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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D'uccles in my garden
The other day I purchased three new bantams. They are called D'uccles, they are very cute. Smaller than the silkies with interesting feet! I haven't managed to get a great photo yet but these are not too bad.
The little rooster is called Mr. Darcy, the mottled hen is Lizzie and the black one Jane. They have settled in well but in truth we are lucky to have them because the very first night they were here a fox got in and took two of the Silkies. As they live in a cage under the fruit trees and in our yard we have never locked them in their little coop at night. What a cheeky fox to come so close to the house. We are going to set a fox trap tonight.
Despite a general air of disorder in the garden there are many wonderful things to see.
I spied these Hakea flowers yesterday, Aren't they lovely.
And the ornamental grape is putting on a magnificent autumn display.
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 …