Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A neglected pot, and tackling Veg Plot 1

Sept 2015:
- one pot of sloes (blackthorn berries),
being stewed up to use as a dye for our homespun wool.
Please note the date.

May 2016.
Same pot, same sloes, but with water added,
because eight months on and the cooked sloes had become dehydrated.
So, for eight months, this pot had been languishing in the Back Kitchen,
always in full view,
never hidden away,
and waiting for Myself to get round to sieving the liquid,
and then storing it in a plastic container ready for when I start dyeing our wool.
There was hardly a day went past without me thinking
'I must do.....'
but I never did.
But now I have a bucket of slowly mouldering yarrow
that I spoke about in the last blog,
and that needs to be stewed in the pot,
so I need to get the sloe mix sorted out,
and I nearly have.
Hopefully the pot will have the yarrow in it tomorrow.

(Message to self: do remember to attend to the bacon in the fridge tomorrow as well.
It does not need another day in the dry salt bath. )
Today it was dry,
so off out into Veg Plot 1 to get it prepped for ploughing.
Noooooo! this is Veg Plot 2,
with Veg Plot 3 the other side of the line of poles.
And very tidy they look too,
now they are managed by Himself.
This is Veg Plot 1:

....and it needs sorting out.
It is not as 'wild' as the patch I spoke about in the last blog,
but now the kale and broccoli have seeded,
and the broad beans have been harvested,
the space needs to be cleared.
Meanwhile I have continued to harvest the chamomile,

five buckets I have picked, and there is still more to come.
I was going to hang it up on the racks above the Rayburn range cooker,
thinking that it would lend an arty farmhouse look to the kitchen,
but decided to dehydrate them instead.
An hour to pick the flower heads off,
and job done.
 ... and the broad bean harvest, which was a surprise,
as I gave up on the plants in December,
after chilly weather and sharp winds damaged the plants.
But they hung on,
and although overgrown with docks and grass,
they still managed to produce a small crop for us.
We shall do these beans again,
but try to give them better shelter against the weather.
The young pods were delicious,
and these mature ones I shall dry and use later.
Lissie is still giving us milk,
but I have stopped making cheese for this season.
I was a bit disappointed with myself because several of the stored cheese wheels 'blew',
which means they inflated,
not hugely,
just enough to plump up,
which means that they are not good for us to eat,
although the dogs, chickens, and pigs will joyously eat those spoilt wheels.
Also, I have found that cheese wax does not do well with our particular type of cheese,
I think this is because of the high cream content of the milk.
Anyway, I have had to revert back to wrapping the cheeses in muslin and lard.
Cheese is not hard to make,
but it can be precocious to store.
Not to worry,
I shall keep persevering,
because the cheese which does turn out alright is delicious.
Ah but it is getting late,
so I must away to my bed
Bye for now,


Cro Magnon said...

I'm very envious of your big veg beds, I've reduced mine this year. If only I had a tractor!!!

Dawn McHugh said...

I think we all have those niggly jobs, I am trying to do them as I come across them, things like I must tie up that plant,I must sort out the broken pots, shame about the cheese I dont think I will be trying hard cheeses this year I did have a go at a soft cheese there are a few of those I want to get to grips with first :-)

Vera said...

CRO MAGNON, we would have had small veg beds as well if we had not bought a reconditioned Kubota a couple of years ago!

DAWN, I am thrilled that you are now making cheese. We miss the soft goat cheese I made when we had goats. Lester does not like the soft cheese made from cow's milk, instead he prefers the hard cheeses. But I did find a cheese recipe which is in between a hard and soft cheese, although it does not like being stored for longer than a month. This is the cheese which tends to blow, so forgetting about in in the cheese storage fridge is not a good idea!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

interesting about the cheese wax! hum... good for you for finding something that works. one of my garden spots looks like that over run plot. we've had so much rain that the weeds are insane. boo!

My Life in the Charente said...

We have masses of broad beans at the moment but I somehow don't think I will like them dried so they are going in the freezer. So easy to cook from the freezer, they just go into the water frozen and boil for about 5 mins. I then serve them with creme fraiche and freshly ground pepper. What do you use your dried ones for?
Our garden is all hand dug, it can be very hard work! Keep well Diane

Vera said...

OHIOFARMGIRL, I know that you were able to use cheese wax, but for some reason it does not like our cheese and makes it sweat. It might be the high fat content in the cheese, but I can't use it. As for 'over run pots in the garden'..... we still have plenty of those because we also are going through a rainy patch of weather!

DIANE, I am thinking that I might follow your suggestion about the beans, but I thought the beans needed to be younger. Will have a look on the internet to see more suggestions. If I did dehydrate them they would rehydrated when needed and then used as you would your frozen ones. I tend to dehydrate rather than freeze because of the lack of space in the freezers.
As for hand digging the veg plot. Really, in truth, I don't think we would have a reasonably sized plot if we had to do that!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

You stay so busy! I enjoy reading about your many projects from day to day!

Vera said...

LISA, I am not able to be busy all the time.....for instance today was definitely a 'STOP' day with no energy to do anything with except loll about in a chair!

Kerry said...

3 veg patches, that's a lot to look after, but once they're up and running you'll be benefiting from all your delicious veg.

Vera said...

KERRY, Lester is in charge of the veg plots this year and he is doing very well, better than I would be!

Dawn McHugh said...

Vera could you email me your address I have a magazine I would like to send you,

Dawn McHugh said...

Hi Vera could you email me your postal address I have a magazine I would like to send you,