The first part of the year is always busy with harvests, irrigation, pruning, weeding and wwoofer’s on top of harsh weather conditions that often reduces suitable work hours. As well this year I’ve also been busy preparing for our Basketry SA exhibition, ‘Warp on the Wild Side’ as part of the Adelaide Fringe. My pieces are large and finding suitable places to store them has been problematic. Having a small has many advantages but with the spare bedroom being used by wwoofer’s, to the packing shed/classroom is busy packing out berries there is little space to store a collection of large basketry works –time for another shed. As karma would have it , advertised in the local paper there was a shed –buyer to dismantle. It was a hexagon with double glass doors. After purchasing it and checking out the logistics of getting it down Quentin and his mate Steve set off with all the required tools to dismantle it. Unfortunately I could not help as i had been pre booked to give a composting talk at the Mitcham Library. Next morning all the shed bit where transported home to be stored ready to reassemble in the future.
Meanwhile I started preparing the site by re potting the plants I wanted to keep , stacking the rocks and pavers ready for the redevelopment. Woofer’s Niels and Bart dug out the picnic tables so they could be relocated.The joy of the Hills is that nothing is level –so that's the next step.
The vegetable garden has been steadily producing salad goodies. The tomatoes are coming on fast now but the cucumbers are still a bit slow. The beetroot, carrots and beans have been excellent this season . While the garden beds have been busily producing the weeds have taken over the footpaths.The sawdust on the paths have turned to soil . I spent about two thirds of today clearing all the paths and ended up with a large pile of roots and plants to be stored ready for the next compost. My next job will be to add the rotted down sawdust on to the bed and recover the paths with sawdust.
February is the red month, as well as the tomatoes ripening my hand seem to be constantly red from mulberries and beetroot.
Here are a couple of our favourite February red dishes.
Serves 2 as a main course .
3 cups stock –I use goose but any light stock is good.
1 tablespoon butter
1 red onion-finely chopped -we had a good harvest of these.
2-4 cloves of garlic –finely chopped
2 cups grated raw beetroot
1 cup Arborio rice
salt & pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese.
Bring stock to boil in saucepan and then keep it at a simmer. put another saucepan close to the stock. add butter and onion, cook over low heat until it has softened. Add the garlic and beetroot cook for 3 minutes stirring then add the rice and mix well.Add ladle of stock and salt and pepper.Stir until the stock is almost absorbed then add another ladle of stock.Continue until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is al dente,(tender but firm ) around 15 minutes. Mix in cheese and serve.
This is a sweet pizza and a variation on Schiacciata made with grapes which is delicious also.
500 grams of your favourite bread dough proved and ready to roll out.
500 grams fresh mulberries (or grapes)
1/4 cup raw sugar.
Oil a a flat tray.Divide the dough in half and roll out the first of 2 bases . Place on tray and spread half the mulberries, leaving space between them.Sprinkle with some sugar.Roll out second base and lay it over the first layer like a sandwich, pushing down around the edge to seal it.
Add more mulberries, pushing them in the valleys and sprinkle with sugar.Bake in a hot oven at 220 C for about 30 minutes or til cooked through.Good served hot or cold.