Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fresh peas

Our very first pea harvest!

A nice bowl of freshly podded peas
These are the 'Wando Select' peas I sowed back in September. I'm kind of wishing I'd put in more, but at least we will get to enjoy a few more meals with fresh peas yet. They are nice and big too. They are the first peas I have grown, and will definitely feature in next year's Spring garden. I'm not sure if I left them just a wee bit too long for harvesting as some of the pods had started to go a slight bit wrinkly, but the peas inside looked and tasted just fine!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Time at the beach

Yesterday we did our usual run up to Whangarei to do some shopping and on the way home we stopped off at Uretiti beach on the East coast. How wonderful to be able to pull off the main highway and after a short walk through the dunes, this beautiful place. Much enjoyment had, especially by D!

Broad bean harvest

I harvested the remainder of the broad beans yesterday, got about 3 bucket loads of beans which are now shelled and in the freezer. This was my first attempt at growing broad beans and on the whole I thought they were quite successful. Note for next time: stake them well despite growing 'dwarf' varieties as the wind does tend to knock them about!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Re-cap on the pig butchering - with photos

I didn't post any pictures of the pigs/pork on my last post so here they are now.

A finished pig ready for the butcher

A nice pork shoulder roast!
We are just waiting on the bacon and hams now. Have quite a lot of roasts and chops in the freezer.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Update mid November

We've been busy planting. Trees mainly, getting them in before the summer heat kicks in for real, although it has been fairly hot and dry already. We did get a slight dowsing of rain today - hoorah! and it has been a bit cloudy for the last couple of days. We (this is the royal 'we' here, as G has done most of the hard work!) have been planting all types of native tree, in various spots around the farm. In a few years time (and it doesn't really take long) they will be flourishing, and providing us with shelter and privacy, plus attracting the birdlife.

Taraire tree being planted and watered

I've also been busy working away in the veg garden, getting in some more veg, zucchini, chillies, capsicum, eggplants and herbs. I have some more watermelon seeds coming up and will plant these with the others ASAP. The pumpkins, corn, melons and tomatoes are all doing really well in the old pig area.

Also today was a big day as the pigs were slaughtered (stop reading now if you are squeamish!). G had a friend help him and in no time the pigs were dealt to and hair removed by soaking them in a boiling hot bath, then they were hung up and gutted. Now they are with the butcher and next week we should have some lovely bacon, pork and hams to fill the freezer and enjoy over the next few months.

While killing animals is never a pleasant job, we can feel good about the fact that the pigs enjoyed a free-range natural environment with plenty of fresh air, good food and the occasional head scratch! Sadly the bulk of commercially available pork in NZ is not from happy pigs (see here for more info).

And in terms of permaculture, we closed the circle by burying their remains in the old pig area now the new veg garden, next to the pumpkin patch. Thank you piggies.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Our life on the land

It's sometimes hard to explain to people in a nutshell what we're attempting to do on our land. Especially those whose lifestyles are far removed from ours.

We've learned a lot of things in the few years we've been working the land. We've also made lots of mistakes!

I think this post on the interesting Freedom Gardens website, and this short video sum it up very well.

Happy Growing!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Spring pasta dish

I harvested some of the broad beans last night:

I cooked them briefly, then added them to our dinner, which was smoked chicken tagliatelle (homemade pasta), with a little chilli, garlic and onion cooked in a creamy white wine sauce, topped off with some grated Romano cheese:

Went down pretty well!

One of those mysterious things...

Why do cows sit down when rain is coming?

 There seems to be a multitude of answers on the net. But here they are doing their thing and it's cloudy and a chill in the air, maybe a light shower approaching!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Baby chickens again

We have x4 new chicks which hatched out a couple of days ago. It's always hard to get a good photo as they don't stay still for long - that's if they are not under mummy hens wings!

3 are black/grey and one is yellow! These are from the dozen mixed breed fertile eggs I bought (since we no longer have a rooster). Unfortunately the 6 we put under one of the other broody hens did not hatch because the hen did not sit on them very well. The Indian Game hen in the picture ('Clucky') is a very good mother and has hatched out several chicks in the past. We maybe should have put all 12 under her to start with!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Remember, remember the 5th of November

We've been having 'Guy Fawkes night' as it's known here in NZ (bonfire night in the UK).

Why do we 'remember' Guy Fawkes and celebrate with fireworks? Because of the gun powder found under the Houses of Parliament. He was part of a group that wanted to blow up the Protestant King at the time (James 1) and replace him with a Catholic one. But the reason I think most people celebrate (apart from the fun of the fireworks) is that they like the fact that GF was trying to 'stick it to the man'!