Coming together and enjoying the harvest.

More blooming concrete!

More concrete!We purchased three established cut leaf silver birch trees to fill a gap behind ‘the patch’ and while Mr ATMT was digging holes to plant them he came across MORE  concrete down about a foot from the surface. This is what we have been using as the pavers in the pathways. Wish we knew what the original purpose of this was! The area leads into what was once stables and it is too consistent and level to be fill. With this house having once been the doctors residence and with a neighbouring house being the original hospital we wonder whether there was a linking path or drive between the two. The concrete isn’t very thick so wouldn’t have heavy use to cope with unlike our driveway that you land a jumbo jet on!

Can see it taking shape…..happy with that!View from drive

View from drive way into back yard. Reclaimed concrete become pavers leading into ‘the patch’, new grass seed has had first hair cut.IMG_1617 View from top of last shot showing the mulberry tree, the newly planted cut leaf silver birches and our keepers of the gate.IMG_1628

View from rear of yard back to driveway. Couple of chairs under the mulberry tree, a fence will be installed around the vegie patch making this a quiet haven of tranquility once planting is established. IMG_1646

I moved 2 compost bins full of compost and leaf mold which nicely mulched this bed around the new trees. Very rewarding indeed.

IMG_1647

Lawn area. In total we have moved in about 25 meters of fill and topsoil to make this yard level. Lawn seed now sown and we anxiously await its appearance.

Waiting, waiting, waiting……. Oh so patiently.

Cherries

First cherries forming. I’ve never grown cherries before so am really excited to see these little cherubs appearing. I am even more chuffed because this tree was one I created when I attended a grafting workshop year before last. Supposed to be on a dwarf (or smaller) rootstock than normal.1st Tomato

First tomato fruiting. This plant is one that has kept going in the greenhouse since last autumn. I cut it back and fed it well and it isn’t far from harvesting.

Bean attacked!

Bean attack! The first sign of beans I posted last week has been cut short (pardon the pun!) by some munching critter. Not sure if its earwigs or something else. My potato crop foliage is being decimated by earwigs and none of the usual traps are working at all. Anyone got any suggestions?

RaspberriesFirst sign of raspberries producing. Don’t tell the earwigs.

This weeks harvests.

First spuds

First bandicooted spuds (potatoes), shallots, asparagus, parsley, silverbeet, coriander, mint, lettuce, thyme, oregano, beetroot leaves for salad and some good old faithful lemons. Getting more and more all the time.

IMG_1669I also picked my first bunch of roses at this house. Stunning! The dark pink one is called ‘Blue River’, massive flower and nothing like the tag but it is beautiful.

In the kitchen.

Slow cooker stock

The sharing of knowledge, tips and hints available to us now because of the internet is quite mind-blowing. I spend a lot of time reading others blogs and posts and I have to say the best tip I’ve learned is how to make stock in the slow cooker. I read this post and it ‘just made such damned good sense’ that I have been doing it ever since. I had run out so on went the slow cooker full of stuff I’d collected in the freezer and a bag of chicken carcasses I bought last time I went to the Footscray Market. Freezer fully stocked up again (ooh, another bad pun!).

Goats cheese and asparagus tart.

Asparagus and goat cheese tart

I’ve been reading a lot of Annabel Lanbein’s recipes lately and her common sense style really appeals to me. I found her recipe for asparagus and goat cheese tart and made a few adjustments so I didn’t have to go to the shop. Basically the only things the same as her recipe was that I used some goats cheese, asparagus and some eggs. Everything else was pretty much substituted for what was at hand.

I used puff instead of shortcrust pastry, ricotta instead of cream cheese, sour cream instead of cream, left out the parmesan to keep a bit lighter, added a slosh of milk to compensate for thicker sour cream and oh, I did also use parsley! Served with a hot (warm potato salad) made from our freshly picked potatoes (microwaved for 4 minutes) to which I added some S&P, lightly fried off shallot, mushroom, capsicum and snow peas. I then stirred in about a tablespoon of sour cream and it was beautiful. A couple of bits of lettuce and some beetroot leaves with chopped tomato and it was a lovely dinner. So satisfying putting together food you’ve grown.

With the left over tart mix I thought it may make good muffins so I added some grape-seed oil, a couple of handfuls of SR flour, a handful of grated cheese, some finely chopped shallot and a bit of milk to thin mix. I sprinkled a bit of parmesan over them in the last couple of minutes. This was a winner! Really  nice, light and tasty.

asparagus and goat cheese muffins

Covered a lot this weekend. Looking forward to a day off on Tuesday and spending it with my family getting together, having a few champagnes and bets on the Melbourne Cup! Hope I back a winner!

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