Leila Rich

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since May 24, 2010
Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Recent posts by Leila Rich

S Bengi wrote:Your fall garden is looking awesome. Pretty soon you can probably stop saving/buying seeds.

Definitely like to stop buying seed, although I grow various brassica oleracea
and I'd need to learn lots more tricks to avoid cross-pollination-
they'll give it up for any old member of the species

I actually really enjoy the seed saving process,
and if the root veges only self-seeded I wouldn't be able to do even my rather casual version of a rotation!

2 years ago
Here's a bed about 4m by 1.5 that I direct-sowed carrots, beetroot, turnips, kohlrabi in blocks
and interplanted leeks, lettuce, coriander, standard celery, dill, salad radishes...
Up came: red Russian kale, picking celery, parsley, parsnip, a clover I can't identify with red leaf-blotches,
daikon, calendula and many, many others.
Believe it or not, I've already thinned rather brutally!

The windbreak fence serves a few purposes:
I get major autumn gales, the barrier will hopefully keep the carrot root fly at bay
and the neighbourhood cats think my place makes an awesome toilet

Can anyone id this clover?
It showed up in some seed, and while I'm leaving it there for now
I do find clovers are generally a bit 'pushy' to have in with annuals.

2 years ago
Took apart another whole mullet, and made stock while frying up the fillets.
Had a fillet with potatoes fried in the fishy pan
and a massive salad of lacto-fermented beets,
olives, dandelion greens, cherry tomatoes, carrot...
2 years ago
I made a Mexican feast last night, and wanted a vaguely 'Mexicany' non-alcoholic beverage to go with it.
I've never whizzed up a watermelon before-not much fibre in those suckers-you get a lot of juice

food-process peeled chunks of watermelon and tip each batch into a largish container.
Add a bit of grated ginger root, plenty of lime/lemon juice,
a small pinch of salt-it sounds a bit weird, but trust me: salt really works-
and a few drops of orange blossom water if you've got it lying around.
(I love this stuff, but by drops, I mean drops-too much and it'll taste like toilet freshener or something)

Check the flavours are balanced, tip it all through a sieve and chill well.
It'll separate, so give it a good mix before serving.

I have a strong feeling that various spirits would go well in this,
or maybe have a glass after a shot of mescal...

2 years ago
I've retracted my previous advice to use whole fruit,
after cleaning out a large stinking barrel of apples floating in anaerobic liquid
2 years ago
I've just got rid of a failed batch at a friend's where they used my suggested method of not mincing the fruit-it really ponged!
I remembered this thread...and I retract my advice to use whole fruit--it can fail very stinkily!

I'd already started a batch of vinegar last month by roughly chopping windfall apples, dumping them in a foodsafe bucket and mincing with a stick blender
and today I made a giant vat of chutney with apples from a wild tree, so I thought I may as well add to the working vinegar

I experimented a bit by freezing/defrosting the apple scraps
This makes the fruit really easy to mince in a food processor with a bit of water,
but it's easy enough to process without, and I think it was overkill.

Mixed new into old, laid the cloth back on the floating apple mince surface to stop it rising up above the liquid

replaced the old net curtain secured with a couple of bungees (bungees are awesome!)

2 years ago
I forgot to say I do the same plain brine with whole chillies.
These ones are two years old; I'd go through them faster
but they're rather hot birdseye chillies and even I can't eat loads at once

2 years ago
Last year, I had a dark spot appear on the front face of a tooth near the gumline.
I didn't go to the dentist for some time (money, as usual!)
and when I did go, I fully expected them to 'do something' about it.
But-huzzah- the tooth had actually 'recalcified', and the spot was now just a mark under new enamel
According to the dentist, my dental hygiene must have been extremely consistent and very thorough-
Mmm, ok, sure...
Not very enlightening I know, but I think diet played a big part-
I was eating way too much sugar/refined carbs for a while, then I stopped.

3 years ago
It's delicious!
The fermentation takes away the 'raw' taste, but it stays crunchy.
I use the really small garlic bulbs I don't want to store/plant.
-Cut the bottoms off the bulbs, separate the cloves, put in a bowl and cover with boiling water gor 30 seconds and drain.
This will loosten the skin; don't leave longer or the garlic will cook!
-I only peel the cloves with tough outer skins, and I don't get too fussy about it.
-mix the garlic, salt and water in the bowl to make a salty brine
- tip into a jar, making sure the brine is well over the garlic and put a lid on.
-ignore for a few weeks, then test. I find it's not an active, bubbling ferment like sauerkraut
-I've kept the finished ferment at room temperature for over a year and it was still crunchy

I've made it with chillies, star anise and ginger before, but I'm keeping this plain.

3 years ago
It's autumn here and we've just had our first cold Southerly storm.
The garden's in that awkward in-between phase where the winter brassicas are in,
but the white butterflies are still around...
The plant in the perspex cloche is a rocoto chili, which are perennial in my climate.

Today I did autumn jobs:
-wheelbarrowed a few loads of seaweed home
-Harvested the Cox's orange apples and stored
-planted some large garlic cloves to see what putting it in really early does,
put very small bulbs aside to lacto-ferment
checked medium bulbs are 'sound' and stored
-plant shallots and elephant garlic
-ferment some tomato seeds for saving
-clean dried perpetual spinach seed
-cut broccoli, and leave to dry for seed
-took a million cuttings from the English lavendar
-cut the heads off the sunflowers to dry
-ate lots of raspberries and cherry tomatoes

3 years ago