Saturday, October 30, 2010


Our peas are going off at the moment! The boys have a daily feast of them and don't stop until their Tonka dump truck is full of the shells!

Will probably have to pull them all down and shell and blanch them soon to make sure they stay nice and sweet. That is of course if we don't eat them all while pulling them down!

Good Times and Good Food!

Just got back from a 5 day camp with 21 Yr 9 students doing a variety of activities including part of the Great Ocean Walk. Had a great time with probably the best group I have taken out so far. Every instructor/guide/person we met on the way complemented them on their outstanding performance and behaviour! It was really great to see and an enjoyable but exhausting time. Five days of fun, but also five days of trail mix and basic food...
I was craving real food today and so did a lucky dip and caught a 469g beauty! Baken it in the oven with AP herbs, lemon from our neighbour, a few knobs of butter, seasoned well with salt, a side dish of new potatoes from our dirt garden and a risotto made by Hayley with AP vegies in it! All in all a bloody nice dinner!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nude Food Challenge!

Today is the start of National Water week and I have organised for the Yr 7s to go on a water excursion/incursion. Part of the day, the class I will be supervising will be taking part in a Nude Food Challenge. I collected their recess rubbish last Friday and it wasn't all that great, the only thing organic (as in not plastic) was orange peels, and that was stowed away in a plastic bag!

So for tomorrow (and as long as they can) the students have been asked to bring their food nude! I will collect the rubbish at each stop in a 7D bag as well as collect 7Cs rubbish. At the end of the day, it will be interesting to see how the two classes compare. 7D are the only nude foodist and 7C have no idea what I have planned......

The menu for me is:

AP salad sandwiches made from homemade sourdough bread and spread with Hayley's piccailil preserve, peas, a dirt garden carrot and some potatoe chips in a zip lock bag (which I will re-use). I have stuffed the sandwiches un-wrapped into a lunchbox so they won't fall apart.

For fruit, I have last season's apricots that Hayley preserved in a secure - read: pray to God it does not spill - container!

The only thing about this eat what you grow business is the lack of fruit during the hungry season! I'm not a big fan of preserved apricots but that is all we have left. I can't wait for the the apples, peaches, fresh apricots, berries, pears and melons to grow!!!!!!

Lets see how the class goes!

The ancient Egtyptians knew a thing or two!

Got 6 more apple boxes off Toby the other week and have just started re-arranging the back dirt garden. An old wicking bed had to be emptied and then moved. All up the thing weighed about 200-250kg, or 9 red gum sleepers worth of weight! The ancient Egytians knew a thing or two that's for sure! I wedged the bed up, shoved a couple of logs underneath and levered adn rolled it into place! Still damn hard work, but all done. Next came the apple boxes, put them in place, lined them and filled them. The big mumma was next. Had to empty the 2000lt tank of dirt, then move it into it's final place. Man it was hard work, but now it's in place and I ain't moving it again!!!!
The strawberries are going well as is everything else. The marrigolds and the alyssum are blooming and look amazing! Can't wait until we can start harvesting more and more!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Biggest lucky dip so far!

Had a friend come over to pick a few things up, he left with some AP produce and the biggest licky dip (unlucky for the trout!) so far!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Read this if you eat....

Food. It is an amazing thing food. We can't live without it, yet we all take it for granted. It comes in so many different forms, fruit, veg and meat and all of the sub-categories of that. I sit hear typing this, while eating pasta my wife made from home laid eggs and organic flour, organic pasata, home grown herbs and home grown asparagus and drinking some homebrew. A vegetarian meal, but I ask you, did any animals die for me to be able to eat and drink this food and beer? Absolutely! Hundreds of insects, snials, slugs and worms died for me to be able to eat this food and drink this beer and so long as I eat, then animals no matter how small, will die.

My family and I are trying to live as a sustainable life as possible and that means growing our own food, growing fish, raising our own chickens for eggs and chickens for meat. Although I am yet to dispatch one of our own chickens, fish I have done plenty of times. Today however was a first. No no, not our own chook, but a friend of mine. We gave him three trout and I got one of his roosters. I have seen my father dispatch a chook before and it left me uneasy, but the interesting thing is that I have done ducks before woth no issue! Maybe it has to do with the twitching nerve thing...

Anyway after preparing the area, cleaning equipment, sharpening knives and heating up the water, the rooster's time on this planet was coming to an end. I got him ready and said a little sorry and thank-you to him and did the deed. I bled him instead of taking off his head and this is humane and nowhere near as unsettling. There was no spasmidoc twitching and thrashing and he looked peaceful as he went. There was one last jerk as the nerves kicked in momentarily but only lasted 2-3 seconds max. After this, the plucking and cleaning took place and I think I did a pretty good job of it.

The rooster is now in the fridge resting to allow the muscles to relax. I will leave it there for 24 hours and then freeze it. As it thaws, the mucsles will further relax, naturally tenderising the meat.

In my head I was constantly saying that if I could not do this, then I could not justify and bring myself to eat chicken again. If I eat meat, then I think it is nessesary that I at least see the process from start to finish but better yet, to do it myself. Until then, I cannot get a full appreciation for the food I eat and will continue unconsciously taking for granted all that I consume. And yes I will do the same for any animal I eat if possible. At the very least I will watch the process take place and hope that the animal lived a good life while alive and died peacefully. I owe it that at the minimum.

I know this is not one of my chickens. Better for me to be slightly removed from my first chicken kill, a bit easier on the emotions. Soon it will be my chicken's turn... a tough day that will be...

My father taught me not to be unappreciative for what I have. Understand and do as much as I can and then I will begin to fully appreciate life and living. He is a wise man.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The bees are here!

Jon bought over the hive and bees this morning (thanks Jon you're a legend!) and here are a few pics. Set-up a screen so that the bees have to fly up and over, that way the flight path is well away from head height!

Bees and chickens!

Mate of mine is bringing over a beehive super tomorrow morning (thanks Jon!). Should produce enough honey for the bees and our family particularly after I put a second one on top. Need to put a 2m screen up to help control the flight path.

Another mate coming over with 2 roosters ready to be dispatched. Should be an interesting process. Ducks I have no issues with, but chickens... We'll see how it goes. May even get some photos of the process to post.