Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Backyard Corner Makeover

The old wood shed
A new year.  New beginnings.  Or a Make-Over.  With the neighbour's stramash about boundaries, we decided to demolish our old wood store which could have been on the land he was claiming was his.  But of course, the land when surveyed, was deemed to be ours, the boundary being exactly where the half-size wire fence had originally been erected.  Long story short: we replaced the wire fence with the highest legal wooden fence possible.  Privacy for him and for us.  But we also decided to go ahead with demolishing the old wood store which had been haphazardly built by the previous owner, as we have already built one closer to the house.

Demolition of shed and newly erected new wooden fence
The builder who built our fence made short work of the shed - it was down within 2 hours!!  What to do with the blank canvas??  We decided that we would like to have a second go at growing our own avocado tree, so after purchasing a Hass, in it went.  We figure that this corner is sheltered from winds and will be easier to erect frost protection over winter.  Frosts killed our last 2 small avo trees as they are extremely frost-tender sub-tropicals.  Avos grow into really large trees, so there is not much space for anything else later on.  But for now, we have planted corn all around the avo - once they are harvested, there will be more space for the growing avo.  The corn will also provide a source of carbon for the compost bins and break up the compacted soil.

Avocado tree planted, with corn.  At the back, 2 passion fruits to climb the trellises
It did not take too long for the conversion, the pathway is newly sawdust-laden to stop weeds growing, and it is looking like a great space for growing.  Given that Katikati is an avo growing region, alongside our kiwifruit industry, we can buy avos at $2 for 3.  As Mike likes to eat half to one avo every day, it's still a rather expensive commodity, so hopefully our $35 tree investment will pay off in no time at all, if we can keep it frost-safe.  For hypothetical purposes, an avo a day for a year would cost us about $241 at 3 for $2.  Or something like that.  So in 3 years, our avo tree will hopefully be providing us with at least half a year's supply, thus saving us $120 p/a.  We shall see ....... gardening is all about economics!  And an added benefit will be that ours are spray-free.

Did you know?
In the Doctrine (teachings) of Signatures (Sign of Nature) of Wholefoods (healthy, untampered with), avocados are the signature food of the uterus and cervix?  They are proven to be excellent for all manners of womanly woes, hormonal imbalance, fertility, menopause, pregnancy and post-pregnancy weight loss.  When you cut an avo in half, it resembles the uterus and cervix, and the stone symbolizes the baby.  And get this; from blossom to ripe fruit takes about, wait, you guessed it: 8-9 months!!  Isn't nature fantastic!!  But not to worry, men won't become too feminine when they consume too much of this wonder-food!  It's good for them too.  And the myth that they are fattening - banish the thought!  Poppycock and nonsense!

Here's a great avo recipe that will defy the senses and confound your friends.  The recipe was given to me by my friend, Jo, a raw foodie girl.   A rich and creamy chocolate mousse made from avos.  No sugar.  In fact, it's so healthy, you could be doing your body a great big favour by eating it regularly!!

Creamy Avocado Pudding (sourced from Faw Foods for Busy People)

2-3 servings

1 ripe avocado
1 ripe banana or 1/4 cup pitted dates, soaked for 10 mins
1/4 cup raw carob powder (I've also tried cocoa)
2 tspn vanilla extract

Whip up all ingredients in a blender.  Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the blender a few times during blending.  Top with Whipped cream if desired (not necessary).  Gluten Free.  Dairy free.  Egg free.  Sugar free.  

Guilt free.

I love presenting this to unsuspecting people and asking them to guess the ingredients!  No-one gets the avo bit!!  Party trick deluxe.

Healthy Chocolate Mousse - serve with a fresh strawberry on top!

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