WELCOME TO OUR FARM GARDEN!
This blog is to record the progress of "the farm" at "Balmoral Park".It is our plan to grow a garden and be somewhat self sufficient while we enjoy the tranquility of the Australian bush.
Come in through the back gate and enjoy your visit.
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So much of everything in the garden at the moment. Leading the field is the beans, all doing incredibly well. The other day i picked over a kilo and left quite a few on the vines to mature and dry.
I made our favourite Olive Oil Beans with this big harvest.
Olive Oil Beans 1 kilo of Beans, any variety, I used a mixture
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large onions
4 cloves garlic
2 cans peeled and chopped tomatoes or the equivalent fresh if you have them
Saute onions and garlic in the oil gently for about twenty minutes until they are soft and sweet
Add the tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of fresh herbs (oregano works well)
Add the beans and bring to a simmer
Place a sheet of baking paper on top of beans, weigh it down with a plate
Simmer for about two hours
these are great hot or cold, i put a batch in the freezer as I think they will freeze well.
There for a while I was worried that i wouldn't get any cucumbers, i needn't have, they are coming thick and fast now as are the tomatoes and today we ate the first of the corn.
I am busy most of the day either, getting the garden ready for the hot weather which has arrived and looks set to stay for a bit, or preserving and cooking the produce. It feels like a full time job.
We have six old citrus trees here, two mandarins, two oranges, two lemons. They have fruited quite well most years since we have been here but this year they have the most extraordinary crop. They are loaded.
We probably should have thinned them out but left it a bit too late. We have been eating the mandarins for a few weeks now, they are a bit tart but nice nevertheless. they are getting sweeter every day. We will have to give lots away and find some good mandarin recipes. I might have a go at preserving some segments as well.
The oranges are not quite as prolific but will still keep us going for many months. The great thing about the winter fruit is that you can leave it on the tree and just pick it as you need it.
We have planted some new citrus trees as well. they are very slow to grow but the ruby grapefruit tree has a decent crop this year. I really like grapefruit for breakfast.
I will have to look after the other small citrus a bit more this winter and hopefully they will grow…
We continue to have rain at regular intervals so far this year so our garden is a very different place. Lush green growth everywhere. This despite some extremely cold weather and hard frosts. I had two trombocino vines that survived the hot dry January and went on to produce a huge crop. We were eating them up until the end of May. About that time I found a few huge Trombocinos that were hiding under bushes or in the long grass so I decided to let them grow, just to see what would happen. They grew into Giants! Peter measured the longest one and it was a metre and a half long. At the moment they are decorating my garden but I am thinking I might cook one to see what it is like.
I've been playing around with my bread making a bit this week. I read a thing about maintaining the starter and it made sense to me so I've done that. Basically you just grow a very small starter and then keep it in the fridge and build it up when you need it. Already my starter is much more active. Last weekend I tried to make some pide, it didn't turn out so well, just like white bread really. I love pide and want to be able to make if for Katie when she is here as its one of the things she misses in the UK.
I couldn't find a recipe for a sourdough pide so i adapted the recipe I had, pretty much just letting every step take longer.
i took half a cup of nice fresh starter and added a cup of water and a cup of bread flour, plus half a teaspoon of sugar.
I stirred this until it was smooth, covered it with glad wrap and left it on the bench for a few hours and then put it in the fridge overnight. this morning I added 270 mls of warm water, 31/2 cups of flour and 1/4 cup …