Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Salad season

We harvested the first beans of the season today.  They'll be dinner tonight with our pickled beetroot.  Food metres: about 20.

In a couple of weeks, there'll be more beans from these seedlings.

Before the weather gets too hot, we'll be planting little patches of beans at fortnightly intervals.  So far we have three of 10 plants each.  Shortly they'll need a thick layer of mulch to cope with the Perth summer.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Red-stained fingers

We had our first beetroot harvest last weekend - nearly three kilograms, far too much to eat fresh, so pickles!

First you boil them and then slip the skins off.  Slice or chop (we did some of each).

Then you need your preserving agent, with which you combine your flavourings.  Vinegar does the hard work preserving the beetroot, and we've added fennel, bay, cinnamon and some dried lemon peel.  Smells lovely.

And here you have the finished product!  In a week they'll be ready to eat.  Just in time for the beans. Beans, beetroot and fetta makes a gorgeous salad. 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Goings and comings

Joan, one of our rescued battery hens, died the other week.

She wasn't looking well on Saturday afternoon, and by Sunday morning she'd fallen off the perch.

We buried her under the mulberry tree.  The stresses of their early lives often mean battery hens die younger.  In the 18 months she'd been a member of the Marmalade Cottage CWA, she learnt how to roost at night, how to scratch for worms and slaters, the joys of dust-bathing and how much she loves fresh greens.

When she arrived, her beak and wings had been clipped and she had lots of feathers missing.  Straight away she took to life in the CWA hall, challenging for the ambitious role of deputy boss chook and feathering up beautifully.

We miss her, she had spark.

Shirley has also left, but for happier reasons.  She's gone to a young family who needed a chook who understood how to be a proper chook to teach some rescue battery hens the ropes.

Meet Beatrice.  Her former owners are moving house and their new place is not chook-friendly.

Things are a bit tense in the CWA hall as the girls work out the new pecking order.  Beatrice - having a reputation for escaping - is under house arrest until things are a bit more settled.