Homesteading, News

Summer Days 2017

I can hardly believe it is almost February! We have finally had some hot days here and our tomato plants have started to set fruit. The cucumbers as well and taking off and I think we are doing pretty well considering we only have a dodgy $50 greenhouse purchased on arrival to the island. Sadly the greenhouse isnt doing as well as the vegetables it’s produced. Dane and I had been taking bets on how long it would last. I thought we would at least get two summers out of it but I was proven wrong in a wind storm when the door was ripped. We have repaired it with Gaff tape but we know it only has 1 more storm left in it so we have invested in a good quality poly green house which we will set up before winter.

 

We had the pleasure of lots of our old friends visiting over New years and it was lovely to spend time with old friends and feel our soul enriched by their company. The children are really thriving in this Tassie life and I know we have made the right choice for our family.

Dane has picked up some work picking cherries. Sadly all the rain has made it a short season so there is not much work to be had but he’s really enjoying the physical work and meeting people from all walks of life. What he doesn’t like is how much fruit goes on the ground due to imperfections and he is asking his manager if we can have some bulk lots of “waste” cherries to preserve and make cider.

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Although we are no longer doing markets I am still preserving lots of what we are growing and being gifted by friends. We are lucky to live in a community with abundant fruit and I’ve traded or been given Berries and plums. Our Squash plants are going crazy so I’ve invented a Zucchini Kimchi which has turned out to be a hit and and will certainly be making more of this! I’m hoping to have a little road side stall set up this year if I can to sell the excess and save for a drum carder to make my fiber prep easier.

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I am loving learning more about fiber crafts. I started on a drop spindle which I will hand down to Nyah when she’s older and then moved up to a spinning wheel when I saw one advertised for sale by a lovely local lady. I invested in hand carders and we now have one beautiful English Angora Rabbit called MR Dandy who is our very own fibre animal. I’m debating breeding them one day but for now we are just loving him. For other fibres I’ve been spinning Alpaca and sheeps wool that I have sourced from locals. I have been very busy trying to create enough to have on my Etsy store as a way to keep saving for our own farm while I start getting ready to start our trial year of homeschooling.

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Well I think that brings us up to date for now. I hope to start sharing more recipes again soon! If anyone is interested in the Zucchini Kimchi Recipe please let me know and I will post it in to comments.

 

 

Fermenting, Foody things, Preserving

Cucumber craziness!

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I have been debating if I should write this post or not. I have been given friendly advice by some to keep my cards close to my chest when sharing recipes, particularly if it’s something I’d like to sell one day. I have taken this on board but a big part of me writing this blog is to share information. Not everyone has the money to buy products and I’m a firm believer that what goes around comes around. I’ve been inspired by many different chefs and bloggers in my time and I hope that my writing can inspire someone else in their journey.
So today I am sharing my versions of cucumber kimchi and sauer gurke -that’s sour cucumbers like sauerkraut only with cucumber not cabbage.
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We have had a abundance of cucumber this year. I may have been overzealous with my plantings and ended up with three plants that just went crazy! So with 10 kilos in the fridge I really needed to get my thinking cap on.
I found a few recipes for cucumber kimchi and with my first batch I loved the flavour but the texture of the cucumber cut up wasn’t my favorite. It was good but not great.

My second batch I decided to shred the cucumber. Now usually I do everything by hand but 10kg is a lot of cucumber. Instead I used my usually idol food processor and wow what a machine! All the cucumber was grated in about 3 minutes!

For the Sauer Gurke
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I massaged in about a 1/4 cup of sea salt and let it sit for 5 minutes. After this I drained the liquid but kept it aside in case I needed extra for the brine. I then added a teaspoon of minced ginger and 3 cloves of minced garlic stirred it through and pressed the whole mix into the fermenting jar. After weighing down the cucumber I added a little of the left over brine/liquid to ensure the mix was well covered. Popped on my fermenting cover and left it to do its magic. I liked it after 5 days but you could go as far as 14 depending on how sour you like it.
We had it on sausage sandwhiches and it was delicious!

Cucumber Kimchi
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For the kimchi the start of the process was the same as the sauergurke. Grate the cucumber and add your salt. After draining the liquid as above I then mixed through 2 teaspoons chilli powder, 5 minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp ginger and 1/4 C soy sauce. Once mixed through I pressed it all into the fermenting jar and left it for 5 days.

Now the kimchi flavour improves with age so if like me you have loads of cucumber make a huge batch and don’t worry about having enough to last a few months.

Enjoy!!