Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ginger (and Turmeric) Ale

I made some Ginger and Turmeric Ale today. I added the turmeric because I have so much and of course it's so good for you.....and the colour is pretty. I've used the recipe from Nourishing Traditions, although I didn't have enough limes, so subbed lemons - my neighbour gave me some yesterday.  It'll be interesting to see what it tastes like - It tasted okay fresh, so I hope it ferments a little bit!

My next big thing to try is Kombucha. I bought some ready made at the Real Food Festival in Maleny and it's really nice. They were also selling kits, but I missed out on one. I'm going to try and get one over the net - or at least the mushroom. I'll let you know how I get on!

We're always looking for a refreshing drink at lunch time. I have made bush lime cordial for years and try and keep some limes in the freezer, but we didn't get many last year, so I'm all out! I might make some lemon cordial with the rest of the lemons I have. I peeled the lemons that I squeezed for the ale, and have it soaking in vinegar. I want to make a nice smelling lemon vinegar, as I use vinegar to clean benches etc.

Life on the Farm

I'm home this week - have taken a few days leave. I've taken over the Pig Jobs so that Kim can focus on more fencing (I help when two people are needed). I love being a Pig Farmer! They are characters - some good and some bad!!! The pigs are breeding faster than we can keep paddocks up to them, and we are really getting anxious to move them onto fresh pasture. It's been very surprising just how much grass the pigs eat and as we're just finishing (hopefully) our dry season, there's not much feed left. We've started feeding the pigs hay, which they seem to enjoy.

We've got two litters of weaners at the moment - the coloured ones are the Large Black/Berkshire Cross over a Berkshire Boar and the white ones are straight Large White out of the Sow and Boar we recently purchased. The redish one is a ring-in. We bought some weaners to make up for some small litters we had.

We haven't had any rain for a couple of months and didn't really have much of a wet season this year. However, we have green pick coming through in all the paddocks. This is one reason that we want to move some of the pigs, as we don't want them hammering the young grass.

The cattle paddocks are going really well, as we rest them a bit more. Cell grazing is really the way to go, as the grass has time to recover between grazings and even without rain, the soil moisture that has been retained will encourage grass growth. We still have plenty of soil moisture. We had a grader her the other day and he said that it was nearly wet enough to get bogged!

I've put some more photos on the photo page..................

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tumeric, ginger, potatoes

I finally got around to digging my roots! The plants had died off, so I had to remember where I had planted them! The turmeric and ginger were volunteer plants from the bits I missed last year, the spuds were just organic potatoes that had started shooting. The potatoes were very dissapointing - I got a lot more last year from the same number of spuds, but I used seed potatoes then. I haven't weighed the spuds, but it would have been about 3kgs from about 1kg potatoes planted. Last night I decided to process some of the turmeric. The method is to scrub the turmeric and then boil for about half an hour. This morning I sliced it into thin slices and put in the dehydrator for the day. Then when it's dry, grind in a coffee grinder. I did a couple of batches, but I have a huge jar and will probably do another lot yet, so I will take it into my sister who has a Thermomix and she will do it in a fraction of the time! (I suppose I should ask her first!!) Last year I did this and got a huge jar of ground turmeric, unfortunately by about October it had all gone mouldy. This time I will freeze the ground stuff in small bags so that it keeps. I will also peel and wrap some of both the roots in alfoil and freeze. Then when I want to use it, I just grate it. I've done this with ginger before, but not turmeric. I'm sure it will be simillar though. Tomorrow I will make some ginger ale with the ginger - actually, I will probably make some turmeric and ginger ale. I have 3 times as much turmeric as ginger! I will weigh them both tomorrow - I should do this just for my records.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Real Food Festival

Last weekend we went to the Real Food Festival at Maleny. It was a great turn out - well supported by the locals I would have thought. We did see one other couple from CQ, so there were a few outsiders also. There were quite a lot of interesting talks - I went along to some, but soon discovered that I know a lot more about real food than a lot of people so didn't learn too much new. I did however, learn about photographing food - something I need to think about for my recipe book. It's a lot more complex than I thought, so I will have to find a more professional photographer than me! One thing that was a little dissapointing was the the ready to eat food stalls. Thre was a fairly strict requirement on local business for the trade displays, but only some of the food stalls had local produce - or at least advertised that they were local. They certainly weren't what I would call "real food". Oh well, my family always acuses me of being too fussy!