Monday, February 28, 2011

Relish the Relish

Finally and with much gratitude/relief there are enough tomatoes to start making up batches of relish. My natural inclination is to covet and hoard this stuff - it scores high on the barter value scale. So I need to make at least 4 batches each season to last the coming year plus enough for all those folks who love it and want it and will never know that when I say "sorry that's it", what I REALLY mean is "sorry thats the last your gittin'" cause if I give you another jar, there wont be enough to get Mr Duck and I through until next year. Once you have the perfect relish recipe it spoils you for any other. Replacements and substitutes will not be tolerated.

We made it through the year with 2 huge bottles to spare. Nice going.

This is the second batch. Yes, those are 500ml jars. We take relish very seriously around here.

In other news, the Pretty Boy syndrome is spreading through the local wild cockie population. Small groups of cockies now sit in trees calling each other PRETTY BOY. It is very cute. When I was little, a tame cockie joined the wild flock around the farm I grew up on which resulted in all cockies renaming themselves Henry. The end product was cockies perched in big old Yellow Box trees across the huge valley yelling out "HELLO HENRY!" to each other, and responding the same.

Riding down to visit Ma and Pa Duck Herder today I passed under a casurina tree full of left handed Cockies eating the little nut cone thingies. They were still being left handed on the way back. There have been some SPURIOUS and QUESTIONABLE claims that right handed cockies might exist. May I remind new comers that chain of evidence is important, and one should be getting out there in the REAL WORLD looking at actual cockies in the wild, rather than searching google images for photos of prisoner cockies forced to live in cages and that even I know how to reverse an image. Just because you saw it on the internets doesn't mean it is true. Just sayin'.

Its a funny year for veggies this year. Despite significant preparations and planning, there won't be enough tomatos to do much bottling. I was lamenting this a little bit while I was batching up huge vats of fresh pesto for the freezer when I realized you just have to surrender to what ever is happening and the swings and round abouts of the season. A freezer full of pesto is pretty wonderful. And we have bottles of tomatoes left over from last year.......and there is still a little bit of time before the first frost, so who knows.

Well, thats it. I woke up at 2:00am with monkey mind, but I think I can go back to bed now. Anyway, its hard to type with a cat curled up on my arms while I type. At least she has stopped batting my fingers, and is now just practicing being a dead weight.

If anyone has any delicious ways to preserve eggplant, I would love to hear. Its a sucky year for marties, but great for aubergine.

nighty night.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Urban Homestead

Jumping on the Urban Homesteading Band Wagon............

Urban Homestead. There, I said it AGAIN. Nerny Nerny. But according to the Dervaese Institute, the use of the term "urban homestead" or "urban homesteading" is infringing on their trademark. Guess what fellow Earthings - these folks have trademarked the words some of us use to describe all that stuff our Nannas taught us! How did the Oklahomians ever allow this? hfs! Things are getting a little bit jerrabomberra over there.

Naturally, folks are not amused.

And this:

Sunday, February 20, 2011


The nashis on the "kosui" tree are ripe. And luscious. And beautiful. And juicy. And sweet. And full of nashi flavour. And crisp. And beautiful. And perfect. And they make me very very happy.

The last two years we have had beautiful fruit. When the trees were very young, we had some trouble with bud jump, but they seem to have outgrown that.

Kosui's sister tree "Hosui" is struggling. If we were in a county that had fire blight, I would say that she had fire blight.......but we aren't so it isn't. Hosui is stunted and her leaves are dead, but with tiny new shoots trying to make a new start......and some weird flowers. They came from the same nursery about 4 or 5 years ago (Daley's) have exactly the same growing conditions. I need her to LIVE because she also has beautiful fruit, but more importantly, she is the pollinator for Kosui. Daley's is currently propagating more Hosui's. I may need to replace her......... poor darling.

Swings and round abouts in the food forest.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

pretty boy

Now I have posted about bastard cockies before, but this may be something new.

There are not many universal truths, but one universal truth is that cockies, and I mean sulphur crested cockatoos, corellas, yellow tailed black cockatoos and all the big 'uns, well they are all LEFT HANDED. I can not tell you how appealing I find this fact, given I am a lefty n all. Yup, it has become a bit of an obsession. For the first few years my research was a little private joy, but as the evidence mounted, and all cockies sighted in the past decade were seen to be eating with their little left hands I have become more jubilant and publicly outspoken about this fact and now I am declaring it to the internets. I DEFY you to spot a cockie putting something up to his little mouth with anything other than his left hand.

Does it make me feel better that they eat my house left handed....? Perhaps.

Anyhoo, the other thing they can do is talk. Right now exactly 6573 cockies are outside screeching and yelling and carrying on because it is sunset and they want to get the last of it off their chests before they start yelling again just before dawn. Screaming incoherently, except for Pretty Boy. Pretty Boy, who flies with the wild flock but is obviously an "escapee" yells out "PRETTY BOY!" at the top of his little lungs with a cute little upward inflection at the end, and quickly follows it up with a screech.

Pretty Boy indeed.

A little bit more from the Pink Chair adventure. It really does look like I don't have much to occupy my time doesn't it.

return of the pink chair

What do you think?

me like.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Duck Herder Day Job

Hello there lovelies. Things are quite busy - racing through the last 7 weeks of this project. My chair is all finished and waiting for me out at Good Hope......but alas there has not been a big enough window of time to drive out there to pick it up.

Goodness I have a lot to write! In case anyone out there is interested in what a herder of ducks gets up to during the week.......we have a FILM! It has just been finished. It will be on youtube once it gets cut in half so it can fit into the 15 minute limit. (sheesh - 17 minutes, just 2 minutes over.....).....but in the meantime, if you don't mind downloading a 171 megabitey thingy is a link to the Groundswell blog and the City to Soil - become part of the solution film link. Enjoy......or stay tuned for the youtube upload.

If you do download the film, let me know what you think ok?