Weekend Domestic Bliss! Spent Saturday in the garden, harvesting a bed of Chioggia Stripey beetroot, some as big as two hands - proudly organic! No artificial hormones or steroids there! Did some weeding (a bit like housework - never complete!), put up some stakes for tomato planting day (usually Labour Weekend, in New Zealand), watched the "Girls" - our Bantam chooks, for some time, changed their bedding to some untreated cedar wood shavings, planted potatoes into an old untreated kiwifruit crate (Mike sourced 2 for $15 each). I am hoping there is not too much spray residue left on it as they have been sitting unused outdoors for some time. I spent a while researching best methods for a small garden like ours and even though some "organic" enthusiasts say that stacking tyres are okay to grow your spuds in, I am still not convinced. Besides, they just look ugly!
Lizzy and Spence are now laying an egg per day! Wow! Would be really cool if we ate them! One more week foraging on this bed and then we will move the chook tractor to the other bed which had beetroots in, in preparation for tomato plants, eggplants and capsicums (nightshade family). I also got to spray my stone fruit trees blossoms with organic copper spray to stop fungal infestations and disease.
|The precious egg-making factory.|
|One marvels that these wonders of nature pop out of the|
bottoms of such small fowl!
No wonder they kick up such a ruckus when laying an egg!
|Spence, the dark, feisty one!|
|Liz, the little ginger lass.|
Phew, after bottling 12 bottles of beetroot relish (the colour was a bit disappointing as the lovely candy-striped chioggia don't give that wonderful deep ruby-red of normal beetroot relish - although it tastes the same!), we felt spent. Time for a cuppa tea and short bread. The Relish recipe is simple, easy and definitely worth sharing:
- 1kg beetroot, peeled and shredded
- 500g onions, peeled and grated
- malt or apple cider vinegar to cover veggies
- 700g sugar
- 1 tspn salt
- 1 TBspn pickling spices tied in muslin bag
- 2 TBspn cornflour
Place all ingredients in large saucepan, cover and cook for 30 minutes till beetroot is soft. Remove muslin bag, mix cornflour with a little vinegar and stir into relish. Cook for a further few minutes, then spoon into hot, clean jars and seal.
Makes about 3 litres.
Great on thin brown bread or cracker biscuits, and cheese. Great for summer al fresco lunches.
|We had at least 4 of these sized beetroot mothers -|
the rest were normal to small!
|The Domestic Workers slaving away in the kitchen on a rainy day|
|The beauty of candy-striped chioggia beetroot all shredded|
|10 bottles of Beetroot relish - disappointingly brown in colour!|