Sunday, April 21, 2013

A slow day

I think that lately I have been running on a high from my iron supplements but it caught up with me yesterday and today too. I am feeling a bit worn out and have slowed down today. That's probably for the best though I am I believe quite an impatient person when it comes to myself and what I want to achieve on any given day.
Well, as I was having a slow kind of day, I decided to do some things that are quite a lengthy process. Growing garlic for one.

 I'm sure I usually have my garlic in the ground before now but better late than never. Not all of the bulbs I stored from last year have started shooting but the ones that have have been sorted and separated and planted. By mid spring, there should be plenty to unearth for cooking and growing next year too. I calculate our garlic usage at approximately 1 bulb per week so I usually plant out 100 garlics to have plenty for regular meals, pickles/sauces, the garden and to share as well. This amount doesn't take up as much room as it would seem for 100 plants, but if I didn't have the room, I would halve the amount and buy in new bulbs each year.

I took a look at our honey reserves too. This season has been on the leaner side as far as honey production goes so we have less for sale. But, our aim is for optimal production over maximum production. Quality not quantity. We inspected the hives last week too and although there is plenty of bee activity, they don't have any to spare for us right now. I think it is due to the rather extreme season we have had which has probably disrupted flowering and nectar flow in the eucalypts which make up the bulk of our bees foraging. The hive closest to the gardens is fairing the best, benefiting from the flowering plants we have planted.
Although our hives are permanently situated and the honey is multi-flora, there are still seasonal differences. The honey on the left, is harvest from earlier in the seaason whilst the honey on the right is a late season honey. And they taste markedly different too. The darker honey is more robust in flavour and my personal favourite. 

I checked the progress of my creamed honey this afternoon. I made it last weekend and it is definitely going through the candying process. I haven't made creamed honey before but it was simple enough, the biggest test is patience. There are plenty of websites and books with instructions on how to make creamed honey so I won't bother with a how to here. Suffice to say, it just requires some runny honey and creamed honey and time. Slow food.

I'm tempted by these hot chillies to make a Sriracha sauce but I may just get lazy and string them up to dry out. Even with all of the pickles, relishes and chutneys I make with chillies, a string of dried chillies is still my favourite way to preserve them.

 I'm always open to suggestions for new ways to preserve what I harvest so if anyone has some special recipes using chillies, I'd love to try them.

Now I am going to do some cross stitch which is just the right kind of craft for a slow moving day.


shez said...

lots of things going on at the farm tracy,enjoy your day.xx

Lisa said...

The difference in honeys is very interesting.

judy said...

wow your honey looks great.could i buy 2 bottles off you if you have them to spare wonder creamed honey is so sure have a very productive garden Tracy.

Kim said...

I would love the idea of having bees at the farm, your honey looks so yummy. Though i am worried I would be stung.
We have an over abundance of chillis here to , it must have been the perfect season for them. I am thinking of selling some at the markets and stringing up the rest. I have been making chilli jam to put over philly cheese as a dip ( yummy!).