there side.
     
  18. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I bumped into Elisabeth Fekonia at the Permaculture meeting last week. Well 'bumped' isn't quite the right term - she was speaking on fermentation (you should have been there for the miso tasting, spread on sourdough rye....). I mentioned that you where going to contact her about your dairy question. I didn't get a chance to ask her where she gets her soy from, but she makes her own miso, soy sauce and tempeh. You two really should chat - I'm sure you'd learn a lot from each other.

    I saw a story on hops growing over the weekend - don't they grow up a string and get to be REALLY tall? Or are you letting them run along the fence line?
     
  19. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I did look at her web site, but didnt think she would be able to help me find the soy beans seeing as I am in NZ, but she might know so I should ask her.
    Ah yes, hops can grow up to 9 metres and are traditionally grown up a string or three.I was going to try it along a fence.I keep thinking about how great the house used to look when the Ivy was growing over it,(before it started getting out of control) and would love to have it all covered with something again.
    We would have to put brackets along the walls with wires running between them for a vining thing, apparently it help to have air flow between the wall and the plant.
    I havent been able to find out how well hops grows horizontally or even if it will yet so that is why the poor thing is still in its pot.

    I wish I was at the workshop too, its differcult to try new things when you have know real idea of what you are doing.
    Feels abit like reinventing the wheel when you know somebody already has a working copy.
    I did have a taste of tempeh absolutely years ago before such things were really known and wasnt sure if I liked it or not.
    If she is making soy sauce too....ahh I want to move....
     
  20. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    A house of hops! That could be a tourist attraction.

    I have only ever had Elisabeth's tempeh so I have nothing to compare to but hers is really nice. Save up for the airfares and you can stay at my place while you do her workshop...
     

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