Holidays are a great time to wind down after a years hard graft, and what better time than during summer.
I have even taken the opportunity to sleep in until 7.00am, which is a welcome respite from the 6.00am awakenings during the working week. Even this extra hour is pleasurable.
So, what have we been doing? Well there is always something to do around here, and this time of the year it is fruit time.
We picked about 10 kg (22lbs) of Apricots off the dwarf tree in the front orchard. This bowl represents about 4 kg. They were big, and juicy, not like those pretend, hard and sour ones that they try and palm off as apricots at the supermarket. We picked most of them a few days before Christmas day.
Now for those regular readers, I have a dwarf ANZAC peach tree behind the outdoor clay oven. It was also ripening well, and I picked a couple of peaches on Christmas Eve for Kim and I. However, on Christmas Day, a flock of Rainbow Lorikeets decided that they would enjoy the peaches more than I would, so ate the entire crop! Not a single one left.
To that end, I have put exclusion bags on all of the apples on the dwarf jonathan apple tree that lives next to the peach, and have netted the yellow peach and nectarine trees with Bens help. Big thumbs up! We should have a nice harvest from these two trees in the next few weeks.
I have been making Feta. I made about 1kg on Christmas Eve for the Greek Salad that we served up on Boxing day. It was delicious, but unfortunately I did not take a picture of the finished product. It is now all gone!
Our two little bantams have been having the run of the oven garden. They have cleaned up the remaining peaches that the Lorikeets left all over the ground under the tree. Jane and Poppy also like to check out the entire veranda area for cockroaches and insects. They do a good service for free.
Our Christmas Day was a traditional roast. We had a meat day, and had bio dynamic smoked turkey, and bio dynamic honey cured ham.
It was quite a good accompaniment to lashings of home grown roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, home made sage stuffing balls, and steamed vegetables. It was delicious, and all the family enjoyed themselves, dinning al fresco.
I cracked open a two year old Parmesan cheese that I made back in December 2010. We were having home made spaghetti and veggieballs (as opposed to meatballs), and I needed to top it with this delicious cheese. The flavour was strong, and bitey, as you would expect with a hard cheese aged this long. It was amazing and I am glad there is some left.
Garden maintenance over the break has been routine, with regular liquid fertilizer fortnightly, and watering every other day unless it was over 35C. I do water the pots daily due to the heat, just to keep the herbs alive. Click on the picture and expand the window to view the panorama photo in all its glory. You can see every garden bed in the main patch. Left to right; Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Zucchini and capsicum and eggplant and sunflowers, cucmber and capsicum, and on the far right, the berry bed now spent of loganberries. I have one empty rainwater tank, and only about 2000 litres in the second. It has not rained for a month, so I will have to keep an eye on the water situation.
Finally, New Years Eve. We had a pizza oven. Yes, I look like a dwarf from the hobbit with a miners light on, but, boy can I cook pizza Kim said I looked like Super Mario!
Pizza cooked in this oven are to die for. Lightly brown on top and dark brown on the bottom. I cooked nine pizza in 1 hour. Nice.
Then we had a few sherbets. Home brew beer for me, and Limoncello daiquiris for Kim. Adult kids being what they are decided to go hell for leather and jumped into the pool at midnight, even though the temperature had dropped down to about 15C by this time. We were all in bed by 1.00am.
Well dear readers, that has been our Xmas/NYE break so far. I still have a week and a half left to go before I return to work.
I hope you are having a similar relaxing time, and are enjoying your journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle. If you haven't started yet, give it a go. It all starts with a simple, small, first step in the right direction.