A wind storm damaged a couple of branches on my free stone blood peach tree and thinned the fruit at the same time! Hoping that the remaining peaches will be ready to eat in a few weeks time. Have any of your pits germinated Judith?
Vanessa, your coasters are gorgeous. What type of varnish did you use to seal the decoupage?
We several sets of coasters and the ones that get used most often are the ceramic ones with flowers. They have cork on the bottom. Have to be careful using these with cold drinks on a hot day - as the ice melts and condensation gathers on the bottom of the glass, it creates suction and the coaster can get lifted up with the glass. There are some fine chips on the coasters from being dropped. The two Ovaltine coasters are painted metal, also with cork on the bottom.
My favourite salve is made with dehydrated comfrey leaves and roots. I also make one with calendula petals and lavender. My preference is to stuff the herbs into a clean cut off section of pantyhose which makes it easier to strain after steeping in extra virgin olive oil. One part wax to four parts oil by weight gives the consistency that I prefer. I scrape a bit of the salve out of the jar with the back of a finger nail - a local cafe keeps 30g jam jars for me.
I only wear mine in winter time and love them, they are super comfortable. Having said that, I dont wear them for work or when i take the dog out, they are more of a casual wear at home or down to the shops shoe for me.
Here are winecaps foraged from a garden that had wood chips applied as a mulch about 12m ago. Have dehydrated far more than one pound of fresh mushrooms but only photographed one weighed batch for the BB. Forgot to change the unit from grams to ounces. Have cooked them fresh in risotto, a chicken & ham pie and omelette😋
How about a compromise, leave some comfrey for the spiders to shelter in and pick and harvest just enough leaves to make a batch of tea in spring. The leaves dry very easily, I shred and dry them for making salves but you could drape them over a mesh shelf or on a fold up clothes rack, store in a paper bag or bucket and just add water when you want to use it. If they are not completely dried, you may want to put them in a bucket just in case they start fermenting which is not such a bad thing just so long as you can contain the smell with a tight fitting lid😉
Hello Dennis, as Eric says, the comfrey will survive as much mulch as you can throw on top of it, it is tough as old boots. We put drainage coils around the trunks of the fruit trees at the community garden when the trees were first planted, having placed a thick layer of cardboard down first. It was as much to protect the trees from being damaged by over zealous weedeaters coming too close. The weeds have still managed to grow inside the drainage coils and need to be pulled out regularly. We haven’t bothered with the coils when we plant new trees now, just put down cardboard around the trunk and each time we top up the mulch, place a fresh layer of cardboard around the tree trunk.
I've only made acv with cores and peels and have only ever had mold issues if the container was not scrupulously clean. I wash the container thoroughly (a food grade bucket or large glass jar depending on the quantity of peels and cores) and rinse with boiling water before adding the peel and cores. I only barely cover the peels with water and use a plate to keep them submerged. It is then covered with a large napkin and loosely tied down to stop bugs getting in. Every couple of days, i lift the napkin and use a wooden spoon to press the plate down but have never bothered to stir the peel. It usually ferments without having to add any sugar. The resulting vinegar is not as strong as commercially made vinegar but i use it for salad dressings and to drink. If any white mold forms thats not a problem - its the blue grey molds that spoil the vinegar but as Anita mentioned, that batch can be kept for cleaning.
The only downside of planting garlic after your potatoes is that you have to be absolutely certain that you have lifted every single potato at harvest time or else they will all sprout in your garlic bed 😉 the potatoes will outgrow the garlic so need to be pulled up as soon as they emerge. As you can see, i am not a very tidy gardener - I have lots of potato weeds in my garlic bed 🤣
It is tempting fate to replant in the same bed that you grew garlic in the previous season because there are many bacterial and fungal diseases in the soil that could infect your garlic if the growing conditions are not ideal. If you have no other option, go ahead but keep a close eye on your plants as they are growing - any sign of yellowing in the new growth, cull the plants. Yellowing tips are normal but not in the new growth. I usually sprinkle a generous dressing of sheep pellets over the garlic bed at planting time before mulching with wood chips. Ideally, garlic needs to be grown on a three or four year rotation to minimise the risk of a build up of diseases.
Hello Eric, thanks I will certainly keep you updated. I already have several spots in mind, the two communal woodchip piles for sure - both have recently had fresh arborist’s mulch dropped off which is where the spawn for my original wine caps came from. Not an entirely altruistic move, I figure if it gets transferred to other areas of the garden, more wine caps for everyone, including me😋
The community garden where I have a plot gets regular deliveries of woodchips and a couple of years ago I had an excellent crop of winecaps growing in the paths between the beds where I had spread coffee grounds and woodchips. They did not reappear last season and was concerned that I'd lost them but last week, noticed a solitary mushroom appear. It is spring in the southern hemisphere but last week, a cold front came through and brought snow down to 400m (we are 300m above sea level).
Today, a friend who is a landscape gardener, found a huge crop of winecaps in a pile of woodchips and he has kindly shared the substrate that they are growing in with me. I was much more excited to be given the mycelium than the actual mushrooms to be honest!
I will bury clumps of the substrate around the gardens and top them with woodchips. They appear to have been growing in pine mulch, there are still some needles amongst the mulch and a couple of tiny seedlings.
Lisa it takes a little time for your taste buds to adjust to the taste of milk kefir so you may wish to start by making kefir yoghurt. Wait until the milk starts to separate and strain off the whey which is very sharp. Use a spatula to stir your strained kefir into a bowl - the grains will remain in the sieve and the yoghurt will drop into the bowl. If it is too thick, mix some of the whey back in. Add a teaspoon of runny honey, stewed or chopped fruit to sweeten. I prefer the yoghurt to drinking kefir but if you wish you could make a smoothie with banana or blueberries until you get used to the flavour. If you drink the kefir, no need to strain off the whey.
As soon as the first fruit start falling to the ground, you can start harvesting them. The fruit bruise very easily despite their being rock hard. The sniff test is best - if you can’t smell the fruit, they aren’t ready. The trees can grow huge so make sure that you prune them ruthlessly to keep the height in check.
If you are using them to make jelly, just wash off the fluff and poach whole overnight in a slow cooker, barely covered with water. Allow to cool and drain the fruit, the skins will slip off very easily, cut in half and scoop out the core. Some fruit have a gritty layer around the core so if you are making quince paste, scoop out all the gritty stuff.
I like to slice and mix them into a jar of poached slice apples to make apple pies, crumble etc. I don’t add sugar until I use the fruit. The poaching liquid can be used to make quince jelly. There are lots of great recipes for oven baked quinces in a slow oven with cinnamon quills and a light syrup and there are also some lovely savoury recipes for quince and lamb.
I too collect spent grounds from a local cafe and have done so for over 7 years. I garden in a community garden that would have once been a river bed - the soil is no more than a spade's depth. I have been using the grounds to prepare new planting areas by mulching with newspaper, cardboard, coffee grounds and topped with arborist's mulch. I have also put them directly into worm bins and any bags that are left for any length of time become colonised by worms - they love them. I am a total believer in spent grounds, they have really improved the soil. In winter, two of the local ski fields drop off their bags of spent grounds at the gardens - they get put into the compost bins.
When I started my worm bins, I used arborist wood chips and leaves for the bedding. I fed my worms a combination of household scraps and spent spent coffee grounds - I have been collecting the grounds from a local cafe for the past six years and the worms love them. Just try to ensure that the grounds don’t become too dry. I have found old bags of grounds that have been forgotten and the worms have made their own way into the bags and colonised them. Where i’ve spread the grounds in paths and topped with wood chips, the grounds are teeming with worms. In my experience, coffee grounds are equally as effective as bedding and food for my worms.
research was conducted on growing saffron in NZ many years ago and several regions were identified as being suitable for growing it, Central Otago being amongst them. Sam Neill's vineyard is located on one of the original test sites and although he continues to grow it, it is not sold - he found the labour costs prohibitive. I purchased corms from two different growers and was also gifted some. I have noticed a marked difference in the colour, size and maturity dates of the different clones. The flowers have a beautiful sweet scent and it almost seems criminal to pluck and discard them. I have dehydrated some petals to use in pot pourri. They are amazingly robust and will continue to produce flowers even when overcrowded, the yield is reduced and it is difficult to find the flowers if they are not divided every 4 - 5 years. Each mother corm produces 4 - 5 daughters so you can imagine how crowded they become. I feed and mulch the bed in summer when all the foliage has died back, try to keep the couch grass from taking over and leave them be. They are remarkably easy to grow, just ensure that they are in a well drained bed, they succumb to fingal diseases very easily.
The dimple is supposed to be depressed when a vacuum is created. Your jars may not be totally sealed - perhaps there was still some juice on the rims when you put the lids on. If you can pop the dimple, set aside those jars to use first.
Wonder if that would work with things like shrimp being raised... I'm thinking of the crawdad raising thread that is running here, that is a NEAT idea to flavor them how you want!
I watched the video that Ben linked to in the thread on raising crawfish and it appears that they feed on decaying vegetation in the ponds that they are raised in. The purging process involves keeping them in clear water for 24 hours so not sure that they could be deliberately fed herbs etc like snails and worms😏
Chris Kott wrote:In snail cultivation for escargots, the little buggers are quarantined and fed a special diet.....I think I would be less picky if I had to be, but I would probably give them the escargot treatment, or grind them into flour, like crickets.
Following on from Chris’s comment, perhaps a diet of finely shredded fresh herbs with ground dehydrated garlic for a few weeks prior to consumption might make the worms more appetising?
I have never eaten worms although I have to confess that we fed one to our youngest brother when he was a toddler and he gleefully ate it.
Sadly I lost the apricot tree back in February, it blew over in a freak storm and found that the base of the trunk was rotted so it would have eventually fallen over. It looks like it may have been damaged by a weedeater when it was still a sapling and amazed that it managed to grow to the size it did. The blood peach tree produced over 30 peaches (yes I counted them!) and despite trying to keep all the branches at a manageable height, a couple of got away from me so next year, will be too high to reach to harvest the peaches - lucky for the birds.
Dan, if you don’t have freezer space, have you considered dehydrating your vegetable peelings and/or excess vegetables for later use? I often dice celery, zucchini’s, marrows (when the zucchini’s get away from me), swede’s etc and they can be thrown into soups as needed.