Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Identity of mystery plant

I have found out what the mystery plant is.............a Yacon. The plant originates from South America (Peru) and grows large edible tubers.

The comment from Jan was not far off the mark, since Yacon is related to both the Jerusalem artichoke and sunflower. It has a small yellow flower (see photo below). Hopefully my 'sticks' will look more like this come Spring!

See here for more info.

If it grows successfully, it will be interesting to see what it tastes like. And I also read a tea can be made with the leaves.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mystery plant

Can anyone identify this plant? It was given to me but the name is unknown. Looks like a subtropical plant to me.

It apparently has edible roots/tubers.

The leaves are big and slightly 'woolly' and are on the end of 'sticks' which are about 1m high.

Any ideas?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Robot cake for the birthday boy

Here is this year's creation....!

I was quite pleased with how it turned out, my first attempt at a fondant cake. It was a nice solid chocolate cake. Ambitiously, I made my own fondant too and coloured it silver grey.

One happy birthday boy!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Monarch butterfly

This wee butterfly (actually not so wee, as the Monarch butterfly is quite large!) hatched out of a chrysalis that I rescued from the garden. It had been attached to a plant I was pruning and it dropped on the ground. I took it inside and stuck it to a wooden stick using superglue, and then hung this across a large glass jar. I then put the jar on the window sill where it sat for a few days. I wasn't sure if anything would happen, since the poor thing had dropped down, and then in the process of glueing it I dropped it again!

Anyway, all was well because when I got home this morning, it had already hatched out and was trying to climb out of the jar! I promptly took it outside and put it in a sunny sheltered spot (my sage plant) where it could dry its wings and get ready to fly. We have lots of butterflies around, and I always let several Swan plants grow (they come up like weeds) all over the garden. It would be really nice to have a special patch of Swan plants as a breeding area for the butterflies, maybe one day when we have our house built, then I can look out of my kitchen window and watch the butterflies!

Garden news, well there isn't much of it really.. I've sown some carrot seed and parsnip. The cabbages, broccoli and caulis are coming along OK. I'm still harvesting reasonable sized carrots, which we're enjoying in coleslaw, the jewel colours of the yellow, white, orange and purple carrots look lovely and the taste is great.
Have done a bit of weeding (my least favourite gardening job!), much more to do, plus I want to put some stone or sawdust down on the paths before winter sets in, otherwise it gets too muddy.

Hope all's growing well on your properties.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Salt article

Remember this photo from December?:

Well I gave permission for it to be used in an interesting article all about salt which you can read in the Ponsonby News online here (see p75).

Our cattle are all doing very well, and it will soon be time for us to fill the freezer with some lovely homegrown beef again!

Update 16/4/12: the link is now fixed!