There was beetroot to harvest just a little while ago, and they were all lovely and big, too!
I got just over 1kg of it (that’s 2 pounds for my US friends), which was just enough to try out a pickled beetroot recipe I’d had my eye on for a while. Of course, the beetroot pickling happened at the same time as the cooking of the dinner, as well as some preparation for outings for school etc: why does so much of my canning happen when I’m just so busy I can’t stop to scratch myself? Why not on a sleepy Sunday when not much is happening?
Anyway, after everyone was in bed, and the canner finally got to 94 degrees and stayed there for half an hour, I produced these:
Let me tell you, beetroot pickled with cloves and cumin seed are to die for. There was also a half jar that we’d already hoed into too, but that’s not in the picture… I believe that someone was standing just out of the frame, making noises of appreciation. Yum! We’ve all been gorging on the stuff, and are almost through another jar. Just one to go!
Now we’re trying to figure out where to squeeze in some more beetroot in our bursting veggie patch, because such tasty treats weren’t in our minds when we planned it all out. We were thinking of tomatoes and basil… but that harvest storm is yet to come.
We had a storm a few weeks back. Not a huge, long one. Not one that was memorable in any really big way from where we were, inside, with our torches and candles, because in our part of the world if it’s even just plain old raining the power goes out. For a short while, it was a loud storm, with some impressive thunder, but nothing that I would have pegged as remarkable, or even that close.
We were therefore rather surprised to find this on venturing down the back paddock later in the week:
One of our pecans had been hit by lightening! Truly. We could see where the lightening had entered at the top, and traveled down the tree, exploding the base of each branch it came to. We’re still cleaning the tree up, and doing what we can, and we’re not sure whether it will need to come out or not. We really don’t want to lose it… but may have to if it will just up and die anyway. This below is just one of the split branches, taken when I shimmied up the tree to saw a few hangers off:
On the bright side, losing the tree could mean MULCH! Oodles of mulch. We’ll see.
Wow. It’s only been 14 weeks since we moved into our OKG, but we’ve ripped through some to-do items So. Fast. There are still so many things to do, but it seems odd how much we’ve actually done. I guess it’s because we’re pretty relaxed here, as it’s our long-term base now, and there’s just not the pressure that we felt at our old house to get it all done, yesterday! Less pressure = more efficient, productive work… who would have thought?!
Our achievements so far:
- Gutting the laundry outbuilding, removing the asbestos (!), re-lining it, repainting it, and re-plumbing it.
- Going in search of the grease trap, finding there was only an old, broken one and that horrors! it had been bypassed with a solid pvc pipe, that just kind of ended pointing at a path that is a main path to the house…and that was where the water from the shower, bath and kitchen sink drained into. So that’s why there was a swamp on the way to the car… mmm, mmm!
- Digging in an ag pipe, to take the kitchen and bathroom grey water AWAY from the path, and through some orchard trees that can probably take the excess.
- Made a mental note to read our product ingredients, to make sure they’re safe for greywater use.
- Digging in a new grease trap outside the kitchen, in the process discovering the dodgiest kitchen sink plumbing we’ve ever seen
- Paving around the back door, including around the new grease trap, so that there is not so much mud and dust getting into the house
- Replacement of the toilet, because we discovered that the pipe to the septic tank was cracked. ‘Nuff said.
- Epic battles with blackberries as we try to reclaim a garden and outbuildings that are in danger of being eaten by them, and used for sets for the fairytale ‘Sleeping Beauty’. This is a block that should never have been seen as a potential holiday house – who were they kidding?!
- Got plans for a new shed, and a new home office drawn up by our architect friend, and had them submitted to local council for approval
- Planted seeds of all sorts of things in preparation for sticking into the garden beds we’re liberating
- Had weeding help from friends who like to be busy with their hands while we catch up! Yay!
- Hacked a path through the overgrown front garden to the front door, and dreamed of the rose garden that I will have there one day. One day…
- Mowed the grass countless times
- Made very good friends indeed with the whipper snipper
- Replaced the whipper snipper head… someone thinks they own a brushcutter…!
- Had our ride on mower go out of action. I’m maintaining that it just looked at our paddock and had a mid-life crisis!
- Had more rain than we’ve ever experienced at our last house. We are now officially in the area that the weather bureau mean when they say ‘chance of rain’
- Has been tamed, and has now turned into:
One HUGE rhubarb, and lots of seedlings...
- And we even managed to take an 8 day holiday interstate to visit favourite Aunts, Uncles and cousins!
Watching this garden wake up and bloom through Spring has been like watching a film on fast forward. No sooner do we notice something, and remember to say to each other, “Have you seen the…?” than it is suddenly gone and finished, replaced by the next quick bloom, momentary flare of colour, astounding new growth. Except the blackberries. Always the blackberries…