Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Elderberries, floors, beetroot and gates

To-ing and fro-ing The Hut (our office which was a chicken/pig house once upon a time)I pass an elder bush/tree. It is laden with elder berries.

Up early one morning, and it was time to be bold and do a bit of wild foody-ing. Being of the thinking that produce bought from a supermarket or a market is viable food, and that if something is grown from a seed packet which looks the same as the photo or drawing on the packet then that is OK to eat as well, I have a natural nervousness about eating food from the wild. Now I know that the elder is not exactly growing wild, but it is still not an organised type of food. Last year I managed to avoid the elder berry project. This year I couldn't. Time to be bold and take one more step with wild foody-ing type self sufficiency: time to go wild foody jamming!

You can read how I got on over at Foody-ing: Elderberry and Apple Jam experiment.(August 28th 2009) Oh and by the way, the jam eventually turned out OK, light in taste which made a change to the heftier tasting plum jam made earlier on this summer.

And lookee here!!!! The floor of the hallway is now solid, as are all the floors in the house! Not only that, by the builders are here even as I write this, and guess what? Yesssssss!!! They have started on the roof!

Finally it was time to go start raiding our small row of beetroot, left to fend for itself over the summer months, rarely watered, and quite frankly, neglected so I didn't have much hope for a good harvest. Much to my surprise, from out of a quarter of the row I managed to get a small haul of veg. A conversation with a friend planted the thought into my head to have a go at roasting them, so I did. With great success actually! Having only ever thought of beetroot in terms of being pickled, and only ever eaten it in that state, the roasting experiment opened up new avenues of things to do with that veg. (See: Foody-ing: Beetroot: To roast or pickle? Posted 26 Aug 2009)

And here is Lester messing about with the new gates! Bless him! Couldn't resist spending ages locking them, opening them, closing them, then locking them up again! So now we can close the gates when we want to be private. From out front that is. The back gate of the courtyard is still absent and so is wide open to anyone who wants to walk in. But at least we are have the first set of gates in place.

These gates are supposed to be temporary until we can afford taller gates which will better suit the size of the entrance-way. These we will have specially made and will therefore be expensive, but these look better than I thought they would. And I am going to grow a wisteria over the porch (already got a young plant grown from a cutting 'borrowed' from a neighbours wisteria earlier on in the year), and probably some climbing roses as well - so the opening will sort of wear a frondy hat!

Things I have learnt: That wild foody-ing is fun. That having a meal made almost entirely from one's own produce is very psychologically satisfying. That its great being able to walk through one's home on firm floors even if the roof is absent. That it is lovely to be able to lock one's front gate at night!


DUTA said...

Perhaps I repeat myself but I love your "What I've learnt" passage. I learn the things together with you.
About beetrot we use it in "borsht". look it up in google. it's a semi sour red soup of russian origin, very tasty.

Vera said...

Thanks, Duta, for the info about 'borsht'. I'm going to look it up on the Internet right now!