Showing posts from December, 2011

The end of the goats milk for now

I'm sad to say that I have finished milking Elisabet for now. Once we took the boy goat away (he is now chops and roasts in my freezer) she didn't seem to have so much milk. Perhaps I should have been milking her twice a day. In any case by the time i came back from UK we were getting less than a litre a day and that dropped off to just over  half. I kept milking until now because i wanted to have some goats curd over the holidays while Zoe was home.
I have really enjoyed having fresh milk and learned a lot in the process. We used the milk for everything but the yogurt was probably the big success. It took me a long time to get it the way we like it but once we did it was successful every time.

Lovely, thick, tangy yogurt.

Great on its own, with fruit or turned into Labne,

  It is by far the easiest soft cheese to make without needing any equipment, other than a strainer and a chux cloth.
So my goats milk yogurt process is as follows. Heat the milk to 90 degrees Celsius, I do …

What a Glorious Day

It is just beautiful here today. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the air is fresh after yesterdays rain. Its the first day that is has felt summery enough to abandon my jeans in favour of something cooler. I think it will be about thirty degrees. Often at this time of the year the temperature is already reaching into the high thirties and the heat is too much, so I am really enjoying this pleasant weather.
The garden is appreciating it too, and although I can see many signs of my recent neglect, on the whole the picture is pleasing.
Our new standard roses along the veranda are looking beautiful and have grown really well.

 This garden had worked almost exactly as planned and although most of the roses don't bear close inspection, the whole picture is lovely with all the beds blooming. The lawn is bright green, a reward for the constant mowing!

My white hydrangea is looking cool and elegant

and all the plumbago's are a gorgeous blue. Imagine with another years growth most o…

Getting back into the swing of things

At last I feel as though I am getting back into the swing of things, including blogging!
I have found it quite hard battling with Jet lag and the flu as well as what felt like an overwhelming amount to do. Peter has not been well while I was away and looks like he wont be for quite some time so the tasks that were not done have mounted up.
This is not an easy garden to manage, partly because it is new, partly because it is huge and a good deal because we started it in the drought and didn't have any idea that in a good season there would be so much mowing, weeding and the like. The growth of the Kikuyu into the garden beds almost makes me wish for the easy chemical solution of roundup, but then the taste of the vegetables and fruit and the knowledge that they are chemical free outweighs that.
So I have been busy and things are starting to look a little more manageable.
I dug up the garlic that I could find and it is a good harvest although I think there may be lots of cloves still…

The first zucchinis

After a month away from home and a week of jetlag and flu my garden is not at its best. I've been struggling to find the motivation to do the hard work required to get it back into the condition i want it to be. Tidy, attractive and most of all productive.
I did get some summer planting done before i went away and have been rewarded with the first of the Zucchinis. zucchinis are one of my favourite vegetables and I am really pleased wit this new/old variety I have planted this year. They are a very attractive variety and have really good flavour and texture. I think the black beauties will be a thing of the past and I will go with these "Costata" as a main crop and one or two Rond de Nice and Trombocinnos for variety.

The garlic was ready for harvest while i was away so although the stems have mostly withered i am in the process of digging this up. It was  mostly in one large bed so not too hard to find although there are a few scattered about. I don't mind if some a…

Home on the Farm and some surprises, welcome and otherwise

Well I am back home on the farm, have been for a few days actually, but laid low with jet lag and the flu. Thanks Zoe for the reminder to get back to the Blog.
When I was in Brighton one of Jemima's favourite games was pretending to be at the farm with me in her imagination, so we would walk up the hill with the dogs, milk the goats and put the ducks away. I guess she is old enough now to look at the new pictures on the Blog and add them to her imaginary adventures with Grannie Annie.

Things have survived quite well in my absence, thanks to a very mild November and quite a lot of rain the garden is in good shape, if overgrown and weedy. I'm surprised to find that there are still Raspberries, Blackberries and Marionberries to pick! I really thought I would have missed out on them. Also surprised to find that the apricots and plums are already ripe and that the dreaded fruit fly have found them. I've put some traps out and hope I can contain the damage. The fruit is deliciou…